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Switching mount type at runtime


Howard Dutton
 
Edited

The latest OnStep master WiFi and Ethernet Addons can now switch the mount between GEM, Fork, and Alt/Azm mode at runtime.

For some platforms there is now an option to reset the OnStep controller, or to even place an STM32 controller into firmware upload mode, from this page also.

For placing an STM32 into firmware upload mode a connection from the WeMos D1 Mini D7 pin to the STM32 Boot0 pin is required.


John Petterson
 

Howard,  This sounds great!  I do have one question.  I have two Losmandy mounts - a GM8 mount and an AZ8 mount. Both use the same 400 step motors, and both have the same gearing on both axis.  As you probably know, the mounts use the same worm gearing as well.  Does this mean that I can move the latest controller back and forth between these two mounts?  

John


Howard Dutton
 

On Sun, Jan 3, 2021 at 09:13 AM, John Petterson wrote:
Does this mean that I can move the latest controller back and forth between these two mounts?  
Probably, assuming the motors spin in the correct (same) direction on each.


John Petterson
 

On Sun, Jan 3, 2021 at 09:19 AM, Howard Dutton wrote:
Probably, assuming the motors spin in the correct (same) direction on each.
And that can be changed by swapping a pair of wires, so I should be good.  Thanks!


Alexander Varakin
 

Howard, 
Any plans in terms of configuring the AXIS1_STEPS_PER_DEGREE and AXIS2_STEPS_PER_DEGREE at runtime?
It could be useful for using the same controller on different mounts, as long as motors are similar.


Howard Dutton
 

On Sun, Jan 3, 2021 at 10:57 AM, Alexander Varakin wrote:
Any plans in terms of configuring the AXIS1_STEPS_PER_DEGREE and AXIS2_STEPS_PER_DEGREE at runtime?
Not presently.


gerald.bachner@...
 

Hi Howard,

in the Android App i get this Error: "Init NV/EEPROM bad".
DEBUG VERBOSE shows this:
.....
MSG: Read NV settings
ERR, initReadNvValues(): bad NV mountType
.....
Everything works normally.
Cannot set the runtime value because i have only the bluetooth module.
Onstep 5.1h MiniPCB V1

Gerald


Howard Dutton
 

That error is just "noise", no effect on how the things work.  Only happens when the default is active, I patched to fix it (not tested.)

You can only switch using the command line then:

For GEM:
:SXEM,1#

or for AltAzm:
:SXEM,3#

Setting default (whatever that is:)
:SXEM,0#


gerald.bachner@...
 

Your patch works, thanks.


papagordygrapes@...
 

Just curious-- what's the envisioned use case here?


Khalid Baheyeldin
 

On Wed, Jan 6, 2021 at 01:24 PM, <papagordygrapes@...> wrote:
Just curious-- what's the envisioned use case here?
Instead of having parameters hard coded and having to compile them in, it is a run time parameter now.
That makes it easier to switch the controller form one mount to the other without having to compile the parameters in.
One less thing to edit Config.h for too ...

Long term (hopefully), the axis 1 and 2 parameters would also be run time configurable.
When that happens, OnStep can have universal binaries for select boards. Users can download the binary and flash it as is.
Then go in and configure the parameters form the Android App, SHC or the Web interface.
This will be enough for a significant portion of users, and they don't have to mess with the Arduino IDE, install libraries, and all that.
One less step that a certain portion of users struggle to get going ...


Howard Dutton
 
Edited

On Wed, Jan 6, 2021 at 10:24 AM, <papagordygrapes@...> wrote:
Just curious-- what's the envisioned use case here?
Some mounts, like my little Meade LXD75 I use for testing OnStep every now and then, allow switching between Eq and Alt/Az modes.

Kind of handy to be able to switch OnStep without compiling/uploading again, others have asked for the ability too.


soulvagabond@...
 

Just moded my EQ5 for dual EQ/Alt/Az modes.
Switching between  changes the AZ motors direction, which will require either recompiling the firmware or changing the motors polarity, by swapping the wires in the plugs. Which seems to defeat the purpose, of the runtime config. Are there any solutions to that? Also, the android app doesn't seem to have the mount type configuration active yet?
Thanks


Howard Dutton
 

On Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 02:55 AM, <soulvagabond@...> wrote:
Are there any solutions to that? Also, the android app doesn't seem to have the mount type configuration active yet?
This is the problem with adding features.


soulvagabond@...
 

Thanks Howard, any patch can be done within the firmware, to reverse the motor direction for the Alt/Az mode only?


Howard Dutton
 
Edited

On Tue, Jan 12, 2021 at 04:13 AM, <soulvagabond@...> wrote:
Thanks Howard, any patch can be done within the firmware, to reverse the motor direction for the Alt/Az mode only?
From what I can see northern latitude users could switch without needing to reverse Axis1 but southern need to switch.  Code was added to handle this, hopefully you're a southern latitude user and this takes care of it.

I also finished work on the Android App to support this feature, I was half done when you commented below.  The play store update should be there soon.


soulvagabond@...
 

Indeed -9 degrees here, thanks


soulvagabond@...
 

Happy to confirm, switching mount type on my EQ5 works perfectly now. Forgot how easy is to use the Alt/Az mount, perfect for watching the Sun in H-alpha!
Thanks a lot!