Astrofriend's homepage


Advertisement /

Tutorial News

My astronomy project:
Astro server and power unit, ver2

Astro server and power unit

  1. Introduction to astroserver and powerunit ver2
  2. Astroserver
  3. Powerunit
  4. Enclosure box

1: Introduction to astroserver and powerunit ver2

I take no responsibility or liability for what are written here, you use the information on your own risk!

Now when I'm almost ready to use my new observatory there are some new demand on the astroserver and the powerunit. I try to reuse most of the components from my earlier astroserver that had worked very well for me. You maybe have also read that I'm working on a Linux Raspberry astroserver. That one needs more work until it's ready to put in operation.

You can read about the details on the original astroserver here:

Here you can read about the Linux astroserver:

Ready with tools and new components to take apart the old astroserver and rebuild it.

Back to contents

Advertisement / Annons:

2: Astroserver

From the the old astroserver I take most of the needed parts to the new astroserver ver2.

Old astroserver and battery

The old astroserver with the battery under the red cover.

I will use the same old Windows 8 astroserver as earlier. Windows 8 maybe doesn't have a good reputation but this one has served me well.

Astro-server ver 2: Windows PC

The hardware is a mini PC, Asus EEE two core 1.6GHz computer. No keyboard or monitor, it's remote controlled. The only bad thing with it is that it needs 19 volt power. The NUC series of mini PC computers has models that operate direct at 12 volt.

To have the maximal flexibility to change in the configuration I have the parts mounted on a plywood board. It doesn't look very professional but it's very easy to add more units or reconfigure them.

It operate both with WiFi through an external antenna and a local LAN network.

Astro-server ver 2: WiFi antenna

To receive a better signal I replace the antenna with this directional antenna, it will be mounted on outside of the observatory connected with a three meter long cable.

Astro-server ver 2:  WiFi antenna outdoor

Here the WiFi antenna is mounted on the corner of the observatory, pointing down to the main house. One surprise was that the old antenna on the computer wasn't removable. But it works anyway when I place the antenna cable close to the computer antenna.

Astro-server ver 2: GPS antenna

There is one antenna more, the GPS antenna. Needed to get the position and correct time. With wrong information the GoTo functions will not work correctly.

Astro-server ver 2: Computer power unit with fuse terminal

On the backside is a voltage converter from 12 volt to 19 volt. A fuse central and some extra room for future components. There are four 12 volt power outlets (the black and yellow connectors), connects to mount, 5 volt converter, focus unit, dew heaters.

Later when I get an even smaller PC I can move it from backside to here and save some space.

The red and black cable to the right connects to the battery central.

Back to contents

Advertisement / Annons:

3: Power unit (battery central)

I have separated the battery central components from the old astroserver. The battery and main fuse central will be stationary, the astroserver I can bring with me home when I do test with new components. No more climbing up the hill with the heavy battery!

The battery central connect to a car battery with 45 Amp/h capacity. It's just act as a filter and a backup if the power grid goes down. It can not hold it working a whole night, but a couple of hours.

From the fuse central I take power to the light in the observatory and power to the motors that shall operate the roof in the future. There is also a battery charger that is always powered and connected to the battery when I run the telescope.

Astro-server ver 2: Battery charger and fuse terminal

An overview of the power unit. Fuses on the left up, The black box right up is a 3x cigarette power outlet. Bottom is the battery charger. The red and black cable at bottom connect to the battery.

Back to contents

Advertisement / Annons:

4: Enclosure box

I have installed this box in the observatory, from beginning it looked very big and I thought, what will I do with all this space?

Astro-server ver 2: Server hall

I think it will be wise to have it thermal isolated. In bottom I have placed 5 mm high distances to let any water that come inside to flow away. Never know if there will come water in it. There are two holes drilled at the bottom to let the water out.

Astro-server ver 2: Server hall

As insulation material I use this 50 mm (2") plastic material, easy to cut in correct sizes.

Astro-server ver 2: Server hall with thermal insulation

Now with all the insulation installed there is almost no space left! Later I shall move the box down in level with the floor.

Astro-server ver 2: Server hall with thermal insulation

Overview of the inside of the enclosure box. This is an earlier version, I have afterwards moved the battery charger from the astroserver panel to the battery panel above.

Back to contents

Advertisement / Annons: