I am thinking I might order one of these soon. I might consider doing a little Solar/Planetary but 99% of my work is DSOs. If you had to choose based on your experience, would you suggest this or the base model 2nd gen Computestick?
IMO, the Minix is the better device. However, if you plan on mounting the computer on the optical tube then you may want to consider the differences in the sizes of the devices (but add a USB hub for the Compute Stick).
Another difference is the power requirement. The Compute Stick requires 5VDC and it's not too hard to find small and relatively cheap lithium ion battery sources that supply 5 volts at 2.4A or slightly better (but note, some power sources/batteries/recharging devices won't supply enough total current to power the Compute Stick, since in theory it can require up to 3A). The Minix runs on 12VDC which is kind of convenient because a lot of other astronomy-focused devices also run on 12V.
However, since I'm planning on using a deep cycle marine battery to power the Minix it occurred to me that those types of batteries really don't output 12 volts and when fully charged they can output up to 13.4VDC. That's about a 10% over voltage and to be completely safe I decided to use a $20 power regulator that outputs 12 +/- 0.25VDC at 5A with inputs that can range from 10VDC to 36VDC. That should be enough to power the Minix and a small, self-powered USB hub (if needed, although right now the 4 ports on the Minix support all of the devices that I need). While I was at it I also purchased a small and relatively inexpensive digital voltage and power meter that I can place inline to monitor the battery power since I don't want risk completely draining the battery (the meter will go between the battery and the regulator, thus it will measure the voltage from the battery and also the total watt hours since reset).
Anyway, if you are planning on going mobile that is another thing to consider.
The power regulator and digital meter:
Lastly, a quick update on the performance of the microSD/TransFlash card slot. For whatever reason, during all of my recent testing I seem to be getting a pretty reliable 50 to 60MB/s on writes to my 64GB Samsung Pro U3 cards which I think is about as good as I should expect from one of these Atom-powered devices. So, while the Intel Compute Stick MAY be a little bit faster on the writes the differences are very minor (maybe 15%, but to confirm I'd have to go back and test the Compute Stick again, perhaps it doesn't reach 70MB/s that often). Note, you need a FAST microSD card to reach these rates, most cards will be much slower but still fine for most DSO work).
Also, my wireless display (Miracast) link between the Minix and my notebook computer continues to work very well and very reliably for the remote access over WiFi.
Edited by james7ca, 24 January 2017 - 05:37 PM.