An Arduino-enabled observatory dome door opener
February 27th, 2020—
The South Florida Science Center recently commissioned a beautiful new 10” aperture refactor telescope. Its dome, however, was opened by hand; so in an effort to modernize this part of the setup, Andres Paris and his brother “patanwilson” added a windshield wiper-style DC motor to automate the process.
The “window to the heavens” is now operated by an Arduino Uno via a high current H-bridge capable of passing along up to 20 amps. User interface is provided by an IR remote control and reed switches stop the door’s motion at the appropriate points.
A pair of 12V batteries enable the system to move within the dome and the voltage displays — that can be turned off remotely — to show how much power is left.
More details on the project can be found on Reddit.