Old 23-04-2012, 05:14 PM
Registered User

Carl is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Alans Flat
Posts: 373
Laptop recommendation for imaging

I've posted this on the computers and software forums so i thought i'd ask some of our astro photographers.
Me thinks my computer has had it! or i have had it with it.
Would anyone like to suggest a good laptop for use in a backyard observatory.
I am running the following:
.Latest version of Nebulosity
.May also load ImagesPlus
.eos Software for Canon 500d
.Orion Starshoot
.PHD guiding
.Computer also talks to my mount
.Moonlite stepper motor focusing software
and the list may grow.

I do all of my processing in the house on my current desktop computer. If i can get enough grunt from the laptop it may take over from the house computer as that is now 6 years old.

Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2012, 08:37 PM
gregbradley's Avatar
Registered User

gregbradley is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sydney
Posts: 16,911
Most astro software apart from actual image processing like in Photoshop or CCDstack does not require a lot of computer horsepower.

I would stay away from a 2nd hand laptop with Vista though. Anything Vista is asking for trouble. Most of your programs will not work in Vista and you'll spend all your time trying to do workarounds getting them to work.

Wins 7 is fine though.

I use an i7 laptop Hewlett Packard. Its fantastic. I am not sure what your budget is but they are under $1000 now I am pretty sure.

Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2012, 09:02 PM
ballaratdragons's Avatar
ballaratdragons (Ken)

ballaratdragons is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: In the Dark at Snake Valley, Victoria
Posts: 14,412
I second Greg's suggestion.

I use a HP i5 Win7 machine and it handles everything due to it's Quad Core. $680

To give you an example of how much these machines can handle, when I use mine I have NightSkiesNetwork running for my AstroVideo broadcasts which is very damanding, I also have Google open so I can answer questions I am asked while broadcasting, I have Cartes du Ciel running as my sky guide, I have a Mallincan Xtreme AstroVideo camera running, I have Mallincam camera Control software running to operate the camera (seperate to 'Video In' from the camera), sometimes I have music playing, and I often have open 3 or 4 other websites as reference for my answers to viewers.
I also open links the viewers post up in the Broadcast chat window, and to top it all off, I also have PhotoShop CS5 open and I take screenshots and save them in PS.
All these at the same time and it has never stressed the machine.

I am also about to add Autoguiding.

Don't get anything lass than Quadcore or it will struggle to cope with all the demands of running AstroImaging programs and cameras at the same time.

I went through this same exercise as you are going thrugh now, about which machine to use.
My problem was solved by Bert (Avandonk) who is familiar with running multiple imaging programs and cameras, so I am just passing on the help I recieved, and a damn good suggestion for a machine.


Last edited by ballaratdragons; 24-04-2012 at 09:16 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2012, 09:15 PM
04Stefan07 (Stefan)
Make it so! - Capt.Picard

04Stefan07 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,982
I use a MacBook Air but a lot of astronomy software that you may want to run will prob will not run on it. The best thing about it is how thin and light it is.

I am also starting to use my android tablet for skysafari pro.
Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2012, 09:22 PM
Terry B's Avatar
Terry B
Country living & viewing

Terry B is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Armidale
Posts: 2,780
I agree that you don't need a good computer. It is likely to get wet etc. I'm using a lappy that came as a free gift with a larger purchase at work. It's called an "emachine" and they retail for less than $500.
It runs win7 with guide software, CCDsoft image capture software and the SkyX pro with no hassles. Just get something cheap.
Reply With Quote
Old 25-04-2012, 09:58 PM
Registered User

Carl is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Alans Flat
Posts: 373
Thanks for the replies
There wont be a weather issue as i will be using it in the observatory. I just have to ensure that it has grunt and is compliant with my current software.
My budget is up to $900

I have been advised by the software manufacturers that all programs run on Windows 7

Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +10. The time is now 04:41 PM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.7 | Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
NexDome Observatories
Limpet Controller
Astronomy and Electronics Centre