In my observatory I have two computer to run my scopes, one at each pier. Problem is they had cooling fans and after a short while in this desert they would be full of dust and sand. So I decided to see what was available in a fan-less pc that would work better than what I had.
I needed the pc to have:
2 serial ports to connect to my LX200R mount, one for SGP and one for The Sky6
1 serial port to connect to my Adaptive Optics
1 serial port to connect to my rotator
USB 3 to connect to my ZWO cameras
USB 2 to connect to my other cameras
i5 CPU to run my software, no processing
Enough ram for my software, again no processing
12 volt power supply
Windows 10 Pro
A quick look on Newegg and Amazon showed that there were several types that matched my list of needs. I went with the Kingdel Powerful Mini Desktop Computer that was offered on Amazon. It came with 8gigs of ram, i5 processor and 1tb of storage with a 128 gb of boot drive. Fully licensed Windows 10 Pro was included with key being sent after purchase. You can chose to determine the items you need installed.
Here is a shot of the front.
Plus it had two banks of USB connections, USB2 and USB3. Four Serial ports on the back and two network connections round out the system. It also had wireless which I will not use.
Being cautious I ran a virus check on the boot drive and it came up clean. I did not see any bloat ware. I disabled the initial account after creating my own. Backup your boot just in case but you have the option to reinstall with the Windows 10 key.
Quiet! This computer just sits there not making a sound. It handled my software without issue and booted much faster than my other systems.
With built in serial ports I don't have to deal with USB to Serial dongles anymore.
I will have to buy another fan-less system to replace the other mount side computer.