Jump to content

1912116577_Solarchallenge2022banner.jpg.913a200cf105ddeae9f37765cb1d0c73.jpg

Anyone using Stellarmate on a Pi 4?


dazzystar
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi All,

It's a toss up between NINA and Stellarmate to control my scope and camera (not that I've got either yet). NINA doesn't run on a Pi 4 so I need to be careful which I choose but for costs sake SM seems to be the one. What do you guys think?

Cheers

Daz

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both are great systems to use albeit very different to drive.

If you are wanting to keep costs down though Astroberry does exactly the same as Stellermate and is totally free and both intended to run an a Rpi 3 or 4.

Basically both Stellermate and Astroberry are just packages of all software required to run your equipment and setup an imaging sequence (Target, number of exposures, exposure length, filter type etc), the heart of all this is KStars, which is a planetarium which you can use to see what is in the night sky in your location on the day and select a target, it then uses EKOS to set up a sequence to use for the night.
You can in fact use this to run a whole home observatory and all the equipment in it.

NINA does all the same stuff but using different software, I have had a go with NINA and think it is a great bit of software and has many users who are very happy. Personally I thought EKOS was a bit easier to learn and use and does all I ever want and also really wanted to run it from a RPi on the mount and remote connect to it over WiFi so ended up using Astroberry (and did pay and try Stellarmate OS which worked fine but really is just the same as Astroberry only not free).
Of course I still could have done most of this using NINA just would need a small frame computer at the mount rather than a RPi which is a little more expensive.

Steve

 

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have used Stellarmate for a few years now and loved the ease and simplicity of it, but due to an ongoing issue with my EQ8 mount not wanting to connect with the indi EQMOD driver, I have had no choice but to move back to windows and NINA, which, now I have gotten the hang of it is also superb….I had an old i3 intel NUC knocking about anyway so use that on the mount with NINA, and RDP into it from my desktop indoors.

One thing I will say is that windows RDP is miles ahead of any of the PI and windows VNC versions available, and it runs my full set up in full 4k over Wi-Fi with no issues, I could not do that with the RPI I had to go down to 2k or it was laggy and glitched all the time…

Edited by Stuart1971
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brilliant guys...thanks so much for the reply. They've been very helpful. I have heard of Astroberry. If it's the same as Stellarmate, why would anyone buy it? 

I do want to image and control everything from inside so speed is very important over Wi Fi. Is Windows RDP really that much better?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, dazzystar said:

Brilliant guys...thanks so much for the reply. They've been very helpful. I have heard of Astroberry. If it's the same as Stellarmate, why would anyone buy it? 

I do want to image and control everything from inside so speed is very important over Wi Fi. Is Windows RDP really that much better?

The reason you would buy SM over Astroberry is the support, the guy who writes it is super helpful and will get back to you straight away and spend time over teamviewer on your PC getting issues sorted….that’s why you pay for…👍🏼

It is that much better, fo me using 4k, for resolutions less that that your should be fine…👍🏼

Edited by Stuart1971
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 14/12/2021 at 18:11, dazzystar said:

Brilliant guys...thanks so much for the reply. They've been very helpful. I have heard of Astroberry. If it's the same as Stellarmate, why would anyone buy it? 

I do want to image and control everything from inside so speed is very important over Wi Fi. Is Windows RDP really that much better?

The main difference is stellarmate has an app for tablets/phones like ASIAIR does.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a newbie to this astro stuff and bought Stellarmate OS for use with my Skywatcher AZ Goto mount and RPi4b now with an SSD. It is a complex piece of software but well worth it and regularly updated. 

I used a Skywatcher Evoguide ED50 on it with a T7C camera as my first mobile remote telescope. It is controlled remotely on my home network but also capable of self networking in 'station mode' with the mount and android phone/Amazon tablet away from home.

On my 3rd attempt out at night I blew my mind when it centered on Orion Belt nebula and later Andromeda galaxy. It was fantastic & I hope you achieve as much joy and feeling of breakthrough success as I did. Now I want more....I plan to upgrade the Pi with a UPS to give me true self sufficiency out in the field with a small lightweight but powerful package.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wanted to go down the indi/ Kstars pi4 route so I joined the stellarmate group on FB...and soon realised that if the guy running the group had issues then I would surely have also...so I've stuck with Windows, APT and NINA.. 

But I'm going to give my Rpi4, astroberry/ kstars/ ekos a go...

Edited by newbie alert
Added info
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used Astroberry on a RPi4 with 8GB and although it ran what I would guess 80% of the time reliably, the other 20% of the time it was frustrating beyond reason. With Astroberry itself,  when I reflashed my setup just as the platesolving server went down and lost two weeks of imaging due to that, the help I got took me into a linux quagmire that I just couldn't escape from. The guy helping eventually gave up pointing out that the platesolving server was someone elses problem. A single external source embedded into the code. No menu options available to use an alternative server.  Then wifi issues with the RPi randomly freezing just seemed a regular occurance.

Changed to an Intel NUC with Win10 Pro running NINA, PHD2 etc and it's just been rock solid. WiFi on the NUC (reportedly not particularly good) has never skipped a beat. Both setups at the same distance from my conservatory range extender.

Starting over I would consider the https://www.firstlightoptics.com/computers/beelink-gkmini-mini-pc.html at £219, just need to add a hard drive. Not as high a spec but cheaper than what I paid for my NUC. Advantage it's 12V whereas my NUC is 19V only.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Len1257 said:

I used Astroberry on a RPi4 with 8GB and although it ran what I would guess 80% of the time reliably, the other 20% of the time it was frustrating beyond reason. With Astroberry itself,  when I reflashed my setup just as the platesolving server went down and lost two weeks of imaging due to that, the help I got took me into a linux quagmire that I just couldn't escape from. The guy helping eventually gave up pointing out that the platesolving server was someone elses problem. A single external source embedded into the code. No menu options available to use an alternative server.  Then wifi issues with the RPi randomly freezing just seemed a regular occurance.

Changed to an Intel NUC with Win10 Pro running NINA, PHD2 etc and it's just been rock solid. WiFi on the NUC (reportedly not particularly good) has never skipped a beat. Both setups at the same distance from my conservatory range extender.

Starting over I would consider the https://www.firstlightoptics.com/computers/beelink-gkmini-mini-pc.html at £219, just need to add a hard drive. Not as high a spec but cheaper than what I paid for my NUC. Advantage it's 12V whereas my NUC is 19V only.

Just an FYI, the intel NUC will happily run off 12v, many people do including me….it’s no issue at all…👍🏼 no need for a 19v power brick

Edited by Stuart1971
Link to comment
Share on other sites

FYI, you can run Kstars/Ekos from a Raspberry Pi 4 on the mount and connect to it with Windows RDP with no issues. I do so. I've never liked VNC, and never got it to work properly either. RDP feels like I am hooked up to the RPi directly, even though I'm sitting 30 m away from it. (And it might as well be on another continent.) But I don't rely on wifi and have an ethernet connection to the RPi. I've tried wifi but I lost connection too often.

With INDI (the underlying architecture) you can opt to run Kstars/Ekos on a Windows machine indoors, but there is a risk involved. If you lose network connection between the RPi which runs INDI and the Windows computer which runs Kstars, your imaging session will crash. Otoh, If you run everything on the RPi (INDI, Kstars/Ekos), then even if you lose the network connection, the imaging session will happily continue.

Edited by wimvb
Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, wimvb said:

FYI, you can run Kstars/Ekos from a Raspberry Pi 4 on the mount and connect to it with Windows RDP with no issues. I do so. I've never liked VNC, and never got it to work properly either. RDP feels like I am hooked up to the RPi directly, even though I'm sitting 30 m away from it. (And it might as well be on another continent.) But I don't rely on wifi and have an ethernet connection to the RPi. I've tried wifi but I lost connection too often.

With INDI (the underlying architecture) you can opt to run Kstars/Ekos on a Windows machine indoors, but there is a risk involved. If you lose network connection between the RPi which runs INDI and the Windows computer which runs Kstars, your imaging session will crash. Otoh, If you run everything on the RPi (INDI, Kstars/Ekos), then even if you lose the network connection, the imaging session will happily continue.

What remote software do you use on the RPI to connect to is from RDP on windows…XRDP..??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

32 minutes ago, Stuart1971 said:

I tried it, and it would connect, but only got a black screen…no desktop would show…🤔🤔

The Linux gods aren't nice to you, are they? First your troubles with your mount not connecting, and then also rdp not working. That's Windows holding up a huge sign, saying "Choose Me".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, wimvb said:

The Linux gods aren't nice to you, are they? First your troubles with your mount not connecting, and then also rdp not working. That's Windows holding up a huge sign, saying "Choose Me".

Yes…my issue with XRDP, was a long time ago, I just stuck with VNC, no real issues, but yea the mount issues were and are a nightmare and have pushed me back to windows and NINA, and well I have to say NINA just works, no issues at all, but the mount issue with the RPI and the MINI PC with Ubuntu, still bug me…🤔🤔 as I never got to the bottom of it and there is no logic at all to the issue…in fact the issue still persists with windows and NINA on the same mini PC, so I have to use a Bluetooth adapter for the mount….but it does work on my windows laptop…..so it’s not just LINUX….work that one out….😮😮

Edited by Stuart1971
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Stuart1971 said:

Just an FYI, the intel NUC will happily run off 12v, many people do including me….it’s no issue at all…👍🏼 no need for a 19v power brick

There are later generation NUC's that are specifically 19V only. Confirmed by Intel. I use a 12v to 19v stepup converter without any issues.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to say, in regards to Remote Desktop v VNC, I find VNC much more reliable. Since I first used a RPi to my now preferred mini PC, VNC viewer has never let me down. The weak link with them all is definitely wifi and a wired ethernet connection of some sort is better. I have my mini PC in the shed with an ethernet connection to the mount, but I use a powerline adapter indoors hooked up to the router and it sends the signal out to the shed via electric cable just fine. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Len1257 said:

There are later generation NUC's that are specifically 19V only. Confirmed by Intel. I use a 12v to 19v stepup converter without any issues.

Yes I have heard this, but have you tried with 12v, you may well be surprised….after all it’s not going to do any harm, it will either work or it won’t….👍🏼

Edited by Stuart1971
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 29/12/2021 at 11:45, Stuart1971 said:

Yes I have heard this, but have you tried with 12v, you may well be surprised….after all it’s not going to do any harm, it will either work or it won’t….👍🏼

Or it might just turn into a cinder.

It's a 90w NUC, at 19v assuming full load (which admittedly is unlikely) that's 4.7A. Extrapolate that for 12V and it's up to 7.5A. I'm happy to follow Intel's guidance with this and go for reliability over a minor inconvenience. I read in so many places that NUC's were good for 12V that I didn't check rigorously before I purchased it. I might have changed my choice if I had realised that but it's working just fine and when I get it running dual mounts I might be glad of the extra grunt.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I give a vote for for Stellarmate, It works very well. I have it mounted on the finger shore of my 130pds and content over the Wi-Fi via an extender to my Mac with ekos. 
The interface is clean an has more tools than I’ll need any time soon, there’s also a fair bit of support online with regular updates. 
i tried NINA but found the interface a little too muddled, it may have improved. 
i used backyardeos for years but will stick with Stellarmate and ekos for foreseeable future. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.