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New member and new build

 

I haven't been active in astronomy for some years but still have an ED80 on a Vixen SP mount. A friend asked about astrophotography which got me looking for some way to provide a motor drive and I found OnStep. 10 years ago the DIY motor drive options were very few, finding OnStep was a pleasant surprise. Nice to find a forum where I don't have to have a Facebook account :-)

I've ordered some MaxESP PCB's from JLC but the BOM is out of date and shows most components as unavailable. Looks like I'll have to  get these from Mouser and pay the $A24 shipping fee. I already have some ESP32 boards, still to check if the ones I have are pin compatible. Motors and TMC2208 stuff I  have from my 3D printer spare box. (Ender 5)
I'll build the motor mounts as described by Chris on his website  or perhaps the 3D printed ones from Thingiverse although I think the aluminium ones will be better suited.

Who knows? i might even get back into astronomy myself!

Regards

Geoff

 

As they were so cheap, I decided to order some smart controller PCB;s. In my rush, I ordered the ones for the Teensy 3.2 board and not the EPS32. Teensy 3.2 micro-controller is lot more expensive than the ESP32 dev boards. It will actually be cheaper to get the ESP32 boards made than to by one Teensy 3.2. Order placed with Mouser to get the other compnents.

One question about the NodeMCU. Is there a specific manufacturers boards the the MaxESP is based on? I've found several  ESP32's that call themselves NodeMCU but while they have the e same spec , the  pin-out is different.

Regards
Geoff

Howard Dutton
 

On Mon, Sep 23, 2019 at 03:24 AM, Geoff wrote:
One question about the NodeMCU. Is there a specific manufacturers boards the the MaxESP is based on? I've found several  ESP32's that call themselves NodeMCU but while they have the e same spec , the  pin-out is different.
Here's a link:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/ESP-WROOM-32-ESP32-ESP32S-2-4GHz-WiFi-Bluetooth-Development-Board-for-Arduino/183688068095?hash=item2ac4a97bff:g:TkkAAOSwwkFc7fkd

...I think that's the right one.  The silk-screen is on the bottom since it's too narrow for labeling the pins topside so it hopefully has 0.9" pin spacing.  A quick check of several pin labels shows agreement there too.

 

Thanks Howard,
I did find a local supply  that seemed to have the correct pin-out  but your link is about half the price so ordered a couple of those. - just in case.
Now it's just a matter of waiting for the bits to arrive, time well spent reading up on OnSetp operation.

Regards
Geoff

Drew 🔭📷🚴‍♂️
 

I found that the key difference is in the number of pins. The MaxESP board uses the 38 pin version. The one to avoid is the 30 pin. Be forewarned that many vendors will show the 38 pin and ship you the 30. Insist on the 38 pin.

BTW, I have a couple of MaxESP v2.2 boards left over from my build. Would consider swapping a couple of your Teensy 3.2 boards?

 

Thanks for the offer Drew  but shipping will be a killer. A quick check on parcel rates from Tasmania to Tennessee  shows that I can send a package of 1Kg or less for the princely sum of $A37.70 (about $US25)
You can get a lot of boards made and shipped for that! (and you get to choose the colour :-)

Regards
Geoff

Corey Mooney
 

I also converted my SP mount. I haven't posted a build summary yet.

Here are my 3D printable motor mounts, they are fully enclosed and used "G12 Aviation Plugs"

-Corey 


On Mon, Sep 23, 2019 at 9:09 AM Drew 🔭📷🚴‍♂️ <drewbolce@...> wrote:
I found that the key difference is in the number of pins. The MaxESP board uses the 38 pin version. The one to avoid is the 30 pin. Be forewarned that many vendors will show the 38 pin and ship you the 30. Insist on the 38 pin.

BTW, I have a couple of MaxESP v2.2 boards left over from my build. Would consider swapping a couple of your Teensy 3.2 boards?

Drew 🔭📷🚴‍♂️
 

Ouch! Didn't realize it was that bad. How do the Chinese do it? (that's supposed to be satire)

Drew 🔭📷🚴‍♂️
 

I just did my Vixen GP clone with the MaxESP. Seems to be working fairly well. Hope to post pictures and notes soon. My experiences should be of some help in your endeavor.

 
Edited

I've created a BOM at Mouser for the ESP32 and the Smart hand Controller and it totals $54 so I'm $6 from free shipping! I really want to get the order in tonight but can't think of any component I want - frustrating.

EDIT: Order placed, added  few fuses and some XT60 connectors for my 3D printer.
Placed another order with JLC for the correct smart controller boards (ESP32) Now the waiting begins...

 

I'm getting some errors when trying to create gerbers for the SHC ESP32. Errors are about incomplete connections that tom, look OK.
I got the link to the SHC ESP on EasyEDA  from khalid's web site. Is that the latest version?

Regards
Geoff

Ant No
 

Could a bare board possibly be sent letter post between card?

I believe China does it by recognising that postal services effect many other business and not running post at a profit in order to maximise the collective profit made by everyone together. Post loses out but the gains for others outweighs that. Net gain as a country.

Anthony


On 29 Sep 2019 10:25, "Geoff via Groups.Io" <3dprinter=port-huon.com.au@groups.io> wrote:
I'm getting some errors when trying to create gerbers for the SHC ESP32. Errors are about incomplete connections that tom, look OK.
I got the link to the SHC ESP on EasyEDA  from khalid's web site. Is that the latest version?

Regards
Geoff

Dave Schwartz
 

It might depend on your country's post office but here in Canada the only thing that can be sent at letter rates is paper. Anything else has to go at much more expensive parcel rates. That's why sending bare boards was not a great proposition.

P.S. I still have 6 ESP32 SHC kits available... complete except for 3D-printed case.

On 2019-09-29 12:39 p.m., Ant No wrote:

Could a bare board possibly be sent letter post between card?

Ant No
 

I was thinking of some calendula seeds I ordered from a heritage seed company in the USA. They arrived by letter post with the seed packet sandwiched between two pieces of card.

Seems to be common practice. Don't know if it breaks a rule. Seems to work reliably without causing problems.

In the UK we have a specified thickness for letter post. If it's thin enough you're in as a large or normal letter with weight limits; if not you're a small parcel.

The post office has a piece of perspex with two slots in it to test a letters thickness. They say its about the automatic handling machinery. I dunno.

Anthony


On 30 Sep 2019 16:02, "Dave Schwartz" <Dave.Schwartz@...> wrote:
It might depend on your country's post office but here in Canada the only thing that can be sent at letter rates is paper. Anything else has to go at much more expensive parcel rates. That's why sending bare boards was not a great proposition.

P.S. I still have 6 ESP32 SHC kits available... complete except for 3D-printed case.

On 2019-09-29 12:39 p.m., Ant No wrote:

Could a bare board possibly be sent letter post between card?




George Cushing
 

The USPS wants 1st class envelopes to be non rigid. Something about the code reading machinery. I forgot some crimp connectors for a STM32 order. I encased them in packing tape and put them in a #10 envelope. Guess they got through OK. Anything that has value and is exported has to be declared. 

Ant No
 

Yeah we have a £20 limit for imports to be duty free. The seeds were only a few quid.  Funny how both our systems relate different limitations to the machinery.


On 1 Oct 2019 17:21, "George Cushing" <pinyachta@...> wrote:
The USPS wants 1st class envelopes to be non rigid. Something about the code reading machinery. I forgot some crimp connectors for a STM32 order. I encased them in packing tape and put them in a #10 envelope. Guess they got through OK. Anything that has value and is exported has to be declared. 

 
Edited

Still waiting for my PCBs! The October holiday in China has put a delay on things.
I did get the mis-ordered Teensy 3.2 hand controller boards and they are very nice indeed. Givem the quality and price, I'll certainly use  JLC again

 

I've been 3d printing some of the Vixen Super Polaris stepper mounts on Thingiverse and I've been having trouble making them fit properly.
Turns out I actually have a Vixen Great Polaris mount which is just a little bit bigger - explains everything - Duh!

I'll modify the STLs to make the necessary changes. These are mostly for mounting holes which are different on the two Vixen mounts and well as moving the stepper out a bit so the pulleys line up.
The GT2 pulleys I received (60T and 16T) will be OK but the belt loop may now be the wrong size.
Final parts arrived today so I can get building tomorrow. Part I had trouble getting was the joystick/switch for the hand controller. The BOM lists an obsolete ALPS part so had to find someone with old/new stock.

Ant No
 

Got a link to JLC?


On 15 Oct 2019 10:39, "Geoff via Groups.Io" <3dprinter=port-huon.com.au@groups.io> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

Still waiting for my PCBs! The October holiday in China has put a delay on things.
I did get the mis-ordered Teensy 3.2 hand controller boards and they are very nice indeed. Givem the quality and price, I'll certainly use  JLC again

 

JLC are referenced in the various build documents for OnStep. The PCB designs and BOM are linked to JLC website (EasyEDA is there too)

You can find them at https://jlcpcb.com/