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
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. 8)
- 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
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.
arduinoAscomMount.ino (3.07 KB)
ArduinoMountASCOMdriver.exe (474 KB)
Driver.cs (34.4 KB)
guide-cam.STL (873 KB)