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john2y

Eagle3 by Primalucelab

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Hey guys,

few weeks ago I got myself the EAGLE3 by Primaluce Lab as a replacement of my 8 year old laptop to control my whole setup. Even though I'm saving up for a new mount this was my priority as my laptop refused to start when the battery, optical drive or keyboard were connected so I always had to remove the keyboard, start the laptop and then reconnect it and I was really afraid that it's gonna die on me and I wouldn't be able to shoot. 

Even though I'm not promoting it in this review I should disclose that I got it for better price as I'm working with Primalucelab on Instagram. 

I got the EAGLE3 Q which is the same as the base model but with slightly better cpu. It has Intel pentium 1,5GHz quadcore cpu, 4GB of ram and 120GB SSD. The build quality is excellent, I already had their Sesto Senso motorised focuser and I knew that they're doing a great job building these things. The body is anodized aluminium with red finish and the bottom and top parts are filled with holes for easy mounting of it in whatever way you wish to do it. The sides are full of USB ports (4x2.0 + 4x3.0), it has three ports for heating and the back has 4 power outputs for powering your gear. 

The Eagle has Windows 10 Enterprise edition and on startup it launches their control software, so you can decide what to power and what ports will be active. It took me a while to get everything ready for imaging as I had to install all drivers, and programs. The only problem I had was with SGP not seeing my mount but it turned out I forgot to install driver for the RS-232 to USB converter, after that it worked flawlessly. Then I spent couple of nights just catching some bugs in form of tweaking settings.

Integrating it into my imaging train was quite easy and I've decided to sandwich it between my main telescope and guidescope, probably most used type of integration. I got mine with better power adapter which can provide sufficient power to the eagle so it can power other things like camera cooler and ZWO power adapter. I'm planning on getting a new mount soon so I'll be getting power cable for it too and also for the focuser so my setup will have just one power cable coming out of it. The cable management with this thing is awesome. No hanging cables anymore and I got rid of the power brick for my ASI camera which I had attached with velcro to one of the tripod legs and it had bad habit of falling and pulling on my telescope while imaging.  

Pros: It is durable, quite fast pc, it can control your whole setup and cable managing is great with it. 

Cons: Definitely price, there are way cheaper options like ASIAIR. So far I haven't figured out how to reliably control it with TeamViewer without it loosing the connection so I'm forced to use Remote desktop. Also my unit hat only 40GBs of storage when I got it and the rest was locked in hidden partition but this was fixed immediately when I contacted the tech support.

I really love this thing as it solved the problems I had with my old pc and I finally control everything remotely. The cable management is as I've said awesome and build quality too. BUT to be completely honest I wouldn't get it for the full price, I was actually looking for a miniPC something like Intel nuc which is half the price. What I'm trying to say is that with a little bit more work and a few compromises, you can get quite close to the Eagle with cheaper alternatives. On the other hand, the Eagle is made for astrophotography and it will make things much easier. 

I hope this can help out some people who are considering purchasing this thing and I also hope I didn't butcher the English too much ?

Here is the timelapse from the first night where everything worked as it should be, completely controlled by the eagle.

 

 

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There's at least a couple of us on here who didn't have such good experiences with the Eagle 2 unfortunately.  It's a good concept and is, in fact, a NUC inside with a power board (with the 4 USB2 ports on it) made by PLL added and connected via a USB 2 header on the NUC.

When working they are very good, but the downside is the firmware in the NUC is not within PLL control, and this was where my biggest issues were, which in the end made it completely unusable as a remote option as they had no way of fixing the problems so it had to be returned.

Personally I would stick with RDP and not see it as an unfortunate option to Team Viewer not working.  With W10 Enterprise it will be much more stable as they are designed to work together.

Lovely looking though, as with all the PLL gear.

Nice time lapse :thumbright:

 

Edited by RayD

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I'm interested in mini computer control and was therefore drawn to this thread. Few questions:

  • Is the Eagle wireless connection for control + if so, what is the reliable range?
  • What is RDP + how does it work + where can I get it?

Thanks, Graham   

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1 hour ago, groberts said:

What is RDP + how does it work + where can I get it?

RDP ( Remote Desktop ) is part of Windows OS  to allow remote wireless connection between 2 Windows computers, it used to work really well on Win XP but MS messed about with it so not sure which version of Windows is needed to use it now.

Video by Ray here with review of the Eagle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-gMzeK6ObM

Dave

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3 hours ago, Davey-T said:

RDP ( Remote Desktop ) is part of Windows OS  to allow remote wireless connection between 2 Windows computers, it used to work really well on Win XP but MS messed about with it so not sure which version of Windows is needed to use it now.

You need Windows 10 Pro (or enterprise) to get RDP, well worth it as it's much better than Teamviewer.

Rob.

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7 minutes ago, Rob63 said:

You need Windows 10 Pro (or enterprise) to get RDP, well worth it as it's much better than Teamviewer.

Rob.

Do you only need it on one of the computers ?

Dave

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1 hour ago, Davey-T said:

Do you only need it on one of the computers ?

Dave

No it has to run on both computers and they have to be pro versions. I run mine on W10 laptop to W7 astro PC.

Steve

 

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2 hours ago, sloz1664 said:

No it has to run on both computers and they have to be pro versions. I run mine on W10 laptop to W7 astro PC.

Steve

 

Not sure if this is still the case - I am able to RDP into my mini PC (W10 Pro) with my desktop (W10 home), iPad and Android phone, the latter two using the free RDP apps.

For me just the scopeside PC needs to be W10 Pro for RDP to work.

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3 hours ago, eshy76 said:

Not sure if this is still the case - I am able to RDP into my mini PC (W10 Pro) with my desktop (W10 home), iPad and Android phone, the latter two using the free RDP apps.

For me just the scopeside PC needs to be W10 Pro for RDP to work.

You are probably right. I set mine up a few years back and as both computers are pro versions I assumed they were needed.

Steve

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13 hours ago, eshy76 said:

For me just the scopeside PC needs to be W10 Pro for RDP to work.

Absolutely!  I control/monitor my Eagle2 with RDP from both a Mac and an iPad. 

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My astro laptop currently runs Windows 7, which I have to say I prefer over W10.  Is RDP available on Windows 7 + if so how do I get to it? Obviously if I used the Prima Luce Eagle that would be W10 Enterprise I believe?

I realise that one day I'll have to change to the dreaded W10 but for now enjoy using W7.

Graham

 

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, sloz1664 said:

No it has to run on both computers and they have to be pro versions. I run mine on W10 laptop to W7 astro PC.

Steve

 

This is NOT correct. For Windows Remote Desktop to work you need Windows 10 Pro only on the scope side computer which I run  'headless. Then Windows 10 Home is fine 'indoors'. Wireless range is comfortably 30 feet, but use a Netgear EX8000 wireless extender (or cat 6 cable) if you need longer.

Windows RDP is much more reliable than TeamViewer which now insists on running over the Internet to check for commercial use. To get 'peer to peer' on your WAN or LAN you need to pay a subscription. RDP is better value unless you can keep an older TV installation running (e.g. don't upgrade!).

A Tip...

Windows Remote Desktop artificially screws down screen data transfer below 10Mbps even if your network can handle 433Mbps (e.g. 802.11ac wireless adapters). This means software for 16 megapixel cameras may stutter/lag on the indoor display device if running a 4K UHD display. To resolve this, disable 'RemoteFX Compression' via Windows 10 Pro 'Group Profiles'. But only do this on your local WAN/LAN. This compression is to avoid a single user "throttling" commercial networks. But at home, release its full power and turbo-charge your network! I have posted fuller instructions in the Observatories Forum.

The only benefit of running older Win7 laptops is access to serial ports. But put a PL2303 driver into a modern Win10 PC and enjoy fast USB, or better still 'Thunderbolt' display cable; 802.11n or 802.11ac wireless and a generally better experience. OK, the GUI is little different, but it's not difficult. I connect both of my astro computers using RDP over cat 6 cable with zero Internet connectivity. No 'updates, no 'notifications', no Google or Microsoft intrusions. Only when I need to get new astro software do they get connected to the WWW. Life is then a joy with Win 10 Professional.

Edited by noah4x4
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I must admit that Windows RD is much better than Teamviewer, as now and again it would end it's session abruptly and needed to be restarted. Which ended many a session prematurely.

Steve 

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2 hours ago, groberts said:

My astro laptop currently runs Windows 7, which I have to say I prefer over W10.  Is RDP available on Windows 7 + if so how do I get to it? Obviously if I used the Prima Luce Eagle that would be W10 Enterprise I believe?

I realise that one day I'll have to change to the dreaded W10 but for now enjoy using W7.

Graham

 

Same thing for Win7 - you need Pro or Enterprise.

I have just made the switch to W10 Pro in the last few months and have to say it's a lot better than I was expecting.
You do have spend a while changing the settings to maximise your privacy (plenty guides out there)
Most importantly for those with W10 Pro (or enterprise) - set active hours so the system doesn't apply updates and reboot itself in the middle of a session !
You can set up to 18 hours as your "Do not reboot time"

 

R.

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Thanks Rob.  If you upgrade to the Pro version does it affect what's already running / cause any problems.  I already run W10 on my main computer a so am aware of some of the issues but have stick with W7 for astro but know I'll have to change sometime! As the W7 machine is dedicated to astro I've turned updates off and just do it manually from time-to-time. 

Graham  

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1 hour ago, groberts said:

Thanks Rob.  If you upgrade to the Pro version does it affect what's already running / cause any problems.  I already run W10 on my main computer a so am aware of some of the issues but have stick with W7 for astro but know I'll have to change sometime! As the W7 machine is dedicated to astro I've turned updates off and just do it manually from time-to-time. 

Graham  

The only astro equipment issue I have ever found with Win 10 is that it doesn't natively support RS232 Serial devices, but what modern computer has a serial port?

The solution is simple; for older legacy RS232 devices buy a £10 serial to USB adapter cable and install the appropriate PL2303 driver. Win 7 computers tend to be slow and clunky. I can't see any justification for not upgrading other than cost.

Turning off updates and other intrusions is easy. But I never connect my two astro dedicated computers to the Internet when running my scope. I just create a local WAN or LAN using Windows Remote Desktop with zero Internet connectivity. It is particularly easy using cat 6 cable. You don't need a router/hub or access point unless using TeamViewer or other options that do demand Internet access.

Win 10 Pro is vastly superior to Windows 10 Home. As I mentioned earlier, you can reduce levels of RemoteFX compression and control many more facets. I too was initially uncomfortable with the progression from Win 7 to 8 and 10. But once familiar with Win 10, life isn't  difficult. Indeed, it is much easier as it supports faster communications technology whether cable or wireless. 

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On 11/02/2019 at 17:53, RayD said:

There's at least a couple of us on here who didn't have such good experiences with the Eagle 2 unfortunately.  It's a good concept and is, in fact, a NUC inside with a power board (with the 4 USB2 ports on it) made by PLL added and connected via a USB 2 header on the NUC.

When working they are very good, but the downside is the firmware in the NUC is not within PLL control, and this was where my biggest issues were, which in the end made it completely unusable as a remote option as they had no way of fixing the problems so it had to be returned.

Personally I would stick with RDP and not see it as an unfortunate option to Team Viewer not working.  With W10 Enterprise it will be much more stable as they are designed to work together.

Lovely looking though, as with all the PLL gear.

Nice time lapse :thumbright:

 

 

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Hi Ray,

Just saw your post about your experience of the eagle 2 and it’s unsuitability for remote use. Don’t suppose you know whether that has been resolved by pll? I thought one of the selling points of the eagle was it’s remote observatory potential.

 

cheers

 

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