The AutoPA V2 upgrade is system that allows motorized polar alignment by turning the Azimuth and Altitude using two additional stepper motors.
AutoPA works using Sharpcap Pro's Polar Alignment routine to determine the error correction needed, and the software handles automatically adjusting the mount to bring it in alignment with the pole.
Each axis can also be manually controlled via OATcontrol's minicontrol panel if you do not have Sharpcap Pro and wish to use another alignment software like NINA's 3-point polar alignment.
|NEMA17 stepper (recommended) or 28BYJ-48 stepper
|5 mm shaft, 57 mm long minimum
|GT2 idler for 10mm belt (toothless)
|40T brass worm gear with 5mm ID
|GT2 6 mm belt
|GT2 belt tension spring
|Various size M3 screws (mostly 12mm)
|M4x8 screws (if using 28BYJ steppers)
|M5 30mm screw
||1 - Replaces default rear mount
||1 - Replaces default left mount
||1 - Replaces default right mount
||2 - From OAT Universal mount
AutoPA 3D Model
- Assembly altitude track:
1. Insert strip of belt into top and bottom openings with teeth facing outwards
2. Tighten into place using M3 nuts/screws at top and bottom of track. Ensure the belt is pulled tight against the track.
3. Trim the top belt so it does not protrude, otherwise the track cannot be installed in the rear mount.
4. Optional: Superglue a strip of belt onto altitude track rather than using tensioning screws
- Insert 1x 625 bearing into the rear mount on the inside recessed
- Install GT2 idlers using M5 screws/nuts. Idlers should spin freely.
- Insert 1x 625 bearings into the altitude gearbox.
- Connect worm to stepper shaft and install stepper onto gearbox. Ensure worm is centered above where the wormgear wheel opening
- Assemble the drive shaft:
- Slide one 16T pulley onto 5mm shaft and leave the grubscrews on the pulley loose.
- Insert the 5mm shaft into the bearing within the rear mount and
hold in place.
- Temporarily insert the altitude track through bottom opening of
the rear mount and align the 16T pulley with the center of the
belt, while keeping the shaft pressed flush against the rear
mount through the bearing.
- Remove the altitude track and pulley (without allowing the pulley to shift) then tighten the grubscrews.
- Slide the wormgear wheel onto the opposite end of the 5 mm shaft from the 16T pulley and leave the grubscrews loose.
- Install the shaft in the rear mount bearing and the wheel inside the gearbox bearing. Push the gearbox towards the rear mount until the gearbox is touching rear mount. At this point the large gear should have slid along the 5mm shaft into it's proper position spaced from the other 16T pulley.
- Remove the gearbox and tighten the grubscrews on the 16T pulley attached to the large gear.
- Optional: apply silicone based lubricant to the wheel - it will perform better.
- Insert the assembled drive shaft into the rear mount.
- Inser the altitude track.
- Install the gearbox to the rear mount with 4x M3 nuts and 12mm screws.
- Assembly pivot frame using M3 screws and M3 nuts
- Insert 6001 bearing into pivot frame
- Assemble slide frame and motor mount using M3 screws.
- Attach slide frame and pivot frames together using M3 screws.
- Insert the bottom of the altitude track in the 6001 bearing on the pivot frame.
- Remove flange from 16T pulley. Install on Azimuth stepper.
- Install stepper on motor mount.
- Feed belt through motor mount.
- Replace default left/right mounts with AutoPA parts.
- Install 6001 bearings on left and right mounts. Secure in place with u4_holder parts and M3 screws.
- Install M3 nuts/screws in left/right mounts for belt tightening.
- Feed the belt through left/right mounts with some slack on both ends.
- Install a GT2 belt tension spring as close as possible to the mounts.
- Tighten the belt screw on one of the front mounts. Pull the loose belt end while simultaneously pulling the motor block away from the tightened belt screw (both tension springs should be stretched at this point)
- Tighten the remaining belt screw.
Once assembled the system can be tested. Ensure the firmware is up to date with 1.9.32 or later.
Use the minicontrol panel in OATcontrol to manually control each axis to test up/down/left/right.
The AutoPA system works with Sharpcap's Polar Alignment routine to measure the aligment error and automatically adjust altitude/azimuth.
- Sharpcap Pro
- Download "requirements.txt" and "sharpcap_autopa_vX.X.py"
- "pip install -r requirements.txt"
- Roughly align using a compass or similar tool. (Azimuth has a range of motion of approximately +/- 8 deg, so be within that range)
- Open Sharpcap first. It is important Sharpcap is opened prior to running the script.
- Start the Sharpcap Polar Alignment routine and progress until it asks to adjust altitude/azimuth.
- Run "python ./sharpcap_autopa_vX.X.py" from PowerShell
- The mount will automatically start adjusting each axis until each is aligned within 1 arcmin of the pole.