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An Arduino-enabled observatory dome door opener

Arduino TeamFebruary 27th, 2020

The South Florida Science Center recently commissioned a beautiful new 10” aperture refactor telescope. Its dome, however, was opened by hand; so in an effort to modernize this part of the setup, Andres Paris and his brother added a windshield wiper-style DC motor to automate the process.

The “window to the heavens” is now operated by an Arduino Uno via a high current H-bridge capable of passing along up to 20 amps. User interface consists of an IR remote control and reed switches stop the door’s motion at the appropriate points. 

A pair of 12V batteries enable the system to move within the dome and the voltage displays — that can be turned off remotely — to show how much power is left.

More details on the project can be found on Reddit.