My remote controlled BOX observatory has collected first light
The observatory has been in planning / build stage for a while, but now it's ready for imaging with a click of a button (or two).
There is a complete build thread in my signature, and I made a MEAN webapp for the purpose.
Anyway, heres some pictures of the working observatory. (There is still some fixes to apply before I will call it finished).
And a image of Andromeda. The first image from the observatory.
It's only 6x 10 minute subs, stacked without calibration frames.
Full potential is not met. With some practice in actually using the software, I hope for great things
Managed to focus the camera to superb focus, platesolve and get Andromeda right on target. I also got a couple 60 sec unguided subs with round stars, and started calibrating autoguiding. Then the clouds rolled in.
Amazingly images downloaded much faster remotely (to my desktop pc). I'm wondering if my laptop has some issues. Remotely it took about 10-15 sec to download a image from the dslr, but on site (with laptop) it was about ~1min15sec. I am however in the process of debugging my powerline adapter, and might speed up the process of installing cat6 ethernet
I am using the TP-LINK AV1200 powerline adapters and they have been pretty solid performers. Make sure you're not feeding them through surge protectors or powerstrips or you will likely have issues as these devices tend to pull the signal down and may cause frequent drop outs. As a matter of fact, you don't even want any of those devices on the same circuit if possible. They are affectionately known as signal suckers!
At the moment there are no surge protectors or similar. I was forced to use a extension cord, but it's without any electronics.
I have a issue that i cannot power on my dew heaters. If I do network speed drops down to 24Kb/s and gets unstable! I have a thread on it on SGL.
I am however only getting 10Mb/s from my Zyxel. It should be a lot more, so I will have to figure out if there is anything else that can cause this. I have gotten a tip that focusers can have this effect as they are using PWM as the dew heaters are.
In the thread on SGL there was a image of a circuit to isolate the power signal for the 12v power supplies and similar. So they wont feed any signal back to the mains. I might try that before drilling a hole in the house for ethernet
How long is that extension cord? I used one during an experiment and found it to be causing poor signal. Maybe you could try losing the extension cord and try a longer ethernet cable temporarily as an experiment.
Meant to ask, what are the clear dimensions that you are using for the opening? I am looking at doing something similar but I am having trouble deciding how much clearance I need. Is there some relationship you are using? For example, how long is the longest point of your setup (i.e. the length from the tip of the counter weight shaft to the top of the scope.) How much clearance did you leave? Thanks and I hope you are making progress with your network.....
The opening is 105x105 cm.
I found this number by setting up everything on the tripod inside, next to a wall. I then rotated the tripod until I had tested every position, while I released the clutches and moved the scope finding the point reaching the longest from center.
With my gear it's the top - front thumb screw on the finderscope, that is most likely to hit something.
I added ~5 cm clearance for it when the roof is closing and the mount is parked.
I suggest that you do the same. Set it up inside and measure the limit
As the powerline adapters will never work with the dew heaters I decided to make a hole for ethernet. I found what I need at a decent price, so that will be the best choice in the long run
My current setup Is an Oroin EQ-G mount with a f/4.9 native 8" newtonian. I wanted to be able to be remote with it, so I configured a 13A 12v power supply to drive everything. The 12v can be provided by the AC power supply, or by 12v car battery. The DC is fed into a fuse block housed on the leg of the tripod in the grey enclosure. This enclosure also houses an Intel NUC, the brains of the operation. It, of course, runs Linux/INDI, and if I need to, it also has a fully updated kstars/ekos/astrometry and everything else needed to run stand-alone on it so all it would need is a monitor
The scope has been updated with a moonlite focuser, a 60mm guide scope with a ASI290 camera, and the main camera is an ASI1600MC. I also have a cable that allows me to no longer need the hand controller. Everything is then remotely controlled from my office in the house. Wish I would have had this over the winter!
I am using the following INDI pieces; EQMOD, GPSD, WunderGround, Moonlite, Astrometry, ZWO CCD
12" pier with HDX110 using EQMod
ASI 1600 mono/color mains with ASI290MM in off-axis
ASI filter wheel
Moonlite focusers for the sharpening
AT115EDT w/.8x for the light
Fedora Linux, 100% INDI
I am amazed at all the observatories, and remote setups in this thread.
My setup is very simple in comparison, but INDI/Ekos make life much easier.
What I do NOT have:
- Autoguiding: my mount has no autoguiding port, and I don't want the weight and complexity (yet).
- Motorized focusing: I focus manually at the beginning of the night.
Mount: Celestron CG5 with the GotoNova 8400 Upgrade Kit, and 8401 hand controller.
Optical Tube: Celestron C8 with Starbright XLT, with F/6.3 Focal Reducer Corrector (1085 mm focal length)
Camera: Canon EOS 650D, with 2 inch adapter
Focuser: JMI EV2 2 inch focuser (it adds to the optical train length hence focal length is not 1280 mm). This is not strictly necessary, but it came with the scope package, and allows 2 inch accessories to be used.
All this is controlled from an old laptop (now a 2009 Toshiba Satellite A300, with Core 2 Duo), 8GB or RAM, and an SSD disk. The laptop has Xubuntu (XFCE) 16.04.3, with KStars and INDI from Jasem's PPA for daily builds.
The laptop connects to the home network by WiFi, and I use NoMachine to login to it and run KStars/Ekos from inside.
The battery pack was used for the mount only before I got a 110V AC to 12v DC adapter, and now everything is on regular house power using an extension cord.
Since I don't have autoguiding, I am limited to 30 seconds of exposure. I don't do stacking or postprocessing for many reasons, and the 30 second exposures are acceptable for now.
My workflow shuns eyepieces and visual work completely. Even focusing is done on the DSLR's LCD from LiveView at the start of the evening. I setup everything, do a rough polar align using the built-in polar scope, balance the scope, wait for something to focus on, then go inside and commandeer the scope from there. Plate Solving alignment is magic, and the killer feature for this setup. I then point the scope to targets and take one exposure to check everything is good, then create a sequence of 5 or so pictures, and let it roll, then move to the next target.
The tedious part is setting up and removal of equipment every night.