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#1 penguinx64

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 12:15 AM

Does anybody use a Raspberry Pi computer for astronomy apps?  I'm thinking of ordering a Raspberry Pi kit and installing Ubuntu Mate on it.  It uses an ARM processor instead of an x86 processor.  Would apps like Stellarium still work with it?



#2 orlyandico

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 04:02 AM

Yes but you won't be happy with the performance.

 

The RasPi is not fast. Stellarium is pretty graphics heavy. Better to use KStars.

 

The RasPi by default comes with Ubuntu, and the KDE environment is available.


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#3 BoriSpider

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 11:56 AM

penguinx64-You see this thread yet

orlyandico I don't remember seeing a RPi come w/ an OS. I thought you had to find the one you want and put it on a SD card. Unless you get a kit complete w/SD card that has an OS on it.



#4 Oleg Astro

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 03:24 PM

Try it: https://github.com/r...troberry-server

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=t3CHtQmzvhY


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#5 NMBob

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 10:02 PM

You do get an OS and put it on an SD card. I just did it yesterday for the first time for an RP 1? 0? that has been sitting on the shelf for YEARS. I got the "raspbian" OS from raspberrypi.org. It's over a GB and unzips to over 4GBs. I used an 8GB SD card. I just used the 'sudo dd...' command line on a MacBook. Easy. I plugged in the power and about two minutes later I was looking at a GUI desktop. It was too simple. smile.gif

 

There are a bunch of different versions of different OS's for them.

 

I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with it. smile.gif


Edited by NMBob, 09 November 2017 - 10:05 PM.


#6 Oleg Astro

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 04:46 AM



Does anybody use a Raspberry Pi computer for astronomy apps?  I'm thinking of ordering a Raspberry Pi kit and installing Ubuntu Mate on it.  It uses an ARM processor instead of an x86 processor.  Would apps like Stellarium still work with it?

Cartes du Ciel skychart_4.1-3672_armhf.deb  2017-10-23  45.0 MB.


Edited by Oleg Astro, 10 November 2017 - 04:47 AM.


#7 orlyandico

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 05:23 AM

CdC is another good option.

It will still be slow.

I use RasPi’s for telescope control but from the command line.
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#8 gavinm

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 12:20 AM

If you are after cheap, then I would get a second hand PC

If you are after small, then there are much faster options than Raspberry Pi's 

BTW I love the Pi - I have half a dozen doing a variety of tasks around here, but astronomy can be pretty CPU intensive - there are better options.



#9 dsochaser

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 09:05 AM

Does anybody use a Raspberry Pi computer for astronomy apps?  I'm thinking of ordering a Raspberry Pi kit and installing Ubuntu Mate on it.  It uses an ARM processor instead of an x86 processor.  Would apps like Stellarium still work with it?

Yes I use it for astrophotography. You can buy StellarMate and it (RPi3) comes completely packaged with everything including StellarMate OS, Kstars planetarium and Ekos observatory control. You can also use Kstars on your laptop and remote connect to Ekos on the device.

 

I would say its probably not fast enough for Stellarium but don't know for sure. It runs Kstars smoothly though.


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#10 ccs_hello

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 09:31 AM

Today (Nov 11) Rasp Pi 3 is $32 shipped

https://www.banggood...-p-1041862.html

 

use code  27a7b6



#11 tedbiv

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 04:01 PM

check out iastrohub on this forum.

i run stellarium, stellariumscope, astrotortilla on pc wirelessly connected to raspberry pi 3 running iastrohub. pi controls ioptron cem25p mount, canon sl1 dslr, guidescope (still debugging). 

 

it can also be used with a tablet.


Edited by tedbiv, 11 November 2017 - 04:06 PM.

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#12 Bruce Berger

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 08:02 PM

check out iastrohub on this forum.

i run stellarium, stellariumscope, astrotortilla on pc wirelessly connected to raspberry pi 3 running iastrohub. pi controls ioptron cem25p mount, canon sl1 dslr, guidescope (still debugging). 

 

it can also be used with a tablet.

Can you please give more details on what Pi-based software you're using to control the iOptron Mount? I just got a RP 3+ to "play" with and this seems like a great idea, especially if I can add PHD2 Guiding and Canon DSLR control.

Thanks, Bruce


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#13 gregj888

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 09:15 PM

As near as I can tell, the Pi3 has about half the compute power of an Atom quad core.  Even that may not be a great comparison as I suspect the Atom has some memory pre-fetch and management capabilities lacking in the Pi (but I don't know for sure).

 

I too have several (2x Bs and 1x Pi3) Raspberry Pis and they are or can be quite useful.   If you need an INDI server for your mount or dome, I can't think of anything that would be much better. 

 

For a Planetarium program or astrophotography I too would suggest a used PC desktop/laptop.  If you must use a Pi, keep it simple.  I have a mini-PC with an Atom to control the camera on a scope I intend to use remotely.  For the home observatory I have a used POS (Point of Sale) smaller desktop (~$100 used, dual core) for the server and plat solve with an I-5 quad core on standby.

 

As always YMMV….



#14 DarkAntimatter

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 11:37 PM

Kstars / ekos is another interesting option.  Ekos can run on a Pi to connect to the mount, focuser, guide camera, imaging camers, and then be controlled from another computer also running kstars / ekos.  Can be used as a remote system, or just to have a small and cheap (and low power) computer at the scope to keep down clutter.  

 

Disclaimer:  I've just discovered this in the past 2 weeks and haven't tried it yet, but there is a support group for it and several posts around of people who are doing it.  The community looks pretty active.  

 

My main concern is that the present Pi comes with USB2, not USB3, so may have issues with a fast camera doing planetary video.  


Edited by DarkAntimatter, 04 September 2018 - 11:38 PM.

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#15 gregj888

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 08:18 PM

I measured my mini-PC (quad core Atom, SSD) today.  On standby it draws 3 watts and 5 watts bringing up CDC with a peak of about 6 watts.  

 

So while I like the Pi and it has a number of places in the observatory, most are in areas not needing a lot of performance.  

 

So the topography of my remote mobile observatory is:

   Raspberry PI- controls the roof, power distribution, collects weather data and basely keeps the scope and observatory

                           safe.  It's reasonable to assume the telescope driver will connect to the server on the Pi.

 

   Mini-PC - Server handling the camera and may run EKOS and plate solver.  The thought is the observing list will be in

                           the observatory.  Since there is an expected web connection, it's possible that EKOS will actually run on

                           my desktop, 1000 plus miles away.  

 

   Desktop PC -  In my office 1000 miles from the probably observatory.  CDC  and perhaps CCD Ciel for real time work. 

                           Planning done with various tools.  The thought is a list will be downloaded to the mini-PC but that TBD 

                           to be based on reliability and performance.

 

I assume it's obvious this is under INDI.  The Observatory will probably be solar powered.  There's also a chance for a Nvidia Jetson to do data reduction on site but that's TBD.

 

Just food for thought.


Edited by gregj888, 05 September 2018 - 08:49 PM.

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#16 George N

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Posted 23 September 2018 - 09:14 PM

A friend has a Pi running TheSkyX Pro (Bisque sells a version for the Pi) that sits on top of his C-11, riding on a Losmandy G-11 Gemini 1, with ZWO CCD and electric focuser on the scope. He also has an auto-guider, but I forget the details. TheSkyX Pro is connected to mount, camera, etc - controlling them via TheSkyX Prol He connects to the Pi via WiFi from his laptop. It all works fine, and the best part is just a single power cable running to the Pi and "stuff" on the telescope tube, meaning no "dangling wires". The only minor issue: the CCD image files end up on a chip in the Pi, so he has to retrieve the chip at the end of the night.

 

My friend pretty much copied Richard Wright (a Software Bisque employee). Wright did a presentation on his Pi-based rig at NEAIC 2018 (and imaging from Mauna Kea and Dry Tortugas).

 

Check out Wright's info here: http://www.bisque.co...bservatory.aspx

 

    and http://www.bisque.co...y-pi-oh-my.aspx


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#17 giorgio_ne

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 08:33 AM

The RPi is great for image capture and hardware control. INDI's client-server architecture allows using client software like CdC, KStars, Pixinsight etc from a remote computer.

Mine runs the Stellarmate INDI setup and happily sits on the FSQ clamshell.

FSQ 106 Indi setup1

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#18 Pess

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 01:16 PM

Kstars / ekos is another interesting option.  Ekos can run on a Pi to connect to the mount, focuser, guide camera, imaging camers, and then be controlled from another computer also running kstars / ekos.  Can be used as a remote system, or just to have a small and cheap (and low power) computer at the scope to keep down clutter.  

 

Disclaimer:  I've just discovered this in the past 2 weeks and haven't tried it yet, but there is a support group for it and several posts around of people who are doing it.  The community looks pretty active.  

 

My main concern is that the present Pi comes with USB2, not USB3, so may have issues with a fast camera doing planetary video.  

I've been running StellarMate with KStars/Ekos

 

Works like a dream with the exception that the StellarMate (basically a branded Pi) outputs via 2.0 USB.  Your inputs from the cameras may be 3.0 USB speeds, but from the unit back to your computer is super slow 2.0 USB

 

So nothing is fast. Great for DSO objects, not so good for planetary imaging.

 

You'll also likely need a powered USB hub.  Trying to run Guide & imaging cameras at the same time drew more power, I think, that the Pi could provide resulting in cameras mysteriously stop working.

 

I'm switching over to an Intel NUC using the same software simply for the speed reason.

 

Pesse (I feel..the need...the need for speed) Mist


Edited by Pess, 26 September 2018 - 01:17 PM.

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#19 DarkAntimatter

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 09:49 AM

I've been running StellarMate with KStars/Ekos

 

Works like a dream with the exception that the StellarMate (basically a branded Pi) outputs via 2.0 USB.  Your inputs from the cameras may be 3.0 USB speeds, but from the unit back to your computer is super slow 2.0 USB

 

So nothing is fast. Great for DSO objects, not so good for planetary imaging.

 

You'll also likely need a powered USB hub.  Trying to run Guide & imaging cameras at the same time drew more power, I think, that the Pi could provide resulting in cameras mysteriously stop working.

 

I'm switching over to an Intel NUC using the same software simply for the speed reason.

 

Pesse (I feel..the need...the need for speed) Mist

Is there linux for the NUC?  



#20 gregj888

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 11:06 AM

Is there linux for the NUC?  

The NUC is a "normal" PC.  Basically a mini made with laptop components running normal Intel CPUs.  So yes, any of the PC linux loads will run on the NUC.


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#21 Pess

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 08:24 PM

The NUC is a "normal" PC.  Basically a mini made with laptop components running normal Intel CPUs.  So yes, any of the PC linux loads will run on the NUC.

Yes, the way I understand it is that the StellarMate is a Pi computer system running Linux off a SIM card that it comes with.

 

So your Windows PC runs KStars/Ekos but all data goes through he Linux OS in the StellarMate Pi.

 

The StellarMate has multiple 3,o USB in for your cameras but its out link to the PC is 2.0 USB speed.

 

To run KStars/Ekos from a NUC, it needs to have a Linux OS installed to operate the equipment directly.

 

Since I want direct Windows control, I have to switch to a different control software.

 

Pesse (EOM) Mist



#22 gregj888

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 11:13 PM

Pesse,

 

If you want to run Windows on the NUC then yes, you'll want to switch over to windows.

 

I use CDC as my planetarium program on both windows and Linux.  Since it can talk both Ascom and INDI it allows for use of both at time.  It would for instance be reasonable to use the stellarmate to control the mount then run the capture software and plate solve on the NUC. 

 

Full automation gets harder.  AFAIK in ASCOM land you would run everything on the NUC, maybe with SGP and do a remote login/shared desktop if needed.  INDI, to my mind, has a clear advantage here as I can control everything from my inside the house with relative ease.

 

I've been using windows up to now, usually on a laptop.  CDC for the planetarium, Deep Sky (the one that free now) for search and planning, Capture has been via Firecapture (high cadence double stars for speckle) and reduce the cubes with Reduc and Speckle Toolbox. 


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#23 tmyers

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 07:09 AM

I've been running StellarMate with KStars/Ekos

 

Works like a dream with the exception that the StellarMate (basically a branded Pi) outputs via 2.0 USB.  Your inputs from the cameras may be 3.0 USB speeds, but from the unit back to your computer is super slow 2.0 USB

 

So nothing is fast. Great for DSO objects, not so good for planetary imaging.

 

You'll also likely need a powered USB hub.  Trying to run Guide & imaging cameras at the same time drew more power, I think, that the Pi could provide resulting in cameras mysteriously stop working.

 

I'm switching over to an Intel NUC using the same software simply for the speed reason.

 

Pesse (I feel..the need...the need for speed) Mist

Would you have been able to maintain the USB 3.0 speed by capturing the files on the Stellarmate, maybe a much larger SD card or SSD and then downloading later on your laptop? Were you able to load the Stellarmate OS onto your NUC?



#24 sbradley07

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 09:45 AM

Run Linux and Stellarmate on a NUC with usb 3.0 ports and you get usb 3 speeds to your devices that support it.  Raspberry Pi only has usb 2.0 ports, so you will always be speed limited.  I don't do planetary video, so I am ok with the 2.0 speeds. 

 

Some people have given up on Ekos on a Pi because of "performance".  From a software performance perspective, there is nothing that Ekos does that is in any way constrained by the Pi.  However, any "perceived" performance issues mainly have to do with how Ekos displays images (when imaging, when plate-solving, when auto-focusing) to the computer you are using to control Ekos. 

 

Kstars/Ekos/INDI is a distributed client-server architecture; the "server" (eg. on Pi or NUC) runs at the scope to control everything, and the "client" runs on your laptop and connects to the server over a network (wifi, ethernet).  So when you want to see what is being captured, that image must be passed over the network to the client.  That introduces latency and hence the perceived performance issue.  Take a preview shot, and it can take 30-40 seconds for the image to show up on the client because it's being transferred across the network.  That alone turns people off.  I find it annoying too.  However, when my imaging session is in full swing, all the captures are stored locally on the Pi - no latency, no performance issues.  I copy them off when I'm done.  The benefits of kstars/ekos/indi far outweigh the latency issue when setting up my session. 


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#25 gregj888

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 10:24 PM

Here are some benchmarks.

 

The current Atom processors are 2x+ the performance of the Pi 3+ from what I can tell and the I3 3-4x depending on the device.

 

Note that benchmarks are intended to measure the processors performance and often don't account for bus and memory management.  Pre-fetch and pipelines can have really large effects on the things we tend to want to do.  The higher end processors tend to more of this kind of support.

 

I have several PIs and they are really capable, but not so much as a data handler.  If you need low power, a real OS (Linux/WIN), some Graphics (but not a gaming systems) and IO to control "stuff", the Pi is a winner.  Fast graphics, Large data buffers, GFLOPS (3-5, with high end GPUs at 7 TFLOPS) then you may want to look at something else.  

 

Everything is a tradeoff, right?

 

 https://www.phoronix...i-3-bplus&num=3


Edited by gregj888, 15 November 2018 - 02:06 AM.

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