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HomeBrew Gen3 PCB: WiFi+BT+GPS+MUSB+Relay !

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#176 coollick

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Posted 16 February 2023 - 07:28 PM

Super easy,

here's a Gen3b assembly video https://youtu.be/R5C6_5FhAzk.

The actual build time was around 25 minutes.

 

Cheers!


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#177 mlord

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Posted 16 February 2023 - 10:06 PM

Fun video, and I liked the trick with a temporary jumper to hold the Mount-USB pins in place for soldering.  :)

 

For me, the time-consuming bits are the two slider switches, which are missing from the video.  They're not needed unless one wants to select Access Point mode, or Mount-USB operaion -- you've got a jumper for the latter though.

 

Cheers



#178 Chote

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Posted 16 February 2023 - 11:10 PM

Super easy,

here's a Gen3b assembly video https://youtu.be/R5C6_5FhAzk.

The actual build time was around 25 minutes.

 

Cheers!

I like the buck converter you use. You've included its pin diagram in the video, but no brand/part no. mentioned. Could you share the details?
I also learned your soldering tricks from this video.


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#179 mlord

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Posted 16 February 2023 - 11:20 PM

There are several brands of those black block buck converters.  I linked to one of them in this post:  https://www.cloudyni...7#entry12485224 and used one on the first Gen3b build, as seen in the photos near that post.


Edited by mlord, 16 February 2023 - 11:21 PM.

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#180 coollick

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Posted 16 February 2023 - 11:59 PM

Recom power R-78E5.0-0.5
I am hoping these work fine for me with Gen3b, Using these with my older pcb design, the esp32 would not bootup properly if it was connected when powering up the mount. I had to connect the homebrew after powerup. Ended up using the tiny 3 pin pcb module.
Thats the reason I put headers instead of soldering the esp32 permanently.

I will add wifi switch, forgot the 3 pins for output. Then maybe try and design a 3d printable box, but I may just end up shrink wrapping it.

Also I need to make a Y-split aux cable, only one aux on my mount (I keep the remote in its place), but need to connect StarSense + Homebrew up top. Oh and still waiting for nunchuck connectors from china, so that will be a while. I may try to Macgyver a temp solution, or chop the end of the nunchuck wire lol.

What is mount-usb, is it for debug while connected to mount?
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#181 mlord

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Posted 17 February 2023 - 07:34 AM

The Mount-USB provides a USB connection (instead of WiFi or Bluetooth) between CPWI and the mount.  A switch is needed for selecting this operation mode at power-on/reset, as otherwise the ESP32 spews debug and other information over the port etc. 

 

I have been using the Recom and similar bucks with my breadboard ESP32 prototypes for the past two years.  No issues.


Edited by mlord, 17 February 2023 - 07:35 AM.


#182 mlord

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Posted 17 February 2023 - 07:55 AM

Here is yet another code update for this project, in the continuing saga of trying to get the inferior "Nintendo" branded Nunchuck controllers to work properly.  Those have a ton of "drift" (false movements) when idle, which is tolerable I guess for video games, but not when controlling a telescope mount.

 

The more modern no-name clone Nunchucks all work perfectly though, with zero drift and a broader movement range too!

 

Attached File  esp32_wifi.ino.v5.25.txt   83.62KB   26 downloads

 

* Version v5.25
*  -- Nunchuck: Fix bug from last version where only the highest speed worked with LEFT/DOWN motions.
*  -- Nunchuck: Do nunchuck_request_data() earlier, to give Nunchuck more time to process it.
*  -- Nunchuck: Use calibration data centres as starting points for measuring centre ranges.

 

So.. if you want to use a Nunchuck to control the mount/focus, then give that 10-yr old Nintendo one back to the grand kids, and instead pick up a superior modern clone for $5-$10 off AliExpress or Amazon. smile.gif   But there is a chance this latest firmware may also work with the old stuff.


Edited by mlord, 17 February 2023 - 08:11 AM.

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#183 mlord

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Posted 17 February 2023 - 02:01 PM

And.. hot on the heels of v5.25, here is new v5.26 !!  grin.gif

 

* Version 5.26
*  -- Nunchuck: Implement 5 slew speeds instead of the previous 4 speeds.
*  -- Nunchuck: Improve speed range calculations
*  -- Nunchuck: Shorten "nunchuck_" to "nchuck_" to make the code more digestible.

 

Attached File  esp32_wifi.ino.v5.26.txt   82.3KB   41 downloads

 

I think I'm now done with this for the day.


Edited by mlord, 17 February 2023 - 02:06 PM.

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#184 masdeguzman

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Posted 18 February 2023 - 02:32 PM

Got all the parts finally and assembled it last night. CPWI and Skyportal all working phenomenally. Thank you Mark.

 

Has anyone got this working with Stellarmate? Messing around right now but not having any luck. Tried USB and Bluetooth.

 

Thanks,

Mike



#185 mlord

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Posted 18 February 2023 - 04:28 PM

Most third-party apps only understand "hand-controller" protocol, not AUX protocol (aka. "Celestron WiFi").  So check which protocol the app wants, and see if there's an option for it to use "AUX" (aka. "Celestron WiFi").



#186 mlord

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Posted 20 February 2023 - 10:54 AM

A wiring problem has been identified with using the passive WiiChuck style of connector for a Nunchuck..

The issue is that it does not provide the required pull-up resistors for the SDA/SCL signals used to communicate with it.  And the HomeBrew Gen3x boards do not provide them either.

I am now re-declaring this as a NON-ISSUE.  All of the Nunchuck clones I have here include internal 1.7K pull-ups on both signals.  This is more than enough for our purposes, so.. no need to fuss with extra resistors after all!  :)


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#187 mlord

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Posted 20 February 2023 - 04:28 PM

Here is v5.27 of the Arduino ESP32 source code for this project.

 

Attached File  esp32_wifi.ino.v5.27.txt   82.47KB   50 downloads

 

* Version 5.27
*  -- Nunchuck: Tidying.
*  -- Nunchuck: Fixed crash seen sometimes when Nunchuck gets connected.

 

The pre-compiled binary of this version is also now at https://rtr.ca/teles...stuff/flashing/

 

Cheers

Mark


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#188 jaxpaboo

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Posted 21 February 2023 - 12:42 AM

Thank to mlord for letting my obtain one of your prebuilt Gen3 PCBs. One great looking gadget and such a clean build! 

 

I'm the also the goof ball that is trying to get an ancient OEM Nunchuck to work nicely with the PCB (since I already have on hand). I think I'm going to eventually get around to getting a generic Nunchuck, but for now I'm really enjoying digging through mlord's source cord to try and get it fine tuned.

 

Throwing away my NexStar's Hand Control is a fantastic feeling. I hated everything about that device... especially how often it would get knocked out of place. Using the SkyPortal with to WIFI connect to my NexStar is such a joy. Alignment is so much easier and being able to quickly search and goto on SkyPortal is a joy. The nunchuck works great for slewing the mount around.

 

My next goal is to use this setup to take videos of spaceX launches.  Perhaps even try and capture ISS on a fly by.  NexStar's limited mid and fast range slew speeds are troublesome. I've had a bit of luck modifying the code to 'fast bounce' between two speeds. Still working on improving this code.

 

Adding a photo of my solution to making sure it doesn't flop around too much on the mount and also making sure the 'bright' green light on the nunchuck dongle is pointed down.  A couple of well placed zipties and a large rubber band I've stretched across and under the battery plate to make sure it stays on top and doesn't put strain on the R12 cable.

Attached Thumbnails

  • mlord_pcb_bundle.jpg

Edited by jaxpaboo, 21 February 2023 - 01:18 PM.

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#189 masdeguzman

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Posted 21 February 2023 - 01:10 PM

Weather sucked all weekend and now this snow storm out west.

 

What to do? Get your son to design a case for the Gen3b.

 

https://photos.app.g...VRMqqz3ni8vFNZA

 

https://photos.app.g...Ji2jXcimXdyr2g7

 

https://photos.app.g...y1E4XrfNDYUmfb6


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#190 mlord

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Posted 21 February 2023 - 01:17 PM

Nice case, but I try very hard to keep the antenna area free from obstructions.  Otherwise one could end up with no-so-great WiFi reception. 


Edited by mlord, 21 February 2023 - 06:03 PM.


#191 telesonic

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Posted 27 February 2023 - 07:25 PM

I recieved one of the assembled Gen3's from Mark today. Very well built indeed!

 

The mount I'm using is one of the early version CG-5 ASGT's, with the basic non NexStar+ HC's. From initial indoor testing, I can confirm that it is working with SkySafari+ via Wifi (I will download the bluetooth client solution in the next day or so and get that operational on my Android tablet.)

 

For anyone with an older ASGT -

This is confirmed working with my mount MC Firmware version 5.07 - and HC Firmware version was GEM 4.22.

 

Wii Nunchuck #1 (possibly OEM one) takes off slewing on it's own.

Wii Nunchuck #2 (generic one) works great.

 

Thank you Mark (and all others) that made this possible!



#192 bonanzaman

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Posted 27 February 2023 - 09:19 PM

Hey, Mark...could you help out with the correct Wifi settings for use with SkySafari Pro? Works ok on Sky Portal (disconnects pretty often, however), but I can't get past the error message "........can make a connection, but the scope is not responding" when trying to use SS Pro.

The only thing I noticed was the IP address on the Homebrew was shown as 1.2.3.5, so I did change that in the SS7 settings, but still no connection? What am I missing? ...what should I set the port number to in SS....the default there is 4030.

 

Mark


Edited by bonanzaman, 27 February 2023 - 09:20 PM.


#193 coollick

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Posted 27 February 2023 - 09:41 PM

SkySafari 7

Settings - Telescope - Presets
Add preset
1. Other connection
2. Celestron Wi-Fi
3. Alt-az GoTo (Or your mount type)
4. Direct connection, if connected to homebrew wifi
OR Use Accesspoint if configured and connected to your home wifi
TEST CONNECTION
5. Give it a name
Enable set time & location (phone's time and gps) or disabled if using a gps module.
SAVE PRESET

Cheers

Edited by coollick, 27 February 2023 - 09:43 PM.

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#194 bonanzaman

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Posted 27 February 2023 - 09:46 PM

SkySafari 7

Settings - Telescope - Presets
Add preset
1. Other connection
2. Celestron Wi-Fi
3. Alt-az GoTo (Or your mount type)
4. Direct connection, if connected to homebrew wifi
OR Use Accesspoint if configured and connected to your home wifi
TEST CONNECTION
5. Give it a name
Enable set time & location (phone's time and gps) or disabled if using a gps module.
SAVE PRESET

Cheers

Thanks much, Mate....we'll give that a go and see!



#195 bonanzaman

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Posted 27 February 2023 - 10:08 PM

Yes, that did it...the "Celestron Wifi" was what I was missing.....seems to stay connected a bit better with SS7, than SkyPortal???

I am going to add the GPS module next as I am running through an iPad....

 

Thanks!



#196 RyzenAMD

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Posted 28 February 2023 - 05:18 AM

mlord, can you suggest a dongle  for a GPS unit for my EQ6R Pro? I would like a no-nonsense home built kit for precise positioning of my EQ6R Pro mount.



#197 mlord

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Posted 28 February 2023 - 08:14 AM

mlord, can you suggest a dongle  for a GPS unit for my EQ6R Pro?

No, sorry.  This is the Celestron forum, not SkyWatcher.   I have never had a SkyWatcher mount here, so I know very little about them.



#198 Chote

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Posted 01 March 2023 - 09:28 PM

Hi Mark. I got your 3b boards and an Adafruit nunchuck adapter the other day. Completed it and it works great with my 6se. Another clone nunchuck also works great.

Thanks a lot for your contribution and fully support.

One question: in what scenario that I need a gps? My Nexus 7 2012 tablet has a gps built-in.

 

mloard_3b_in_action.jpg


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#199 mlord

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Posted 01 March 2023 - 10:48 PM

One question: in what scenario that I need a gps? My Nexus 7 2012 tablet has a gps built-in.

The primary use for a GPS at the mount, is when using the hand-controller for alignments.  Otherwise, it is rarely useful.  People using CPWI on a notebook can also use it -- handy for star parties, I suppose.


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#200 RyzenAMD

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Posted 03 March 2023 - 08:03 AM

I have the celestron SkySync GPS unit on my Evolution and it works great. I plan on using it with CPWI next time I go out for imaging.




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