electronic Finder project

Browsing on Cloudynights (‘CN’) I came across someone who had made an electronic viewfinder, using a CCD, Raspberry PI and small guide scope. The clever bit was to use plate-solving to workout where the scope was pointing.

Now I had just about all these parts going spare, what I didnt have was enough built in knowledge of Python and the inner workings of the Raspberry Pi (RPi) operating system. Definitely a Covid ‘lockdown’ project!

I’ll start a full description on a fresh page in my ‘equipment’ section, but here’s a brief synopsis of progress so far.

Built protoype with…...

SVBony 50mm guidescope (now replaced with William Optics)
Raspberry Pi HQ ccd (ZWO ASI 120MM-S on hand if more sensitivity needed)
Raspberry Pi4 running Astroberry/Kstars/Ekos
Small 16x2 line red character display with buttons.

About 400 lines of Python writen so far to read the Nexus DSC, capture images, plate-solve them, and convert the result into the necessary scope adjustment. Yet to do is send the scope adjustment to ScopeDog (telescope controller)

Its all tested in the workshop (using library star field images) and now I need a clear night to test the capture and plate solve on real star images.

© AstroKeith 2021