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

Mini PC for image acquisition

Astrophotography
  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 ArandomPilot

ArandomPilot

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 125
  • Joined: 27 Feb 2020
  • Loc: Winter Park, Colorado

Posted 13 April 2021 - 06:50 PM

Hi all. With the spring weather officially destroying my "observatory" tent (cheap $20 tent I left out all winter, served me well) I have decided to go a different route in terms of image acquisition. My main computer is an Acer Nitro 5 which I use to process and acquire images currently. Unfortunately one of the hinges decided to break and my laptop is stuck in an open position, making imaging with this laptop no longer viable. So I have decided to go the remote image acquisition route (considering it gets down to -40F in the winters) to work with my various cameras (ZWO and SBIG). So looking for suggestions that can handle 1 camera, 1 telescope mount and 1 autoguider. 

 

Thanks.



#2 photoracer18

photoracer18

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,177
  • Joined: 02 Sep 2013
  • Loc: Martinsburg, WV

Posted 13 April 2021 - 07:02 PM

Raspberry Pi 4 model B or maybe the new Raspberry Pi 400 which has all the functionality of the 4 B built into a keyboard.



#3 bobzeq25

bobzeq25

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 24,546
  • Joined: 27 Oct 2014

Posted 13 April 2021 - 07:26 PM

Hi all. With the spring weather officially destroying my "observatory" tent (cheap $20 tent I left out all winter, served me well) I have decided to go a different route in terms of image acquisition. My main computer is an Acer Nitro 5 which I use to process and acquire images currently. Unfortunately one of the hinges decided to break and my laptop is stuck in an open position, making imaging with this laptop no longer viable. So I have decided to go the remote image acquisition route (considering it gets down to -40F in the winters) to work with my various cameras (ZWO and SBIG). So looking for suggestions that can handle 1 camera, 1 telescope mount and 1 autoguider. 

 

Thanks.

I spent a bit more for a NUC, doesn't have to be a high end one.  $400-ish, Windows 10 Pro included, works fine.  Sits in my observatory 24/7/365 without issues.

 

Runs more software than the alternatives.  Handles mount, imaging camera, guide camera, filter wheel, focuser.

 

Teamviewer for remote imaging from the house, over wifi.

 

Handles a variety of imaging suites, I like Voyager.

 

Can run PixInsight to examine my subs as necessary.

 

You can go cheaper, this is about as good as it gets for wide ranging capabilities and room for expansion.  Runs fine on a 12V battery, my i3 is quite low in power use, you don't need much processing power.


Edited by bobzeq25, 13 April 2021 - 11:39 PM.

  • dswtan, psandelle and leviathan like this

#4 scadvice

scadvice

    Vanguard

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

Posted 13 April 2021 - 07:31 PM

Here is a link written by "Dark" who post here at times. I setup a similar version using his recommendations in his article.

 

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


Edited by scadvice, 13 April 2021 - 07:31 PM.

  • PirateMike likes this

#5 bobzeq25

bobzeq25

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 24,546
  • Joined: 27 Oct 2014

Posted 14 April 2021 - 12:07 AM

Here is a link written by "Dark" who post here at times. I setup a similar version using his recommendations in his article.

 

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

Interesting.  A few comments.

 

Where to mount things.  He doesn't mention that a con of mounting things on the scope is a lot of complication if you change scopes.

 

His comment that Teamviewer does not log into and control the telescope computer, just downloads images.  That's incorrect.  With Teamviewer on the observatory computer connected to Teamviewer on my in home desktop, I am logging into the observatory computer and operating the observatory computer in exactly the same way as remote desktop does.

 

TV is easier to set up, and works fine on Windows 10 Home.

 

I wish he'd gone into more detail about how the small touchscreen that connects via a Raspberry PI is setup.  The monitors I saw did not include the Raspberry PI.


  • psandelle likes this

#6 andysea

andysea

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,755
  • Joined: 03 Sep 2010
  • Loc: Seattle, WA

Posted 14 April 2021 - 12:24 AM

I use an intel nuc. I did a lot of research and I ended up with the celeron model because it’s the one that uses the least wattage and it runs lol the software that I need. Power consumption is about 6~8 wh. I bought a spare just in case but the one I have has been solid for almost two years now.
I power it with the 13v supply that powers the rest of my equipment.
  • leviathan and bobzeq25 like this

#7 leviathan

leviathan

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 991
  • Joined: 29 Nov 2011
  • Loc: Azerbaijan

Posted 14 April 2021 - 01:00 AM

I'm also using Intel NUC with i3 processor and SSD disk (very important for cold weather instead of HDD !) inside. Worked well down to -33C, however on a very cold night you might need to pre-heat it and then switch on at cold, otherwise it might not start straight away perhaps due to some sensor/processor temperature limitations. After it starts it works all night long without any problem. I have Win10 and NINA on it.


  • bobzeq25 likes this

#8 ArandomPilot

ArandomPilot

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 125
  • Joined: 27 Feb 2020
  • Loc: Winter Park, Colorado

Posted 14 April 2021 - 07:05 AM

 

Where to mount things.  He doesn't mention that a con of mounting things on the scope is a lot of complication if you change scopes.

 

 

Not entirely sure where to put it, but I'm thinking on putting it on the side of the tripod leg, but all the main connections will run along the OTA, then have a cable run down to the mini pc.


  • bobzeq25 likes this

#9 OhmEye

OhmEye

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 986
  • Joined: 15 Sep 2019
  • Loc: Western NY Southern Tier

Posted 14 April 2021 - 07:43 AM

I procured an industrial housing containment system for my astrophotography data acquisition computing system, mounted on my custom mobility platform.

 

Rig 2021Q2

  • bobzeq25 likes this

#10 calypsob

calypsob

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6,439
  • Joined: 20 Apr 2013
  • Loc: Virginia

Posted 14 April 2021 - 07:56 AM

Checkout the lenovo m90n. It uses low amounts of power and has a passive heatsink.  They even have serial ports https://www.ebay.com...4.m46890.l49286



#11 gatsbyiv

gatsbyiv

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,047
  • Joined: 29 Mar 2009
  • Loc: Doylestown, PA

Posted 14 April 2021 - 08:10 AM

+1 on the NUC.  Mine's run flawlessly for years.  

 

One bit of advice, though.  They come with a metal mounting plate.  Don't use it.  I found the wifi to be weak for the first year I used it until I mounted it without that plate, which dramatically improved the signal!  


  • andysea, leviathan and bobzeq25 like this

#12 tocster

tocster

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 200
  • Joined: 25 Sep 2016
  • Loc: Melbourne, Australia

Posted 14 April 2021 - 10:19 AM

I use the intel Compute stick PC - its smaller than most USB hubs, and can be powered by a USB A -> USBC plug. 

 

https://www.intel.co...pute-stick.html



#13 scadvice

scadvice

    Vanguard

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

Posted 14 April 2021 - 11:44 AM

Since I had the time I built a 'bought' housing up and mounted on my tri-pier.

 

 

https://www.cloudyni...hed-and-tested/

 

I started out using 'zoom' but have since moved to RDT. I had no problem with either system.

 

I also set up my own wireless network and use two directional antennae on their own little cheap tripods. Pic's below. I tested them out to 1000 feet and it works perfectly. The caveat is they need 110AC each at this point but when I get time I'm going to convert the POE's to be wired to 24v DC without needing an inverter. They use very little power so easy to convert and a cheap battery should work.

 

 

With the lithium iron phosphate battery packs available now this all is doable at a reasonable cost. I'm in the process of building a 100AH lifepo4 power supply for scope side to take care of power needs there with a small maybe even two small battery Lifepo4 banks for the directional antennae. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • 001a.jpg
  • 100c.jpg

Edited by scadvice, 14 April 2021 - 01:24 PM.

  • acommonsoul and bobzeq25 like 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





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Astrophotography



Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics