Astroboxen provkörd!

Här kan du skriva om dina teleskopbygge och andra byggprojekt (som observatorium mm) med beskrivningar, ritningar och bilder.
perfrej
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Re: Astroboxen provkörd!

Inläggav perfrej » 2013-10-07 22:01:43

Tjo!

Värmande ord, tack för dem! Det har varit riktigt kul hittills och nu vidtar ihopsättning av de andra prototyperna och sedan några mindre modifikationer innan någon form av serieproduktion kan komma igång.

Jonas och jag skall försöka ta oss ner till Provence snart med teleskop och annat och då blir det naturligtvis bilder tagna.

SQM... Jag bör få min givare i veckan och kan knacka in koden i helgen. Sedan åker boxen upp på balkongen för någon veckas provkörning i skarp drift. Drivrutinerna är tillräckligt klara och verkar stabila så det skall någ funka.

/per
Takahashi FSQ106EDX III
190MN med Moonlite
TEC-140ED med TEC flattener
10Micron GM2000HPS II UP, GM1000HPS
SBIG ST8300M, QSI 683swg
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Re: Astroboxen provkörd!

Inläggav perfrej » 2013-10-23 11:34:21

Uppdatering!

Det tickar på. Jag har ett exemplar i riktig drift nu med fokuserare, USB och Power styrt via mina egenskrivna ASCOM-drivers. Takdelen är provkörd men bara mot fejkat tak, dvs mot ändlägesbrytarna.

Inga glitchar hittills, allt går stabilt och startar upp hela obset snällt varje kväll på kommando från ACP.

Återkommer med mer vad det lider.

/per
Takahashi FSQ106EDX III
190MN med Moonlite
TEC-140ED med TEC flattener
10Micron GM2000HPS II UP, GM1000HPS
SBIG ST8300M, QSI 683swg
perfrej
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Re: Astroboxen provkörd!

Inläggav perfrej » 2013-10-25 08:52:57

Hej hopp!

Jag orkar inte skriva om detta jag skrev på engelska så jag postar det här i det skicket... Hoppas att det är OK :shy:


Two weeks of operation now on the Balcony without even a hint of a glitch. It controls my power and my focuser right now. The ASCOM drivers are done along with a control application with status and power fiddle possibilities. There is also the roof functions which work fine; albeit with just a loose motor and end-point switches right now.
 
Here are some screen shots (all showing an error for the roof, which is expected as the switches are currently not indicating an end-point and the non-existent roof is not moving).
 
Short description
The box uses three different ASCOM drivers bundled into one "product", the dome driver (for roof), the focuser driver and the safety monitor driver. The latter is a good placeholder for handling the power control via the ASCOM standards' "Action" method. This is a command available in all ASCOM device drivers and lets the driver designer implement arbitrary commands. 
 
The image shows one of the three connect screens, the focuser. All three look the same and will propagate the comport  setting across the devices as they all talk to the same physical device.
 
Bild
 
 
After connect of the focuser to the box's com-port, the server (ASCOM local server) starts running upon the actual connect. Should you then connect the dome driver it will not even show the connect dialog as the server is already connected to the device via the focuser, hence the dome driver gets the correct com-port from there and stores it in its profile.
 
The control application
For status and control, I have written a standard windows .NET application that connects to the Safety Monitor driver for the Astrobox. Once connected, it will show a screen with the status of all the devices and let you manually control certain things.

Bild
 
Clicking a power or USB indicator will toggle it. Clicking the orange OPEN or CLOSE buttons will control the roof, and holding the left or right mouse button down on the dew status will increase or decrease the dew heater's power.
 
You will note that the window lacks borders and standard windows form buttons. I wanted my own space age design so I made the main window movable by dragging with the mouse on any non-control part of the window. A right-click on the window will toggle the "always on top" status so that the window will always be on top of any other window of the screen. A double click on the form will minimize it, currently to the task bar, but I will change that to the notification area.
 
The darker square at the top left corner pops out the menu:
 
Bild
 
Ever seen a Windows menu with a star-field background? ;)
 
The "Toggle 10Micron Mount" menu entry will toggle one of the Astrobox's outputs that is connected to the remote power on/off input of any mount. They (10Micron ones) need 24V power applied, then a one-second push of a momentary switch (available on the mount and in a plug). For power off, the reverse procedure is used; push the switch, wait until the mount is dead and then turn the 24V off.
 
Re-init to power on state will reset all settings for the box to default.
 
Settings
This is the settings form:
 
Bild
 
The "Name" column sets the display texts for the power indicators in the control application's main window. This way you get proper feedback to your status. The "Default" column sets the default power-on state that will be applied to the box once the control application starts. I have my cloud-watcher device connected to Power1 so I need to have it on when the computer is started (it logs in automatically and the control application is in the Startup folder).
 
The "Script command" column is a nice feature that lets you script your power up sequence, in ACP or CCD Autopilot or whatever you use, witth the name of your device without thinking about which power output it is connected to. An example (ok, it's code, but you can understand it :)) in VBScript:

Kod: Markera allt

dim box
set box = CreateObject("ASCOM.Astrobox.Safetymonitor")
box.Connected = true

if box.Action("Cloud","?") = "off" then
    box.Action("Cloud","on")
end if

box.Action("dew","40")

The first section creates a reference to the box's driver.
The second section checks if the power to the cloud detector is on, and if it isn't it turns it on.
The third section sets the dew power to 40%.
 
Now, obviously the use of the control text "Cloud" in the example could also have been "Power1", a name that is always available regardless of your re-configuration of he script commands. But let's assume you want to move the cloud sensor power to Power3. You would re-configure the script command for Power1 to something else and for Power3 to "Cloud". After that, your previous script runs just fine and does the right thing. You do not need to restart anything for the changes to "catch on".
 
 
The focuser drive
The stepper control circuit can handle both bipolar and unipolar motors with 12V rating. Currently, I use Lakeside motors with it with no issues. I have tried with a unipolar stepper from an old printer and that works dandy too. My guess is that whatever stepper you want to throw at it, it will drive.
 
The USB hub
As stated in the first post of this thread, the box has a four-port USB port with external power and data switching on three of the ports. I run the QSI 683 through it at full speed and it hasn't missed a beat. The power/data switching works perfectly and lets me physically unplug and replug devices from anywhere in the world.
 
How many?
I have boards and components for six units right now. I have chosen somewhat expensive components so the next batch will be a re-design with cheaper FETs. I am also contemplating stealing one of the USB ports of the internal hub and add a USB-to-serial chip. I prefer having the box connected with a physical serial port but not all computers have them today. If I do, it will be jumper switchable on/off.
 
The plan is to initially offer the populated boards to anyone who wants them at self cost (board, components, assembly and testing). Since I am not in the business of astro gear it will be the cheapest similar design available, just between hobbyists such as ourselves.
 
Rant, rant...  :S
 
/per
 
 
Edit: There is no color difference between the forms in reality. I just took some of the screen dumps on my office computer and some via remote desktop (that was set to 16-bit colour only).
Takahashi FSQ106EDX III
190MN med Moonlite
TEC-140ED med TEC flattener
10Micron GM2000HPS II UP, GM1000HPS
SBIG ST8300M, QSI 683swg
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Re: Astroboxen provkörd!

Inläggav HanssonJ » 2013-10-25 10:01:06

Hej Per.

RIkigt kul och se vad man kan göra med "små" medel - nu menar jag givetvis hårdvaran inte kompetensen hos utövaren :green: . Eftersom jag själv är utvecklare i botten hade jag tänkt göra något liknande förutom själva kretskortet men det verkar ju dumt att uppfinna hjulet fler gånger.

Mycket imponerande Per - gäller även erat Provence-projektet. Det gäller ju inte att bara inskaffa dyr utrustning utan även att använda dessa på rätt sätt. Skönt att se att det finns flera vägar att gå med sin hobby. Tyvärr blir man ju rejält avundsjuk :sad: - men det går väl kanske över med åren.

Mvh

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Re: Astroboxen provkörd!

Inläggav Tompa » 2013-10-25 10:13:23

Sjukt bra! Snyggt interface. Jag ställer mig i kö!

Mvh,
Tomas W
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Re: Astroboxen provkörd!

Inläggav Robert » 2013-10-25 10:15:58

Kul att se en rapport om hur det går frammåt.

Intressant att ha en sådan för mitt framtida observatorium.
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Re: Astroboxen provkörd!

Inläggav perfrej » 2013-10-25 11:53:34

Tack för berömmet!

Jag börjar bli ganska nöjd själv, faktiskt. Jag har fortfarande några smågrejor att räta ut, men på det hela taget ser det himla bra ut.

Alla som vill ha en kommer att kunna få en sedan!

/per
Takahashi FSQ106EDX III
190MN med Moonlite
TEC-140ED med TEC flattener
10Micron GM2000HPS II UP, GM1000HPS
SBIG ST8300M, QSI 683swg
Användarvisningsbild
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Re: Astroboxen provkörd!

Inläggav stoffe » 2014-10-02 22:27:50

Finns det några versioner att köpa ännu? Jag har ett Arduino R3 liggandes, kan man komplettera med shields eller hur funkar det? Jag är intresserad utav astroboxen och skulle vilja ha en sådan :good:
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