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Raspberry PI 4 for Skywatcher Star Adventurer


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Hi everyone.

I'm getting a new toy.   A Skywatcher Star Adventurer, with a WO Spacecat 51, and a ZWO Mini Guider.  The Guider will have my ZWO ASI290-MM attached as a guide camera and I'm planning to use the ST-4 connection to the star adventurer so that I can get really silly long exposures from my DSLR.     I alway want to be able to perform Polar alignment using the same guide scope.   This will be similar to the technique that I use on my big scope. 

 

On my big scope, I use a windows laptop and run Sharpcap Pro to perform the Polar Alignment.  It works great.   However, I don't want to buy another laptop just to be able to run Sharpcap and PHD2.    I have considered getting an ASI Air, however, the cost is rather high, and I'm waiting for a second version of that device.    However, the idea of using a Raspberry PI is something that I'm toyed with for a while.... and..... I just happen to have a Raspberry PI 4 (4GB) looking for a good use.

 

Last night, I started off, by flashing up the september edition of Rasbian Buster.   Updated and upgraded everything.    Then spent the rest of the evening, figuring out how to get INDI, the ASI driver, and KStars built and running.   Feeling rather proud of myself as I went to bed with the software all build, installed and configured enough to be able to get the EKOS tool to connect to my ZWO ASI290MM and get an image.     I also pressed the button to attempt guiding, and it started the calibration - which is good.   However, as there was not a view of the night sky and no scope attached, it wasn't going to work, so I aborted and stopped rather pleased with myself at this stage.    Yep. I ended up building everything from source code using Github repositories.   Took quite a bit of work as there were lots of librarys that needed to be installed, which the guides that I was following didn't mention.   Eventually got everything working though.  :)

 

EKOS does have a Polar Alignment module, which looks like it's in the same style as SharpCap and Polemaster.     I'd love to get this working so that I can get accurate PA, without the hassle.    My question is.....

How do I get the Polar alignment stuff working on EKOS?

 

In addition to this, I'm planning on getting PHD2 installed and built tonight.   this will give me the choice of KStars or PHD2, and I might just end up using PHD2 on my PI, but I'm not sure yet.    Of course, PHD2 has a PA routine as well, which is something that I'm tempted by.

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The flics are alloy and the 5ghz wireless reception on mine is superb. I can get a really powerful signal in the garden when my router is at the front of the house.

Actually, I've been through the script and stolen the parts that I wanted, and modified them as I went.

Hi everyone. I'm getting a new toy.   A Skywatcher Star Adventurer, with a WO Spacecat 51, and a ZWO Mini Guider.  The Guider will have my ZWO ASI290-MM attached as a guide camera and I'm plannin

Another user moved to the Linux side...

There is a really good scrip a a available from a guy on the INdI forum, that will install everything you need including a wireless hotspot, phd2, plus the usual Kstars, and INdI, and much more, it really is a superb script and well worth using to simplify things and sped up the whole installation..

its here

https://github.com/rlancaste/AstroPi3

As for the PA tool in ekos, it’s pretty much the same as sharpcap, and works in the same way, I personally haven’t used it yet, but I know it’s good, there is a video here to show how to use..

 

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3 hours ago, cjdawson said:

Getting PHD2 built and installed was painless. :)

It's too late for me to use the AstroPI installer, I've already got KStars installed and working.

 

You can just comment out the Kstars / INdI  bit and use it to install everything else, the hotspot is good for when you are in the middle of a field and need to connect to your kit wirelessly... 😀

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13 minutes ago, WanderingEye said:

You can just comment out the Kstars / INdI  bit and use it to install everything else, the hotspot is good for when you are in the middle of a field and need to connect to your kit wirelessly... 😀

Actually, I've been through the script and stolen the parts that I wanted, and modified them as I went.

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That's the PA tool that I saw and was intending to use.   However on my setup, as my mount isn't goto, everything is disabled!    What's more, when I cheat and put in a simulator, it still thinks that there's 0 x 0 Fov and puts up a warning, even though I think I filled in all the settings.  Still figuring that out.    Then again, I've now got PHD2 installed as well, so may simply use that instead, as I use that on windows happily.   Don't like it's PA alignment tools though, so we will see.   My Star adventurer is arriving tomorrow, so it's not like I can test it out at the moment.  hehe

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Just out of curiosity what case are you using for the rpi4 as getting one for my b/day from the kids have previous models of rpi's coming out of my ears for various projects.. heard good news about FLIRC but not avail on amazon.fr as there are problems with overheating correct?

 

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Here's the case that I got for mine

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07TVLTMX3/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It's good enough for what I need..... i.e. stops me zapping the board with static, and the fan stops it hitting the magic 80° throttle.

 

In other news, I figured out that all I need to do is enter the FOV manually, using minutes of arc, which with my ZWO ASI290MM and the Zwo Mini Guide scope, comes out at 161' x 91.2'   or   2.68° x 1.52°

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33 minutes ago, fozzybear said:

Just out of curiosity what case are you using for the rpi4 as getting one for my b/day from the kids have previous models of rpi's coming out of my ears for various projects.. heard good news about FLIRC but not avail on amazon.fr as there are problems with overheating correct?

 

Well, they do run hot, so a good heatsink case like the Flirc, or a case with fan is needed... 👍

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1 minute ago, WanderingEye said:

Well, they do run hot, so a good heatsink case like the Flirc, or a case with fan is needed... 👍

that is what I want to find as all the cases I see are ABS plastic even the one by RPI is well not suited for cooling the cpu and I dont want to pay over the odds delivery for a FLIRC case as this is the one people rave about for passive cooling   

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40 minutes ago, fozzybear said:

that is what I want to find as all the cases I see are ABS plastic even the one by RPI is well not suited for cooling the cpu and I dont want to pay over the odds delivery for a FLIRC case as this is the one people rave about for passive cooling   

What’s wrong with this... £2.99 delivery

https://thepihut.com/products/flirc-raspberry-pi-4-case?variant=20649168404542&currency=GBP&gclid=CjwKCAjwxaXtBRBbEiwAPqPxcEI32tSJqn4cxz14HbN5uWI8xKFfOzuereg8y0PndyFieAO5zPrStxoCueYQAvD_BwE

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I have 2 Rpi4's running in FLIRC cases which i got direct from the US when they were released.

the one only runs Pihole so is not stressed at all and doesn't break over 50 degs

my main one which is running Raspbian on an SSD gets up to 60  when i am using it a lot but its used as a PC really so web browsing, email, and pdf viewing 

great bit of kit

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Yep.   My PI4, didn't to 60°C even when building code and running at 100% cpu usage.

I think PHD2 will be enough even without KStars, or anything else.  I'll see how that works next time I'm out and it's clear.

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