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Astroberry config file settings for plate solve index files on remote PC

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#1 Ivor Redtorch

Ivor Redtorch

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 06:30 AM

Hi All


Bit of a boring question, but guides and posts I have found online tend to skip over this, or explain things in a way that is not clear to me (a bit ambiguous), so the answer might clear things up for both me and those who come after with the same confusion.


I have managed to get an Astroberry to control my mount and camera (I haven't added guider, FW, etc yet).


I want to set things up so I can plate-solve with the index (fits) files on my lap-top not on the Rpi. I will refer to the lap-top as the remote and the Astroberry as the astroberry! Ideally, the plate-solving would be done on the remote too (as it will be faster, but if the astroberry just grabs the required fits image and does the solving itself, then that might be enough (but I am aiming to reduce current demand and storage space used on the Rpi). I guess there are security, firewall, permissions issues over the Rpi running things on my PC, or even just grabbing files off it. Perhaps that's why the instructions on the astroberry wiki seem backwards to me?


My question is (assuming that it is possible to have the lap-top as the remote), how to tell the astroberry where to go to find the index files and do the solving on the remote. The remote is running Ubuntu (not Windows). I have selected "remote" in the EKOS Align module and I am using astrometry.net as the solver. I am not sure how to edit the /etc/astrometry.cfg on the two computers.


To be clear (I hope!) I am running K-stars and EKOS on the astroberry (the Rpi), and I just want the astroberry to do its plate-solving remotely on my lap-top. The lap-top is sitting indoors with me, and I am watching the astroberry running EKOS and K-stars through my web-browser pointed to (so I am using the Rpi's own wifi hot-spot, not via the internet).


I am confused because I came across threads on this topic where someone said you can't solve on the remote unless the remote is the astroberry and the local is the lap-top (or PC indoors). That is, you can run K-stars and EKOS on the lap-top and tell EKOS to plate-solve remotely on the astroberry, but not the other way around. I would think that the other way around is the way that most people would want, but maybe there's security issues that led to this not being an option.


The astroberry wiki instructions also confuse me (though it makes sense if you can't have the PC as remote, only the astroberry as remote):


Remote - your images are plate-solved on remote computer. Remember to add a line in the remote /etc/astrometry.cfg pointing to index files directory e.g. add_path /home/astroberry/.local/share/kstars/astrometry (or wherever you have installed your index files manually or within Ekos) as where to find the index files. Otherwise, you can add the additional custom config setting in the local Ekos Solver Options of where to find your astrometry.cfg file on the remote server by using --config <path-to-remote-astrometry.cfg>. For a remote Astroberry server the config path should be /home/astroberry/.local/share/kstars/astrometry/astrometry.cfg


My confusion arises because the second sentence there is suggesting that I modify the config file on the remote to have path /home/astroberry/.local/share/kstars/astrometry, but that seems to assume that the remote is the astroberry - or does the astroberry automatically interpret that path as ~/.local/share/kstars/astrometry on the lap-top/PC (which is what I intend the remote to be)?


It's not really clear which machine's config file should have which path, or maybe, as I said above, it must be that the remote is the astroberry and I can't have my lap-top as the remote? If the latter is true, then that's not been made very clear either.


I get "Cannot set solver to remote" errors, so I have something mixed up somewhere (I've put add_path ~/.local/share/kstars/astrometry in the astroberry /etc/astrometry.cfg file)


To make it clear for all, please could someone answer these questions:


If my fits files are downloaded into /usr/share/astrometry on the lap-top (my remote, where I want the fits index files to be and the solving to be done):

What path do I need to add to the /etc/astrometry.cfg file on the lap-top (the remote)?

What path do I need to add to the /etc/astrometry.cfg file on the astroberry (where I want EKOS to be running and from where I want to call the remote solving to take place on my lap-top)?

Do I need to start EKOS and K-stars on my lap-top (the remote) in order to do the solving on the lap-top? Or can I just run a command line call of EKOS on the lap-top, so the astroberry can use that to solve?

Or am I trying to do something that's not possible (or advisable), and EKOS is limited to having the astroberry as the remote plate-solver, and the lap-top is regarded as local and EKOS, K-stars, etc are supposed to be running on that (not the other way around)?


I apologies for all those words, but I really wanted to make it clear which way around I am trying to do this!


I've seen this question asked a few times, with no clear (plain English) answer that beginners might understand. So, hopefully someone can give the definitive answer to, is it possible, and if so, which path goes in which config file?


Thank you for reading this far!



PS The astroberry is really great!

Edited by Ivor Redtorch, 13 April 2021 - 06:34 AM.

#2 Maritime


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Posted 13 April 2021 - 07:17 AM

I’d tried astroberry and quickly bought an asiair pro. Problems solved. 

#3 DubbelDerp


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Posted 13 April 2021 - 07:30 AM

I think you're overcomplicating it. I connect to the RPi from my laptop indoors, platesolve on the Pi (I only have the 2GB model) and it solves in just a few seconds. I get that I'm not providing an answer to the question you're asking, but I don't think you need to go through the effort to do what you are trying to do. With the latest plate solve engine, it really is very fast and does not take significant resources.

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