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#26 Tommy

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 12:38 AM

I love RPI3! Can support all my devices, especially Pentax DSLR.


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#27 gregj888

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 02:19 AM

Tommy,  are you saving your images on the cameras SD card, the Pis or an you moving the images across the net to another system?



#28 Tommy

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 08:13 AM

Tommy,  are you saving your images on the cameras SD card, the Pis or an you moving the images across the net to another system?

No actually. I save all my images into a 64GB thumb drive that plug directly into my Pi or my 7 ports powered USB hub.


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#29 sampson

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Posted 18 November 2018 - 12:19 AM

I also used Raspberry pi3 for auto guiding, Nikon DSLR remote control via USB and dithering.


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#30 Phattire72

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 11:51 AM

I love RPI3! Can support all my devices, especially Pentax DSLR.

Tommy, which Pentax camera are you using?  What are you using for camera control?  I have a K-70 and I would like a way to control it through a Raspberry Pi 3.



#31 Tommy

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Posted 30 November 2018 - 09:07 PM

Tommy, which Pentax camera are you using?  What are you using for camera control?  I have a K-70 and I would like a way to control it through a Raspberry Pi 3.

Hi, I am using K5IIs and it always get control by Kstars EKOS in RPI3. Just remember to always get the latest version of libghoto2. It contains a lot of new and old pentax DSLR database. For your K-70 i believe it already get supported in the latest Kstars EKOS. 

 

https://indilib.org/...it-in-indi.html

 

Regards,

Tommy


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#32 timmbottoni

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 02:13 PM

Well this and the StellarMate threads got me interested enough to give it a try, so I'm getting a RPi3B+ with a case and power supply from "Santa Prime" and will then buy the StellarMate OS to install it on one of the many SD cards I have.

 

My hope is the following.  No longer have to use a laptop, which in the Winter outside is not fun and instead

  • Autoguide my iOptron iEQ45 good enough for 3-4 minute using my QHY5L-II-M camera
  • Maybe control my Canon 60D instead of using a wireless Intervalometer (which works quite well) for taking a series of pictures
  • Use SkySafari Pro 6, or some other way to have it go to objects
  • Try some plate solving, because it sounds like all the cool kids are doing that now
  • Try out its Polar Alignment routine, but to be honest I get good enough alignment with just the polar scope and app
  • Control it all from my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge phone (or newer when I get a new phone)

Wish me luck - I will report in after Christmas once I get it figured out.

 

I am sort of wondering if I really "need" to buy the StellarMate OS, because most of the software is essentially freeware, but then again its only $50 and they provide support by email in case I do something dumb, and it looks like it will be easier to set up instead of piecing it all together myself.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Timm


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#33 sbradley07

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 02:56 PM

Timm, I strongly recommend buying Stellmate OS and burning it to your sd card.  Then all you have to do is boot up the Pi.  You can go the free software route, but you'll need some linux skills...it's definitely a DIY project. 

 

Some other comments:

- Stellarmate comes with kstars.  That's the planetarium software.  You don't need skysafari, but I believe it is supported.

- I'm not sure about your DSLR...you might need the type of usb/serial cable that Shoestring Astronomy sells.  It's for older cameras that cannot be controlled via the USB cable that came with the camera.

- I have the android app, but haven't played with it much.  I'm not sure you can do 100% of the functions that the client supports.  It will certainly let you monitor and start/stop your session, but I haven't tested it enough to know if you can do everything with it.  I suspect not.  In my set up, my RPi is strapped to my mount and I run the kstars/ekos client on my Mac and connect to the Pi for controlling things.

 

Good luck!!


Edited by sbradley07, 05 December 2018 - 02:56 PM.

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#34 timmbottoni

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 02:56 PM

Timm, I strongly recommend buying Stellmate OS and burning it to your sd card.  Then all you have to do is boot up the Pi.  You can go the free software route, but you'll need some linux skills...it's definitely a DIY project. 

 

Some other comments:

- Stellarmate comes with kstars.  That's the planetarium software.  You don't need skysafari, but I believe it is supported.

- I'm not sure about your DSLR...you might need the type of usb/serial cable that Shoestring Astronomy sells.  It's for older cameras that cannot be controlled via the USB cable that came with the camera.

- I have the android app, but haven't played with it much.  I'm not sure you can do 100% of the functions that the client supports.  It will certainly let you monitor and start/stop your session, but I haven't tested it enough to know if you can do everything with it.  I suspect not.  In my set up, my RPi is strapped to my mount and I run the kstars/ekos client on my Mac and connect to the Pi for controlling things.

 

Good luck!!

Thanks Steve,

 

Yeah, it sounds like the Stellarmate OS is the way to go.  I will look at the KStars more, and start watching some of the YouTube videos they have posted.  I hope this all works well, it will be a fun option.

 

My DSLR uses a Canon style USB cable that came with it.  It's a weird end that goes into the camera, not the common USB mini, but I can control it from my PC, so it should work.

 

20 days until Santa brings the Pi, but tonight I hope to get outside and try some simple unguided images of Comet 46P/Wirtanen, and my iEQ45 can do a 1-2 minute unguided image most of the time with my WO ZS61

 

Timm



#35 sbradley07

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 05:03 PM

Yes, the Canon USB cable will let you control the camera from your laptop, but the real test is will it allow you to take more than a 30 second exposure?  If not, you'll need the special cable.



#36 timmbottoni

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 05:17 PM

Yes, the Canon USB cable will let you control the camera from your laptop, but the real test is will it allow you to take more than a 30 second exposure?  If not, you'll need the special cable.

Oh, interesting - well where do I find the "special cable", just in case I need to buy one?

 

Thanks!

 

Timm



#37 sbradley07

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 09:45 PM

Shoestring Astronomy



#38 timmbottoni

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 10:17 PM

Shoestring Astronomy

Thanks!

 

I looked at their cables, and they don't sell one for the Canon 60D, I think its too new and already works with the included cable.  I seem to remember that at some point the USB cable and software allowed full functionality. I have a really old 20D that I see they sell a cable for.   But it just sits gathering dust.



#39 sbradley07

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 10:22 PM

Yeah, it's odd.  In the Canon section, they list Canon "D60" along with some other models.  That's not the model number format they usually use, so I assume it's a typo for 60D.  Looks like the 60D was introduced in 2010, making it an older model which I would think requires their cable.  Might want to contact them to find out.  Or if you have some camera control software already, it should be easy to test.



#40 timmbottoni

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 11:06 PM

Yeah, it's odd.  In the Canon section, they list Canon "D60" along with some other models.  That's not the model number format they usually use, so I assume it's a typo for 60D.  Looks like the 60D was introduced in 2010, making it an older model which I would think requires their cable.  Might want to contact them to find out.  Or if you have some camera control software already, it should be easy to test.

Canon D60 was a really old one from 2002.



#41 sbradley07

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 10:46 PM

Well there ya go...that's what get from a Nikon guy lol.  The fact that the 60D is not listed on the Shoestring site is a good indicator your cable will work.



#42 timmbottoni

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 09:41 PM

I see the StellarMate Gadget page also lists a Real Time Clock (DS3231) with battery.  I see a variety of those on Amazon, but I'm not sure if one is really needed or if so, which one.   Maybe someone here knows.

 

Thanks,

 

Timm



#43 gregj888

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 08:07 PM

Timm,

 

If you need real time and don't have a web connection, then a RTC can be handy.  If that's the case, you may want to google "raspberry pi stratum  clock GPS".  For about the same price you can connect a GPS board and turn the Pi into a stratum one clock.

 

Totally unnecessary for everyday astronomy, but the name of the game for occultation timing and a few other high cadence bits.


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#44 starman345

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Posted 09 December 2018 - 08:43 PM

Timm,

I use a RTC like this  scroll to the bottom of the listing and it shows which gpio pins on the pi to install to. 

I also have this GPS dongle that works well with the pi. 

I recommend the Stellarmate OS too, it is well worth the $49. It is true all the software is available on the net but Jasem has tuned it to work well as a package, and, if you have questions he is there to help.


Edited by starman345, 09 December 2018 - 08:44 PM.

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#45 timmbottoni

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Posted 10 December 2018 - 12:46 PM

Thanks for the help Greg and Brian!!!

 

I will definitely buy the Stellarmate OS, and preload it to one of the memory cards I have. I have some fast 16GB and 32GB cards, even a 64GB one I think, but probably don't need that big of one. 

 

I'll wait on the clock and GPS unit.  I will be connecting it to my WiFi network, plus I will connect it to my iOptron iEQ45 mount which I see is supported with INDI.  It has a GPS built in it so I'm guessing it will sync up to it to get GPS coordinates and accurate time, maybe?.  Just a guess of course.  Looking forward to a new toy for Christmas  smile.gif

 

Timm


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#46 timmbottoni

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 09:48 AM

I see the StellarMate Gadget page also lists a Real Time Clock (DS3231) with battery.  I see a variety of those on Amazon, but I'm not sure if one is really needed or if so, which one.   Maybe someone here knows.

 

Thanks,

 

Timm

Maybe if I had read the FAQs I would have seen that they actually already answered this question - LOL

 

They recommend this one -- https://www.amazon.c...t/dp/B01M105UFC



#47 gregj888

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 10:59 AM

Timm,

 

GPS can provide time as well as coordinates.  Time is good to a few 10s of nanoseconds...  so far more accurate than a RTC chip, and never needs setting.  The RTC listed may be easier to add and understand...  IMHO, that's the decision point.

 

Again, you don't need the clock precision/accuracy of GPS for most activities, so either are likely to be fine.  The RTC chip will look like an alarm clock as far as setting is concerned. 

 

I'm still working on an Pi based observatory controller, cloud sensor, temp Humidity, open, closed... it also has a GPS based stratum time server.  In the case of a remote observatory, a GPS time server makes life a lot easier.  In the case of a connected observatory, local GPS tightens up the latency for precision measurements (occultations).  


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#48 timmbottoni

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 02:30 PM

Timm,

 

GPS can provide time as well as coordinates.  Time is good to a few 10s of nanoseconds...  so far more accurate than a RTC chip, and never needs setting.  The RTC listed may be easier to add and understand...  IMHO, that's the decision point.

 

Again, you don't need the clock precision/accuracy of GPS for most activities, so either are likely to be fine.  The RTC chip will look like an alarm clock as far as setting is concerned. 

 

I'm still working on an Pi based observatory controller, cloud sensor, temp Humidity, open, closed... it also has a GPS based stratum time server.  In the case of a remote observatory, a GPS time server makes life a lot easier.  In the case of a connected observatory, local GPS tightens up the latency for precision measurements (occultations).  

I ordered the little clock board for $6.99 because I was ordering some other things from Amazon, and it was an add on item, and I figured why not?  If I use the Pi for other ideas, which is partly why I bought it this way, then it will have a real time clock.  

 

I'm curious what you are doing to add on the other features like cloud sensor, humidity, etc.  There seems to be an overwhelming amount of information out there for the Pi in general, and the INDI page has a bunch of software (some free) like EKOS and others for astro-whatever use.  All very encouraging and interesting.  

 

Thanks to everyone who is helping.  Can't wait to start playing with it after Christmas.

 

Timm



#49 gregj888

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 03:31 AM

Timm,

 

I have a PiFace relay card and another breakout board that stacks with the PiFace.  

 

I don't have a photo on this computer, but most all the sensors are digital: I2C, one wire, SPI, Serial or bit type binary.  The only analog inputs are for the current sensors.  The digital IO can drive AC or DC relay cards and there's a DC motor card that's serial, though haven't done anything with it.  

 

The system is essentially stand alone, and plan to have INDI, ASCOM and local display options.  These are all done through IPC communications with the server, so should be relatively crash resistant... we'll see :-)

 

I did an upgrade on the Pi software and mucked things up.  Got that resolved and I'm back to a point I can develop.  Most of the I/O is working, though some are a bit ugly, a lot of stolen code from open sources.   I'm just getting to the constraint engine, which is the heart of the system.  So you be able set a temp/humidity point to turn on a fan or heat and if it's raining tell the user to go jump if they want to open to roof anyway...  If clouds are sensed, it will warn users and after a delay begain to shut things down, same if comms are lost.

 

Temp and Humidity on SPI or I2C (sorry I haven't looked at that for a while), Temp also via 1-wire so 256 sensors possible.  Digital relays via PiFace or digital I/O ports.  Digital inputs via PiFace (opto-isolated) or I/O ports, inputs can be scanned or trip an interrupt.  The Time server with GPS is a stand alone process but on the Pi.  There's also a 1-wire digital I/O but it's obsolete so not sure I'll add it. The  Pololu simple motor board can drive DC motors for things like a ROR or dome rotation.  Last, also not done is a Bluetooth link for a digital compass to act as a dome sensor.  

 

There's kind of a nasty data table to fill out with the interface type, address (pin number) active level and how to apply it.  At present it's compiled in, but there will be a config tool at some point.

 

Long way to go, but a lot's been done.   And yes, there is an E-STOP...  :-)


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#50 timmbottoni

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Posted 26 December 2018 - 12:52 PM

Update success so far - everything seems to work on the first try!

 

I got the Raspberry Pi kit from Amazon for Christmas - it is this one with an aluminum case, that acts as a heat sink, and included the nice little switching power supply as well.   (This one)  I got the clock (This one)  and plugged it in like it shows on the pictures and it seems to just work automatically because it keeps the time between power up and down.

 

I had several micro SD cards so I bought the StellarMate OS for $49 from their website, and used the recommended software to create the image onto the card with a card reader I already had.   I have extra keyboards, mouse and HDMI cables, so I plugged in everything to monitor and it booted up first try. I goofed around a bit, including running the software update feature which is super simple and amazingly easy, and all of the various tools got updated automatically. 

 

The StellarMate created its own WiFi hotspot right away, so I could easily connect to it with the Android app.  I told it to join my WiFi network with the password, and it remembers that now on boot up. I loaded the VNC tool on my desktop PC and that worked too. I even loaded KStars on my PC and that works and sees the StellarMate.

 

I can't believe how easy it has been so far.  Granted I have been a computer geek for decades, but so far all of the instructions on the StellarMate website have been very clear and helpful.  Now I have to go watch the rest of the videos to learn more, and try connecting up everything during the daylight to make sure I know what to do. 

 

Might get a clear night on Monday night if the forecast doesn't change.

 

Thanks for eveyone's help and input

 

Timm


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