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README.md

moonlite-focuser-clone

Electric USB or Bluetooth Focuser that is compatible to the Protocol of the popular Moonlite Focuser

Moonlite-compatible stepper controller

The original code was written by George Carlson in June 2014, so he deserves full credit for this This is a more feature rich and compatible version, yet some aspects are still missing

The version written by Dr. Lutz Bellmann uses the Arduino Uno Rev.3 Board

Compatibility

The code has been troubleshot against the original and it should be almost compatible to the Moonlite single focuser Exeptions: Half Step mode not included Range is from 0 to 65535 ticks no backlight supported this is ment to function remotely and uses serial communication either via bluetooth or USB; if you want to use a DIY handcontroller, you have to extend the code tested with kstars-bleeding and indilib

The center concept at 30000 has been skipped, so the full range from 0 to 65535 can be used, yet the default startposition from empty EEPROM is still 30000 Additional features: Current position, stepping delay(speed), and temperature coefficient are saved to EEPROM and read back after power out This enables the focuser to remember the last position in the subsequent imaging night. Temperature acquisition is done by 1-wire T sensor Dallas DS18B20 Temperature can be calibrated by command (not saved to EEPROM, yet) 2-point calibration can be done with Temperature coefficient in (ticks/degreeC) and Compensation can be switched on/off no delay in movement on temperature readout; conversion commands are executed only in idle condition

Hardware

The Code has been tested on a Vellemann Arduino Uno Rev3 Board, yet other Atmega based Arduino-like Boards like the Nano or others should work as well It makes sense that one builds a "shield" for contacting

  • the driver board(2PH64011R) for the stepper motor (In1(blue) - Pin4, In2(pink) - Pin5, In3(yellow) - Pin6, In4(orange) - Pin7; +5V to VCC (5V), -Pin to GND
  • stepper motor 28BYJ-48
  • the Dallas 18B20 digital temperature sensor; use the one with cable and metal casing to stick onto primary mirror or tube; connect to Pin3 as well as VCC (3.3V or 5V) and GND of Arduino
  • optional: bluetooth dongle (f.e. HC-06) to be connected to RX and TX as well as VCC(3.3V) and GND of the Arduino; you can't use USB data conenction with Bluetooth dongle connected as well; I made myself a pair of jumpers to be able to disconnect the HC-06
  • Case: I will put a couple of STL files and FreeCAD files in the directory to be used as an "application" example; feel free to use or modify as needed

Installation

The most comfortable way is, to plug your Arduino Board to your PC with USB and use Arduino IDE to "burn" the code to the Board. Make sure that you have the Libraries

  • OneWire
  • DallasTemperature
  • EEPROM installed, since they are going to be used by the code.

On connection with USB the Board can be found as a serial device. Any Moonlite compatible software can connect to the board. The Baud Rate is 9600.

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Electric USB or Bluetooth Focuser that is compatible to the Protocol of the popular Moonlite Focuser

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