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 of 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.