Hey all, Pierros here (the dev that started astrohat). Here is a bit of an update so far:
The version 1.2 that is released has been working quite well so far except the following:
- The adjustable voltage channel is not operational
- The sensing of the dew heaters channel is not working
Apart from those two issues that are now identified and will be fixed in 1.3 everything else seems to be working as it should. As a matter of fact astrohat has now been tested for over two months of total night sessions.
I am also happy to report that there are more than 10 astrohats now in the wild
I am working with contributors to release the indi driver and you can follow our progress and general development here:
To answer some questions:
1. We don't have any plans for a focus controller embedded on astrohat yet.
2. When 1.3 is released we will be providing ready made assembled boards for people interested.
Due to COVID and work I've not been able to move as fast as I want on this. The gist is this:
- Hardware is done imho
- Firmware needs some love (especially on monitoring and limits for the DC power switches
- I could use some help on the later
You can use this link to order the board and the components and assemble the astrohat yourself
Let me know if there are others that would like to work on this with me at this stage. (I know that a few of you want assembled boards when they are ready, I will contact you when I feel OK on the firmware side)
freiform wrote: That is a great project! I am considering building a hat with at least 4 12V outputs for my gear. I though that would be something that's available commercially, but apparently not.
That could be easily solved with a 12V USB hub. That's what I use to have a single 12V line as the only cable running up the mount.
jnowat wrote: Perhaps the biggest spec for me on this board is the 12V input to the hat- it powers the Pi, correct? Heck. YES. Much needed. Who has time for 5V when you're mobile? Too much struggle, imo.
Hello all, more updates on my side!
Since the last update, I've been hardware verifying all possible operations on AstroHAT and trying to start on the software side of things.
In order to expedite the process of software development and testing, I decided to manufacture 10 AstroHATs v1.1 and make them available for people that are willing to help me out on software development.
What works right now:
- Supply all system power from single 12+ V input
- Power RPi4 with appropriate protections (as specified on HAT documentation)
- 4x 12V channels with on/off via GPIO
- 2x 12V dew heater channels with on/off via GPIO
- Serial breakout for GPS
- I2C breakout for temp/humidity sensor
What needs development:
- INDI driver
- Interface with Power Switch ICs to measure consumption and display errors
- Interface with SPI potentiometer chip to allow tuning of variable voltage (right now it is unset, thus random)
- Interface with Power Switch ICs for dew heaters to allow less duty cycles
- Case design
- Sourcing and testing different parts and external things (temp sensor and GPS)
If you think you can help please reach out to me with your details to figure our a way to get you an astroHAT and get started!
Skills needed: Indi driver knowledge, devicetree experience, familiarity with electronics, debugging and related tools and equipment. Any of those would be helpful at this point
This is a free-time side project for me. I plan to keep working on it on my free time to support further development and see it through. No promises for time and commitment around it though!
All AstroHAT development (software and hardware) is and will remain open source. I plan to make some kits for people that are interested more widely once we have everything working and tested sufficiently.
The bare cost of PCB+components right now is approximately ~70 USD (remember we opted in for automotive grade electronics.. some are costly!) You can find the full BOM in the repo here gitlab.com/pierros/astrohat
If you want to help with software development and get an early beta board, you could help with that cost too. If not, just helping with software is still totally fine!