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About cjdawson

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  1. I've gone for a different approach to the one machine to rule them all approach. It has pro's and cons. Here's my setups. I have multiple scopes, so bare with me. Scope 1 - Meade LX-90 8" Sct * Laptop HP Pavillion 8Gb Ram, 256GB SSD, 15" screen (1366*768) * ZWO ASI1600MM-PRO, with Filter wheel and LRGB filters. * Starlight Xpress Superstar Guide scope. * MyArdunioPro2 focusser. * Software - SharpCap Pro, Carts De Ceil, Sequence Generator pro. ANVERS for plate solving, PHD2 Scope 2 - William Optics SpaceCat51 mounted on Skywatcher Star Adventurer. * ASI Air (not pro) * Canon 70D main camera * ZWO 290-MM Guide Scope * 64GB flash external storage Seperate laptop - Macbook pro (2015 model). Desktop - self build i7 with 32Gb ram. Stacking software that I use - Astro Pixel Processor to stacking, Photoshop CC for post stacking processing and combining LRGB. I've combined the MacBook and Desktop machines as I can use either or both interchangeably. The Macbook is handy if I want to do the processing on the move, the desktop is better when I'm at home. Could also employ both machines if I had a lot to do, and wants to multi task. The idea is that I use a dedicated machine for the image capture. The HP Laptop runs my LX-90 and that's it's sole purpose. This means that I could get a much cheaper machine when I purchased the machine as it was never intended to do anything other than control the scope and capture images. It handles the pointing, slewing, guide processes with ease, and I mean it barely makes the processor work at all. Image capturing again is handled easily. Which means that for most of the time the i5 processor is overspec'ed for the job! However, having that processing power available really comes into it's own when the platesolving kicks in. It can do this quickly and without the need to be connected to the internet. For my second scope, portability was also a concern, being able to run the whole setup from a Tracer battery, for a whole night without worrying about power is great. The PI in the ASI Air is good enough to do all the tasks needed including the plate solving needed for polar alignment. I've also used it to help with plate solving for finding targets - just have to manually slew and manually look up the co-ordinates in Sky Safari Pro to be able to see where the scope is actually pointing. Having the processing seperated means that if I had several good nights in a row (wishful thinking) I would be able to transfer the images captured from the scopes to the processing laptop/desktop then perform the processing whilst the scopes are busy capturing the next set of data. The downside of this approach of course is that you end up with more equipment to cart about.
  2. Great start. It's really easy to see that you are taking a photo of the large Magellanic cloud. Just kidding. It's a good orion shot. Keep going. The better that you get with wide field, the easier it will be when you ramp up the focal length.
  3. Best ship that out express delivery. With all those FLO boxes, there is sure to be dense cloud attraction.
  4. The SharpCap method needs a camera of some sort, it doesn't really care what you use as long as it can get an image with enough sky to platesolve. I've been successful using various cameras using this method, DSLR, ASI290MM, ASI1600MM and Starlight Xpress Superstar. I tend to use my guide scope to perform the polar alignment rather than the main scope. That said, it doesn't really matter as long as the guide and main are fixed relatively. I'm sure that you could use an OAG as well. It's more a case of try it and see.
  5. @RadekK I'm glad that Astroberry runs on Raspbian buster. However there are somethings that I'm doing a different way. The main difference so far is... Astroberry Wireless Hotspot allowing to access the system directly i.e. without external wireless network eg. in the field Rather than using the hotspot that you provide, I'm using a different project called RaspAP. This allows the PI to be a hotspot whilst connecting to a network as a client over wifi at the same time! This makes it more flexible when as I don't need to choose whether to be a hotspot, or have it connect to a network, it can do both at the same time. I'm also using the image for other non-astro related stuff, so need to have full control over the install. Astroberry is a great starting point for those who don't have specialist needs, in fact I'd still recommend that people look at it as the first port of call to see if it does everything they need, it most likely does.... and more. (Just I'm very very picky)
  6. It won't save me any hassle at all, as for my needs I want to run software and configurations that are not part of AstroBerry. There are things that are not standard at all so I really do not want to start from anything other than the complete official raspbian image. (I have reasons, and don't want to elaborate) besides, I think I already solved the problem just before I went to bed last night and anything else now will be a setback.
  7. ooo, that's interesting. I'm going to take a look at that when I have time. Especially if it autostarts the server on boot. Might be easier than the indiserver program that I already tried. As for Astroberry. I thought it was based on ubuntu, but that is obviously wrong. That will explain why it was easy to install some of the software direct from the astroberry repos. (saved me a lot of time and hassle)
  8. @Gina thought of you when I was putting thinking about posting this, and knew that you use ZWO cameras, just like I do. The Altair cameras are a friends and I'm helping him get a PI4 up and running. @Avocette I tried the AstroPI script, it installed alot of stuff, but in the process wrecked a load of settings that I'd already made. That said, last after making the post, I did try running some of the bits from the Astroberry setup, which as you said now uses buster, and it looks like it's installed everything. I just need to figure out how to connect to cameras via indi. I'm going to play with that today using one of my ZWO cameras, but I want to connect via indi and not direct to the camera. (so that I can mimic the altair camera setup)
  9. I think I just cracked it. Seems that there's a program called indi starter that you can get from the CDC people, once installed, that gives me a gui to tell it what drivers to use. I think that will give some progress
  10. I think the main problem is that I'm a bit of a noob to indi and may not have started the local indi server part properly. As for installing oacapture, I installed it after installing indi. it works out of the box on rasbian buster.
  11. I'm unable to connect to the altair cameras via Indi. However, oacapture does work
  12. Astroberry is based on Ubuntu, and there are altair drivers for indi that work with ubuntu. I'd prefer to see if I can get this working with Raspbian though. This is the thing that I like least about linux, too many distributions each with their own quirks and that makes software hard to install.
  13. Hey all. I’m in the process of setting up a Raspberry PI to run PHD2 with KStars/EKos withi two Altair cameras. So far I think we have everything installed, but can’t seem to get indi working with either KSTARS or PHD2. I’m pretty sure that something isn’t installed yet. The PI is running on Raspbian, so the ubuntu install instructions doesn’t work. Can anyone point me in the right direction to be able to get this setup working please?
  14. Hi your procedure looks good to me. Others have said don't bother leveling the tripod, however my experience is different. Whilst it's not vital that the tripod is level, if you get into the habbit of doing so, you will find it much easier should you transition to using a polemaster or camera via PHD2 or SharpCap Pro. This is because the correction they will need you to make will be in the form of Up/down/left/right, so having a level tripod will help here. If it's not level, an up motion will have side motion as well, which will confuse the situation. As for not being able to see polaris in your polar scope. I think the problem here is that you don't have the focus set right. Rather than using a piece of paper on a wall, try focusing on something as far away from you as you can get. I typically use the buildings on the horizon (about 10 miles away) which then gets me close enough that I can then do final tweaks when I have polaris in view. (The same trick works for my cameras as well)
  15. Here's a quick overview video from ZWO on ASICAP I personally prefer to use SharpCap Pro for planets, and Sequence Generator Pro for deep sky. SharpCap where I would start though, as unless you are fully automated, SGPro or similar would be overkill. Hope that's helpful.
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