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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Astronomy & Celestial Talk 
Thread started 09 Sep 2013 (Monday) 04:57
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Tracking mount (Barn door)

 
967stuart
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Sep 17, 2013 08:48 |  #31

Thanks guys, appreciate the help.
As a complete novice, it's turned into a real challenge.
Have had to do a massive amount of searching for info and parts.
The fun will really begin when the Arduino turns up tomorrow :-)




  
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967stuart
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Sep 19, 2013 07:33 |  #32

Hi all,

Well, my motor + Driver board and Arduiono have shown up. (link to motor - http://www.ebay.co.uk …_trksid=p3984.m​1497.l2649 (external link))
I've found some codes online to program it.
I just need to know how to hook them up and what power supply to use?

I was pointed to this - http://www.ebay.co.uk …ed_JN&hash=item​4175a9d609 (external link)
Seems kinda heavy duty to me .... was rather hoping it would be possible to use maybe a 9v battery??


Is is possible to plug the motor driver straight into the Arduino? (as in - just turn the driver upside and plug the 4 pins straight into the Digital 0,1,2,3 slots ?)

See pic -

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pwm2
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Sep 19, 2013 13:04 |  #33

You might be able to. Do you have any datasheet that tells what voltage levels that driver card expects so it is compatible with the Arduino board?

Another thing is that it isn't enough to just connect the digital IO. Both boards must have common ground. And both boards should get powered at the same time.


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967stuart
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Sep 19, 2013 13:27 |  #34

The card says 5 to 12v on it




  
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967stuart
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Sep 20, 2013 09:52 |  #35

Anyone have an idea of how to hook this up?

I'm completely stumped as to how to actually wire this up, nearly every diagram I've seen online is running through a breadboard...(with the obligatory LED lights and resistors etc.) I really don't want to be buying more stuff for this.

Any help would be fantastic, if someone could say - put a wire in "slot X" and connect the other end to "slot XX" that would be a major bonus, I literally have no background in circuit building lol




  
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rfdesigner
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Sep 20, 2013 10:08 |  #36

I'd be asking this on an Arduino forum.


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967stuart
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Sep 20, 2013 11:07 |  #37

Fair enough, was hoping someone on here had built one




  
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967stuart
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Sep 20, 2013 13:18 as a reply to  @ 967stuart's post |  #38

may have got somewhere, someones suggested using a 'shield' that clips into the arduino




  
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pwm2
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Sep 20, 2013 18:33 |  #39

There are a great number of different "shields" available for the Arduino boards. Basically different circuit boards that have the exact size adapted to be plugged on top of the CPU board and with different forms of expansion electronics (networking, I/O, relays, sensors, GPS, ...) so a user may customize their Arduino for a specific task (maybe a data logger, or controlling the flight of a helicopter or controlling stepper motors).

There are also "experimental" shields - a circuit board that just has the correct form factor and the connectors. But then is filled with lots of empty soldering pads where a user may add own circuits. Such a shield is very cheap to get, and makes it much easier to solder in connectors, wires etc when adapting the Arduino with some other electronics that doesn't directly fit to be pressed ontop of the base board.

But it looks like you should be able to turn your board upside down and connect directly to the connector on the Arduino board as long as you also fix a ground connection and supply voltage.

If the Arduino board is powered with 5V, then the I/O signals should also work well with your stepper motor board - the only question is if 5V will be enough for the stepper motors or if your stepper motor board has a separate power wire allowing you to supply a higher voltage for the actual motor drive circuit. The strength of the motors will be affected by the motor drive voltage - this allows them to start stepping when fighting a higher mechanical load on the axis and also allows them to hold steady without the axis turning when there is a stronger external force trying to twist the motor axis.


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967stuart
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Sep 24, 2013 10:05 |  #40

^ Cheers for the reply PWM2.
My mind is sore from all the research on this! lol

Quick update -

Was all but ready to bin it off and take the easy option and buy the parts off the guy on youtube.... but just couldn't quite chuck in the towel and persevered and I think I have come up with something that covers a big part of my original brief (to be small, battery operated and relatively simple to put together).

To answer my own question from earlier, YES you can just flip the driver board upside down and plug it straight in (perfect for testing ... however, I may wire it in properly later on).

I had to order 2 different 9v battery connectors, 1 for the driver and motor and 1 for the Arduino (couple of pounds each).
And with my sample code from the Arduino site IT WORKED ! HOORAY!

It's not running at the correct speed etc. YET but to be honest, I'm over the moon that it actually works, as I've mention already, I knew absolutely nothing about circuit boards, electrics, motors and programing lol

To be honest, I'm not sure the motor will be upto the job, but I have a chunkier one that I can mess about with if not (although apparently they are meant to be quite decent).

Here's a snap shot of it connected up.

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the ­ jimmy
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Sep 24, 2013 11:45 |  #41

967stuart wrote in post #16321214 (external link)
^ Cheers for the reply PWM2.
My mind is sore from all the research on this! lol

Quick update -

Was all but ready to bin it off and take the easy option and buy the parts off the guy on youtube.... but just couldn't quite chuck in the towel and persevered and I think I have come up with something that covers a big part of my original brief (to be small, battery operated and relatively simple to put together).

To answer my own question from earlier, YES you can just flip the driver board upside down and plug it straight in (perfect for testing ... however, I may wire it in properly later on).

I had to order 2 different 9v battery connectors, 1 for the driver and motor and 1 for the Arduino (couple of pounds each).
And with my sample code from the Arduino site IT WORKED ! HOORAY!

It's not running at the correct speed etc. YET but to be honest, I'm over the moon that it actually works, as I've mention already, I knew absolutely nothing about circuit boards, electrics, motors and programing lol

To be honest, I'm not sure the motor will be upto the job, but I have a chunkier one that I can mess about with if not (although apparently they are meant to be quite decent).

Here's a snap shot of it connected up.

Looks good, looking forward to the finished product.




  
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Sep 25, 2013 18:59 |  #42

Well done for persevering, hope you figure it all out.


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Sep 30, 2013 14:38 |  #43

Technically you could use something like this http://www.servocity.c​om …nual_speed_cont​rolle.html (external link) and then use a guide scope like this http://www.birds.corne​ll.edu/AllAboutBirds/b​p/flight (external link) centered on a star in the view finder. You would adjust the speed of the pwm knob until the sighting dot stays centered on your guide star. In fact you can do this by hand, tedious yes but at F2.8 for 60 seconds its not too bad.


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Oct 15, 2013 00:41 |  #44

Great work here Stuart! When I built my tracker two years ago, i had no idea what I was doing, but I learned so much. What you are learning building this is the most important part. It's not easy to just go out and "capture a DSO" or planet. The understanding of the heavens above is a feet. In fact, it is one of the most challenging things I've ever encountered. It's also, hands down, one of the most satisfying things I've ever done.

I still remember the first night I took my tracker out. I quickly realized what counter weights and polar alignment were. I really gave some thought to a "goto" mount when I had hit it's limits, but found a used astrotrac earlier this year and am completely happy (for now- HA!). Using all of my knowledge from building my tracker to achieve the photos I always wanted. What used to take me an hour to polar align, now takes me 10-15 minutes to drift alight. There are tricks. You figure things out as you go!

Anyway, proof in the pudding they say!

Here is my first andromeda photo with my original tracker ( I built the Gary Sedonik version)

IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5468/10230572874_6da09abeb5_z.jpg

And my image of andromeda taken last week with my Astrotrac:
IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR


Like I said, the journey of 2.5 million light years starts with one step. Don't give up and post those images when you capture them.

BTW, I still use my homemade tracker... I've found it's excellent with my little Canon EOS-m. I'm hoping they get a 200mm out for it within the year. That combo would be so great for backpacking and getting out where it REALLY is dark!

Really enjoyed reading through your thread and hope you have had some success!

-matt

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967stuart
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Jan 30, 2014 08:02 |  #45

ScenicCityPhoto wrote in post #16372009 (external link)
Great work here Stuart! When I built my tracker two years ago, i had no idea what I was doing, but I learned so much. What you are learning building this is the most important part. It's not easy to just go out and "capture a DSO" or planet. The understanding of the heavens above is a feet. In fact, it is one of the most challenging things I've ever encountered. It's also, hands down, one of the most satisfying things I've ever done.

I still remember the first night I took my tracker out. I quickly realized what counter weights and polar alignment were. I really gave some thought to a "goto" mount when I had hit it's limits, but found a used astrotrac earlier this year and am completely happy (for now- HA!). Using all of my knowledge from building my tracker to achieve the photos I always wanted. What used to take me an hour to polar align, now takes me 10-15 minutes to drift alight. There are tricks. You figure things out as you go!

Anyway, proof in the pudding they say!

Here is my first andromeda photo with my original tracker ( I built the Gary Sedonik version)
QUOTED IMAGE

And my image of andromeda taken last week with my Astrotrac:
IMAGE NOT FOUND
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR


Like I said, the journey of 2.5 million light years starts with one step. Don't give up and post those images when you capture them.

BTW, I still use my homemade tracker... I've found it's excellent with my little Canon EOS-m. I'm hoping they get a 200mm out for it within the year. That combo would be so great for backpacking and getting out where it REALLY is dark!

Really enjoyed reading through your thread and hope you have had some success!

-matt

Hi Matt, Wow, fantastic shots!

A fellow poster who I've spoken to a few time via PM has actually managed to complete the whole design using an arduino, I have asked him if he'd be kind enough to post up his method and his final design spec on here for everyone to have a look at.

I've not been able to spend hardly anytime on this of late due to bad back problem that's playing me up so it's been great to see someone pick up the slack and run with their own piece of kit.




  
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