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.
The project is going to be published in a post series about different implementation details like Stellarium communications (Stellarium Telescope Protocol), communications with the device (USB-Serial), coordinate transformation (Toshimi Taki’s Matrix Method for Coodinates Transformation), interface, etc. A general scheme of the project would be the following:
Regarding the hardware, the previous image only shows a first functional prototype. My intention is to build a more accurate and efficient design, although I think it’s going to take me some time (I have to work to pay the bills…).
Here you are a small video of the prototype I made executing a movement sequence. At that moment it wasn’t finished, it had a red laser instead of the green one (the red line is not visible in the night sky), and lacks other important details. Anyway, it shows the basic mechanism on movement 🙂
So that’s all for the moment :)… In the next post I’ll start with the python-Stellarium communications.