Is someone using Indiduino stepper for focusing?

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Is someone using Indiduino stepper for focusing? was created by dolguldur

Dear all, I recently acquired a telescope that is already equipped with a motorized focuser (6 wires stepper), but unfortunately, the control box software is not opensource, and not compatible with linux.
Hence I decided to try to "indiduinize" it, although my knowledge in terms of electronic/arduino are limited.

In the process I discovered the Indiduinostepper project: Link here and I would like to give it a try (I am now just waiting for receiving my easy driver).

I have two question regarding this project:
-Is it still fully compatible with indi basic focusing interface ?
-Does it make sense to have a dedicated arduino board for focusing, or can I integrate this (or another) stepper/focusing logic in a bigger Arduino project that has other functionalities ?
-subsidiary question (but linked with the previous one): I am also trying to set up an arduino project for handling fan/dew heater/... that I control with my own very simple protocol (through serial). Is it easy to provide an INDI compatible protocol to my arduino project, to link with existing indi driver ?

Thank you in advance for your help
Last edit: 2 weeks 2 days ago by dolguldur.
2 weeks 2 days ago #34507

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Replied by rlancaste on topic Is someone using Indiduino stepper for focusing?

So you should note that it does integrate with KStars in the INDI control panel. I played around with this a little back in June of last year. I also made a couple of changes to the INDI driver to make it function a little better. But what it does not do, is interface with the focus module in Ekos. That would require more changes to the driver.

Thanks,
Rob
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2 weeks 2 days ago #34509

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Replied by dolguldur on topic Is someone using Indiduino stepper for focusing?

Thank you @RLANCASTE. If it does not integrate in the INDI control panel it means that there is no actual indi driver ? I wonder if it integrates at all then ?
I am mostly using pyindi to interact with my devices, but the indi gui is great for testing/debugging.

If it does not integrate with indi (feeels weird given the name...) what would you advice me to use ?

Thank you in advance for your help
2 weeks 2 days ago #34514

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Replied by rlancaste on topic Is someone using Indiduino stepper for focusing?

Nope, as I said, it WILL appear in the INDI control panel since it is in fact an INDI driver. You can control the focus from there with no problem. What I said it would not do is integrate with the focus module in Ekos because the driver would need some changes in order to show up and be controlled from there. But it will certainly show up in the control panel.

My recommendation would be to wire up and use use one of the Arduino Moonlite Focuser clone designs and then connect to it using INDI as if it were a Moonlite focuser. I tried that right after I tried the INDI duino, it is not much harder.
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2 weeks 2 days ago #34521

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Replied by dolguldur on topic Is someone using Indiduino stepper for focusing?

Ah yes of course, I read your answer a little bit too fast, sorry.
I am most likely going to setup the electronic with a A4988 driver, backed by a moonlite compatible serial protocol as you suggested

However, even there, there are many different choices:
- github.com/jbrazio/ardufocus
Looks like very professional code, but no support for temperature sensor ? or Backlash ?
-https://github.com/wberlo/Arduino_Moonlite_Focuser
Code much easier to understand, implements backlash correction but no stepper and no temperature sensor ?
-https://github.com/Hansastro/Focuser
Code quite manageable to understand, support temperature sensor and output screen, but no backlash.

Which one looks the best to you ? None of those actually support a start/stop sensor, is it going to be a big problem for remote imaging ?
Last edit: 2 weeks 1 day ago by dolguldur.
2 weeks 1 day ago #34524

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Replied by rlancaste on topic Is someone using Indiduino stepper for focusing?

Sorry, I can't tell you which one is the best. I only did it as an experiment to play around with it. Though I did end up making a slight change to the moonlight INDI driver that helps to support these other DIY focusers by adding additional handshake attempts. But I don't use it for my main focuser, nor did I spend a lot of time trying to see which one is the best, so I can't tell you which one is better. One thing I can say is I don't think that the temperature control isn't that important because Ekos doesn't currently use that. Eventually maybe, but I don't think now. The backlash compensation though would be very useful.
2 weeks 1 day ago #34526

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Replied by HelgeMK on topic Is someone using Indiduino stepper for focusing?

Personally, I would avoid the Arduino, as no more required , for instance with this controller:

www.pololu.com/product/3130

I previously uploaded to github two INDI drivers, depending whether you wanted to connect via usb or via Bluetooth. Apologies for promoting my own drivers (still looking for beta testers :-) ) - but I found that when using other serial devices that the Arduino can create some more complexity when it comes to the port mapping.

github.com/HelgeMK/TicFocuser
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2 weeks 1 day ago #34540

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Replied by Maxchess on topic Is someone using Indiduino stepper for focusing?

Hi,
I built the -https://github.com/Hansastro/Focuser which uses the Moonlite protocol and runs on an Arduino. It works very well. You do need a decent stepper motor.
I currently run it on my ES 102 but have also used it on another 90mm scope.
See my comments and schematic at:
indilib.org/forum/general/283-moonlite-f....html?start=60#29455

It connects with all my other stuff to a USB hub, which is connected to a RPI running EKOS. Never had a problem with port mapping.
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Last edit: 2 weeks 1 day ago by Maxchess. Reason: missed a bit
2 weeks 1 day ago #34547

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Replied by dolguldur on topic Is someone using Indiduino stepper for focusing?

HelgeMK wrote: Personally, I would avoid the Arduino, as no more required , for instance with this controller:

www.pololu.com/product/3130

I previously uploaded to github two INDI drivers, depending whether you wanted to connect via usb or via Bluetooth. Apologies for promoting my own drivers (still looking for beta testers :-) ) - but I found that when using other serial devices that the Arduino can create some more complexity when it comes to the port mapping.

github.com/HelgeMK/TicFocuser


Wow !!! an electronic board that can be connected directly through usb and does not need any soldering of any resistor/capacitor. That is awesome !

As I already bought the beefy big easy drivers, I will give the arduino solution a try, but I am definitely interested in your solution as well (although it offers a little bit less capability regarding temperature correction).

Thank you very much for mentionning this work.
2 weeks 13 hours ago #34598

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