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Old 20-09-2020, 06:55 PM
bluesilver (Peter)
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What do i need in the way of a laptop to run a camera?

I recently have just picked up a ZWO AS1224MC Camera that i plan to use for planetary work

I have kind of gone about this a bit backward as i have yet to get a laptop,

So, with this camera, i plan to run the program FireCapture and i was just interested to know what sort of laptop would run this ok?
Might also possibly be looking at something like Polemaster, but not just yet.

I was looking at this laptop:
Asus 14-inch Celeron-N4020/4GB/64GB eMMC Laptop

https://www.harveyno...acock-blue.html

It basically tells me it has 1 x USB 2.0 (Type-A), 1x USB 3.2 (Type A, Gen1), 1x USB 3.2 (Type C, Gen1), HDMI 1.4

Although i can only see two USB ports

Primary storage 64GB
Ram DDR4
Installed Ram 4GB

I am just guessing that when you record the image of a planet, you might need a bit of storage, as most are using laptops to drive these cameras, i am hoping i might be able to get a bit of advice if my choice is right or way off.

Would this work ok?

Any advice is appreciated.
Thanks.
Peter.
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  #2  
Old 20-09-2020, 08:00 PM
sunslayr (David)
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That laptop should work, but as you have noticed it only has 64gb of storage, and with windows installed that leaves you with around 20gb of storage left for video. So you would need to get an external hard drive as well. A better choice might be getting a used laptop with something like an Intel i5 from gumtree for a similar price. Anything with at least a 3.0 port should be fine for planetary.
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  #3  
Old 20-09-2020, 11:20 PM
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xa-coupe (Jeff)
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A celeron would do it... but I would try to spring for a bit more of everything ... perhaps an i3 cpu (or AMD equiv), as much storage as you can afford (could be external) and a minimum of 8gb RAM.

USB ports tend to be miserly on laptops .. but as David says, a USB 3 port is what you want/need for planetary.
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Old 21-09-2020, 07:02 AM
Pepper (Steve)
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If buying secondhand isn’t an issue take a look at some refurbished laptops on feebay. Some good deals out there. I got a intel I5 8gb ram multiple usb3 ports etc etc for 250 bucks. It’s still going strong. Might be good for thought.
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Old 21-09-2020, 07:14 AM
bluesilver (Peter)
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Thanks for the replies,
Do i really need to go up to 8GB of Ram or will the 4GB work?
I found another laptop for not much more,
Would this be a better setup?

Acer Aspire 1 14-inch Celeron-N4020/4GB/128GB eMMC Laptop

I did find this on ebay though:

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/HP-Probo...frcectupt=true

Storage Type: SSD (Solid State Drive)
Operating System: Windows 10
RAM Size: 8 GB Type:
Notebook/Laptop
Brand: HP
Processor Speed: 1.70 GHz
Processor: Intel Core i5 4th Gen 4210u
Features: Built-in Microphone, Built-in Webcam
SSD Capacity: 128 GB
Hard Drive Capacity: 128 GB
Screen Size: 17.3 in
UPC: 888793414354

To be is reads like it is a good setup,
Would this be a good choice?
Sorry for the basic questions.

Thanks again.
Peter.

Last edited by bluesilver; 21-09-2020 at 07:25 AM.
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  #6  
Old 21-09-2020, 08:38 AM
jahnpahwa (JP)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesilver View Post
Thanks for the replies,
Do i really need to go up to 8GB of Ram or will the 4GB work?
I found another laptop for not much more,
Would this be a better setup?

Acer Aspire 1 14-inch Celeron-N4020/4GB/128GB eMMC Laptop

I did find this on ebay though:

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/HP-Probo...frcectupt=true

Storage Type: SSD (Solid State Drive)
Operating System: Windows 10
RAM Size: 8 GB Type:
Notebook/Laptop
Brand: HP
Processor Speed: 1.70 GHz
Processor: Intel Core i5 4th Gen 4210u
Features: Built-in Microphone, Built-in Webcam
SSD Capacity: 128 GB
Hard Drive Capacity: 128 GB
Screen Size: 17.3 in
UPC: 888793414354

To be is reads like it is a good setup,
Would this be a good choice?
Sorry for the basic questions.

Thanks again.
Peter.
That ebay laptop has similar specs to the dells that i have. A bloke up here seems to access old models from his work, cleans them up and sells them for about that price. 8gb ram and decent SSD mean you also have a shot at running processing software on it if you like. i run pixinsight on mine, and while it can be slow to do some things, it gets it done and is reliable. Good to keep electro gadgetry going as long as possible, too... e-waste is pretty bad. Bought my daughter a $500 new laptop for school and my gosh its slow... soooo slow with windows 10. She is going to linux, just so its useable.
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  #7  
Old 21-09-2020, 08:50 AM
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Camelopardalis (Dunk)
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The key components for planetary imaging are USB 3 and fast storage, as you want to be able to capture the planets at high frame rates to find those moments of good seeing.

I use an Intel NUC with an i3 cpu and multiple USB 3.0 ports. I fitted it with a SSD so that it doesn’t become the bottleneck. It’s not impossible to capture 100GB+ in an hour if you get serious.

So it doesn’t need to be seriously powerful, just needs a few components carefully chosen.
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  #8  
Old 21-09-2020, 12:30 PM
bluesilver (Peter)
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Hi, i appreciate all the replies,
Sorry foe keep asking the same questions over and over, just not 100% up to speed on what laptop i need for the astro photography work.

I think i am getting closer with my choices, the last ebay one just needs more memory if i am correct.

I did go back and find this one,
https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/HP-Probo...wAAOSw~uVfTJPg
Seller is selling refurbished ones.
Am i on the right track with this option? or will this work fine?

Once again, sorry for asking the same questions over and over again.
Thanks.
Peter.
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  #9  
Old 21-09-2020, 12:57 PM
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Tulloch (Andrew)
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If you are only buying the laptop for capturing the videos in the field and processing them on a desktop computer, then a Celeron should be fine, but you will need a larger hard drive and a separate 3 or 4 TB external drive to store your captures. The typical size of my Jupiter videos is around 3-4 GB each, Saturn usually a little smaller but if you want to capture the moons also, then count on between 10 and 20 GB for each file!

Processing your videos takes a while - my laptop has an 8th generation i5 with 16GB RAM and 1TB HDD, and it still takes me a good amount of time to process my videos, especially if I'm using WinJupos to process them.

Personally, I would not spend less than $1000 on a laptop, and don't buy old technology 2nd hand, IMHO you are only buying yourself problems.

If I was buying a new laptop, here's a couple I would look very closely at.
https://www.harveynorman.com.au/hp-1...sd-laptop.html
https://www.harveynorman.com.au/hp-1...sd-laptop.html

Andrew

Last edited by Tulloch; 21-09-2020 at 01:13 PM.
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  #10  
Old 21-09-2020, 01:08 PM
bluesilver (Peter)
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Thanks for the reply,
Sorry, i did forget to mention that i will be doing all the processing work on a desktop pc, not the laptop
Sorry for the confusion there.
So, only want the laptop to drive the camera and the programme FireCapture.
All processing work will be done on the desktop pc
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  #11  
Old 21-09-2020, 01:11 PM
bluesilver (Peter)
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Might also use it to run pole master if i decide to get that latter also.
So don't really need an over the top laptop i am thinking.
Would that last one on ebay be a good choice though?
Always up for options.
Thanks.
Peter.
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  #12  
Old 21-09-2020, 01:24 PM
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Tulloch (Andrew)
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Yep, that one on eBay should be fine. It's not essential to have a SSD for planetary imaging, I use my 1TB HDD and can capture Jupiter at up to 250fps on it (but normally capture at 150fps to reduce noise levels). It's big, so you will probably need to run it on mains power all the time, but should be ok.
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  #13  
Old 21-09-2020, 08:08 PM
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Outcast (Carlton)
Always gonna be a NOOB...

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I'm gonna throw a little grenade in here...

I hate the idea of lugging a laptop outside... I really, really do...

So... if I'm gonna do planetary with my ZWO ASI224MC, I hook it up to my android tablet via USB OTG cable & use the ASICAP (called something else now) app & capture just fine...

If I'm doing Deep Sky stuff with my DSLR, I use Stellarmate on RPi 4 together with either Stellarmate app on my android tablet or via virtual window on my android tablet...

Can I capture video at mega feet per second.. ummm, no but, the results are just fine IMHO & I don't have to lug a laptop outside or worry about how to power it all coz, for planetary I just make sure my tablet's fully charged & for DSO work, I'm connected wirelessly to Stellarmate so can just plug in my tablet to USB output on my power distribution box...

My 2.15 cents worth...

Cheers
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