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Ricker

Astroberry Local or Remote Kstars and EKOS?

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Forgive my terminology but when using Astroberry when running Kstars on a remote (to the rasp pi) pc images can take a number of seconds to download.  For my ASI1600 this is about 5s.  Does this sound average (obviously WiFi dependent)? 

Also do people run like this or do they run EKOS on the Pi?

 

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I have been down this road and think that the best way is to have a Raspberry PI or Mini PC at the mount. Mount control should be done via Indi/Indigo or ASCOM depending on OS used. I would recommend direct connection for cameras as I found that via Indi/Indigo or ASCOM the cameras did not work as well as they do under a direct connection and trying to do run a focus loop over wifi was just terrible but much better via ethernet but still not as good as direct. This is why I ended up using an XCY30 MiniPC with Windows 10 and a RaspiOS under Virtualbox so I can use Indi/Indigo or ASCOM. This gives me the option of running the really great Windows apps such as Sharpcap but also the ability to run KStars and EKOS.

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Many thanks. I have been using ascom apt sharpcap on a laptop with 15m usb 3 lead and was just trying an alternative. Sounds like I should stick with my current setup. 

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I run Ekos/Kstars on my sbc (Rock64 with emmc card instead of SD card) and connect to it from my windows laptop with MS remote desktop. Both the sbc and my laptop have a wired network connection. I save images on the sbc and download them after each session with ftp. Image transfer time from camera to emmc card is 0.5 seconds or less. Ftp to my laptop is even faster. This is with 4.6 MB/image for my camera.

Hope this helps.

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I run Astroberry on the PI4 which is located local to the mount/telescope. It runs the INDI drivers for the gear. It is connected via a gigabit ethernet connection to my main network.

I then run EKOS/KStars on a PC or MAC connecting to the PI4 in EKOS remote mode. I have set it to send the pictures both to the PI and the PC. EDIT I've just timed it and a download of a 40MB file from PI to the PC are 0.5 seconds using SFTP.

Edited by TerryMcK

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I run Ascom and Indi at the same time using CCDCIEL which will run on Macos,Windows or Linux. When running CCDCIEL on Windows you can talk to Ascom and Indi devices (within reason) at the same time.

Indi (indiserver) runs on a BRIC Mini on the mount - CCDCIEL runs on Windows in Obsys and I connect to Obsys Windows via RDP. I have used this for both DSLR and ASI camera's.

I have never had files transfered "in the blink of an eye" even though I am wired 1gb ethernet - e.g DSLR 30MB approx 5 secs.

Using ASTAP as the platesolver I normally get sub 5 secs platesolve for wide -ish FOV and 15-30secs for very narrow FOV but NOT with ASTAP (doesn't like small FOV IME) but with local Astrometry platesolving.

 

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Does anybody know why Astroberry is so far behind with its Kstars version, as it’s still on 3.4.3 when 3.4.4 has been about for ages and 3.5.0 is now out in Beta form..?

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8 hours ago, Stuart1971 said:

Does anybody know why Astroberry is so far behind with its Kstars version, as it’s still on 3.4.3 when 3.4.4 has been about for ages and 3.5.0 is now out in Beta form..?

The author  of Astroberry only updates to the latest release after it has been out there a while and does not support Beta versions of Kstars.  The current stable release on the Kstars site is 3.4.3 which is what is supported. You can always download the KStars/EKOS source files and compile on your raspberry.  I have been running an earlier 3.5 Beta for a while. 

Edited by wornish

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8 hours ago, Stuart1971 said:

Does anybody know why Astroberry is so far behind with its Kstars version, as it’s still on 3.4.3 when 3.4.4 has been about for ages and 3.5.0 is now out in Beta form..?

3.4.3 is the latest stable according to: https://edu.kde.org/kstars/

As mentioned, 3.5.0 is not released yet, you can build it on Astroberry quite easily (you will need to build the Stellasolver library first though).

The team are gearing up for the release of 3.5.0, and the latest builds have been unstable (more unstable than Beta in my opinion), and not for use in Production.

If Radek released Astroberry with 3.5.0 running at this time then he would have to field all the known issues with Kstars development as well as any issues with Astroberry.

Having said that, there are some really interesting improvements with 3.5.0, and worth taking a look at, just don't complain when Kstars crashes on you, just provide a bug report, and your debugger stack trace etc... to the team and help the development along (at the cost of your imaging sessions).

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1 hour ago, wornish said:

The author  of Astroberry only updates to the latest release after it has been out there a while and does not support Beta versions of Kstars.  The current stable release on the Kstars site is 3.4.3 which is what is supported. You can always download the KStars/EKOS source files and compile on your raspberry.  I have been running an earlier 3.5 Beta for a while. 

Hmmm, if 3.4.3 is the latest  stable, how come I have 3.4.4 on my Stellarmate system, and I only use stable releases...? I am a bit confused, as I have had this for a month or two....

I am in the process of swapping to Astroberry, as I find it to be quicker on many levels.. 👍

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3 minutes ago, Stuart1971 said:

Hmmm, if 3.4.3 is the latest  stable, how come I have 3.4.4 on my Stellarmate system, and I only use stable releases...? I am a bit confused, as I have had this for a month or two....

I am in the process of swapping to Astroberry, as I find it to be quicker on many levels.. 👍

I can only assume that Jasem released something specific to Stellarmate that is not in the main repository. Just before a real release is made the Changelog is updated, and it still points to 3.4.3. (Stellarmate is a revenue generating project, by the lead of the KStars project, so you may get some different / specific versions via that project, that you might not via the free open-source side).

https://invent.kde.org/education/kstars/-/blob/master/ChangeLog

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9 minutes ago, Stuart1971 said:

I am in the process of swapping to Astroberry, as I find it to be quicker on many levels.. 👍

The only real difference that I could attribute to Astroberry appearing faster than Stellarmate is the use of RealVNC in Astroberry. I think Stellarmate cannot be provided with RealVNC, because it is a commercial product and RealVNC has a licensing issue with that. There's nothing stopping you from using some other remote-access method with Stellarmate, although I just use my Pi4 as a remote INDI server most of the time, and don't run Kstars on it at all (set to change when I go to a remote Dark site, but I will just be kicking off a scheduler session and then monitoring it over VNC on my Tablet).

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4 hours ago, gilesco said:

The only real difference that I could attribute to Astroberry appearing faster than Stellarmate is the use of RealVNC in Astroberry. I think Stellarmate cannot be provided with RealVNC, because it is a commercial product and RealVNC has a licensing issue with that. There's nothing stopping you from using some other remote-access method with Stellarmate, although I just use my Pi4 as a remote INDI server most of the time, and don't run Kstars on it at all (set to change when I go to a remote Dark site, but I will just be kicking off a scheduler session and then monitoring it over VNC on my Tablet).

Yes, that’s how I used to run it...until I got the 4gb and then 8gb versions, as I wanted run it all from the RPI..I do use RealVNC on Stellarmate,  but with a 4k monitor it’s very laggy, but with Astroberry is acceptable to use...
And yes you are correct re licensing issues as to why RealVNC can’t be supplied with SM... 👍😀

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Perhaps if you all "donated" to Radek's fund he could employ someone full time as he ,as far as I am aware the only person doing the maint of Astroberry 😈.

It was not that long ago that there was NO Raspbian based Indi/Ekos/Kstars off the shelve image or repository and  Ubuntu Mate didn't keep up with RPI4 development and Ubunto desktop was a DIY job.  Stellarmate was originally Ubuntu Mate based  - I think - might be wrong here.

You want the "latest" versions you have 3 options as I see it :

1. Start running Ubuntu as released the other week but expect problems. This way you can even use "nightly" updates! Assuming Jasem has released the correct binaries.

2. Compile from source DIY

3. Buy Asair Pro or Eagle Pro - ouch!

I have ignored other flavours of Linux and other non RPI hardware. They are options of course 🙂 .

Radek has tried to make it easy for "Newbies" (as best he can) and to keep them away from the issues of being "out in front".

Hats off to Radek I say!

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42 minutes ago, stash_old said:

Perhaps if you all "donated" to Radek's fund he could employ someone full time as he ,as far as I am aware the only person doing the maint of Astroberry 😈.

It was not that long ago that there was NO Raspbian based Indi/Ekos/Kstars off the shelve image or repository and  Ubuntu Mate didn't keep up with RPI4 development and Ubunto desktop was a DIY job.  Stellarmate was originally Ubuntu Mate based  - I think - might be wrong here.

You want the "latest" versions you have 3 options as I see it :

1. Start running Ubuntu as released the other week but expect problems. This way you can even use "nightly" updates! Assuming Jasem has released the correct binaries.

2. Compile from source DIY

3. Buy Asair Pro or Eagle Pro - ouch!

I have ignored other flavours of Linux and other non RPI hardware. They are options of course 🙂 .

Radek has tried to make it easy for "Newbies" (as best he can) and to keep them away from the issues of being "out in front".

Hats off to Radek I say!

I agree, Radek has done an amazing job with AB, and TBH as a two years Stellarmate user, I have just swapped to AB as it just seems quicker and more robust, and responsive,  not sure why but it’s certainly quicker....

SM was on Ubuntu as you stated too...until just after the RPI4 came out then it changed...

I really dont see the need to pay for SM, unless of course you want all the bells and whistles, and the App of course...which I just never used... 👍😀

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56 minutes ago, Stuart1971 said:

I agree, Radek has done an amazing job with AB, and TBH as a two years Stellarmate user, I have just swapped to AB as it just seems quicker and more robust, and responsive,  not sure why but it’s certainly quicker....

SM was on Ubuntu as you stated too...until just after the RPI4 came out then it changed...

I really dont see the need to pay for SM, unless of course you want all the bells and whistles, and the App of course...which I just never used... 👍😀

Just want to make one thing clear. When you buy Stellarmate you contribute directly to motivate the lead Kstars/Ekos developer to do more, without which Astroberry is nothing.

 

Edited by gilesco

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On 21/10/2020 at 20:23, Ricker said:

Forgive my terminology but when using Astroberry when running Kstars on a remote (to the rasp pi) pc images can take a number of seconds to download.  For my ASI1600 this is about 5s.  Does this sound average (obviously WiFi dependent)? 

Also do people run like this or do they run EKOS on the Pi?

 

Hello Ricker,

last weekend I've installed my raspberry pi ,running Astroberry, on the scope. I attached a Samsung 1TB external drive to it, which I plugged in to one of the 2 USB-3 ports. The external drive has a spec of 10gbps, so data is transferred at a decent speed.

However VNCViewer over wifi does not work well, but that's mainly because of the fact that the router/wifi access point is inside and ± 25m away from the scope. So I ordered a 25m UTP cable to connect to the raspberry pi directly to the router (and that makes VNCviewer run flawless - I've tested that config earlier inside).

Kind regards,

AstroRookie

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3 hours ago, gilesco said:

Just want to make one thing clear. When you buy Stellarmate you contribute directly to motivate the lead Kstars/Ekos developer to do more, without which Astroberry is nothing.

 

I have bought it, and have used it for a few years...and will continue to support it...👍

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On 21/10/2020 at 20:23, Ricker said:

Forgive my terminology but when using Astroberry when running Kstars on a remote (to the rasp pi) pc images can take a number of seconds to download.  For my ASI1600 this is about 5s.  Does this sound average (obviously WiFi dependent)? 

Also do people run like this or do they run EKOS on the Pi?

 

I use a Raspberry Pi 4, running Astroberry, attached to the mount. All the gear (DSLR, guide-camera, mount and USB 3.0 memory stick) is attached directly to the Pi. I use is as a hotspot and use VNC Viewer from my laptop to remote desktop in the Pi. KStars/EKOS are run directly on the Pi.

The files from the D5300 (around 24 MB) take about 2.5s to download on the Pi and get transferred to the USB stick. The problem is not the stick, or the speed of the Pi, itself, because I tried saving directly on the Pi SD card, or on a hard-drive connected to the USB 3.0 port, and it always takes the same amount of time. The problem is the USB connection out of the camera: it's only USB 2.0, so it doesn't matter where I plug it in or what type of storage I use or how fast it is, the bottle-neck is the port of the camera.

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Personally I'd prefer to avoid using wifi for transferring large files around, including downloaded frames from modern astronomy cameras.  I'd always use a wired connection if I could.

In my observatory the piers are sufficiently close to the warm room that I can run HDMI and USB cables to a KVM switch from the small form-factor PCs on the piers so I can run everything that way.  If I'd not been able to do that I'd have used the wired ethernet connections to control the pier computers from a Kstars front-end running in the warm room.

James

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15 hours ago, gilesco said:

When you buy Stellarmate you contribute directly to motivate the lead Kstars/Ekos developer to do more, without which Astroberry is nothing

Not strictly true - Indi and Kstars are "open source" and so are not strictly reliant on commercial products (e.g. Stellarmate). Stellarmate was as I see it a commercial off shoot of the Open source project. It is 100% true to say Stellarmate,Asair etc would not have existed if Kstars/Indi "Open Source" project hadn't been created and deveolped. All a bit irrelevant really.

Bottom line is no product would have been produced without the determination,skill and  "free" effort of the developers AND the users who do(should) the bulk of the testing.

11 hours ago, endlessky said:

I use or how fast it is, the bottle-neck is the port of the camera

Yep spot on.  Then they put in a USB3 port and the "weak" point moves to the next weakest link.

Wired ethernet is best and on the RPI4 it has been proved to get around 950mb consistently without the traditional ethernet fall off.

Current wireless tech has its place (mounts,focusers but not Camera's) but its still got the "built in" latency(no matter how small) and like most adverts the speeds quoted for WiFi are ------ a bit over optimistic IME.

In the end it is a personal opinion and if you are happy with your set up - why care 🙂

Now if FLO ever did sell a "working" Clound gun - what a winner that would be 🙂

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13 minutes ago, stash_old said:

Not strictly true - Indi and Kstars are "open source" and so are not strictly reliant on commercial products (e.g. Stellarmate). Stellarmate was as I see it a commercial off shoot of the Open source project. It is 100% true to say Stellarmate,Asair etc would not have existed if Kstars/Indi "Open Source" project hadn't been created and deveolped. All a bit irrelevant really.

We're just going to disagree then :) Stellarmate provides revenue to Jasem, who is the current lead on the Kstars project, and yes, sure, kstars / indi are all open-source, anyone can take the code and go develop their own fork of the software - and that's a good thing, as it perpetuates the technology forever. So many proprietary pieces of software eventually end up archived privately and never used or worked on again.

I did not say that without Stellarmate there would be no Kstars, I was just saying that by supporting Stellarmate you assist the current lead developer / maintainer or Kstars.

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7 minutes ago, gilesco said:

We're just going to disagree then

Yep 🙂

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