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I'm looking to get a reasonably portable astrophotography set-up, using a 60-100mm refractor, with a suitable goto mount. I spotted the Explore Scientifice exos2-gt with pmc-eight goto system, which looks like quite an elegant solution, and wondered if anybody in the forum owns this mount, and what they think of it's performance & usability?
From my other post, you all should realize 2 things about me. 1: I can't leave well-enough alone. and 2: I like to fiddle around with things. In my last thread, I got setup with my goto telescope and managed to control it remotepy with KStars or Stellarium and even got my CCD working so I can sit inside in comfort while stargazing.....ALMOST. I still have to run in and out to turn the focus knob. So....
There is a raspberry pi running the INDI server pointing the scope and managing th CCD. I have a nice little geared motor and a HAT board that I know how to connect and control with the pi to make the motor go fast or slow, or forward and backward. I can manage the machine work to create a connection to the focus mechanism for the motor. What I need to know is if there is already a DIY-ish or configurable driver for INDI. And yes, this probably is a post for INDI forum, but for some reason I can't get a login there. So, if anyone knows or has done this, thank you in advance for any information you are able to provide.
I've just blown all my pocket money on a Rowan belted HEQ5 Pro, so it's time to move on my trusty EQ5 GOTO, before my wife spots 2 tripods in my shed 😉
I'm sure everyone knows these mounts, but just to say that it's in full working order, with just the usual wear marks here and there, and a few marker pen lines for Home and counterweight positions.
Comes with 12V power lead and car cigarette plug, and sync lead with USB adapter to let you upgrade the firmware on the Synscan handset. It's currently at 4.39.05, which was the latest version a couple of months ago. There are 2 x 5kg counterweights as well.
I still have the boxes for my HEQ5, so I can courier it within mainland UK included in the price. If you live elsewhere, we can work out a price.
Yours for a sensible £350 - a new one will cost you around £575 from most of the usual retailers. Paypal Gift or Bank Transfer most welcome
Thanks for looking
By David Ettie
Anyone out there replaced the Motherboard on an Orion GoTO truss tobe Dobsonian, our Societys 16" started giving error messages stating it could not connect to either axis, we ordered and replaced the Motherboard which promptly "burnt" out, we are seeking a repair (believe this is basically a re-branded Skywatcher) any advise or help greatly appreciated.
Astroberry (strictly speaking Astroberry Server) is a fantastic operating system for the Raspberry Pi that allows control of your astromony kit and even better it's free!
However, while there is a lot of useful information on SGL and elsewhere on the web, I had some trouble understanding how to set everything up and I couldn't find a beginners step-by-step guide. I don't have much experience of the RPi or Linux or indeed any operating systems other than windows but after some trial and error I've got things working so I thought it might be useful to chronical the steps that hopefully will get you up and running.
Astroberry uses INDI Library - an Open Source Architecture for Control & Automation of Astronomical Devices - you can think of this a bit like ASCOM. Astroberry is also really flexible and there are multiple ways to do most things so what follows is just ONE way to get you up and running.
So let's get started. When I say 'computer' I mean your main computer and I use RPi when referring to the Raspberry Pi (that's a computer too, of course, but just to differentiate between the two).
The Astroberry homepage is at https://github.com/rkaczorek/astroberry-server. You'll need a Raspberry Pi, of course, (apparently Astroberry works with any RPi; I was using an RPi 3), an SD card of at least 16GB, and a computer with a suitable SD card slot (the RPi 3 needs a microSD card; most microSD cards come with an adapter that allows you to use a standard SD slot in your computer), and access to the internet.
Firstly download the Astroberry Server image file from https://www.astroberry.io/distro/ (the image file is the operating system that will run on your RPi).
Unzip this file into a folder on your computer.
Then download balenaEtcher from https://www.balena.io/etcher/ - you'll use this to write the image file of the Astroberry operating system to your SD card; this process is known as 'flashing'.
Once you've installed balenaEtcher, run it and select the Astroberry Server image file (when I did this the file was called astroberry-server_2.0.0.img) from the folder where you unzipped it. Insert your SD card into the SD card slot on your computer, select this card from the 'Select target' button on balenaEtcher and then select 'Flash!'. The process takes a little while but will show progress as the file is copied and then verified. Make sure the flashing process has completely finished before removing the SD card from your computer.
[Note, as the author of Astroberry @RadekK states in a comment below it's actually possible to set everything up without a monitor, mouse or keyboard. To do that, insert the newly flashed SD card into your RPi and power it on. After a few moments a wifi network 'astroberry' should be available. Connect your computer to that network and point your browser to http://astroberry.local or http://10.42.0.1 (which is the default IP address assigned by Astroberry). You should be able to everything via this remote connection. Astroberry is also able to use a remote desktop app called VNC (icon is in the top right) so you can play with that too once you're well acquainted with Astroberry.]
Insert the newly flashed SD card into you RPi, connect a display, keyboard and mouse to your RPi and power it up. You should see the Astroberry operating system load up. Answer the questions and set your localisation options.
Astroberry will create its own wifi network called 'astroberry' that you can use to connect to your RPi (very useful for use 'in the field') but this won't be connected to the internet. We're not going to use the astroberry network for now. Instead we are just going to have your RPi connect to your home network / internet. To do this, click on the icon in the top left corner of the screen, select 'Preferences' and then 'Advanced Network Configuration'.
Use this to add your wired or wifi network.
When you boot up your RPi, Astroberry should now connect it to your home network in preference to the Astroberry HotSpot. If for some reason that doesn't work and Astroberry is connecting to it's HotSpot instead then you can do the following:
Click on the icon in the top left corner of the screen, select 'Preferences' and then 'Advanced Network Configuration', select your home wifi network from the list and then click on the cog icon in the bottom left of the Network Connections window. Click on the 'General' tab ensure that the 'Connect automatically with priority' has a tick next to it, and set the value to 1. Close the editing window.# Then select 'Astroberry HotSpot' from the list, click on the cog icon in the bottom left of the Network Connections window again this time to edit the settings for Astroberry HotSpot. Click on the 'General' tab ensure that the 'Connect automatically with priority' has a tick next to it, and set the value to 0. Close the editing window, and then close the 'Network Connections' window. These steps will mean that when your RPi is switched on it will connect to your home network if it can, and if it cannot it will start up its own wifi HotSpot called 'astroberry'. At this point, you should be able to connect to your RPi from your computer. Open a web browser, type or copy http://astroberry.local/desktop/ in the address line and press enter. You should see a screen asking you to connect to Astroberry Server (which is running on your RPi).
Click on the connect button; the password is astroberry (in fact, if in doubt try astroberry as the password for everything - it usually is!) If this has all worked correctly, you should now be able to control you RPi remotely so you can disconnect the display, mouse and keyboard from your RPi.
You'll see some other icons in the top left corner of the Astroberry desktop including one for PHD2 but don't go there yet!
Before we do anything else we need to start the INDIserver service - this will load the drivers etc that you need to run your kit. On the left of the screen is a blue-grey tab that will expand to show some buttons. Click on the telescope icon which brings up the INDI Web Manager window. You can go through and select the drivers for your equipment. Click on the 'Start Server' button at the bottom of the INDI Web Manager window which starts INDIserver - this is like starting ASCOM. Once you've done that, type a name in the 'New Profile' box and save it. You can then select it from the 'Equipment Profile' box; delete the simulator profile if you like. There are check boxes under the 'Equipment Profile' box that allow you to automatically start INDIsever select a particular profile and connect to your devices - so long as the devices are connected and powered on. If you check these boxes you don't need to repeat the step of selecting your profile etc.
This should have you more or less ready to go. If you experience connection problems with kit that gets its electrical power from USB (e.g. the QHY5L-II guide camera) then use a powered USB hub as the RPi USB ports don't provide enough electrical power to properly power some equipment.
There are icons for some astronomy programmes in the top left of the Astroberry desktop. PHD2 is familiar to me and you can test that your kit is connecting in that.
KStars (the telescope icon next to the left of the PHD2 icon) is planetarium software that also allows you to launch Ekos (Tools>Ekos or ctrl K) and this allows you to set up equipment profiles and run imaging sequences.
Hopefully this guide will enable you to get things set up and your kit connected. I haven't yet explored Kstars or Ekos much, nor much of the rest of the desktop but hopefully it will be fairly intuitive.
I've written most of this guide from memory so if a step doesn't work then please let me know and I'll try to correct it.
Hope this helps and huge thanks to the Astroberry developer, @RadekK, for making this software available to the community - I'm sure it took a huge amount of work.
Clear skies, Ian