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SkySafari / Starry Night on Mac, everything else on NUC?

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#1 grubba

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Posted 04 December 2021 - 11:32 PM

I run a NUC connected to the telescope (mount, cameras, focuser, etc.) and connect to the NUC using Remote Desktop from my Mac. Is there something that would allow to run SkySafari or Starry Night on the Mac itself instead of running it on the NUC? Everything else remains the same but I would rather run either SkySafari or Starry Night on the Mac itself. The mount is a iOptron CEM40EC. I know there are WiFi dongles you can connect to it, which would convert the mount's serial link to and IP link over WiFi. Given the mount is already connected to the NUC (USB) and the ASCOM drivers are loaded and functional, there ought to be a way to pipe the serial stream over the existing IP link (NUC <-> Mac). I don't know anything about COM interfaces (Windows) so for me trying to handle it at the ASCOM level is way too much work.

 

On the other hand, would those dongles (iStarFi or SkyFi) work concurrently with the ASCOM driver within the NUC? If so, it should be possible to instead of using them, to use a simple serial over IP driver within the NUC itself? In that case, use a serial link between the mount and the NUC and have it handle the serial over IP, which it seems to be all those dongles do?

 

Why? The WiFi link to the NUC sucks, not to mention the NUC is underpowered (i3) and running something as heavy (graphics) as a planetarium app has a huge lag.

 

Or maybe I'm missing something and doing something stupid laugh.gif  

 

TIA,

 

g



#2 airscottdenning

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 12:13 AM

What are you trying to *do* with this setup? Long-exposure astroimaging? Electronically assisted (live video) astronomy? Lunar and planetary stacking? What's the "everything else" that you want to run on the scope rather than the Mac?

 

There are definitely solutions for this. For example you can run KStars on the Mac for planetarium and session control and connect to a simple INDI server on the NUC to run your cameras, mount, focuser, etc. But that presumes you're doing imaging.



#3 hcf

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 12:45 AM

This might let you run Sky Safari on the Mac and connect to a server on the NUC over wifi.

 

https://www.cloudyni...now-with-a-gui/

 

Ask on that thread for your specific case.



#4 grubba

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 08:50 AM

What are you trying to *do* with this setup? Long-exposure astroimaging? Electronically assisted (live video) astronomy? Lunar and planetary stacking? What's the "everything else" that you want to run on the scope rather than the Mac?

 

There are definitely solutions for this. For example you can run KStars on the Mac for planetarium and session control and connect to a simple INDI server on the NUC to run your cameras, mount, focuser, etc. But that presumes you're doing imaging.

Long exposure imaging. I'm running (for now) Voyager on the NUC. I went through ATP and NINA and didn't quite like them (preference and not some fundamental problem with either). Voyager (NUC) controls the cameras, filter wheel, focuser, and the mount. The planetarium, whichever it may be, runs so much more fluidly locally. Well, everything runs better locally but I'm inside and the telescope is outside laugh.gif

 

 

This might let you run Sky Safari on the Mac and connect to a server on the NUC over wifi.

 

https://www.cloudyni...now-with-a-gui/

 

Ask on that thread for your specific case.

Interesting. I need to take a look. I had read about Alpaca and Indi. I just wasn't sure if you can mix those with the ASCOM driver used for everything else.

 

Thanks!



#5 grubba

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 08:56 AM

This might let you run Sky Safari on the Mac and connect to a server on the NUC over wifi.

 

https://www.cloudyni...now-with-a-gui/

 

Ask on that thread for your specific case.

Now that I looked at it, it seems to be exactly the answer for my original question. I will set it up and try it tonight!

 

Thank you

 

g



#6 Cliff Hipsher

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 11:09 AM

From my experience the iOpton iStarFi WiFi dongle is not worth $135.00.  $10.00 may be.

 

I'm not sure how your mount is wired internally, but my GEM40  has 2 USB ports for connecting cameras and such, but when I connect to the mount via the WiFi dongle,  my computer does not see my main imager or my guide camera, and since the mount can't see them, neither can any imaging application.  Not only that but the WiFi drops out and if I am running Stellarium, it locks up.

 

On the other hand I can connect a laptop to the mount via USB, and then I can use AnyDesk to give me total remote control.

 

So, what  good is is a WiFi dongle that cannot talk to the mount and the cameras?  None that I can see...

 

EDIT:  That should be GEM45


Edited by Cliff Hipsher, 05 December 2021 - 11:16 PM.


#7 grubba

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 12:21 PM

From my experience the iOpton iStarFi WiFi dongle is not worth $135.00.  $10.00 may be.

 

I'm not sure how your mount is wired internally, but my GEM40  has 2 USB ports for connecting cameras and such, but when I connect to the mount via the WiFi dongle,  my computer does not see my main imager or my guide camera, and since the mount can't see them, neither can any imaging application.  Not only that but the WiFi drops out and if I am running Stellarium, it locks up.

 

On the other hand I can connect a laptop to the mount via USB, and then I can use AnyDesk to give me total remote control.

 

So, what  good is is a WiFi dongle that cannot talk to the mount and the cameras?  None that I can see...

As far as I can tell, the WiFi dongle simply conveys a link to the mount and nothing else. It works by giving access to the serial protocol over IP (WiFi). Something that probably could be done with a $0.50 ESP8260.



#8 airscottdenning

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 02:07 PM

Both Stellarium and KStars work the way you're asking about: planetarium and session control on the indoor Mac connecting to an INDI server (mount, cameras, focusers) out at the scope. 



#9 btschumy

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 02:34 PM

Both Stellarium and KStars work the way you're asking about: planetarium and session control on the indoor Mac connecting to an INDI server (mount, cameras, focusers) out at the scope. 

As does the new SkySafari 7 Pro.


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