DIY astro tracker

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StargazerQ
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DIY astro tracker

#1

Post by StargazerQ »

A few years ago I found good tips on how to build a tracker in this forum (or astronomyforum.net actually). I've completed the project 2 years ago and thought I would share the results here since I got good insights from members especially on how to use Arduino boards to control the stepper.

Here is the tracker, as you can see I was inspired by the old Astrotrac mount which I tought would be stronger than the usual barn door.
Image

I'm pleased to say I have reached my objectives, the tracker can track my 135 mm lens, will run for 20 hours on 4 AA batteries and is really grab and go. I've put all the construction details here: https://francoisquesnel.wixsite.com/aq-track
Here are a couple of results

With Rokinon 135mm F2.0, 9 X 60 s iso 800
Image


With Sigma 35 mm F1.4, 10 X 90 s iso 400, using Starnet to make the MW and Rho Oph pop a bit more
Image

Clear skies!
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SkyHiker
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Re: DIY astro tracker

#2

Post by SkyHiker »

Beautiful! Would you mind unlocking those photos? I wanted to zoom in but it asks me for my Flickr sign-in and I don't have one.

I was curious how the threaded rod works on the side of the plywood disc. The motor looks just like the ones I use, they are great for the purpose and run forever on batteries.

Nice Astrotrac knock-off! And the MW detail image is superb.
... Henk. :D Telescopes: GSO 12" Astrograph, "Comet Hunter" MN152, ES ED127CF, ES ED80, WO Redcat51, Z12, AT6RC, Celestron Skymaster 20x80, Mounts and tripod: Losmandy G11S with OnStep, AVX, Tiltall, Cameras: ASI2600MC, ASI2600MM, ASI120 mini, Fuji X-a1, Canon XSi, T6, ELPH 100HS, DIY: OnStep controller, Barndoor trackers for 10" Dob and camera, Afocal adapter, Foldable Dob base, Az/Alt Dob setting circles, Accessories: ZWO 36 mm filter wheel, TV Paracorr 2, Baader MPCC Mk III, ES FF, SSAG, QHY OAG-M, EAF electronic focuser, Plossls, Barlows, Telrad, Laser collimators (Seben LK1, Z12, Howie Glatter), Cheshire, 2 Orion RACIs 8x50, Software: KStars-Ekos, DSS, PHD2, Nebulosity, Photo Gallery, Gimp, CHDK, Computers:Pi4b, 2x Pi2b all running Astroberry, Toshiba Satellite 17"
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Greenman
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Re: DIY astro tracker

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Post by Greenman »

Nice first post, and for a DIY job some stunning images.
Cheers,

Tony.

Image

AP SCT: Celestron NexStar 6SE; Orion RACI 9x500 illuminated finder; Antares 0.63 reducer.

AP Refractor: Altair 72EDF Deluxe F6 1x Flattener; Antares Versascope 60mm finder. ASIAir Pro.

Celestron AVX Mount; Celestron SE6 Mount; .X-cel LX eyepieces & Barlows 2x 3x, Celestron 8-24mm Zoom, ZWO 2” Filter holder, Antares 2” Dielectric diagonal.

Cameras: main DSO ASI533MC; DSO guide ASI 120MM; Planetary ASI224MC; Lunar SVBONY 305; DSLR Canon EOS100 stock.

Filters: Astronomik IR cut; Baader Semi Apo; Baader Fringe Killer; Optolong Pro CLS 1.25; SvBony CLS 2.0.

Binoculars: Celestron 15 x 70.

Latitude: 52.219853
Longitude: -1.034471
Accuracy: 5 m
Bortle 4 site. https://maps.google.com/?q=52.21985,-1.03447

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Ylem
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Re: DIY astro tracker

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Post by Ylem »

Awesome images :)

I believe I remember seeing that thread in AF
Congratulations for building :)
Clear Skies,
-Jeff :telescopewink:

Orion 127 Mak, ST80
Celestron Celestar
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Coronado PST
A big box of Plossls
Little box of filters
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Member; Charlotte Amateur Astronomy Club.
StargazerQ
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Re: DIY astro tracker

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Post by StargazerQ »

SkyHiker wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:59 pm Beautiful! Would you mind unlocking those photos? I wanted to zoom in but it asks me for my Flickr sign-in and I don't have one.

I was curious how the threaded rod works on the side of the plywood disc.
Thanks! You'll get more details by following the link: https://francoisquesnel.wixsite.com/aq-track
I made the sector's teeth by molding the rod into curing epoxy.
Greenman wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:03 pm Nice first post, and for a DIY job some stunning images.
Thank you, glad you like them.
Ylem wrote: Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:31 pm Awesome images

I believe I remember seeing that thread in AF
Congratulations for building
Thanks! Yeah pretty happy with the result!
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BABOafrica
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Re: DIY astro tracker

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Post by BABOafrica »

That's a nice looking tracker you got there. And it obviously works wonders with your camera. Very nice images!

BABO
"In lumine tuo videbimus lumen."

Scopes: Celestron SCT C8 / Williams Optics 66mm APO

Mounts: Orion Atlas EQ-G / Celestron AVX

Cameras: QHY163m / Fujifilm X-A1 (modded) / Fuji X-A2 (not modded) / Orion StarShoot Auto Guider
StargazerQ
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Re: DIY astro tracker

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Post by StargazerQ »

BABOafrica wrote: Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:06 am That's a nice looking tracker you got there. And it obviously works wonders with your camera. Very nice images!

BABO
Thanks, a fun project to do, glad you like it.
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