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It's just one more thing to go wrong!


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I have a problem with WiFi control using a tablet.

Whilst looking through an eyepiece, I can feel the buttons on a hand-controller, and feel the movement as I press them; but with "Virtual" buttons on a touch-screen, there is nothing to feel to locate them, so fine pointing control is a hit-or-miss activity, with the emphasis on the "miss".

Geoff

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The main problem I've had recently is dropped connections with different devices. I've only got 2 USB ports on my netbook though.

I got a powered USB 3.0 hub a while back, but still get some issues. Although it seems better if I leave all cables plugged in the same ports and don't move anything around.

Has anyone found just getting a laptop with more USB ports helpful? So devices can have their own ports. I'm considering that as a backup option if I continue to have issues.

Andy.

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4 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

UGH! Back to the 80's!

I believe the look these days is called "retro" rather than old fashioned! :laugh2:

Discovered them when doing CAD work 20 years ago and I prefer them, even if they look a bit odd

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28 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Well I was never any good at Defender!

http://www.free80sarcade.com/defender.php

(I think I meant Missile Command, but I was crap at defender too)

Defender was a joystick. Missile command used a trackball https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missile_Command. as did Centipede https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centipede_(video_game). I wasn't any good at any of them either!

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I've gone hi-tech with my ASA mount, direct drive and encoders, no need for a guide camera and PHD2, though I used to use a QHY5-II and ST80. No worrying about guide graphs, or whether PHD has calibrated, and if a cloud passes through (As they did repeatedly when Ophelia came calling) no nasty "bongs" and "lost guide star".

Only two USB cables, one to the mount, the other to the camera which has its own hub that works. Only other thing on the hub is the FW.

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On 21 October 2017 at 22:07, westmarch said:

Having had a frustrating night trying to get another piece of electronic kit to work, I wondered is there a tipping point for everyone?  What piece of kit (electronic or otherwise) would you say causes you more bother than its worth?

John

Electronic. My red LED torch, Telrad, dew zapper & heated gloves + socks are where I draw the line!

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How about Microsoft Windows Update....

Set up to do some lunar and later Uranus with with 150PL + ZWO. 'Windows will now install update' - I've made and eaten my tea, cleaned the Kitchen and it's now on 12% grrrr!!!! There should be an 'emergency' button that lets you skip an update when you boot up. if this happened when I wanted to submit a tender against a deadline it could cost me several year's astro budget!

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Interesting thread! My 'tipping point' is usually software related rather than electronics, to be honest - but probably that's self inflicted: To keep the electronics side reliable I have 2 laptops and a desktop PC all in use, and that means keeping updates and software versions consistent. Usually not too much of an issue, but yes, several 'tipping point' moments were reached over the years. But the electronics have always been fine - even USB. To achieve that, I went for the highest quality USB hubs that I could, and powered by around 16 volts (same as the EQ-AZ6): the company I used is StarTech.com and I think others have used the same. Likewise only USB2 (not USB3!) and high quality powered USB-extension cables. The hook up USB's are at most 1m to prevent the 5v signal dropping to far, and the whole lot is either nearby my 12->16v regulator/booster (which provides some heat) or in a box to prevent any condensing. Usually cold/damp is the enemy of electronics, I think, especially low voltage like USB. Finally by having the rig using 2-3 computers no single machine is over-tasked (remote login/control using teamviewer) and the main PC is inside anyway... Anyway I'll stop rambling on. My main gripe at the moment is getting SGP to work reliably - it keeps crashing (using an SX Ultra-star, and Lakeside focuser, controlled via ASCOM).

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On 21/10/2017 at 22:17, John said:

For a few years now I've deliberately gone for set ups that have as few electronics as possible. All my mounts are now manual alt-azimuth apart from my old HEQ5 which just uses dual drives powered by a battery pack. No cables, no set up routines as far as possible I want setups that I can put outside, cool down as needed and then get observing.

Each time I witness folks having issues with their higher tech systems I'm glad that I've stuck to the low-tech / no-tech approach. It suits me fine :smiley:

But I don't image, I just look, so I can keep it simple and still get good results.

This sums it up for me too.

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In the past when I had an observatory and the full kit, connection, tracking and many other electronic gremlins plagued me. I did manage a couple of times to have a perfect imaging session but then ill health forced me to pack it all in BUT recently the observing bug took hold and decided to go as low tech as possible, my big bins are easy just plonk them on a mount and go. The SM60 was also simple on a manual ALT, Az  mount however I wanted to image the Sun and back to setting the new go/to mount good enough for good tracking, the mount is WI FI operated and the camera has a usb cable to a laptop. No major issues with the electronics but need to do better at setting the mount up for good tracking. 

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