Color Wide-field test with the new Raspberry Pi 4 4GB and Stellarmate

August 24, 2019 - Reading time: 2 minutes

I'm testing out my color widefield setup with the William Optics ZS61 APO, ZWO ASI071MC cooled color, ZWO ASI120MM-S guide cam, DeepSkyDad AF1 focuser, homemade powerbox (2 x 12v out, 1 x 5v 4 amp out, 1 x dew control out), controlled by a Raspberry Pi 4 4GB running Stellarmate 1.4.2 beta. I ran some test sequences in Ekos and everything appeared to function normally. I am getting an error for the focuser ("...temperature value (!100)"), but the AF1 doesn't support temperature controlled focus adjustment, so not sure if this affects anything. It focuses properly, so I'm choosing to ignore the error for now. And I'm not absolutely sure this is a Raspberry Pi 4 thing, instead of an INDI/Ekos thing on any hardware.  And you may have noticed that I'm testing this out (remotely, using Jump Desktop) from my brand new Apple iMac 5k 27" i9/8core with... yes, I ordered it with 8 GB RAM, but I have 64GB on order, and I'll add that myself. (No sense paying $1000 to have someone at Apple do that for me).

What's funny is Dylan O'Donnell on his Star Stuff channel posted about upgrading his iMac and the giant performance improvement with PixInsight--same iMac I just bought, but I haven't used PixInsight processing software. I'm a Photoshop guy from way back in the 90s and version 4.


Astro System Update

December 27, 2018 - Reading time: ~1 minute

I bought Stellarmate OS in October and installed it on a Raspberry Pi3b+ (The latest Pi with a 1.4GHz 64-bit quad-core processor, dual-band wireless, and Bluetooth 4.2/BLE). This system is now running the INDI server core of my astro setup, and I replaced the second Pi in my "distributed INDI-based astro-imaging setup" post with an iOptron StarFi wireless telescope (mount) adapter. For the Orion Atlas EQ-G mount I'm using the Shoestring bluetooth-to-serial adapter (BT2EQ6 Bluetooth Module with DB-9 connector). I bought an inexpensive GPS dongle to get position and system time for Ekos and KStars. So far, Stellarmate is working out well. The only downside I have experienced is common on any remote astro system, that's the delays in the capture and focus workflows for large FITS files. My Atik 414EX had larger pixels and lower resolution, and ended up with 16-bit FITS files around 3 or 4 MB, while my higher resolution ZWOs (ASI071MC and ASI1600MM-P) are ten times that size.