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

A beginner-friendly smart EAA setup

  • Please log in to reply
372 replies to this topic

#126 Joey44

Joey44

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 219
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2019

Posted 13 November 2021 - 09:26 AM

Stellermate Facebook post today:

 

StellarMate OS v1.6.1 and SM App v2.4.3 are available now:
+ KStars v3.5.6 & INDI v1.9.3
+ Fast Exposure support when next frame is immediately captured without any delays.
+ Live-stacking with image export & plate-solving.
+ Various performance improvements and fixes.

 

I am looking forward to feedback from those who have tried the update before spending anymore time with my current setup. Cross your fingers!


  • ahmadeus9 likes this

#127 bdjeep

bdjeep

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 496
  • Joined: 29 Jan 2007
  • Loc: Lancaster, MA

Posted 13 November 2021 - 10:10 AM

Yeah I did explore that option, but I have to move my scope so often that it would be too much of a burden right now.  What I really need is a “plop it down and turn it on” option at this moment in time.  When the kids are older and my wife wants to get rid of me, I’ll be more inclined to explore other options lol.  Right now she complains about me being outside for more than an hour!

I can relate.  It's hard when you have to juggle chores, bedtime routines, etc.  After similar issues with Stellarmate, I went with a mini PC running CPWI for mount alignment/control and sharpcap and/or ASILive for capture.  The mini PC remains zip-tied to the eyepiece tray and runs off a battery.  You can use remote desktop or TightVNC to connect to it from inside.  Timewise, it's not any different than the Stellarmate/pi route once you get the software set up.  And the fact that is just works with all of my hardware saves me time and frustration.  If you have an alt-az mount, you can literally make this a plop the scope down and go inside option if you set up plate solving/goto and remote access.  I guess that's the advantage of Stellarmate, all of the software is pre-installed and ready to go for all of this.  With the mini PC, you have a bit of installing and configuring to make it all work, but it's pretty stable once you get it.

 

I'm on a GEM mount so still need to deal with polar alignment, but sharpcap's polar alignment routine makes this ridiculously easy.  I can be set up in 15 minutes or less.  I go back inside, get the kids to bed, and retreat to my office for some EAA.  The first couple of times she thought I was catching up on work.  lol.gif


  • alphatripleplus, ahmadeus9 and bips3453 like this

#128 jkelly

jkelly

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 309
  • Joined: 06 Jun 2009
  • Loc: New Jersey

Posted 13 November 2021 - 10:22 AM

Stellermate Facebook post today:

 

StellarMate OS v1.6.1 and SM App v2.4.3 are available now:

I am downloading SM OS 1.6.1 but don't see the IOS SM app 2.4.3 update yet. 2.4.2 still.

EDIT: I see that 2.4.3 is out on Android.

IOS 2.4.3 is now available in the APP store!


Edited by jkelly, 13 November 2021 - 02:42 PM.

  • ahmadeus9 likes this

#129 ahmadeus9

ahmadeus9

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 49
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2016
  • Loc: Charlotte, NC, USA

Posted 13 November 2021 - 01:56 PM

I am downloading SM OS 1.6.1 but don't see the IOS SM app 2.4.3 update yet. 2.4.2 still.

EDIT: I see that 2.4.3 is out on Android.

Curious to hear whether you can tell a big difference in terms of stability. 



#130 gwal0

gwal0

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: 20 Jul 2020

Posted 13 November 2021 - 03:21 PM

Just a short update from my experiences with the StellarMate (which I upgraded recently and the app just now...).

 

I had the same experiences on "dry runs" as some users report here. I also felt everything was "running downhill" and was close to throwing the StellarMate out of the window. So, I finally decided to use the AZGTi mount as hotspot as is recommended in the manual (not the StellarMate as hotspot as Cuiv recommends). This seems to work fairly reliably, whereas other network configurations worked just once for me...

 

I also want to tell about two discoveries that I made:

 

When I also connect my laptop (a MacBook) to the mount's network and run KStars on it, the FITS viewer comes up, whenever I take a photo with the camera icon in the app. In the viewer, I can save the photo in three formats (FITS, JPG, and PNG). But it only saves JPG and PNG, when I manually add the respective extension (.jpg, .png) - irrespective of what the dropdown list states. Definitely, a bug. But at least, I found a way to save my "live views".

I still do not know how to save live stacks, though...

>> I just found out that this works for live stacks as well!

 

Secondly, I also had the issue of empty target lists. I just tried "M31" again for confirmation - and the list was empty. Then I tried "M 31" - and there it was! With "M 3" you get even more galaxies. Or you get M 3 if you switch to globular clusters.

Thus, the targets work*, but the algorithm is very "picky" about blanks!

*) Actually, there still some quirks left...

 

Best regards, Gerd


Edited by gwal0, 13 November 2021 - 03:34 PM.

  • ahmadeus9 likes this

#131 jkelly

jkelly

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 309
  • Joined: 06 Jun 2009
  • Loc: New Jersey

Posted 13 November 2021 - 04:39 PM

When you get some time, could you tell us how to put the stellarmate on the AZGTI hotspot?

That seems like a great idea!



#132 gwal0

gwal0

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: 20 Jul 2020

Posted 13 November 2021 - 04:58 PM

In short:

 

- Turn on the AZGti, connect your smartphone or tablet to the respective network (called "synscan_xxx" or just "Snyscan" as I renamed it), and check with the Synscan (Pro) app whether the drive is accessible (just using the direction buttons).

 

- Turn on the Stellarmate, which open its own network called "stellarmate". Start any profile and go to the "Devices" tab.

 

- There click the orange wheel button next to the network data (top right).

 

- You will be able to select another network. Select it and click "Connect". There are a few more prompts and finally StellarMate should shut down its own hotspot and connect to the selected network ("synscan_...").

 

- Go to the setup tab and try to connect the StellarMate to the new network. Please note that this make take some time.

 

 

StellarMate typically remembers that it was connected to another network after shutdown. In case it does not, you have to redo the above steps.

 

Regrettably, the StellarMate is not "in action". I therefore tried to collect the steps from my memory...

 

PLEASE NOTE: When you use this configuration, you have to turn on the mount first and then the StellarMate. Otherwise, the StellarMate will fall back into hotspot mode!

 

Best regards, Gerd


  • jkelly and casati like this

#133 acrh2

acrh2

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,683
  • Joined: 16 Mar 2021

Posted 14 November 2021 - 09:55 AM

Hello everyone. This is a very informative thread. And so I have been inspired to build an EAA rig for myself. Most of my experience in amateur astronomy has been with a 10" dob. My first inclination in building an EAA rig is to go with as big of an aperture as size, weight and cost would allow. Is larger aperture desired in EAA or is there a point of diminishing returns due to the nature of the CMOS chip?.

 

Also I would greatly appreciate advice on this build and which ZWO cameras would pair well it. 

 

8" f/4 Imaging Newtonian

iOptron AZ Mount Pro\

ZWO ASIAIR Plus

 

ZWO ASI385(?)

 

Thanks in advance.

Do you care about the extreme portability as in the original post?

 

I tend to lean the other way myself.

I think that you would want the lowest f-ratio scope combined with a sensor with largest pixels. Like the Celestron RASA 8 and an ASI294MC Pro.

Then you'd probably want to bin it significantly to get better SNR.

Finally, alt-az mounts are small and cute - I have one. But they suck for astrophotography and they don't help EAA.

A small equatorial mount like Iopton GEM28 with iPolar should work great, and the iPolar scope would allow you to polar align in under 2 minutes.


  • ElwoodHirsch likes this

#134 alphatripleplus

alphatripleplus

    World Controller

  • *****
  • Posts: 134,601
  • Joined: 09 Mar 2012
  • Loc: Georgia

Posted 14 November 2021 - 01:23 PM

 Moderator Note:

 

For anyone looking for advice on a set-up that is significantly different from the one discussed by the OP, please start a new thread to discuss your potential set-up. Let's stay on topic here with regard to the original set-up. Thanks.



#135 Psionmark

Psionmark

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 308
  • Joined: 20 Jul 2020
  • Loc: Near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom

Posted 15 November 2021 - 03:29 AM

I’ve only ever got this set up to align twice. I’ve been battling with it ever since and just don’t seem to be able to achieve it. I’ve done the same thing each time, e,g. Point roughly north and level. First two times it went straight to M31 and stayed locked on. Same when I pointed elsewhere. Since then, it goes nowhere near M31 nor anywhere else. I’ve tried adjusting the scope position within Stellarmate but then it just goes off and does it’s own thing again.

 

Anyone any ideas? After my initial delight, this is now feeling more trouble than it’s worth. I had two great nights and since then several hours just trying to get it working again.



#136 ahmadeus9

ahmadeus9

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 49
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2016
  • Loc: Charlotte, NC, USA

Posted 15 November 2021 - 06:29 AM

I’ve only ever got this set up to align twice. I’ve been battling with it ever since and just don’t seem to be able to achieve it. I’ve done the same thing each time, e,g. Point roughly north and level. First two times it went straight to M31 and stayed locked on. Same when I pointed elsewhere. Since then, it goes nowhere near M31 nor anywhere else. I’ve tried adjusting the scope position within Stellarmate but then it just goes off and does it’s own thing again.

 

Anyone any ideas? After my initial delight, this is now feeling more trouble than it’s worth. I had two great nights and since then several hours just trying to get it working again.

Couldn’t have described my exact situation any better.  Same exact experience.  Frustrating because you can feel how close it is to working.  There seems to be a pattern here - initially it works but eventually it doesn’t.  Has to be something going on - I wonder if the software is getting corrupted at some point?  I’m clearly no IT guy, but why does this setup generally seem to work at first and then go totally haywire??



#137 Psionmark

Psionmark

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 308
  • Joined: 20 Jul 2020
  • Loc: Near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom

Posted 15 November 2021 - 06:33 AM

Couldn’t have described my exact situation any better.  Same exact experience.  Frustrating because you can feel how close it is to working.  There seems to be a pattern here - initially it works but eventually it doesn’t.  Has to be something going on - I wonder if the software is getting corrupted at some point?  I’m clearly no IT guy, but why does this setup generally seem to work at first and then go totally haywire??

I'm glad it's not just me :)

 

It's particularly frustrating because we've had that initial tease of it working pretty much flawlessly, and then never since lol. I'm also getting the empty targets list etc.



#138 gwal0

gwal0

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: 20 Jul 2020

Posted 16 November 2021 - 02:03 PM

@Psionmark/ahmadeus9: Under what conditions do you get the empty target list?

When I enter nothing and just switch the DSO type, I seem to get the maximum number of objects (which is not too much, up to 100).

Sometimes it simply takes quite a while, until the app shows a reaction. Sometimes it helps a bit to switch between object types.

 

I mentioned above already that the app cares for blanks. That is, if you type "M3", it will find nothing. If you type "M 3", it finds M 3 in the GCs category and several galaxies if you select galaxies.

 

Hope that helps...

Gerd



#139 jkelly

jkelly

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 309
  • Joined: 06 Jun 2009
  • Loc: New Jersey

Posted 16 November 2021 - 02:09 PM

On the subject of target lists, do you know how to target the moon in stellarmate?



#140 Psionmark

Psionmark

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 308
  • Joined: 20 Jul 2020
  • Loc: Near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom

Posted 16 November 2021 - 02:12 PM

@Psionmark/ahmadeus9: Under what conditions do you get the empty target list?

When I enter nothing and just switch the DSO type, I seem to get the maximum number of objects (which is not too much, up to 100).

Sometimes it simply takes quite a while, until the app shows a reaction. Sometimes it helps a bit to switch between object types.

 

I mentioned above already that the app cares for blanks. That is, if you type "M3", it will find nothing. If you type "M 3", it finds M 3 in the GCs category and several galaxies if you select galaxies.

 

Hope that helps...

Gerd

I can't really get a handle on how to replicate the issue, other than "sometimes" if I search for something (say M31), it won't find it, then when I clear the Search, there's nothing at all. Other times, just going in to the Targets tab when first starting it it'll be blank.



#141 gwal0

gwal0

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: 20 Jul 2020

Posted 16 November 2021 - 02:16 PM

@Psionmark: You write:

>> if I search for something (say M31), it won't find it

 

This is true -- you need to insert a blank! (M 31 or M 3).

Best regards, Gerd



#142 gwal0

gwal0

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: 20 Jul 2020

Posted 16 November 2021 - 02:19 PM

I just tested an empty search field (where, by the way, it states "M 31"...) and switched between different DSO types. And something did happen -- but sometimes it TAKES TIME...

This it at least, what I find for my StellarMate (bought from Ikarus).

Best regards, Gerd



#143 gwal0

gwal0

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: 20 Jul 2020

Posted 16 November 2021 - 02:21 PM

@jkelly: Sorry, but I have no idea!

Actually, I prefer observing the moon visually - and add a camera to the eyepiece. That offers much better quality than my eVscope or my ASI224.

Best regard, Gerd


Edited by gwal0, 16 November 2021 - 02:22 PM.


#144 gwal0

gwal0

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: 20 Jul 2020

Posted 16 November 2021 - 02:25 PM

Actually, the four sliders above the list do have an impact on the search result. And the arrow button to the right seems to reset the sliders.

Best regards, Gerd



#145 ahmadeus9

ahmadeus9

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 49
  • Joined: 27 Nov 2016
  • Loc: Charlotte, NC, USA

Posted 16 November 2021 - 03:02 PM

In my experience, when the target list was blank, there was nothing I could do to find a target.  I tried with and without a space, tried moving various sliders, etc.  It may well be that I needed to be more patient and just sit and wait for targets to appear, but I was unwilling to do that for more than several minutes.  Not acceptable in my opinion. 



#146 gwal0

gwal0

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: 20 Jul 2020

Posted 16 November 2021 - 03:12 PM

@ahmadeus9: At the moment, the target search (empty search field) is below 10 seconds, and sometimes below one second, depending on the length of the result list (I assume). I remember that there were times where it took longer, but as far as I remember, never in the realms of several minutes. That's all I can say from here...

Best regards, Gerd



#147 Psionmark

Psionmark

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 308
  • Joined: 20 Jul 2020
  • Loc: Near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom

Posted 16 November 2021 - 03:16 PM

@Psionmark: You write:

>> if I search for something (say M31), it won't find it

 

This is true -- you need to insert a blank! (M 31 or M 3).

Best regards, Gerd

I could understand that, but shouldn’t it reset to show everything when the search text is cleared?



#148 gwal0

gwal0

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 35
  • Joined: 20 Jul 2020

Posted 16 November 2021 - 03:26 PM

@Psionmark: You write:

>> I could understand that, but shouldn’t it reset to show everything when the search text is cleared?

 

Yes, it should -- and it does here (it may take some time...). But please not that it does not show "everything", it shows only "everything" of the selected DSO type (Stars, Galaxies, OCs, GCs, etc.).

And it looks to me that it does sometimes only show part of it, but I am not quite sure about this.

These are my numbers of objects (default settings of the sliders after a "reset"):

Stars: 100

Planets: 4

OCs: 94

GCs: 8

GNs: 23

PNs: 1

Galaxies: 23

Comets: 3

Asteroids: 0

Supernovae: 0

 

Sometimes, it also takes a few seconds to switch the DSO type.

Best regards, Gerd



#149 jkelly

jkelly

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 309
  • Joined: 06 Jun 2009
  • Loc: New Jersey

Posted 16 November 2021 - 04:00 PM

I want the group to know that I have been communicating with Jasem of Ikarus (Stellarmate) about all the issues we are having. He wanted you to know that he is going full-on over the next few days on Stellarmate and the AZGTI and will try to resolve any outstanding issues. He is aware of our group, our issues and is actively working on it.

 

BTW, Gerd he mentioned that he connects Stellarmate to AZGTI not AZGTI to Stellarmate, so I think I will switch that tonight.

 

Jeff


  • bdjeep and ahmadeus9 like this

#150 Psionmark

Psionmark

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 308
  • Joined: 20 Jul 2020
  • Loc: Near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom

Posted 16 November 2021 - 04:03 PM

I want the group to know that I have been communicating with Jasem of Ikarus (Stellarmate) about all the issues we are having. He wanted you to know that he is going full-on over the next few days on Stellarmate and the AZGTI and will try to resolve any outstanding issues. He is aware of our group, our issues and is actively working on it.

 

BTW, Gerd he mentioned that he connects Stellarmate to AZGTI not AZGTI to Stellarmate, so I think I will switch that tonight.

 

Jeff

That’s good to hear :) 




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






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics