Question from a prospective buyer: networking


joe@...
 

I've read through a number of conversations/questions about having the PMC-8 use DHCP to join a LAN. I haven't seen a solution.  Does a recipe exist?


If not, is there an engineering reason that LAN functionality is precluded from ever being implemented?


I've seen helpful documentation of configuring a PC with putty to use a terminal window to TELNET to a PMC-8.  Does a PMC-8 support ssh, and can you disable telnet?  In the internet of things, if PMC-8 joins a LAN, it potentially could be hacked.


Is there a recipe for using an ethernet cable to connect a laptop to a PMC-8 instead of wifi?


There are some DSLR's that can already be controlled and read out via wifi from a laptop.  We are living in the Age of Fastar. Dedicated astrocams that readout over wifi  so as not to drape wires in front of and SCT corrector is just around the corner. I really hope that there is no fundamental limitation to LAN connectivity, and that a camera and a PM-8 can join the same LAN so that a laptop can control both a mount and a camera.  Imagine, for example, controlling your mount and recording astrophotos from inside a house on a cold winter's night. It would be a pity to throw out $1000 electronics in a year because it can't join a LAN




W. Christopher Moses
 

It's definitely possible to run the mount through a serial connection.  That's how I use it all the time.

Sorry, It's been too long since I used wifi to answer the other questions.


hubbell_jerry@...
 

The WiFi module used in the PMC-Eight can be reconfigured as a station on a WAN versus as an access point. There is an Application Note I created to do just that. The Application Note tells you what to do to change the configuration but not how it needs to be changed. That needs to be worked out as far as the settings are concerned. Early on (3 years ago) we demonstrated the configuration for connecting to a WAN but have not done any work on this since then. See this knowledge base article:


Most, if not all of your other questions may be already answered on our knowledge base:


Please spend some time browsing those and then I will be pleased to answer any other questions you may have.

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.



r_hoskin@...
 

Joe,

My Nikon D5300 will support a wifi connection, and when I was researching how best to integrate all this kit for AP, the advice I ran into was that for astrophotography use, it should be disabled.  This for the very good reason that it's an additional source of heat within the camera.  Someone running on battery might also care about power consumption.  So I live with cables...

One of my requirements was portability, so I sourced a small laptop for scope control. I serial-attach the PMC-8, and USB-attach the camera, etc.  The laptop runs all the control programs: POTH, CdC, BYN, Sharpcap, and AstroTortilla.  It's self-sufficient if I were to take it somewhere dark, but while in my back yard and in reach of my home router, I can manage it remotely from a laptop in my den with TightVNC.

Hope this helps...

- Bob


Jennifer Shelly
 


hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Jennifer,

It seems like I have read this article before. Yes, based on how it is using the serial port on the mount controller, and also mapping a com port to the Bluetooth wireless device on the computer, it should theoretically work. I would say give it a try. There is nothing there that seems like it would not work with the PMC-Eight. You need to switch the PMC-Eight to the serial port communications, but that's easy to do.

It looks like what this does is substitute the serial cable with a Bluetooth virtual serial cable. One thing to keep in mind is that the range will not be very large as compared to the WiFi connection already supplied with the PMC-Eight and PMC-Eight ASCOM driver. The other thing to know is that the Baud rate for the PMC-Eight is 115,200 which the Bluetooth connection must support.

Thanks for sharing

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC


Jennifer Shelly
 

Thanks Jerry. Good to know. 


W. Christopher Moses
 

jmizen,
    Not that it does not answer your question, but here is how I have things set-up. It might give you some ideas.
I have a PC on top of the scope which is connected to the PMC-8 via serial.  When I'm at a remote site, I bring my own router and put it under the mount.  The mini-PC joins the network and then I can RDP into the mini-pc.
If there is wifi at the site and you want to join that network, I use a software bridge to have one NIC on the public network and the "Real" one on my network.
I've only used it once or twice, but it seems to work well.  I'm sure Mac must be capable of doing the same thing.


Steve Siedentop
 

jmizen -

I use a similar setup.  I have an Intel Compute Stick (CS-125) mounted on the scope running Win 10 Pro, connected via the PMC-8 serial port.  I have a wifi router that I bring to the field that runs on 12 volts DC.  You'll find that most home routers run on 12 volts and draw from 1 to 3 amps.  Using the wifi network that I set up on the field with the router, I connect via RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol built in to Windows) using an RDP client on my iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro, or whatever device I happen to bring with me.  This remote capability comes in very handy at astronomy club meetings where I find myself shaking a lot of hands throughout the night.

One could use such a setup to control the mount over the internet by using port forwarding on the router to allow you to connect via RDP to the computer running your imaging rig.

A couple of items to note:

*I keep the router 5+ feet away from the mount, which seems to mitigate wifi connection problems.
*I run WiFiScope (free from Sequence Generator Pro) so I can control the mount with SkySafai when I'm not imaging.
*I use Cartes du Ciel to control the scope when I am imaging, going through the ASCOM POTH virtual hub.  It's lightweight compared to other options and has a comprehensive object database.

-Steve



W. Christopher Moses
 

You could also use TeamViewer for remote internet access, assuming the scope's computer has internet.  It works very well, but requires internet access and I prefer the way RDP handles screen scaling.

On Friday, June 22, 2018, 5:36:07 PM EDT, sdsiedentop@... [ESPMC-Eight] wrote:


 

jmizen -

I use a similar setup.  I have an Intel Compute Stick (CS-125) mounted on the scope running Win 10 Pro, connected via the PMC-8 serial port.  I have a wifi router that I bring to the field that runs on 12 volts DC.  You'll find that most home routers run on 12 volts and draw from 1 to 3 amps.  Using the wifi network that I set up on the field with the router, I connect via RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol built in to Windows) using an RDP client on my iPhone, iPad, MacBook Pro, or whatever device I happen to bring with me.  This remote capability comes in very handy at astronomy club meetings where I find myself shaking a lot of hands throughout the night.

One could use such a setup to control the mount over the internet by using port forwarding on the router to allow you to connect via RDP to the computer running your imaging rig.

A couple of items to note:

*I keep the router 5+ feet away from the mount, which seems to mitigate wifi connection problems.
*I run WiFiScope (free from Sequence Generator Pro) so I can control the mount with SkySafai when I'm not imaging.
*I use Cartes du Ciel to control the scope when I am imaging, going through the ASCOM POTH virtual hub.  It's lightweight compared to other options and has a comprehensive object database.

-Steve