Max Dobres replied to the topic 'Polar Alignment with a restricted view' in the forum. 2 days ago

Still learning, bear with me.
Couldn't switch on logs. Clicked logs button, but all the click boxes under Ekos are greyed out.
Verbosity and output boxes allow selection and tried a few in case it affected Ekos section but no luck.

Will have another go at PA tonight currently using guide scope, which may not be perfectly aligned to mount axis. Does that make a difference.

Will also try using main scope 90mm /500 FL with canon 450D

When you say reverse direction, what do you mean? do it twice East then West?

Thanks for the help


Max Dobres replied to the topic 'Polar Alignment with a restricted view' in the forum. 4 days ago

I managed to get the Polar Alignment system to work but the error reported was 25 mins even after 3 attempts.

My process was as follows:
I have an HEQ5-Pro mount on a steel pier set in a concrete block.
I used my Orion Starshoot autoguider and Orion 50mm guide scope for the PA.
I started by using the HEQ5 built in polar scope to get the best manual alignment using the George Varros PA app.

I ran PA and it completed all three images and gave me an adjustment image.
After adjusting the mount I re-ran the PA process expecting the error to be much smaller, but It still showed the same magnitude of error and needed a significant adjustment.
I ran it again, same result.
I then checked the PA using the HEQ5 built in scope and it was way off.

Any idea what is happening here?


Max Dobres replied to the topic 'Re:Moonlite focuser protocol' in the forum. 2 weeks ago

Hi, I am away from home for a few weeks so I cannot give you a detailed reply but I the pdf electronics diagram is the original one and the sensor connections are different from original code and from mine. If you look at my code you will see that the temprature sensor is connected to A0 , this is instead of A4 shown on the pdf. It is the v+ that is connected and v+ is also connected via a 1.8k resistor to the 5v supply.
I did not connect the adj leg to anything. In the peg it is connected by a pot to allow calibration but I found this was better done in software.

I also recommend connecting the display which is an i2c oled device and shows both the temperature and the focused ticks. On the nano that connects A4 (SDA) and A5 (SCL) (hence why I moved the above connector to A0). The display makes testing much easier.

If this is not clear let me know and I will reply when I have returned home.


Max Dobres replied to the topic 'Polar Alignment with a restricted view' in the forum. 1 month ago

OK thanks for the advice. I will make sure I use FTS and switch logs on for next time. I am now away for around 4 weeks so it will be a while before I can report on my new attemps


Max Dobres replied to the topic 'Polar Alignment with a restricted view' in the forum. 1 month ago

Still struggling to get PAA to work. I tried Canon 450D on a 90mm Refractor FL 500 mm which has a FOV of 2.49° x 1.66°. I first tried using native RAW files it solved and displayed the offset diagram but then hung during looping exposures. I assume because of the file size. I then changed the format to "Medium fine Jpeg It took and solved 3 images and then crashed before displaying the offset diagram.. I did this twice. I tried my ZWO ASI 178MC on the 90mm frac but this gave a FOV of 0.85° x 0.57° and it refused to solve.

I also have an 50mm GuideScope + Orion SSAG with a FOV = 2.35° x 1.88° or I could put the ZWO on the guide scope and with a FOV = 2.62° x 1.76°. However the guidescope is mounted on the main telescope and therefore offset from the telescope axis. Does this matter or am I misunderstanding the geometry.

What do you think is my best bet for a successful PA? Also does it matter how good the PA is when you start the process?

I am also struggling with the internal guider but think I need to get the PA spot on to improve my chances of good guiding.


Max Dobres replied to the topic 'Re:Moonlite focuser protocol' in the forum. 1 month ago

I have posted my amended code on Github:
The changes I made were:
-Initialise steps as eigths so that initial setting works
-Changed temp sensor to pin A0, in the original code it was pin 3, which was already in use
-Added temp correct factor to allow temperature range to be corrected, 10k pot seems unnecessary and I disconnected it in my final version
-Note that I2C display should be connected to I2C: A4 (SDA) and A5 (SCL)

The easiest way to test this is to wire the whole thing on a breadboard then connect using the Arduino serial monitor and issue Moonlite commands, referenced in the Readme file.

I got this to work from Arduino PDE under windows and then under indy Ekos, but I couldn't get it to work with the windows Moonlite focuser program I downloaded from their site. Probably due to something to do with Nano drivers which changed at some point. But I only need it under Indy so didn't spend any time trying to solve it. If you need it to run under windows you may want to use an Arduino UNO and use the original code with the A0 correction. I prefer the nano, it is more compact fits nicely on a small breadboard and is really cheap.

Choice of stepper motor is key, I used: a Nema 17 Stepper motor SM-42BYG011-25 about £15 , I see some people try and use the little 28BYJ-48 motors which cost less than £2 and get problems with holding and backlash. The Nema 17 I used (there are lots of different ones) has great torque and holding but is quite light.

As far as fixing the motor to the telescope I used three components:
-Rubber Lined Munsen Rings Bracket plus M10 20mm bolt
-Nema 17 stepper motor mounting plate
-Flexible shaft coupling joint to match diameter of motor shaft and focuser shaft. Mine were 4mm and 5mm.

You can see how its fixed in my last set of photos. The Munsen ring (picture attached) goes round the telescope and has a post sticking out to which you bolt the mounting plate. You will probably need to drill a hole in the plate for the M10 bolt. Then with careful positioning the shaft coupling joint just joins the motor shaft to the focus wheel shaft,

Best of luck


Max Dobres replied to the topic 'Any experience with manually focusing using the Focus module?' in the forum. 1 month ago

I use a homemade Moonlite protocol Arduino Focus module for both manual and auto focus. It works great. First I use manual focus to get the stars reasonably clear by manually entering steps. Then I click Autofocus. I am using a DLSR and change the image from RAW to medium fine jpeg which seems to speed up the process especially with subframing.
See the Moonlite focuser protocol discussion for more detail.


Max Dobres replied to the topic 'Re:Moonlite focuser protocol' in the forum. 1 month ago

Managed to get the Arduino based focuser at working well on an Arduino Nano. Had to tweak the code to move the screed connections for the I2C display and correct a small error, but basically the code works well and I have it all connected and driven by the EKOS focus module. I can run the autofocus routine to achieve a much better focus result and for a fraction of the price of a proprietary product.
Below are a few pictures They show:
The focuser in its final project box. The three cables are: USB to RPI; 12v power in for motor; cable to stepper motor. Breadboard version before boxing; stepper connection to telescope using metal collar and flexible coupler


Max Dobres replied to the topic 'Polar Alignment with a restricted view' in the forum. 1 month ago

OK, with the aid of a chain saw managed to get 20 deg view to east and set PA going at 15 deg to be safe. . Using canon 450 DLSR as camera attached to 90mm, 500mm FL scope. Got to solution and alignment diagram but Stellarmate hung during continuous refresh while i tried to adjust., possibly due to size of refresh files. Will try again in next few nights setting capture to jpeg. However also have Orion StarShoot AutoGuider - with camera. This is a 50mm scope 162mm focal length. Would I be better off using this guide scope for PA. is it accurate enough, is the FOV too wide?


Max Dobres created a new topic ' Polar Alignment with a restricted view' in the forum. 1 month ago

I would like to try EKOS Polar alignment but I have a restricted view north. I can see Polaris and about 10-15 deg East and very little west. On the South side I have close to 180 deg. The PA documentation suggests a 30 deg window West or East is required. How tight can it be or are there other options?


Max Dobres replied to the topic 'Moonlite focuser protocol' in the forum. 2 months ago

I'm new to INDI and also trying to build a focuser that can use the Moonlite protocol.
I would value some pointers as to the best code base to use. I have experience building Arduino apps and I have assembled all the bits.Stepper motor, Arduino, A4899 driver board etc
So far I tried to replicate the code from :
I cannot seem to get it to work. The code comes with a test routine that does work with my Stepper motor, but the main code only responds to a few basic commands when entered through the serial monitor.
I would really appreciate any pointers on a better starting base.



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