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Old 19-01-2020, 08:17 PM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Win based tablets

Is anyone successfully using a Windows based tablet or, very light & portable 2 in 1 (that could be used as a tablet) to run all their AP rig...

I would like the benefits of running EQMod, PHD2, maybe Backyard EOS, etc but, without having to lug a full 15" laptop outside with me...

I may (repeat may) have an opportunity to replace my dying Galaxy S10 tablet with something else but, since the tablet gets used for other things such as an ebook, etc... I want the portability & lightness of an android tablet but, I would like the flexibility of being able to run windows based software such as ASCOM to support Eqmod, guiding software, etc...

Yes.. that's right, I want it all... &, I don't want to spend $600 or more on a tablet & then $500 on a ZWO Asiair Pro module either...

I've been looking at a couple of options but, the biggest issue I keep stumbling across at the cheaper end (read Surface Pro 7 64Gb) is the existence of a single USB-C port which either satisfies running a USB hub or charging the Tablet, not both at the same time...

Other than buying a laptop (or using the one I have) or, getting something like Asiair, has anyone successfully cracked this nut?
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  #2  
Old 19-01-2020, 08:53 PM
Ukastronomer (Jeremy)
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I have No idea have you seen this

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/3...ndroid-tablet/
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Old 19-01-2020, 10:44 PM
Hemi
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Hey Carlton,

There are lots of options depending on what you want to do....thatís the bit Iím unclear about.

Do you want a wired connection to your gear or wireless?

Examples...

Simplest of course is with a direct connection with a win pc. Laptop or tablet.

1. Cheapest tablet option is the surface go with a usb hub to the camera and mount. You would need to activate the regular win 10 version, rather than the s version. Will be low powered and maybe a little slow, but you donít need huge horse power at the telescope for ascom etc....surface pro will be zippier of course.

2. Stick PC with usb hub at the mount running win 10. You would remote in with any tablet(iOS/Android) or laptop/desktop. You could replace the stick pc with an intel nuc for a bit more power if funds allow.

3. ASI air to a tablet of your choice as youíve said.

There are lots of combinations, my main experience has been that you donít need a powerful pc at the mount end. In fact the camera software is probably the most taxing, and you could potentially ditch that entirely if your using a DSLR.

Cheers

Hemi
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Old 19-01-2020, 10:51 PM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Thanks Jeremy,

No, I hadn't seen that specific thread & I thankyou for bringing it to my attention as it certainly gave me some more info

Cheers
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Old 19-01-2020, 11:03 PM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Originally Posted by Hemi View Post
Hey Carlton,

There are lots of options depending on what you want to do....that’s the bit I’m unclear about.

Do you want a wired connection to your gear or wireless?

Examples...

Simplest of course is with a direct connection with a win pc. Laptop or tablet.

1. Cheapest tablet option is the surface go with a usb hub to the camera and mount. You would need to activate the regular win 10 version, rather than the s version. Will be low powered and maybe a little slow, but you don’t need huge horse power at the telescope for ascom etc....surface pro will be zippier of course.

2. Stick PC with usb hub at the mount running win 10. You would remote in with any tablet(iOS/Android) or laptop/desktop. You could replace the stick pc with an intel nuc for a bit more power if funds allow.

3. ASI air to a tablet of your choice as you’ve said.

There are lots of combinations, my main experience has been that you don’t need a powerful pc at the mount end. In fact the camera software is probably the most taxing, and you could potentially ditch that entirely if your using a DSLR.

Cheers

Hemi
Hey Hemi,

Yeah, I acknowledge.. I was a bit vague on detail...

Essentially, I want my cake & I want to eat it too...

I want, a relatively inexpensive option (ie: cheaper than ASIAIR Pro coupled with a decent tablet) that I'm beginning to think isn't quite so achievable yet. Say in the vicinity of $600 - $700 absolute maximum, cheaper if possible...

I want to be able to do the following, with the following elements:

1. Control my mount using EQMOD (I already have the cable, it came with the 2nd hand mount I acquired) & I would prefer to link it with either Stellarium or Skysafari.

2. I would like to run my ZWO ASI 224MC as a guide camera (rather than the synguider which has some limits I don't like) most likely running off PHD2.

3. I would like to run image capture through my DSLR although, currently I can do this independantly via my intervalometer... it would just be nice to do this through Backyard EOS or something similar & all from one device...

4. I already have a power distribution box courtesy of a very generous fellow IIS'er which has 12V input, 1 x unregulated 12V output, 2 x regulated DC outputs & 2 x 5v (not sure on current) outputs in a nice tight package that velcro's very neatly to the mount.

5. Whilst wireless would be nice, it's not necessarily essential... I know I could do this using ASIAIR but, with the apparent demise of the original version & the introduction of the Pro version, it has gotten prohibitively expensive for me.

6. Wired would be okay & I can absolutely achieve it with a laptop.. I'd just prefer to use something smaller, such as a tablet.

7. I would like to be able to use one of the 5v power outlets on the power box to keep my tablet battery chugging away. This at the lower price end of the windows based tablets seems to be where my goal of relatively inexpensive solution seems to fall over. I can either run a USB hub from the single USB-C connection that may or may not provide sufficient power to the items I want to run OR, I can keep charge to my tablet, not both...

8. I want a decent screen size of say 10 - 11 inches where I don't have to squint to see what the hell I'm doing or have my fat fingers touch the wrong control.

Hope this clarifies what I am seeking... cheaply... which, I acknowledge, might be a pipe dream...

There may be other things that I will want to do that I currently know nothing about too...

Oh, & I want it small enough & light enough to be used as an e-reader when it's not doing other stuff.... which kinda rules out the 2 in 1's coz, at 1 - 2kg... not something I really want to be holding up in bed to read like a book...

For my next task, I will go and prep the pigs for flying...

Cheers
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Old 20-01-2020, 07:45 AM
Hemi
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Iím a little disappointed you didnít mention the ability to do all the post processing as well! 😉😂.

....Iíll have a think!
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Old 20-01-2020, 07:50 AM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Iím a little disappointed you didnít mention the ability to do all the post processing as well! 😉😂.

....Iíll have a think!
Lol...

Nah, happy to do that on my laptop...

Thanks...
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Old 21-01-2020, 12:09 PM
chromus (Phil)
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I ended up chucking an ITX PC on the dovetail, its got an i3 7100U CPU which runs close to idle most of the time, I can then remote into it from basically anywhere on a tablet or more conventional PC.

This gives the advantage of having a fully Windows based machine for easy astro compatibility and processing in 1 spot and Remote Desktop is client agnostic these days, iOS/Android/Linux (aswell as Win10) can all connect with near identical results.

The machine cost Under $400AUD and has 8 USB ports, Wifi/Gbit LAN and SSD, it removes the need for ASIAIR and its lock down to ZWO only products.

Shoot me a PM if you wanna see it in action I can do a teamviewer runthru.

Last edited by chromus; 21-01-2020 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 21-01-2020, 02:53 PM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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I ended up chucking an ITX PC on the dovetail, its got an i3 7100U CPU which runs close to idle most of the time, I can then remote into it from basically anywhere on a tablet or more conventional PC.

This gives the advantage of having a fully Windows based machine for easy astro compatibility and processing in 1 spot and Remote Desktop is client agnostic these days, iOS/Android/Linux (aswell as Win10) can all connect with near identical results.

The machine cost Under $400AUD and has 8 USB ports, Wifi/Gbit LAN and SSD, it removes the need for ASIAIR and its lock down to ZWO only products.

Shoot me a PM if you wanna see it in action I can do a teamviewer runthru.
Okay.. that is another approach that I never even knew existed...

Could I get away with something as cheap as this one?

https://www.kogan.com/au/buy/kogan-a...iABEgLixfD_BwE

Although, may not have enough USB ports to do what I want...

I'll send you a PM shortly... thankyou for another option...
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Old 21-01-2020, 08:53 PM
Hemi
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The other big advantage doing it with a mini pc (ITX/NUC/stick) is that once mounted on the scope (dovetail/Velcro etc) and connected up to cameras etc, it’s quick and easy to setup. Take scope et al out, put on mount and one lead to the mount and voila! Im using an Intel nuc, but a massive thread on cloudy just using a stick pc.....and then I remote in with my iPad to get things going, or my desktop from the office if it’s hot and sticky, then Ill do some EAA....an i3 nuc can be had pretty cheaply as well, a celeron even more so, and more than powerful enough!

H
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Old 21-01-2020, 09:36 PM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Originally Posted by Hemi View Post
The other big advantage doing it with a mini pc (ITX/NUC/stick) is that once mounted on the scope (dovetail/Velcro etc) and connected up to cameras etc, it’s quick and easy to setup. Take scope et al out, put on mount and one lead to the mount and voila! Im using an Intel nuc, but a massive thread on cloudy just using a stick pc.....and then I remote in with my iPad to get things going, or my desktop from the office if it’s hot and sticky, then Ill do some EAA....an i3 nuc can be had pretty cheaply as well, a celeron even more so, and more than powerful enough!

H
Cheers Hemi,

I've had a bit of an offline chat with Phil regarding this approach & it's definitely up there on my options list...

I'm chatting with another member regarding the Rasberry Pi / Indi approach as well... both of these approaches have their pro's & cons...

So, at this stage I'm probably heading down the Rasberry Pi lane based on cost of the unit & availability of software to do what I think I want to do...

If that doesn't cut it... this mini pc route will likely be my next option.. hell, even if I did both it'd still be less than a certain brand's out of the box solution that locks you into proprietary software & significantly limits ones choices...
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Old 22-01-2020, 07:46 AM
Hemi
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Keep us posted about how you get on with the indi pi solution. The pi is definitely powerful enough in most scenarios. I tried indi on the Mac as a precursor to a Pi solution, but couldn’t get it to work as easily as I would have liked (probably chucked in the towel 2 early given the established windows/Mac solutions).
I think the latest Pi has usb 3 which is important for planetary captures and helps a lot with EAA (if your capturing data directly), which is what I mostly do now given the heat and humidity in Darwin most of the year. The asi is essentially a pi/indi solution of sorts in any case I think.

Best

H
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