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INDI Library v1.9.9 Released (30 Nov 2022)

Bi-monthly INDI Library released with new drivers and bug fixes.

Astrohat - An open hardware RPi Hat for astronomy equipment

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This looks fantastic!

Here's a pic of my Indi/Kstars RPi box, which I mount on top of my scope:



On the left side of the box as pictured is an Raspberry Pi 3B+ with an Adafruit motor hat. On the right side on top is a little Anderson power pole power distribution box and below a little breadboard with a circuit for a dew heater. The my RPi has the following interfaces:
  • 1x12V (or whatever-it's pass through) input (Anderson Powerpole) - For my setup, there is only one cable from the ground to my scope: 12V power. My goal is to minimize the number of cables running up my mount to my scope so I put the RPi on top of my mount. I power my mount from a separate power supply so there's no need to run power down from my RPi to the mount. I interface my RPi to the mount via bluetooth.
  • 3x12V (pass through) outputs (Anderson Powerpoles) - One of these powers my SBIG ST-8300M camera and another powers my RPi via a 12V to 5V 3A converter. I'd like to figure out a way to power the RPi internal to the project box but haven't done that yet.
  • 1x12V RCA jack driven by my little dew heater circuit.
  • 1x3.5mm jack for a humidity/temp sensor - Used to calculate the dew point for my dew heater. Can also use ambient temp for focuser temp compensation.
  • 1x3.5mm jack to read the OTA temp - Allows for closed loop temperature control of the dew heater. I've written a little python script for this.
  • 4xUSB ports of the RPi for my imaging camera, guide camera, GPS, and a 64GB thumb drive for images
  • 1xD-sub 9 connector for my focuser (driven by the Adafruit Motor Hat)

So I think you've got everything I've got and more except a separate temp sensor input for sensing the OTA temp and a focuser. Are there any left over GPIO pins so that an OTA temp sensor could be used? I think an Adafruit motor hat could be mounted on top of your board but it'd need to get 12V power somehow and the I2C address would need to be changed if your board is using I2C.

Great project.

Steve
The following user(s) said Thank You: Brian
Last edit: 3 years 1 week ago by Steve. Reason: cleaned up bullets
3 years 1 week ago #46423
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For me, it's all about real estate on the top of my scope. Most focus controller boxes are quite big. I have a Microtouch controller but it was just too big to be mounted on the scope conveniently.

Steve
3 years 1 week ago #46431

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Hi ppapadeas,

Great idea!
I had a similar idea, as follows:
A board with a microcontroller (Teensy 3.2) controlling two (at least) heaters and a motor focuser. Also on the board a LM2596 power converter to power the Pi and the microcontroller.
It measures the temperature right below the heaters (at the telescope) with thermistors so as to have an actual regulator. I intend to use a HDC1080 to measure ambient temperature and humidity.
I see two dew-controller modes: temperature tracking (with a few degrees offset to correct for discrepancies) or dew point tracking (again, with an offset).

For the focus motor, I think using the TMC2130 is great because the current can be regulated by SPI (forget about trimpots) and the possibility to use 'stallguard' as a sensorless homing feature. Then the focuser can start at the point it was used at the last time.
I would use the Teensy because it can have it's own firmware, and possibly also operate in a stand-alone fashion, using a cheap (or expensive, if that's your flavour) IR remote control for the focus and the heater controller.

Currently I have stripped the 'MyFocuserPro2' firmware and installed it on the teensy. It does communicate and everything so... great!
Only thing is, I've tried connect it directly to the UART of the Rpi 4 (enabling serial in raspi-config) but unfortunately it doesn't connect. Using a TTL-USB converter I can connect it.

A nice add-on would be to incorporate a RTC, or even use a GPS.

Cheers,
Bart

Edit: I've added a photo of what I'm working on at the moment.
Rpi4 connects with the mount via bluetooth. Only one cable goes to the telescope: 12V power.
And working on making a battery-pack counterweight.
Latest Stellarmate on Rpi 4B, 294mm-pro, EFW-8, CEM70
Last edit: 3 years 1 week ago by Bart. Reason: add photo
3 years 1 week ago #46458
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Small update: in INDI control panel, using the port setting 'dev/ttyS0' made all the difference.

Now my focuser connects via the UART port.
Latest Stellarmate on Rpi 4B, 294mm-pro, EFW-8, CEM70
3 years 1 week ago #46474

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After a bit of waiting for production and shipping the first version of the PCB and the components arrived!
Now I can start the assembly and hopefully start testing really soon. I will keep this thread updated with details.


The following user(s) said Thank You: Jasem Mutlaq
2 years 11 months ago #47572
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Looking forward to seeing these.... :)
Stellarmate OS on Raspberry pi4b
Skywatcher EQ8 pro, on steel pier
Takahashi FSQ85, FS60cb & Meade 8” SCT (de-forked)
Starlight Xpress SXVR H18, SXVR M25c, Lodestar x2 Guide Camera
Pegasus Ultimate Hub V2 for all USB & Power
Pegasus focus motors on all scopes
Last edit: 2 years 11 months ago by AstroNerd.
2 years 11 months ago #47573

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This is very interesting, here's a feature that would be great to have on this amazing board: switchable USB's ports.
I personally use www.yepkit.com/products/ykush and it's excellent.
Kstars Mac osx
Odroid C4 / WO Redcat51 / CEM25p / ZWO533MC / QHY5L-II-M (OAG)
2 years 11 months ago #47575

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I am not wishing to hijack here. Full respect and consideration to ppapadeas.
Gonzo the great, You should contact the maker and suggest a combined USB 3 switcher and the raspi power button all on a board / hat to fit the raspi. Would have applications beyond astro stuff.


This is very interesting, here's a feature that would be great to have on this amazing board: switchable USB's ports.
I personally use www.yepkit.com/products/ykush and it's excellent.
Last edit: 2 years 11 months ago by Rob.
2 years 11 months ago #47599

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For switchable USBs there is an ongoing development process on RPi4 to make sure you can individually control the existing USBs on RPi4
github.com/raspberrypi/linux/issues/3079

As a general note adding a USB switch on the existing board would be not really feasible since we dont have a way to do that through the RPi hat-pinout. (and adding an extra cable to a USB port kinda defeats the purpose of a "hat")
The following user(s) said Thank You: AstroNerd
2 years 11 months ago #47601

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First board assembled with almost all components (since we have 3 identical double channels, I just soldered one to test it).

Initial tests look good, RPi4 booted OK, i2c devices responding, and channels seem to be switchable. Now I need to write a bit of software to drive the controllable voltage channel and test it :)

Please disregard the fact that the board needs cleaning after the initial assembly ;) (I know.. IPA... but the ultrasonic cleaner is yet to arrive) More updates soon!

The following user(s) said Thank You: Jasem Mutlaq, Jim, Brian, Rolf Meyerhoff, Acapulco Rolf
Last edit: 2 years 11 months ago by Pierros Papadeas.
2 years 11 months ago #47629

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Testing of board version 1.0 is progressing well. I have identified a couple of issues and changes needed to make things easier for testing/debugging and enhance functionality (you can follow development in the repo). In the meantime I am re-evaluating some of the assumptions around the needed functionality (especially for the presence of RTC since we will be having a GPS so...) but would like the input on those from as many possible users as possible.

If you can spare 2 minutes, you could help me by going to this survey link:

>> forms.gle/2hAYnpcskWXV3MWS9
and answer to some quick (choice) questions.

Thanks a lot in advance for everyone's input!
Last edit: 2 years 10 months ago by Pierros Papadeas.
2 years 10 months ago #47876

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Filled in and submitted form for you
Supeb project
Stellarmate OS on Raspberry pi4b
Skywatcher EQ8 pro, on steel pier
Takahashi FSQ85, FS60cb & Meade 8” SCT (de-forked)
Starlight Xpress SXVR H18, SXVR M25c, Lodestar x2 Guide Camera
Pegasus Ultimate Hub V2 for all USB & Power
Pegasus focus motors on all scopes
2 years 10 months ago #47878

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