I am one of the lucky zwo early testers of the ASI AIR PLUS.
Here below results of my first tests comparing it with my ASI AIR PRO.
1- Cable management: One of the best thing using the PLUS versus PRO is the simplified cable management when using a RASA. Camera being in the front of the RASA telescope, and to minimize the number of cables
which connect to the camera (USB and power only), USB ports are only usable from the ASI AIR. One is dedicated to the guide camera, one to the mount, one to the EAF and one to the main camera. When using the pro, I had to connect an USB stick to record frames, a wifi extender powering with 5v, and a USB Hub. Thanks to the PLUS, I now have 4 available ports and can get ride of the USB Hub, Wifi extender, and memory stick.
2- WIFI tests comparing the ASI AIR PLUS and PRO: My previous settings with the ASI AIR PRO was at 5Ghz, however I was using a TPLink Wifi Extender. I was capable to control the AIR PRO from inside my house. For this test, the telescope remains outside in my garden.
The test configuration is as follows, the ASI AIR PRO and PLUS are both on a table, outside in the garden. There are PVC shutters and a glass door to the kitchen. Both the shutters and door are closed. The PRO and PLUS are at 4 m from the door.
I tested the signal inside the house, sitting on a kitchen table, then on a chair in my living room. The kitchen table is at 3 m from the door, the chair is at 4.5 m from the door. A ZWO ASI 2600MC Pro was connected to the AIR, and I was taking frames in preview mode with very short exposures, continuously.
Starting with the PRO at 5Ghz, signal started dropping in the kitchen, a 1 m from the door.
At 2.4Ghz, it was non functional, I was not able to keep the signal inside the house. I also was not able to set the PRO to station mode from inside the kitchen.
Using the TPLink however, it worked well with a strong signal on my 2 sitting spots, with no signal drop.
Testing then the PLUS at 2.4Ghz: signal rapidly dropped in the kitchen.
Setting the PLUS in station mode , image loading was so slow that it was not workable.
Testing at 5GHz, things worked reasonably well from my two sitting spots, however signal could drop from the chair from time to time, forcing me to to move back to the kitchen near the door to catch the signal again.
Some performances in loading frames:
at 5Ghz with the PLUS, loading 1 frame took 8.6 seconds to display, loading 10 frames took 55 seconds.
Using the PRO at 5Ghz with the Wifi Extender, 1 frame took 5.4 seconds to display, 10 frames took 1 minute and 12 secs.
As a pre-conclusion: in field, connecting the plus in 5Ghz should give a sufficient range for moving around the telescope with a stable connection, eventually sitting in a car in winter time, however this is to be tested. At home, in 5Ghz, it remains reasonably stable to operate, however less than with the Pro with a WIFI extender. I also want to test further with a bigger antenna I just ordered.
3- Guiding test: I obtained one of the best guiding I ever had with my Celestron CGX, Skywatcher EVO guide 50 and ASI174mm mini. Does the improved computing power of the ASI AIR Plus play a role, I cannot
say but it might be the case.
One suggestion: The guide graphs on the bottom of the Guide screen is transparent, I would suggest the graph panel to be opaque, the transparency makes it less easy to read.
4- Power Management: With the Air Pro I was able to power my two dew heaters (one for my RASA8 and one for my guide scope). Using the exact same cables on the ASI AIR PLUS, at 75%, I got some electrical
noise. I actually got noise at any % above 30% or below 100%. The same configuration with the ASI AIR PRO works without noise. I understood this can be fixed by software and would come in a next release.
5- Focal length calculation: When I first launched my newly updated App I was not able to get the focal length for my guide scope calculated. An error message was displayed indicating that the guide scope focal length
could not be set to 0.
6- Storage on the eMMC: I few times got an issue with no image display in Autorun mode, however I could find my image properly saved in the internal eMMC.
Edited by kjeanpaul, 28 September 2021 - 12:35 PM.