The heat is well controlled by enclosing the RPi in a ‘Flirc’ metal case which has plenty of heat dispersing effect especially outdoors. I then mount it with its plastic bottom outwards to optimise the WiFi performance. There are people who fit an RTC, but this will require a higher clearance case, and a different approach to heat sinks. I used to attempt to use a GPS dongle to set the location and the clock time. I had problems with poor GPS reception and interference into the very low level satellite signals from the RPi’s own ‘digital noise’. These days I simply turn on the RPi, use VNC Viewer from my laptop, and set the date and time to match the laptop clock using the terminal command <sudo date -s ‘2021-10-21 21:10:50’>. I don’t need to change the geographical location very often but when I do go travelling I set the location from the data on my iPhone app ‘ScopeTools’.
If you do want to use your RTC and GPS then here is a YT video about this:
Currently running KStars/Ekos/Indi on two Raspberry Pi 4Bs 4GByte under Raspberry Pi OS thanks to Astroberry
Two mounts, two Fracs, a Newt and a Mak and a couple of OSC cameras.
I am using a Rpi4 with Stellarmate. It took a while to get it all dialed in but now it is a great setup. I use it with a Ultimate Power Box from Pegasus to provide power and a reliable powered USB hub. This is then all mounted on top of the scope. I run all the software on the Rpi, so Kstars runs on the Rpi and I just remote desktop into it. I have an outdoor WiFi access point so the Rpi is internet connected so I always have the right time and I can update easily.
As for focusing I have never got the autofocusing to work reliably. I have motor focusers on all my scopes and I focus in Ekos but I use a Bahtinov mask to achieve focus.
WO ZS 61
Edgehd 8 with Celestron OAG
Stellarmate on RPi 4
294 mc pro
224 planetary cam
174 guide cam
Sesto Senso focusser
QHY5II-Mono guide camera
EOS6D - not modified
- We use old Dells too. Mainly i3s. Unless you're going to do processing, the amount of memory doesn't seem to make much difference.
- Not sure about the 24-105 for AP, but there are some excellent old fixed focal length lenses from Takumar and Zeiss available on Ebay for under €100 and adapters eos to m42 abundant on AliExpress for next to nothing. Focus once at the start of the session and forget.
- The t7m needs this firmware: drive.google.com/drive/folders/1eXBCN06U...5QRw9zSO?usp=sharing
Be sure to start the driver in 8-bit.
I used a RPI 4 with 8gb and both Astroberry and StellarMate for awhile. I now use a Mac Mini 2018 model. It has 4 TB ports and 2 USB and HDMI if you wish but I use RealVNC. It has great WiFi and I use a 4TB M2 pcie drive for images. I have run Ubuntu under Parallels on it too but running native on the Mini is easier. It is much faster than the RPI but cost $499 new when I got it in July.
Update: It seems that it works on the Pi but not on the Dell Laptop. On the laptop it does takes pics, but the image is not correct (like several images out-of-sync in the same image). So far, on the Pi it seems to work well. Took about 300 pics without any problems. Lets see...