Sky Tracker

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Hive13 Project
Sky Tracker
Status: Complete
Start Date: 9/26/2012



The goal of this project is to build a motorized Barn Door Tracker for long exposure night sky photography.

Project Manager


  • Jim

What needs to be done

This is an overview list of high level steps that need to be done in order to complete this project.

  • Hardware
    • Finalize design for motor mount and drive system. Waiting on the Circuitry.
    • Design a housing // mount for circuitry. Waiting on Circuitry
    • Build motor mount. This step will be subdivided later.
    • Motor to threaded rod coupling needs to be investigated.
    • Build a motor test rig.
  • Circuitry
    • Build the Hive13 stepper boards: Hive13 Stepper Motor Driver Board
    • Run tests w/ stepper motor to investigate the following:
      • Power consumption
      • Torque vs required torque
      • Vibration and possible damping requirements.
  • Software
    • Drive stepper at a set rate to match sky rotation
    • Quick move modes for moving platform up & down

What has been done

  • Preliminary motor mount designs. Currently on revision #2 after talking w/ Jim.

Currently on the ToDo List

This is a list of individual steps that need to be performed in the near future.

  • Work w/ Dave B. to build the Hive13 Stepper Motor Driver Board from parts he purchased for the Hive.
  • Investigate feasibility of using the PNC-3000 to mill the motor mount plate.
  • Send updated plans to Jim for review.

Design & Planning


Overview of requirements here.

Req 1

Req 2

Req 3


Parts List


Reference Links