locked 3D Printed Parts and How to use IEXOS-100 with the free Astroberry Server software #iEXOS-100 #Off-Topic
Hello IEXOS users,
In my never-ending pursuit of a lighter more advanced setup, I recently purchased an ES IEXOS100 EQ mount. I struggled with learning how to control it working through all the methods, and eventually not being happy with the workflows and software ES offered, especially coming from much higher end mounts and more established and plug and play software. So I decided to build an ASAIR, Stellarmate, ATIK Base ‘clone’, and try my hand at plate-solving with KSTARS. I first downloaded the free ASTROBERRY OS software:
Then mounted it to a 32GB (fast Sandisk Extreme class 10) Micro SD Card and booted my old Rasberry PI 3 from it. Over the next few days I played around with it learning the ropes from various tutorials on youtube. Once I realized what it was capable of and how easy it was to initially configure, I was hooked and ordered a more capable RasberryPi v4.0. (The Pi3 worked great, but i wanted the Pi4's USB 3.0).
Rasberry Pi v4 (all you need besides a fast MicroSD card):
I also ordered an Inexpensive (outboard) GPS module:
How to Setup a GPS module:
For adding a gamepad (wireless or wired), which I also did. Just plug one in and turn it on in Kstars.
The Kstars software controls the main imaging camera, the guiding camera, the focuser, and the mount. Plate solving is done to polar align and sync to targets for extremely accurate goto and tracking. Guiding is done via PHD guiding direct from the Astroberry console, while everything else is managed via kstars windows/android app on any machine on my network (or the Astroberry server's own hosted wifi if no other wifi is available). Plate solving data is sent to astrometry.net for reasonably fast solves, but I am impatient so I installed my own local copy of the plate-solving astrometry data on my astroberry server, as a result plate solving an image now only takes about 3 seconds. Info below.
Setup Remote (Astroberry hosted Astrometry data, for fast plate solving):
So that is the 10,000 foot view of how to enjoy the IEXOS 100 mount to the fullest and control it remotely like a pro.
But in an effort to increase the functionality of the mount. I utilized a pre-existing Azimuth adjuster I found on thingiverse.com and modified it to suit my needs. I then took an existing laser holder mount and modified it to suit my needs. I then set out to design a IEXOS top mount to hold the laser mount components in a secure and easily removable way, as well as other ways of mounting for future components. The result is the IEXOS 100 mount that I wished it was from the day it was unwrapped. Pointing the scope at the north star is easier and repeatable. And adjusting azimuth is a breeze.
You can find the 3D prints available for free to the public from the link below:
Watch my video here that explains everything in detail:
Remember, this is all a work in progress, and YMMV based on your own skill level. If you find this helpful, let me know.
Sounds like a fun project during lockdown in the UK. It's not the best of weather here either so it keeps the hobby going. Presumably the Raspberry Pi is controlled remotely from a PC or laptop? I like the idea of fixing a laser pointer to the mount. I tried using one manually a few days ago and really liked the instantaneous visual feedback. But for it to be really useful, it needs to be fixed. Thanks very much for the post.
Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
For further discussion of this project, please start a new thread on the PMC-Eight Applications subgroup.
Vice President of Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.
jrh at explorescientific.com
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
Author: Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
Remote Observatories for Amateur Astronomers: Using High-Powered Telescopes From Home
Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) IAU MPC W54 Equipment
Mounts: ES PMC-Eight G11 + Telescope Drive Master (TDM)
Scopes: ES 165 FPL-53 ED APO CF, ES 102 FCD100 ED APO CF
Cameras: QHY174M-GPS + FW, QHY163C
Misc: 3-inch 0.7x Focal Reducer Field Flattener, Filters: Luminance,
Red, V-band Photometric, Diffuser, 200 lpmm Spectral Grating
Software: MaxIm DL 6, Cartes du Ciel, Astrometrica, AstroImageJ, AutoStakkert!