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Focuser Hardware Completed

dave's picture

After some months spent waiting to acquire various parts, and not being able to work on things due to work commitments, I have finally managed to complete the focuser hardware and have mounted the control circuit boards in a neat plastic box on the mounting bracket. The engineering required to get all of the circuitry into such a small box was fairly challenging, with a double decker stacked circuit board arrangement. However, the final result is quite pleasing. I'll try to post an image when I've got it fully attached to the telescope.

I have also completed some basic firmware for the Arduino Nano that controls the focuser. This allows the Mac to communicate with the focuser over a USB cable (actually a USB Serial connection). The next stage is to develop a basic OS X application for control of the focuser. The initial version will simply provide "jog" controls so that I can move the focuser in and out and set it to specific positions. Once I have got that working, I plan to do some manual V-curve tests using Nebulosity to measure the Half Flux Diameter of a target star versus focuser positioning input via the jog controls. Assuming I can get some reasonable data from those tests, I should be able to code up an automated V-curve generator.

If only there were more hours in a day...