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Found 8 results

  1. This blog describes Installing 3rd Party Drivers into a Raspberry Pi having installed Ubuntu MATE and followed the instructions to run the AstroPi3 script to install INDI and other astro related software. SSH has been enabled so that now the RPi can be accessed remotely from Terminal. eg. ssh gina@rpi where gina is my user name and rpi is the computer name as set up during the Ubuntu MATE installation. This set up process is detailed in my blog :- Setting up a Raspberry Pi for Astro Imaging and Control - Updated Feb 2020 for RPi 3B & RPi 3B+
  2. INTRODUCTION This is a tutorial explaining how to install an operating system and software into a micro SD card to use in a Raspberry Pi 3B or Raspberry Pi 3B+ for astro imaging and control of the relevant hardware. The software to capture images, control camera cooling and other things such as the mount etc. is called INDI and provides a set of drivers to control all the hardware. The Raspberry Pi will run in what is called "headless" mode - meaning that no human interfaces are directly connected to the RPi - instead the RPi is connected to the local area network (LAN) using either Ethernet (preferred for speed and reliability) or WiFi. Everything is then controlled from indoors on a computer also connected to the LAN. This computer is called a "client" and the Raspberry Pi a "server". This tutorial will detail all the steps involved in installing the operating system and software - there are rather a lot of them, hence the need for a tutorial but there is a script that is downloaded that does all the difficult stuff. I believe that anyone with some knowledge of computers should be capable of following these steps and setting up a working Linux based astro imaging system. The Raspberry Pi can be put on the pier (or tripod) or even directly on the telescope mounting and would replace a laptop for instance, reducing the use of long cables etc. The operating system used is Ubuntu Mate and involves using a monitor, keyboard and mouse (or trackball) in order to set up the operating system and enable remote control before the RPi can be used headless in the observatory or on a tripod. The Raspberry Pi is a "proper" computer though a bit slower and with less storage space that a desktop or laptop (called a Single Board Computer). When powered up the operating system goes into a setup routine and you just have to answer the questions, same as when setting up any computer. Near the beginning there's an opportunity to set up WiFi so you'll need your WiFi password if you want to use WiFi. This section can be skipped if using Ethernet cable rather than WiFi.
  3. Astroberry (strictly speaking Astroberry Server) is a fantastic operating system for the Raspberry Pi that allows control of your astromony kit and even better it's free! However, while there is a lot of useful information on SGL and elsewhere on the web, I had some trouble understanding how to set everything up and I couldn't find a beginners step-by-step guide. I don't have much experience of the RPi or Linux or indeed any operating systems other than windows but after some trial and error I've got things working so I thought it might be useful to chronical the steps that hopefully will get you up and running. Astroberry uses INDI Library - an Open Source Architecture for Control & Automation of Astronomical Devices - you can think of this a bit like ASCOM. Astroberry is also really flexible and there are multiple ways to do most things so what follows is just ONE way to get you up and running. So let's get started. When I say 'computer' I mean your main computer and I use RPi when referring to the Raspberry Pi (that's a computer too, of course, but just to differentiate between the two). The Astroberry homepage is at https://github.com/rkaczorek/astroberry-server. You'll need a Raspberry Pi, of course, (apparently Astroberry works with any RPi; I was using an RPi 3), an SD card of at least 16GB, and a computer with a suitable SD card slot (the RPi 3 needs a microSD card; most microSD cards come with an adapter that allows you to use a standard SD slot in your computer), and access to the internet. Firstly download the Astroberry Server image file from https://www.astroberry.io/distro/ (the image file is the operating system that will run on your RPi). Unzip this file into a folder on your computer. Then download balenaEtcher from https://www.balena.io/etcher/ - you'll use this to write the image file of the Astroberry operating system to your SD card; this process is known as 'flashing'. Once you've installed balenaEtcher, run it and select the Astroberry Server image file (when I did this the file was called astroberry-server_2.0.0.img) from the folder where you unzipped it. Insert your SD card into the SD card slot on your computer, select this card from the 'Select target' button on balenaEtcher and then select 'Flash!'. The process takes a little while but will show progress as the file is copied and then verified. Make sure the flashing process has completely finished before removing the SD card from your computer. [Note, as the author of Astroberry @RadekK states in a comment below it's actually possible to set everything up without a monitor, mouse or keyboard. To do that, insert the newly flashed SD card into your RPi and power it on. After a few moments a wifi network 'astroberry' should be available. Connect your computer to that network and point your browser to http://astroberry.local or (which is the default IP address assigned by Astroberry). You should be able to everything via this remote connection. Astroberry is also able to use a remote desktop app called VNC (icon is in the top right) so you can play with that too once you're well acquainted with Astroberry.] Insert the newly flashed SD card into you RPi, connect a display, keyboard and mouse to your RPi and power it up. You should see the Astroberry operating system load up. Answer the questions and set your localisation options. Astroberry will create its own wifi network called 'astroberry' that you can use to connect to your RPi (very useful for use 'in the field') but this won't be connected to the internet. We're not going to use the astroberry network for now. Instead we are just going to have your RPi connect to your home network / internet. To do this, click on the icon in the top left corner of the screen, select 'Preferences' and then 'Advanced Network Configuration'. Use this to add your wired or wifi network. When you boot up your RPi, Astroberry should now connect it to your home network in preference to the Astroberry HotSpot. If for some reason that doesn't work and Astroberry is connecting to it's HotSpot instead then you can do the following: Click on the icon in the top left corner of the screen, select 'Preferences' and then 'Advanced Network Configuration', select your home wifi network from the list and then click on the cog icon in the bottom left of the Network Connections window. Click on the 'General' tab ensure that the 'Connect automatically with priority' has a tick next to it, and set the value to 1. Close the editing window.# Then select 'Astroberry HotSpot' from the list, click on the cog icon in the bottom left of the Network Connections window again this time to edit the settings for Astroberry HotSpot. Click on the 'General' tab ensure that the 'Connect automatically with priority' has a tick next to it, and set the value to 0. Close the editing window, and then close the 'Network Connections' window. These steps will mean that when your RPi is switched on it will connect to your home network if it can, and if it cannot it will start up its own wifi HotSpot called 'astroberry'. At this point, you should be able to connect to your RPi from your computer. Open a web browser, type or copy http://astroberry.local/desktop/ in the address line and press enter. You should see a screen asking you to connect to Astroberry Server (which is running on your RPi). Click on the connect button; the password is astroberry (in fact, if in doubt try astroberry as the password for everything - it usually is!) If this has all worked correctly, you should now be able to control you RPi remotely so you can disconnect the display, mouse and keyboard from your RPi. You'll see some other icons in the top left corner of the Astroberry desktop including one for PHD2 but don't go there yet! Before we do anything else we need to start the INDIserver service - this will load the drivers etc that you need to run your kit. On the left of the screen is a blue-grey tab that will expand to show some buttons. Click on the telescope icon which brings up the INDI Web Manager window. You can go through and select the drivers for your equipment. Click on the 'Start Server' button at the bottom of the INDI Web Manager window which starts INDIserver - this is like starting ASCOM. Once you've done that, type a name in the 'New Profile' box and save it. You can then select it from the 'Equipment Profile' box; delete the simulator profile if you like. There are check boxes under the 'Equipment Profile' box that allow you to automatically start INDIsever select a particular profile and connect to your devices - so long as the devices are connected and powered on. If you check these boxes you don't need to repeat the step of selecting your profile etc. This should have you more or less ready to go. If you experience connection problems with kit that gets its electrical power from USB (e.g. the QHY5L-II guide camera) then use a powered USB hub as the RPi USB ports don't provide enough electrical power to properly power some equipment. There are icons for some astronomy programmes in the top left of the Astroberry desktop. PHD2 is familiar to me and you can test that your kit is connecting in that. KStars (the telescope icon next to the left of the PHD2 icon) is planetarium software that also allows you to launch Ekos (Tools>Ekos or ctrl K) and this allows you to set up equipment profiles and run imaging sequences. Hopefully this guide will enable you to get things set up and your kit connected. I haven't yet explored Kstars or Ekos much, nor much of the rest of the desktop but hopefully it will be fairly intuitive. I've written most of this guide from memory so if a step doesn't work then please let me know and I'll try to correct it. Hope this helps and huge thanks to the Astroberry developer, @RadekK, for making this software available to the community - I'm sure it took a huge amount of work. Clear skies, Ian
  4. Hey there, Curious about which CCD's you have been or are using successfully with auto guiding on a rpi2 or even a rpi3? lin_guider seems to support a bunch of manufacturers but a list of what models are proven to work with the Raspberry pi's will surely help my quest! Cheers for the help!
  5. Has anyone used the Raspberry Pi to control astro equipment and/or capture astro images? I'm hoping to do this but uncertain as to whether the RPi is up to handling Indi etc. I plan to use the RPi 3 with WiFi to run my all sky camera but the requirements for that are much simpler than controlling mount, filter wheel etc. I know the RPi has already been used for an all sky camera. Wireless All Sky Camera Any information would be much appreciated - thanks in advance
  6. I seem to remember mention of using the RPi NoIR camera for astro imaging but rather than try to find an old and maybe out-of-date thread I thought I'd start a new one. So what I'd like to know is whether anyone has experience of this use and whether it was any good. How sensitive is it compared with "proper" astro cameras? I find it hard to believe anything as cheap as this is could be that good but who knows!
  7. Procedures for installing Raspbian and INDI library etc. on a new Raspberry Pi 3 B and micro SD card. I shall insert links where appropriate to places where various pieces of hardware and software may be obtained. In most cases there are other sources of hardware which might be cheaper (but not necessarily better). I shall describe the procedures as I do them with suggestions I think appropriate. I shall post in fairly small steps to make things as clear as I can as I hope this will be useful to others. The operating system is Raspbian Jessie Lite (Release date: 2016-09-23) which is a minimal installation with no GUI and hence called "headless". This will be installed on a new 8GB micro SD card using a USB card adapter and Win32DiskImager software to install using Windows (I'm using Win7).
  8. In the development of my rotating astro imaging rig using camera lenses, I have the requirement to control the camera rotation plus focussing and possibly zoom if I go for zoom lenses, in addition to image capture and mount control which is already covered in the INDI server and drivers for the Raspberry Pi. ATM I'm doing this in the Arduino Nano and controlling it with Windows and control software written in Visual Basic. This uses a Win 7 laptop in the observatory controlled remotely via TeamViewer. I want to replace this with a Raspberry Pi and Linux. I already have an all sky camera running INDI Server and controlled by KStars/Ekos on Linux Mint box indoors. I'm using a standard INDI driver to control an RPi HAT and thence dew heaters. The driver works but doesn't have a dedicated user interface so I would like to change this too. I'm hoping I can get my head round modifying INDI drivers to suit my purposes and maybe write new drivers to extend control further. I have experience of various programming languages including C++ and Python etc. though I may need to revise my Python as it's been a few years since I last used it. I also have some knowledge of Linux. I would appreciate help in pointing me in the right direction. Thanks in advance
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