With all the excitement building about August’s total solar eclipse, people are starting to plan. They are researching destinations in the path of totality, ordering their viewing glasses and getting telescopes ready. For those lucky enough to have a stepper motor equipped scope, there is a great project I found on Hackaday for a controller called Rduinoscope. Although this project by Dessislav Gouzgounov has been going on for a while, it recently got some updated code allowing for even more features. Here’s the dets from Hackaday:
Many GoTos simply interface with a laptop, but [Dessislav] built a standalone system centered around an Arduino Due and 240×400 touch screen, with GPS, RTC, and Bluetooth under the hood. It works on both hemispheres and contains a database of 250 celestial objects, features different speeds for time-delayed tracking of celestial, lunar, and solar phenomena, and it can work with any stepper-equipped telescope.
Remember those circular night sky cards where you spin the dial to figure out what the constellations look like at a specific time of year? Well Rduinoscope can tell you what you are looking at with its star atlas. It provides helpful information for observations including date, time, temperature and humidity. Need to add a heater or fan? It’s got two ports ready.
The top of Dessislav’s project page outlines his four step process including the calculations/considerations as well as implementation. Everything you need is there including 3D print files for various telescope mounts. The project has received a lot of positive comments from fans and people are creating their own mods. If you would like to bring the same magic of stars inside your house, check out our Gakken Pinhole Planetarium. It’s smarter than a disco light and can produce the northern hemisphere in your fave room. Have fun exploring space!