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MOKER
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I have a couple of old laptops that are well past their Windows sell by dates but happily run Linux Ubuntu and Linux Lubuntu.  Is it possible to install Mallicam for live viewing on these computers?  Secondly, is there a way of installing ASCOM drivers so that I can use an EQ5 with GOTO?  I could find anything on YouTube. 

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There's no ASCOM.  Instead you need to look at Kstars and EKOS.  Probably the best way to install them is from the launchpad PPA rather than using the versions that come with the distribution, which can be quite out of date.

As for the Mallincam, is it a video model, or USB?

James

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18 minutes ago, MOKER said:

Is it possible to install Mallicam for live viewing on these computers?  Secondly, is there a way of installing ASCOM drivers so that I can use an EQ5 with GOTO? 

There's an -very- actively developed Mallincam driver in Indi and an equally stable eqmod diver for your eq5 under the same. 

You don't need ascom on Linux.

Installation instructions here. You need only the first three steps.

HTH

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  Another alternative to ASCOM in the Linux world which may be worth considering is INDIGO (https://indigo-astronomy.org). There is a SynScan driver available which may work with your mount. The drivers we've tried work well, and the software components appear to be stable and well designed.

 

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As mentioned above you either want to use INDI or INDIGO in Linux.

I use INDI via KStars/Ekos. In my experience INDI has been much more stable than ASCOM (with a lot of hardware now very well supported too) so I personally have never looked back.

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One more thing to consider, KStars/Ekos is an integrated planetarium and imaging suite.

If you prefer separate programs I would recommend CCDciel,phd2 and sky charts (cartes du ciel). They work well together and allow sequences etc too. Install KStars first though and that should install INDI too.

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5 hours ago, 7170 said:

If you prefer separate programs I would recommend CCDciel,phd2 and sky charts (cartes du ciel).

I dont think that integrates with platesolving as nicely. So not equivalent to Align module in Ekos. Is that correct?

And no scheduler ofcourse.

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5 hours ago, AstroMuni said:

I dont think that integrates with platesolving as nicely. So not equivalent to Align module in Ekos. Is that correct?

And no scheduler ofcourse.

Yep CCDciel's sequence tool is not as advance as scheduler in Ekos, but it is very usable.

Regarding platesolving it works (I used ASTAP), but you're right not as nicely as the align module in Ekos. I do like to use skycharts as I find that KStars objects are sometimes too limited, so quite often have to add custom targets. 

If the target is in KStars I usually use that, if it isn't then I find it can be quicker to use CCDciel+CDC. Either way it is great to have so many options in Linux these days.

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21 hours ago, 7170 said:

One more thing to consider, KStars/Ekos is an integrated planetarium and imaging suite.

 

I found Kstars/Ekos worked a dream on my old laptop with Ubuntu - and they do pretty much everything - all you’d need would be an eqmod cable for the mount

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Wow, thanks for all the help and advice.  I reckon there is plenty there to explore when it is cloudy.  I am really pleased that Linux is active in the astronomy field as it has certainly saved 3 decent laptop computers from going to landfill.  Linux takes a bit of getting used to especially after 40 years of Windows.  For Office programs Libre Office does everything I need and Firefox connects well to the internet.  It is a shame that Quickbooks doesn't have a Linux version else I would consider ditching Windows for good and save the need to update the computer every few years.

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3 minutes ago, MOKER said:

Linux takes a bit of getting used to especially after 40 years of Windows. 

Same here. Saved an old laptop and decided to go with Mint as that has an interface closer to Windows 🙂

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