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 Meade Controller Interface 
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Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:51 pm
Posts: 11
Location: York, England (UK)
Post Meade Controller Interface
OK - so finally I bought a Meade head & 497 controller, but of course now I want more.

I want to automate the movements and have a smooth (graduated) start / stop to the movements, which I would also like to pre-program (i.e. multiple movements in a sequence) in the field.

Since I have a background in micro-controllers, LCD + keypads, and embedded firmware (as a job), this really should not be too difficult to do.

Any one have any web links that describe it?

Thanks

Dave


Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:21 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:51 pm
Posts: 11
Location: York, England (UK)
Post Re: Meade Controller Interface
tmophoto wrote:
we all want that.. :)

http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar_info.html

thats about all the info that i know about. I am learning programming for the iphone/ipod touch platform right now but its SLOW going.. i wanted a platform that had decent battery life, super portable etc. and that really fits the bill nicely



Thanks. So we think it's plain RS232 ? If so then things get pretty easy once we figure out the commands.

OTOH, it may be easier just to build one from scratch. We have lots of experience building stepper motor controllers and optical encoders already (we make robotics for another industry), so it's probably a reasonable exercise. I wonder just what the market is for a camera ready head with multiple programable/repeatable steps - in programable time scales. Make these things work in a 'start at position X/Y, and in x amount of time be here at this new X/Y position' is well within our capabilities.

What about a system that also fires the camera so that you could program the thing to move only when the shutter was closed OR only when the shutter was open (for fluid movement)! If the robot is also responsible for the time-lapse timer then that would also be trivial.

Hmmmm... too much fun me thinks.... but fun I like to have.


Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:10 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:51 pm
Posts: 11
Location: York, England (UK)
Post Re: Meade Controller Interface
tmophoto wrote:
yea that is exactly what we have all been wanting.


Yep. Sounds like I am not the only one :)

tmophoto wrote:
im not so sure of the market for it.


I agree - it's niche market.

tmophoto wrote:
might be better with a more robust motor system. the meade motors are incredibly good, but they do wear out a little and have a good amount of slop when started and stopped.
t


Of course. The Meade is built down to a price, and is not intended for moving anything but their very light telescopes.

The technical side of this is well within our capability, but the question really is what are people willing to pay (realistically) for an all singing/dancing programmable system that is camera ready? That's a tough question, and one I don't know the answer to.


Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:24 pm
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Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:54 pm
Posts: 888
Location: Aars, Denmark
Post Re: Meade Controller Interface
QShot wrote:
If so then things get pretty easy once we figure out the commands.

http://www.meade.com/support/LX200CommandSet.pdf

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Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:50 pm
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Post Re: Meade Controller Interface
You guys are making me feel guilty... :oops:

I'm going to ask my man Igor (helped me develop the ramping program i use via pc : codename:timeismotion) If he'll agree to an early release.... I want to relaese it!

Imho... Cost/Quality ratio of telescope mounts is amazing if you go up to $500 or so...(and can deal with the weight).

J


Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:47 am

Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:05 am
Posts: 1
Post Re: Meade Controller Interface
(...the ramping program i use via pc : codename:timeismotion)

was wondering if there is anyway to get my hands on this to help testing it out? been working with the meade autostar stuff for over a year now. would really love to help develop or test or whatever to advance the capabilities of this pan/tilt head.

.doug


Sun Mar 15, 2009 1:27 pm
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Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:17 pm
Posts: 2
Post Re: Meade Controller Interface
milapse wrote:
You guys are making me feel guilty... :oops:

I'm going to ask my man Igor (helped me develop the ramping program i use via pc : codename:timeismotion) If he'll agree to an early release.... I want to relaese it!

Imho... Cost/Quality ratio of telescope mounts is amazing if you go up to $500 or so...(and can deal with the weight).

J


Is this the software for the 497 that Bill at telescope warehouse mentioned? If so, I would also be a happy guinea pig/tester.

C


Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:53 pm
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Post Re: Meade Controller Interface
re_lapse wrote:
Is this the software for the 497 that Bill at telescope warehouse mentioned? If so, I would also be a happy guinea pig/tester.


Yes, I'm super close to releasing it... I just want to get some sort of download counter so I can gauge the interest. If anyone can help me with that it would be much appreciated!


Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:28 am
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Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:17 pm
Posts: 2
Post Re: Meade Controller Interface
milapse wrote:
re_lapse wrote:
Is this the software for the 497 that Bill at telescope warehouse mentioned? If so, I would also be a happy guinea pig/tester.


Yes, I'm super close to releasing it... I just want to get some sort of download counter so I can gauge the interest. If anyone can help me with that it would be much appreciated!



If you are building the html page yourself you can go to http://www.statcounter.com and sign up for their tracking counter which is free - make it visible or invisible and view stats on their site - includes country of origin, time visited, etc. Just insert their line of code in the body of your web page. Hope this helps.
C


Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:05 pm
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