Merlin head, now configured with Tronisoft Bluetooth to Serial Adapter  

Everything you need to motorize your head
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Gordon
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Merlin head, now configured with Tronisoft Bluetooth to Serial Adapter

by Gordon » Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:39 pm

My recently purchased Merlin head is now up and working with the Tronisoft Bluetooth to Serial Adapter, it appears to be doing what it's supposed to be doing... setting up the Bluetooth adapter was easy and the only difficulty I encountered was getting the cable tie tight enough enough on the board!!! I was too scared to give it a really strong yank, to avoid damaging the circuit board.

On powering up the merlin the Bluetooth to Serial Adapter lit up like a xmas tree, which confirmed that at least it was getting power, the real test came from powering up the N710 and waiting for it to boot up, setting papywizard to auto connect to the merlin was easy, well when I say easy, I mean it was a lot easier than setting up a Bluetooth earpiece and a lot quicker.

The real deal came when I inputed some coordinates via the N710 and saw it move first to the left, then to the right, then to the left, then to the right. then up then down then up again. I think you get the picture, it works :) wonderfully.

The next step is to see about the crown etc. I'm thinking of using two DSLR's my Nikon D40 and possibly my Canon 350D.
I think for starters I'll be setting up my D40 with the 200m zoom first as it's a smaller DSLR and appears to be easy to set the NPP.

Has anyone setup a D40 with 300m lens yet, what was your experience of setting up the camera to the unit? any pitfalls to avoid?

Gordon
Last edited by Gordon on Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by ChrisLong » Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:54 pm

Well done Gordon!

How long did it take your Tronisoft kit to arrive?

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by bigwade » Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:56 pm

Congrats ! you have a working set ! Welcom to the club ! :-)
How many days it took you to get all the components ?

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by Gordon » Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:27 am

The components for the Tronisoft Bluetooth to Serial Adapter took about 6 days to arrive and the cable another week so maybe 2.5 weeks in all, this was over the xmas period, the Merlin unit took about 3 days to arrive from ebay and included free postage from this seller http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Acuter-Merlin-Alt-Azimuth-Motorised-Mount-and-Tripod_W0QQitemZ390024707187QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Telescopes?hash=item390024707187&_trksid=p3911.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1301|66%3A4|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318

I understand that some of you are still waiting for your components to arrive, maybe it's lost in the post! or something has occurred with Tronisoft. I buy a lot of stuff online so I'd say 14 to 20 days for a delivery is ok, 6 days is like running on turbo... I hope that your issues are resolved soon.

Thanks guys it's like being a member of an exclusive club now ;) with a very large membership card. I wonder how many of us Papywizards there are now?

Gordon
Last edited by Gordon on Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by mediavets » Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:12 am

Gordon wrote:The next step is to see about the crown etc. I'm thinking of using two DSLR's my Nikon D40 and possibly my Canon 350D.
I think for starters I'll be setting up my D40 with the 300m zoom first as it's a smaller DSLR and appears to be easy to set the NPP.

Has anyone setup a D40 with 300m lens yet, what was your experience of setting up the camera to the unit? any pitfalls to avoid?

Gordon

Gordon,

I use a Nikon D40 on the Merlin.

The camera body is an almost perfect size to obtain a good NPP (this should also be the case with a Canon 350D) with the camera mounted in a portrait orientation.

The only reason you may wish to modify the standard dovetail mount (aka on this forum as the 'crown') to attach the camera in portait mode at NPP would be the size of the 'barrel' of some lenses, rather than the size of the camera body.

My 18-55mm kit zoom, Nikkor 10.5mm FE and Sigma 8mm FE all fit fine with camera/lens at NPP using just half the standard rail to mount the camera in portrait orientation and I can get a full vertical rotation. You need to remove the large knob from the camera screw on the rail though.

If you plan to shoot hi-res. landscape mosiac panos with your 300mm lens with nothing closer to the camera than about 100 feet then parallax will not be an issue, and it doesn't matter about setting the NPP, and I suggest you try mounting the camera/lens in landscape orientation on the full L-shaped dovetail rail (just as one might with a telescope).
Last edited by mediavets on Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by fma38 » Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:57 am

Gordon wrote:I wonder how many of us Papywizards there are now?

http://www.autopano.net/wiki/action/view/Merlin-Orion-Papywizard_users_feedback

but it is not up-to-date! Feel free to add yourself.
Frédéric

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by Gordon » Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:08 am

mediavets,
Thanks for the advice. I'm going to set up the D40 1st, the lens I have decided to use is the ED 55-200mm. NNP is not an issue at the moment as most of the internal GigaPixel images I take I use the the GigaPan for those. I will certainly attempt to invoke the merlin unit also for internals once I decide which lens to use.

The removal of the large knob is the next challenge ;) let's see how that goes. fma38 I've added myself to the list :) the wiki works fine ;)

Gordon
Last edited by Gordon on Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by mediavets » Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:39 am

Gordon,

The 55-200mm seems to have the same diameter barrel as the 18-55mm kit zoom so with D40 should fit fine at NPP on the Merlin.

Ther is a detailed description elsewhere on the forum about how to remove the large knob - I guess you've found that?

If you find you need a longer rail - these are cheap and OK - I have one:
http://www.pulsar-optical.co.uk/prod/ScopeTeknix-accessories/halfdovetail-bar/dovetailm.html

If you find internal batteries limiting try an external battery pack - I have one of these:
http://www.pulsar-optical.co.uk/prod/Skywatcher/generalaccessories/7ahpowersupply.html
Last edited by mediavets on Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by Gordon » Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:54 am

mediavets wrote:Gordon,

The 55-200mm seems to have the same diameter barrel as the 18-55mm kit zoom so with D40 should fit fine at NPP on the Merlin.

Ther is a detailed description elsewhere on the forum about how to remove the large knob - I guess you've found that?

If you find you need a longer rail - these are cheap and OK - I have one:
http://www.pulsar-optical.co.uk/prod/ScopeTeknix-accessories/halfdovetail-bar/dovetailm.html

If you find internal batteries limiting try an external battery pack - I have one of these:
http://www.pulsar-optical.co.uk/prod/Skywatcher/generalaccessories/7ahpowersupply.html

Hi mediavets, thanks for all the pointers. Yes I have seen the knob removal post and am going to attempt that process later today! The rail looks good and I think I'm going to get one. Now as for the external batt pack, I was looking to make my own, but this seems to have it all, the only reason for making my own would have been the weight issue when travelling etc as lighter is better, I'm going to have to do a test run with rechargeable and see how many shots I can get out of them, then look at how to fire the camera possibly using gentleled of my own construction! if possible.

Gordon
Last edited by Gordon on Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by Gordon » Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:58 pm

Well the large knob removal process was easy enough, what I did in the end was attach and secure the bolt to the camera, lock the swivel lock thing and tried to remove the screw without heat, the screw came out without too much trouble. the knob was now screwless!!! I applied heat to the metal middle of the knob taking care not to touch the plastic, it got pretty warm, I then inserted a blade between the knob and the swivel lock thing and applied some pressure, the large knob came away cleenly. Not too messy a job I think.

So now I'm left with a metal stub any ideas what I can attach to it?

Gordon
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by bigwade » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:23 am

I have found some hardwood at the DIY shop, same size as the Merlin rail :-)
A cabinetmaker around the corner did the edges and made one part 3mm less thick.
Now I can make several arms and drill holes where I want.
Total costs Eu 15,- :-)
With the less thick part the 5D is in NP too. (with the original crown !)
I will make some more pictures later.
grtz!


Last edited by bigwade on Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by fma38 » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:12 am

Nice!
Frédéric

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by Gordon » Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:46 am

bigwade wrote:I have found some hardwood at the DIY shop, same size as the Merlin rail :-)
A cabinetmaker around the corner did the edges and made one part 3mm less thick.
Now I can make several arms and drill holes where I want.
Total costs Eu 15,- :-)
With the less thick part the 5D is in NP too. (with the original crown !)
I will make some more pictures later.
grtz!

It's good to see a return to classical traditional camera materials, after seeing what you have done, I'm considering using a small piece of oak that I have lying around, should be strong and stable enough.

Gordon
Last edited by Gordon on Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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