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Rock Pi 4B and KStars

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#1 wornish

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 11:00 AM

Anyone using a Rock Pi 4 for their astronomy control computer?

 

I recently thought I would give one a go as it supports M.2 NVME memory and is way faster than the Raspberry Pi 4 that I also have.

 

I have managed to get KStars/Ekos to work on it, but have run into an issue with my toupcam guide cam.

 

Am I too far out over the bleeding edge?

 

 

 



#2 astrokeith

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 11:15 AM

You are very brave!

 

Biggest issues are around the USB ports I understand. Are you running Ubuntu or Debian OS?

Did you get the Rock Pi 4C?

 

I might get one to play around with.



#3 vio

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 01:49 PM

Not quite, but I have setup successfully a NanoPI M4 (using the rk3399 chip) for Astro capture with INDI/Ekos. I started with a set of scripts shared on GitHub, modified to handle some specific things that the original scripts were not handling, don’t remember the details. The biggest thing was which OS distro to start with.


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#4 hcf

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 02:05 PM

If I recall correctly, the toupcam ARM drivers are also somewhat new.

 

Might be worth building INDI from source on the Rock PI 4 to see if it helps.


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#5 wornish

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 03:49 PM

Thanks for the responses.

 

The potential of the Rock Pi with M.2 NVME storage is what's driving me.

 

I decided to compare:-

 

Raspberry Pi 4 with USB3 attached SSD storage,  Cost less than £100 all in including case.

 

with a

 

Rock Pi 4B with M.2. NVME storage cost around £130 all in.

(costs vary by country)

 

II have now given up on trying to use VNC over a WiFi connection to my Mac in the house as it is just so slow unless you are within a few feet of the internet router. Put a brick wall in the path and the speed just drops to unusable.

 

So I decided to fall back on ethernet with a Cat 5 cable to run the 40 Metres (131ft) from my warm study to the mount in the garden.

 

 

Transfer speeds for a 1GB test file between remote mount (40 Meters) and base iMac over ethernet

 

Raspberry Pi4 with very fast SD card .............. Forever!  ( not worth doing)

Raspberry Pi4 with USB3 SSD........................... 6.9 MB/s. (Bytes not Bits)

Rock Pi4B with M.2 NVME storage.................... 11.1 MB/s

 

I was initially impressed with the Raspberry Pi results until I tried the Rock Pi with M.2 NVME.

Using VNC over an ethernet connection to the Rock Pi  blows out my Windows laptop in performance!

 

BUT - there is an issue:-

 

My guide cam is a Toupcam and when I use Kstars/Ekos it works perfectly on my Raspberry Pi4 , as does everything else.

 

However, on the Rock Pi I have run in to what I think is a USB problem in that the Toupcam is not connecting under Indi although everything else works under KStars/Ekos.   ZWO camera and EFW. Mount and Sesto Sense focusser.

 

I don't have the Linux skills to compile the Indi drivers (don't know how to get them) from source on my Rock Pi but was hoping for some guidance/ suggestions.


Edited by wornish, 14 July 2021 - 03:52 PM.


#6 hcf

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 08:34 PM


I don't have the Linux skills to compile the Indi drivers (don't know how to get them) from source on my Rock Pi but was hoping for some guidance/ suggestions.

Some resources ...

https://github.com/i...b/indi-3rdparty

https://indilib.org/...bindi-ekos.html


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#7 wornish

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 06:20 AM

Thanks for the links I had not been able to find them before.

 

So I followed the instructions to compile the libtoupcam driver from source on my Rock Pi and it compiled without error.

 

Tried again to connect my Toupcam with KStars/Ekos but same issue . Get message  unable to connect.

 

Running out of ideas.


Edited by wornish, 15 July 2021 - 06:23 AM.


#8 Der_Pit

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 10:53 AM

I seem to remember several posts about toupcam and Pi over at the INDI forum.  I'd try to read up there, and in doubt ask questions there, too, as the developers are around...

 

Edit: Seems you already did wink.gif


Edited by Der_Pit, 15 July 2021 - 10:54 AM.


#9 hcf

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 11:28 AM


Running out of ideas.

Some things to try.

 

Figure out (ask on indi forums) indi log verbose options and see if indi tells you what is wrong.

 

Make sure it is not a USB problem (do other usb cameras work on the Rock PI?) Maybe try using a powered hub for the camera.

 

Might be a udev problem. Check if you have a file with a name similar to toupcam.rules in /etc/udev/rules.d

Compare it with the one in the Raspberry pi.

 

Try some other software which can use a  toupcam to see it you can get those working.

https://github.com/J...-plugin-toupcam

 

Back up your Rock PI sd card before you try all these experiments.



#10 wornish

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 05:43 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions.

 

Here are the results.

 

Tried my ZWO ASI290MC and it works fine in both USB3 port and USB2 port on RockPi smile.gif

 

Tried using a powered hub for the Toupcam same problem unable to establish connection frown.gif

 

Don't have any file similar to toupcam.rules in /etc/udev/rules.d. on my Rock Pi.

 

On my Raspberry Pi there is a file called 99-toupcam.rules so copied that across to Rock Pi and rebooted rock pi.  Still same error frown.gif

 

Tried to follow the steps for using the other software but ran into errors on this step.

 

sudo apt-get install -y libgstreamer-plugins-base1.0-dev

 

it couldn't find some files that are needed.

 

So it kind of looks like it is an issue with toupcam driver and not the USB ports on the rock pi.

 

Will struggle on with the last step to try some other software.



#11 hcf

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 11:10 AM

Might be worth trying to install Armbian on the Rock Pi 4.

https://www.armbian.com/rock-pi-4/

 

Then you could ask on the armbian forums for help if toupcam does not work.



#12 wornish

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 11:16 AM

Might be worth trying to install Armbian on the Rock Pi 4.

https://www.armbian.com/rock-pi-4/

 

Then you could ask on the armbian forums for help if toupcam does not work.

I am running TwisterOS but when I actually checked using cat /etc/os-release I got a surprise as it reported

 

Armbian 21.05.6 focal as the OS.  

 

I think TwisterOS must be based on Armbian.

 

I will have a look at the Armbian forums though so thanks for the idea.


Edited by wornish, 17 July 2021 - 02:10 AM.



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