Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

nameunknown

Starting from scratch in LINUX

Recommended Posts

OK, I have an EQ mount and I am thinking of starting from zilch in LINUX using an old PC, with a view to getting an INDI scope/cam that i can control image from downtaisrs. Reason why - wrecked back, - even doing a polar is painful. Anyone got any good pointers to a good installation script would be most welcome

P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi P

I had my obs working fine with an old pc with 1gb memory running 32bit Linux Mint 16 until I updated it to a 64bit Mint 17 setup. Install the distro you want (Mint is highly recommended!) install Kstars and get on the INDILIB forum for all the news and info on Ekos which is the scope/camera control side of Kstars. An alternative is to try out `Distroastro` an astro based Linux distro and has a 32bit option. I got fed up of Windows letting me down and was recommended Ekos by a friend and haven`t looked back.

HTH

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi P,

+1 for Linux Mint. I am currently using version 13 (Maya) KDE which is a LTS* until 2017. It has an excellent user forum.

and...

+1 for DistroAstro. I am currently using version 1.0.2 (Ceres). No user forum as far as I am aware, but it is getting a good following by fellow SGL members.

Both the above installed alongside MS-Windows Vista (SP2) on a single HDD on my laptop.

* long term support

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for this so far. I'll see what else I can find and then may do a blog on "bare metal" installation of a LINUX system at home. I have a couple of old LINUX machines to play with, including the ancient ACER where I piloted: http://chester.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Main_Page before it went "live".

I'm looking for something to set me up for my old age (just forgetting the issue of opening the obsy roof for the moment), so I can sit by the fire with a glass of scotch and wander around the galaxy taking the odd pic, given that walking upstairs fora quick peek is a bit diffcult.

P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK so first steps so far - finding a suitable "old" PC turned out to be a bit of a problem as the HEQ5 mount prefers to talk to an RS232 and my cameras like USB2. Every "spare" old box I had either USB2 or RS232 but not both, and I wasn't going to reconfigure the Windows machine connected to the scope at present. So after some faffing about I've ended up putting Lin_Guilder on a Rasp Pi as a staring point.

If anyone is interested he is how to do it:

* Grab and old RPi (I used a "B" model);

* Do a fresh install of Raspian off NOOBS (go and put the kettle on while it runs);

* Install a USB dongle and connect to the local router (at this point discover that the obsy does not have very good internet connection with the Pi - re-install the dongle on a powered USB hub and dangle it out of the window - and I thought I was rid of using Windows!)

* Open a terminal (which crashes the Pi - reinstall from NOOBS)

* Once back at  the prompt (an undeserved title for anything on my computer system) type:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get upgrade

(Now watch, drink tea, go for walk, do the Pennine Way, while the Pi updates all sorts of stuff)

*Now I need some stuff that will make Lin_Guider work for the Pi so back at the "prompt" do:

sudo apt-get install libusb-1.0-0-dev
sudo apt-get install libqt4-dev
sudo apt-get install libftdi-dev
sudo apt-get install fxload

*Some of these take a while to do what they do. Now we come to the fun bit. I open Midori (the browser not the liqueur) and go and find lin_guider on sourceforge - then hit download. Something downloads and I open file manager to have a look - is is one of those "tar" things, and as right click gives and option to expand it, I do so. It adds some more stuff to file manager. After a lot more faffing about I decide the next brave step is to navigate to the directory it has dumped all this stuf in and type:

./configure

This seems to do something, so I follow with

make

* a long time passes (several gas clouds form new stars, become red giants and go "pop"), but eventuallly the prompt come back.. A look in the File Manager shows that there is a new "exe" - it runs, but does nothing useful at present.. Realy, that is enough for today...

P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Todays fun (between attacks of back-pain) was getting the Pi to talk to another computer. I didn't want to use a cable, but the Pi came with a USB dongle. I read up about connecting with Wifi and found that I had two choices:

* connect over my home network - the signal is quite weak in the obsy, so I did not want that...

* make the Pi an access point - Unfiortunately I seems that if I make the Pi an access point then I can't connect it to the internet without a cable cos the dongle would already be in use...

mmmmm ....(thinks) .....pokes around on the internet a lot.....doesn't like the look of setting up a server side for the PI (not just yet anyway).....doesn't like the ide of installing two dongles on the PI...

Apply creative thought - turn problem on its head -

AHA - bright idea!

* set up a virtual access point on a laptop (I used virtual router from virtualrouter.codeplex.com because it was free and has WPA2 encryption) and give connected machines internet access

* tell the Pi to connect to the VAP (i.e. set it up with an alternative wifi connection  just like it connects to my main router) and give itself the name "telescope"

* put PUTTY on the laptop - then use PUTTY to connect to Pi

So much for good intentions - first I had no idea that SSH on my Pi was turned off by default (but I found that out eventually and - IMPORTANT BIT - after enabling SSH I changed the password on the PI because I don't want some idiot trying to send commands to my scope and wrecking it (big tip for anyone thinking of connecting a PI to their scope and not one I had seen posted in huge letters anywhere)

Eventually, after some blundering about, it all worked at least once (seems it works best with the dongle plugged directly into the PI and not on a powered USB hub)

So now "telescope" PI can log onto the obsy computer when the PI fires up, has "pass through"  wireless access to the internet so I can load stuff onto it when it is not running "headless",  and I can log onto the PI from the obsy computer (although still not got the hang of command line linux). Plus, if any guest in the obsy has a laptop they can log on too. Better still, I can take the laptop into my "warm room" and still talk to the PI without having to worry about cables...

time for a drink and a ponder on what to do next. (I found this .... http://www.adafruit.com/products/1601 ...a mini touchscreen for the Pi  ...so maybe thinking a bit "down the road" as well  ...although no real idea how to make that usefull on the scope just yet - maybe just to let me control Lin_guider?)

P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had a drink and a think - decided that what I want to build out of the PI is something which combines:

* something like http://www.astrodevices.com/products/NexusS/NexusS.html , and,

* a controller for Lin_Guilder

so it can:

* connect the scope to the usual software (wirelessley)

* assist an alignment (perhaps with some basic "plate-solving") and provide GOTO

* autoguide

I don't think the Pi has the speed/power to do much else, but I suppose it could do simple things like operate filter wheels, run a series of camera shoots etc

Mentioning plate-solving reminds me of a day as a student when I was at the obsy in Cambridge (this was in the days whe telescopes were powered by steam and Martin Rees was a young man (although still happy to bet oin anything)). The astronomers took us Astronomy soc members into the delapidated astronomy department to see their new "plate reader" - a huge contraption that was as shiny as Martin's cufflinks. Anyway... one of the astronomers (he looked like the submarine operator from Titanic and had a dreadful stutter) decided to demonstrate "the gadget" ... with a warning that was something like "W, w, w, watch out for the l, l, l..."  ...but gave up before he could say "lasers" and switched the thing on anyway. Night vision went almost permanently.

P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

following this with great interest. i can't be of much help, but have you seen this page: http://www.indilib.org/support/tutorials/139-indi-library-on-raspberry-pi.html - it seems you can run the indi server on the pi for scope and camera control and run ekos on your laptop to actually control everything. there's even a virtual machine (ekosVM) that will run under virtualbox on a windows machine that might be worth a look?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have a machine that only has USB ports and you need a serial (RS232) port then there are USB<->RS232 devices.  You just need to make sure you get a decent chipset.  The FTDI ones always seem to have worked well, as does the Prolific 2302.  There have been a few Prolific fakes around though.

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting indeed :)  I would like to do this one day but my brain isn't what it was :(  It may be running on low power due to recent emotional problems and I'm hoping to get my head round the more complicated things later.  ATM I struggle to get well supported Windoze apps to work right - I used to develop software in Linux a few years ago and much preferred it to ZZZZzzzz.... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.