LX200 Owner - interested in Onstep


Dave Elson
 
Edited

Hi All
I am a Meade 12" LX200 Classic owner - about 30 years old (the scope that is - I'm much older) and I have very recently had some repair work done on the mainboard and motors. I have not had time to reinstall said equipment, but whether all is ok  or not, I want to explore Onstar. I have been in contact with a member here that is also on the LX200 facebook page.At the moment - the more I look, the more I get confused. I can just about solder, but cannot easily read schematics etc - so consider me an absolute beginner.
I see that there are different options for controllers - but I'm not sure which is best for me. I'm retired so I have plenty of time - but as stated inexperience.
I would like eventually to get into astrophotography - and understand deep sky would (with the meade) require a wedge - which I do not have.
So do all the controllers offer basically the same thing? Or is it some are easier to construct with fewer features?
I will create the account needed to look at BOM needed.
On looking at the FAQ page:
MaxSTM
DS3231
Built in 2x
TMC SPI Many Low/Mid
$20 (@ Qty 20)

looks good for a beginner but what do you think. I appreciate any advice.
Edit: Ulises (who is the member here and the LX200 forum) has begun to help with equipment to add to my Amazon wishlist, and suggested the Wemos.


Dave Elson
 

So I have in my Wishlist at Amazon:
A Hiletgo Controller - wifi/bluetooth ESP32.
A CNC V3 Shield
A Stepper Motor Driver (need 2?)
A Stepperonline NEMA stepper motor (need 2?)
A Zeberoxyz 2 pc 20 & 40 wheel
No actual links yet but can be provided.

Questions:On the Wemos 32 page - how would I attach the required voltage regulator? Any links to any suitable would be appreciated. Photos/diagrams appreciated too. This may help with stepper drivers?
All for now...thanks.


Sven Silburn
 

Hi Dave,
I also have a 30 year old LX200 that I am converting to run with OnStep. If you are new to electronics have a look at George Cushing’s website (stmbluepillkits.com). He sells affordable OnStep systems in kit form and some already assembled and ready to go. For the mechanical and electronic aspects of the conversion I was inspired by the LX50 conversion which  Steven Sagerian describes on his Plainfield Astronomy website (https://sites.google.com/site/plainfieldastronomy/home/projects/onstep-electronics). 
I tracked down what looks like an ideal worm and wheel gear set on EBay from a seller called Hangmelina (4919). The item is described as “aluminium/ stainless steel precision worm gear set 180 teeth”. 
Good luck,
Sven
Fremantle, Australia




On 1 Nov 2022, at 7:07 am, Dave Elson via groups.io <daveelson@...> wrote:

So I have in my Wishlist at Amazon:
A Hiletgo Controller - wifi/bluetooth ESP32.
A CNC V3 Shield
A Stepper Motor Driver (need 2?)
A Stepperonline NEMA stepper motor (need 2?)
A Zeberoxyz 2 pc 20 & 40 wheel
No actual links yet but can be provided.

Questions:On the Wemos 32 page - how would I attach the required voltage regulator? Any links to any suitable would be appreciated. Photos/diagrams appreciated too. This may help with stepper drivers?
All for now...thanks.


Dave Elson
 

Thanks Sven
I just realized I've been calling this Onstar - sorry about that.


Howard Dutton
 

On Tue, Nov 1, 2022 at 08:17 AM, Dave Elson wrote:
I just realized I've been calling this Onstar - sorry about that.
No worries, you're not alone in the OnStep misnomer department.

OnStar would have been a nice name for the project, but it was already taken.


George Cushing
 

I provided some of the parts for Steve's conversion. I'd intended to use LX3 gears but was surprised that the worm wheel was too large to fit in the LX50's Dec housing. So I got him the RA worm wheel from a LX200 and the worm and housing from the LX3.

Sven, thanks for the link. I never saw how that conversion turned out.


Dave Elson
 

George - I have sent you an email re kits etc


Dave Schwartz
 

Been there, done that. In the 90's the company I used to work for named a software product 'Gateway' and we got a letter from the lawyers at a certain company whose trademark was their black-and-white splotched boxes. The General probably would have been similarly protective of their in-vehicle connectivity option.

On 2022-11-01 1:16 p.m., Howard Dutton wrote:
On Tue, Nov 1, 2022 at 08:17 AM, Dave Elson wrote:

I just realized I've been calling this Onstar - sorry about that.

OnStar would have been a nice name for the project, but it was already taken.


Dave Elson
 

So while I await a reply from Mr Cushing, I'd like to ask a question.
He shows 2 controllers pre built (he does say he may have more).

The MiniESP3
The ESPduino 32R/Hujer

I know questions like these are difficult to answer - but which is more appropriate for a beginner? As they are pre-built should I go with the one that has the most features? Would that be the Mini - as it is more expensive? 


Dave Elson
 

Is there a Private Message option here on Google Groups?

I emailed George Cushing 2 days ago and don't know if my email turned up as I've yet to have a reply. That's not a complaint - in the old days before email we could wait weeks - but I don't know if my email turned up - though it's not been bounced back.
I used stm32bluepill@....
Does anyone have another email for him? (or even a phone number) although I'll understand if he's busy.
Having said that I'm not going to rush into Onstep but I am interested in his kits etc.
Thanks for your time.


Alain K
 

Hi Dave,

Look at this site : OnStep Controller Kits (stmbluepillkits.com)

it's George site.

Regards.


Dave Elson
 

Thanks Alain.
I emailed George and left a message on that site. Of course, there could be many reasons for non reply (vacation, busy, etc) so I stress I'm not complaining.

Main thing is I hope all is well. I have most of the stuff in my Amazon wishlist but would prefer buying pre built if possible.


Dave Elson
 

George left a message on his site that he's out this week after surgery.


Peter Gerland
 

Hello together,
i'm on the way to modify my old LX50 mount to OnStep (maxESP3) stepper drivers. In this picture you can see the adapted 30mm axis on DEC with tangential clutch (based on an older project). The RA i have modified  5 years ago to stepper-driver.