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Switching to a compute stick - My approach

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#26 kraegar

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Posted 05 September 2016 - 08:21 PM

Thanks for sharing! Awesome stuff and I'm moving to the computer stick myself this week so nice to see others with some success.

 

Honestly, once I got the drivers sorted, it's the best thing ever.  Setup is so much easier, nearly no chance of cable snags now, and it all just works very well.  A word of warning, be sure you shut down the compute stick, and that it's definitely OFF before you remove power.  In my early tests, I cut the power early on accident, and had to reinstall windows... it was not fun or easy.  I now keep a regular backup of windows on the SD card, just in case I make that mistake again I don't have to reinstall from scratch.


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#27 kraegar

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Posted 05 September 2016 - 08:23 PM

Which computer stick is the safe bet? 

There are a lot of options and I have horrible luck. 

I'm using the second gen intel compute stick.  Works great.  I have the polemaster software, PHD2, SGP, and bahtinov grabber all running at once with no issues.

 

https://www.amazon.c...l compute stick


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#28 kraegar

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Posted 05 September 2016 - 08:30 PM

Nice job. Love the sweet little box.

I've been worried about my little stick as the winter approaches.

Considering a project box to enclose my stick with some dew pads to generate a little heat and keep things dry.

Dan...I've been using the second generation Intel pic stick. Works beautifully running SKYX pro PHD2 and Ascom for my setup

There are a few other options out there as well including mini computers.

 

Thanks - the build was fun.  I want to redo the powerbox at some point.  I'll add one or two 12v connectors, and I want to find a different USB option that's a little slimmer.

 

The compute stick generates enough heat, it should keep the dew off just fine.  I've been out a couple of really dew heavy nights, and not had an issue with it yet, but I've been watching it.

 

It all may look a little awkward in how it sits on top of my scope, but honestly I'm very pleased with how it all worked out.  Having all the cables connected all the time is great.


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#29 FiremanDan

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Posted 05 September 2016 - 09:39 PM

What's the easiest way to see what you are doing? HDMI cable to a monitor?

#30 kraegar

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Posted 05 September 2016 - 10:04 PM

What's the easiest way to see what you are doing? HDMI cable to a monitor?

 

I plugged it into my tv to get the initial setup done.  When I take it out to the field, I use RDP to connect to it remotely.

 

entilza did a good job of going over that in his review here: http://www.cloudynig...-interm-review/

 

I use the same wifi router - I set up both the compute stick & my laptop to connect to it during the setup process, as well as my home wifi.  So, when I'm out I turn that on, and they can talk.  When I'm home, I do the same, but over my normal wifi (for shooting flats, darks, getting the files off, etc).  

 

One trick, to shut the compute stick down if using RDP, I use the command line with "shutdown /s /t 0".

 

Anyway, it's a pretty neat deal.  I want to find a way to get the wifi to extend into my friend's house at the farm I go to before it gets real cold, so I can monitor things from inside.  (If I do that, and get an auto focuser built, it would mean after setup I shouldn't have to go out again until time to tear down!)


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#31 cdavid

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 06:06 AM

Hi Dan, same as just described. I have the same Nano router I use when I am in the field. It creates a wifi hotspot that the stick is set to auto connect to.

I have and HDMI dummy plug attached to the stick. I then use my iPhone or iPad to join the wifi hotspot and use Real VNC to connect and control the stick.

#32 entilza

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 08:18 AM

 

One trick, to shut the compute stick down if using RDP, I use the command line with "shutdown /s /t 0".

 

 

Yes Tony, that is a great way to shutdown, I went one step further and created 2 icons for the restart/shutdown. I put them in a separate folder as well so you can't click them by mistake :)

 

Here's some more info on that:  http://www.cloudynig...view/?p=7238041



#33 kraegar

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 08:35 AM

Nice way to do it :)  I avoided icons specifically because I know I'll accidentally click them somehow if I have them.  Putting them in a folder would work, though.



#34 AstroGabe

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 08:55 AM

Great setup Tony.  I like that you have things setup cleanly in custom boxes.  I also have a similar setup w/ a PC stick.  Initially I had it riding on top of the scopes I use, but moved it down to the side of the pier to keep the moment arm down on the mount.  I think a setup like this has a much lower weight than the one I had in which I mounted all my peripheral gear on a Losmandy D-plate.  It's great to see new spins on these mounted systems.  

 

The inclusion of the PC stick has really changed the way I've imaged.  No more laptop to lug around and worry about.  I have the PC stick boot up, log in and auto-start SGP, PHD2 and APCC.  By the time I get back to my desktop computer in my office, all the programs are loaded and ready to go.  It's a breeze compared to the previous setups I've had and makes an imaging session go much more smoothly.  I can get the fits either through smb on wifi or just remove the micro SD card for a manual transfer.

 

Since the nature of the beast of these PC sticks is some sort of VNC or RDP, you need a good wifi signal.  I have been using an upgraded Wifi antenna and also I recently upgraded my house to Unifi's AP AC Pro access points earlier this year.  These APs are awesome and give terrific coverage.  They also have APs that are directional if your imaging site is too far from home so you can hop onto your home wifi.

 

Gabe



#35 Robrj

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Posted 12 September 2016 - 11:21 PM

I'm picking up one of these for an EAA setup.  Does anyone know if it supports WIDI (Wifi Direct)?  I'd like to use it with a Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.   That way, I'll only have one cord coming off the scope (power for the Compute Stick).




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