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

Laptop or tablet?

  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 bigbangbaby

bigbangbaby

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 530
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2020
  • Loc: NE Ohio

Posted 05 August 2022 - 04:38 PM

First, I want to say I've not tried EAA yet. But I'm thinking about it. In the meantime, I have an SW az-gti mount and an Astro-Gadgets kit for my Super Polaris. I currently use my Iphone to run the SW mount via wifi to SynScan and Sky Safari. The handshake between the two programs on the iPhone is a bit iffy. The screen is tiny and battery life short. I'm thinking either an Android tablet or a small laptop, with the thought that I may gravitate to EAA at some point. Which do you prefer for EAA and mount control? Any particular models to look at or avoid? Thank you.



#2 petert913

petert913

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5,349
  • Joined: 27 May 2013
  • Loc: Silverton, OR

Posted 05 August 2022 - 04:57 PM

I prefer to be as wireless as possible.  Laptops are too restrictive for me.


  • MikeHC8 likes this

#3 Jim Davis

Jim Davis

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 5,254
  • Joined: 05 Jul 2014
  • Loc: Lewisberry, PA

Posted 05 August 2022 - 05:00 PM

I prefer to be as wireless as possible.  Laptops are too restrictive for me.

I'm the opposite. Wired connections are reliable. I just have a small table and chair and control everything from a comfy seat.


  • oneuke, Steve Cox and OldManSky like this

#4 Bean614

Bean614

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,954
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2015
  • Loc: Mass.

Posted 05 August 2022 - 05:13 PM

Just personal,  but after Many years of controlling mounts from dozens of brands, with the various versions of SkySafari,  I find a 7 or 8 inch Android tablet to be the sweet spot.


  • bigbangbaby likes this

#5 alphatripleplus

alphatripleplus

    World Controller

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 130,683
  • Joined: 09 Mar 2012
  • Loc: Georgia

Posted 05 August 2022 - 05:32 PM

 Which do you prefer for EAA and mount control? Any particular models to look at or avoid? Thank you.

If you want to use SharpCap ( the most widely used EAA software), it runs only on Windows. In general,  laptops will give you more choices when it comes to running EAA software vs tablets. 


  • oneuke, psandelle, Der_Pit and 1 other like this

#6 alphatripleplus

alphatripleplus

    World Controller

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 130,683
  • Joined: 09 Mar 2012
  • Loc: Georgia

Posted 05 August 2022 - 05:35 PM

Moving to Astronomy Software & Computers for a potentially better fit.



#7 astrohamp

astrohamp

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 704
  • Joined: 01 Jan 2020
  • Loc: Massachusetts, Vermont sometimes

Posted 05 August 2022 - 10:03 PM

I found a 12v powered Win 10 tablet and use it at the mount for polar alignment, focusing, and some object goto.  Occasionally I will not bother with disconnecting the Win 10 laptop from Remote Desktop and carry it out for any early adjustments that need to be made.

 

Tablet easy to carry, less prone to moisture, much less expensive, almost expendable if an accident occurs.  Touchscreen usually gets in the way.

 

Laptop more powerful, much better/bigger screen, illuminated keyboard, not fragile but needs handling care, not something I would want to see in an accident.

 

Both can be used as a control computer able to run the same software as well as operate as a dumb Remote Desktop terminal.


  • bigbangbaby likes this

#8 MunichAtNight

MunichAtNight

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 192
  • Joined: 04 Dec 2020
  • Loc: Munich - Germany

Posted 06 August 2022 - 02:35 AM

Hello!

 

Meanwhile I use as EAA computer a

 

LENOVO Idea PAD 3, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, 512 GB micro SD in SD slot, Windows 10 PRO, builtin WLAN

 

in the second year. In the first year it worked in combination with a Celestron Nexstar where it was fixed to the telescope.

 

Nerina - EAA controller
 
 
Beginning this year I changed the mount to a Skywatcher AZ-EQ5, which offered the possibility to fix it directly to the mount and where it was enough space to have an additional power bank for the laptop. It allows me to run the computer for about 6 hours and more.
 
nerone lenovo 01
 
Because of fixing the laptop to the mount it is rather easy to change the telescope and keep the computer on the mount. Each mount has it's own set of cables. I use with this combination a Skywatcher 200PDS, a Skywatcher 130PDS and since this week a Skywatcher Quattro 150P.
 
Looking into the history, mount changed, telescope changed, Laptop stayed!
 
What I like most with the lenovo Idea PAD is, that it is a two part computer. One part is the computer itself with touch screen, battery, 2x USB-3 sockets, second part is a complete removable keyboard with mouse-pad and own battery. Keyboard can communicate by bluetooth to main unit. So it possible to control the pad "on site" by the touch screen when necessary, in my living room when doing any setup, software upgrades etc. I use the bluetooth key board.
 
Doing EAA, I use to control my setup Windows remote desktop, which can be done from any windows computer as well as from an Android device with a remote desktop APP. I have very close to the telescope site in my garden an additional WLAN access point. Therefore WLAN doesn't causes 't any problem. The mount itself has a second power bank to run the mount and any other 12 V equipment which needs 12V. So I don't need any AC power connection in the garden.
 
Servus MunichAtNight - Ewald

 


  • bigbangbaby and Far_Southern_Skies like this

#9 bigbangbaby

bigbangbaby

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 530
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2020
  • Loc: NE Ohio

Posted 06 August 2022 - 05:21 PM

^^Looks to be a versatile kit: tablet + wireless keyboard and running windows. 



#10 BrentKnight

BrentKnight

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 4,976
  • Joined: 29 Dec 2014
  • Loc: Foley, Alabama

Posted 08 August 2022 - 12:14 AM

First, I want to say I've not tried EAA yet. But I'm thinking about it. In the meantime, I have an SW az-gti mount and an Astro-Gadgets kit for my Super Polaris. I currently use my Iphone to run the SW mount via wifi to SynScan and Sky Safari. The handshake between the two programs on the iPhone is a bit iffy. The screen is tiny and battery life short. I'm thinking either an Android tablet or a small laptop, with the thought that I may gravitate to EAA at some point. Which do you prefer for EAA and mount control? Any particular models to look at or avoid? Thank you.

I prefer a mini-PC at the mount that I can access with RDP from practically any device.  My normal devices for remote access are my permanent laptop in my study, a Samsung Tab A7 Lite (running SS7 Pro) or a Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (Windows tablet with a keyboard/mouse) that I can take out to make adjustments at the mount.  The mini-PC makes it possible to use almost any other devices that you already have.



#11 SapperUp

SapperUp

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 511
  • Joined: 24 Jan 2017
  • Loc: Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada

Posted 08 August 2022 - 09:06 AM

I picked up the 10" Firetablet from Amazon to control my entire ASI Air setup with success. The Google play store doesn't come on there natively but by following a simple YouTube tutorial, you'll have it in 10 minutes. The fire Tablets are affordable as well.
  • bigbangbaby likes this

#12 bigbangbaby

bigbangbaby

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 530
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2020
  • Loc: NE Ohio

Posted 08 August 2022 - 06:03 PM

I prefer a mini-PC at the mount that I can access with RDP from practically any device.  My normal devices for remote access are my permanent laptop in my study, a Samsung Tab A7 Lite (running SS7 Pro) or a Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (Windows tablet with a keyboard/mouse) that I can take out to make adjustments at the mount.  The mini-PC makes it possible to use almost any other devices that you already have.

Interesting. Connection to the mini-PC is wireless? Any noticeable delay with remote desktop? Is the mini-PC dew proof?



#13 BrentKnight

BrentKnight

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 4,976
  • Joined: 29 Dec 2014
  • Loc: Foley, Alabama

Posted 08 August 2022 - 07:53 PM

Interesting. Connection to the mini-PC is wireless? Any noticeable delay with remote desktop? Is the mini-PC dew proof?

Yes - completely wireless.  All connections from the telescope go into the mini-PC (mine has 4 USB3 ports and a USBC) or the USB hub on the camera, or the mount directly.  I connect it to a travel router (to create an AP) so I can use it away from my house, but other than that it works really well.

 

I just switched to a mesh network here and have not had a chance to test with that.  Before this though I had a standard Linksys router (AP) in the center of the house, and an extender near the garage.  Using SharpCap I had no issues accessing the mini from the opposite side of the house.  The mesh has even better coverage.  MS RDP (available in Pro and usually installed on mini-PCs) is very fast.  It only transmits screen refreshes (at about 30 fps) and feels just like I'm connected directly to the box.

 

Typically if you do see a slowdown, it's from an underpowered PC and not the RDP connection.  If you are near the edge of your WiFi coverage, it might be slower too.  Also note that because all the software/hardware runs on the remote mini-PC, if I do lose connection nothing is lost.  I just connect back up and everything is still working on the mini.

 

No issues with dew here in south Alabama.  The little mini is it's own dew heater (mine is fanless) and I could probably use it as a hand warmer in the winter.

 

I use an i5 processor, but some get away with a Celeron.  I use a lot of the enhancements in SharpCap so the faster processor is preferred.

 

 

Sony Style.jpg

 

This is one of the ways I like to do my sessions...

 

Beelink on the tripod.jpg

 

Beelink on the tripod...

 

 

 

 

 


  • OldManSky and bigbangbaby like this

#14 bigbangbaby

bigbangbaby

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 530
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2020
  • Loc: NE Ohio

Posted 09 August 2022 - 08:21 AM

Thank you, Brent for sharing the details of your setup! Well thought out and supports numerous connectivity options. I’m strictly visual at the moment but viewing a big flat screen away from the bugs has its advantages. 



#15 BrentKnight

BrentKnight

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 4,976
  • Joined: 29 Dec 2014
  • Loc: Foley, Alabama

Posted 09 August 2022 - 08:24 AM

Sorry...missed (or forgot about) the visual part.  Most likely overkill for what you want to do.



#16 bigbangbaby

bigbangbaby

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 530
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2020
  • Loc: NE Ohio

Posted 09 August 2022 - 08:36 AM

Overkill perhaps, but it looks to handle anything from casual EAA to full-out AP. I haven't taken the plunge into either yet. AP may be more than I want to get into, but EAA is compelling. Thanks again.


  • BrentKnight likes this

#17 BrentKnight

BrentKnight

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 4,976
  • Joined: 29 Dec 2014
  • Loc: Foley, Alabama

Posted 09 August 2022 - 09:39 AM

I really enjoy it.  Still like eyeball to eyepiece observing, but it's nice to be able to see lot's more detail and without the heat/cold/mosquitos.



#18 Jeff Morgan

Jeff Morgan

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 14,258
  • Joined: 28 Sep 2003
  • Loc: Prescott, AZ

Posted 09 August 2022 - 10:33 AM

First, I want to say I've not tried EAA yet. But I'm thinking about it. In the meantime, I have an SW az-gti mount and an Astro-Gadgets kit for my Super Polaris. I currently use my Iphone to run the SW mount via wifi to SynScan and Sky Safari. The handshake between the two programs on the iPhone is a bit iffy. The screen is tiny and battery life short. I'm thinking either an Android tablet or a small laptop, with the thought that I may gravitate to EAA at some point. Which do you prefer for EAA and mount control? Any particular models to look at or avoid? Thank you.

 

Years ago I tried the Malincam with USB connections so I could use my laptop. What a hassle.

 

Screen was too bright.

Keyboard was too bright.

Cables.

Power.

Needs protecting from dew/frost/dust ingress.

Too big.

I didn't want to risk an expensive laptop at a dusty dark site and I didn't want to use a cheap flimsy laptop.

 

OTOH, I have been using an iPad for years to run my ServoCAT Dob, and now use it for AP with the ASIAir.

 

The comparison in tablet form factor is much better than laptop form factor. It is more robust for outdoor use. Battery lasts longer. Screen and processor are excellent, like a high-end laptop (on the Apple side, not familiar with what Android is using).

 

And of course wireless. My winter parka has an inside mesh cargo pouch and the iPad fits in it. But most of the time I just run my imaging from inside the house.

 

Too bad more software authors don't scrape the rust off of their imaginations and move their apps to tablets.


  • bigbangbaby likes this


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