PAN016: Building Thread for Oakland CA Middle School AstroHawks

Continuing the discussion from Building Thread for PAN016 - Oakland CA Middle School AstroHawks:

Proud middle-schoolers. Making good progress:

A few images of the kids at work:

1 Like

Any updates in the last couple of months? Or have you been busy with “end of the school year” activities?

Hi James. Thanks for checking in. I was just getting ready to post on our progress.

The hardware is built except for weatherproofing and the weather station. Everything appears to be working. I’ll post some photos of the build.

We ran into problems with pytest failures. We are working our way through the problems with the help of someone knowledgeable with Ubuntu. We tried a few POCS commands, which worked, so I think we’re close, but pytest is still failing. We also ran into trouble getting arduino sketches to load, but I think I’ve worked that out.

This week we hope to run more POCS commands, and see if we can capture some images. I’ll keep you updated on progress and any problems we may need help with. best regards, Richard

The completed control box:

The camera box:

The kids explaining the unit at the Chabot Space and Science Center Tinkerfest:

Wow! This is great to see. The unit looks exactly like the PAN012 unit. Fantastic effort team! Super impressive.

How far are you away from doing some on-sky tests/observations?

Hi Nem,

I’m guessing/hoping we’re not far away from being able to capture some test images. We have made progress working through errors when running pytest, but not done yet. Our own test arduino sketches ran okay, and we’ll try loading the Panoptes sketches this week. We only ran a couple of POCS commands, which seemed to work, but we haven’ tried much yet due to pytest debugging.

Once we can capture an image in the workshop and can control the mount, the astronomers at Chabot Space and Science Center will help us set up and align the unit and try tracking some stars.


Thats great to hear. Wilfred should have the new version of the code uploaded so you can test pulling it from github and running it to see it works perhaps?

I agree about the test strategy. Try running POCS inside first. You can test the polar alignment procedure is executing correctly as well. Then when all the elements work, head outside.
Good luck

We’ll download the new version of the code and see what happens with pytest. We’ll keep you updated on progress.

Is there a doc somewhere providing settings for the Canon cameras? If not, can someone provide the info?

Sorry for slow reply. We thought there was one and @james.synge is going to dig through his notes (he’s flying back from a conference today).

If not then this a good excuse for me to pull one of my cameras out of the box and get it set up from a clean state. We’ll try to get back to you within the next day.

There are some notes buried over in the PAN012 topic but we definitely want to get a more comprehensive document together.

Thanks. I found the info in the PAN012 topic. Maybe that will be enough. I’ll keep you updated.

Hi Richard
Aru set up our cameras. Check the operations guide/system test document that is in the build sequence and see if the information is there while others jump in with more information.

SW bugs we’re aware of are worked out and we can now talk to the cameras. Here’s our first test photo taken in the workshop:

We’ll be on vacation until early July and will continue progress when we return.

1 Like

Looks like you found a star! :wink:

Hi, Richard.
I’m going to be working with the evaluator for the PANOPTES team to create a pre and post assessment for other PANOPTES build teams. Can you let me know which skills your students picked up (i.e., measuring, using power tools, soldering, learning about how scientists search for exoplanets, etc.) while working on building their PANOPTES unit? What did you hope your students would learn, and what did they actually learn? What surprised them along the way? Did they feel empowered by being able to build their own exoplanet hunting telescope? What are the lessons learned that we can pass on to future builders? What can we make more clear in our instructions to make it easier for others? What else am I missing?

Hi Rachel,

I’m traveling outside the country and will respond to your questions once I’m home after July 5.

best regards, Richard

After taking time off during the Summer, as the kids were all coming and going, we’re finally back to working on the build.

It appears the hardware is all working: we can control the mount, interface with the weather station, and capture images. Next steps are to get the weather proofing installed and then take the unit outside for our first try at alignment and image capure. We’ll keep you updated.

best regards, Richard

Where are the metal sheet templates for weather proofing? There is no hypertext link in the weather proofing doc. Thanks, Richard

Hi Richard, sorry this is late but working links have been added to the weatherproofing instruction doc. (There were changes I had to make to the measurement labels, which should all be correct now :+1:)

Thanks! We’ll report back once we complete the weather proofing and do our first alignment and image capture test.