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A project log for Galileo's Finger

A open source tool that aids in the learning of the sky map in amateur astronomy.

Brendan ArdaghBrendan Ardagh 03/29/2015 at 20:450 Comments

Since the prototype was completed we hadn't actually had a chance to test out the system on the real night sky. On Friday we met on campus (UCT) to test out our creation, and of course the 'demo-gods' (yes, demo-gods) would have it that cloud cover prevented us from identifying any major constellation or star...but we waited it out and to our excitement the cloudy night cleared just long enough for us to identify a star and calibrate the laser. Due to the location, we were forced to use a car battery and a DC-AC inverter (square wave, 1.5A). Star chosen (Rigel) and coordinates sent, we expected the laser to do as it was told. As any good first test should go, issues arose. The steppers were stalling and we didn't have a clue why. After a quick deduction, we guessed that the inverter/car battery combo wasn't giving us the current we needed (Still not sure why). "Bummer, guess we aren't destroying any planets tonight then."

We did however confirm our suspicions in the lab with a PSU, where all systems were 'go'. But getting late and not having had a full nights rest for a week meant that this tonight was unfortunately not the night. Pictures to come soon.

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