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ASIAIR - of potential interest to EAA practitioners

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19 replies to this topic

#1 nicknacknock

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 03:53 AM

ZWO just updated their blog on their new product, ASIAIR.

 

It is a complete solution using a phone or tablet and a controller, for imaging, platesolving and goto . While these are nice, what interests me is the below which I copy from their blog:

 

"Is it possible to do Live Stacking with ASIAIR? I want to use it for EAA.

 

Live Stacking is part of our plan, it will be realized in the near future, upon release, just update the app and you will get all the latest functionality."

 

We live in exciting times...


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#2 NaNuu

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 06:39 AM

Sounds interesting - yet I would wait to see what kind of live stacking features it will provide. As I'm quite fine with SharpCap 3.1, I don't want to miss much of its features.



#3 nicknacknock

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 06:41 AM

Micha,

 

You are quite right. But all the important stuff for capturing should already be in ASIAIR, so it should be a matter of doing appropriate tweaks.

 

But, if someone gives me the option to forgo my laptop completely AND I don't have to give up much, I am definitely in for $200...

 

For now, in a holding pattern and full speed ahead with SharpCap...


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#4 ippiu

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 07:21 AM

They say it supports IOS and Android.

 

But do you think it will support PC control via wifi? It should be simple to let ASIair connect with PC via wifi...



#5 nicknacknock

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 07:28 AM

I think it is a dedicated solution for tablets. But it remains to be seen what the true capabilities are...



#6 DSO_Viewer

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 02:22 PM

I think it is a dedicated solution for tablets. But it remains to be seen what the true capabilities are...

I guess I am getting old and really do not understand what the benefit of looking at a tiny screen would be pleasing over a nice laptop screen.

 

Steve



#7 Relativist

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 10:31 PM

Of particular interest is this:


Is it possible to do Live Stacking with ASIAIR? I want to use it for EAA.

Live Stacking is part of our plan, it will be realized in the near future, upon release, just update the app and you will get all the latest functionality.


As someone that uses a tablet and sometimes my iPhone wirelessly to observe using the iOS app for my A7s, I would happily use an app that could control it and add live stacking.

#8 Relativist

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 10:33 PM

I guess I am getting old and really do not understand what the benefit of looking at a tiny screen would be pleasing over a nice laptop screen.

Steve


The iPhone X has a high dynamic range display, as do many android phones and tablets. Thus they are much better for observing than typical laptops with much smaller dynamic range.

#9 nicknacknock

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 05:38 AM

Longer lasting battery on tablet, lighter and what Curtis said ;)


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#10 OleCuss

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 07:42 AM

I guess I am getting old and really do not understand what the benefit of looking at a tiny screen would be pleasing over a nice laptop screen.

 

Steve

I'd agree that the laptop would typically give a better view if one were seated in front of it at the right angle.

 

But being untethered means you can move about, likely have long-lasting battery life, and convenient viewing.  You could decide that you wanted to lay back on a chaise lounge 20 feet away and observe from there.

 

Some of those tablets have insanely good and large screens considering that they are tablets.



#11 DSO_Viewer

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 11:04 AM

I'd agree that the laptop would typically give a better view if one were seated in front of it at the right angle.

 

But being untethered means you can move about, likely have long-lasting battery life, and convenient viewing.  You could decide that you wanted to lay back on a chaise lounge 20 feet away and observe from there.

 

Some of those tablets have insanely good and large screens considering that they are tablets.

Yes a tablet is a different story but those iPhones still have very small screens even if the resolution is good.

 

Steve



#12 ccs_hello

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 09:59 PM

Sorry to say, be careful on the "in the future" clause.

 

My point is the vendor is not responsible to your selection/ownership of the tablet.

That will be the key equation.  There are so many variables there.

battery consumption (if not triggering auto-power save),

memory (both RAM and eMMC space) <-- how little at your disposal,

CPU multitasking and resources availability at disposal <-- remember Android internals (individual app is running on top of the JVM-like execution environment), it has never been as fast/efficient as a plain fast/optimal Operating System (Windows or Linux)

 

Bear in mind a full fledged stacking (not brain dead dumb type), with high resolution imager and high frame rate, will be a major burden, even for a laptop.

 

Over the years, people kept on saying I want to port my application(s) from Windows to a tablet (for light weight, better form factor, nothing attached, etc.)

I am not saying it's always feasible, there are many valid use cases.

I have some doubt that the end-"total solution" will be fluid, versatile, and suitable for all use cases.

No doubt people will define their own success factor and declare victory to justify the route chosen.

 

Remember the vendor is just selling you a special favor of camera and hope the best.  Tablet side has many variables.  Who's going to provide the assurance on "it will work"?

 

My 2 cents

 

Clear Skies!

 

ccs_hello


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#13 Relativist

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 11:54 PM

Understood about the tablet portion. But here the tablet, or smartphone, is simply there for the display. Personally, I think it's wise not to try to compete with Apple and Samsung in those realms, offering a device we can control with one of those devices is enough for me. Just like with a compute stick, if this device covers most of what is needed for EAA use and remote control and connection to a program like Skysafari it'll be a winner.



#14 Alien Observatory

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 11:54 PM

My goodness, does anyone here actually look at ZWO's web site...this "device" has been available for years (and I have one)...it will be an updated version with USB 3 and a ZWO site to operate...Cheers Pat Utah  :)

 

 

https://www.stellarmate.com


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#15 Relativist

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 12:49 AM

My goodness, does anyone here actually look at ZWO's web site...this "device" has been available for years (and I have one)...it will be an updated version with USB 3 and a ZWO site to operate...Cheers Pat Utah  smile.gif

 

 

https://www.stellarmate.com

 

That's true Pat. These are simply raspberry pi hardware. 

 

https://www.raspberr...erry-pi-3-case/

 

As if often the case with EAA, the key isn't the hardware, but the software. I like the fact that Stellarmate offers the OS. The Rasberry Pi 3B+ was released recently, with a decent bump in performance.



#16 ccs_hello

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 06:22 PM

Sorry my bad.

So the processing is done on that mount-side mini-computer (Raspberry Pi 3B+ or Rock64 computer running Linux.)

I hope it will have a good implementation on live stacking.

 

BTW, mount-side Linux computer (as the above example) today can run free iAstroHub 3, except that AFAIK there is no free (or paid) live-stacking similar to SharpCap.

Of course, this bag the question who can write one and (hopefully native in Linux as opposed run under WINE.)

On the other hand, why not just use a Windows stick PC for the entire job anyway?



#17 Alien Observatory

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 08:42 PM

Me also Bad...a faint memory of my stick computer....Pat Utah lol.gif 

 

https://www.cloudyni...94-c/?p=8252184



#18 nicknacknock

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 05:01 AM

Pat, that link is hilarious and slightly painful at the same time!

 

It pains me to say this, but it is how things work. Sam has the economies of scale to make this work and has already kicked aside many competitors in the CMOS world, plus made a dent on CCD sellers given the performance of his cameras VS CCDs.

 

I say it pains me because Robin is a decent fellow, SharpCap is fantastic and I paid for a one year license to try it (and loving it), but I expect that Sam would come up with a nice implementation as well, at a reasonably low cost, allowing one to work untethered.

 

The mere fact that only ZWO cameras will be supported and that it's a dedicated solution means that it should run pretty fast on a Raspberry Pi - kind of like iOS using less RAM and slower processors than Android, but being faster as it is a dedicated solution for one platform only. Just the benefit of Windows being out of the picture, is an indicator that it should be fast. 

 

I will remain in a holding pattern for quite a while though. Took me a bit of time to get the right laptop, configure Sharpcap, CdC, ASPS, Nexstar and SW Remote apps all talking to each other and with my cameras and mounts (still need to set up PHD guiding - it's installed, recognizes mount and guidecam, but still need to put it through its paces).

 

I would need to see a very robust and trouble-free solution working first, in order to switch equipment.



#19 OleCuss

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 06:39 AM

I think SharpCap will be around for a long time.  It's become some pretty mature software and its ability to be used with many cameras means that one can learn just one piece of software and be able to operate comfortably even if one purchases a camera from another vendor.

 

If you get software which is specific only to ZWO cameras, then switching cameras would mean switching software as well.  Raising the barrier to purchasing non-ZWO cameras makes sense for ZWO, but I'll probably stick with SharpCap unless the ZWO product is quite significantly superior.

 

As it stands right now, I have cameras from ZWO, Rising Tech, and Canon (Canon has not been used much for AP).  SharpCap will currently handle both the ZWO and RT cameras.  Before long SharpCap will likely handle the Canon as well.

 

Maybe ZWO will choose to make their software compatible with many brands, but I don't think I would do that if I were them.


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#20 nicknacknock

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 06:52 AM

I think SharpCap will be around for a long time.  It's become some pretty mature software and its ability to be used with many cameras means that one can learn just one piece of software and be able to operate comfortably even if one purchases a camera from another vendor.

 

Maybe ZWO will choose to make their software compatible with many brands, but I don't think I would do that if I were them.

 

I hope so too. I would rather have many offerings rather than only one. I use ZWO myself - it just happened I guess, but I would rather see Robin prosper :)

 

As for ZWO opening up the platform, I agree with you and I also don't think they would do that, as they would rather place buyers in a nice walled garden (why, just like Apple App Store or Google Play).


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