sobota, 6 stycznia 2018


A little hardware project in the astro-photo domain.

AstroBox v1 :-) contains:

  • Orange Pi PC small and not expensive development board, running:
    • Armbian - operating system for many development boards except RPi, based on Debian
    • INDI - with Celestron Nexstar mount and DreamFocuser drivers. More drivers availabe: QHY, Gphoto2 etc. but not used currently
    • lin_guider - nicely connects with QHY5 and provide guiding with OAG
    • KStars - sky map, mount controll, INDI control panel and Ekos
    • Xpra - which gives X screen for KStars and lin_guider and can be connected remotely in "seamless" mode (each app separately, not the entire desktop)
    • Couple of other small apps and scripts to capture photos with gphoto2, easily steer the mount, preview the photos or enable/disable devices. It can also run Ekos, but I did not master it yet...
  • Relay board with 4 relays. This is used to enable/disable power outlets, 3 with 12V (mount, focuser, heater) and one with 9V (for the Canon DSLR)
  • Two voltage converters to convert input 12V to 5V (for Orange Pi PC) and 9V (for Canon DSLR)
  • Two logic converters from 3V TTL to RS232 standard for the mount serial connection.
  • Shutter release connector for DSLRs, controlled by GPIO port of Orange Pi 
  • The box, which is 3d printed and designed to fit in the place for batteries in the mount. The original battery holder is removed and cables which were connected to batteries are now used to connect power directly from the AstroBox (so there is no loose power cable to the mount hanging around)

How it works:

  • Connection is with ethernet cable, no Wifi yet but it can be added via USB dongle
  • External power supply must provide 12V and enough power for all connected devices

Future possibilities:

  • Would be nice to connect the heater using PWM which is available on the Orange Pi
  • Ideally replace a bulky DreamFocuser box&cables and steer a focuser stepper directly (already bought RAMS 44988 module)
  • attach BT gamepad to control the mount and focuser
  • Add second shutter release connector, so two

2 komentarze:

  1. The horsehead is done with the celstron? Any reducer? What focal has the celstron?

  2. Yes, with the Celestron 8i which is on the picture and with 6.3 reducer + radial guider (OAG). Focal length should be close to 1260mm.