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Author Topic: Arduino the LX200  (Read 1532 times)

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Offline tomhow

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Arduino the LX200
« on: 19:24:37, 27 August, 2016 »
Like what I need is another project... or more accurately I love a challenge!

A friend's Classic LX200 has finally been pulled out of the cupboard for a makeover. Components had burnt out on the controller board and the handset has more senior moments than sane ones. And all largely unmaintainable.

As you probably know, I've used my homemade Arduino based system GOTO to run my homemade mount for some years - does all the things you would expect, GOTO, pulseguiding, PEC, ASCOM etc. There are many reasons I do things this way, but the most relevant here are that it is maintainable and extensible: Or at least as much as I can be bothered!

Time to throw away the 1980s Meade electronics and replace with my Arduino system. We've kept the original Meade motors, gears and encoders but from there on down, all home-brewed. (Encoder counter, microcontroller, ASCOM driver etc). So yes, it is noisy, but I reserve the right to reprogram my controller to do SLOWTO, i.e. run the slew motors at quarter speed.

Happy to say it hasn't taken many changes. Obviously the park positions are different and a few geometrical terms change. The motor PID parameters need tweaking, but I'm pleased to say it is GOTOing around the room quite nicely.

This is only going to work in polar mode, but I don't have a wedge in the workshop (it is bolted to the desk) so I've told Skymap I am living at the North Pole...   :D

Next up is to talk to the Meade worm Hall sensor and fettle the motor parameters.... and then it will be outside to train the PEC properly (an impossible task made easy with the EQMOD Pecprep tool). And then a battle to get the DEC guiding working.





Tak Sky 90, Atik 490, Homemade Mount, OAG, Lodestar

The Curdridge Observatory

Offline ChrisLX200

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Re: Arduino the LX200
« Reply #1 on: 22:06:44, 27 August, 2016 »
You're definitely a man who enjoys a challenge Tom, for me the answer was to ditch the forks and drop the OTA onto a GEM :-)  Actually, my fork mount was perfectly OK when I dismounted it, whether it still is now after 10years I wouldn't like to say..

Chris
Chris Heapy - current: 10-Micron GM2000HPS-II U/P, G11/Gemini, TV NP127is, Altair 8" RC, TV Genesis SDF, TV Pronto, SW Equinox 80ED, 10" LX200, 12" f/5.4 Newt, Vixen 90mm.
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Offline chris.bailey

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Re: Arduino the LX200
« Reply #2 on: 22:10:22, 27 August, 2016 »
Ive got one of those in the cupboard under the stairs!

Still has those nasty gears though.

Chris
LX200|ZS70|FSQ85|FLT110|Altair DF250RC|EQ6 Pro(Rowan Belt Mod)|ParamountMX
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Offline tomhow

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Re: Arduino the LX200
« Reply #3 on: 10:48:06, 28 August, 2016 »
You're definitely a man who enjoys a challenge Tom, for me the answer was to ditch the forks and drop the OTA onto a GEM :-)  Actually, my fork mount was perfectly OK when I dismounted it, whether it still is now after 10years I wouldn't like to say..

Chris

I've being trying to persuade the owner to let me stick it on my GEM for years. Still, this way I hope the owner will get some more use out of it.
Tak Sky 90, Atik 490, Homemade Mount, OAG, Lodestar

The Curdridge Observatory

Offline tomhow

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Re: Arduino the LX200
« Reply #4 on: 10:49:05, 28 August, 2016 »

Still has those nasty gears though.


There is certainly a temptation to find some new motors, gears and fit pulleys, but one step at a time :)
Tak Sky 90, Atik 490, Homemade Mount, OAG, Lodestar

The Curdridge Observatory

Offline MikeDunn

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Re: Arduino the LX200
« Reply #5 on: 12:20:08, 28 August, 2016 »
Apart from the price - why not just replace the electronics with the current boards ?

Mike
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10" Meade LX200 Classic, AA GP-Cam, Canon 300D, Phillips ToUCam, SkyShed POD

 

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