Chinese ONSTEP


Craciun Bogdan
 

Hey guys dis you know that aliexpress sells OnStep controller omg...freaking Chinese how's that possible 


GuitsBoy
 

I get how this might initially be very off-putting.   And to say nothing of any legal or copyright issues at hand.   But if you consider that a very large portion of OnStep controller boards come from china by way of aliexpress or amazon, the end result is not much different.  Theyve handled a lot of the custom fabrication and brackets you normally have to figure out for yourself, and put it all in a fairly attractive enclosure, with nice connectors, and the ability to add upgrades.  While I dont know exactly what components theyre using, at first glance, it looks like a fairly reasonable deal.  If you looked at it as if they were selling the hardware only, and you had to flash onstep yourself, would you feel a little better about it? 

I personally have mixed feelings about it.  I certainly dont want to see some asian based vendors making money off the hard work by Howard and the rest of the OnStep community.   But from a hardware point of view, it might be an attractive consideration.  I guess we'll have to wait and see how the big names here feel about this.   Ultimately, if Howard and co feel slighted by it, I'll make certain they dont see one cent from me. 


On 9/19/2022 2:41 PM, Craciun Bogdan wrote:

Hey guys dis you know that aliexpress sells OnStep controller omg...freaking Chinese how's that possible 


Craciun Bogdan
 

Same feeling here. 
I share your thoughts. 
I think personally that the journey of building this kind of system is much more funny and will force someone learn and test things by work and research. Buying this kind of allready build-up things give no one satisfaction. And any newbie that tries to learn how system work will never understand what is going on. 
I never thought Aliexpress items that are part of opensource world 😳 disgusting....

Le lun. 19 sept. 2022, 20:59, GuitsBoy <guitsboy@...> a écrit :

I get how this might initially be very off-putting.   And to say nothing of any legal or copyright issues at hand.   But if you consider that a very large portion of OnStep controller boards come from china by way of aliexpress or amazon, the end result is not much different.  Theyve handled a lot of the custom fabrication and brackets you normally have to figure out for yourself, and put it all in a fairly attractive enclosure, with nice connectors, and the ability to add upgrades.  While I dont know exactly what components theyre using, at first glance, it looks like a fairly reasonable deal.  If you looked at it as if they were selling the hardware only, and you had to flash onstep yourself, would you feel a little better about it? 

I personally have mixed feelings about it.  I certainly dont want to see some asian based vendors making money off the hard work by Howard and the rest of the OnStep community.   But from a hardware point of view, it might be an attractive consideration.  I guess we'll have to wait and see how the big names here feel about this.   Ultimately, if Howard and co feel slighted by it, I'll make certain they dont see one cent from me. 


On 9/19/2022 2:41 PM, Craciun Bogdan wrote:
Hey guys dis you know that aliexpress sells OnStep controller omg...freaking Chinese how's that possible 


Howard Dutton
 

It's ok by me, hopefully the quality of the kit is decent.

And OnStep is GPL3, they're allowed to use it commercially if they like.


Chad Gray
 

My CGE Pro kit I try to give back to the community as best as I can answering beginner questions and I tell my customers to always ask me support questions before going to the groups.io forum.

I dont want the forum members doing support for a kit that I sell.

Chad

On Mon, Sep 19, 2022 at 3:39 PM Howard Dutton <hjd1964@...> wrote:
It's ok by me, hopefully the quality of the kit is decent.

And OnStep is GPL3, they're allowed to use it commercially if they like.


GuitsBoy
 

Wow, that seems incredibly generous, regardless of who's selling what.  I always assumed Enstein had some kind of licensed deal before things went belly up, but never really inquired about it or even looked at the license as it pertains to commercial applications.  But I suppose some people really need a turn-key solution, and that's one way to continue to grow the OnStep community beyond those willing (or capable) of tinkering with their own build.

While I can't explain why, I'm now more impressed than ever.


On 9/19/2022 3:39 PM, Howard Dutton wrote:

It's ok by me, hopefully the quality of the kit is decent.

And OnStep is GPL3, they're allowed to use it commercially if they like.


Dave Schwartz
 

Instein was the same... a few folks who took the GPL'd code and made a business selling turn-key solutions for only one or two mounts where everything was known. However, since the controller was a custom design the group doesn't provide support (unless some members with Instein experience take pity on them and discuss off-line).

This looks like an ESP32 variation with about 50% of the parts converted to surface mount construction. As such it doesn't look like it would have required code customization so it probably is supportable and on the migration path as long as they give you the config files (which, being re-sold GPL, they are obliged to do). It looks like the case has a clever design where the grid antenna is printed on the outside of the endplate (might have some reception pattern issues).

You are paying >>300% markup for the convenience but that's probably worth it for some.

On 2022-09-19 3:54 p.m., GuitsBoy wrote:

Wow, that seems incredibly generous, regardless of who's selling what.  I always assumed Enstein had some kind of licensed deal before things went belly up, but never really inquired about it or even looked at the license as it pertains to commercial applications.  But I suppose some people really need a turn-key solution, and that's one way to continue to grow the OnStep community beyond those willing (or capable) of tinkering with their own build.

While I can't explain why, I'm now more impressed than ever.


On 9/19/2022 3:39 PM, Howard Dutton wrote:
It's ok by me, hopefully the quality of the kit is decent.

And OnStep is GPL3, they're allowed to use it commercially if they like.


"Guilherme Vênere
 

I bought (probably) one of the latest Instein units to be sold before they went offline, and only found this group *after* spending the money, because I needed to change parameters in my unit and never got the source code for their specific version. So I spent some time understanding the code for the last version at the time and with help from some people here I was able to integrate Instein's changes to master, hence helping everyone who had those units.

Now if this Chinese company sells a million units, and 0.1% of the buyers do like myself and get interested and decide to contribute to the project, I think that's a win, right?

Guilherme

On Mon, Sep 19, 2022 at 1:37 PM Dave Schwartz via groups.io <Dave.Schwartz=netflash.net@groups.io> wrote:
Instein was the same... a few folks who took the GPL'd code and made a
business selling turn-key solutions for only one or two mounts where
everything was known. However, since the controller was a custom design
the group doesn't provide support (unless some members with Instein
experience take pity on them and discuss off-line).

This looks like an ESP32 variation with about 50% of the parts converted
to surface mount construction. As such it doesn't look like it would
have required code customization so it probably is supportable and on
the migration path as long as they give you the config files (which,
being re-sold GPL, they are obliged to do). It looks like the case has a
clever design where the grid antenna is printed on the outside of the
endplate (might have some reception pattern issues).

You are paying >>300% markup for the convenience but that's probably
worth it for some.

On 2022-09-19 3:54 p.m., GuitsBoy wrote:
>
> Wow, that seems incredibly generous, regardless of who's selling
> what.  I always assumed Enstein had some kind of licensed deal before
> things went belly up, but never really inquired about it or even
> looked at the license as it pertains to commercial applications.  But
> I suppose some people really need a turn-key solution, and that's one
> way to continue to grow the OnStep community beyond those willing (or
> capable) of tinkering with their own build.
>
> While I can't explain why, I'm now more impressed than ever.
>
>
> On 9/19/2022 3:39 PM, Howard Dutton wrote:
>> It's ok by me, hopefully the quality of the kit is decent.
>>
>> And OnStep is GPL3, they're allowed to use it commercially if they like.
>






Biswajit Bose
 

Will it work with CG4 mount?... 


On Tue, 20 Sep, 2022, 02:18 "Guilherme Vênere, <venere@...> wrote:
I bought (probably) one of the latest Instein units to be sold before they went offline, and only found this group *after* spending the money, because I needed to change parameters in my unit and never got the source code for their specific version. So I spent some time understanding the code for the last version at the time and with help from some people here I was able to integrate Instein's changes to master, hence helping everyone who had those units.

Now if this Chinese company sells a million units, and 0.1% of the buyers do like myself and get interested and decide to contribute to the project, I think that's a win, right?

Guilherme

On Mon, Sep 19, 2022 at 1:37 PM Dave Schwartz via groups.io <Dave.Schwartz=netflash.net@groups.io> wrote:
Instein was the same... a few folks who took the GPL'd code and made a
business selling turn-key solutions for only one or two mounts where
everything was known. However, since the controller was a custom design
the group doesn't provide support (unless some members with Instein
experience take pity on them and discuss off-line).

This looks like an ESP32 variation with about 50% of the parts converted
to surface mount construction. As such it doesn't look like it would
have required code customization so it probably is supportable and on
the migration path as long as they give you the config files (which,
being re-sold GPL, they are obliged to do). It looks like the case has a
clever design where the grid antenna is printed on the outside of the
endplate (might have some reception pattern issues).

You are paying >>300% markup for the convenience but that's probably
worth it for some.

On 2022-09-19 3:54 p.m., GuitsBoy wrote:
>
> Wow, that seems incredibly generous, regardless of who's selling
> what.  I always assumed Enstein had some kind of licensed deal before
> things went belly up, but never really inquired about it or even
> looked at the license as it pertains to commercial applications.  But
> I suppose some people really need a turn-key solution, and that's one
> way to continue to grow the OnStep community beyond those willing (or
> capable) of tinkering with their own build.
>
> While I can't explain why, I'm now more impressed than ever.
>
>
> On 9/19/2022 3:39 PM, Howard Dutton wrote:
>> It's ok by me, hopefully the quality of the kit is decent.
>>
>> And OnStep is GPL3, they're allowed to use it commercially if they like.
>






Dave Schwartz
 

Here is a posting that indicates the CG4 and SW EQ3-2 are virtually identical.

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/159999-cg4-worm-gear-ratios/

I can't confirm that because I've never seen either.


On September 19, 2022 5:03:33 p.m. EDT, Biswajit Bose <solarbose@...> wrote:
Will it work with CG4 mount?... 

On Tue, 20 Sep, 2022, 02:18 "Guilherme Vênere, <venere@...> wrote:
I bought (probably) one of the latest Instein units to be sold before they went offline, and only found this group *after* spending the money, because I needed to change parameters in my unit and never got the source code for their specific version. So I spent some time understanding the code for the last version at the time and with help from some people here I was able to integrate Instein's changes to master, hence helping everyone who had those units.

Now if this Chinese company sells a million units, and 0.1% of the buyers do like myself and get interested and decide to contribute to the project, I think that's a win, right?

Guilherme

On Mon, Sep 19, 2022 at 1:37 PM Dave Schwartz via groups.io <Dave.Schwartz=netflash.net@groups.io> wrote:
Instein was the same... a few folks who took the GPL'd code and made a
business selling turn-key solutions for only one or two mounts where
everything was known. However, since the controller was a custom design
the group doesn't provide support (unless some members with Instein
experience take pity on them and discuss off-line).

This looks like an ESP32 variation with about 50% of the parts converted
to surface mount construction. As such it doesn't look like it would
have required code customization so it probably is supportable and on
the migration path as long as they give you the config files (which,
being re-sold GPL, they are obliged to do). It looks like the case has a
clever design where the grid antenna is printed on the outside of the
endplate (might have some reception pattern issues).

You are paying >>300% markup for the convenience but that's probably
worth it for some.

On 2022-09-19 3:54 p.m., GuitsBoy wrote:
>
> Wow, that seems incredibly generous, regardless of who's selling
> what.  I always assumed Enstein had some kind of licensed deal before
> things went belly up, but never really inquired about it or even
> looked at the license as it pertains to commercial applications.  But
> I suppose some people really need a turn-key solution, and that's one
> way to continue to grow the OnStep community beyond those willing (or
> capable) of tinkering with their own build.
>
> While I can't explain why, I'm now more impressed than ever.
>
>
> On 9/19/2022 3:39 PM, Howard Dutton wrote:
>> It's ok by me, hopefully the quality of the kit is decent.
>>
>> And OnStep is GPL3, they're allowed to use it commercially if they like.
>





--
Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.


Biswajit Bose
 

Thanks very much


On Tue, 20 Sep, 2022, 05:49 Dave Schwartz via groups.io, <Dave.Schwartz=netflash.net@groups.io> wrote:
Here is a posting that indicates the CG4 and SW EQ3-2 are virtually identical.

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/159999-cg4-worm-gear-ratios/

I can't confirm that because I've never seen either.


On September 19, 2022 5:03:33 p.m. EDT, Biswajit Bose <solarbose@...> wrote:
Will it work with CG4 mount?... 

On Tue, 20 Sep, 2022, 02:18 "Guilherme Vênere, <venere@...> wrote:
I bought (probably) one of the latest Instein units to be sold before they went offline, and only found this group *after* spending the money, because I needed to change parameters in my unit and never got the source code for their specific version. So I spent some time understanding the code for the last version at the time and with help from some people here I was able to integrate Instein's changes to master, hence helping everyone who had those units.

Now if this Chinese company sells a million units, and 0.1% of the buyers do like myself and get interested and decide to contribute to the project, I think that's a win, right?

Guilherme

On Mon, Sep 19, 2022 at 1:37 PM Dave Schwartz via groups.io <Dave.Schwartz=netflash.net@groups.io> wrote:
Instein was the same... a few folks who took the GPL'd code and made a
business selling turn-key solutions for only one or two mounts where
everything was known. However, since the controller was a custom design
the group doesn't provide support (unless some members with Instein
experience take pity on them and discuss off-line).

This looks like an ESP32 variation with about 50% of the parts converted
to surface mount construction. As such it doesn't look like it would
have required code customization so it probably is supportable and on
the migration path as long as they give you the config files (which,
being re-sold GPL, they are obliged to do). It looks like the case has a
clever design where the grid antenna is printed on the outside of the
endplate (might have some reception pattern issues).

You are paying >>300% markup for the convenience but that's probably
worth it for some.

On 2022-09-19 3:54 p.m., GuitsBoy wrote:
>
> Wow, that seems incredibly generous, regardless of who's selling
> what.  I always assumed Enstein had some kind of licensed deal before
> things went belly up, but never really inquired about it or even
> looked at the license as it pertains to commercial applications.  But
> I suppose some people really need a turn-key solution, and that's one
> way to continue to grow the OnStep community beyond those willing (or
> capable) of tinkering with their own build.
>
> While I can't explain why, I'm now more impressed than ever.
>
>
> On 9/19/2022 3:39 PM, Howard Dutton wrote:
>> It's ok by me, hopefully the quality of the kit is decent.
>>
>> And OnStep is GPL3, they're allowed to use it commercially if they like.
>





--
Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.


George Cushing
 

Well, if imitation is a form of flattery, adoption is a direct complement. Synta has been designing and producing mount electronics for years. This has brought moderate priced controlled mounts to the Western world. The main issue with commercial products is the lack of parts and support. 

Anyway, I always chuckle when I ship a kit or controller back to Asia.


George Cushing
 

2.4Mhz external antennas and cables are about a buck and a half by 40 units. Probably most of the cost is in the brass SMA male/female RF coax connectors. The actual antenna is just a length of wire.


George Cushing
 

In the way back "EQ-3s" and the CG-4 had some differences, mainly because there were many EQ-3 types on the market and it was difficult to tell them apart. When SW introduced the EQ3-2 it was the same CG-4 mount they had been making for Celestron to replace the Vixen Polaris.

I'm trying to convert a EQM3-5 Pro with a dead Skyscan. This variation on the EQ3-2 has a new 180T RA gear set but the same old 65T Dec. Dec can be removed for use as a RA only camera mount. The conversion is going to use the existing motors and external gear reduction units.

Still trying to confirm the ratios of the gear boxes, but they look the same as those of the EQ3-2 Synscan Pro goto kit.

image.png


Ken Hunter
 

On Wed, Sep 21, 2022 at 06:42 AM, George Cushing wrote:
2.4Mhz external antennas
Sorry... A 2.4 MHZ antenna is a BIG DEAL...
and not that cheap. I believe you are quoting
a 2.4GHZ model instead.


George Cushing
 

Got me!