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Dome Automation

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Dome Automation was created by michaeloconnell

Below are photos of where I am as of the last few days:

Motor for opening/closing the upper shutter. Also shows the relay which cuts the power to the upper shutter motor and transfers it to the lower shutter motor.


Lower shutter motor and relays. At the top of the pic is the upper shutter close relay.
Below that is the lower shutter close relay.
Below that again is the lower shutter open relay - attached to the bracket holding the motor/pivot arm.


Control box at the pier.
On the RHS is the up/down momentary switch for opening closing the shutters.
On the LHS is the side-to-side monentary switch for the azimuuth motor.


Wiring of what I have done to date.
www.astroshot.com/Observatory//2012-10-10/Wiring-2012-10-10.pdf

This is where I want to get to:
www.astroshot.com/Observatory/WO-Deadman-V09.pdf

Bit to go yet I'm afraid.....if anyone is in a position to assist in translating the above wiring schematic to an actual clear diagram that I can wire things up together, it would be VERY much appreciated!
Last edit: 9 years 7 months ago by darragh.
9 years 7 months ago #95329

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Replied by albertw on topic Re: Dome Automation

This is where I want to get to:
www.astroshot.com/Observatory/WO-Deadman-V09.pdf

Bit to go yet I'm afraid.....if anyone is in a position to assist in translating the above wiring schematic to an actual clear diagram that I can wire things up together, it would be VERY much appreciated!


Are the components in the green boxes meant to be separate physical boxes or is it just a logical separation. I'm having trouble relating this diagram to the previous diagram showing what you have done so far.

What's P8055?

How is the Azimuth sensor supposed to work? It has to Photomicrosensors in it so I'm guessing that this is attached to something that will move into 'dock' with some other part of the dome and block the sensors?

The coils seem not to be just inductors, but the coils of the relays, which makes more sense! In your other diagram you appear to indicate the relays are located somewhere in isolation so they do not go on the circutboard for the 'shutter control'.

Hopefully I can help and not just add to the confusion!
Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/
9 years 7 months ago #95336

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Replied by martinus on topic Re: Dome Automation

I suspect that the P8055 is a USB interface board:
www.velleman.eu/downloads/0/illustrated/...al_k8055_uk_rev3.pdf


I suspect that you're correct albertw - the 'coils' are all denoted Kn where n is a relay coil
The circuit would be much clearer were standard symbols used for the relays:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Relay_symbols.svg

Interestingly, mouser considers the relay model to be obsolete.
www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/TE-Connecti...WZ%2FxnPqWoZQCG4o%3D

One thing confuses me, though: the suggested model is a single pole relay!
Shouldn't be too difficult to find an alternative (just check the data-sheet).
www.te.com/commerce/DocumentDelivery/DDE...ocType=DS&DocLang=EN

Lastly, those photosensors would indeed need some kind of opaque obstruction - possibly a thin sheet of metal.

EDIT: www.dppobservatory.net/DomeAutomation/DomeDriver.php
Seems to confirm some of my educated guesswork. :)
Last edit: 9 years 7 months ago by martinus.
9 years 7 months ago #95340

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Replied by albertw on topic Re: Dome Automation

Ah right, I guess Michael forgot to mention that he was planning on having a USB controlled dome :)

From the link you posted it looks like the photosensors go on the tracking wheels. That clears that mystery up, I'll need to study that page more to understand why you need two of them though. It looks like the 2 diodes and resistor (D5, D13, R1) go on that board in the image and are not orphaned as they appear in the circuit diagram.

No mention of a reed switch there. I guess the idea is that in the closed position the bit of the dome this is mounted on comes in contact with with fixed magnet to stop any further motion?

I'd imagine any standard 12V DPDT relay will do the job. Farnell stock the EE-SX1042.
Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/
9 years 7 months ago #95341

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Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Dome Automation

Found my first two victims...excellent...

At this stage, I have the domne wired so that it can be controlled simply using a couple of buttons in a control box at the pier.

The aim here is to to able to get the dome, scope and camera to operate remotely at any time of the night.
I have a weather sensor that is ascom compliant.
I eventually plan to use ACP or CCDAutopilot to operate the entire system.

The large diagram is drawn with green boxes to separate the differewnt systems logically rather than a physical box into which all the components are stored.

So, going by one part at a time:

P8055 is indeed a USB experiment board.
This will operate using the Lesvedome driver:
www.dppobservatory.net/DomeAutomation/DomeDriver.php

Here is a photo of the azimuith motor:
www.astroshot.com/Observatory/2012-10-10/05.jpg
The photosensors are required to not only detect movement of the gear wheel pushing the track but also rotational direction.
I have bought the photo sensors EE-SX1042.
The sheet of metal with the hotes that can be seen in the photo here:
www.dppobservatory.net/DomeAutomation/DomeDriver.php
Is something that I will need to make, core holes in and attach to the top of the gear wheel.
So, overall, that bit is straight forward enough.

The bit I don't understand are the relay coils, what they do, how they work or how to wire them up.
These are the ones that I have:
html.alldatasheet.com/html-pdf/171896/ET...3F/96/1/JQX-13F.html
Specifically, I have the JQX-13F-LY2C
As these seem to play a major role in system, it has me a bit puzzled.
Last edit: 9 years 7 months ago by michaeloconnell.
9 years 7 months ago #95343

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Replied by albertw on topic Re: Dome Automation

The bit I don't understand are the relay coils, what they do, how they work or how to wire them up.
These are the ones that I have:
html.alldatasheet.com/html-pdf/171896/ET...3F/96/1/JQX-13F.html
Specifically, I have the JQX-13F-LY2C
As these seem to play a major role in system, it has me a bit puzzled.


Relays are simple enough little gizmos.

Basically once you pass a current through the coil of a relay it becomes an electromagnet and that literally pulls a metal switch closed.

From the looks of the JQX-13F-LY2C the two pins at one end facing each other control the coil. If you hook up a small battery to those you'll be able to hear the switch click and probably see the contacts open and close.

It's not clear from the datasheet which of the switch pins are which, but you should be able to determine that easily enough with a multimeter by checking which contacts are connected when the power is on and off to the coil.

In your diagram in the 'Manual Rotation' you have a K2 coil. Once power passes through this it will close the switches K2-A and K2-B in the 'Azimuth Control'. How that's wired up in practice is another matter since all the relay has to be in the one place a few more wires will be needed in practice than on the diagram.
Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/
9 years 7 months ago #95344

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Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Dome Automation

Thanks for the suggestion re the relay.
Below is a photo of the back of the relay:
www.astroshot.com/Observatory/2012-10-10/06.jpg

I passed a 12V DC current throuh pins 7 and 8.
When I did that, the contacts clicked.
With the multimeter, no voltage was detected across any of the other pins.
When I checked for a connection i found the following:

No Current passing through pins 7 & 8:
Pins 1 and 5 are connected and pins 2 & 6 are connected.

With Current passing through pins 7 & 8:
Pins 3 and 5 are connected and pins 4 & 6 are connected.
Last edit: 9 years 7 months ago by michaeloconnell.
9 years 7 months ago #95346

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Replied by paddyman on topic Re: Dome Automation

Hey Michael,

Hope you manage to get everything sorted the way yo want it. I wish I could be of more assistance to you as you have helped me (and I'm sure scores of other people) out lots. Unfortunately the level of electronics you are working at here is above what I know, but I will gladly read the thread and try assist.
9 years 7 months ago #95348

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Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Dome Automation

Thanks Paddy.

FWIW, here's the schematic with the deadman switch:
www.astroshot.com/Observatory/With-Deadman-V10.pdf

I have the following parts:
* Switches
* Relays
* Diodes
* Resistors
* Photosensors
* Rain sensor
* Motors
* USB board
* Velleman K8015, which I had to misery of having to soldier together
* 30amp regulated power supply with adjustable voltage control

What I'm missing
* Knowledge
* Patience
Last edit: 9 years 7 months ago by michaeloconnell.
9 years 7 months ago #95362

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Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Dome Automation

I am after putting together a wiring diagram for the shutter control section.
It is my interpretation of the shutter wiring schematic posted earlier.

My wiring diagram: www.astroshot.com/Observatory/2012-10-10...ntrol-2012-10-12.pdf

Based on this schematic: www.astroshot.com/Observatory/WO-Deadman-V09.pdf

Do I have the correct interpretation of how to integrate the relay?

Thanks,

Michael.
Last edit: 9 years 7 months ago by michaeloconnell. Reason: *** Diagram Updated ***
9 years 7 months ago #95365

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Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Dome Automation

Some progress photos

Main Control Box:
www.astroshot.com/Observatory/2012-10-10/11.jpg

Relays to be attached to Dome Roof (awaitign enclosure):
www.astroshot.com/Observatory/2012-10-10/09.jpg

Azimuth Motor Rotation Sensor (front)
www.astroshot.com/Observatory/2012-10-10/08.jpg

Azimuth Motor Rotation Sensor (back)
www.astroshot.com/Observatory/2012-10-10/07.jpg
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Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Dome Automation

Latest photos:

Main control box and azimith sensor box mounted in dome:
www.astroshot.com/Observatory/2012-10-10/13.jpg

Azimith Sensor close-up:
www.astroshot.com/Observatory/2012-10-10/14.jpg

Shutter Control Box mounted just below lower shutter:
www.astroshot.com/Observatory/2012-10-10/15.jpg

Typical relay:
www.astroshot.com/Observatory/2012-10-10/17.jpg

Relay spec sheet:
www.astroshot.com/Observatory/2012-10-10/16.jpg
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9 years 5 months ago #95776

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Replied by albertw on topic Re: Dome Automation

Seems to be coming along well Michael! Drop me an email if I can be of any help.
Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/
9 years 5 months ago #95797

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Replied by martinus on topic Re: Dome Automation

Great work, looks like it's all coming together.

Cheers for posting the progress shots, makes for an interesting read.
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Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Dome Automation

I now have the relays for both the rotation and the shutter working.
I can now get the rotation moving with both the hand controller and the PC ascom controller.
Two things left now:
1) getting the azimuth controller working so that the PC knows how far and in what direction the dome has rotated. The wiring is all done (my version of it fanyway - if just doesn't work!) ;-)
2) need to get the wiring on the dome roof to work with the main relays.
Nearly there....one step at a time...
Last edit: 9 years 5 months ago by michaeloconnell.
9 years 5 months ago #95907

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Replied by dmcdona on topic Re: Dome Automation

Nearly there....one step at a time...


So the revision is going well then?
9 years 5 months ago #95911

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Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Dome Automation

Ha! Yea, helps to break up the tedious nature of the study. However, haven't done much since Friday as I'm coming down with a bit of a cold and the temps outside don't help.
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Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Dome Automation

looking good Michael, it makes for an interesting project.
did this kit not come with instructions of what to wire where ?
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but what a way to go. :)
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Last edit: 9 years 5 months ago by dave_lillis.
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Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Dome Automation

Dave,

Generally, most domes don't come with a PC-controlled dome motorisation included.
The Pulsar, at the time I bought mine, had an expensive motorisation option which could not be linked to the PC.
Therefore, I didn't bother paying an extra couple of grand for such a system.

So, I purchased motors from Exploradome in the US and retrofitted them to my dome.
I could have also bought the electronics from Exploradome, but they are expensive.

Therefore, I had to build my own, which I have based on the Lesvedome driver:
www.dppobservatory.net/DomeAutomation/DomeDriver.php

I am now 90% complete.

I simplifed the previous design as it was just getting too complicated for my little head to comprehend and I couldn't get it to work.
www.astroshot.com/Observatory/Dome-Wiring-2012-12-14.pdf

I can now open/close and rotate the dome with either the manual switches or the ACSOM driver on the PC.

Only thing now is that I need to sort out the Azimuth Sensor, which isn't working for me.
I need to re-check the wiring on it.

Michael.
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Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Dome Automation

ah right, I assumed you bought a kit that was specifically for this dome, instead of a put together generic kit,
nice one !
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9 years 5 months ago #95950

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Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Dome Automation

I made some good progress over the Christmas holidays. I am 98% complete now. All the electronics are installed. The dome can now be controlled via the hand controller or via the ASCOM driver on the PC. I have two issues (both are small, I *think*) to resolve and it is then ready for remote use. I hope to have both of these issues sorted out in the next 2-3 days <touch wood>. It has taken a long time, but the finish line is finally in sight.
Last edit: 9 years 4 months ago by michaeloconnell.
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Replied by paddyman on topic Re: Dome Automation

Well done!!. Great to hear it all came together for you. If you had to do it again would you go the route you did or buy a complete kit from Exploradome?
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Replied by carlobeirnes on topic Re: Dome Automation

Well done Michael I'm looking forward to seeing the end results. Will it track the scope and fellow the scope when it goes to other objects using acp?
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9 years 4 months ago #96202

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Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Dome Automation

Well done Michael I'm looking forward to seeing the end results. Will it track the scope and fellow the scope when it goes to other objects using acp?

Yep, that's the plan.
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Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re: Dome Automation

Well done!!. Great to hear it all came together for you. If you had to do it again would you go the route you did or buy a complete kit from Exploradome?

Good question.
As I have a 16" SCT, an 8ft dome is not big enough. While the Paramnount ME and the 16" SCT would fit inside the dome, the hatch would be too narrow. Same is true of other 8ft domes I have seen on the market. The majority of domes are 8ft so anything above that carries a premium due to cost of materials and quantities sold.

At the time I bought my dome, the Explardome II was not developed, Scopedome didn't exist and the Pulsar Observatories drive system wasn't up to much as it was not computer controlled.

Nowadays, to buy the Exploradome II with automation would cost over $14k + shipping + taxes, which all-in is in the region of €15k.
For comparison, the 3m Scopedome with automation from Poland would cost approx €10k all-in.

I have spent €7k on the dome and the automation system, so it has worked out a good bit cheaper.
I have also learned a lot about electronics.
Downside of course is that to learn how to automate it has taken a great deal of time and effort.
My complete lack of knowledge on all matters electronics-related was a major hinderence.
Now that I know how it's all done, I could do it a second time much easier and quicker.
No plans for that though! ;-)
Last edit: 9 years 4 months ago by michaeloconnell.
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