Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Remote mini-computer setup near finished and tested.

  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 scadvice

scadvice

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2,386
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2018
  • Loc: Lodi, California

Posted 03 February 2021 - 04:44 PM

Just finished most of my remote Mini-computer setup. Thank you Stanley for your write up on:

 

 

https://darkskies.sp...remote-imaging/

 

 

I was given a mini free… this one

 

 

https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

 

added the 7” screen and that keyboard Stanley suggested. Then enclosed the whole thing in one of these that I found on sale for 30 bucks off.

 

 

https://www.solution...cll-p10821.aspx

 

 

It’s mounted in the zone that the scope doesn’t swing into though It can be pivoted into that ‘no stay zone’ for easier access so I need to be sure to reposition if I’m using it at the scope. It mounts and plugs in in seconds.

 

 

Still need to do a few small details to finish it off… like mechanical switch extensions to turn the screen on/off and the computer on without opening the screen mounting floor.

 

 

Also I need to deal with the one cable that comes from the RS232 on the mount as it can get in the way during tracking and meridian flips. Just for size comparision the mount is a iOptron CEM60...the scope is a SVA130T with the ZWOASI2600MC

 

 

Next step is to extend the current portable range from about 50ft to 500ft. I have some directional antenna sitting around here left over from another project to experiment with.

 

https://www.amazon.c...P00HJKD15RZEH0T

 

 

 

Wish I knew more about these antenna and such… I see a few days learning before knowing if they will work.

Suggestions and comments are always welcome!

Attached Thumbnails

  • 001a.jpg
  • 002a.jpg
  • 003a.jpg

Edited by scadvice, 03 February 2021 - 04:48 PM.

  • D_talley, piaras, mrlovt and 10 others like this

#2 Omeganon

Omeganon

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 69
  • Joined: 18 Aug 2020
  • Loc: Joelton, TN

Posted 04 February 2021 - 12:19 AM

That’s the exact computer I use as well.

 

Chilly imaging rig

 

We have a lot of the same needs. I have to set up my rig in a field about 300’ line of sight from my house. I use 2 of these to create a wireless network covering the whole field — one on my house wired to my router and one on a storage building on the other side of the field. They form a mesh and the mini pc is set to auto-join that network on start. I’m getting a dome and will set up another on the outside of the dome to ensure coverage. 
 

I run my rig completely headless. There is a setting in the bios to power on when power is available and I’ve installed RealVNC Home which starts automatically. To do polar alignment, I just bring my iPad over, power everything on, remote in, align, then head back home and do the rest from my Mac. 
 

I use a Midland PPG-1000 power supply; they occasionally go on sale for 50% off. Lasts all night on DC. If I expect that I’m going to start imaging late, I’ll use AC -> Alexa Smart Plug -> AC/DC converter -> Pegasus Ultimate Power Box. ‘Alexa, turn on the telescope’, then just VNC in from home. 


  • scadvice and JorgeDeAroGarcia like this

#3 jerr

jerr

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 538
  • Joined: 03 Feb 2008
  • Loc: Czarny Las, Poland

Posted 04 February 2021 - 05:12 AM

It's a best thought through set up I've ever seen. Will start playing with mine to make it half good as yours.

What is that pivoting mount that attaches the polycarbon box to the pier?



#4 scadvice

scadvice

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2,386
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2018
  • Loc: Lodi, California

Posted 04 February 2021 - 11:58 AM

It's a best thought through set up I've ever seen. Will start playing with mine to make it half good as yours.

What is that pivoting mount that attaches the polycarbon box to the pier?

It's something I machined up (I have a machine shop) You could rig up one of these pivot hinges. But I had to make a few other pieces and got carried away while out in the shop.

 

https://www.zoro.com...#specifications

Attached Thumbnails

  • 20210204_085404.jpg

  • jerr and JorgeDeAroGarcia like this

#5 scadvice

scadvice

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2,386
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2018
  • Loc: Lodi, California

Posted 04 February 2021 - 12:37 PM

That’s the exact computer I use as well.

 

 

 

We have a lot of the same needs. I have to set up my rig in a field about 300’ line of sight from my house. I use 2 of these to create a wireless network covering the whole field — one on my house wired to my router and one on a storage building on the other side of the field. They form a mesh and the mini pc is set to auto-join that network on start. I’m getting a dome and will set up another on the outside of the dome to ensure coverage. 
 

I run my rig completely headless. There is a setting in the bios to power on when power is available and I’ve installed RealVNC Home which starts automatically. To do polar alignment, I just bring my iPad over, power everything on, remote in, align, then head back home and do the rest from my Mac. 
 

I use a Midland PPG-1000 power supply; they occasionally go on sale for 50% off. Lasts all night on DC. If I expect that I’m going to start imaging late, I’ll use AC -> Alexa Smart Plug -> AC/DC converter -> Pegasus Ultimate Power Box. ‘Alexa, turn on the telescope’, then just VNC in from home. 

Wow, the Midland looks to have just over 78 Ah available. My little home made PS has only about 24Ah so I can only draw down for 4 or 4.5 hours right now. I need to add a separate supply for the computer. You look to be running yours off a 12 volt supply. Is that correct? I have not tested it at 12 volts yet as I'm currently running it with the 19v supply they had with it. Where I do most of my imaging I have power so I only need it on field trips. I started out using TeamViewer but  later switched to Remote DT. 

 

I like the Alexa idea I hadn't thought of that nor was I aware that you can set the Bios. 


Edited by scadvice, 04 February 2021 - 12:38 PM.


#6 Omeganon

Omeganon

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 69
  • Joined: 18 Aug 2020
  • Loc: Joelton, TN

Posted 04 February 2021 - 01:00 PM

You look to be running yours off a 12 volt supply. Is that correct? I have not tested it at 12 volts yet as I'm currently running it with the 19v supply they had with it. Where I do most of my imaging I have power so I only need it on field trips. I started out using TeamViewer but  later switched to Remote DT. 

Yes, correct, I usually use the 12v lighter plug to power the UPB that everything else plugs into. I had to buy an adapter plug to connect the computer to it, but it runs fine. After a night of imaging (6-9 hours) I usually have ~24% left on the battery. If I use AC, it's down to about 10%... Either way, I just recharge the next day. When I get the dome I plan to attach solar panels to recharge it. While I don't expect the solar panels to fully recharge it in a day, there have been very few nights where I can do back-to-back imaging and if that were to happen, I could still bring it back to the house and charge it.

 

The thing I like most about RealVNC Home is that I don't have to be connected to the same wireless network as the mini-pc; as long as we both have any internet access I can reach it from any device. The outdoor mesh network isn't an extension of my home network so I would have needed to do some static IP port forwarding shenanigans to gain access...

 

I like your idea about the touchscreen... I ordered this one to at least have on hand in my case should I need a monitor...


Edited by Omeganon, 04 February 2021 - 01:07 PM.


#7 scadvice

scadvice

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2,386
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2018
  • Loc: Lodi, California

Posted 04 February 2021 - 02:04 PM

The monitor first suggested to me was the 5 inch but as soon as I got it I sent it back for the 7 inch. Too small. It has come in handy. The other day I turned the remote on and nothing would connect! Stupid me I connected it to the internet to upgrade NINA and forgot to reconnect to my scopes router. Sigh, took me 10 minutes to figure out what I did!ohmy.gif

 

I'm going to rebuild my power and usb 3.0 conversion now that it's tested it also. I'm going to have to learn some electronics here.  PWM's,  temperature comparing circuits, and ect. I know a few people that might be able to help. I suppose I could try using a Aquino board. I'd like to build in a control for my dew strips. And USB cables. I hate USB plugs. Something has to be done about them at a reasonable price! 


  • Omeganon likes this

#8 scadvice

scadvice

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 2,386
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2018
  • Loc: Lodi, California

Posted 04 February 2021 - 02:10 PM

BTW how are you storing your images during a session? In the remote? There seems to be enough memory on mine at 8GB RAM+128GB SSD. The weather has not been friendly enough to allow me to image test yet.


  • Omeganon likes this

#9 JorgeDeAroGarcia

JorgeDeAroGarcia

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 15
  • Joined: 21 Jan 2019

Posted 04 February 2021 - 05:19 PM

Screenshot_20210204-191729_1.png

I think what you have done is great, you can use a USB shoe to expand and install more memory and connect other devices.  I use a DELL tablet with Windows 10, ASCOM, Stellarium, Cartes du ciel and Fire Capture, for object tracking and Goto.  Fixed on the tripod, wonderful, congratulations, it will be very comfortable.  Greetings and clear skies!


  • scadvice likes this

#10 Omeganon

Omeganon

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 69
  • Joined: 18 Aug 2020
  • Loc: Joelton, TN

Posted 04 February 2021 - 06:39 PM

BTW how are you storing your images during a session? In the remote? There seems to be enough memory on mine at 8GB RAM+128GB SSD. The weather has not been friendly enough to allow me to image test yet.

Aha, yes. I _was_ using a USB thumb drive but you're right, the 128GB SSD is certainly workable, but getting the images off is not obvious based on my lack of direct network access. As a Mac user, I ended up installing iCloud Drive on the box. There's a bit of NINA finesse to get it to work right, but since the box has internet access, it works great. Shortly after a picture is taken it's available directly on my Mac with no intervention needed on my part. Worst case, they get uploaded to iCloud when I reconnect the machine at home. I just have to periodically (every few sessions), tell iCloud to remove the data from the PC but keep it in iCloud.

 

I expect Google Drive, Box, or any similar service would work just as well.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Screen Shot 2021-02-04 at 5.37.56 PM.png

Edited by Omeganon, 04 February 2021 - 06:43 PM.

  • scadvice likes this

#11 jerr

jerr

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 538
  • Joined: 03 Feb 2008
  • Loc: Czarny Las, Poland

Posted 05 February 2021 - 04:14 AM

It's something I machined up (I have a machine shop) You could rig up one of these pivot hinges. But I had to make a few other pieces and got carried away while out in the shop.

 

It looked too good to be commercially available. Congrats on such fantastic job and sorry for all the other that won't be able to get this :)


  • scadvice likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics