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Asiair pro users, how has it impacted your imaging?

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#1 wxcloud

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 07:17 PM

I've been on the fence for this expensive for what it offers little red box for a while. When I had issues with my laptop and indi I got frustrated enough to grab a beelink u57 mini PC with windows 10 pro and I think that was a mistake and I should have went to the other option I was considering, the asiair pro.

Actually getting out is few and far between and I'm to the point I don't want to mess with things and want to get down to imaging instead of troubleshooting.

Has it streamlined your sessions? Make you more apt to go and set up? Has it hindered you? Has it allowed you more data collection?
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#2 Cometeer

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 07:33 PM

I like it for its simplicity. I use it when I want to focus on a single object in a night and I'm using a short focal length scope/lens. 

 

For more serious imaging, I use a mini-pc with Nina. It allows me to set more complex sequences (like multiple objects in a single night), achieve better guiding, plan mosaics, select framing, etc. 

 

At this point it doesn't take me that much longer to get my mini-pc ready than my asiair, so I tend to use the mini-pc more often. 


Edited by Cometeer, 19 February 2021 - 07:33 PM.

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#3 RogerM

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 07:47 PM

I've gone from unguided star tracker to guided Goto.  Got immersed in the nuances of learning/running PHD2 and then started using the ASIAir.

 

One thing for certain, yes, while the ASIAir has streamlined (or better put, simplified) the imaging session it cannot give you the fine tuning capabilities of a full auto guiding software such as PHD2, Maxim DL, CCD Soft, MaximDL, MetaGuide...and the caveat about the ASIAir is that it's a closed system that doesn't play well (or at all) with other cameras, filter wheels, focusers other than the ZWO brand.  I cannot even use my terrestrial camera with the ASIAir (at least I haven't figured out a way to get it to work, yet.)

 

For a 'relaxed' imaging session where I just set-up, align and go the ASIAir wins hands down.  When I'm getting really serious about doing more than just imaging a target, like working on a mosaic for example, I leave the ASIAir at home.


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#4 pinzmann

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 08:28 PM

I’m still somewhat a novice imager as I don’t get out that much or dive deeply into AP. When I got more serious a few years ago, I did the PHD2, Backyardnikon, etc. Then I kinda graduated to NINA, plate solving APT and so on. And I had a lot of frustrations since I’m not really computer savvy. With Asiair Pro which I have been using for the past year, my imaging sessions are much more productive. Plate solving, camera control is much easier. The latest plus is auto focusing. Before after I looked at all my subs, I would notice the quality would go down as the night wore on. But with the AF feature my subs have stayed up through out the night. Very happy with Asiair. Plus they always seem to be improving their software.



#5 droe

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 08:44 PM

I been using mine for a while now. It is great as a portable setup so I dont have to lug my laptop around. Image quality and guiding are as good as my laptop. I have taken 10 min guided image with it so it seems to work. Also, sitting in a comfy chair in the dead of winter monitoring my imaging session is a huge plus. I did have to hook up an extender for my wifi to reach my chair through. That is the only issue I have with it.



#6 Astronut07

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 09:11 PM

I have very similar setup to Cometeer, I have the ASI Air Pro & bee-link mini pc

I use Pro on my grab&go setup only 450mm FL & it preforms extremely well, polar alignment is breeze, focus & platesolve to object & begin imaging session

I use bee link on larger scope using sharp cap to polar align the sgpro for data acquisition as well as autofocus etc, this takes only few minutes more

 

I like both but tend to prefer the guiding results better with mini pc, in saying that the Pro defiantly is pretty much  simpler interface with the iPad app

 

It really depends on what you want

 

Cheers

Ben



#7 rcol

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 09:48 PM

The ASI AIR Pro has revolutionized my imaging. Instead of spending countless hours troiubleshooting, aligning, finding blah blah blah ... 

i can drive up and be acquiring images within 15 min.

 

Little Red Box - strongly recommended

 

EAF really okm too - yummm.... auto-focus ...



#8 mrlovt

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 10:29 PM

I also have ASIair and a mini pc.  ASIair wins the simplicity challenge for sure.  However, understand the limitations.  For now, there is no way to set it to image multiple targets (coming in a future version).  You are always going to be limited to ASI equipment with the exception of a few DSLRs.  Beyond the typical settings, there aren't many options for tweaking anything, image capture, guiding, etc.  From what I have read from ZWO, this is by design, and they intend to keep the user experience simple.

 

That being said, it works very well for what it does.  Set up the imaging run, hit start, and walk away.  If you want to image more than one target in a night, come back at the end of the run and choose a new target.  Rinse and repeat.



#9 Seaquel47

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 10:55 PM

Before I got an ASIAir Pro I started with an AZ Mount Pro and an Atik Infinity camera to do EAA.  Setting up the Windows laptop quickly reminded me why I switched to Apple products for home use.  It was hours of frustration before it was usable and still glitches popped up randomly.  Then came a Sky Guider Pro using a dslr so the laptop was only needed for the ipolar and guiding but even that was occasionally glitchy.  I recently got a CEM40 which I set up with an ASIAir Pro, the guide scope and an ASI294MC Pro.  Now with the AAP and goto capability life has gotten much better.  In just a couple of minutes I use the guide scope to polar align, then a quick goto to a bright star to focus, and then a goto to the intended target, plate solve to center, set up the guiding and then start shooting.  If I have friends or guests over to view the heavens, I can switch to live view and do EAA and jump quickly to different targets for a fun evening.  Except for mounts, you do have to stick with ZWO products (which is not a particularly bad thing) but it does take the hassle out of imaging.  My laptop is no longer needed.  I recently added a Slate wifi extender and can now easily work from inside the house.


Edited by Seaquel47, 19 February 2021 - 10:57 PM.

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#10 Beaverpond Astro

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 12:06 PM

I've been quite happy with my ASIAir Pro...it really did lower the barrier for me to get into plate solving, autofocus, meridian flips, etc.   I'm not terribly computer savvy, so the AA Pro was perfect.

 

Yes, multiple imaging sessions are not supported at the moment, but since I'm only 100 meters from my permanent set up in the backyard, I don't mind going out at midnight to slew to a new target...and in the summer it is an non-issue, as we only have 4-5 hours of dark, so usually a single target only.

 

I've found the guiding with AA to be as good as when I was using PHD2 in stand alone mode.  On both my GEM45 and CEM120, I get guiding between .35 to .5 total rms on a decent night of seeing with AA Pro.   I haven't tried the new PHD2 multi-star, but a bit of a non-issue for me at the moment.  More than happy with the AA Pro guiding.

 

And as mentioned earlier, being able to walk around with a tablet and show folks Live stacked images is very convenient.

And I really like the power ports on the Pro...simplifies my power distribution/cabling (I plug the ASI camera and EAF into it).

 

So not seeing any downside (yet) to the AA PRo vs. a PC...


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#11 DevilJack

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 06:02 PM

I really like the simplicity of my AsiAir Pro setups. I have two identical setups, one with a Samyang 135mm and another with an AT60E. I can be out imaging or EAA with live stacking in minutes. Mostly EAA! The AsiAir Pro with these grab-and-go rigs has made the hobby very enjoyable for me! Much more enjoyable than hyped 2415 Tech Pan and manual guiding back in the day...

 

BTW, I don’t really want to trouble shoot the tech and the AsiAir Pro dials in the tech for me!

 

Thanks - JG


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#12 ravenhawk82

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 10:58 PM

I'm still waiting for a clear night to use mine, but the ASIAir was a no brainer for me. Mostly just due to costs, almost all of my astro imaging gear is made by ZWO. Having one dedicated box on my mount that I can use a laptop to control everything through is way easier than setting up my laptop and running cables everywhere that I'll almost certainly bump into or knock loose at some point.

Now granted, this may change once I've gotten a few nights of use with it, but even controlling my mount was so much more convenient with this than with my laptop. Plus now I don't have to leave my laptop out to get dewed up all night. If I didn't already have ZWO equipment I would have passed, but with two ZWO cameras and a ZWO filter wheel it just made since to stick with this brand where I knew everything would play nice together out of the box.



#13 Neil_Phan

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 02:38 PM

This little box has completely cut down setup time and breakdown time for me with it modularity and independency of a computer and cables. Of course the final benefits will have to be based upon your personal situations and requirement. For me, it has helped motivates me to bring the whole rig out for a few hours each time.
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#14 JTank70

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 07:29 PM

This little box has completely cut down setup time and breakdown time for me with it modularity and independency of a computer and cables. Of course the final benefits will have to be based upon your personal situations and requirement. For me, it has helped motivates me to bring the whole rig out for a few hours each time.

This

 

I am just starting out in AP and the setup time and ease of use is there for sure.


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#15 Neil_Phan

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 08:40 PM

This

 

I am just starting out in AP and the setup time and ease of use is there for sure.

Oh yeah!  I setup my Stellarvue 80 and this box in a way that I have to unplug only 2 cables and the scope, ASIAIR, guide scope, WiFi Extender, and the whole imaging rig comes off the mount in 10 seconds. Then the mount and tripod can be moved in a couple more mins.  Couldn’t get easier than this. smile.gif

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  • 6A45003F-1B90-40AE-93BE-F72C49D1398D.jpeg

Edited by Neil_Phan, 21 February 2021 - 08:45 PM.

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#16 GoFish

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 08:58 PM

Oh yeah!  I setup my Stellarvue 80 and this box in a way that I have to unplug only 2 cables and the scope, ASIAIR, guide scope, WiFi Extender, and the whole imaging rig comes off the mount in 10 seconds. Then the mount and tripod can be moved in a couple more mins.  Couldn’t get easier than this. smile.gif

Nice setup. Mind sharing the make/model of your WiFi extender?



#17 wxcloud

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 09:01 PM

Having a pretty much wired up system ready to go sounds very good, just basically as mentioned, plug and play. Just pretty much set and forget. Only thing that kind of bothers me besides the weak wifi is the inability to change gain offset as I usually just do unity gain.

Figured the little kit would be a bit simpler then trying to set up another PC outside worry about it, and running wires or extending wifi for a remote connection.
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#18 Neil_Phan

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 09:10 PM

@Vanguard. 
Thank you. The WiFi Extender I’m  using is the TP-Link AC750 Travel Router. It sure helped extended the below mediocre WiFi range 

of the ASIAIR. Allowed me to sit inside a warmer garage during a few cold nights. 


Edited by Neil_Phan, 21 February 2021 - 09:15 PM.

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#19 GoFish

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 10:03 PM

Timely thread for me. My laptop, used for both EAA and AP, is at end of life. There is a lot in favor of the ASIAIR Pro, vs a mini W10 PC. Leaning towards the ASIAIR because I dread setting up the mini PC with the software I use on the laptop. Many hours. 

 

Does the ASIAIR Pro supply the 5VDC needed for the TP-Link travel router?



#20 Neil_Phan

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 10:13 PM

Yes it uses USB power from either the ASIAIR if you have a spare plug or external USB hub. 


Edited by Neil_Phan, 21 February 2021 - 10:14 PM.

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#21 GoFish

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 10:32 PM

Another argument in favor of the AAP, aside from the one time effort to configure the mini PC, is the tablet interface.

 

I used RDP for a while with an Intel stick and iPad. The iOS app for RDP was just OK. Not great, not horrible. But each update to Win10 killed the workaround that let my stick support RDP. 

 

The iOS AAP app looks much better than the iOS RDP app. That carries a lot of weight. 

 

Would love to hear from anyone who may have used an iPad with both the AAP and a Win10 mini PC. Which is the better interface?



#22 wxcloud

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:42 PM

I've run into a bit of motivational snag (made a post in the beginning imaging thread). Long story short, I thought about just dumping the hobby. One reason is set up time and messing with sometimes finiky imaging laptop. The current rig set up really didn't motivate me to use it, I suppose.

Anyway the little red box came back in stock and I opted to go for it. Something to simplify a bit, have a similar set up as Neil. Maybe a little more inviting to use on shorter nights when I want a little something but not haul out a 100 plus pound rig on iffy evenings. To have a somewhat lighter semi set up rig that would be a little easier to use on a whim.

Heck, perhaps even a star adventurer and DSLR or something.

If anyone wants to share their setup, that'd help give me some ideas :)

#23 davidparks

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 11:18 AM

Often I’ve read that the ASIAIR Pro is ‘simple’, which it is, so that is a very fair statement.  However, I’ve always felt the word ‘simple’ didn’t quite capture or convey my experience with the product.  Rather I think would say “Dialed In”.

 

With it’s USB ports, 12v power ports, and easy to mount up top ability, it can really “dial in” connection and cabling challenges... on second thought, the word “simple/simplify” really does work here...

 

Jim (GoFish) hit upon a really excellent point, which is the ASIAIR App Interface, and how it impacts the user experience.  Being designed for touch screens it does really make it “simple” and easy to use.  Much nicer than a mouse-driven interface for this particular use case.  Trying to chase a mouse pointer on a touch screen isn’t a best case scenario, so RDP, TeamViewer, ala Stellearmate/Astroberry/MiniNucStick are arguably not “dialed in” like the ASIAIR.

 

ASIAIR Pro doesn’t do some of the things I want to do, for which I won’t be giving up my Windows Laptop/ASCOM/NINA any time soon.

(Mosaics, Rotating to match and add to last years data)

But when i just want to enjoy some Live Stacking, or have the chance to collect a few hours of AP data, I’ll grab the ASIAIR Pro every time. No laptop, no hassles, just carry the rig out, turn it on, and sit in my chair with the iPad.   I’ve even done Lucky Imaging Planetary with a C5 using the video mode of ASIAIR.  It Dials In the whole experience.

 

Redcat 51 / ASIAIR / iPAD / CEM40
RC51 / ZWO / ASI2600
F558BF0F 9EF1 41FC A2C9 13E71D443DA0
FD5620E7 F7F6 491A BC3A 0FA8850A7D8C
148AFD5D 8102 45CE A5A0 0C26A5854F85

Edited by davidparks, 26 February 2021 - 11:21 AM.

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#24 pejorde

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 02:56 PM

I'm not using the ASIAir but since it seems to be a Raspberry Pi4 in disguise I'd like to mention that you could as well use a plain Pi4, running astroberries or stellarmate OS. It can control any INDI compliant equipment (see .

I have recently gone the Pi4+astroberries route and can now control my equipment from indoors, including the mount (Losmandy G11G), kamera (Nikon D5300), autoguider (ZWO ASI120MM) and autofocus (ZWO EAF). The beauty of the system is that the Pi4 controls everything, including plate solving, and I communicate with it through its web server over the house wifi net. The Pi4 has as poor wifi as the ASIAir, so I'd brough a wifi extender out to the mount.

 

DSC00622.JPG

 

Per Erik



#25 wxcloud

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 09:39 PM

I attempted to use a raspberry pi and yes, it's got an impressive feature set and way better price and I have some experience with ekos and indi, I recently ran into some frustrations with the set up. Not sure I'm dumping it along with Linux (what I've been using for imaging - sitting outside with the laptop babysitting the rig), I wanted something more simplified. Using astroberry via my phone was very cumbersome and awkward.

While the asiair is a Linux based system, it seems well supported albeit for zwo stuff. I'm hoping it'll encourage me to get out a bit more or at least give me a plan B should the Linux laptop decide to go wonky or I touch a radio button somewhere or an update breaks something. I guess in a way, the air would be a contingency.

Just need to figure out how to backup the asiair operating system onto both my Linux desktop and windows just in case.

Also fingers crossed since I recently updated to android 11, wonder if the app will work properly on my devices. The "sam console" I was using to polar align the star adventurer, to see position of Polaris (I know...) Don't work now.

Edited by wxcloud, 26 February 2021 - 09:43 PM.



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