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Options for Raspberry Pi?

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#1 JP50515

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 09:53 PM

Hey Guys,

Quick question here. Someone mentioned a RPI option the other day that wasn't stellarmate, but I cannot for the life of me find that thread again. 

I have a pi sitting around that I wouldn't mind rigging up just to play with. 

Can someone list me the different RPI based software available out there besides Kstars and Stellarmate?

Thanks!



#2 Ken Sturrock

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 10:08 PM

Software Bisque's SkyX Pro runs on the RPi, but it's probably not what you're looking for.

 

Unless you own a Paramount, you'd have to buy a license for Windows or Macintosh, then also buy a multi-OS license for SkyX along with any other needed add-ons. The software generally works well, but it's not usually of interest to folks who aren't already invested in the Bisque "ecosystem".



#3 AstronoDon

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 10:13 PM

Effectively you can use whatever you can install on Linux with the Raspberry pi. That includes kstars, Phd2, and others.

The thing I find with the pi though is that running the software direct on the pi is too much for the capabilites of the computer. This is where the INDI platform comes in.

If you install the astroberry or indigo server image you can use the INDI web manager. You can also run basic Linux and install INDI yourself. What this does is allow the pi to basically act as a relay to your devices. So you would run your software on a remote computer and it will send the signals to the pi.

Kstars/ekos seems to be the go to software for this because it all goes seemlessly. This is partly because the same person currently supports both platforms (Jasem Mutlaq). It really is a fairly decent software and it's organization I rather enjoy. Plus if you have a feature or change you'd like to see you can post on the indi forums and Jasem is likely to reply and add it promptly.

I'm sure if there's a way you can interface with the Indi server directly you can use it with APT or other capturing tools as well. I just haven't looked into this.

Hope that helps, clear skies.

#4 AstronoDon

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 10:14 PM

Forgot to mention the indi website has a lot of good information on this subject.

https://indilib.org

If I can make a recommendation, I recently installed astroberry on my pi and other than learning the ekos interface, everything has gone very smooth and I'm now completely remote. No complaints at all.

Edited by AstronoDon, 18 July 2019 - 10:16 PM.


#5 JP50515

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 10:25 PM

Forgot to mention the indi website has a lot of good information on this subject.

https://indilib.org

If I can make a recommendation, I recently installed astroberry on my pi and other than learning the ekos interface, everything has gone very smooth and I'm now completely remote. No complaints at all.

Astronodon! Just the guy I was looking for. You were the one who made the comment. 

Talk to me about astroberry. I lost you here a bit. 

So your pi rides the mount with all the gear attached while you've got ______ open on a different PC on the network.  What software is the _____ here? 



#6 tkottary

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 12:13 AM

Kstars is the planetarium app which you can run on windows or Linux . It has ekos imaging client which talks to indi server on your pi. You can setup kstars on pi itself but it’s too much for it to handle

Edited by tkottary, 19 July 2019 - 12:14 AM.


#7 JP50515

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 12:24 AM

Kstars is the planetarium app which you can run on windows or Linux . It has ekos imaging client which talks to indi server on your pi. You can setup kstars on pi itself but it’s too much for it to handle

I would love this in a format that allows me to utilize windows/SGP... seriously a "wireless USB hub" / relay mounted to the OTA that I could control from my desktop would be amazing....not a mini-pc trying to run everything.



#8 Kevin Ross

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 12:46 AM

I've read that they are working on adding INDI support to SGP, which would be exactly what you're looking for.


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#9 JP50515

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 12:54 AM

I've read that they are working on adding INDI support to SGP, which would be exactly what you're looking for.

If this is true...my life is complete. 



#10 AstronoDon

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 09:15 AM

Okay, so after reading more about this in the INDI forums, it seems that currently Kstars/Ekos and possibly CCDciel is really the only option for controlling the INDI server from a windows machine.

 

The issue is that the Pi turns into an INDI server so you need a client on the remote machine that can access it and use its drivers. There are applications that can turn a windows machine itself into an INDI server and even wrap it to ASCOM but this requires your gear to be connected to that same PC.

 

So it seems your options are:

1. Run all your software direct on the Pi and remote into it through VNC (I've seen some say this works and others say the Pi cannot handle the computing power. My experience is the latter.)

 

2. Install INDI server on raspberry Pi and run remote machine as linux device (more capturing software options)

 

3. Install INDI server on Pi and run remote windows machine (Kstars/Ekos seems to be only option here for control)



#11 grazer

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 12:59 PM

Hi all,

Just to chime in because I'm always interested in the HOW's and WHY's

I know there are a number of ways to slice and dice this. It's been suggested to run just the indi server or the complete suite on the Pi. I'm aware of people using both routes. In the case where the full suite is installed, the tendency is to use tightvnc to gain remote access.

I'm guessing you're running windows as you mention SGP so my additional suggestion may not be overly helpful.

I can suggest taking a look at the Cloudmakers software. http://www.cloudmakers.eu

Their software architecture is similar to Kstars / Carte du Ciel in that it is a server accessed by clients.

Their server is called INDIGO. I'm sure Peter (The developer) will issue me with a beating for saying this, but conceptually, INDIGO is what I think of as a superset of INDI. The plans are to go beyond some of the things INDI currently does.

Now then  - all the client software is for the mac, there is both a Mac and Linux version of the server.

I'm currently running their clients on a Mac with INDIGO on a compute stick running Lubuntu on my mount.

Oh well,

 

think that's all I've got.

 

Clear skies (someones got to get them)  :)

 

Grazer



#12 tkottary

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 02:01 PM

For Windows you can also use APT now, which talks  indigo server on Pi ( indi is backward compatible for few things they say) 



#13 TelescopeGreg

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 04:09 PM

Just to note, you don't need to have a second PC / laptop.  I just use the Pi, and either my phone/tablet or a laptop as a display when I need to look at or change something.  Directing the telescope's slewing is initially by its hand controller, and refined through plate solving.

 

Running on the Pi itself I have the Indi server, PHD2 for guiding, CCDciel for image acquisition and overall control, and ASTAP for plate solving.  VNC is enabled, and I connect into the Pi from the phone / tablet / laptop via VNC.  At home, both the Pi and phone / tablet / laptop are connected via WiFi to the home network, but in the field (star parties, etc), I have a small old (very old) internet router that runs off 12v to create a very small private network to hook everything together, either with WiFi or just a pair of LAN cables.  In place of the phone / et al, I've also used an LCD display with a touch screen overlay and Bluetooth keyboard/mouse.  Lots of options.

 

The Pi just sits on the eyepiece tray.  It's powered by a 20,000 mAh phone battery that lasts basically forever, but is capable of sourcing 2.4 amps which keeps the Pi happy.  The USB ports connect to the imaging camera, guiding camera, the mount's hand controller, and I have one port left over for either a USB memory stick (for images) or whatever.  I probably should put a powered hub in there somewhere, but have gotten away with just letting the Pi power everything. 

 

Oh, and this is with a Pi 3B.  The Pi 4 might make running Kstars / Ekos natively on the Pi realistic.  With the 3, it's just a little too underpowered.

 

Greg


Edited by TelescopeGreg, 19 July 2019 - 04:12 PM.


#14 AstronoDon

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 05:13 PM

Just to note, you don't need to have a second PC / laptop. I just use the Pi, and either my phone/tablet or a laptop as a display when I need to look at or change something. Directing the telescope's slewing is initially by its hand controller, and refined through plate solving.

Running on the Pi itself I have the Indi server, PHD2 for guiding, CCDciel for image acquisition and overall control, and ASTAP for plate solving. VNC is enabled, and I connect into the Pi from the phone / tablet / laptop via VNC. At home, both the Pi and phone / tablet / laptop are connected via WiFi to the home network, but in the field (star parties, etc), I have a small old (very old) internet router that runs off 12v to create a very small private network to hook everything together, either with WiFi or just a pair of LAN cables. In place of the phone / et al, I've also used an LCD display with a touch screen overlay and Bluetooth keyboard/mouse. Lots of options.

The Pi just sits on the eyepiece tray. It's powered by a 20,000 mAh phone battery that lasts basically forever, but is capable of sourcing 2.4 amps which keeps the Pi happy. The USB ports connect to the imaging camera, guiding camera, the mount's hand controller, and I have one port left over for either a USB memory stick (for images) or whatever. I probably should put a powered hub in there somewhere, but have gotten away with just letting the Pi power everything.

Oh, and this is with a Pi 3B. The Pi 4 might make running Kstars / Ekos natively on the Pi realistic. With the 3, it's just a little too underpowered.

Greg


+1 on checking out the pi 4. I will likely grab one at some point and probably swap out my current one.

One thing that may make your life easier at remote sites is if you install the astroberry server, the Pi acts as it's own Hotspot when no wifi is detected. So you just connect your phone or pc direct to the "astroberry" network and you can log right into the pi. No router needed.
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#15 AstronoDon

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 05:15 PM

For Windows you can also use APT now, which talks indigo server on Pi ( indi is backward compatible for few things they say)


APT can interface with indigo? That would be awesome if I can switch back from kstars as I enjoyed APT a lot.

Can Phd2 also communicate with indigo from the windows machine?

#16 TelescopeGreg

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 07:16 PM

+1 on checking out the pi 4. I will likely grab one at some point and probably swap out my current one.

One thing that may make your life easier at remote sites is if you install the astroberry server, the Pi acts as it's own Hotspot when no wifi is detected. So you just connect your phone or pc direct to the "astroberry" network and you can log right into the pi. No router needed.

Likewise on the Pi-4, depending on how far I can push the Pi 3. 

 

As for Astroberry, if the router ever becomes a problem I'd rather just install the hostapd software and configure it myself, versus having to learn a whole new system.  As a retired wireless network software engineer, the networking part isn't an issue.  The router was just sitting in a box looking longingly up at me with its little LEDs, wanting to be useful...

 

I'm kind of taking an incremental approach to building things right now.  It's one of the ways I'm learning how everything works.  In a year or so, the whole thing from the wheels up will probably be rebuilt from scratch (I'm still lusting over a nice Stellarvue 130), and dropping in the Astroberry system with all the various packages already installed may look a lot better than repeating what I've gone through.  Thanks for the reminder that it's out there.



#17 AstronoDon

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 09:07 PM

Likewise on the Pi-4, depending on how far I can push the Pi 3.

As for Astroberry, if the router ever becomes a problem I'd rather just install the hostapd software and configure it myself, versus having to learn a whole new system. As a retired wireless network software engineer, the networking part isn't an issue. The router was just sitting in a box looking longingly up at me with its little LEDs, wanting to be useful...

I'm kind of taking an incremental approach to building things right now. It's one of the ways I'm learning how everything works. In a year or so, the whole thing from the wheels up will probably be rebuilt from scratch (I'm still lusting over a nice Stellarvue 130), and dropping in the Astroberry system with all the various packages already installed may look a lot better than repeating what I've gone through. Thanks for the reminder that it's out there.


I generally like the setting everything up myself route but I'm not super familiar with Linux so learning that and installing indi and getting everything all set up on top of having to learn kstars and ekos seemed a little daunting. The astroberry OS looked like a nice black box approach and works pretty well with no setup necessary.

#18 Kevin Ross

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 10:13 PM

Can Phd2 also communicate with indigo from the windows machine?

I don't know about indigo, but PHD2 definitely does talk with INDI just fine. I've used it a few times, running PHD2 on my Windows machine, talking to the Pi, and therefor INDI, over WiFi. PHD2 can also run natively on the Pi, if you prefer that approach.

 

But I don't use PHD2 very often. I almost always use KStars/Ekos internal guiding instead.



#19 yom

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Posted 14 August 2019 - 02:10 PM

Hi, Is anyone tested AstroPi3?

 

https://github.com/rlancaste/AstroPi3

 

I don't find information here.


Edited by yom, 14 August 2019 - 06:14 PM.



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