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Obsy Mini PC


Zakalwe
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I was browsing the Scan Computer site and saw that they have these mini-PCs for under £200 on their Today Only page:

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/msi-wind-box-dc111-complete-mini-pc-system-intel-1037u-18ghz-cpu-4gb-500gb-hdmi-vga-wifi-lan-usb-30-?ProductId=92329

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8Gb RAM, 500Gb HD, Win 8.1 included (thats worth £70 on it's own). It could make a neat little obsy PC....not much horsepower is needed to run EQMOD/CdC/Stellarium and capture software (as long as you aren't using a high frame-rate planetary camera). Heck, you could probably attach it to the pier!

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Interesting, im not sure on the grunt out of the cpu though, I got a second hand i7 8gb lapto pfor £300 for my obsy a touch more flexable i feel

For sure. Lots more horsepower.

But, it's 50% more expensive, it's second hand and it probably didn't have the latest OS on it. Plus you don't need that much HP to run a mount.

I'm waiting for the day when someone integrates the PC into the mount or the pier. Just supply a 12v feed to it and that's it. Connect to it over WIFI and you have the ultimate one-wire solution.

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I'm waiting for the day when someone integrates the PC into the mount or the pier. Just supply a 12v feed to it and that's it. Connect to it over WIFI and you have the ultimate one-wire solution.

kick the pc hard enough and it'll 'integrate' no problem :D

i use a single core 1.6gig atom with 2gb ram  and win xp without any issues.

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Seems like a good buy (except for the OS....).

My current strategy is to revive old our laptops by adding an SSD. It's surprising how much a speed gain you get with an SSD and a fresh re-install of Win7 64......

8gb ram 6gbps ssd and most pc's get quiet nippy.

Edited by Earl
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Sigh. I must be getting old - I remember when hard discs cost a point per Mb, and a 333Mhz processor was fast.

They control Hubble with a 386 chip, I believe. I'd hope a 1.8GHz processor would be up to the task in an obs. 

Quite a nice looking media PC, that one.

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The box looks interesting for an observatory.... Dual core, 4USB slots, and doesn't (really) need MAINS. I was unable to see what (low) voltage it runs off, but I run my (19V) Netbook off 12V to variable Maplin LapTop supply. Indeed, a single 1.6GHz core Notebook can run my whole setup, but once you try remote controlling it via TeamViewer, the latter hogs the CPU. Maybe a dual CPU would cope. If I could afford a "Posh" (15", core i3+) Laptop, I probably wouldn't leave it outside in an obsy. :p

BUT I am now uneasy about leaving screens (HDs) outside. One expensive TFT video screen has never been quite the same since! <sigh> These days I use a "proper" long (30m) USB link: http://www.icron.com/products/oem/usb-extenders/  (the only ones that really work over that distance!). But this might allow use of a long KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) cable link, if you prefer... :)

Edited by Macavity
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If you want an i3 laptop with a com port and win 7 /xp look for a second hand ebay dell e5510. I have 1 for work. Runs like a dream. Last time i got an identical one as a backup off ebay they were c 200.

Ps if anyone does this and needs the xp drivers for it they are on the dell website but ive got a copy and a set if drivereasy files too.

Kev

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I tend to avoid the mini-pcs, they are built normally using the cheapest kit available (ie the kit most likey to fail first) and are such a convoluted design that their heat dissapation is terrible.

If you are looking on scan and have the space for a full-sized pc, they keep an eye out for the haswell pentium anniversary bundles they do, which are normally pretty good, case/psu included and come in at around £240ish

for cheap laptops morgancomputers.co.uk are a good starting point.  they sell a lot of job lot refurbs, usually manufacturer refurbed or old stock.  They also have 'desktop' systems that are quite small & some terminals from time to time which are worth consideration

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There are plenty of ex-business Dell PCs about...all sorts of spec..going cheap.

The attention to cooling with internal ducts and big fans is a big plus for reliability with these.

Yep loads of cheap ex-business desktops on e-bay going for very little money. I brought something similar to this

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dell-Optiplex-780-USFF-2-7-GHZ-E5400-4GB-RAM-160GB-HDD-Windows-7-Pro-PC/111433827700?_trksid=p2047675.c100009.m1982&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D24197%26meid%3D8990156085309916728%26pid%3D100009%26prg%3D10285%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D10%26sd%3D251615576737

for the obsy. Only has to run PHD and Cartes De Ceil so well over speced!

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I used to run my observatory on an old HP dx5150, with 4GB DDR2 ram and a 500gb HDD.  It had an AMD64bit processor, but would run at 100% when guiding (EQMOD, PHP, APT and CDC running).  No have a new PC, dual core Pentium E5700, 8GB DDR3 ram and the same 500GB hard drive for the OS / Apps.  Ticks over at 25% when running the above....

Used an Acer Eee 900A to do the same at SGL6 a few years back, thing was so hot it doubled up as a hot water bottle to keep me warm in the sleeping bag :)

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