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18 hours ago, JamesF said:

Definitely agree that an i5 (as I have) can be overkill in many circumstances.  In my case I will probably be doing some EAA type stuff that involves stacking and suchlike, which is why I went for a more powerful option.  Kappa-sigma stacking a couple of dozen DSLR frames is not processor-friendly :D

James

Yep totally agree - been doing EAA DSLR stacking via Astrotoaster for over 2 yrs and now ASTAP. Astrotoaster's hammers the processor even a 64bit 8gb I5 SSD set up. 

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I'm hoping that eventually with oalive I can look at using OMP or offloading some of the stacking work to the GPU which might help, but I'm not ready for that yet.

James

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OK for a laugh - smallest Astro set up - ON A RPI ZERO (W) running Astroberry  - ok a  BIT SLLLLLLOOOOOOWWWW but it worked.

Have used Zero before to boot/run from CLI and connected Mount (azeq6gt) and Canon DSLR with Kstars or CCDCIEL on a desktop. 

Stick that on your mount and smoke it - 🙂 LOL

Require RPI 4B Zero please Mr Rasbperry foundation LOL

 

astroberry-zero-2.png

zeri-astroberry.png

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Hi

Sorry for my late reply.

Thanks to you all for you suggestions and ideas. I now see that I don't need anything with to much power to run the setup at the pier but as Xplode (Ole)  says a bit of future proofing would not go amiss. I am now looking at a Mini PC from HP or Dell. There are lots of options new, second hand and refurbished.

I found this, but it`s a Celeron, Rams to small, HD to small, but it has TWO serial ports😀

https://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk/grade-a1-asus-pb40-bc056zd-celeron-n4100-4gb-32gb-windows-10-pro-desktop-a1-pb40-bc056zd-oss/version.asp

Many thanks again

Graham

 

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I don't understand why you want com ports? In my opinion it's better to use good quality usb/serial adapters.
Less and less gear use com/serial too, ethernet seems to be getting more use and of course most gear already use USB or USB with a inbuild serial adapter.

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2 hours ago, Xplode said:

I don't understand why you want com ports? In my opinion it's better to use good quality usb/serial adapters.
Less and less gear use com/serial too, ethernet seems to be getting more use and of course most gear already use USB or USB with a inbuild serial adapter.

Ole

Mesu has the option to have USB or serial input. I use serial. With the limited amount of USB ports on these mini PC's I could use a serial/RS232 port if fitted.  Otherwise as you say I would have to use a USB serial adapter.

Regards

Graham

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On 22/11/2019 at 17:35, wuthton said:

I've used an on mount mini pc for years and I couldn't recommend it highly enough. My personal choice was a Zotac CI320 but there's now much newer models available in the CI series.

I chose it purely because it had 6 usb ports and therefore I could wave bye bye to hateful usb hubs. A secondary bonus was a massive improvement to guiding as the number of cables going to the floor is a fraction of before resulting in less cable drag and less chance of a snag.

They are barebones so you need to cost in an SSD, ram and a Windows Pro license key.

Edit: Have you looked at a Raspberry Pi 4 with Indi, Kstars and Ekos. I'm just starting to have a play with it but I'm yet to find a weakness?

Hi - how did the Raspberry Pi 4 setup work? Was it stable and how does it compare to your mini pc experience? 

I have been considering either option for about a month now as my current laptop is high end gaming rig that I don't want to wreck. Last night was so cold that I could barely stay out long enough to get everything setup, which can take half hour if I don't need to do focusing!!

Can you advise on your experience with both as I am ready to pull trigger on either Raspberry Pi 4 or with Beelink S2 that has N4100 processor and 4 GB ram (I was hoping for 8gb Ram but can't see that model in the UK).

Thanks,

Marmo

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Posted multiple times for some reason - sorry!

Edited by Marmo720
Posted multiple times for some reason - sorry!

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Posted multiple times for some reason - sorry!

Edited by Marmo720
Posted multiple times for some reason - sorry!

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On 07/02/2020 at 13:24, Marmo720 said:

Hi - how did the Raspberry Pi 4 setup work? Was it stable and how does it compare to your mini pc experience? 

I have been considering either option for about a month now as my current laptop is high end gaming rig that I don't want to wreck. Last night was so cold that I could barely stay out long enough to get everything setup, which can take half hour if I don't need to do focusing!!

Can you advise on your experience with both as I am ready to pull trigger on either Raspberry Pi 4 or with Beelink S2 that has N4100 processor and 4 GB ram (I was hoping for 8gb Ram but can't see that model in the UK).

Thanks,

Marmo

Marmo,

The Zotac with Windows 10 Pro, PHD and Sequence Generator Pro is superb, it's never skipped a beat, bomb proof but comparatively expensive. I haven't used the Raspberry Pi (Kstars and Ekos) in the wild yet for various reasons but it does look very, very promising for a portable rig that I'm planning. You do need to be semi-confident with Linux command line to run the install scripts but it's not particularly difficult. I'm sure if you start a topic plenty people will chip in.

I've only .... so far.... touch wood.... sacrificed one PC to the gods of unexpected snow. I have painted some tin foil black and taped it over the vent holes in the top of the Zotac, just in case.

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1 hour ago, wuthton said:

Marmo,

The Zotac with Windows 10 Pro, PHD and Sequence Generator Pro is superb, it's never skipped a beat, bomb proof but comparatively expensive. I haven't used the Raspberry Pi (Kstars and Ekos) in the wild yet for various reasons but it does look very, very promising for a portable rig that I'm planning. You do need to be semi-confident with Linux command line to run the install scripts but it's not particularly difficult. I'm sure if you start a topic plenty people will chip in.

I've only .... so far.... touch wood.... sacrificed one PC to the gods of unexpected snow. I have painted some tin foil black and taped it over the vent holes in the top of the Zotac, just in case.

Thank you very much for getting back to me. I am relatively comfortable with Linux and command lines (use some python at work) so can figure things out but I also don't want to spend heaps of time trying to figure it all out when my Windows setup works fine.

Is the Zotac the 4GB or 8GB ram? I am concerned if 4GB is too low or not future proof enough or am I over thinking it? I am mainly focused on DSO imaging but will want to do planetary when the opportunity comes. 

Thanks again.

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My Zotac has 4gb of ram which is plenty for long exposure image capture but I'm not sure about planetary, it's well over 12 years since I've tried it.

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Marmo, my experiences with a Raspberry Pi 4 running KStars/Ekos/Indi have been very good. Some kind, brainy people have put in a lot of detailed work to come up with simple solutions. After some months using an AstroPi3 package prepared by Rob Lancaster, I am testing an Astroberry Server image prepared by Radek Kaczorek. Each of these packages bundle lots of useful software (free) for astronomy and astrophotography. The Raspberry Pi 4 hardware costs about £75 - 4GB RAM version, mains PSU, plastic case, microSD card and microHDMI to HDMI cable - needed until you run it remotely ‘headless’ and link in from your Tablet or PC. I do my polar alignment with the guidescope which platesolves in 5seconds, and image with a DSLR where platesolving (to check framing and GoTo alignment) takes around 15-20 seconds.

Take a look at Radek’s Youtube video - 

 

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17 minutes ago, wuthton said:

My Zotac has 4gb of ram which is plenty for long exposure image capture but I'm not sure about planetary, it's well over 12 years since I've tried it.

Thank you. Glad 4GB at least works for long exposure imaging. At the moment the price of n4100 mini pc with 4GB ram is about same as raspberry pi 4 4GB once everything is bought so not saving anything long term besides time! 

I did consider that a windows mini pc could always have a Linux distribution installed if I wanted to do ekos etc route. 

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On 23/11/2019 at 19:53, Xplode said:

Who said anything about spending much extra? I found a good pc for Fellside with an I5 4590T that i linked him in a PM, it's a very good pc for the price and has really great specs for just £200-230

This isn't the link i shared with him, but it's comparable: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dell-Optiplex-9020m-micro-Mini-Intel-i5-4590t-2-0Ghz-16Gb-Ram-500Gb-HDD-Win-10/184030981825

Thanks for this link @Xplode I  used this and found a similar item with same CPU, less RAM but an SSD - for well under £200.  It was flagged as "has some wear and tear" and I was expecting a lot worse but for sitting on a shelf somewhere hooked up to the scope etc it should be spot on. 

I've been involved in so much kit going to these sorts of companies but have never thought to actually look items up as a buyer! 🤔

Anyway, if it continues to work as it has been for the last week or two I'll be well pleased.

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On 21/02/2020 at 20:31, geeklee said:

Thanks for this link @Xplode I  used this and found a similar item with same CPU, less RAM but an SSD - for well under £200.  It was flagged as "has some wear and tear" and I was expecting a lot worse but for sitting on a shelf somewhere hooked up to the scope etc it should be spot on. 

I've been involved in so much kit going to these sorts of companies but have never thought to actually look items up as a buyer! 🤔

Anyway, if it continues to work as it has been for the last week or two I'll be well pleased.

Happy to be able to help!
What kind of specs does the one you bought have?

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5 hours ago, Xplode said:

Happy to be able to help!
What kind of specs does the one you bought have?

Pretty much as above:

Dell Optiplex 9020M Micro with Intel Core i5 4590T, 8GB Memory, 128GB SSD and Windows 10 Pro - £160.

Edited by geeklee
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