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Hi,
Now I have started my second try to have a Raspberry as an astroserver. My first try didn't perform well because of to weak process power. Now with the new Raspberry Pi4 the situation had changed, and the Indi drivers are more developed too.

It's a bit complicated to setup the Raspberry with its Linux operating system. I'm a Window man. I have documented the first steps I have done and my plans here:

http://www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-kstars-raspberrypi4/01-project-kstars-raspberrypi4.html

I will go back later and edit the parameters to get it optimized. But if you find it interesting you can read it already now and follow the progress.

It will be prefect for my portable equipment. Raspberry also these days annonced a new high resolution camera with Sony chip, maybe something for planethunting.

/Lars

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Like they say, going from Windows to Linux is just discovering a new set of problems. I've had my share of problems with Windows, ASCOM and EQMOD, now I have different issues with INDI and Linux; it's

I wouldn'y say INDI on an RPi is difficult or a "steep learning curve" - it's just a matter of copy and pasting Terminal code lines.  Initial setting up of an RPi is the same as any computer and simpl

I use been using Astroberry for over a year starting on a RPi3 and then moving to RPi4 with USB3 SSD.   KStars and EKOS do everything I need.  They allow you to use PHD2 guiding if you prefer that ove

@Astrofriend - how are you finding Astroberry?  I am thinking of going this route although I would use an AtomicPi.  Uses a full Intel Atom X86 chip so very powerful relatively speaking to even the Pi 4.

Like you I am a Windows man but having a small, low power computer hanging off the mount certainly appeals to me and I can just about muddle my way round Linux.  now we are coming into the true summer months as well I have a bit of time to fiddle with such things.

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I use been using Astroberry for over a year starting on a RPi3 and then moving to RPi4 with USB3 SSD.   KStars and EKOS do everything I need.  They allow you to use PHD2 guiding if you prefer that over the inbuilt EKOS guiding.   The object finding and GoTo with astrometry works using offline solving and is very quick.    Like any new software once you come familiar with using the interface life gets easier.  Never had a crash.  Latest version even makes updating easy.

Edited by wornish
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Being objective do some looking on the Indi forum and scan the threads for real info. Plus also look at Shirva's attempts via astrovideo  site - he went back to Windows via a small device (same as PI) called a Lattepanda - not sayong he is 100% correct but just giving you alternatives. https://www.lattepanda.com/

Its like Marmite - you either will love Indi or hate it - but be prepared for a very steep learning curve unless you are a "techie" or really enjoy finding out new things.

 

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Hi,

Lot of comments, I think Raspberry is hot !

My mini PC with windows takes about 13 to 26 Watt, it's an upconverter included, convert 13 Volt to 19 Volt. With the Raspberry I only have a load of 5 Watt. That's very positive when planning to be more mobile. And I save weight, less cables.

For a mini PC with a Windows licens I have to pay about 500 Euro, for a Raspberry 70 Euro is enough. The money I save I can spend on other equipment, and there are a lot of them I want.

But yes, it's complicated now in the beginning, but fun.

Now I try to implement a GPS device to the raspberry:

http://www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-kstars-raspberrypi4/01-project-kstars-raspberrypi4.html

Got some problem and it's not solved yet.

By the way, you can run Windows on Raspberry, nothing I have tried.

 

Dave, nice to hear you have it working so good.

 

/Lars

 

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One thing I forgot to mention is before committing check on the Indi home page for the list of devices supported. Make sure all yours are on the list.

There are so many choices out there these days that some peoples devices might not have an INDI driver available so won't work.

Here is the link

https://indilib.org/devices.html

 

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I wouldn'y say INDI on an RPi is difficult or a "steep learning curve" - it's just a matter of copy and pasting Terminal code lines.  Initial setting up of an RPi is the same as any computer and simply a matter of following the instructions.

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56 minutes ago, Gina said:

I wouldn'y say INDI on an RPi is difficult or a "steep learning curve" - it's just a matter of copy and pasting Terminal code lines.  Initial setting up of an RPi is the same as any computer and simply a matter of following the instructions.

Agree - I have been looking at various tutorials and resources and given the battle I had getting EQMod set up to recognise my run of the mill Skywatcher mount, ensuring all the plate solve libraries actually worked, piddling about with com ports etc on W10 I don't see anything that will make this harder.  That required me to watch a fair few YouTube vids and ferret around the net for instructions and I am a Windows veteran. 

The Astroberry distro looks particularly useful as it at least has all the applications pre-baked in so it's just matter of setting them up.

Pi 4 should be arriving today so will have a play :) 

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Yes, I too had lots of trouble setting up EQMod & ASCOM etc. in the old days.  This is so much easier to get working properly - mostly it "just works".  I have been surprised and delighted.

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12 hours ago, Astrofriend said:

By the way, you can run Windows on Raspberry, nothing I have tried

But you cant run most Windows software on RPI as they dont have the correct Arm binaries!

 

3 hours ago, Gina said:

I wouldn'y say INDI on an RPi is difficult or a "steep learning curve" - it's just a matter of copy and pasting Terminal code lines.  Initial setting up of an RPi is the same as any computer and simply a matter of following the instructions.

Well I have helped lots of people with Indi set ups and it varies depending on the individual. I too had no problems except where the drivers just don't work but many do have problems and abandon Indi projects.  Plus Astroberry doesn't have hardly any "ANY terminal code" if you use the full image. So with all due respect it might have been ok for you but you are not perhaps the average Windows only type user. As I clearly stated earlier it does depend on the type of person you are.

Painting a false,IMHO, picture about Indi or any other piece of software is unfair to "Newbies" . They should ,IMHO, dig deep and read the Indi Site/Forum (sorry not SGL in this instance) first before taking the plunge - looking at the "Good ,Bad and the Ugly" especially for support of their Astro hardware as others have stated. Then if still intent on going Indi - Enjoy ,have patience and remember its NOT Windows.

For those you say "I have never had Indi crash" - lucky you 🙂 , I cant say ,in all truth, I have not had forced reboots , Kstars just disappearing ,lockups for no reason , hardware problems caused by Indi drivers etc. Same goes for  Ascom on Windows !

I still stick by my opinion ,based on help given to others, Indi has a "steep learning curve" for many Windows "fed" user!

I have and still use Indi as part of my set up for my main Obsys and "Grab and Go" - latter based on RPI 3b+ which works fine - well most of the time 🙂.

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Like they say, going from Windows to Linux is just discovering a new set of problems. I've had my share of problems with Windows, ASCOM and EQMOD, now I have different issues with INDI and Linux; it's not perfect and some will run into "unsolvable" issues with drivers and will have to stop the adventure right there. I was fortunate enough to not run into issues severe enough to make me want to quit.

The reason I prefer INDI and EKOS is that I get fast support and reactions from the community. I was bothered by a small detail in the DSLR section and I reported it on the forum, it was fixed the same day. I was also able to participate in a brainstorming session on how to improve the interface and one of my idea was implemented. I like the open source approach to software development. 

There is another reason that makes me hang on to INDI/EKOS/RPI4 is that it is all the tools are nicely integrated into one interface and you can update the whole setup with just one command.

I was tired of having to update every pieces of software on my Windows machine: Stellarium, Windows update, ASCOM, EQMOD, Astrotortilla, sharpcap, hardware drivers, PHD2 and a load of small softwares that I had to chase down on websites to see if everything was up to date.

Now I have 2 16GB microSD cards, one that contains a stable image of my whole setup and the other I update regularly. Once in a while I just backup the update and tested image to my other card as a backup that I bring in the field just in case something goes wrong with the card in the PI. Simple and very secure. 

So there you go, those are not "technical" arguments ( there are some but I do not want to start a windows/linux war ;) ) but I do feel that I got more pros than cons since moving to INDI/EKOS and I do not see any particular pros of going back to Windows.

I am not denying that there are crashes and issues with INDI/EKOS but saying that all is rosy with ASCOM/EQMOD/WINDOWS is not fair. It's just that when windows hangs or crash we accept it as being "windows" but we do not show the same amount of patience with things that we are less familiar with ;)

Sorry for the long rant ! *running for the door*

Edited by Vox45
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Nice to see a thread such as this and @Astrofriend thanks for the link to your blog, I will likely follow along.
I'd like to think as myself as techy previously having worked in IT Support roles I can see both sides yes a normal user isnt going to feel comfortable copy/pasting commands as some do require some thought/input for example enabling dhcp, smb etc but for me having never using Raspbian its refreshing and im enjoying learning.
 

Im currently just waiting on the script to finish that was linked to by @wornish in another thread using Kstar/INDI etc I plan to use it with my AZ GTI mount, ASI120MM cam/scope (Not arrived yet!) and see if I can get my SVbony SV305 camera working (not hopeful!) 
I will also probably give IndigoSky a go and my fallback may well be a copy of Stellarmate

(Meant to add Im a newbie to all this so its been a learning curve just getting used to terminology of scopes/astronomy but a fun one!)

Thanks for all the info, Clear skies all 

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I've been using IndigoSky for a little while now - it all seems to work pretty seamlessly as a server. All controlled through a simple web page.
(I did have a problem connecting to my home WiFi network but that was fairly easily solved).

/callump

 

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Hi,

For sure parts of this is not easy. I got a clear sky and could do some outdoor test of the focuser function. After that I got a better understanding of what is not working. My notes of what is happen when try to do focusing:

http://www.astrofriend.eu/astronomy/projects/project-kstars-raspberrypi4/10-project-kstars-raspberrypi4.html

I like the KStars and Ekos and how it work, when I get rid of the problem I have it will be a really nice astro control software to use.

/Lars

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm only just breaking into imaging having had some success with my DSLR and APT (which I really like). I've got a couple of ZWO cameras on order (guiding and planetary) so definitely got the bug!

I have an old Raspi 3B that has already had an astro use as a wifi interface between my NEQ6Pro mount and SkySafari on my android devices. I'm over that now! :)  So having dug out the Raspi and read up on the various options I've gravitated towards Astroberry Server as my new project, something to do over the solstice :)

So in addition to some nice cameras in the post, I've ordered a good quality SD card for the install and a 3A power supply for the Pi. The Astroberry image is already downloaded...  Just hope I can avoid too much of the alphabet spaghetti that is the esoteric language of these things 🤣

Meltdown

Wish me luck!

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Having received a new 32Gb SD card I've now got Astroberry installed on my old RPi 3B.

I've spent many hours playing with it and then putting it to one side for a while until the pressure in my brain subsides a little, then trying again! I've watched a lot of stuff on Youtube and read much stuff on SGL and eventually it's made sense.

I couldn't get any of my devices to log onto the astroberry hotspot. It turns out that there is a known issue with WPA supplicant, buried in the bowels of the OS that prevent Android devices connecting to it. Can be fixed but requires the user to compile a later version of the supplicant and install it but that is an order of magnitude too fiddly for me. I can't get my windows machine to connect either. But no bother, I have the Pi connected to both the home WiFi and my phone hotspot as required. I've even got SkySaffari connecting and syncing with KStars, which also updates the GPS! :)

Looking good then? Not so fast there...!

It's been a huge learning curve, setting up simulated devices etc but I got there eventually. Even had it taking photo's with my Canon 1200D. Unfortunately there is a big problem :( This here RPi 3 is constantly running out of resources. Very, very slow and crashing frequently. It seems to be sucking the life out of the CPU an RAM. In particular, when I download the astrometry files. It doesn't seem to be the size of the files. Some of the larger files have downloaded and installed but a couple of the 30 to 50 Mb files partially download then the thing freezes and eventually everything stops and it's back to the beginning. Plenty of other random crashes when I have it doing too much of anything.

I'm now accepting that to go forward with Astroberry I'm gonna need a bigger Pi. I've seen enough of it to decide it could be a great tool going forward. I don't want to be wafting a great big laptop round outside in winter and like the idea of controlling it via my tablet. The thing is, I already have a few quid's worth of order on it's way from FLO so I'm reluctant to spend on a 4 or 8 Gig RPi 4 and case.

The RPi 3 is now back in the bottom drawer so that I can return to humanity for a while... Is it still 2020??

Watch this space! :)

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running mine on the 2gb rpi4 all works well 

even the latest version of Astroberry has fixed the issue that was stopping me use my serial relay to fire the Nikon 7000 remote shutter for long exposures 

its a very slick system now (IMO)

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54 minutes ago, CedricTheBrave said:

running mine on the 2gb rpi4 all works well 

even the latest version of Astroberry has fixed the issue that was stopping me use my serial relay to fire the Nikon 7000 remote shutter for long exposures 

its a very slick system now (IMO)

Thanks for that. From some of the videos I've watched I've realised it can be fast. I just can't believe I've spent maybe 3 solid evenings trying to make it fly on my Pi. I'd only recently became a paid up fan of APT, it thinks like I do, very intuitive to me. This Astroberry (read "Linux") is just an alien language and takes a lot of getting my head round. A simple instruction: "Sudo systemctl enable virtualgps" took me a number of atempts to type in. Why can't you copy from windows and past in the RPi command line?? Does my head in...

But not to worry, it just so happens that I have overcome my internal friction that was holding me back from upgrading my old coal-fired Pi and I already have a RPi 4B 4gig ordered 😍

I feel dirty and ashamed now and shall revisit the thread about whether buying new kit making us happy... :)

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6 minutes ago, Paul M said:

Why can't you copy from windows and past in the RPi command line?? Does my head in...

You should be able to,  Probably depends on how you go about it.  Win10 has an ssh client I believe, though it might have to be installed manually.  It should be possible to use that to connect to the RPi (you'd need to know the IP address of the RPi I imagine) and log in.  Then you should be able to cut'n'paste stuff from Windows into the command line on the RPi.

I'm afraid I don't really know enough about the Windows side to explain it more clearly though.  All the pain and frustration that Windows users get when they try to use Linux, I get when I try to use Windows :D

James

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23 minutes ago, Paul M said:

Thanks for that. From some of the videos I've watched I've realised it can be fast. I just can't believe I've spent maybe 3 solid evenings trying to make it fly on my Pi. I'd only recently became a paid up fan of APT, it thinks like I do, very intuitive to me. This Astroberry (read "Linux") is just an alien language and takes a lot of getting my head round. A simple instruction: "Sudo systemctl enable virtualgps" took me a number of atempts to type in. Why can't you copy from windows and past in the RPi command line?? Does my head in...

But not to worry, it just so happens that I have overcome my internal friction that was holding me back from upgrading my old coal-fired Pi and I already have a RPi 4B 4gig ordered 😍

I feel dirty and ashamed now and shall revisit the thread about whether buying new kit making us happy... :)

just do a new install of the astroberry server and you will be sorted

copy and paste does work you just need to select paste from the edit pull down menu

and in terminal in linux/raspbian etc if you arrow up and down you can select previous commands and edit them which in windows cmd you cant

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12 minutes ago, JamesF said:

You should be able to,

...just depends how deep one wants to get!!

I've used SSH for my previous RPi project but on this (these) occasion(s) I was just trying to copy a command from the Astroberry FAQ on my windows lappy and past it into the RPi command line thingy either via a browser connection or VNC. I guess it's a limitation of that kind of connection and not the RPi.

I'll get there! :)

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9 minutes ago, CedricTheBrave said:

copy and paste does work you just need to select paste from the edit pull down menu

Yeah, I tried that. User error no doubt. 

Not to worry, I'm quite good with languages. After many years of holidaying in Spanish tongued countries I could eventually order two beers in a bar; "two beers please mate". Easy :)

Edited by Paul M
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Now then. I just found out why I struggled with Astroberry on my Pi. It isn't a model 3B but a 1B :)  512 Mb RAM and processor running @ 700 MHz.  

Never mind, the 4Mb 4B+ is due tomorrow. Just re-flashed the SD card with a clean copy of the Astroberry distro. A new begging begins again tomorrow!

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      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
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