Communications between Python and Arduino (USB-Serial)

 
In this post we’ll implement the basic communications between the PC and Arduino for our purpose. Also we’ll use the coordinate transformation with Arduino to implement a program that receive the equatorial coordinates as input, and then returns the azimuthal equivalent as output.

For the moment we can obtain these coordinates with Stellarium. With this data, we’ll implement a Python script to communicate with Arduino to establish the reference objects and then calculate the azimuthal coordinates (Az/Alt in Stellarium) from the equatorial ones for any object. It will be a kind of Arduino based “USB coprocessor” to coordinate transformation. Although as coprocessor it will be as unuseful as curious, I think 🙂

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Telescope control with Stellarium and Arduino

 

Initially, the main reason for this blog is the publication of a personal project that I believe could be interesting for astronomy amateurs.

It consists on a first approach to control a telescope mechanism by the USB port, builded from scratch and based on Arduino microcontroller, from a computer with GNU/Linux and the Stellarium software.

By the moment, the code has been tested only in a mini-dobsonian mount with a green laser pointer. The laser points towards the celestial objects indicated from Stellarium, by using a stepper motors system.

 

Prototype, interface, Stellarium screen and laser pointer.

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