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Using Mini PC on mount


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Hi All,

is anybody successfully using a mini PC running Windows 10 to control their astrophotography applications ? And are you able to run it from a 12v leisure battery ?

what’s the experience like ? Any foibles or issues ? Things you’d do differently next time around ?

Regards

Andy H

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Yes I am and I am also running it on 12v.  It works really well for the most part.  My only issues have been Wifi reception sometimes.  Go for one with fast solid state memory, and keep on top of your Windows updates!  There is nothing worse than setting up for a night of imaging and having Windows updates ruining your night.

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2 minutes ago, scitmon said:

Yes I am and I am also running it on 12v.  It works really well for the most part.  My only issues have been Wifi reception sometimes.  Go for one with fast solid state memory, and keep on top of your Windows updates!  There is nothing worse than setting up for a night of imaging and having Windows updates ruining your night.

Promising, Could I enquire what spec you’re running ? There are thousands and I’m struggling to know what is more than enough to do the job. My guess is win10 is the biggest drain on resource. I’m looking at 2nd hand rather than new.

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I am running a mini PC mounted on the scope to control the mount, cameras, acquisition software, guiding etc.  I also had some Wi-Fi reception issues so now control the mini PC from inside the house using a hardline LAN connection to my home PC and the MS Remote Desktop software that comes with Win 10 Pro.   My mini-PC is a fanless HUNSN industrial mini-PC which I purchased new from Amazon for about £275-£300.   It has an Intel Core I5 CPU, a 128G SSD and 8GB RAM and comes with Windows 10 Pro preloaded.  I run it off a 12V supply provided by the Pegasus PBA mounted next to it.  It also has four USB3 ports, 4 USB two ports and four serial ports so is well able to handle all the connections (although I also use the Pegasus PBA to control dew heaters).  I have left the mini-PC running non-stop for nearly four months now and it has not yet missed a beat.

77FB489D-DF1A-4363-ADA0-A48B52D81CB3.jpeg.85b0008bb9c197a9d6a2b1fb3390ca6a.jpeg

 

442BD4F7-F6CE-4FA7-8EC5-D89C6EB66544.jpeg.ef5e92f451d2a2aa5000a823e8a4de1d.jpeg

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31 minutes ago, AMcD said:

I am running a mini PC mounted on the scope to control the mount, cameras, acquisition software, guiding etc.  I also had some Wi-Fi reception issues so now control the mini PC from inside the house using a hardline LAN connection to my home PC and the MS Remote Desktop software that comes with Win 10 Pro.   My mini-PC is a fanless HUNSN industrial mini-PC which I purchased new from Amazon for about £275-£300.   It has an Intel Core I5 CPU, a 128G SSD and 8GB RAM and comes with Windows 10 Pro preloaded.  I run it off a 12V supply provided by the Pegasus PBA mounted next to it.  It also has four USB3 ports, 4 USB two ports and four serial ports so is well able to handle all the connections (although I also use the Pegasus PBA to control dew heaters).  I have left the mini-PC running non-stop for nearly four months now and it has not yet missed a beat.

77FB489D-DF1A-4363-ADA0-A48B52D81CB3.jpeg.85b0008bb9c197a9d6a2b1fb3390ca6a.jpeg

 

442BD4F7-F6CE-4FA7-8EC5-D89C6EB66544.jpeg.ef5e92f451d2a2aa5000a823e8a4de1d.jpeg

That looks neat and tidy. Thanks for the details I’ll take a look 👍👍

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3 hours ago, Newforestgimp said:

Promising, Could I enquire what spec you’re running ? There are thousands and I’m struggling to know what is more than enough to do the job. My guess is win10 is the biggest drain on resource. I’m looking at 2nd hand rather than new.

I purchased mine a while ago and times have moved on since then... but it's a N34 Intel Mini PC (2.2Ghz CPU, 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD).  Then I bought https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008DCORUG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 to power it from my DC Power Supply.

Edited by scitmon
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I use stick PCs, Intel Atom Z8350, 4GB RAM, 64G eMMC and a powered USB 3 hub.

1 x USB2, 1 X USB3, powered via micro USB port. MicroSD card socket is unused

Very much like https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Fanless-Compute-Windows-Business-Bluetooth/dp/B08S78SWMF/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=Stick%2Bpc&qid=1618231602&sr=8-4&th=1

 

Runs Win10Pro, stellarium, SGPro and polar alignment software.

RDP to remote control, and OneDrive for storing images which allows DSSLive on another machine to let me see image building up.

 

 

Edited by iapa
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On 12/04/2021 at 13:45, iapa said:

I use stick PCs, Intel Atom Z8350, 4GB RAM, 64G eMMC and a powered USB 3 hub.

1 x USB2, 1 X USB3, powered via micro USB port. MicroSD card socket is unused

Very much like https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Fanless-Compute-Windows-Business-Bluetooth/dp/B08S78SWMF/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=Stick%2Bpc&qid=1618231602&sr=8-4&th=1

 

Runs Win10Pro, stellarium, SGPro and polar alignment software.

RDP to remote control, and OneDrive for storing images which allows DSSLive on another machine to let me see image building up.

 

 

Wow, I could be overthinking what sort of spec I need if it can run from a stick PC.

im guessing 8gb ram 128gb SSD storage in any processor will be adequate to run...

APT, PHD2, CDC, win10 & rdp ?

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3 hours ago, Newforestgimp said:

Wow, I could be overthinking what sort of spec I need if it can run from a stick PC.

im guessing 8gb ram 128gb SSD storage in any processor will be adequate to run...

APT, PHD2, CDC, win10 & rdp ?

All it is really doing is taking an image and storing it with guiding in the background.

I’ve not really checked CPU or memory usage over night tho’.

 

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OK, running SGPro using ASCOM simulators it uses <20% of CPU

Stellerium, when minimised is <2%, but c30% when running

Overall, then 50% usage is Stellarium is not minimised.

The CPU is the Atom x5-Z8350 clocked at 1.44GHz with 4GB RAM installed.

With the installed software, there is 25GB of storage available.

 

C5738542-D960-4345-8DB0-801CE154602D.png

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