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gnomus

Help Me Eliminate USB Hubs

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8 hours ago, Gina said:

The cheapest mini/micro computer I know of is the Raspberry Pi :D  The Pi 3 has 4 USB2 ports and WiFi plus a number of IO pins.

Gina

I can't program the washing machine.  There's no way I could write code for the Pi.  :icon_biggrin:

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It may be worth a mention that although newer PCs don't come with a com port, quite a few motherboards still have the connections for them. It just needs a bracket and ribbon cable to get it up & running. Then you have a proper com port and no usb conversion.

Like this serial plate

When I built my new PC this year I added one just so I have a proper connection when I need it.

 

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Even if the MB does not have hard COM ports you can install a card, I dropped across one on ebay with 2 ports for less than £10 s/h so bought it for the Obs PC. The advantage (other than compatibility) is that RS232 cables can be much longer than USB cables and don't need amplifiers.

ChrisH

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One reason I chose a mini-PC over USB hubs was all those multiple points of failure - additional cables, plugs, sockets and power supplies. A PC/Pi at the scopes/cameras minimises this situation in my view. I then have PowerLine units to allow remote access from the house. That means I only have one cable going to the observatory - a power cable! :hello2:

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I tried these plug in power line things a few years back.  They were BT branded and I found them unreliable to say the least.  What is currently considered state of the art?

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I use powerline adapters all over the house...superb, have one with three network sockets on it behind the telly, have the TV, Bluray player and skybox all connected to the Internet, as the router is no where near the TV...one of the best things invented in the last ten years.

i also have one in the detached garage, so I have internet in there a that is my warm room a the moment. :)

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2 minutes ago, SkyBound said:

I use powerline adapters all over the house...superb, have one with three network sockets on it behind the telly, have the TV, Bluray player and skybox all connected to the Internet, as the router is no where near the TV...one of the best things invented in the last ten years.

i also have one in the detached garage, so I have internet in there a that is my warm room a the moment. :)

Do you have a specific brand recommendation?

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7 minutes ago, gnomus said:

Do you have a specific brand recommendation?

I use TP-link to run the internet upstairs (the router is downstairs). Used to use an wireless dongle, which was OK, but only gave me about 1/3 of the speed that I get now.

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9 minutes ago, gnomus said:

Do you have a specific brand recommendation?

TP link is my preferred, but Netgear and D-link are also,very good

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I have exactly the same usb2 to ethernet as gnomus.I have had it for about a year and it has been very reliable. Once or twice when I turned the pc on my windows 7 would not find its driver.I just unplugged and plugged in a few times the ethernet plug of the adapter at the pc end to regain connection.After that I have never lost a connection .I will get another one for my eq6.

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USB hubs and cable management has tormented me too for a very long time. Last year i bought this USB hub http://us.dlink.com/products/connect/7-port-usb-2-hub/ it has a USB Type B plug that adds rigidity to the connection to the PC whereas all the others had a mini-USB port that usually failed over time, i have not had any problems ever since. But this not the problem that frustrated me the last months. The final blow came this summer when my astro-laptop decided not to boot only a few days before a star party, i manged to fix a problem at the BIOS, but the glove was thrown. I saw this video 

and decided to mount a mini-pc at my OTA (it runs at 12v). I bought the exact mini-pc (it has an on board Serial port for future use if needed) and i connected it to my tablet. The whole setup runs very nice with no wires form the mount to to a pc but i still have not managed to get it outside for field testing due to bad weather. A couple of weeks after i received my mini-pc i found a new mini-pc that might help in making the whole equipment even lighter. It's called Lattepanda http://www.lattepanda.com/ and it is a palmsized pc that runs win 10. I may buy it in the near future and use it remotely from my tablet. 

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I use one of these linked to a HP netbook that I RDP into. The nice thing about the Startech hub is that it can be powered with 12v. It's been rock solid for 2 years and in my opinion was worth every penny :icon_biggrin:

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My Observatory PC has 8 USB Ports on the back plate all built into the the Mother board Hub, never had a problem, sticking hubs into hubs is not the way to go........

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21 hours ago, gnomus said:

Do you have a specific brand recommendation?

Mine are all TP-Link too. Have 5 around the place.

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My modest set up use to drop my main imaging camera a lot. And there were the most irritating stalls at times.

Finally, a friend suggested I look into a powered USB hub and he uses Star Tech.

So I got one and since I have my cables all loomed between the mount and my outside table I simply tried it where my USB cables had come to a port powered hub with a 2' lead to my laptop.

No more worries, no more drop outs!

Each cable has an ample supply of clean DC power from my AGM battery, and I only have two wires to my laptop, power and a single USB from the Star Tech powered 7 port hub. I can and do WiFi connect my laptop at the equipment to my desktop computer in my home office when the winter nights get cold. I use Tight Vnc currently, and have used TeamViewer 11 in the past that another friend recommended.

By bringing the existing loom of cables to the hub, my thought was to test the new powered hub, and to see if I could remove the theoretical data bottleneck. I have yet to try relocating the hub to the mount and using a single long cable to my laptop computer. Since all works well as it currently is, I'm happy to report my problem was cured.

I chose this Star Tech hub for my kit:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SCE4E0I/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It is mountable should I ever decide to take it to the mount. The powered hub, and WiFi connecting my computers has given me what I had hoped to achieve when beginning.

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1 hour ago, Jokehoba said:

Mine are all TP-Link too. Have 5 around the place.

Thanks.  I looked at the review on Amazon.  It seems that most folks get on well with these.  Others get frequent dropped connections.  This is what I experienced with the BT version.  I will think about it.  I suppose with Amazon I can return them if they don't work. 

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3 hours ago, kookoo_gr said:

USB hubs and cable management has tormented me too for a very long time. Last year i bought this USB hub http://us.dlink.com/products/connect/7-port-usb-2-hub/ it has a USB Type B plug that adds rigidity to the connection to the PC whereas all the others had a mini-USB port that usually failed over time, i have not had any problems ever since. But this not the problem that frustrated me the last months. The final blow came this summer when my astro-laptop decided not to boot only a few days before a star party, i manged to fix a problem at the BIOS, but the glove was thrown. I saw this video 

and decided to mount a mini-pc at my OTA (it runs at 12v). I bought the exact mini-pc (it has an on board Serial port for future use if needed) and i connected it to my tablet. The whole setup runs very nice with no wires form the mount to to a pc but i still have not managed to get it outside for field testing due to bad weather. A couple of weeks after i received my mini-pc i found a new mini-pc that might help in making the whole equipment even lighter. It's called Lattepanda http://www.lattepanda.com/ and it is a palmsized pc that runs win 10. I may buy it in the near future and use it remotely from my tablet. 

That set up looks fantastic.  I am really tempted to do something similar.  I was unable to find the specific brand of mini PC mentioned in the video.  But co-incidentally I just got an e-mail advertising this: http://www.novatech.co.uk/pc/range/novatechpockithdnpi28.html?utm_source=eweekly&utm_medium=eweekly&utm_campaign=eweekly-290916

I'm not very good with specs and stuff.  Do folks reckon something like this would run SGP, PHD and such like?  Also, what would be the best way of establishing a connection between this and the PC in my warm room.  The guy in the video said he used the mini-PC to create a wireless network, but he rather skipped over how one does this.    (I do have an ethernet cable running from warm room to mount.)  One thing that does concern me is moisture.  I get a lot of condensation on my equipment - I am sure that is teh reason I am getting so many USB failures.  Would something like this be safe out in the cold and damp?

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You guys that have mini PCs at the pier or mount, how do you connect them to another PC to control, I realise you use Teamvier or something similar, but how do you connect without a keyboard or monitor on the mini PC... As it has to generate a number to connect to Teamvier...

maybe this is a stupid question...sorry if it is... :)

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I bought my mini pc from alliexpress it's cheaper than buying it from ebay. As for connecting a pc to another pc or android device i used real vnc both at my pc and my android devices, realvnc doesn't need a network connection the device or pc you are going to use to control the telescope must be able to work as a wifi hotspot. In order to connect the pc to the android device i turned on the tethering and portable hotspot setting at my android device, the pc's wi-fi will locate the android device and connect to the device. after that i use the realvnc app at my android device and i connect to my pc.

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I have a wireless keyboard/mouse combo (and monitor) in the observatory to get everything set up before remoting on simply with Windows RDP. I have Win10 Pro on the mini PC, which is needed in order to use Remote Desktop. I also have TeamViewer in 'host' mode (always running in the background) as an alternative means. 

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1 hour ago, gnomus said:

That set up looks fantastic.  I am really tempted to do something similar.  I was unable to find the specific brand of mini PC mentioned in the video.  But co-incidentally I just got an e-mail advertising this: http://www.novatech.co.uk/pc/range/novatechpockithdnpi28.html?utm_source=eweekly&utm_medium=eweekly&utm_campaign=eweekly-290916

I'm not very good with specs and stuff.  Do folks reckon something like this would run SGP, PHD and such like?  Also, what would be the best way of establishing a connection between this and the PC in my warm room.  The guy in the video said he used the mini-PC to create a wireless network, but he rather skipped over how one does this.    (I do have an ethernet cable running from warm room to mount.)  One thing that does concern me is moisture.  I get a lot of condensation on my equipment - I am sure that is teh reason I am getting so many USB failures.  Would something like this be safe out in the cold and damp?

I'm not sure I would go with this. I think I looked at that processor and decided it wasn't good enough. This (http://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=2762&cmp[]=2200) compares the processor I have with the Novatech's. 

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22 minutes ago, Jokehoba said:

I have a wireless keyboard/mouse combo (and monitor) in the observatory to get everything set up before remoting on simply with Windows RDP. I have Win10 Pro on the mini PC, which is needed in order to use Remote Desktop. I also have TeamViewer in 'host' mode (always running in the background) as an alternative means. 

So if you put the mini PC on the mount connect all your kit to it and turn on...then back in the warm room how do you see what is going on, on the mount PC, I realise it is probably simple, but can't get my head around it.

i use teamviewer, but both computers need to be connected to a monitor to see the code it generates, to be able to connect.., but your mount PC won't have a monitor connected so...??

?

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