I have been posting off and on my observations looking at the ASCOM driver setup seeing that when the rotator is idle the indicated voltage will drop from ~12.5 to ~5V. Several other users on this forum have reported similar things and lots of esoteric ideas have floated about. In order for the dome to even function I've set the rotator low voltage to 0.5V.. Tonight I finally got around to replacing the provided "LY1205" 12V 5A power supply with a 12V 5A Mean Well power supply I got from Jameco. ~$29 US. First off the Mean well supply is the same physical size but weighs about 3 times more. Also, the 12V leads have wires which are shielded and at least 4xs heavier.
Bottom line is that with a proper power supply the driver indicated rotator voltage sits steady at 12.45V and never wavers. Another Nexdome user had "sendserial" errors which were in fact caused by a combination of this sorry to be blunt cheap power supply and bad solder joints.
I think the only reason I've had pretty solid performance is I use a high quality 12V powered USB hub. I hope my rant here helps some other person.. The only difficult thing is the center pin of the dome rotator 12V input is rather fat. The Mean well I bought has std 2.1mm pin and I had to cut the leads and replace.
Best to all,
This has been very helpful. I had the same problem. Thanks for bringing a solution.
So one thing I'd like to add to reinforce what Ron said here... the Mean Well power supply are of top quality .. proof ? .. Software Bisque ship Mean Well power supply with their mount (the 48V model).
This is probably the best approval we can get regarding the quality of the Mean Well power supply.
I ordered one from Amazon that has the right plug size hole for 2.5mm tip :
It works great and is very stable.
I you have the "bad" power supply I would recommend you buy one of these as a replacement.
Is this the same as the one you got from Jameco :
Mine is a hike and lots of critters out there in the pitch black. It is AWESOME being fully remote. (when it works). I went with nexdome as well- knowing that the only alternative to automation is going to be far more costly. Babak suggested sending me a stepper driver. (to swap in the shutter) crossing my fingers.
I just wish I understood how the things work so that I could better service my own problems.
P.S. I try to promote the dome sales as I really love it (when it works) but the biggest hurdle I find in trying to get people to buy them is the problems they read about and hear from currently owners with the rotator and shutter. I'm sure these items are REALLY reducing Nexdome sales. = ( A dozen people were watching the broadcast demo (on nightskiesnetwork.com) and learned that the shutter once again was not working. I could not open it or open the cap on the scope (shutters in the way) or demo tracking. Lots of guys interested in the nexdome were disillusioned. = (
I go way back one of the first with rotator and also with shutter. Rotator wasn't much of a problem but the shutter has been horrible. When it works ITS GREAT. But in the time I've owned it, it's not worked most of that time. Because of that I got about 4 months of imaging last year. Babak has been great at exchanges by shipping is costly and it doesn't stop down time. I just sent in the rotator and shutter and he swapped them out for newer models. All worked great but with winter clouds are here and I used it two nights. recently I went to demo the system for a friend considering buying a nexdome setup and the shutter wouldn't work (again). Symptoms are same as before. It can't retain the PDM driver settings, it displays wrong or no or part of teh version. It runs REAL SLOW. Holding the rocket switch to open starts with a very slow click... holding the button the clicking speeds up slowly over time. Releasing the rocket make the clicking start to slow and eventually stops. Data in the settings is lost and shows mostly zero's. Power shows random readings and on occasion 13.4v (which is accurate). Testing charger and battery always shots 13.4 v. I'm at wits end. I seem to spend more time repairing than imaging.
I haven't found any replies (help) to my problem posted on fb. I included photos of the random attempts to pull data from the driver. Yesterday I pulled the shutter so that I can at least image by going out to the dome (I'm normally fully remote from in the house). But now I have to walk out 300ft and manually open and again to close it. Since I had this same problem a few months ago. SURELY someone else has too and knows what I need to replace? I wish I could purchase more robust electronic parts which would be more tolerant of errors. I'm on win10 with Pats firmware. (I helped him create it as he had no hardware to test it on. So it would write it and I'd test and report back the problems). Now with that working well - I need to get past the problems in the shutter hardware!? - hoping someone here has the expertise. Attached are some of the driver displays I recieved. I entered in new settings for speed and set them, but next peek into the driver showed 0's. ODDLY the driver version is trunc'd. (where does it pull this data from? is is stored in the shutter or does it have to be loaded from the rotator? (via Xbee?)
Hello Team. It get worse but with an simple solution. Not only was the provided power supply iffy - the cord has a ground lug on brick end but no ground on plug end!!! If I use that un-grounded power cord with my new good power supply at power up of dome all sorts of havoc break out. Each time a dance was needed to make the shutter talk.. Sometimes it would never work.
At one point .NET goes nuts with scary message basically saying I had no USB on the device. My volt meter showed a whopping ground loop between the grounds for power and usb.
I just put back a power cord which also has a grounding pin and everything is back working properly.
So everyone who is having flaky stuff going on simply replace the power cord with something which grounds and make darn sure your PC, it's accessories, and the dome power supply are from a common source.
I?'d wager a fine beer this simple stuff will solve a host of very scary issues. I would appreciate it if someone could share these last two power supply related posts on the FB group. I absolutely cannot do FB. Sorry but it's too insecure for the work I do.
Ron, based on all of the issues with the shutter motor from NexDome you would think that higher quality components would be used. I'm very reluctant to invest in the shutter based on many of the reported troubles and having to replace components.
I hope Babak is following this forum, I still monitor FB but I find it pretty terrible to follow a topic.