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  1. #1
    anve's Avatar
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    Default go-to telescope project help needed



    Hello friends,
    I am doing my last year B.tech course. Our main project is to make a computer controlled telescope ...The scope should move to a celestial body(motor driven) as we click it on computer screen with the help of popular softwares like stellarium as far as the demo is considered.
    I wonder experienced people from this forum can help me out with this project.I have the following doubts...
    1)once given the Ra & Dec to scope it points to say, a star. then for tracking that star what is the logic that should be given to the program?
    ie step angles of stepper motor/min or sec..for variation of HA.
    2) 60 mm reflector Vs 60mm refractor ....which is better for viewing major stars , planets ,Jupiter's satellites ,Saturn's' ring...etc ..?
    3)Is worm gear assembly necessary for stepping ?what else should i take into account?
    4)Is there any site giving complete idea of stepper motor control of Go-to telescopes?
    Thanks in advance...Waiting patiently for an apt answer..

  2. #2
    Dublin sky watch's Avatar
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    Default

    Hello and welcome to the forums..
    You will have to continue to wait patiently for an apt answer...just saying hello and welcome.
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  4. #3
    Joe Lalumia's Avatar
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    Default

    This may beyond the knowledge of our members. You are asking HOW TO write a software program to control a telescope AND how to build all the circuitry and encoders to generate COMMANDS to both the Altitude and Azimuth motors.

    Most all amateur astronomers BUY a scope that already has the goto "stuff" built in. Then use one of several software programs (including free programs) to control the scope using a laptop.

    Your best bet may be to review the ASCOM platform web site-- review the software package that is linked below which is free and can control a telescope; and then buy a low cost $200 goto scope and investigate the internal circuit boards, encoders, and motors.

    ASCOM - Standards for Astronomy

    The folks at ASCOM can advise you on the software and drivers--

    Here is a free program that will control a telescope-- the author can probably advise you on the software program--
    start [Skychart]

    and Dick Seymour located on the LX90 Yahoo group can also help you investigate the programming commands that drive a goto scope.
    lx90 : Int'l Meade LX90 Telescope Users Group

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  6. #4
    anve's Avatar
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    My heart felt thanks Sir ..for this speedy reply...i'll see to it

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    Default

    Welcome to our community anve - hope you might find it helpful and can contribute to it too.

    Just my two cents but you're actually meant to introduce yourself here (background, expectations, equipment and etcetera).

    Otherwise you might be missing on some members not reading your post at all by posting "everything in one go" like this and not elsewhere in the community.

    As for question number 1, doesn't that have something to do with the cosine of the declination you're point at influencing at what speed it (the tracking mechanism) should erm, "track" on the RA axis? Someone else will surely come up with more precise numbers than in this lame attempt of mine.
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  8. #6
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    What is your budget and how much time do you have for the initial design, proof of concept to completion? - and maybe most important - what are the success criteria? You may have more luck locating an inexpensive refractor in that size, but where you given a focal ratio and load rating or is it broad side of the barn? Depending on success criteria a small fast widefield double refractor would be my recommendation. Whatever the case it is the mount that points and the scope that sees, two different things but related.

    Simple would be an alt/az type mount where you can just interpet the RA and DEC co-ordinates into altitude and Azmuth and convert based on your mechanicals. Steppers may be simpler? but use ones with adequate holding torque. There are many prototyping kits available from folks like here link that allow for rapid prototype and driver/interface/enabling/whatever your OS needs (Stellarium will run on nearly anything) writing. You might get a lot of help joining the SourceForge and asking about in there. Here's a simple java class description you could port to C or whatever...

    Again, depending, you might find some things accomplished easy/better by a daughter board and simpley translate the intruction set and decoding to array logic and burn it to a HAL or PAL chip and have that comm direct to the actaul mc chips.

    There are many ways to translate motor activity to mechanical motion but I think easiest least expensive may be a pully /belt system (at least one very good mount uses this). You could use all wood and modify as necessary.

    As far as tracking, you'd need two or three rates depending.

    Other way around is to spec the gear train (this should include the drive gear on the stepper/servo and the [angle step/pulse if a stepper])and work in the other direction.

    As far as tracking rate - you'll need to know if it's a planet or not.
    Last edited by klaatu2u; 03-13-2011 at 06:11 PM.

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