To be honest, this type of connector was not known by me till today, but I like it, I can imagine replacing the XT60 with a 45A type of Powerpole.
The only question is this Powerpole connector more common in astrophotography? Because if it is, then makes sense to change it.
(XT60 is I think absolutely not common, but in every RC shop it is available)
I like the original design OP has. Powerpole connectors are great but seems like it would take up more real estate on the hub itself. Those connections are somewhat wide. The 2.1mm connection seems better IMO with the reverse polarity protection
Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro | Main Scope: William Optics GT81 | Guide Scope: ZWO OAG | Imaging Camera: ZWO ASI183MM Pro | Guiding Camera: ASI120MM-Mini | Accessories: ZWO EAF, ZWO EFW 8 x 1.25", Pegasus Pocket Powerbox advance, RPi4
Hi tikiss and all,
very good work, I'm interested in one maybe two machine-populated units.
Just some notes:
ATM 4 GPIO left unused. If GPS reset is not used and 3Dfix led can be sacrificed, we could have 6 gpios to let the unit control focuser stepper motors using already available Radeck Astroberry Focuser indi driver. On the power shield side, only a JST like connector to link one of those mini stepper controller modules is needed.
MCP3202 can be replaced with 3208, and populating 1 INA328 and OP-AMP per channel we'll have amps readings per-device instead of total. Maybe it's an overikill, don't know.
the OneWire pin can be used to chain one or two DS18B20 temperature sensors to monitor stuff that has to be kept dew-free: since ambient temperature and relative humidity are already avavilable, we can calculate dew point temperature and automatically regulate heaters at minimum power needed to keep dew away. Obviously lacking (or not working) the sensor, the channel works in manual power mode. I've already done it with Arduino, code is simple and I can contribute it.
I have also checked these, but I was mainly focused on which can be used on PCB side, the only disadvantage is the population on the board could be a little bit difficult compared to XT60 which is a solid block together with pins.
I will order a couple of samples to see how it looks.
If I understood the others, they were recommending the PowerPole instead of the XT60 input power connector. I agree with you the normal DC jack (2.1mm or 2.5mm) is better (more common) to use for the outputs.
As far as I understood the PowerPole has also a kind of polarity.
Yes, I am thinking about how to implement it, I do not really want to have the housing bigger, and currently, the front and back plates are full of connectors, based on my testing during the last week, it seems that I have to remove the onboard BME280, because the RPi temperature is influencing it quite much, so if I do so I would have space for another connector.
Do you think a JST 2,54mm pitch connector would be okay for that? I think an RJ11/12 is more common, or?
When I have started that design I have also thought about single-channel current measurement, and I am open to modifying it, with a smart MOSFET so I can also remove the fuses because the smart MOSFETs are overcurrent protected. This could help the place a stepper driver on the board.
As I mentioned previously the onboard BME280 cannot be isolated 100% from the RPi, so I am planning to remove it, and maybe add two 3,5mm jack connectors, one for I2C sensors, like BME280, and one for one-wire sensors. Let's see how all these fits on the board.
When I built my dew heater control box quite a few years ago I used DS18B20 on each strap to allow me to feed back and control the PWM to teh strap itself. This needed something different to the phono style connectors so I used 4 pin DIN connectors at the time.
I am really interested in this project - I think I would use off-board connectors to allow the above implementation plus that would allow for better weather proofed solution (though not watertight, but if I can avoid condensation getting in to the enclosure that would be good.
Looking forward to see how it progresses... and where I can help if possible.