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Telescope control with Stellarium and Arduino

This project consists on a first approach to control a telescope mechanism, builded from scratch and based on Arduino microcontroller, from a computer with GNU/Linux and the Stellarium software.

By the moment, the code has been tested only in a mini-dobsonian mount with a green laser pointer instead of a real telescope. The laser points towards the celestial objects indicated from Stellarium, by using a stepper motors system.

Device

You can see more images, schematics and parts details in the images folder.

Software

The software is divided on two main blocks, the first one implemented in Python (computer) and the other one for Arduino microcontroller (device):

In the computer side with Python:

Device with Arduino:

  • Communications with the computer (receiving commands and parameters, and sending responses)
  • Coordinate transformations (based on Toshimi Taki's Matrix Method for Coodinates Transformation)
  • Control mechanisms (stepper motors, sensors, positioning..)

testing folder

Contains the necessary scripts for testing isolately the communications with Stellarium, communications with the device, and the Arduino library for coordinate transformation (Matrix Method implementation).

main folder

Software to control the "Laser pointer device" with Stellarium, including GUI.

docs folder

Datasheets and Matrix method documentation.

bitstring-3.0.2 folder

A Python module that makes the creation, manipulation and analysis of binary data as simple and natural as possible.

Bitstring project page: http://code.google.com/p/python-bitstring/

More Info

http://yoestuve.es/blog/telescope-control-with-stellarium-and-arduino/

http://yoestuve.es/blog/category/laser-pointer/

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Telescope control with Stellarium, Python and Arduino

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