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Old 19-12-2018, 09:36 PM
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kinetic (Steve)
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Scooter the homemade GEM update

A few mods to Scooter recently.


I needed it to try for Comet Wirtanen last week onwards.
This part of the low northern sky is impossible for the main
scope in the observatory to reach.


First job was to replace the R.A. stepper to a smaller unit and drive
it with its own standalone driver controller.
I used an Arduino with a stepper motor module. Previously it had its own
Bartel stepper drive but this has proven difficult to setup and doesn't lend
itself to true portability which was the purpose of Scooter all along.

I also added a 128x128 Colour TFT display for some feedback along with
two switches. One for turning off the 12v battery and 12v to 5v regulator.
The 2nd for switching tracking on and off.

Tracking rates are set via the program to keep it simple.

To get Wirtanen I needed to fight clouds for nearly a week.
Success on the 17th Dec but the moon was a factor with contrast.
Also, the city skyglow is the worst looking north so exposures had to be
30sec only with the QHY8 and a 50mm Nikon SLR lens.

I also added a magnetic coupler to the mount to couple the gearbox to the worm.
This works well and with a minimal air gap is very strong.

.....and a coat of paint


sky pics:



1: wide shot, crop of full frame showing Pleiades and Aldebaran...and a jet contrail!
2. crop of 37frame stack, stacked on the comet. Missed frames due to cloud quite obvious
3. A tracking rate test on Orion, same night. (crop)
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  #2  
Old 20-12-2018, 07:08 AM
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Old 21-12-2018, 08:36 AM
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ChrisV (Chris)
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I like scooter. Reminds me of my dog (a compliment). That magnetic coupler is a worthy sacrifice of the kids toy
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Old 30-12-2018, 08:41 AM
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kinetic (Steve)
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Tested under a dark(er) sky to suburban Adelaide.


Here is a Scooter result from Broken Hill, N.S.W.
A few more improvements in the Arduino software.
Gel cell voltage, 5V regulator voltage and ambient degrees...
(soon to be CCD temp)
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Old 24-02-2019, 11:00 AM
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kinetic (Steve)
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there be treasure here......X marks the spot

I recently upgraded the portable 'Scooter' mount AGAIN!, to proper bearings and a better machined worm and worm gear.

The pressed bell housings for the original scooter were actually badly off centre and didn't let the worm mesh properly for the whole circumference.
The blank for the worm gear is an old VCR head. Beautiful aluminium to machine. Two initial results to test it shown here.

The 1st is through thin high cloud and fogs the bright stars giving cool halos and emphasises colour. 2nd is last night around the Carina region of the milky way.
sky pics heavily cropped and resized down to stay under the 200k limit.
QHY8 camera and SLR 50mm Nikon lens. 30 secs x 65 fr.


Steve
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Old 02-03-2019, 07:51 AM
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nebulosity. (Jo)
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Love your work Steve, particularly like your magnetic coupling.
Thanks for sharing.

Cheers
Jo
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:30 AM
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kinetic (Steve)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nebulosity. View Post
Love your work Steve, particularly like your magnetic coupling.
Thanks for sharing.

Cheers
Jo

Thanks Jo,


here is a result from last night (Mar 01)
crop of full frame



Steve
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:51 AM
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kinetic (Steve)
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seeing is king.
Result from 10 March.
Scooter's Arduino/ stepper drive can run for 3
nights of about 3hrs before the 12v 5AH SLA needs a charge.
Laptop and QHY8 cooling supplied by another bigger battery
and inverter.



Full size here
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