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locked Raspberry Pi


Kent Marts- Explore Scientific Customer Service
 

A question has come up about how many people are using a Raspberry Pi to run the PMC-Eight system.

If you are using, have used, or try to use this cool little computer, please weigh-in and let us know your results.

Thanks in advance!
--
Kent Marts
Customer Service
Explore Scientific

Gear: Anything in the store!


Suarez Tizoc
 

hola from costa rica
i am using the asiair (the old version) and works great on the iexos100

let me know when there is a good sale for a explore scientific fcd100 127 either carbon or the regular one :)
still wanting to upgrade to that one someday

greetings and stay safe


On Jun 4, 2020, at 4:22 PM, Kent Marts Explore Scientific Customer Service <kent@...> wrote:

A question has come up about how many people are using a Raspberry Pi to run the PMC-Eight system.

If you are using, have used, or try to use this cool little computer, please weigh-in and let us know your results.

Thanks in advance!
--
Kent Marts
Customer Service
Explore Scientific

Gear: Anything in the store!



Vince White
 

Hey Kent,

I've been running a Raspberry PI4 4GB model tied to an EXOS2-GT PMC-Eight system via FTDI USB serial cable for about a year now.  I use INDI + Kstars + EKOS + PHD2 to do everything AP locally in the field and VNC to the Raspberry PI4 with either my laptop or phone to manage the system and it's worked very well once I worked out all the kinks.

A few comments about PMC-Eight specifically with the RPI4:
  • The INDI PMC-Eight driver is still BETA and I've had a few issues with parking, then having the mount loose its orientation and strike the mount after an un-park then slew.  I've learned basically never to park and power-cycle the PMC-Eight if I do need to 'un-park'.  From the Issues section of the above link:
  • The PMC-Eight driver is under development and needs testing - please be aware and always be observant of the mount when doing slews and parking.
  • When you park the mount it is recommended to disconnect the driver from the mount and power the mount down as well before connecting again.
  • At least for the RPI4, the current Raspbian kernel version 4.19.x refuses to connect to the PMC-Eight via WiFi.  If I use a WiFi USB dongle/adapter, it connects fine.  I've recently switched to the Raspbian 5.4.x kernel and the onboard WiFi now connects fine to the PMC-Eight via WiFi, so I guess they fixed something in the WiFi driver.
Currently I'm booting/running the RPI4 via a USB3 connected SATA SSD.  I'm currently doing my own custom Linux for the RPI4, but for someone just starting out, I'd recommend they try this first: https://www.astroberry.io/

Regards,
Vince

--
Mount: ES PMC-8 EXOS2-GT
Scopes: BRESSER 208mm f/3.9 Newt + ES HR Coma Corrector, Celestron C90 Mak, generic 50/191mm guide scope
Cameras:  Canon 5DmkII, Canon EOSm, T7C (ZWO ASI120MC clone)
Misc: 2" Optolong UHC filter, Raspberry PI 4
Software: INDI + Kstars + EKOS, DeepSkyStacker, GIMP, Lightroom


Dominick Tuccio
 

I started out using a Raspberry Pi 3B+ running KStars/Ekos. The Raspberry Pi was connected to the PMC-8 unit directly with a USB-Serial cable. (I did experiment with having the PMC-8 connect directly to my home wifi at one point, but that led to some issues). I had this setup running successfully in two different configurations.

Configuration 1: with a portable 10" HDMI display connected to the Raspberry Pi, I could fairly easily control the mount in the field with astrometry.net running locally on the Raspberry Pi for plate solving.

Configuration 2: operating the mount remotely by connecting a copy of KStars/Ekos running on my MacBook Pro to the KStars/Ekos running on the Raspberry Pi outside over wifi. 

I probably could have reduced the workload on the Raspberry Pi by running only INDI Server in configuration 2, but it was much easier to just have a single method that could operate in both configurations.

So my experience with the Raspberry Pi is that it is really capable of controlling the mount both directly and as a middle-man between the PMC-8 and another computer, but it has its limitations, especially if you want a compact all-in-one system for controlling the mount and processing images. Also, installing the latest version of KStars (KStars-bleeding) and INDI was a bit tricky since the OS used on the Raspberry Pi is not a full blown desktop Linux, some software libraries, etc. seem to not be easily available for the ARM version of Linux so some stuff has to be compiled from source. Also the default Raspbian OS is based on Debian which is less friendly when it comes to installing software packages. I recommend using the third-party Ubuntu version found on the raspberry pi website. I've used both Linux versions on the Raspberry Pi and found the Ubuntu version to make software installs easier though if I remember correctly, the Ubuntu version lacks some of the Raspberry Pi specific stuff that is present in Raspbian.

I recently switched to the LattePanda Alpha 864s (more powerful but also significantly more expensive). The Alpha is still setup the same way that the Raspberry Pi was, but with a full desktop Linux install instead of Raspbian, and a dual boot of Windows 10 (I rarely use it, but its there if I want to play around with ASCOM or Windows only software). The Alpha is basically a stripped down laptop board without the display and a form-factor only slightly larger than the Raspberry Pi. I figure this lets me just take one device when I go on trips with the telescope and still be able to do image processing, and other processor intensive tasks. Another plus (maybe) is that the Alpha can use 12V for input power, so I could get away with the entire setup running off a single 12volt power source.

I hope this is helpful to anyone looking at using a Raspberry Pi or similar.
--
Dominick Tuccio
Long, Island, New York
Telescope: 8 inch Meade LX200 ACF
Imaging Cameras: Pentax K3, ZWO ASI183MM Pro w/ ASI EFW and Baader LRGB filters
Guide Camera: ZWO ASI120MM-S
Mount: EXOS2-GT w/PMC-8
Mount Controller: LattePanda Alpha 864s with Linux Mint 
Software: KSTARS/EKOS, INDI, still playing around with different image processing software.


Matthew Krauft
 

Hey Kent. I have two of them en route. One should be here in a week or so, and who knows about the other one.
If someone is interested in buying one, I suggest purchasing on ZWO’s website directly. They processed my order in 2 weeks. Shipping is looking to be 2 weeks as well. The other one I purchased was from an online retailer. I ordered that one in mid April, and have no idea when it will arrive.
Kent, I’d be happy to bring one of my rigs by ES, or you can come out to my first light if you’d like? I’m guessing about a week before it arrives. I believe it’s hung up in customs.

-Matt


Vince White
 

Oh, I forgot to add that I think that the Raspberry PI versions before the PI 4 are a bit too slow in terms of CPU capacity.  On my RPI4 with additional cooling in a metal case, I'm overclocking the CPU to 2GHz to get increased performance.  I'm also recompiling a tweaked version of the 64bit kernel to gain a bit more performance.  FYI, for those messing around with this, I've found that Manjaro ARM had the best out of the box performance of all of the stock Linux distributions.

-Vince.
--
Mount: ES PMC-8 EXOS2-GT
Scopes: BRESSER 208mm f/3.9 Newt + ES HR Coma Corrector, Celestron C90 Mak, generic 50/191mm guide scope
Cameras:  Canon 5DmkII, Canon EOSm, T7C (ZWO ASI120MC clone)
Misc: 2" Optolong UHC filter, Raspberry PI 4
Software: INDI + Kstars + EKOS, DeepSkyStacker, GIMP, Lightroom


Omar Rahman
 

Hi Kent,

I am using an Asiair (original-works great) and have an Asiair Pro on order. I also have a Stellarmate for which I downloaded the OS and put on a Pi4 myself. I control with my phone or a tablet. The Asiair works great and I can be imaging in about 20 minutes. Stellarmate I use for visual typically (since it interfaces with Skysafari and sometimes when I need to phd2 directly due to checking parameters or for testing guide settings. Asiair has a basic version of phd2 where you can change guide exposure time, aggressiveness, and some other settings, but cannot do diagnostics or many detailed settings.

I do mostly imaging and maximizing sky time has been invaluable. It also makes the process portable and cuts down on the power requirement significantly.

Omar
--

Scope:        
ES ED102
Mounts
:      ES EXOS2-PMC-8, SkyWatcher Star Adventurer
Cameras:   ASI1600MM Pro, Nikon D7500
Lens:
          Nikon 200-500mm, Tamron 70-200mm G2, Nikon 120mm manual lens
Misc:          ZWO ASI120Mini Guide Camera, ZWO 30mm mini guidescope, Stellarmate, Asiair
Software:  Kstars, SkySafari, ExploreStars (android), Pixinsight, DeepSkyStacker, Regim, Astrostakkert, LR/PS, RNC-color-stretch
Computer:  Macbook Pro, Surface Pro 4, iPhone, Fire 7


Pavel
 

Hi Kent,

I am also using RaspberryPi 4 (4GB) with the Astroberry distribution
with my iExos-100. At the moment for visual observation only, but...

I also made a DIY hand controller from an Arduino, a thumb joystick and
a small LCD display, usable to adjust the telescope, slew speed,
park/unpark, aso.
I added also a database of sky objects to select and go to from the
controller. Maybe not as fancy as just using SkySafari on a phone
screen, but a bit more fun for people who like customization and DIY
projects.

Best regards,
Pavel


Irimie Bogdan
 

Hi Kent, all,

I'm also using Raspberry Pi 4 4gb with EKOS + Kstars with my  EXOS-2.
Doing all orchestration with it from polar alignment, plate solving, guiding and picture acquisition plan.
By now all is working really great.

Kind regards
Bogdan

On Mon, Jul 6, 2020 at 9:34 PM Pavel <pavel.vondricka@...> wrote:
Hi Kent,

I am also using RaspberryPi 4 (4GB) with the Astroberry distribution
with my iExos-100. At the moment for visual observation only, but...

I also made a DIY hand controller from an Arduino, a thumb joystick and
a small LCD display, usable to adjust the telescope, slew speed,
park/unpark, aso.
I added also a database of sky objects to select and go to from the
controller. Maybe not as fancy as just using SkySafari on a phone
screen, but a bit more fun for people who like customization and DIY
projects.

Best regards,
Pavel




Mirko Gude
 

Hi Bogdan,

that’s very interesting, maybe you can describe some details? After some attempts with "Mac OS only“ I’ve bought a Raspberry Pi (Model 4) and it looks very promising.

How do you connect the Raspberry with the PMC8? Wifi or serial? If serial, how do you switch the PMC8 to serial with the Raspberry Pi via command line?

And it is better to connect the Raspberry Pi via VNC and control KStars/Ekos over VNC? Or do you use a second KStar/Ekos installation which is connect with the Raspberry pi? (As I understood it, this is also possible)

If you could say something about this, that would be nice!

Best regards, 
Mirko



Am 08.07.2020 um 07:46 schrieb Irimie Bogdan <bogdanirimie@...>:

Hi Kent, all,

I'm also using Raspberry Pi 4 4gb with EKOS + Kstars with my  EXOS-2.
Doing all orchestration with it from polar alignment, plate solving, guiding and picture acquisition plan.
By now all is working really great.

Kind regards
Bogdan

On Mon, Jul 6, 2020 at 9:34 PM Pavel <pavel.vondricka@...> wrote:
Hi Kent,

I am also using RaspberryPi 4 (4GB) with the Astroberry distribution
with my iExos-100. At the moment for visual observation only, but...

I also made a DIY hand controller from an Arduino, a thumb joystick and
a small LCD display, usable to adjust the telescope, slew speed,
park/unpark, aso.
I added also a database of sky objects to select and go to from the
controller. Maybe not as fancy as just using SkySafari on a phone
screen, but a bit more fun for people who like customization and DIY
projects.

Best regards,
Pavel





Vince White
 

Mirko,

I have been using a RPI4 to control a PMC-Eight for a while now.  You can do both serial or Wifi, however, I had issues with the RPI4 onboard Wifi not reliably connecting to the PMC-Eight, which was resolved when I used a Panda mini wireless N USB adapter (which is supported on the RPI4 Raspberry PI OS, so its truly plug-and-play).  To use the RPI4 to control the PMC-Eight via USB-Serial adapter, you'll need to buy and FTDI chip-set adapter cable and use the invert the DTR signal as described here.  To upgrade the PMC-Eight firmware, you'll need to use Windows and the PMC8Configuration Manager utility and you can also use this utility to easily switch between Serial and Wifi - I wouldn't recommend trying to do it by the command line.

Regarding whether to use VNC or not, the RPI4 is powerful enough to run KStars, INDI, EKOS locally, which is a benefit as you can do everything locally near the telescope and not need a computer tethered nearby.  Then you can VNC using a laptop or a VNC app on you cellphone.  I typically use the VNC app when initially adjusting my system and it is very convenient.  Check out the Astroberry project if you haven't yet, as it bundles everything nicely and is a good starting point.

One other comment is that RPI4 SD card interface is still fairly slow.  It takes a bit of effort to do, but I don't use the SD card at all on the RPI4 and instead boot/run off of an older Samsung EVO MSATA SSD with a USB 3.0 adapter - which is MUCH faster than using the SD card.  Only certain USB to SATA adapters work well with the RPI4, I'm currently using this one.  I'm also using this USB AC1200 wifi adapter with external antenna to get better Wifi reception since I have my RPI4 in a metal case, however, to use that adapter, you have to compile and install the kernel drivers yourself, which is complicated.  However, having both the external AC1200 Wifi and the SATA SSD lets me quicly transfer astro-photos to my main computer for post-processing at 15 - 20MB/s.  This also gives me a reliable connection to VNC to the RPI4, again, I was also having Wifi reception issues with the RPI4 in a metal case.

Regards,
Vince



--
Mount: ES PMC-8 EXOS2-GT
Scopes: BRESSER 208mm f/3.9 Newt + ES HR Coma Corrector, Celestron C90 Mak, generic 50/191mm guide scope
Cameras:  Canon EOS RP, T7C (ZWO ASI120MC clone)
Misc: 2" Optolong L-eNhance filter, 2" Optolong UHC filter, Raspberry PI 4
Software: INDI + Kstars + EKOS, DeepSkyStacker, GIMP, Lightroom, Photoshop, SIRIL


Mirko Gude
 

Hi Vince,

thanks for the useful information! I set up a RPi4 with KStars and all these things by my own. But I’ve also prepared an other SD Card with Astroberry, which looks also very nice.. 

Unfortunately I have no access to my mounts at the moment, so I figured it out with Teleskop Simulator. My old mount is a IEXOS 100, but today the new EXOS-2 arrived, for this new one I’ve already bought a USB to serial cable with FTDI chipset. Next week I have the chance to go to my hometown and the I will try the new mount.

But there is one bigger problem left. As I don’t own a windows machine, I have to find a way to enable the serial mode via the RPi4. Do you have an idea about this? With the IEXOS 100 I figured it out (via a Macbook), but It would be nice, If I could do it with the RPi4. 
I know, updating the firmware is also a problem without windows, Thanks for the hint to invert the cable. It seems, that Windows is also necessary for this...

Thanks and best regards, 
Mirko

Am 09.07.2020 um 15:26 schrieb Vince White <vnwhite@...>:

Mirko,

I have been using a RPI4 to control a PMC-Eight for a while now.  You can do both serial or Wifi, however, I had issues with the RPI4 onboard Wifi not reliably connecting to the PMC-Eight, which was resolved when I used a Panda mini wireless N USB adapter (which is supported on the RPI4 Raspberry PI OS, so its truly plug-and-play).  To use the RPI4 to control the PMC-Eight via USB-Serial adapter, you'll need to buy and FTDI chip-set adapter cable and use the invert the DTR signal as described here.  To upgrade the PMC-Eight firmware, you'll need to use Windows and the PMC8Configuration Manager utility and you can also use this utility to easily switch between Serial and Wifi - I wouldn't recommend trying to do it by the command line.

Regarding whether to use VNC or not, the RPI4 is powerful enough to run KStars, INDI, EKOS locally, which is a benefit as you can do everything locally near the telescope and not need a computer tethered nearby.  Then you can VNC using a laptop or a VNC app on you cellphone.  I typically use the VNC app when initially adjusting my system and it is very convenient.  Check out the Astroberry project if you haven't yet, as it bundles everything nicely and is a good starting point.

One other comment is that RPI4 SD card interface is still fairly slow.  It takes a bit of effort to do, but I don't use the SD card at all on the RPI4 and instead boot/run off of an older Samsung EVO MSATA SSD with a USB 3.0 adapter - which is MUCH faster than using the SD card.  Only certain USB to SATA adapters work well with the RPI4, I'm currently using this one.  I'm also using this USB AC1200 wifi adapter with external antenna to get better Wifi reception since I have my RPI4 in a metal case, however, to use that adapter, you have to compile and install the kernel drivers yourself, which is complicated.  However, having both the external AC1200 Wifi and the SATA SSD lets me quicly transfer astro-photos to my main computer for post-processing at 15 - 20MB/s.  This also gives me a reliable connection to VNC to the RPI4, again, I was also having Wifi reception issues with the RPI4 in a metal case.

Regards,
Vince



--
Mount: ES PMC-8 EXOS2-GT
Scopes: BRESSER 208mm f/3.9 Newt + ES HR Coma Corrector, Celestron C90 Mak, generic 50/191mm guide scope
Cameras:  Canon EOS RP, T7C (ZWO ASI120MC clone)
Misc: 2" Optolong L-eNhance filter, 2" Optolong UHC filter, Raspberry PI 4
Software: INDI + Kstars + EKOS, DeepSkyStacker, GIMP, Lightroom, Photoshop, SIRIL


Vince White
 

Mirko,

You should be able to connect to the PMC-Eight with Wifi on the RPI4 and send an "ESX!" command via Telnet to switch from Wifi to Serial, see page 39 of the developer reference.

As far as the FTDI programming, I don't thank there are any other options besides using Windows.

Vince
--

Mount: ES PMC-8 EXOS2-GT
Scopes: BRESSER 208mm f/3.9 Newt + ES HR Coma Corrector, Celestron C90 Mak, generic 50/191mm guide scope
Cameras:  Canon EOS RP, T7C (ZWO ASI120MC clone)
Misc: 2" Optolong L-eNhance filter, 2" Optolong UHC filter, Raspberry PI 4
Software: INDI + Kstars + EKOS, DeepSkyStacker, GIMP, Lightroom, Photoshop, SIRIL


Mirko Gude
 

Hi Vince,

sorry, that was a little bit unclear written by me.

I used nc (netcat) via terminal and I could change to serial mode with „ESX!“. But after this, the wifi connection is lost and I don’t know how to switch back using the RPi4.

Regards, 
Mirko



Am 09.07.2020 um 19:43 schrieb Vince White <vnwhite@...>:

Mirko,

You should be able to connect to the PMC-Eight with Wifi on the RPI4 and send an "ESX!" command via Telnet to switch from Wifi to Serial, see page 39 of the developer reference.

As far as the FTDI programming, I don't thank there are any other options besides using Windows.

Vince
--

Mount: ES PMC-8 EXOS2-GT
Scopes: BRESSER 208mm f/3.9 Newt + ES HR Coma Corrector, Celestron C90 Mak, generic 50/191mm guide scope
Cameras:  Canon EOS RP, T7C (ZWO ASI120MC clone)
Misc: 2" Optolong L-eNhance filter, 2" Optolong UHC filter, Raspberry PI 4
Software: INDI + Kstars + EKOS, DeepSkyStacker, GIMP, Lightroom, Photoshop, SIRIL


Pavel
 

(Not sure anyone answered here)
Just use a serial terminal on your RPi commandline (screen, minicom or
similar) to enter the command to your USB/serial port.

Pavel

Hi Vince,

sorry, that was a little bit unclear written by me.

I used nc (netcat) via terminal and I could change to serial mode with
„ESX!“. But after this, the wifi connection is lost and I don’t know how
to switch back using the RPi4.

Regards, 
Mirko


Mirko Gude
 

Hi Pavel,

thanks for your answer. I’ve checked minicom, but then the I found „cuteCom“ which has a GUI and for only one command it’s easier than minicom. With my IEXOS 100 it works.

Best Regards,
Mirko

Am 04.08.2020 um 20:58 schrieb Pavel <@wanthalf>:

(Not sure anyone answered here)
Just use a serial terminal on your RPi commandline (screen, minicom or
similar) to enter the command to your USB/serial port.

Pavel


Hi Vince,

sorry, that was a little bit unclear written by me.

I used nc (netcat) via terminal and I could change to serial mode with
„ESX!“. But after this, the wifi connection is lost and I don’t know how
to switch back using the RPi4.

Regards,
Mirko


--
*Mounts:* ES PMC-8 IEXOS 100, ES EXOS2-GT
*Scopes:* Skywatcher 80/600
*Cameras:* Nikon Z6, D7000
*Lens:* Sigma 150-600mm, Sigma Art 135mm/1,8, Nikon Z 50mm/1,8
*Msc:* LRTimelapse Pro Timer 2.5, Raspberry Pi4
*Software:* PixInsights, Kstars, Starry Night, Redshift


Irimie Bogdan
 

Hi all, 

Sorry for the late reply first of all. 
I will reply to the post even people have already provided some answers.

Equipment used.

RASPI 4 with 4GB 64GB storage
Exos2
Main camera Nikon D610/Nikon D3100a
Guiding camera ZWO 120M
GPS module for Location and Time Vk-162 Glonass Navigation Works
Scopes TS420 / William Optics Spacecat

Connection Method
Serial, because reliability and old school using fdti cable.

The story:
I'm mainly a Linux user and also for me was a challenge to switch the mount to serial. You can use the  terminal to connect via serial cable and run the ESX! command to switch to the com mode.
To switch back you will need a normal serial cable not programed fdti serial cable. The issues comes when you want to upgrade the firmware. For that I have an old windows box.
Connectivity to the raspi i do via VNC from laptop because the screen is bigger on the laptop but i monitor all using my tablet. Only the polar alignment and acquisition process start i do it with the laptop.
The PA is working for me only using the guidescope/camera. Via Nikon and main scope I failed.
Good thing is that with EXOS2 and a very good polar alignment I managed to get 5 min unguided at 420 mm . Im quite happy with my choice already recommended the mount to some people.

Regards
Bogdan


On Thu, Jul 9, 2020, 08:33 Mirko Gude <mgude@...> wrote:
Hi Bogdan,

that’s very interesting, maybe you can describe some details? After some attempts with "Mac OS only“ I’ve bought a Raspberry Pi (Model 4) and it looks very promising.

How do you connect the Raspberry with the PMC8? Wifi or serial? If serial, how do you switch the PMC8 to serial with the Raspberry Pi via command line?

And it is better to connect the Raspberry Pi via VNC and control KStars/Ekos over VNC? Or do you use a second KStar/Ekos installation which is connect with the Raspberry pi? (As I understood it, this is also possible)

If you could say something about this, that would be nice!

Best regards, 
Mirko



Am 08.07.2020 um 07:46 schrieb Irimie Bogdan <bogdanirimie@...>:

Hi Kent, all,

I'm also using Raspberry Pi 4 4gb with EKOS + Kstars with my  EXOS-2.
Doing all orchestration with it from polar alignment, plate solving, guiding and picture acquisition plan.
By now all is working really great.

Kind regards
Bogdan

On Mon, Jul 6, 2020 at 9:34 PM Pavel <pavel.vondricka@...> wrote:
Hi Kent,

I am also using RaspberryPi 4 (4GB) with the Astroberry distribution
with my iExos-100. At the moment for visual observation only, but...

I also made a DIY hand controller from an Arduino, a thumb joystick and
a small LCD display, usable to adjust the telescope, slew speed,
park/unpark, aso.
I added also a database of sky objects to select and go to from the
controller. Maybe not as fancy as just using SkySafari on a phone
screen, but a bit more fun for people who like customization and DIY
projects.

Best regards,
Pavel





Mirko Gude
 

Hi Bogdan,

your input is very interesting for me.

Today I’ve made some progress. I updated my EXOS2 to the latest firmware (firmware = 6B09T17AEXOS2) . As a Macuser it was not so easy, but after preparing a Win10 Machine with VirtualBox and the very useful helper tool PMC8_ConnectionManager I got success. 

I’ve used a FT232R USB UART (FTDI Chip) serial cable. After firmware update I switched to serial via terminal on the Raspberry Pi. But than I was not able to connect Kstars/Ekos over serial. With cuteCom on RPi I was not able to switch back to Wifi/TCP.

After this I’ve tried some other options (PMC8_ConnectionManager and P8-Parallax-Serial-Terminal on the virtual Windows machine and CoolTerm on the Mac). It was a little bit confusing, because after ESX! I got never the response ESX1! But never mind, at some point the Wifi connection was back again ☺ So maybe the command works in the background without showin a response.

Which cable do you use for controlling the EXOS2 via RPi4? Is it a normal one or a FTDI Chip cable? 

I found also a thread about flashing the FTDI Chip cable. 

Do you use a flashed cable?

And wow! 5 minutes unguided sounds really good for me. I’ve also made some attempts with QHY Polemaster and RPi4. But at the moment my results are not so good.

Thanks and best regards,
Mirko


Am 15.08.2020 um 19:42 schrieb Irimie Bogdan <bogdanirimie@...>:

Hi all, 

Sorry for the late reply first of all. 
I will reply to the post even people have already provided some answers.

Equipment used.

RASPI 4 with 4GB 64GB storage
Exos2
Main camera Nikon D610/Nikon D3100a
Guiding camera ZWO 120M
GPS module for Location and Time Vk-162 Glonass Navigation Works
Scopes TS420 / William Optics Spacecat

Connection Method
Serial, because reliability and old school using fdti cable.

The story:
I'm mainly a Linux user and also for me was a challenge to switch the mount to serial. You can use the  terminal to connect via serial cable and run the ESX! command to switch to the com mode.
To switch back you will need a normal serial cable not programed fdti serial cable. The issues comes when you want to upgrade the firmware. For that I have an old windows box.
Connectivity to the raspi i do via VNC from laptop because the screen is bigger on the laptop but i monitor all using my tablet. Only the polar alignment and acquisition process start i do it with the laptop.
The PA is working for me only using the guidescope/camera. Via Nikon and main scope I failed.
Good thing is that with EXOS2 and a very good polar alignment I managed to get 5 min unguided at 420 mm . Im quite happy with my choice already recommended the mount to some people.

Regards
Bogdan


On Thu, Jul 9, 2020, 08:33 Mirko Gude <mgude@...> wrote:
Hi Bogdan,

that’s very interesting, maybe you can describe some details? After some attempts with "Mac OS only“ I’ve bought a Raspberry Pi (Model 4) and it looks very promising.

How do you connect the Raspberry with the PMC8? Wifi or serial? If serial, how do you switch the PMC8 to serial with the Raspberry Pi via command line?

And it is better to connect the Raspberry Pi via VNC and control KStars/Ekos over VNC? Or do you use a second KStar/Ekos installation which is connect with the Raspberry pi? (As I understood it, this is also possible)

If you could say something about this, that would be nice!

Best regards, 
Mirko



Am 08.07.2020 um 07:46 schrieb Irimie Bogdan <bogdanirimie@...>:

Hi Kent, all,

I'm also using Raspberry Pi 4 4gb with EKOS + Kstars with my  EXOS-2.
Doing all orchestration with it from polar alignment, plate solving, guiding and picture acquisition plan.
By now all is working really great.

Kind regards
Bogdan

On Mon, Jul 6, 2020 at 9:34 PM Pavel <pavel.vondricka@...> wrote:
Hi Kent,

I am also using RaspberryPi 4 (4GB) with the Astroberry distribution
with my iExos-100. At the moment for visual observation only, but...

I also made a DIY hand controller from an Arduino, a thumb joystick and
a small LCD display, usable to adjust the telescope, slew speed,
park/unpark, aso.
I added also a database of sky objects to select and go to from the
controller. Maybe not as fancy as just using SkySafari on a phone
screen, but a bit more fun for people who like customization and DIY
projects.

Best regards,
Pavel








--

Mounts: ES PMC-8 IEXOS 100, ES EXOS2-GT 
Scopes: Skywatcher 80/600
Cameras:  Nikon Z6, D7000
Lens: Sigma 150-600mm, Sigma Art 135mm/1,8, Nikon Z 50mm/1,8
Msc: LRTimelapse Pro Timer 2.5, Raspberry Pi4
Software: PixInsights, Kstars, Starry Night, Redshift


Irimie Bogdan
 

Hi Mirko,

To control the mount always use  the flashed fdti cable. Used the same tutorial for flashing the cable.
Regarding the 5 minutes, I managed to do that with a very good PA. Used the PA from ekos tool. Don't forget to download the all the astrometry index files. You need the 64gb on the pi for all the files



On August 15, 2020, at 9:00 PM, Mirko Gude <mgude@...> wrote:


Hi Bogdan,

your input is very interesting for me.

Today I’ve made some progress. I updated my EXOS2 to the latest firmware (firmware = 6B09T17AEXOS2) . As a Macuser it was not so easy, but after preparing a Win10 Machine with VirtualBox and the very useful helper tool PMC8_ConnectionManager I got success. 

I’ve used a FT232R USB UART (FTDI Chip) serial cable. After firmware update I switched to serial via terminal on the Raspberry Pi. But than I was not able to connect Kstars/Ekos over serial. With cuteCom on RPi I was not able to switch back to Wifi/TCP.

After this I’ve tried some other options (PMC8_ConnectionManager and P8-Parallax-Serial-Terminal on the virtual Windows machine and CoolTerm on the Mac). It was a little bit confusing, because after ESX! I got never the response ESX1! But never mind, at some point the Wifi connection was back again ☺ So maybe the command works in the background without showin a response.

Which cable do you use for controlling the EXOS2 via RPi4? Is it a normal one or a FTDI Chip cable? 

I found also a thread about flashing the FTDI Chip cable. 

Do you use a flashed cable?

And wow! 5 minutes unguided sounds really good for me. I’ve also made some attempts with QHY Polemaster and RPi4. But at the moment my results are not so good.

Thanks and best regards,
Mirko


Am 15.08.2020 um 19:42 schrieb Irimie Bogdan <bogdanirimie@...>:

Hi all, 

Sorry for the late reply first of all. 
I will reply to the post even people have already provided some answers.

Equipment used.

RASPI 4 with 4GB 64GB storage
Exos2
Main camera Nikon D610/Nikon D3100a
Guiding camera ZWO 120M
GPS module for Location and Time Vk-162 Glonass Navigation Works
Scopes TS420 / William Optics Spacecat

Connection Method
Serial, because reliability and old school using fdti cable.

The story:
I'm mainly a Linux user and also for me was a challenge to switch the mount to serial. You can use the  terminal to connect via serial cable and run the ESX! command to switch to the com mode.
To switch back you will need a normal serial cable not programed fdti serial cable. The issues comes when you want to upgrade the firmware. For that I have an old windows box.
Connectivity to the raspi i do via VNC from laptop because the screen is bigger on the laptop but i monitor all using my tablet. Only the polar alignment and acquisition process start i do it with the laptop.
The PA is working for me only using the guidescope/camera. Via Nikon and main scope I failed.
Good thing is that with EXOS2 and a very good polar alignment I managed to get 5 min unguided at 420 mm . Im quite happy with my choice already recommended the mount to some people.

Regards
Bogdan


On Thu, Jul 9, 2020, 08:33 Mirko Gude <mgude@...> wrote:
Hi Bogdan,

that’s very interesting, maybe you can describe some details? After some attempts with "Mac OS only“ I’ve bought a Raspberry Pi (Model 4) and it looks very promising.

How do you connect the Raspberry with the PMC8? Wifi or serial? If serial, how do you switch the PMC8 to serial with the Raspberry Pi via command line?

And it is better to connect the Raspberry Pi via VNC and control KStars/Ekos over VNC? Or do you use a second KStar/Ekos installation which is connect with the Raspberry pi? (As I understood it, this is also possible)

If you could say something about this, that would be nice!

Best regards, 
Mirko



Am 08.07.2020 um 07:46 schrieb Irimie Bogdan <bogdanirimie@...>:

Hi Kent, all,

I'm also using Raspberry Pi 4 4gb with EKOS + Kstars with my  EXOS-2.
Doing all orchestration with it from polar alignment, plate solving, guiding and picture acquisition plan.
By now all is working really great.

Kind regards
Bogdan

On Mon, Jul 6, 2020 at 9:34 PM Pavel <pavel.vondricka@...> wrote:
Hi Kent,

I am also using RaspberryPi 4 (4GB) with the Astroberry distribution
with my iExos-100. At the moment for visual observation only, but...

I also made a DIY hand controller from an Arduino, a thumb joystick and
a small LCD display, usable to adjust the telescope, slew speed,
park/unpark, aso.
I added also a database of sky objects to select and go to from the
controller. Maybe not as fancy as just using SkySafari on a phone
screen, but a bit more fun for people who like customization and DIY
projects.

Best regards,
Pavel








--

Mounts: ES PMC-8 IEXOS 100, ES EXOS2-GT 
Scopes: Skywatcher 80/600
Cameras:  Nikon Z6, D7000
Lens: Sigma 150-600mm, Sigma Art 135mm/1,8, Nikon Z 50mm/1,8
Msc: LRTimelapse Pro Timer 2.5, Raspberry Pi4
Software: PixInsights, Kstars, Starry Night, Redshift


Mirko Gude
 

Hi Bogdan,

thanks. After flashing the FTDI chip the connection from EKOS to EXOS2 works via serial. And surprisingly: I was able to switch back to Wifi with the flashed cable. I used CoolTerm, there is also a version for Raspberry Pi. That’s nice, because so I don’t need an additional cable ;-)

Some notes for people who wants to try the same with a Mac and VirtualBox:  After flashing the FTDI Chip the cable was not recognized from the Virtual machine. Only unplug or reboot did not help, but after reassign the cable in the VirtalBox USB settings and restart, the flashed cable with the changed setting was shown in FT_Prog.


Best Regards, 
Mirko



Am 15.08.2020 um 21:09 schrieb Irimie Bogdan <bogdanirimie@...>:

Hi Mirko,

To control the mount always use  the flashed fdti cable. Used the same tutorial for flashing the cable.
Regarding the 5 minutes, I managed to do that with a very good PA. Used the PA from ekos tool. Don't forget to download the all the astrometry index files. You need the 64gb on the pi for all the files



On August 15, 2020, at 9:00 PM, Mirko Gude <mgude@...> wrote:


Hi Bogdan,

your input is very interesting for me.

Today I’ve made some progress. I updated my EXOS2 to the latest firmware (firmware = 6B09T17AEXOS2) . As a Macuser it was not so easy, but after preparing a Win10 Machine with VirtualBox and the very useful helper tool PMC8_ConnectionManager I got success. 

I’ve used a FT232R USB UART (FTDI Chip) serial cable. After firmware update I switched to serial via terminal on the Raspberry Pi. But than I was not able to connect Kstars/Ekos over serial. With cuteCom on RPi I was not able to switch back to Wifi/TCP.

After this I’ve tried some other options (PMC8_ConnectionManager and P8-Parallax-Serial-Terminal on the virtual Windows machine and CoolTerm on the Mac). It was a little bit confusing, because after ESX! I got never the response ESX1! But never mind, at some point the Wifi connection was back again ☺ So maybe the command works in the background without showin a response.

Which cable do you use for controlling the EXOS2 via RPi4? Is it a normal one or a FTDI Chip cable? 

I found also a thread about flashing the FTDI Chip cable. 

Do you use a flashed cable?

And wow! 5 minutes unguided sounds really good for me. I’ve also made some attempts with QHY Polemaster and RPi4. But at the moment my results are not so good.

Thanks and best regards,
Mirko


Am 15.08.2020 um 19:42 schrieb Irimie Bogdan <bogdanirimie@...>:

Hi all, 

Sorry for the late reply first of all. 
I will reply to the post even people have already provided some answers.

Equipment used.

RASPI 4 with 4GB 64GB storage
Exos2
Main camera Nikon D610/Nikon D3100a
Guiding camera ZWO 120M
GPS module for Location and Time Vk-162 Glonass Navigation Works
Scopes TS420 / William Optics Spacecat

Connection Method
Serial, because reliability and old school using fdti cable.

The story:
I'm mainly a Linux user and also for me was a challenge to switch the mount to serial. You can use the  terminal to connect via serial cable and run the ESX! command to switch to the com mode.
To switch back you will need a normal serial cable not programed fdti serial cable. The issues comes when you want to upgrade the firmware. For that I have an old windows box.
Connectivity to the raspi i do via VNC from laptop because the screen is bigger on the laptop but i monitor all using my tablet. Only the polar alignment and acquisition process start i do it with the laptop.
The PA is working for me only using the guidescope/camera. Via Nikon and main scope I failed.
Good thing is that with EXOS2 and a very good polar alignment I managed to get 5 min unguided at 420 mm . Im quite happy with my choice already recommended the mount to some people.

Regards
Bogdan


On Thu, Jul 9, 2020, 08:33 Mirko Gude <mgude@...> wrote:
Hi Bogdan,

that’s very interesting, maybe you can describe some details? After some attempts with "Mac OS only“ I’ve bought a Raspberry Pi (Model 4) and it looks very promising.

How do you connect the Raspberry with the PMC8? Wifi or serial? If serial, how do you switch the PMC8 to serial with the Raspberry Pi via command line?

And it is better to connect the Raspberry Pi via VNC and control KStars/Ekos over VNC? Or do you use a second KStar/Ekos installation which is connect with the Raspberry pi? (As I understood it, this is also possible)

If you could say something about this, that would be nice!

Best regards, 
Mirko



Am 08.07.2020 um 07:46 schrieb Irimie Bogdan <bogdanirimie@...>:

Hi Kent, all,

I'm also using Raspberry Pi 4 4gb with EKOS + Kstars with my  EXOS-2.
Doing all orchestration with it from polar alignment, plate solving, guiding and picture acquisition plan.
By now all is working really great.

Kind regards
Bogdan

On Mon, Jul 6, 2020 at 9:34 PM Pavel <pavel.vondricka@...> wrote:
Hi Kent,

I am also using RaspberryPi 4 (4GB) with the Astroberry distribution
with my iExos-100. At the moment for visual observation only, but...

I also made a DIY hand controller from an Arduino, a thumb joystick and
a small LCD display, usable to adjust the telescope, slew speed,
park/unpark, aso.
I added also a database of sky objects to select and go to from the
controller. Maybe not as fancy as just using SkySafari on a phone
screen, but a bit more fun for people who like customization and DIY
projects.

Best regards,
Pavel








--

Mounts: ES PMC-8 IEXOS 100, ES EXOS2-GT 
Scopes: Skywatcher 80/600
Cameras:  Nikon Z6, D7000
Lens: Sigma 150-600mm, Sigma Art 135mm/1,8, Nikon Z 50mm/1,8
Msc: LRTimelapse Pro Timer 2.5, Raspberry Pi4
Software: PixInsights, Kstars, Starry Night, Redshift


--

Mounts: ES PMC-8 IEXOS 100, ES EXOS2-GT 
Scopes: Skywatcher 80/600
Cameras:  Nikon Z6, D7000
Lens: Sigma 150-600mm, Sigma Art 135mm/1,8, Nikon Z 50mm/1,8
Msc: LRTimelapse Pro Timer 2.5, Raspberry Pi4
Software: PixInsights, Kstars, Starry Night, Redshift