Raspi Astrophotography Board Also Does Everything Else


A few years ago the folks at Astro Designs put together a board that took off-the-shelf CCD sensors from point and shoot cameras and turned them into respectable astrophotography sensors. Since then, the world has seen an explosion of Raspberry Pis, Arduinos, and other microcontroller platforms, making this the perfect time for a hardware revision.

Their PiXi-200, like their previous AstroCam board, is able to take image sensors out of cameras and turn them into telescope mounted cameras. That’s only one of its tricks, though: The PiXi-200 also has accelerometers, gyroscopes, enough UARTs to do just about anything, a four channel ADC and four channel DAC, two dozen GPIO pins, enough LEDs and buttons for any project, and a 200,000 gate FPGA. All this in a board that plugs directly into the GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi just like an Arduino shield. Needless to say, there’s a lot you can do with this board.

Right now, the design is still in the prototype stage, but once everything is finalized the basic model of the board will sell for £30 GBP ($50 USD). The high-end “Model C” board, with all the bells and whistles, will sell for £45 GPB ($70 USD).