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Suggestions for a wireless astro-photo setup?

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#1 frogwise

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 04:35 PM

Hey all,

I'm looking to setup a nice workflow for astro-photography using my Skywatcher 80ED with EQ3 and my Nikon D600. What I'd like to do is have my scope setup in the yard, and have it wirelessly (ideally) or through a wired solution connect to my PC. I would love to not only be able to drive the mount to an object using something like Stellarium, but then also have a nice live view of that object through my camera. Then, of course, fire off the required shots.

What are the solutions available for live view photography on a PC or Mac for Nikon? And, what are your recommendations for driving my Skywatcher EQ3 mount from that same PC or Mac?

Thanks guys!

#2 mmalik

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 05:06 PM

Easiest would be to setup a laptop by the mount to control everything, the mount, the camera, the guider, etc. Then wirelessly remote-in from a home computer to the computer in the field/yard.

#3 frogwise

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 05:18 PM

Great suggestion. Do you know of a good software solution for controlling the synscan mount? I heard it can be done with Stellarium?

#4 mmalik

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:37 PM

I use iPad/SkySafari Pro/SkyWire... for mount control. I don't know if such a setup will work for Synscan; you may investigate. Note: There is also a wireless option (SkyFi...).

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#5 j.w.white

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:57 PM

If you are using two Macs, you can use an Airport Express to set up a wireless peer-to-peer network and run "Share Screen" to control everything on the outdoor computer from inside (within range of the wireless network, of course). As for Mac apps that'll run your Mount, I'm pretty sure that AstroPlanner will ( http://www.astroplanner.net ), and Equinox might (not sure - http://www.microproj...equinox6.html). To control your Nikon, you can use either StudioTether ( http://www.mountainstorm.co.uk ) or Sofortbild ( http://www.sofortbildapp.com ).

edited to include DSLR Shutter ( http://www.stark-lab...LR_Shutter.html )

#6 TimN

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 06:02 PM

I use EQMOD to control my Skywatcher, DSLR shutter to take pictures with my Nikon and TetherPro to capture the images on the laptop. It also allows remote settings of the camera, provides a histogram and helps with focus. This all runs on my PC. I control and watch everything in the house from my laptop using Splashtop on my ipad. I could use remote desktop for pc to pc. All the programs listed above are free except TetherPro which is currently on sale for $25.

#7 frogwise

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:43 PM

Nice setup Tim. Do you use DSLR shutter on top of TetherPro because TetherPro doesn't offer timelapse settings? It would be ideal if it did! You could get rid of DSLR shutter, and that's one less piece of software in the lineup.

J.W., I have a macbook pro, so I can try that setup as well. Thanks for the options.

#8 Silicon Owl

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:32 AM

I use an older laptop to run the camera and guider, then VNC to the laptop from the computer in the house. The household wireless has good coverage of the driveway where the 'scope is located.

The old laptop was once my primary machine. I just dug it out of he closet, reformatted the drive and put a clean install of XP on it. Without a pile of junk software it runs fast. All I have installed is The Sky, Images Plus, EOS Utilities, PHD Guide and the free anti-virus from MS. The battery is pretty dead, but will hold through a power glitch or my kicking the cord;)

The images are saved to a shared directory. I can copy them to my desktop and check them as they come in or even start processing.

The only thing I can't do is move the mount any distance. My old G11 is not GOTO. Small moves for framing can be sent through the guider, an SBIG STi.

#9 terry59

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:37 AM

Nice setup Tim. Do you use DSLR shutter on top of TetherPro because TetherPro doesn't offer timelapse settings? It would be ideal if it did! You could get rid of DSLR shutter, and that's one less piece of software in the lineup.

J.W., I have a macbook pro, so I can try that setup as well. Thanks for the options.


Yes, DSLR Shutter is necessary with TetherPro but they work fine together.

#10 Jb32828

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:06 PM

I use a laptop for wired control of the mount, imaging camera and guide camera via USB cables and use my iPad and jump desktop to remote control it all over wireless. I also have a NAS where I store all of my data, so I bought a DLink wireless router so I could keep the NAS hooked up via ethernet yet still use the iPad to wirelessly control the rig. Black Friday was very good to me this year.

#11 Footbag

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:28 PM

My laptop sits outside with the scope and mount and I use Splashtop to control them with my iPad. I've used stellarium, but it didn't really have the features to justify using it.

In the past Ive used remote desktop for two windows systems.






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