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Anthonyexmouth

Rasberry pi questions

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im looking at the idea of running a pi on my mount for remote control

ive looked at stellarmate and just seen astroberry

whats the difference in these 2? are the software components available to put together yourself? 

im not really interested in table support as im happy to use my laptop in the house. 

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Astroberry and Stellarmate both use much the same technology. And you can roll your own if you wish. With Stellarmate you are buying a pre-built kit (hardware and software) or you can buy just the operating system to download. For your money you get support from the vendor. Astroberry is a downloadable operating system for the Raspberry Pi for free. 

Both run on Ubuntu 16.04 and use the INDI framework and other freely available software which you can download and install yourself. However, there are some issues with Ubuntu on the Pi3B+ which I understand are resolved with Stellarmate - Astroberry I'm not sure. You don't need to install on a Raspberry Pi.  I use an Aaeon-Up Core which is actually smaller and has the advantage of eMMC memory and USB3 port. Its harder to get up and running than a Raspberry Pi but performs better. You could really try any sort of computer that runs Linux.

The main advantage of INDI is that it is designed for distributed computing. So you can run the INDI device drivers on one or more Raspberry Pis and run the client software like KStars/EKOS, CdC, PHD2 etc on your laptop. I run PHD2 on the Aaeon and Kstars/Ekos on my Windows Desktop connected through Wifi.  Some folks run everything on the Raspberry Pi although I would not recommend that.

You can find out more at indilib.org which also has a forum for asking questions. 

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I wish there was a trial version of stellar mate £50 is a lot to drop on a gamble. Guess I'll give astroberry a go. 

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There is of course the Pi based ASIAIR from ZWO which again is prebuilt. Downsides are the cost and the fact that only ZWO cameras are supported (some Canon and Nikon DSLRs have also recently been added) and the interface is either iOS or Android. Upsides are you get the full package including focus, guiding, plate solve, EQMod and so on together with large company support.

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I like the look of that from zwo, just sucks it doesn't support their own 120MM . I use a long usb lead at the moment but like the idea if everything running remotely as I'm building a pier and having all the cable run underground into my workshop. Can then connect to the cat6 back into the house. 

I'll probably play with the astroberry as it's a cheap start. If that works it might convince me to drop £50 on stellar mate 

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6 hours ago, kens said:

there are some issues with Ubuntu on the Pi3B+ which I understand are resolved with Stellarmate - Astroberry I'm not sure

There are no issues with Ubuntu running on PI3b+ - its a boot problem which Astroberry/Stellarmate and Berryboot have over come (Google it) . Once you get passed that its not different. Astroberry runs on 3B+. But as Ken says it depends on your kit - Have CCD's (i.e. not DSLR) then you cant expect a poor old £32 RPI3b/B+ to give high frame rates.

Be warned INDI has a steep learning curve and there are "problems" depending on your kit - like all things Astro Pro's and Con's. So as Ken suggests check out your set up first to see if its supported and all issues for your hardware have been solved.

Astroberry VS Stellarmate IMHO you are paying for support from the main Indilib contributor (Jasem) - Astroberry free good support but slower - it is free 🙂

Read the tutorials and if you go RPI but a decent (expensive) powered Hub

The Asi120mm (USB2) just sucks ,IMHO, end of !

 

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Yup.  I have Ubuntu 16.04 running on an RPi 3B+ now (in 64-bit mode, even).  I'm going to have a crack at 18.04 on a 3B next.

The 120MM is more stable if you flash it with the "compatible" firmware, but that does drop the frame rate because it makes it properly compliant with the USB2 spec. for a start.  If you don't need high frame rates that may be enough.  I don't believe the RPi models are good for high frame rate cameras anyhow because there's no dedicated bus for the USB hardware and I suspect that eventually resource starvation occurs if too much data is being transferred via the USB ports.  (And in fact I'm not convinced this is just a problem with the RPi, nor even ARM-based systems with USB2 ports.  I have an inkling that it may be the same with some ARM-based systems with USB3, too.)

James

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I'm using the 120MM for guiding and it's ok for that. I don't do any planetary imaging so frame rates ain't an issue. My imagining is done with a canon 760d mainly or sometimes an asi290MC . Apart from that it's just my heq5 

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15 hours ago, JamesF said:

there's no dedicated bus for the USB hardware

As far as i am aware that was the big change when the 3B+ came out - to allow both 5ghz(which was new to 3b+) and 2.4chz wireless they separated the USB bus from WiFi as  I understood it - but USB is still shared with Ethernet (hard wired) - so if you dont use hard wired its not a big problem. Might be wrong 🙂

Plus 64bit RPI OS doesnt really help,IMHO, with anything speed wise - tried it with both 18.10 server and Raspex with Umate desktop.

It would be nice if he Rasp Org went to crowd funding ( or something sim)  to see if a nice USB3 / 4GB+ /Emmc (or Sata) device could be built as the support is far better than the majority of other Linux SOC IMO.

If you are just guiding then you will get away with it as the frame rates are low anyway.

But its only a £32 SOC - so come on your camera's cost way more than that - great for sticking your toe into the Indi waters but.

The DSLR's downloads ,IMHO, are faster than a full blown PC (USB2 based) and the mount isn't a significant overhead. Platesolving will even work ok ish speed wise if you use high quality SD cards (sandisk or samsung).  But were Indi does come in is you can use the Client/Server tech to split what you do where - e.g. Run hardware indiserver on a single/multi PI (or better) and Kstars (with platesolving etc) on a PC.

Check your DSLR camera is supported - normally not too far behind.

As I hinted at please do some checking / reading on the Indi Forum as I guess you will want to run EQMOD (Indi version) and do expect some problems now and again.

Good luck. 🙂

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4 minutes ago, stash_old said:

Plus 64bit RPI OS doesnt really help,IMHO, with anything speed wise - tried it with both 18.10 server and Raspex with Umate desktop.

I'd agree there.  You really want more RAM than the RPi has to take advantage of the 64-bit installs I think.  I install it purely to be able to create oacapture releases that will run on other 64-bit ARM hardware (because the RPi is what I have available).

James

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