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By Victor Boesen
Hi! I purchased a Raspberry pi 4 4gb not so long ago with the intention of running a NAS and some other stuff on it. I have since then considered the possibility of using it to control the alt/az position of a mount like the Skywatcher AZ GTi with a python script running on the raspberry pi. I haven't purchased the mount yet since I'd like to hear if it would be possible.
A little more information on my main objective:
Weather satellites and radio has recently caught my attention and I'm therefor considering to mount a directional antenna on the skywatcher AZ GTi mount which then tracks a chosen satellite across the sky. The raspberry pi would be running a program that would send the alt/az coordinates to the mount. I have thought about sending the alt/az coordinates through a TCP socket but I'm not sure how I would connect (and if it's possible) the mount to the raspberry pi or the opposite way.
Here's a video of the current software I'm working on:
I've seen people control mounts like the Celestron nexstar ones but it would be ideal to make the small and light weight AZ GTi perform the same job. If you have any experience with the AZ GTi mount and raspberry pi I would highly appreciate your advice:)
Thank you in advance!
Been getting help from old stash, setting up raspberry pi4 4gb for astronomy,, he had the patience of a Saint,
We got there in the end, I used the astroberry operating system put together by radek,, Linux just isn't my thing lol,
The astroberry system has software such as k stars/ekos, cdc/ccdciel, oacapture, hnsky an few more,, I tried combinations of the software and found it wasn't what I wanted,, the concept of remote desktop, from a small,, single board computer did interest me for a portable grab n go kit,, I could sit in my car and keep warm and control my kit via WiFi on a laptop
Came across the lattepanda,, not much bigger than the raspberry pi 4 4gb, but it's operating system is windows 10.
I could have went for the flagship Alpha model,, but the idea was to try the entry level panda and see what could be achieved with it, I bought mine with Windows 10 installed from the pi hut,, £118 and was delivered within two days to Scotland,,
The WiFi ariel is not fitted to the board,, but just a push in fit,, not easy when you have hands like shovels.
Power was supplied via a phone charger b type plug, it takes full size hdmi cable, and I fitted a Bluetooth dingle to use mini keyboard /touch pad to set it up.
This was very easy to do, soon on to downloading Software I wanted to use, CdC, went in no problem, Ascom didn't,, I net frame work was missing,, on the panda windows,, type in,,, enable windows features,, then when next screen appears, tick,, framework box and continue,, windows will search and update the system,, Ascom installed fine after that.
Eqmod installed no problem, installed hitecastro dc focuser, easy again,, backyard eos Pro and sharpcap Pro installed OK.
This all went pretty easily,, testing,,
Got it working my heq5, focuser,, initially tested backyard eos and my Canon 600d,, set up focus control ect.
Installed tight vnc and yet Again easily done,, I now had it connected remotely to my laptop via my smartphone hot-spot.
Absolutely loving it,, so much easier than setting up the raspberry pi.
Next up was testing my zwo asi178 mc on sharpcap Pro,, camera not recognised,, soon pinpointed that the zwo driver was not installed,, downloaded this and the Ascom driver just to be shure I had it,, I also got the asi studio suggested the other day.
Tried this out camera connected no problem and worked on remote desktop
Sharpcap recognised the camera as well,, working great on remote desktop
I installed tight vnc on to my linx 10" Windows tablet,, put in the panda IP address,, I now had a TV plugged into the panda at the mount, a Toshiba laptop and a tablet on remote desktop and both had control over the panda,, absolutely brilliant,, the vnc is also available on android and other os,
This would be great for outreach.
I've only installed software that I want to use,, internal memory I still have 12 gb free.
My next plan is to incorporate this system to my azgti,, problem I found having set up the panda to my laptop via my phone hot-spot,, I could not connect to the azgti mount, it was either,, WiFi or hot spot on the phone,, I tried this using the raspberry pi..
Had a think about it and, I believe the easy solution to my problem is fitting the azgti cable,, I've ordered from FLO, attach this to the panda,, install azgti Ascom driver, then I should be able to control mount with ccdc,,.. Will find out if I'm right in a few days,, should then have a portable kit I can control via remote desktop in my warm car in the winter.
since i started work on my observatory there hasn't been much time for AP, but since lunar photography is done in minutes i had a go yesterday.
SW AZGTI with the Skymax127 and Sony A6300 and Baader Neodymium Moon & skyglow filter.
100 frames taken and 50% used to stack in autostackerd.
I need my garage back so am selling my excess mounts.
1. EQ5 motorised on both axis.
No tripod this was mounted ony pier. Tracks well.
£100 Collect only because of weight .
2. An older type Skywatcher AZ goto mount that came with my SkyMax 127. Good condition .
£100 Collect please but might be able to send if you arrange courier.
SOLDto Pitbull ...thanks
3. AZ GTi goto in excellent condition . Still have the box so can send at cost.
The pic shows it with a telescope on it which is not included.
Location just north of Newark on A1
Thanks for looking
mods VB please move
I received the new ADM saddle for my AZ GTi this morning (direct from ADM). I have now fitted it to my AZ GTi mount and my Borg 107FL is now a million times more secure than it was before - its a great upgrade!
Here are the parts received from ADM... The new saddle is longer and chunkier than the feeble standard offering.
Here is the AZ GTi mount before I start the upgrade..
Remove the centre circular cover which is stuck on with a sticky pad underneath. I used a small flat head screwdriver to lift the edge of the tin cover then pulled it off with some pliers (there are the remains of the sticky pad underneath to be cleaned off afterwards)....
Remove the 4 black screws and then the standard saddle pulls off...
Re-use the four screws to secure the ADM adapter plate to the mount...
Use the supplied 2x 1/4×20 SHCS screws to secure the ADM dual dovetail saddle to the ADM adapter plate... (You will need an imperial Allen key)
Test it out with the Borg 107FL...
The leftover standard parts...
This looks a great upgrade, my scope's ADM dovetail fits very securely into the ADM dual saddle and my peace of mind is restored!