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Ubuntu: Losing my head!


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I use Linux a lot at work. Linux runs the 21st century world.  However, YMMV but I just find it just too much of a faff for my astro work.  Get yourself a license for windows 10 pro from softwaregeeks

I enjoy problem solving. Much more fun than just doing stuff! Update time. Because I don't like to be beaten and I drink way too much coffe to sleep... I opened it up againg and pulled out the R

If it helps address the balance, I've used two pis with Astroberry and it's worked exceptionally well.  I've used Pi's for many years and they're generally super reliable. Most problems are power rela

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3 hours ago, vlaiv said:

That sounds like power issue. RPI4 requires quite a bit of juice to power those USB3 ports - I think about 5A or so?

 

3 hours ago, Stuart1971 said:

 Best just to use a seperate powered hub....Make life so much easier, and 4amps is enough....👍😀

I had the official RPi4 power brick and tried other supplies and tried a powered hub and combinations thereof. *CRASH* :(

Wouldn't even boot with the hub connnected sometime.

There was no consistency or predictabillity other than *CRASH*  Well, I lie, it might hang rather than crash. 

I should have resoldered all the joints with a blow torch. Or as I suggested at the time, drill a hole right though it and screw it to the floor as a door stop. That'd learn it... 👹

The way Ubuntu is going I'm on for a bigger doorstop 🤪

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35 minutes ago, Paul M said:

 

I had the official RPi4 power brick and tried other supplies and tried a powered hub and combinations thereof. *CRASH* :(

Wouldn't even boot with the hub connnected sometime.

There was no consistency or predictabillity other than *CRASH*  Well, I lie, it might hang rather than crash. 

I should have resoldered all the joints with a blow torch. Or as I suggested at the time, drill a hole right though it and screw it to the floor as a door stop. That'd learn it... 👹

The way Ubuntu is going I'm on for a bigger doorstop 🤪

It sounds like you don’t have a good relationship with Linux, if you could not even get the RPI to play ball, then I would give up with it...as you will have bigger headaches to come...👍

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1 hour ago, Stuart1971 said:

It sounds like you don’t have a good relationship with Linux,

It seems that way, but it was a hardware issue with the RPI (bad board?), known issues with ASI120mm mini camera's implementation of USB (the firmware of that model can't be fixed with ZWO's updater), the general issue with ASI camera USB bandwidth and the Pi's implementation of USB in general (it's a lightweight OTG implementation). There is some upset in Pi Land that the Pi4 didn't bring a sturdier USB architecture with it.  

The interweb if full of tales of woe relating to USB issues on the Pi. 

I got it booting successfully from an SSD only to find that if any other devices were connected, even an empty USB hub, it would crash or refuse to boot. Some powered hubs are thought to back feed voltage into the Pi causing it to balk. Some SSD's are more compatible than others.

So, I'm sure it was the Pi at fault and not me! 

Even my current Ubuntu monitor issue, widely known in cyberspace is apparently little known here, in Linux Land! It is a bizarre state of affairs though. If I knew Linux I'd fix the crazy stuff at kernel level, create my own distribution and call it Winux 🍺🤣

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9 hours ago, Paul M said:

It seems that way, but it was a hardware issue with the RPI (bad board?), known issues with ASI120mm mini camera's implementation of USB (the firmware of that model can't be fixed with ZWO's updater), the general issue with ASI camera USB bandwidth and the Pi's implementation of USB in general (it's a lightweight OTG implementation). There is some upset in Pi Land that the Pi4 didn't bring a sturdier USB architecture with it.  

The interweb if full of tales of woe relating to USB issues on the Pi. 

I got it booting successfully from an SSD only to find that if any other devices were connected, even an empty USB hub, it would crash or refuse to boot. Some powered hubs are thought to back feed voltage into the Pi causing it to balk. Some SSD's are more compatible than others.

So, I'm sure it was the Pi at fault and not me! 

Even my current Ubuntu monitor issue, widely known in cyberspace is apparently little known here, in Linux Land! It is a bizarre state of affairs though. If I knew Linux I'd fix the crazy stuff at kernel level, create my own distribution and call it Winux 🍺🤣

Well I can assure you I have never ever had a USB issue with my rpi, but as I say I use a powered hub and don’t use the inbuilt Wi-Fi, I use a USB Wi-Fi dongle, and it been perfect for a couple of years, but I do use Stellarmate and not Astroberry...👍

Absolutely no need to use it with an SSD, a good SD card is more than good enough, especially if you just use as an INdI server and run Kstars on your PC indoors....

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15 hours ago, vlaiv said:

I have one of these:

https://www.tp-link.com/en/home-networking/computer-accessory/uh700/

Wonder if I could use one of 1.5A ports to power RPI4?

Absolutely - that’s precisely what I have been doing for months! I use a short 20cm USB type A to USB-C cable and it’s great. The RPi4 USB 3.0 ports are used to feed the TP-Link powered hub and a 500GB Samsung T5 SSD. The USB 2.0 ports on the RPi4 are not used.

The only issues I have had relate to the RPi Linux kernel update which abruptly went from 4.19 to 5.4 a couple of months ago. Until several further kernel updates had taken place over the next weeks, this left the USB ports in disarray. The main issue arose when plugging the USB cable to the Pegasus Astro Pocket Power Box which distributes the incoming 12V including to the USB hub. This unit uses an FTDI USB interface chip, which ironically is usually the preferred brand (over Prolific).

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13 hours ago, Stuart1971 said:

Lol, no 3amps minimum needed, but it may well power up...just not sure how well it would run, try it and see.... 👍

I’m not sure if this 3A minimum issue has become a myth just because the RPi4 standard power supply is a 3A one. The USB-C connector is specified up to 3A, and if someone were to plug in a USB powered SATA HDD and other power hungry devices, it would be a good idea to have power reserves, but the RPi4 runs happily on a lot less.

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6 minutes ago, Avocette said:

I’m not sure if this 3A minimum issue has become a myth just because the RPi4 standard power supply is a 3A one. The USB-C connector is specified up to 3A, and if someone were to plug in a USB powered SATA HDD and other power hungry devices, it would be a good idea to have power reserves, but the RPi4 runs happily on a lot less.

Yes you are correct, but the OP was running un powered cameras from the rpi, so more would be needed....👍

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48 minutes ago, Stuart1971 said:

Absolutely no need to use it with an SSD, a good SD card is more than good enough, especially if you just use as an INdI server and run Kstars on your PC indoors....

micro SD cards do die - I’ve lost two good branded ones in a year - and an SSD is much faster and provides loads of capacity. I run everything on the RPi4 and just link into it by WiFi to control it at start up and shut down, and occasionally to download images in the interim to my laptop to live stack in SharpCap Pro for instance. That way the WiFi link is not critical to the successful imaging session.

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7 minutes ago, Avocette said:

micro SD cards do die - I’ve lost two good branded ones in a year - and an SSD is much faster and provides loads of capacity. I run everything on the RPi4 and just link into it by WiFi to control it at start up and shut down, and occasionally to download images in the interim to my laptop to live stack in SharpCap Pro for instance. That way the WiFi link is not critical to the successful imaging session.

Well that’s the way I would run it, but I use a 4k monitor and 4K is useless over VNC Far too laggy, so had to resort to just using the rpi as an INdI server and run Kstars indoors on my PC.. 🙁

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8 minutes ago, Stuart1971 said:

Yes you are correct, but the OP was running un powered cameras from the rpi, so more would be needed....👍

No, no, no!

I tried running everything from a powered hub. So nothing at all being powered via the Pi. 

Honestly, I spent 3 months trying to get it to run some way or other. It could soak test all night long with everything connected. Guide camera looping, ASI178 just in video mode, sat in the lounge. But give it real guiding and a capture routine and.... 2 sub's is as good as it got.

Even running everything off my laptop and connecting via Ethernet didn't help.

The only common factor is USB!

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4 minutes ago, Paul M said:

No, no, no!

I tried running everything from a powered hub. So nothing at all being powered via the Pi. 

Honestly, I spent 3 months trying to get it to run some way or other. It could soak test all night long with everything connected. Guide camera looping, ASI178 just in video mode, sat in the lounge. But give it real guiding and a capture routine and.... 2 sub's is as good as it got.

Even running everything off my laptop and connecting via Ethernet didn't help.

The only common factor is USB!

Yes, sorry my point was if you do run all from the rpi you would need more power....I will bow out of this thread now, as going off topic...👍

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This is a bit off-topic.

I began to get serious budget-wise about astronomy and astrophotography only about a year ago.

However, I have had an interest for over 25 years, when I was playing with XEphem on Sun Workstations at University - I thought the software was really cool and the idea of using software that could control a telescope / observatory set up was something that I guess seeded the actions I'm going through now.

Having grounded myself in UNIX at University, and Microsoft Windows was still in its infancy I took to tinkering with Linux after dropping out of University. I eventually came across Kstars, and soon became aware of Ekos.

Anyway - back to last year, when I decided to get serious about this hobby I was certain that going the INDI route with Kstars/Ekos, I was going to be on the fringe of things and everyone else was going to be using ASCOM under the Windows platform. I was of the mind that I wouldn't get much help from the manufacturers and the mainstream forums for my software set ups and hardware interfacing, and would have to exclusively get and give advice and experiences on INDI specific forums.

I'm happy to say that I've completely changed my mind since then - I no longer think that INDI is a fringe, non-mainstream way of working, and while I have near to no idea of how the ASCOM framework works, and what proportion of users use ASCOM compared to INDI, I am grateful of the abundance of people using INDI, and the wealth of knowledge exchange on all forums! 😀

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The bottom line is the RPI is used by many quite happily with little problems.

Even more use Linux "PC's" with Astro software and last time I looked (as I am retired) Linux file server systems out number Windows File servers.

So maybe you have been unlucky !

However if you look through threads on SGL I do try to warn people that Linux ,for some, can be a steep learning curve IMO.

You are frustrated I can understand that but I have to draw a line somewhere when people make sweeping general statements that are simple untrue and do not reflect the view of the majority of Indi users.

The performance of a new PI4 (8gb) costing £120 cannot be compared to a basic Intel I7 costing nearly £800+ especially with download speeds from USB camera's being so high now (USB3.0 5gb). It was not designed to do this. In every other department the PI runs mounts,filter wheels,dew heaters,focsuers etc easily.

Then we come to the Windows USB/COM port saga that some people have and not forgetting the Windows Update fiasco. There is NO plateform I know of that some one doesn't have an issue with.

In comparision how much do you spend on Astro kit (mounts ,camera's etc) I bet its a hell of a lot more than £120 (or even the I7 at £800) - yet this is an intregal part of running a "computerised system" and you only spend a small amount. Would you buy a sports car and use speed limited tyres - no of course not.

It would seem that you want an "out of the box" astro solution that works 99.99% of the time - maybe you should look at the Eagle 3   https://www.primalucelab.com/astronomy/eagle-control-unit-for-telescopes-and-astrophotography.html   BUT I doubt even that does have problems (it uses Wifi so there is possible weak point depending on your set up) and costs over £800.

Again sorry you are having problems and you are frustrated but does anyone in Astro world not have some problems in one form or another.      

OK rant finished have a nice day and many clear nights 🙂      

 

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7 minutes ago, stash_old said:

So maybe you have been unlucky !

My middle name!

Many years ago when I had an Amiga 1200 I bought an expansion/accelerator board that gave it much more oomf. Well, it just kept crashing. Sent it back for a replacement and same again. Great until it had some work to do...

The online Amiga community was great and buried in the wealth of knowledge I came across a user that had access to serious diagnostic instruments and had found a design weakness in his 1200's main board. He recommended soldering a decoupling capacitor across two points in on the board. I did and it cured it! That Amiga had more of its guts outside the case than inside, including a big old HDD.

I'm used to getting the runt. I don't doubt my RPi had an issue. I looked at it very closely with a jewelers eye glass hoping to find a dry joint. A weakness like on the Amiga that only shows under stress.

So, we are where we are. Ubuntu is sorted on this mini PC. KStars et al  are installed. Astrometry files downloaded. Cameras connect and work.

Just waiting for the dummy monitor dongle, due any time and we're off!

All my posts in this thread are via the little guy, right now I'm VNC'd into it on my cheap tablet. Keyboard and mouse already packed for the loft. Hopefully the monitor will join them :)

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6 minutes ago, Paul M said:

Just waiting for the dummy monitor dongle, due any time and we're off!

I hope that works for you. If it doesn't come back here, I would have suggested installing the Ubuntu Server minimal install (without a GUI), and then installing a desktop environment on top of that.

It avoids a lot of the gunk that an Ubuntu Desktop install puts in, a lot of which is unnecessary and unneeded for a build which is for a specific use, rather than a general purpose PC.

https://phoenixnap.com/kb/how-to-install-a-gui-on-ubuntu

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17 minutes ago, gilesco said:

If it doesn't come back here,

If it doesn't then my next move will be W10 😍

I'll bring down that old PC tower, deregister the W10 licence and make the call to transfer it to the mini PC. I think that's how it works. Look out for my next thread: "Windows 10 licence key transfer?" :)

I don't doubt the dongle will work. It just mimics an HDMI monitor. So its HDMI technology without concern for the installed operating system or the goon operating it!

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1 hour ago, Avocette said:

I’m not sure if this 3A minimum issue has become a myth just because the RPi4 standard power supply is a 3A one. The USB-C connector is specified up to 3A, and if someone were to plug in a USB powered SATA HDD and other power hungry devices, it would be a good idea to have power reserves, but the RPi4 runs happily on a lot less.

According to this page:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/hardware/raspberrypi/power/README.md

Total power output over USB is about 1.2A, which means that RPI itself needs about 1.8A? Or probably a bit less since GPIO uses 50mA, HDMI 50mA, Camera module up to 250mA,...

There is also gigabit ethernet, Wifi - these all draw power, and does this depend on amount of RAM used? 8GB model will surely require more power than 2GB model?

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1 hour ago, stash_old said:

The bottom line is the RPI is used by many quite happily with little problems.

Even more use Linux "PC's" with Astro software and last time I looked (as I am retired) Linux file server systems out number Windows File servers.

So maybe you have been unlucky !

However if you look through threads on SGL I do try to warn people that Linux ,for some, can be a steep learning curve IMO.

You are frustrated I can understand that but I have to draw a line somewhere when people make sweeping general statements that are simple untrue and do not reflect the view of the majority of Indi users.

The performance of a new PI4 (8gb) costing £120 cannot be compared to a basic Intel I7 costing nearly £800+ especially with download speeds from USB camera's being so high now (USB3.0 5gb). It was not designed to do this. In every other department the PI runs mounts,filter wheels,dew heaters,focsuers etc easily.

Then we come to the Windows USB/COM port saga that some people have and not forgetting the Windows Update fiasco. There is NO plateform I know of that some one doesn't have an issue with.

In comparision how much do you spend on Astro kit (mounts ,camera's etc) I bet its a hell of a lot more than £120 (or even the I7 at £800) - yet this is an intregal part of running a "computerised system" and you only spend a small amount. Would you buy a sports car and use speed limited tyres - no of course not.

It would seem that you want an "out of the box" astro solution that works 99.99% of the time - maybe you should look at the Eagle 3   https://www.primalucelab.com/astronomy/eagle-control-unit-for-telescopes-and-astrophotography.html   BUT I doubt even that does have problems (it uses Wifi so there is possible weak point depending on your set up) and costs over £800.

Again sorry you are having problems and you are frustrated but does anyone in Astro world not have some problems in one form or another.      

OK rant finished have a nice day and many clear nights 🙂      

 

£120 for rpi4 8gb, where are you buying from 😮, no, no ,no, they are £68.... so even better 👍

other than that I completely agree with you...👍😀

Edited by Stuart1971
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1 minute ago, Stuart1971 said:

£120 for rpi4 8gb 😮, no, no ,no, they are £68.... so even better 👍

I think once you add PSU, Large, high-quality high-capacity microSD, USB cable, HDMI cable, Network Cable and Case then you often surpass £120.

Not to mention, 12V powered USB hub, 12V --> 5V 3A converter etc...

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1 minute ago, gilesco said:

I think once you add PSU, Large, high-quality high-capacity microSD, USB cable, HDMI cable, Network Cable and Case then you often surpass £120.

Not to mention, 12V powered USB hub, 12V --> 5V 3A converter etc...

Yes, but they weren’t mentioned, I was referring to the rpi itself... besides all that would still be well under £120... 👍

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20201007_143401.thumb.jpg.8e843f6c659ed9969170b430798f6b75.jpgIt's here!

And it works!

It gives me a large selection of screen resolutions,

 the one I'm using right now fits my tablet perfectly. indeed, its as though It's all on the tablet. Not particularly obtrusive. It stick out less than the WiFi antenna farm it shares the back panel with.

Edited by Paul M
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1 hour ago, Stuart1971 said:

£120 for rpi4 8gb, where are you buying from 😮, no, no ,no, they are £68.... so even better

Not for an 8gb RPI4 , decent  case, good PSU,cables ,SSD and fan(if reqd)

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Just now, stash_old said:

Not for an 8gb RPI4 , decent  case, good PSU,cables ,SSD and fan(if reqd)

Agreed, I've tended to pimp my Pi to the extreme, and then followed on to disable HDMI, disable Wifi, disable Bluetooth etc... - reducing idle power consumption as much as possible. So it is kind of a £150-200 solution now... of course, I didn't do that all in one go, but it now feels like working with a PC (SSD seems to be a major improvement).

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