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Controller for stepper motor focuser

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Hi,
I'm developing a new focuser to my refractor. It use push pull screws to move the focuser drawer tube. I 3D-print the different items I need.



It's a 3" focuser and a NEMA 17 stepper motor. It's designed for up to 5 kg load. You can read about it here, from page 12 to 14:

www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/pr...-focus-friction.html

I'm now ready to start with the controller board for the stepper motor but I don't know where to start.

I use Astroberry and the controller must use some INDI driver.

It must be flexible, I have read about Arduino that many people use. Some standard board that contain the drivers for stepper motor. Something simular that I use in my 3D-printer but smaller.

It must be an open source.

I only controll it from Astroberry, but there can be a focus out and a focus in button for test purposes.

Maybe ready for a micro switch that sense when it is at zero focus position.

Now my question, where do I found the best open source controller project. Instructions what hardware to use, how to install software etc ? I have never worked with an Arduino so it must have the details how to do it.

/Lars
Last edit: 2 years 3 days ago by Lars.
2 years 3 days ago #83040
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I have now learn a lot from different focuser project I have found and read about. I decided to go for the Focuser Pro 2, an open source project. It use an Arduino to control the stepper motor and it has software and drivers both for ASCOM and INDI.

Here I have collected the information I found and what options I want to include, very basic because I controlled it from Raspberry:

www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/pr...or-focus-driver.html

When searching for the items I need to buily this I sometimes have problems to find them, maybe it's an old project and the parts have been replaced by new versions.

/Lars
Last edit: 1 year 11 months ago by Lars.
1 year 11 months ago #83159

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Focuser Pro is NOT open source (at least not for a DFSG definition of the term). It is personal / academic use only at best and a copyright nightmare at worst, e.g. it states in myfocuserpro2-designs.pdf: "The schematic, code and ideas are released into the public domain. Users are free to implement these for their personal use, but may NOT sell projects based on (or derived from) this project for commercial gain without express written permission granted from the author." Then it goes on to state that "you cannot sell kitsets or assembled units to others". If the first sentence was true, none of the restrictions would be possible. In other documentation the source code is MIT, which allows commercialization.

For this reason I went with ardufocus.com/, which _is_ Open Source (GPL, as long as you don't use the PCB, which is CC-BY-NC-SA). This one is supported by the moonlite focuser driver, which is part of indi.
1 year 11 months ago #83185

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Hi Lars,

I have been using TIC_Focuser_NG for a long time now, it is about the only thing that has never failed on my Astroberry.

github.com/sebo-b/TicFocuser-ng

Cheers
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1 year 11 months ago #83196

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Thanks for sharing that. I didn't know about the Tic Focuser project. Very neat and tidy.
1 year 11 months ago #83204

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Thanks for all ideas and hard drive information. For my project the Ardufocus look interesting. It can handle two focus motors, for my stationary setup it maybe can be good to have another focus motor on the guide telescope. It also looks easy to address the outputs to different pins.

I updated my page with the new links.

Thank you !

/Lars
1 year 11 months ago #83206

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Hi Lars,

If you use the Adafruit DC and Stepper Motor HAT for your Astroberry, the drivers are already enabled in the Astroberry firmware and it's just a case of connecting the four wires of your stepper to the HAT. I use this very successfully in my observatory.

Adafruit details are here: learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-dc-and-stepp...hat-for-raspberry-pi

Hope this also gives you an option for your setup.

Cheers

Mark
1 year 11 months ago #83716

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  • Posts: 145
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Here is latest update of my motor focuser project. Now I'm building the motor focuser controller based on MyFocuserPro2 open source project.

www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/pr...or-focus-driver.html

Maybe I can do a test the week coming.

Lars
7 months 1 week ago #96490

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