The idea is to take this once, pan/tilt camera mount, and turn it into a alt/az mount for tracking satellites, or just about any other celestial body for that matter. Sounds simple enough, and I think it might be fairly straight forward to accomplish
Phase 1 - Out with the old
So for my needs, The only thing I need is the drive assembly. I can remove the motors, electronics PCB, the wiring, and connectors on the bottom as I'll be replacing them with my own. You might think you can keep the BNC connector but is a 75 ohm connector and for my needs, that will need to be a 50 ohm connector. This leaves is with a pretty blank slate to build from.
Phase 2 - In with the new
Seeing that we remove the motors, were going to need something to replace them. I'll replace the Hurst AC 30:1 gear motors with the Hurst 4004-010 DC stepper motors with 30:1 gear-head. It has the added benefit of being exactly the same mounting pattern and spacing so it saves me from having to design some type of mounting adapter plate.
I will also need electronics to drive the motors and monitor the limit switches, and perhaps some shaft encoding, if I can figure that out. Lots of ways to do this. The Satnogs rotator controller would work, and I may end up going that way, but my first plan is to test this with a telescope motion controller, the Onstep miniPCB2. I've been involved with that project for a long time, and the idea of using modified version of Meade's LX200 command set to control the mount brings with it a lot of options. But time will tell
I'll call this phase software but I'm not sure how much will need to be written. Most of this phase will be testing compatibility between Onstep and things like Hamlib's rotctld. I'm not here yet so I'm open to suggestions.
Hi James, Yep, I've seen that. There are several derivatives of that design now. Its a great design and would work amazingly well as a camera platform, but not much in the way of load capability, even if one took the time (and expense) and printed with PETG or nylon. I also really like the idea of repurposing otherwise discarded things, into new and functional rolls.