The next eshine telescope

The next eshine telescope

Design ideas and tests for a new generation of automatic earthshine telescope

What did we learn from the first try?

Raspberry Pi telescope control

SoftwarePosted by Peter Thejll Sun, October 20, 2013 10:09:51
People are working on using a small RPi computer to control a telescope:

http://www.stellarium.org/wiki/index.php/Telescope_Control_%28client-server%29

Even using the new Pi camera board to take astro-images:

http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/4170
http://zeusbox.net/blog/2013/05/raspberrypi-camera-board/





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LX200 emulator

SoftwarePosted by Peter Thejll Fri, October 18, 2013 08:29:57
Realistically, we will always be working on telescope mounts that follow something like the LX-200 command set. In order to develop a system for pointing control it may be useful to have a telescope emulator - which this is:

http://miltonhill.us/software/index.html

It is Windows ... wonder if there is something similar for Linux?
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Here is something interesting: http://astropix.nl/astro/LX200.htm Seems like a piece of hardware between a webcam and your telescope. Not free - costs ~100 Euro.
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This is something that allows tracking satellites which, like the Moon, do not move at a fixed rate: http://eq-mod.sourceforge.net/lxindex.html
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My problem with all of the above is that they require the mount to be 'initialized' before use - i.e. human intervention is needed after a system crash. No good for truly automatic systems. We need something that looks on the sky, finds the Moon, aligns on it, and starts tracking. I do not believe this exists, but we tested, by hand, all components on the MLO system. For Celestron telescopes there is something very interesting:

http://www.celestron.com/astronomy/celestron-starsense-accessory.html





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Code for Linux

SoftwarePosted by Peter Thejll Wed, October 02, 2013 20:07:50
Here is a code in python that operates the EMCCD camera from Andor: http://code.google.com/p/pyandor/

You will also need a crucial .so file from the Andor SDK for Linux ...

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Control system using Linux

SoftwarePosted by Daddy-o Mon, June 24, 2013 08:27:31
Perhaps this should be looked at: http://www.rts2.org/

I note that the AstroPhysics mounts (Some models) are supported along with "indi driver" mounts, Meade and Losmandy (we have all three types), as are Andor and Starlight Express CCDs. An impressive range of dome controllers, filter wheels, weather stations (including the Boltwood sensor which is the one we ought to have got ...), and focusers are supported.

Perhaps worth trying this software on a simple Meade GOTO telescope?

Note wiki and list of HOWTOs: http://rts2.org/wiki/

Added later: Have now installed it and had a first look. Hmmm. Seems tricky :)

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Operating system

SoftwarePosted by Daddy-o Thu, May 23, 2013 08:02:38
Our whole system (except 'woof' which only did data handling) was based on Windows. We know very little about Windows. We use Linux. Now we have a problem!

Windows allows spaces and non-alphanumeric characters in path and filenames - Linux does not. Accessing files from Linux that sits on a Windows HD is difficult ...

We think a future system should be entirely based around Linux. For one thing, scripting 'simple commands' would be easier. Labview is available for Linux, but I'd like not to use Labview in the future as it is licensed = $$$.

Can the various hardware bits be - easily - commanded from Linux? Or must one use Windows?

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