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Fork in the Road. ASIAir or MiniPC?

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#1 HSTeach

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 08:21 PM

Hello all,

 

Trying to step up my EAA game from the R1 and recently received my ZWO 385!  I have learned so much from this forum and have seemed to hit a roadblock.  I am not sure whether to go down the MiniPC or ASIair wireless road.  I feel like it is important to make a correct decision here as future purchases/integration depend upon it!

 

Ultimately, I'd like to be integrated and have a "plug-n-play" system.  I would like to stay wireless as I've been working with the R1 wireless tablet kit.  I see benefits/flaws with both the ASIair and MiniPC options.  On a sidenote, I've read that you can plate-solve/align with the ASIair.  Is this true?  Can I ditch or sell my Starsense?   Are these options available on SharpCap?

 

**AsiAir Pros:  Easy setup/ PlugNPlay/ Ditch Starsense?   **ASI Cons: Need to buy everything from ZWO (Motorized Focuser, Camera, etc)

 

**MiniPC Pros:  Versatility, Flexible         **MiniPC Cons:  SharpCap learning curve

 

I am somewhat of a Noob although I've read some great posts about wireless, software, etc.  Would like to receive more input and which pathway would be best.

 

Thanks,

Phil



#2 mrlovt

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 09:37 PM

I'm thinking about the same decision.  I own and like the AsiAir, but one drawback I am seeing is being stuck with the ASI software.  I really like SharpCap and NINA, and just don't see the ASI equivalents being on the same level as these products.  I have the AsiAir Pro on my scope, but haven't been excited to use it to its potential yet because of that.  That being said, for just plugging in your camera and filter wheel and going, the AsiAir is pretty easy.



#3 scottsdalejohn

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 09:57 PM

I think you will be better served to focus on the software that will allow you to accomplish your objectives, and then look at the hardware that will get you there.

 

Keep in mind that ASIair is based on a RaspberryPi and there are free software and paid software like Stellarmate that will accomplish the same tasks, at a lower cost, and with none of the hardware limitations imposed by the ASIair system. People seem to like ASIair, but IMHO they leave a lot on the table as a trade off for simplicity.



#4 bjulihn

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 09:58 PM

I think this as much a "Know Thyself" issue as it is a "Know your equipment" issue. There are probably a lot of features in Sharpcap you will never use. But connecting a camera, setting the gain, offset, camera temperature, and exposure time takes all of 20 secs. It even remembers your settings with the same camera from the last session. Sure, it's unfamiliar at first but it is not hard. The intimidation factor is more that there are so many other things you can do like setting filters for which frames to accept, doing a plate solved polar alignment. But live stacking for EAA is right in front of you. If you are a person who just wants things as simple as possible, the ASI Air route may be best for you. But I don't let Sharpcap intimidate you. 

 

I am an AP guy and have a mini-pc with a wireless hub on the mount. I log into it with Teamviewer from a laptop in the house. It works great.

Brad



#5 HSTeach

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 10:17 PM

I appreciate all of the input!  It looks as though I am limiting myself due to my fear of Sharpcap.  However, does anybody know about auto-alignment with SharpCap?  Is it possible to get rid of Starsense and use the camera/sharpcap to align the mount?  

 

Thanks, Phil



#6 alphatripleplus

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 07:50 AM

I appreciate all of the input!  It looks as though I am limiting myself due to my fear of Sharpcap.  However, does anybody know about auto-alignment with SharpCap?  Is it possible to get rid of Starsense and use the camera/sharpcap to align the mount?  

 

Thanks, Phil

Yes, you can use SharpCap and the camera to platesolve an image, and synchronize the mount so that it is aligned and knows where it is pointing. Before you can do this, you have to download a platesolving package - there are several such as ASTAP (my favourite), or ASPS, or AstoTortilla, etc. The platesolver software has to be installed and configured, and SharpCap has to be configured to use it. 

 

It is not hard to do, and once you have SharpCap (or another camera capture program) set-up with a platesolver, synchronising a mount just involves taking a picture, and the platesolver will automatically tell your mount where it is pointing. In addition,  as the mount is connected, the software can also automatically direct your mount to  move to where the target actually is. All this can happen with just the click of a single button to take that initial snapshot. This is a big advantage, as platesolving basically does an alignment every time you move to a different target, if your mount needs it.  

 

For further info on platesolving, there are several threads in this Forum and elsewhere on the topic. As mentioned, my favourite platesolver is ASTAP - lightning fast and very easy to set-up.



#7 mclewis1

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 08:54 AM

When discussing this you have to separate the concept of the initial alignment from ongoing goto plate solving. And no ... SC does not do the initial auto align of the Celestron mounts the way StarSense does. You still have to start off with some sort of initial alignment before SC (or any other external mount control app) and whatever plate solver you choose to use takes over. 

 

Your choices for the initial alignment are ...

 

physical hand controller (either the traditional or StarSense)

software based hand controller (NexRemote or CPWI)

app based (SkyPortal or SkySafari)

 

CPWI and the apps can also use the StarSense hardware to automate the initial alignments. Regardless of who does the initial alignment, once it's successful the motor controllers in the mount are loaded with the appropriate positioning data and can now accept goto requests from external mount control apps.


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#8 HSTeach

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 09:56 AM

Much thanks for the clarification! I suppose it depends how lazy you are with initial alignment. According to the discussion, a crude one star alignment can get you started before astap/sharpcap platesolving. However, if one is super lazy, you could still use the starsense. I think I may sell the starsense and use some of the money towards the mini pc. I appreciate everybody's help!
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#9 alphatripleplus

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 10:05 AM

I have become super lazy with even the initial alignment:

 

I use a mount without a physical handcontroller (Mach 1), but connected to a planetarium program (usually Cartes du Ciel) for an initial goto, i.e. specify the target in CDC and hit "Slew". I then use either SharpCap (with ASTAP platesolver) or CCDCiel (also with ASTAP platesolver) to platesolve and sync the mount - in SharpCap a platesolve via the SharpCap mount controls will work if you are within 15 degrees of the target. So both my initial and ongoing alignments are taken care of via platesolving without the need for a physical handcontrol.

 

I do keep a finder on the scope in case I have issues (e.g. it is too close after sunset to do a platesolve) and need to do a manual alignment, but most of the time it is just there as a back-up.



#10 nicknacknock

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 10:23 AM

I am more lazy than Errol!

 

AZGTi in EQ mode with ASIAir Pro. A minute to focus, 2 minutes to PA, 2 minutes for darks, flats and bias and then I am on my recliner camp chair with my iPad cruising around.  In the new ASIAir Pro software release (expected soon), you also get autofocus capabilities. 

 

I will note a benefit to the ASIAir Pro Vs SharpCap. ASIAir Pro balances colors much faster and much better than SharpCap with no manual work on behalf of the user. All you get to play in ASIAir Pro (and you don't need more) is the histogram stretch. Traditionally in SC, the first 4 images had to be stacked for the histo and color balance to be sufficiently good to play with. With the ASIAir pro, once the second image is integrated, the results are already there and all I do is just stretch the histo a bit.


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#11 HSTeach

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 10:36 AM

This autofocus assumes you purchased the ZWO EAF motorized focuser right? Sadly, I cant get one because they are still developing a Celestron attachment: https://agenaastro.c...af-c8-c925.html

I don't like how they are not compatible w/ the Celestron motorized focuser. :o/

I am more lazy than Errol!

AZGTi in EQ mode with ASIAir Pro. A minute to focus, 2 minutes to PA, 2 minutes for darks, flats and bias and then I am on my recliner camp chair with my iPad cruising around. In the new ASIAir Pro software release (expected soon), you also get autofocus capabilities.

I will note a benefit to the ASIAir Pro Vs SharpCap. ASIAir Pro balances colors much faster and much better than SharpCap with no manual work on behalf of the user. All you get to play in ASIAir Pro (and you don't need more) is the histogram stretch. Traditionally in SC, the first 4 images had to be stacked for the histo and color balance to be sufficiently good to play with. With the ASIAir pro, once the second image is integrated, the results are already there and all I do is just stretch the histo a bit.



#12 nicknacknock

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 10:44 AM

Lol, same as the iOS ecosystem. But it makes a lot of sense. Supporting a limited set of hardware makes for easier coding and faster processing.

There are 3D printing solutions to mount the EAF! Google (or your favorite search engine) is your best friend!

#13 RazvanUnderStars

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 10:47 AM

A clarification since SC helps even during the sky alignment, before the model is built. I sold my StarSense when I realized it was no longer needed (for a while I thought SC's plate solving would only work after the model is built but I was wrong). I use CPWI and it goes like this:

  • First, I polar align since my mount is a GEM. But this is outside of this topic, though.
  • I initiate alignment from CPWI. I click on a star and the mount moves approximately near it and asks me to center the star.
  • I click on the plate solve & center button in SharpCap. The mount moves, the star is perfectly centered and in CPWI I click on the button to tell it I've centered the mount.
  • Repeat the previous two steps with more stars.
  • Done.

In other words, SC doesn't fully align the mount by itself, the model is still residing in CPWI, but makes the process faster and more precise. 

 

Of course, plate solving & centering is also useful later, to put the target in the center if slightly off.

 

 

 

When discussing this you have to separate the concept of the initial alignment from ongoing goto plate solving. And no ... SC does not do the initial auto align of the Celestron mounts the way StarSense does. You still have to start off with some sort of initial alignment before SC (or any other external mount control app) and whatever plate solver you choose to use takes over. 

 

Your choices for the initial alignment are ...

 

physical hand controller (either the traditional or StarSense)

software based hand controller (NexRemote or CPWI)

app based (SkyPortal or SkySafari)

 

CPWI and the apps can also use the StarSense hardware to automate the initial alignments. Regardless of who does the initial alignment, once it's successful the motor controllers in the mount are loaded with the appropriate positioning data and can now accept goto requests from external mount control apps.


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#14 mclewis1

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Posted 01 October 2020 - 09:20 PM

A clarification since SC helps even during the sky alignment, before the model is built. I sold my StarSense when I realized it was no longer needed (for a while I thought SC's plate solving would only work after the model is built but I was wrong). 

You weren't wrong, at least not entirely. As you suspected this won't work with an Alt Az mount but it also won't/didn't work on some GEM/older firmware configurations. I'm not sure when it changed but on some older GEM setups the HC didn't pass through or the motor controllers wouldn't accept external goto movement commands until there is the "alignment success".

 

Maybe it's not the actual completion of the initial alignment (that alignment success message) but that once a goto is done during the initial alignment on a GEM that the motor controllers are able to accept those external movement commands. This hasn't been tested very much and way back before plate solving became available there really wasn't any reason to do any of it.

 

It sure is an interesting idea with a GEM to use the plate solving to do the initial alignment star centering.

 

Q. How large a fov do you have when SC is doing this early plate solving?



#15 Noah4x4

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 03:36 AM

I went down the mini-computer (Intel NUC)  route simply because the original Raspberry Pi wasn't powerful enough to meet my needs. LIVE stacking of multiple short exposures requires far more computung ooomph than single long exposures or post processing type stacking. At that same time, Atik's Pi based solution also wasn't powerful enough for LIVE stacking for my high resolution Atik Horizon. However, Pi has since been upgraded hence why AtikAir and ASIAir and similar are  now viable options for those seeking an all in one box solution.  But I wonder, for how long will this status apply given the trend towards ever more demanding cameras or if you add more devices outside of your current scope of peripherals? Will they be supported?

 

To be fair, I had to upgrade my i5 NUC to i7 as my computing demands grew when I added more devices and functions , but it was an easy upgrade path . I am not locked into Atik or ZWO software and cameras. Sharpcap does have a learning curve, but it is (IMHO) superior to Atik Infinity and ZWO ASILive. Both are are great for beginners, but too limiting as your skills grow. For example, Infinity doesn't offer dark subtraction and even if I upgraded to Atik Dawn and Dusk software they won't support my ZWO cameras. Similarly ASISuite won't support my Atik. The joy of Windows based solutions is they tend to be universal, and that is where (IMHO) a mini-computer is superior to Pi, Android or IOS. Yes, there are solutions such as Windows emulators, but it just adds another level of complexity and compatibility challenges. 

 

From within SharpCap/Windows I can manage everything for all of my cameras/mounts/devices from different manufacturers, including focus, slew directions and Platesolve because of how it integrates with CPWI and autofocusser software. I previously used Sequence Generator Pro,, but given the recent significant price hike I now can't justify its expense. But only it and Maxim DL offer more features than the inexpensive Sharpcap.

 

In summary, if you are reasonably skilled, I think the flexibility and freedom of the mini-computer route is better. But if you need simplicity, then ASIair and AtikAir etc offer benefits. But I was hugely frustrated that Atik Infinity software didn't support my ASI 294 forcing me to learn Sharpcap. But it is probably the best thing that has happened to me as it opened a new paradigm of opportunity. I'm hence glad my choice was mini-computer to give me a more flexible base from the outset.


Edited by Noah4x4, 02 October 2020 - 03:52 AM.

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#16 RazvanUnderStars

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Posted 02 October 2020 - 07:09 AM

My previous equipment was ZWO 294MC-Pro + EdgeHD 8" + 0.7x reducer which gave a field of 0.77 deg x 0.53 deg and in time I used ASPS then switched to ASTAP. The current equipment has a FOV twice as large in each direction, but the previous one is the most restrictive. For anyone who wants to check whether it can work without even buying equipment, they can simply crop an image of known FOV to a desired size (say, from an Astrobin image) and feed it to the plate solver.

 

 

Q. How large a fov do you have when SC is doing this early plate solving?


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#17 lampcord

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Posted 03 October 2020 - 05:17 PM

To me, the only compelling reason to use an ASI Pro over a Mini PC is the 12v outputs. Being able to replace a couple of of AC adapters with a just cables would be really nice. It's kind of a combination of mini PC and a Pegasus in that respect.

 

But I just can't see living without the flexibility of having a full blown Windows box which allows me to install any software I want. Two weeks ago I was using ASCOM + SharpCap + ASPS + CPWI. Now I'm replacing CPWI with iOptron Commander + iPolar. Someday I will get a guide scope and be using PHD2.

 

What will I be using in a year? NINA? Voyager? TheSkyX? I have no idea but what I do know for sure is it will run on Windows.

 

As far as complexity goes, all the software issues can be resolved in the light of day and the comfort of your home.

 

So for me personally, the choice is obvious. A mini PC. What isn't so obvious is which one.


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#18 Noah4x4

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 06:42 PM

To me, the only compelling reason to use an ASI Pro over a Mini PC is the 12v outputs. Being able to replace a couple of of AC adapters with a just cables would be really nice. It's kind of a combination of mini PC and a Pegasus in that respect.

 

But I just can't see living without the flexibility of having a full blown Windows box which allows me to install any software I want. Two weeks ago I was using ASCOM + SharpCap + ASPS + CPWI. Now I'm replacing CPWI with iOptron Commander + iPolar. Someday I will get a guide scope and be using PHD2.

 

What will I be using in a year? NINA? Voyager? TheSkyX? I have no idea but what I do know for sure is it will run on Windows.

 

As far as complexity goes, all the software issues can be resolved in the light of day and the comfort of your home.

 

So for me personally, the choice is obvious. A mini PC. What isn't so obvious is which one.

Many Intel NUCs will run on between 12v and 19v +/- 10%. But at 12v you do need a high quality battery as many cheap Chinese (12v) batteries have a discharge curve that quickly drop outside of the lower parameter. The other option is to use a 12v DC to 24v DC inverter. I do use AC/DC adapters at home, but my NUC worked fine on 12v batteries at a dark sky site. 



#19 lampcord

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Posted 04 October 2020 - 08:58 PM

Many Intel NUCs will run on between 12v and 19v +/- 10%. But at 12v you do need a high quality battery as many cheap Chinese (12v) batteries have a discharge curve that quickly drop outside of the lower parameter. The other option is to use a 12v DC to 24v DC inverter. I do use AC/DC adapters at home, but my NUC worked fine on 12v batteries at a dark sky site. 

I wasn't referring to the power input, I was referring to the power outputs. The ASI Air has 4 12v DC outputs that can be used to power other devices. Cameras, Focusers, probably not enough for a mount but almost everything else. So you can replace a bunch of your wall warts with simple male to male 2.1 mm cables from it to your devices. Saving weight and bulk and really cleaning up your mount.



#20 Noah4x4

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 06:47 AM

I wasn't referring to the power input, I was referring to the power outputs. The ASI Air has 4 12v DC outputs that can be used to power other devices. Cameras, Focusers, probably not enough for a mount but almost everything else. So you can replace a bunch of your wall warts with simple male to male 2.1 mm cables from it to your devices. Saving weight and bulk and really cleaning up your mount.

Sorry, I misunderstood, but ASIAir is an expensive solution for power distribution when 12v DC cable splitters cost merely £5 on Amazon. You hence only need a single 12v DC cable to OTA. A cable splitter there doesn't add any weight and it is easy to calculate the gross amperage required so one 12v battery or 12v AC/DC adapter can then power the lot. 

 

Whilst on the subject of cable management, I have recently found the joys of super thin 2.8mm Cat6a cable, which is half the thickness of regular cable. A USB hub is also a cheap solution so only a single USB cable from Mini-Computer to OTA is required. Power outputs on an ASIAir are evidently helpful, but I still feel a mini-computer offers more flexibility, doesn't lock you into any particular manufacturer and is no more messy as regards cable management if you discover the right solutions that are easy to find on Amazon.


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#21 lampcord

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 08:15 AM

Sorry, I misunderstood, but ASIAir is an expensive solution for power distribution when 12v DC cable splitters cost merely £5 on Amazon. You hence only need a single 12v DC cable to OTA. A cable splitter there doesn't add any weight and it is easy to calculate the gross amperage required so one 12v battery or 12v AC/DC adapter can then power the lot. 

 

Whilst on the subject of cable management, I have recently found the joys of super thin 2.8mm Cat6a cable, which is half the thickness of regular cable. A USB hub is also a cheap solution so only a single USB cable from Mini-Computer to OTA is required. Power outputs on an ASIAir are evidently helpful, but I still feel a mini-computer offers more flexibility, doesn't lock you into any particular manufacturer and is no more messy as regards cable management if you discover the right solutions that are easy to find on Amazon.

Thank you so much! I knew there had to be a simpler, cheaper way to distribute 12v DC power than a Pegasus or ASI Air but just didn't know what to search for.

 

Those 2.8mm cables sound like a great idea too!

 

As far as USB hubs, yeah I'm using a powered one now and I have to admit it does work but I've heard others complain about connectivity issues. Not something you want to have happen in the middle of an imaging session.

 

I was really hoping to replace my hub with a Mini PC with 6 USB connections but so far the only one I've had suggested comes pre-loaded with malware according to a lot of Amazon reviews. I think I'd rather take my chances with a trusted brand and a USB hub.



#22 Noah4x4

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 01:59 AM

Thank you so much! I knew there had to be a simpler, cheaper way to distribute 12v DC power than a Pegasus or ASI Air but just didn't know what to search for.

 

Those 2.8mm cables sound like a great idea too!

 

As far as USB hubs, yeah I'm using a powered one now and I have to admit it does work but I've heard others complain about connectivity issues. Not something you want to have happen in the middle of an imaging session.

 

I was really hoping to replace my hub with a Mini PC with 6 USB connections but so far the only one I've had suggested comes pre-loaded with malware according to a lot of Amazon reviews. I think I'd rather take my chances with a trusted brand and a USB hub.

You do need to carefully calculate the Amps required, but power cable splitters are available. 

 

You won't (IMHO) get better value/quality than an Intel NUC. I use an 8i7 with 16Gb RAM that has Intel 4K UHD Optane graphics,  plus a similar I5 model indoors hooked up to a 4K UHD monitor. The total cost was cheaper than the lowest cost 4K UHD Laptop. I have four USB3 ports and it will run on 12 volts subject to a quality power source. Yes, there are cheaper mini-computers suitable for long exposure AP or for capture and later stacking during post processing. But if you need computing muscle to fast live stack 48k exposures from a modern large sensor, high resolution camera then an appropriate NUC is (arguably) the way to go.


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#23 lampcord

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 08:02 AM

You do need to carefully calculate the Amps required, but power cable splitters are available. 

 

You won't (IMHO) get better value/quality than an Intel NUC. I use an 8i7 with 16Gb RAM that has Intel 4K UHD Optane graphics,  plus a similar I5 model indoors hooked up to a 4K UHD monitor. The total cost was cheaper than the lowest cost 4K UHD Laptop. I have four USB3 ports and it will run on 12 volts subject to a quality power source. Yes, there are cheaper mini-computers suitable for long exposure AP or for capture and later stacking during post processing. But if you need computing muscle to fast live stack 48k exposures from a modern large sensor, high resolution camera then an appropriate NUC is (arguably) the way to go.

So currently my 12v requirements are:

Camera cooler: 3.5 amps

Mount: 5 amps

USB Hub (assuming I need one): 2 amps

Everything else is USB powered.

 

Adding that all up I get 10.5 amps. According to some online info, it appears that I should leave 30% headroom on total amperage so that comes to needing a power supply of 10.5 / .7 = 15 amps. 

 

Is it realistic to run that much current through a splitter and assume I'll be getting clean power to all my devices? Obviously, I'm particularly concerned about the mount as any kind of power flow issues could result in tracking error.

 

Also, even if I got all that working, I would still need either a separate power supply for my Mini PC or I would need at least a small power strip to plug the two power supplies into the main line.

 

Also, your NUC, does it use a fan for cooling and if so do you think that may cause vibrations in the mount that affect image quality? I'm thinking if I don't go fanless, I might be able to use some sort of vibration isolation padding if necessary.



#24 Noah4x4

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 10:00 AM

So currently my 12v requirements are:

Camera cooler: 3.5 amps

Mount: 5 amps

USB Hub (assuming I need one): 2 amps

Everything else is USB powered.

 

Adding that all up I get 10.5 amps. According to some online info, it appears that I should leave 30% headroom on total amperage so that comes to needing a power supply of 10.5 / .7 = 15 amps. 

 

Is it realistic to run that much current through a splitter and assume I'll be getting clean power to all my devices? Obviously, I'm particularly concerned about the mount as any kind of power flow issues could result in tracking error.

 

Also, even if I got all that working, I would still need either a separate power supply for my Mini PC or I would need at least a small power strip to plug the two power supplies into the main line.

 

Also, your NUC, does it use a fan for cooling and if so do you think that may cause vibrations in the mount that affect image quality? I'm thinking if I don't go fanless, I might be able to use some sort of vibration isolation padding if necessary.

 

Many folk have an obsession with fixing everything to the OTA to get it above the point of mount rotation. I was part of that thinking until I discovered what I think is a better way....

 

Telescopewithcabletidy1.JPG   Box-closeup1.JPG

 

I bought a simple ABS plastic box that is drilled and threaded onto my tripod tension rod and hence sits above my leg spreader. I then bolt Intel NUC and MK-IT20 Focuser controller to that. Because this device weight is below the centre of gravity it adds to stability. No issues with fan etc. However, I can imagine if bolting computers to an OTA then vibration might be an issue.I actually started with all of this kit hanging from my mount until I developed this route.

 

I run cables to OTA inside a corrugated flexible cable tidy as shown in the image. 'Cordwrap' works fine with this arrangement limiting rotational travel to 180 degrees. The space inside the ABS box is ideal for the tidy/compact/concealment storage of all the required connecting power and USB cables around the NUC. Hence, only a single USB3 cable runs to my camera; plus a single USB2 to my focuser motor, and a single 12v power cable to OTA, with a splitter for distribution of power to camera cooler and focuser requiring no more than 5 amps. It helps that I have an Evolution mount with internal battery.

 

I then discovered that a short coiled AVX motor cable is a perfect substitute for the supplied horribly long StarSense camera cable. It also helps that I have an Evolution with4 AUX ports. If I affix my astrophotography camera to the rear (for use at f/6.3) the cables in the cable tidy just swing around to it as they are suspended under my OTA on a swivel hook on a velco strap. I don't think you will see many tidier cable management schemes than this, yet all my components are bespoke.

 

I don't pursue long exposure AP, so no need for wedge/GEM, nor autoguiding, nor anything else that might add to the spaghetti of cable management. As regards power distribution, you must never supply too few AMPS, but supply a few too many should be fine. Devices simply draw what they need.. Hope these thoughts help.


Edited by Noah4x4, 06 October 2020 - 10:09 AM.

  • lampcord likes this

#25 lampcord

lampcord

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 10:36 AM

Many folk have an obsession with fixing everything to the OTA to get it above the point of mount rotation. I was part of that thinking until I discovered what I think is a better way....

That's a really slick setup! I'm in the same camp, I want to put the bare minimum of extra crap on my OTA. I have recently switched from the Evo Alt/Az mount to an iOptrom CEM40. One of the nice things about the CEM40 is that I can actually route cables through the mount eliminating much of the danger of cable snag. So I also mount everything on the tripod and run cables up through the mount. So my setup is a lot like yours but not nearly as tidy!




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