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Author Topic: [ASTROPHOTO] Autoguiding using an old webcam and an arduino  (Read 732 times)
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Hi everyone,

Just a quick post here to share a little project I finished this week:

Autoguiding using a webcam an an arduino

So if you know a bit about astrophotography you know about the need to have accurate star tracking. This is often achieved with a seperate camera tracking a "guide-star". As I'm a student and thus have little money, I took a shortcut and built a DIY autoguiding system. I finally got around writing the ASCOM driver for it, so I thought I should share this. As I'm too lazy to maintain a personal website, I'm posting all the info here, who knows, might be helpful to someone  smiley

The results are suprisingly good. I was able to achieve 5 minute exposures at 300mm (450mm equivalent for full size sensors) without any trails. I think I'll even go towards 10 minutes next time.  smiley-cool

The setup:
  • Arduino nano
  • Polulu stepper driver
  • Wantai stepper motor 0.9° 1.7A
  • Old Eyetoy webcam (playstation 2 game) fitted in a 3D printed case accepting Canon EF lenses
  • Cheap orion eq-1 mount with DIY plate for mounting a DSLR with zoom lens
  • Laptop with PHD guiding 2.2.2

Some pics (click for full size) :



Attached are the .ino code running on the arduino, and the .exe is the installation file for the ASCOM drivers. The C# source code is included, you'll need a tool like MS Visual Studio (express is free) to compile the code.

EDIT: Added the *raw* source code for the ASCOM driver and the STL file for the 3d printed part.

Cheers !
Luca

* arduinoAscomMount.ino (3.07 KB - downloaded 20 times.)
* ArduinoMountASCOMdriver.exe (474.19 KB - downloaded 11 times.)
* Driver.cs (34.38 KB - downloaded 22 times.)
* guide-cam.STL (873.03 KB - downloaded 13 times.)
« Last Edit: June 08, 2014, 03:18:38 pm by wattevah » Logged

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Hi  Wattevah
Thanks for sharing!

can you share also the source of the ascom driver?

(many people don't like to click on an .exe file)
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Rob Tillaart

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You're right about the exe. I added the raw source code. In that case you'll need the create an ASCOM project from scratch and add it manually ! Otherwise just install the .exe and click "install source code".

Luca
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Thanks!  appreciated
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Rob Tillaart

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amazing! looks like epic work, have you got any images to share to show the results?
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Here's a picture of the veil nebula I did the first night I tested the mount:


Canon 1100D, EF 70-300mm lens, f5.6, 4x300s, IS0800. It was just to test the tracking of my mount. More frames and even longer exposures would have given a better result. The lens wasn't focused properly: you can see that the stars in the lower right of the picture are oval even though the stars on the top left are perfectly round. I'll have to double check that next time, hope it is not a lens defect.

I did not have time to shoot more. Hopefully we'll have clear skies this week-end, but I wouldn't count on it. Plus the moon is up.


Luca
« Last Edit: June 10, 2014, 02:03:52 am by wattevah » Logged

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