[Equipment] Need help from someone with circuitry expertise on building a barndoor tracker

[Equipment] Need help from someone with circuitry expertise on building a barndoor tracker

Note: I understand that there are probably much better places to be asking this, but I figured I'd start here, since lots of people seem to have made this and it's for astrophotography. Thanks for helping.

Short version: Screwed up the soldering stage of building a tracker, really frustrated but I think I know the problem, having trouble picking the best route to go from here

Reference circuit: http://ift.tt/2eaTFyI

My abomination, broken parts and all: http://ift.tt/2eaSxvk

Long version: I've sunk a couple weeks and about a hundred bucks into building a barndoor tracker (half of it is shipping costs for parts), and everything was going fine up until the circuitry part. I'm absolutely ass at soldering and it's causing a catastrophe.

I am using Gary Seronik's guide, for circuit reference.

When hooked up to a breadboard, everything worked fine, even after breaking a few parts and miraculously repairing them. But when I try to solder everything together, it doesn't work properly, and I think it has to do with the potentiometer (that little white thing - the terminals snapped)

If it's removed entirely, the motor runs at as high a speed as it can go. When it's in, it'll either run at the same high speed, or it'll run at its lowest speed. Never in between, regardless of where the dial's set. I tried soldering new wires to the broken terminals, and it sort of worked, but I have a suspicion it's going to be fragile no matter what I do.

I've spent an entire day trying to get this to work, so this post is also a bit of a frustrated rant (sorry). I don't know why I thought this would be easy, given my sordid history with circuitry.

Here are my options:

1: Go to the only store around that sells electronic components and get a new potentiometer, but it would be 1,000 ohms instead of 500 ohms.

1.5: Order another, less fragile potentiometer online, paying lots of extra money both for the part and for shipping, plus waiting a week

2: Salvage what components I can and buy all new components from the store (not ordering online again), but some of them wouldn't match the values on the diagram. Build a new circuit and hope it works decent enough

3: Go for a manually-operated tracker instead, since I already have the woodwork and hardware prepared

4: Say "fuck it", toss it all in the trash, and save up for an iOptron Skytracker.

Bear in mind, I don't have a tracking mount for my telescope (saving up for an Atlas). I wanted to do this because it sounded like a cheap and easy way to take photos while I save up for something better, but so far this has been a frustrating mess. I feel like I've wasted a lot of time and money, and I have very little of both to begin with.

What should I do?

P.S. Why does everything have to be so damn small?

Submitted October 16, 2016 at 09:55PM by MasterSaturday from reddit http://ift.tt/2eaULLd via /r/astrophotography http://ift.tt/eA8V8J