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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> How did I do - Milkyway shots?
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06/22/2021 10:51:18 AM · #1
Is this an How to? actually not really - again this time I am not talking about how did I take the shot but I am going to talk something else, in below if you look at the image they were taken with same settings of 2.5 minutes long exposure shot, one has trail and another one is not. Yes, the one that doesn't have any trail is actually based on the star tracking, in here the best part for which I am happy is that I built that star tracker :)

I create the star tracker with some wooden board sitting in garage, electronic stuff in using Arduino board and did some programming and added some stuff around that.

A few weeks back I ask a question about "Astro Star/Sky-Tracking". I wanted to build that tracker and not spending over $300-400 basically wanted to create my own gadget with low cost with some great features :D

Now while doing all designing, I kept on thinking about what all I can have in the tracker, I added some buttons to change the speed of the rotation, including start, stop, southern, northern hemisphere, then i added support for IR based remote control to do same and followed by I added bluetooth based tracking. Meaning now I can control the tracker either manually, via remote or via Bluetooth application.

I am using a power bank (that I usually use to charge phone) to give power to the tracker. so far the power consumption is very less, I did full charge of the power bank (4 stars) and when I came back from the trip the power bank still had 4 stars.

I will keep on evolving this device including an outdoor display to show the settings, camera trigger based on the speed and duration managed from the phone.

Total cost for me to build ALL including small small screws and what not was $55.00 :D rest of the amount will spend on lenses LOL

Let's see how far I can go with this :D

You can call this as quarantine effect :D

I hope you like it :)

Comparison at 2.5 minutes - left one without tracker and right one with tracker

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/60000-64999/60581/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1262408.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/60000-64999/60581/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1262408.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

I know, this needs lot of coloring and some nice getup but here is a video of that :D

' . substr('https://girishpandit.photography/wp-content/uploads/dpc/Tracker.gif', strrpos('https://girishpandit.photography/wp-content/uploads/dpc/Tracker.gif', '/') + 1) . '

06/22/2021 02:09:52 PM · #2
Originally posted by pgirish007:

Is this an How to? actually not really - again this time I am not talking about how did I take the shot but I am going to talk something else, in below if you look at the image they were taken with same settings of 2.5 minutes long exposure shot, one has trail and another one is not. Yes, the one that doesn't have any trail is actually based on the star tracking, in here the best part for which I am happy is that I built that star tracker :)

I create the star tracker with some wooden board sitting in garage, electronic stuff in using Arduino board and did some programming and added some stuff around that.

A few weeks back I ask a question about "Astro Star/Sky-Tracking". I wanted to build that tracker and not spending over $300-400 basically wanted to create my own gadget with low cost with some great features :D

Now while doing all designing, I kept on thinking about what all I can have in the tracker, I added some buttons to change the speed of the rotation, including start, stop, southern, northern hemisphere, then i added support for IR based remote control to do same and followed by I added bluetooth based tracking. Meaning now I can control the tracker either manually, via remote or via Bluetooth application.

I am using a power bank (that I usually use to charge phone) to give power to the tracker. so far the power consumption is very less, I did full charge of the power bank (4 stars) and when I came back from the trip the power bank still had 4 stars.

I will keep on evolving this device including an outdoor display to show the settings, camera trigger based on the speed and duration managed from the phone.

Total cost for me to build ALL including small small screws and what not was $55.00 :D rest of the amount will spend on lenses LOL

Let's see how far I can go with this :D

You can call this as quarantine effect :D

I hope you like it :)
Uhmm... how much was the labor cost, per hour? )) Seriously, great work Girish! By the way, what was the motor and the control board you used? Was it really under $55? Amazing!
06/22/2021 02:55:08 PM · #3
LOL -- Labor was not in mind because the first time something to do always takes time now I know and can build much much faster LOL

for motor I used 5v stepper model model number: 28BYJ-48. I use Arduino mega because I need to enable all features like buttons, IR, Bluetooth, OLD display so needed extra ports. that motor costs about $3.00

Originally posted by LevT:

******


Uhmm... how much was the labor cost, per hour? )) Seriously, great work Girish! By the way, what was the motor and the control board you used? Was it really under $55? Amazing! [/quote]
06/22/2021 03:35:19 PM · #4
Man, you nailed the rate Girish!
Great DIY work!
That Sigma 20/1.4 is a great astro lens isn't it?

ETA:
For those not familiar with the technical challenges of building a "barn-door tracker," the rotation rate of this type of tracker is pretty darn accurate, over small angles, which is all we need for our individual exposures. But to get the rate exactly right, he had to do some interesting math, and get the dimensions of the screw vs the hinge precisely right (or compensate in screw rotation rate later). It's not an easy thing to do, and he nailed it on the first try!

Message edited by author 2021-06-22 15:39:05.
06/22/2021 04:02:52 PM · #5
Thank you Fritz, yes 20mm 1.4 is really amazing lens and in low light it out performs. so far I haven't tested the tracker with 200mm or longer lens to see how it behaves but I hope it does well :D

Originally posted by kirbic:

Man, you nailed the rate Girish!
Great DIY work!
That Sigma 20/1.4 is a great astro lens isn't it?

ETA:
For those not familiar with the technical challenges of building a "barn-door tracker," the rotation rate of this type of tracker is pretty darn accurate, over small angles, which is all we need for our individual exposures. But to get the rate exactly right, he had to do some interesting math, and get the dimensions of the screw vs the hinge precisely right (or compensate in screw rotation rate later). It's not an easy thing to do, and he nailed it on the first try!
06/22/2021 04:08:38 PM · #6
Originally posted by pgirish007:

Thank you Fritz, yes 20mm 1.4 is really amazing lens and in low light it out performs. so far I haven't tested the tracker with 200mm or longer lens to see how it behaves but I hope it does well :D


With long focal lengths, your polar alignment will become very important. It may be quite challenging to get good enough alignment. But that's half the fun ;-)
06/22/2021 04:09:54 PM · #7
hahh, if I don't do it then I won't learn it and to learn, I have to try :)

Originally posted by kirbic:

Originally posted by pgirish007:

Thank you Fritz, yes 20mm 1.4 is really amazing lens and in low light it out performs. so far I haven't tested the tracker with 200mm or longer lens to see how it behaves but I hope it does well :D


With long focal lengths, your polar alignment will become very important. It may be quite challenging to get good enough alignment. But that's half the fun ;-)
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