Astronomy

Vixen SXD Mount Converted To STM32 OnStep

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After nine months of modifying the OnStep open source telescope controller to run on the cheap STM32 ARM Cortex M3 microcontroller, it is time to reap the fruits of this long labour: I have an OnStep powered mount ...

Back in mid December 2017, I submitted to Howard the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) to enable ports of OnStep to additional platforms in a modular fashion with less effort. Before the STM32 was completed, HAL proved useful in supporting RAMPS, Arduino Due, and lately the ESP32.

OnStep Telescope Controller on Low Cost STM32

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Over the winter, I worked with Howard Dutton, the author of OnStep Telescope Controller, to make it work with the low cost STM32 ARM Cortex M3 microcontrollers. This involved writing a hardware abstraction layer (HAL), so adding different architectures in the future would not be too hard, as it was.

Presentation: Forgotten History: Al-Sufi's Book of Fixed Stars

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On Friday 27th of January, 2018, I gave a presentation at the KW RASC on Al-Sufi's Book Of Fixed Stars.

The book is the first illustrated pictorial star atlas, and was very influential for centuries after it was authored. It spread widely from central Asia, throughout the Middle East, and to Europe. It was translated into many languages.

Here is the presentation slides, and audio recording:

AstroEQ: Telescope Controller With EQMOD Emulation

AstroEQ is another GOTO telescope controller from the UK.

Basically, the author was a university student when he started this project, to convert a non-GOTO motorized mount into a GOTO mount.

A ready made AstroEQ controller is available for purchase. It has USB on one side, and two connectors for steppers on the other.

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DIY GOTO Telescope Controller With Autoguiding and Periodic Error Correction

In these pages, I describe how to make a Do It Yourself (DIY) Telescope Controller. That is, a piece of electronics that would at a minimum drive motors on the telescope to track the sky.

The features should be:

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