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By Craig Shaw
I have searched SGL for a tutorial incase this has been covered so forgive me if it has. I've also searched the web in general and couldn't find a full tutorial to do this, so i have collated a couple of tutorials that make it work.
I have managed to get SkySafari to work with a £32 ish Raspberry Pi3 and the cable that came with my scope with a usb to serial converter - the same things you need for connecting to a PC. It allows me to control the scope using the SkySafari Plus app on my tablet or phone AND it creates a wifi hotspot on the Raspberry Pi so it doesnt have to be on a network to work. This also turns the pi into a natty mini wireless router which is handy if you travel since it gives you a private wireless network when plugged into hotel wired internet 😁
I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE THAT MAY OCCUR TO YOUR HARDWARE BY FOLLOWING THIS POST OR ANYTHING LINKED TO THIS POST
It takes about 30 mins to do the tinkering, make sure you use the latest LITE version of raspbian.
Raspberry Pi 3 Portable power to it (preferably) Raspbian Lite Image file Appropriate cables to connect your Telescope to it via USB Computer connected to network Network cable to connect Raspberry Pi for initial setup A GoTo / Push To etc telescope mount compatible with SkySafari Plus / Pro A nice case for the Raspberry Pi
You need to know a little about accessing the Raspberry Pi by SSH.
For windows, use Win32 Disk Imager to burn the latest Raspbian LITE image to a micro sd card. Open the card on the pc (called boot) and make a blank file on it called 'ssh' - no file extension. This enables ssh access automatically.
Stick it in your Pi and plug it into your network router and a power source.
Find its ip address - i log into my router by typing its ip address into a web browser and look at connected devices, there are other methods though.
I use a program called Putty to ssh.
There are many tutorials on how to do the above and it isnt as hard as it first seems.
I used 2 tutorials to do this and i will link to them directly as the original authors explain it better than me. The first one is muuuch longer than the second which is just 3 steps so bare with it.
When the first tutorial suggests a reboot after the upgrade, DO IT! Then ssh back into the Pi and continue.
Don't bother rebooting after tutorial 1 either.
Tutorial 1 - Turn Raspberry Pi into a portable wifi hotspot
See 'CONNECTING' after doing step 2 in the next tutorial to actually connect to the scope as what you have just done changes it a bit.
Tutorial 2 - Make it talk to SkySafari App and the 'Scope
You can now unplug the pi from your router. Plug your USB to serial adapter into the pi, your telescope cable into that and connect it to your scope as you would do with a pc (mine is into the AutoStar hand box) and use it as a stand alone adapter just like the £200 SkyFi adapter!
To connect SkySafari to the pi you simply connect your tablet or phone to the pi's network like you would any other wifi network, i called mine Scope, connect using the security key / password you made up in tutorial 1. Open SkySafari and follow step 3 in the second tutorial but with IP address 192.168.0.10 - the port is still 4000 (unless you changed it)
If you are at home and your cable is long enough to reach your router you can plug the pi into that and use your home internet too - which you cant do with the SkyFi adapter!
I am going to shorten my serial cable to make it a neater package, i can always solder new plus to make an extension if i ever need one.
I am also working on finding out how to make it share usb internet so a 4g dongle can be plugged into it when out and about since when you connect to the pi's wifi in the field you will not have internet on the device connected to it.
Also the Pi could possibly be used for imaging or tracking, someone on here will probably know more on this.
this is Ha data from the last few clear nights collected with my Canon 300 mm f/4 (ca 20 x 10 min ISO 1600) and 5" refractor (ca 16 x 20 min) sitting side by side, to which I added RGB data from the Canon lens collected in December (76 x 3 min). I also post the 5" refractor image as it is quite detailed. All with my trusted Canon 60D cameras (60Da on the refractor) on my EQ8. Further details can be found on my Astrobin.
C & S most welcome of course!
Just got a nice surprise!
In the plate solving that is automatically done when images are uploaded to Astrobin, I just noticed that in one of my California Nebula images (from 21 Dec 2017), there was also something identified as IC2005. Looking it up it turns out to be a galaxy that is apparently bright enough to shine through the red nebulosity.
So, here it is, lurking in the right end of the image (arrow). I also post a crop of the galaxy area (with IC2005 in the centre). I do not know anything about it - wonder if anyone does?
The image was taken with my ES 127ED refractor (@ FL 752mm) and a Canon 60Da. 18 x 8 min (so 2.4 hours) at ISO1600. Processed in PS.
Not done any deep sky imaging for over 3 years. A few changes in personal circumstances have meant a new lease of life back into the hobby. So here's 80 minutes worth of 10 minute unguided Ha subs using an SX H36 camera through a Tak FSQ106 mounted on a Paramount MX+. Taken on Friday evening when I had to be up early on Saturday to get the train down to London to attend Astrofest. Calibrated the image with some flats, bias and darks taken on Sunday Morning.
Minimal processing (trying to remember how to use Pixinsight) so stacked in DSS, some basic stretching in PS. I'm happy I'm back in the saddle again. I think I'll try and add some more data to this one before the winters out.
Thanks for looking
This is a two panel mosaic (with central overlap) that has been waiting to get processed - for some reason my first attempt to process it reached a dead end where I was rather disappointed with the results and gave up. But with clouds and moon conspiring I have made a new attempt from scratch. Taken with my Canon 300 mm f/4 (@f/4) on my triple rig on the same night as the previously posted Samyang 135 and ES 127ED images, so 21 Dec 2017. Like my Samyang mosaic, this is an accidental mosaic created by a shift in framing after the meridian flip, resulting in a somewhat unusual framing. Stacked in PI and processed in PS. 76x3min @ ISO1600.
Here is my previous post with the little Samyang and 5" refractor:
Comments & suggestions most welcome