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Compute Stick vs NUC for remote capture?

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#26 rkayakr


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Posted 03 June 2016 - 07:57 AM

I didn't realize that "unactivated" means unlicensed


I plan to use it in my observatory so power is not an issue.

With the larger SSD I won't need an SD or microSD slot

On the wifi - unfortunately computer offers on Amazon don't provide much detail. That issue is not limited to Amazon, today you have to really dig to find the specs on a box from Dell or HP.


One downside of the stick is that I'm not a fan of Windows 10 and am greatly offended and would use a vernacular expression of past tense urination, but apparently that mild expression gets edited out by moderators, by Microsoft for forcing it on me. I particularly take exception to their latest devious ploy of redefining closing a pop up window to mean install rather than cancel.  That's just malware behavior.

Edited by rkayakr, 03 June 2016 - 10:51 AM.

#27 james7ca



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Posted 03 June 2016 - 08:53 AM

I didn't realize that "unactivated" means unlicensed


If you go to the Qotom web site and/or read the comments on the Amazon website you'll see that the vendor (Qotom) says that the version of Windows installed on their products is for testing only and that you need to supply your own OS.


As for your plan of use, yes, I can see if you are going to be working from your own observatory and aren't that interested in mobile imaging then it make little sense to consider using something like Intel's Compute Stick. That is, unless you are really limited by the weight of your setup (i.e. small mount in relation to your imaging setup).

#28 ccs_hello


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Posted 03 June 2016 - 06:26 PM

Re; post #26 WiFi single band....


In this miniPC form factor, WiFi is a mini-PCIe card in a slot.

It can be easily replaced with a flavor you like.


Clear Skies!



#29 james7ca



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Posted 04 June 2016 - 12:08 AM

Yes, that's a valid point and you could replace the WiFi card (and let's assume that the antenna connectors would fit without issue, they probably would). Now, if they would just remove the VGA port and replace that with either another USB or serial port then it would be close to perfect. Well, not really, since I'd still want a SD card slot and it seems somewhat unlikely that they will ever offer such an option since these are supposed to be "industrial" computers. Also, they probably can't/won't remove the VGA port because that would place to much attention on their "stealth" HDMI port.

#30 DaveB


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Posted 05 June 2016 - 09:37 PM


I bought this PC stick and I'm very happy with it. It has a quad-core ATOM processor and runs WIndows 10 Home edition. I run SGP, PHD, ASCOM, PoleMaster software, and use TeamViewer for remote access. I've heard that Windows Remote Desktop is less CPU intensive, so I may consider installing the necessary drivers to get that working on W10 Home, but I'm happy as is. Note that I had to buy a display emulator and a female-female HDMI adapter to get TeamViewer to work, but that is not necessary for Windows Remote Desktop.


The same company sells a less expensive PC stick that comes with Win8 and doesn't have an ethernet port. I saw a few folks that had issues updating their stick to W10, so for the small price increase, I went with the already-installed W10 version.


One last comment - these run W10 32-bit, which is fairly common for PC sticks. I didn't have any issues installing any of the above astro apps.


This is starting to look like a great solution. I have a portable setup and typically use 2 laptops - one stays out all night connected to the scope (and sucking a fair amount of juice from my deep cycle batteries), and the 2nd is used to check on my setup after I've turned in. The compute stick would allow me to leave one laptop at home and reduce my current draw considerably. 




Looking at the Amazon add for this device, it wasn't clear what ports were on the device (and what adapters I might need to access them). Also, how is power fed to the device?





Sorry for the delayed response, I was away for a few days. You may have found better solutions in the interim responses in this thread, but here are answers to your questions regarding ports and power:

  • The device has an ethernet port, an HDMI port, a USB-2 port to connect to a USB hub, and a Micro USB port for power (5V/2A).
  • I purchased this device to go from 12V to the 5V Micro USB port but I haven't installed it yet. I currently use the AC adapter that is provided with the PC stick.
  • It also has a slot for a microSDXC memory card to go above the 32GB built in SSD (memory card, really). I bought a 64GB card for $18 and use that to temporarily store images before downloading them to my desktop PC for processing.
  • This PC includes an *activated* copy of Windows 10, unlike another PC discussed in this thread.
  • It supports 802.11 b/g/n (I don't know if that indicates dual-band or not) and Bluetooth 4.0, so you could set up a wireless keyboard and mouse if you want. I prefer remote desktop.

I haven't used it enough to make any definitive statements, but as of now I am very happy with it. I only do CCD imaging of DSOs, so I can't comment on whether or not it could keep up with video feeds associated with planetary imaging. 



#31 bilgebay


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Posted 04 October 2017 - 02:40 AM



I got a NUC, but the stick was very appealing.  One advantage is that you can mount it on the scope.

My NUC is mounted on my scope with a single bolt. If you think you no longer need a USB hub,  NUC is not way larger than the stick+USB hub. I have purchased a cable to make use of the 2.0 header. This proved to be a very good move because my new Moravian G3-16200 camera didn't like the USB3.0 ports. I have 6 USB ports which is more than enough to discard the headaches of a USB hub.


That's a great looking setup! How did you fit the NUC to the screws on the Tak clamshell?

What is the black box on top of the NUC?

Is that a Mesu mount BTW? It looks very nice!



John, I'm very sorry for not seeing your post earlier.  I have used the vesa mount that came with NUC to mount it on to the Tak clamshell. I've used a single 1-1/4" bolt to fix the bracket to the clamshell. The black box on top of the NUC is the Microtouch Focuser controller... and yes, the mount is a Mesu. Thank you! It is a very nice mount indeed!

#32 bilgebay


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Posted 04 October 2017 - 02:42 AM

Hi Sedat, how did you fit the NUC on the tripod bolt of the Tak clamshell? Are you using NUC's supplied VESA mount? Very curious to know since I have a similar setup.

Hi Giorgio, yes, I've used the vesa mount for this purpose. 

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#33 tedbiv


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Posted 04 October 2017 - 09:49 AM

have you considered using raspberry pi 3 running iastrohub at the telescope and windows 7 on laptop. raspberry pi controls mount, dslr, guide scope. pc runs stellarium, stellariumscope, astrotortilla, dslrdashboard over ascom wireless (or wired) connection. 


pi = ~$80

software = free


config = ymmv



Edited by tedbiv, 04 October 2017 - 09:51 AM.

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#34 SonnyE



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Posted 04 October 2017 - 05:10 PM

I have a compute stick on my telescope. And it has worked OK, after the pains of getting things going.

I would connect to it with Tight Vnc with my indoor desktop computer.

And it was fine, albet a bit slow for me. I blamed that on my WiFi constraints.


I use to use my old laptop. That finally died one day.

And recently I got a new 2 in 1 computer running Windows 10 home , at 64 bit rate.

I tried it out one night when PHD2 got a bug.

I was impressed by what I've been missing.


The thing I found I missed the most was visual at the mount. I'm glad to have it back.

Speed is back with the 2 in 1.

WiFi isn't an issue anymore. It's faster with the 2 in 1.


So I'm a revert.


Yeah, I make two trips out carrying stuff to set up, the telescope, and the 2 in 1 with a mouse and power supply.

And I make two trips back after my evening of imaging.

And yeah, I have a single USB cable connecting a powered hub down to the 2 in 1.

I'll take it.

I'll take it to have the visual back, and the WiFi speed, and the convenience of choice back.


And to stop wearing a path back and forth to the mount.


Oh, and the 2 in 1 set me back $299.00 at Sam's Club, and has a two year warranty.

And it's the cutest little thang!

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