The Raspberry PI (RPi) is an ARM-based credit-card-sized single board computer. It costs around $35 (PI 2) and therefore it is a very attractive choice for amateur astronomers to control their equipment either locally or remotely. It can be used over Ethernet or WiFi to control your equipment remotely. 

Due to power limitations of the RPi, it is recommended to connect all devices to a powered USB hub. INDI Library v1.2.0 packages in addition to 3rd party drivers are available for the RPi (Raspbian Jessie, Wheezy packages are no longer offered). Furthermore, if you install Ubuntu Mate for Raspberry PI 2, you can get all the bleeding edge INDI and KStars directly from the Ubuntu INDI PPA, no need to download and install packages manually!

You typically would run an INDI server on the RPi and connect to it remotely from Ekos. While it is technically possible to build Ekos in RPi, it would not run smoothly; therefore it is recommended to run INDI server on the RPi and Ekos on a more powerful machine.

With EQMod & Ekos, you can finally put the alignment woes to rest. No more two or three star alignment, no more trying to recenter that star in the eye piece, all you have to do is to point your mount north, and Ekos does that rest. After the first sync, you can expect your desired object to be dead center. You don't have to build any complicated models, every time you slew to a target, you can use Ekos Alignment Module to verify the location and slew to the real coordinates if necessary. This is all made possible thanks to the astrometry.net solver.

So What do you need in order to achieve sub-arcseconds GOTOs?

  • Recent version of KStars.
  • INDI Library v0.9.7 or higher.
  • Astrometry.net v0.45 or higher (for offline plate solving). Ekos supports both online and offline solvers.
  • Mount that supports EQMod.
  • CCD.


INDI library v0.9.7 or above supports joystick integration under Linux. To control your telescope under INDI, you need the following:

  • Wired or wireless controller supported by Linux.
  • Telescope driver that supports joystick integration.

To date, all LX200 based (LX200 GPS, Autostar..etc), Celestron, and EQMOd drivers support joystick integration.

So, how do you control your telescope? In this tutorial, I will be connecting my ThurstMaster Wireless Joystick to an LX200 GPS telescope.

Follow the steps below:

Start KStars

Go to Device Manager under the Tools Menu --> Devices.

Select your telescope driver from the Telescope devices tree.

Select the joystick driver from Auxiliary devices tree.

Building a DIY cap for ServoBlaster Cap

Introduction

To summarize what we are going to go trough here, we are building a servo actuated, INDI and Ekos compatible dust cap. I will go trough the details as I show pictures of my fast tracked prototype. Some of the parts used for prototype is selected on convenience. Be creative and preferably use parts you already have lying around.

So what do we need to do that?


This tutorial shows how to install and use the Python pyindi-client on a Rapberry Pi 2 or 3 running an Ubuntu distribution. It has been made using the Ubuntu Classic image for Raspberry Pi and also the Ubuntu MATE for Raspberry Pi. Both are fresh installs and you will find my installation notes at the end of the tutorial (for Ubuntu Classic and for Ubuntu MATE). It supposes you have a configured network. It also supposes you already perform the first boot on the Raspberry Pi (first boot on ubuntu, and on ubuntu mate). Finally there are two versions of python, Python 2 and Python 3. The pyindi-client wrapper works with both versions, and both versions may coexist if you have the two versions of Python installed. As for any Python module, the pyindi-client should be installed for each version of Python you want to use. I will be using Python 3 in this tutorial as this is the default version in Ubuntu 16.04. You may download the tutorial scripts from the repository.

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