So I decided to do some project while waiting for clear skies.
I have been always having issues with those countless cables, power adapter and etc. So to simplify things and speed up my imaging setup - I have decided to put everything into one box and put it on top, as mount allows me to do this. The result is on pictures.
I know it looks a little cheesy but I think it should work for me. Now I have only one power cable running from "outside" and imaging setup should be a much faster/easier process. I am little concerned about cable drug from that only cable though. Can't wait to test!
Whats is in "shoe box":
- three outlets power cable head (13 Amps)
- power adapter for the mount
- power adapter for the EAF
- power adapter for powered USB 2.0 Hub
- USB 2.0 hub
- Raspberry PI 3 (powered from USB hub)
- whole bunch of cables (extra length ones and connection from USB hub to RPI)
- all this us secured with a couple of bungee straps (camping style!)
What's I think needs to be done:
- drill more holes for air circulation
- little extra counterweight as now it is hard to balance OTA with all this stuff, current counter-weight literally seats on toe saver
Well it's unique! I would be concerned with all that unsecure mass shifting during an exposure causing vibrations.
INDI/KStars on Raspberry Pi 4, 4gb
Raspbian Buster with AstroPi3 script configuration
Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Mount
Canon 600D Camera
Orion SSAG/ASI120mm @280mm Guide Scope
Waveshare Stepper Motor Board - DIY Focuser
Adafruit GPS Module
Generic Bluetooth Joystick.
Startech 7 port powered USB Hub.
I like the idea... and the thinking "inside" the box
Yeah the cables can be a handful. I thought I did better when I switched to my little 6" astrograph, but after looking at it, it's still a mess. I need to get the larger cable wrap, this guy is stuffed.
I would be interested in what you come up with. I just don't see how this mess can be tamed.
Good point about shifting stuff! I will have to make sure that everything is secured inside (double sided scotch tape or something). Also air ventilation, I really concerned about it, especially in summer.
Thank you! Exactly, it is thinking "inside the box"
Your setup actually looks pretty tidy and organized to me, just a little bundle of cables at the bottom.
I think I will upgrade my "shoe box" to "tackle box" after some time if that initial version shows good enough results. I will try to find the same size tackle box but with big compartments inside so I can keep everything more organized/secured inside.
Also, what is adding mess a lot - is extra length cables. I will try to find shorter length of all different kinds of cables - shorter is better fo transmission and not that messy. Like just one thing USB->RS232->ST4 in my setup adds a lot of mess, could be much shorter!
I agree, I wouldn't use three individual power supplies. I use a Meanwell 12v 13A power supply on the ground next to the mount sealed in a
waterproof box, then I run a singe cable to the mount powerying all equipment via a
Rigrunner power distribution box
USB hubs with with built in 12 to 5 volt inverters are also available if needed. I have all my equipment connected directly to the RPi, I never had to use a USB hub.
Finally got a chance to test my "shoe-box", I made sure it is all well packed on no movements inside. I agree it is lots of extra weight and volume on top (which is bad for wind gusts btw). However, I think it worked out pretty well!
I've tested on something easy to catch at this time of the year, of course M42
Thank you! I actually was surprised with results. I think I could do better with securing thick power cable going from tripod leg to the shoe box.
Unfortunately, I don't have data how guiding was before I moved everything to the box. I can say that imaging results were pretty much the same. I am still learning how to process images.
I think what could cause extra guiding deviation in that case - was my other experiment I was doing that night. I should have mentioned that, sorry. I was using internal guider and Kstars/Ekos was connected to remote equipment through the cloud platform. I am developing platform for equipment sharing - one of my "cloudy nights" project. It shows pretty good results, especially when equipment host runs PHD2 close the mount and guest connects remotely to INDI-server and PHD2 remotely. It is like imaging from your own backyard but actually being teleported to other geo-location with other skies. I will post more details about this project a little later. This is what happens when people don't have enough clear skies
Just wanted to give a small update about the "shoe box" project. I bought another more reliable plastic container and got everything nicely secured in my "shoe box", but eventually I gave up with this idea
Mostly because of two reasons:
1. I found that my mount with that box is loaded good above 50% of capacity which is no go
2. The box cracked when temperature was below 0 C
So I decided to go with a different setup - pls see attached. All power supplies are in the box attached with bungee to my mount on counter weight side. The RPI and cables are on OTA.
I think it worked out well - it is pretty tidy and easy to deploy and start alignment/imaging, low budget and works.
Also, I am experimenting with short USB-cables and powered USB-hubs at the moment. You can see them on my avatar picture.
Yours looks better now and probably a better place for it. My box is bigger for cable management and active cooling, and not designed to be attached to mount / telescope, I put it on a small table underneath the tripod.