Jump to content

stargazine_ep38_banner.thumb.jpg.6fe20536a22b28c17b2ee1818650993c.jpg

Cables, so many cables!


Recommended Posts

Right so the guidescope comes tomorrow, I'm setup with APT to control the Canon EOS 6D, PHD for the guiding, mount all working.  My question next is about how to control this all (pref from in the house!). I have 3 USB connections (Camera, GuideCamera, Mount) Couple options I'm thinking about:

1) try to extend USB (limited to 5m runs right?); or

2) get some Ethernet type USB router type set-up and have the hub with the scope connected to mount, guidecam and image camera and a long run Ethernet cable to the house and the PC Laptop; or

3) leave the PC Laptop in the garden with the scope connected to it all and control remotely from (from a MacBook) in the house using teamviewer (or similar) over the powerline (or wifi if it reaches); or

4) something else?!

Keen to hear how others are setup

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 29
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Wait till you get a filter wheel, an auto focuser and  don't forget the dew zappers. A.G

Do away with the camara control software and use an intervalometer. That'll loose you one cable!

I use a barebone which acts as server too. It has a wifi card so I can check everything with my laptop/tablet when I'm outside. An ethernet cable runs into my house. I found all sorts of solutions w

I'm hardwired in using no hub and good USB repeater cables all around. 65 ft runs using a repeater cable every 15 ft.  1 run for the mount,1 run for the guide camera and one run for the imaging camera. I only use USB 2 connections and when using a laptop i make sure to turn powersaving to the USB ports off.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a barebone which acts as server too.

It has a wifi card so I can check everything with my laptop/tablet when I'm outside. An ethernet cable runs into my house.

I found all sorts of solutions with powerline, wifi, usb hubs and so on too weak for that kind of application. I lost contact, lost photos, lost guiding. Since i got the barebone it's stable as hell and I can stack photos while I make flats and shut everything down. Wake on lan is also very useful ;)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Right so the guidescope comes tomorrow, I'm setup with APT to control the Canon EOS 6D, PHD for the guiding, mount all working.  My question next is about how to control this all (pref from in the house!). I have 3 USB connections (Camera, GuideCamera, Mount) Couple options I'm thinking about:

1) try to extend USB (limited to 5m runs right?); or

2) get some Ethernet type USB router type set-up and have the hub with the scope connected to mount, guidecam and image camera and a long run Ethernet cable to the house and the PC Laptop; or

3) leave the PC Laptop in the garden with the scope connected to it all and control remotely from (from a MacBook) in the house using teamviewer (or similar) over the powerline (or wifi if it reaches); or

4) something else?!

Keen to hear how others are setup

Wait till you get a filter wheel, an auto focuser and  don't forget the dew zappers.

A.G

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I leave the laptop outside and remote in using Teamviewer via the wifi. Have multiple monitors on inside PC, so stick that on one and do other stuff on the main monitor. That way I can keep an eye on it and make sure everything is ok.

Also, if Wifey wants some 'quality time', I can remote in from the ipad and watch TV with her.

I did put a tool box out there though with a power connector in and run all the cables through that, otherwise it just starts to become a mess. 

I will usually transfer the files over to the main computer as I run, and get an idea of what the final image is going to look like.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Do away with the camara control software and use an intervalometer. That'll loose you one cable!

I've been shooting this way to date but keen to dither moving forwards (think this reduces/removes need for darks?)
Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm finally fine-tuning my Obs and warm room installation started about 9 months ago, my experiences and opinions may be helpful to some.

With USB, I started with the same philosophy as the mains powerpoints - think of a number and double it.

A mistake in my opinion.

With USB I found less is more.

I started with two 5M Repeater USB cables and two 7-port Powered USB hubs.

The Repeater cables were cheap eBay items. 

They work okay except the sockets are too shallow, which caused intermittant loss of connection to the hubs.

I splinted the connection and they are now reliable.

The 7-port hubs were also eBay and were a mistake.

The PSU's were only 1A, despite being advertised as 2A, I got a 50% refund and bought two 2.5A PSU's.

Over time I realised my DSLR connection problems were down to the hub.

So I ditched the two 7-port hubs and ran the DSLR off one of the cables.

I also bought one Startech 4-port powered hub which connects to the other cable.


Into this goes the Guidecam (YesYes modded SPC900 with onboard USB hub and USB-to-serial converter) 

The telescope mount interface (contains another USB-to-Serial converter)

A USB mouse (for controlling PHD and Canon Utilities when setting up on the clone display in the Obs) yes two mouses will work on the same PC.

Leaving one spare USB input.


If I was starting again I would probably buy 4 separate USB repeater cables, but check your conduit or waste pipe is large enough.

If you add White Dwarf's filter wheel and auto focuser etc etc then a hub is the way to go.


Label everything and always put back into the same sockets.

Power off with everything left plugged in, and leave plugged in to keep the connections dry.

Power up with everything disconnected and then introduce each connection, checking on Device Manager that the connection is there before connecting the next one.

Some devices can take up to a minute to connect, so be patient.

DSLR connection - not sure which is best, connect and then turn on DSLR, or vice-versa, I often need to repeat the plugging to get a connection.


If you get consistent boot up with everything plugged in at the start then you are luckier than me.


Michael

Link to post
Share on other sites

I did it exactly as Michael does but I got fed up with the whole process of getting everything started when I want to image. IMHO best and stable solution without ever touching anything again is an obsy pc/laptop/barebone. When I want to image I only have to start the barebone, go outside to open roof, check alignment with astrotortilla and my wifi laptop, start focussing, frame and off I go.

There are plenty of solutions, depends on what you want. My network cost like 150€ for a new barebone plus cable to house.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Do away with the camara control software and use an intervalometer. That'll loose you one cable!

Thats my method..........one laptop in the obsy and an intervalometer, then let it get on with it.

Go and do other things while it's at it.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 30m USB link to a StarTech hub in my observatory.

Beware of the extravagant claims for some USB extenders...

There may not be a lot of science in some 50m extenders? :p

After much messing about, I NOW have complete reliability. :)

http://www.icron.com/products/icron-brand/usb-extenders/

Slow speed is sufficient for my control applications. But even 

(USB 1.1) devs are quite expensive. But, by the time you've

invested in (debugged) a chain of several short repeaters... ;)

Fortunately my video astronomy camera signals only need coax.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My setup consists of only 2 USB cables, one for the guide cam and one for my Canon 450d. My guide cam is a QHY5 and that has ST4 port and my mount (HEQ5) also has an ST4 port so I connect my guide cam to my mount.  I use APT and PHD and with two I am able to dither as well.

I use an outside power point and plug everything into a 4-way adapter which I hide inside a wooden box I made and leave my laptop outside and just use TeamViewer over wifi.

Edited by SkyExplorer
Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish I had a diagram for all this! It would be lovely to do everything from the house.

So, for a simple set-up (for Atik or DSLR), would it be? -

Cable for Atik/DSLR - into laptop via USB cables

Cable for guidecam - into laptop via USB cables

Mount connected to mains - outside (I'm lucky I have an outside mains supply!)

Atik to mains - outside

SW: APT/Artemis Capture, PHD

I'm doing this on the top of my dodgy brain so have I missed anything?

Is this the StarTech powered port, Michael?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/StarTech-com-Mini-Port-USB-2-0/dp/B0000E2PVJ/ref=lh_ni_t?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE

Alexxx

Link to post
Share on other sites

My set up consists of a laptop with two USB connections. One goes to the mount and nothing else and is always the same port, the other goes to the Trius and breaks out to the guide camea and filter wheel, The laptop stays outside during a run, and has been covered in ice before now. Everything is powered from an outside socket and extension lead. The bigest tangle is the three power supplies, which I'm thinking of replacing with a custom made mains PSU with 13.8 V for the mount, 12 V for the Trius and 7.2V for the LT.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be lovely to do everything from the house.

It's certainly nice to operate from indoors. I suppose the crucial question for most "classical" imagers concerns the need for a FAST USB link for the Camera. Even the high quality LONG links seem to incur some loss of speed. Of course, you also do lose touch with the outside weather. You get some impression when the video screen turn from black to white. lol But I am now pondering a USB sky quality meter. The spends that never ends? :p

Link to post
Share on other sites

So my solution is a gigabit USB hub and powerline gigabit setup. Not tried it yet but could be quite neat.  Up to 4 no. USB's into the hub then LAN to the powerline adapter (which will take the signal back to my house and the server).  Hopefully I can then get access to all the peripherals from my wireless network (in the house!) with only a power cable between the garden and the house!

http://uk.tp-link.com/products/details/?model=TL-PA6010KIT

http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/gigabit-network-server-4-port-usb-20-hub-n01jz

Thoughts? Issues?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have things as simple as possible and have a rather elderly MacBookPro controlling everything which sits outside within WiFi range, so I can VNC into it. Works ok. Cables are guide cam/Canon into a non powered usb hub into one USB port and the mount into the remaining usb port all of its own. Dew controller is a separate set of cables to a controller. I have no motor focuser, so nothing to worry about there, and no filter wheel as I am a dslr man at present. I have external power and everything sitting in a big plastic box under the tripod.

I think your efforts at not having computing power by the rig are admirable, but a bit of an ordeal. It also means that if you do want to go out and play, how do you control anything?

Link to post
Share on other sites

If I'm out to play I think I can just plug straight into the hub (and I think my wifi will also reach so I might just be able to wander around inside or out with the laptop). Failing that I would use a LAN to USB adapter (http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/usb-20-to-ethernet-adapter-a31gy) and plug that straight into the laptop.

This is all theory at the moment!  clear sky forecast so hopefully a chance to test it all tonight!

Link to post
Share on other sites

These "mains lead" links are essentially (actually) Ethernet links. FINE to connect computers

by TCP/IP networking etc. Fine if, like most astronomers, you want to control your scope via

a Laptop sitting next to your setup and talk to *that* computer remotely via "TeamViewer" etc.

Software allows you to have a virtual desktop / keyboard from  your (stargazers!) lounge. :)

As ever, it depends... I understand "mains links" might not support full speed data transfer.

(I was nevertheless *really* impressed by Teamviewer. I have my own particular uses for it.)

It's a great thing to buy an "exterior quality" powered USB hub too - These are likely "better"...

AND that may be ALL you need. Who am I to challenge "astronomical tradition"! [teasing] :D

Aside: 

To me, the basic question: How far from the setup do you want to sit? ;)

USB cables are limited to 5 metres due to "handshake" requirements...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB#Cabling

USB may work over greater distances e.g. by chaining multiple leads.

It's "in the lap of the gods"? Personally, I have had trouble with USB 

connectors. They are intended as "hot swappable" and indoor use. :o

Otherwise, it's as much a "sociological" question. An average "nuclear

family" (2.1 teenagers?) has about SEVEN Laptops. Astro Mums and

Dads can rely on a continuous supply of "old fashioned" computers?  :p

If you want proper (reliable, permanent, guaranteed) LONG USB links.

http://www.icron.com/products/icron-brand/usb-extenders/

But you may well have to pay the price of a second hand Laptop... :)

Edited by Macavity
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

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.