New Flat Panel Setup

A few years ago on a hunch, I bought a 24x24" network connected led light from Unifi. It was quite a bit cheaper than other large astro panels out there. I tested it to check for uniformity and it all looked good enough for me. I ended up selling the AT10RCT that I was planning to use with it and didn’t have an immediate use for it. Now I have my ONTC1010 f/4 scope mounted in the garage ready to go for imaging, so decided to set this up. I gave a comprehensive writeup of this panel here when I first got it.

The panel has an app that lets you turn it on/off and control the brightness. Unfortunately, it can only go down to 10% brightness, which I found is too bright for some filters. I looked at the packets sent between the phone and panel to find out it’s using the mqtt protocol. I wrote a simple api that will interface with the panel using mqtt, but you interact with it using a webpage or GET requests from the command line. The great thing is with the mqtt protocol, the brightness can be set down to 1%, which is great for the faster newtonian. Here’s the source code for that in case anyone wants to use it

Last night with this setup, I was able to quickly get flat frames for my ONTC1010 with Voyager. This should also work with my smaller refractors that are too small for the flip flat I have. My plan is to add a script that Voyager will use to automatically turn on/off and set the brightness levels as needed before running the flat sequences.

Gabe

2 Likes

Thank you so much Gabe, really nice addition.

All the best
Leonardo