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Help with deciding on a DSO imaging setup

Astrophotography Beginner Equipment Imaging
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#26 Oyaji

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 12:22 AM

Thanks for the info on the AGM battery, that sounds like a good way to go.

 

Do I need a 12v to 19v converter? The GEM45-NUC has a 19v out from the mount to connect to the NUC (which appears to run on 12v-19v anyway), so I'm assuming that all I need is 12v to power the mount, and then pull 5vdc power from the NUC output for the guide camera (and future EAF)?

That I can't answer--I use a laptop, not a NUC--but if you are in the market for a converter, these are just the thing!  



#27 marter

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 12:40 AM

I'm going to chime in here and say this is why people get ASIAIRs :-) it's designed for astrophotography, it powers cameras, EAF, EFW and dew straps and it reduces cable clutter if mounted on the OTA. I've read opinions that you are "stuck" if you use it and later decide you want another brand of camera, filter wheel, focuser or NUC. I'd say since it costs less than all the other major components, if you find it limiting then move on to another solution once you grow out of it or need to drive a second rig. Meanwhile it will get you started and cut out a lot of software integration and power questions. 

 

I researched batteries, considered and nearly bought a Jackery but in the end decided I wanted LiFePO4 and went with a Bluetti EB55. It has a cigar lighter that my mount can use, DC sockets that power the ASIAIR, USB A and USB C plus a wireless phone charger and also AC power sockets. It's a generally useful addition to the household since we occasionally have power cuts.

 

As to powering the DSLR, it has been noted by some that simply swapping batteries every few hours is not the worst thing. Do some tests to see how long the DSLR will run on one battery with the display turned off.

 

Good luck with your choices :-)

I get the ASIAir thing. If they were available, I'd consider it a viable option. But the integration of an Intel NUC with the GEM45 and it's through-mount wiring seems like a very clean option. I'm still digging in to it but it looks pretty attractive as a solution, albeit more expensive. I've been using PHD2, SharpCap Pro and Astro Photography Tool on a laptop for PA, guiding, plate solving and sequencing with my DSLR and zoom lens, so I'm comfortable with the use of those tools already. Granted, I'll be adding goto functionality and a more extensive use of APT (or NINA possibly) but again, ASIAir is not available and no idea when they will be, so when I finally get a goto mount I want to take full advantage of it.

 

Thanks for the info on the Bluetti LiPo option, looks very attractive. More reasonable than a Jackery. And it looks like I could run the Nikon dummy battery off it as well. Still trying to put all this together but that looks like a good option. I really don't want to change batteries during the night if I can avoid it.

 

Thanks for the reply and info.
 


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#28 bobzeq25

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 12:44 AM

 

 

Do I need a 12v to 19v converter? The GEM45-NUC has a 19v out from the mount to connect to the NUC (which appears to run on 12v-19v anyway), so I'm assuming that all I need is 12v to power the mount, and then pull 5vdc power from the NUC output for the guide camera (and future EAF)?

You are in serious danger here of problems, maybe of destroying something.  You're stating things in a peculiar fashion.

 

You need the documentation for the mount.  This may be helpful.

 

https://www.ioptron....0_GEM45-NUC.pdf

 

There's no mount generated 19V out for the NUC.  It has two 19V jacks, an input and an output.  You put 19V in and then the NUC takes it out.  As I said previously 12V may work.

 

I don't understand "pull 5VDC from the NUC output".  My NUC has no 5 VDC output.  Most AP devices that need power use 12 VDC, a few like the guide camera and the new EAF take power from the USB data connection.  The iOptron power ports are 12 VDC.  That does come from the 12 VDC power that goes into the mount.

 

My power supply for everything is a 12VDC 35Ah deep cycle battery.  Until recently I ran everything from that.  I recently put a 12V-19V converter in front of the NUC.  It's helpful for me, but not necessary.


Edited by bobzeq25, 24 May 2022 - 01:03 AM.


#29 choward94002

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 12:59 AM

Thanks for the info on the AGM battery, that sounds like a good way to go.

 

Do I need a 12v to 19v converter? The GEM45-NUC has a 19v out from the mount to connect to the NUC (which appears to run on 12v-19v anyway), so I'm assuming that all I need is 12v to power the mount, and then pull 5vdc power from the NUC output for the guide camera (and future EAF)?

Umm ... no.  That 5V you're planning on pulling from the NUC comes from the USB port, yes?  The NUC is not a phone charger, it's not designed to power things from the USB port, it's designed to send data out the USB port.  The proper way to run things is have the guide camera/ future EAF plug into a powered USB hub which *then* plugs into the NUC USB port ...



#30 marter

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 01:11 AM

You are in serious danger here of problems, maybe of destroying something.  You're stating things in a peculiar fashion.

 

You need the documentation for the mount.  This may be helpful.

 

https://www.ioptron....0_GEM45-NUC.pdf

 

There's no mount generated 19V out for the NUC.  It has two 19V jacks, an input and an output.  You put 19V in and then the NUC takes it out.  As I said previously 12V may work.

 

I don't understand "pull 5VDC from the NUC output".  My NUC has no 5 VDC output.  Most AP devices that need power use 12 VDC, a few like the guide camera and the new EAF take power from the USB data connection.  The iOptron power ports are 12 VDC.  That does come from the 12 VDC power that goes into the mount.

 

My power supply for everything is a 12VDC 35Ah deep cycle battery.  Until recently I ran everything from that.  I recently put a 12V-19V converter in front of the NUC.  It's helpful for me, but not necessary.

 

 

Umm ... no.  That 5V you're planning on pulling from the NUC comes from the USB port, yes?  The NUC is not a phone charger, it's not designed to power things from the USB port, it's designed to send data out the USB port.  The proper way to run things is have the guide camera/ future EAF plug into a powered USB hub which *then* plugs into the NUC USB port ...

Thanks for the input, good thing I haven't plugged anything in yet ;-). I'm still digging into this and learning, and I appreciate the comments. It's late, I'm going to bed and figure this out tomorrow. I'll have questions.

 

Thanks


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#31 drd715

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 07:43 AM

Keep in mind the tripod itself.   Whether it comes with the mount or you are attaching the mount head to your own tripod.  A tripod - thicker legged heavy duty cross braced and tensioned will keep the "shakes" under control much better than a standard camera tripod.  Most of the dedicated EQ mid to larger size mounts come with a visual quality tripod.  Even if you are looking at a specific mount, check the tripod specs. If useing the generic tripod with stainless steel pipe legs, go for the 2 inch legs as a minimum 


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#32 DeepSky Di

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 08:29 AM

I get the ASIAir thing. If they were available, I'd consider it a viable option. But the integration of an Intel NUC with the GEM45 and it's through-mount wiring seems like a very clean option. I'm still digging in to it but it looks pretty attractive as a solution, albeit more expensive. I've been using PHD2, SharpCap Pro and Astro Photography Tool on a laptop for PA, guiding, plate solving and sequencing with my DSLR and zoom lens, so I'm comfortable with the use of those tools already. Granted, I'll be adding goto functionality and a more extensive use of APT (or NINA possibly) but again, ASIAir is not available and no idea when they will be, so when I finally get a goto mount I want to take full advantage of it.

 

Thanks for the info on the Bluetti LiPo option, looks very attractive. More reasonable than a Jackery. And it looks like I could run the Nikon dummy battery off it as well. Still trying to put all this together but that looks like a good option. I really don't want to change batteries during the night if I can avoid it.

 

Thanks for the reply and info.
 

I strongly considered a NUC for my first rig until I also realized I would need a powered hub and / or dew heater controller. I am still considering all options for a second rig. I really like the idea of through mounting cables.

 

There is a strong rumor elsewhere on CN that ASIAIRs may arrive in the US stores in limited quantity around now so pre ordering one may be useful, if you can  cancel the pre order if and when it doesn't arrive as expected.

 

The other advice is, upon receiving a pile of new equipment, to get one new thing working at a time. If more than one, it reduces your capability to troubleshoot.


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#33 marter

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 12:34 PM

I strongly considered a NUC for my first rig until I also realized I would need a powered hub and / or dew heater controller. I am still considering all options for a second rig. I really like the idea of through mounting cables.

 

There is a strong rumor elsewhere on CN that ASIAIRs may arrive in the US stores in limited quantity around now so pre ordering one may be useful, if you can  cancel the pre order if and when it doesn't arrive as expected.

 

The other advice is, upon receiving a pile of new equipment, to get one new thing working at a time. If more than one, it reduces your capability to troubleshoot.

I've seen those rumors, but I'm guessing that between the shutdowns in China and the supply chain fiasco that things could get worse before they get better. I hope not.

 

Good point about diving into too many things at once. I tend to do that. Pretty steep learning curve ahead of me right now.



#34 bobzeq25

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 12:58 PM

Umm ... no.  That 5V you're planning on pulling from the NUC comes from the USB port, yes?  The NUC is not a phone charger, it's not designed to power things from the USB port, it's designed to send data out the USB port.  The proper way to run things is have the guide camera/ future EAF plug into a powered USB hub which *then* plugs into the NUC USB port ...

Not my experience.  My guide cameras (I've used 3) take very little power, all work perfectly when plugged into the USB port of the NUC.  _Through_ the _unpowered_ USB hub of my CEM60.  

 

It.     Just.     Works.

 

The new EAF requires a bit more power, but is designed to work off normal USB port power.

 

"What is the amperage required for the 5v EAF?"    Support@ZWO – March 29, 2021:

    A few hundred mA.

 

Bottom line.  These things take very little power to run, you do not need a powered USB hub.  A NUC has a lot of USB ports (so no hub is needed). Each good for at least 500 mA, per the USB standards.  My NUC has 4 Type A ports (could be main camera, guide camera, focuser, filter wheel), 2 Type C ports (if your devices use these, power is abundant, much more than 500 mA).  If you have a ZWO main camera, it provides 2 more USB ports (also good for 500 mA each).

 

My main camera and focuser also take 12V power.  That's provided on the mount.  My ZWO filter wheel takes 140 mA, runs off USB, no additional power needed.

 

The idea of the iOptron NUC option was brilliant.   Excellent cable management with no hub needed for most people.  NUCs are more expensive than other mini-PCs, which is really the only drawback.

 

If you can/will use a NUC as your telescope computer, these really are high end mounts, so far as cable management is concerned.


Edited by bobzeq25, 24 May 2022 - 01:32 PM.

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#35 marter

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 04:00 PM

Umm ... no.  That 5V you're planning on pulling from the NUC comes from the USB port, yes?  The NUC is not a phone charger, it's not designed to power things from the USB port, it's designed to send data out the USB port.  The proper way to run things is have the guide camera/ future EAF plug into a powered USB hub which *then* plugs into the NUC USB port ...

Actually I think it's designed to do both. According to Intel's NUC spec, the USB-C Thunderbolt port provides 3 Amps @ 5v, and the 3 USB-A ports provide a maximum of 900mA of 5v on each.

 

My guide camera pulls 100mA @ 5v and the future EAF (the new version) pulls 200-300mA @ 5v, so both should run just fine off the NUC. The NUC is powered from the mount's 19v out port, and I'll power the mount and camera (DSLR for now, cooled later) off a LiFePo battery pack.

 

At least that's the plan.
 



#36 bobzeq25

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 04:16 PM

The NUC is powered from the mount's 19v out port

 

As I said before, it isn't.  It's powered by an external source feeding into the input NUC power jack.  The mount system (input NUC power jack fixed, NUC output power jack moves with the NUC) is just cable management.  NOT power.  Just two jacks connected by wires.
 


Edited by bobzeq25, 24 May 2022 - 04:16 PM.

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#37 Sacred Heart

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 05:06 PM

Question,  NUC needs 19vdc,  could a common 20vdc DeWalt tool battery work?? 4Ah or whatever they have and for how long??   I've heard of people using EGO batteries to power astro gear.     Just asking,   Joe

 

https://powertoolsad...eel-adapter-abs

 

https://www.lowes.co...RGER/5013145385



#38 marter

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 05:59 PM

As I said before, it isn't.  It's powered by an external source feeding into the input NUC power jack.  The mount system (input NUC power jack fixed, NUC output power jack moves with the NUC) is just cable management.  NOT power.  Just two jacks connected by wires.
 

I finally figured that out Bob. It's a pass through from the NUC adapter.

 

So one option is AC power using both adapters (mount and NUC) or 12VDC with the booster you linked. Your previous statement "My power supply for everything is a 12VDC 35Ah deep cycle battery.  Until recently I ran everything from that.  I recently put a 12V-19V converter in front of the NUC.  It's helpful for me, but not necessary." interests me. Was that with the NUC mount? Did the 35Ah last you all night?



#39 bobzeq25

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 06:38 PM

I finally figured that out Bob. It's a pass through from the NUC adapter.

 

So one option is AC power using both adapters (mount and NUC) or 12VDC with the booster you linked. Your previous statement "My power supply for everything is a 12VDC 35Ah deep cycle battery.  Until recently I ran everything from that.  I recently put a 12V-19V converter in front of the NUC.  It's helpful for me, but not necessary." interests me. Was that with the NUC mount? Did the 35Ah last you all night?

I have a CEM60, not a NUC mount.  A NUC sits on a shelf in my observatory, as close as possible to the scope, without interference.

 

The 35 Ah lasts me about 8 hours, since I got the 19V converter.  That's as long as the old man needs.  I do not use dew heaters, you'd need a bigger battery with those.


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#40 bobzeq25

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 06:39 PM

Question,  NUC needs 19vdc,  could a common 20vdc DeWalt tool battery work?? 4Ah or whatever they have and for how long??   I've heard of people using EGO batteries to power astro gear.     Just asking,   Joe

 

https://powertoolsad...eel-adapter-abs

 

https://www.lowes.co...RGER/5013145385

The usual Intel spec is 12-19V.  It varies some with the exact model.



#41 Sacred Heart

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 07:18 PM

12v - 19v converter is better option,  one battery does it all.      Thanks,   Joe



#42 marter

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 07:37 PM

The usual Intel spec is 12-19V.  It varies some with the exact model.

It appears that the 12v is for the older original versions. I'm pretty sure the one I ordered is 19v.

 

12v - 19v converter is better option,  one battery does it all.      Thanks,   Joe

I agree. I'm looking at something like this https://dakotalithiu...-motor-battery/. They seem to have good reviews, 54ah and 17.6 lbs. It would be nice to have something like this battery box https://dakotalithiu...r-box-12v-10ah/ but they don't seem to make a box like that for larger batteries.



#43 marter

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Posted 25 May 2022 - 08:17 AM

Thanks for everyone's input on this. I've ordered a GEM45-NUC and Intel NUC pc, and picked up an Askar FRA400 here in the classifieds. Lots to figure out and learn, but I'm looking forward to a big step forward in my journey.

 

Clear skies to all.


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