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INDI Library v1.8.5 Released (19 Apr 2020)

April 2020 release of INDI Library v1.8.5 introduces new drivers while providing fixes and improvements to existing devices and core framework.

DIY Arduino Dome Control

4 months 4 days ago
Bruceaust
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DIY Arduino Dome Control #50587
I am under the impression that the Nexdome control software/Drivers etc. is Open Source. It is nice that they have done this for the end users.
My question : I am asking for advice as to whether it is feasible to construct my own diy arduino hardware to control my dome and use the Nexdome software to run it using INDI KStars.
Would this be easy to implement?

Bruce

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4 months 3 days ago
ChrisRowland
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DIY Arduino Dome Control #50619
We can't really answer the question of how hard you would find this because we don't know your experience. However looking at what you posted in a previous thread I think you might struggle.

One snag is that from a look at the NexDome sources the hardware is significantly different. NexDome seems to use stepper motors for drive and position while the Lesve uses DC motors for drive and a separate encoder for position. It might be possible to modify the Arduino driver for the NexDome so it could handle the Lesve hardware but that will need a significant amount of knowledge and ability in writing code for the Arduino and modifying the motor control hardware to connect to the different type of motor.

If you want to continue i suggest that you start by collecting all the information that you can find about this and work through it seeing how much you can understand. if you think it's OK then get enough to make a model. This could be an Arduino, a DC motor controller and a small DC motor with a lot of gearing so the output rotates at dome speed. Make or connect some sort of encoder to it. Then get this working. I'm suggesting a model to start with because it will be less expensive when something goes wrong and it smokes. Once you have it working install it, with the appropriate heavy duty DC motor controllers, and continue testing and debugging.

The amount of help that we can provide remotely is limited. I've done this sort of remote debugging as part of my job and it's not fun.

Chris

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4 months 3 days ago
Bruceaust
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DIY Arduino Dome Control #50625
Thanks Chris,
I guess i was suggesting using an Arduino and stepper. I have had experience with this. Built focusers and filter wheels etc. I dont envisage any difficulty with the hardware. i suppose i would like to know is the software and firmware straight forward to implement. I am prepared to experiment.

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4 months 3 days ago
ChrisRowland
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DIY Arduino Dome Control #50626
The most reliable way to tell is to contact the NexDome people, buy some of their hardware, I guess at least the Arduino based board with their stepper controller and probably their strpper motor assembly. You may be able to use your existing drive wheel and dome drive wheel. They should be able to help you with integrating this.

based on the responses you have had no one else has done this - or possibly has and run a mile!

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4 months 2 days ago
Bruceaust
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DIY Arduino Dome Control #50633
Thanks Chris,
As you may have guessed i like to build stuff:)
I might just by a Leonardo and have a tinker and see where it leads. At the moment I am torn between Linux INDI and NINA W10. It took me 2 1/2 years to build my dome etc. i have been looking for an all in one solution for observatory/ Astro-photography control. When i discovered INDI it got me interested. I have "converted" my Astro friend to INDI and I would really like to do the same .....the dome control is the stumbling block. If i can overcome the driver issue i will gladly join the INDI Kstars Ekos users!

Thanks for your advice.
I will keep experimenting.
Bruce

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