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Olli

Do i need a laptop for imaging?

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Hi

 

I am hoping to be buying my imaging set up around november time and i am just double checking on what i need to purchase. I have a pc which i am planning on upgrading but i was wondering is having a laptop a must for imaging? What are the benefits of having one? As they can get pretty pricy for high end ones and i dont really want to spend anymore then i am.

 

Any advice is appreciated.

Edited by Olli

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I would say that it depends if you are going to permanently mount your telescope or have a mobile set up. If you are able to then I would stick with a pc as its easier and cheaper to upgrade your disc space and memory.

I have just stuck mine under a small wooden box with a hinged lid (home made) and its been fine in there for months.

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1 hour ago, spillage said:

I would say that it depends if you are going to permanently mount your telescope or have a mobile set up. If you are able to then I would stick with a pc as its easier and cheaper to upgrade your disc space and memory.

I have just stuck mine under a small wooden box with a hinged lid (home made) and its been fine in there for months.

As a general rule, I think a PC would be the better option for interfacing with camera / mount only.

That said, those seeking to save some £ might try and use a raspberry pi hooked up to a monitor for image capture and guiding. AFAIK the software and drivers are all there, and the computer costs you £40 + SD card + plastic housing. Cheaper than any desktop or laptop at least!

If you are processing the images on the same machine, I would try and get something higher end (maybe even have two devices - one cheapo for capture and something more expensive for processing. Situation dependent of course but I'm just listing potential options.

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I use an old nettop pc as my 'astropc' at the telescope end to take care of the camera and mount control (eqmod), and then a laptop in the house for processing (I don't have a pc). I control the astropc using TeamViewer from my laptop, tablet and PC. 

Are you looking to do control, processing, or both? 

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I use a NUC local to the scope (contained in a clip-lid box) which runs all the imaging software and I control it from a refurbished Lenovo laptop (running Win10Pro and Remote Desktop) which I purchased from Amazon. The refurbished units represent really good value for money; they are typically high spec machines and they come with Win10Pro preinstalled. They are worth considering.

HTH

Edited by Adreneline
Typo corrected.

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8 hours ago, spillage said:

I would say that it depends if you are going to permanently mount your telescope or have a mobile set up. If you are able to then I would stick with a pc as its easier and cheaper to upgrade your disc space and memory.

I have just stuck mine under a small wooden box with a hinged lid (home made) and its been fine in there for months.

Hi unfortunately i cant have it permanently mounted as i don't have enough room in my garden. So it would be in ny garage most of thr time thrn bring it out when i want to use it.

Edited by Olli

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7 hours ago, adyj1 said:

I use an old nettop pc as my 'astropc' at the telescope end to take care of the camera and mount control (eqmod), and then a laptop in the house for processing (I don't have a pc). I control the astropc using TeamViewer from my laptop, tablet and PC. 

Are you looking to do control, processing, or both? 

Hi,

I would just do the guiding on the laptop and processing on my pc.

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I would say a low end cheap laptop would be fine. You do not need a high spec unit to run your mount and capture images. The only thing you may want to check is the that it has usb3 but this is dependant on your imaging camera and is just useful to have.

Although like @pipnina has mentioned something like a raspberry pi might be they way to go.

Maybe check on facebook,/ebay for something second hand.

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You don't say what you will be imaging with?  No laptop necessary for imaging if using a DSLR, but a computer for processing the images is normally required..

However, if you are looking at a ccd or cmos camera, like something from ZWO for example, then yes you will need a laptop at the telescope as they only operate with via a computer.

You mention guiding in the response above, there are stand-alone guiders like the synguider where no computer is needed, but if you are going to use the AZ pronto, you might not bother, at least to start with, as longer exposure shots would start to show field rotation..

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19 minutes ago, mikeyj1 said:

You don't say what you will be imaging with?  No laptop necessary for imaging if using a DSLR, but a computer for processing the images is normally required..

However, if you are looking at a ccd or cmos camera, like something from ZWO for example, then yes you will need a laptop at the telescope as they only operate with via a computer.

You mention guiding in the response above, there are stand-alone guiders like the synguider where no computer is needed, but if you are going to use the AZ pronto, you might not bother, at least to start with, as longer exposure shots would start to show field rotation..

Hi 

I wont be using the pronto will hopefully buy a HEQ5 i t will be with a dslr. No ccd or cmos cameras 

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To echo @spillage , a pretty basic laptop will serve you just fine for capturing at night. I used an old Toshiba with a wobbly clamshell hinge and 4 GB memory for quite a while, running PhD2, Nebulosity, and SGP on it, and it easily managed. Even did a fair amount of processing in PixInsight with it: other than the incessant fan noise, it was able to grind its way along. Earlier in the year the case had finally deteriorated to the point that I didn't entirely trust it, so I upgraded to a Lenovo with 8 GB memory and a small solid-state drive. Again, it has way more than enough power to handle capturing and controlling the rig.

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Not sure of your exact set up, but I found with my dslr that buying a mains battery adapter and using APT (If using a Nikon check compatibility) to image really helped allot.

Edited by spillage

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For imaging with a DSRL you do not need a laptop, but a mains battery adapter, or battery grip and big a enough memory card is enough.
All other things you can do on your PC 

Celestron offers a very nice LiFePO4 powerpack, which could provide power to your mount as well as to your DSRL: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/batteries-powerpacks/celestron-lithium-lifepo4-powertank.html. Maybe you will need a little converter to power your camera.

Triggertrap is a very nice gadget with phone app to manage your camera, so you won't have to touch it.

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