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INDI Library v1.9.2 Released (14 Sep 2021)

Bimonthly Stable INDI Library release introduces new drivers and fixes for existing ones.

USB3 may force me to move off of Raspberry Pi

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My Rock64Pro finally arrived, I have installed nearly everything including indi/EKOS and it seems to work great. Its currently sat on my pier in my OBSshed at the end of the garden. Iam powering it using a 12v converter which also powers other stuff. and I am connecting via VNC to send the note.

I will post a longer install message later, but here is the short version.
First its fast, I did speed test on the USB3 port by plugging in a fast USB3 stick. On the RPI I got a speed of 33MBS, but on the Rock64 99.8 MBS.
Both running of the SD Card, I will re-test when I install emmc memory which should be faster.

My experience of installing and running software is that I expect tasks like Astrometry, which crawls on the RPI, to be fast too. We will see.

My RockPro64:
ROCKPro64 4GB Single Board Computer $79.99
ROCKPro64 PREMIUM ALUMINUM CASING $14.99
ROCKPro64 12V 3A EU POWER SUPPLY $8.99

Total of $104 or £81 in real money, so thats 3 x the price of a comperable Pi, but no wifi. The case is really nice and incorporates a heat sink

I have since ordered:
USB Adapter for eMMC Module $4.99
64GB eMMC Module $34.95
ROCKPro64 2x2 MIMO Dual Band WIFI 802.11AC/BLUETOOTH 4.2 MODULE $15.99
So thats another $55.93 or £44.04 All of the above plus shipping from China.

Note that you need USB Adapter for eMMC Module to flash the Emmc with the operating system.

Installation was easy ish. First Pine provide a really nice SD flasher based on Echer that allows you to install the OS. I ended up installing Armbian Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Desktop. My understanding is that EKOS/INDI does not run well on Debian, the other versions of Ubuntu I tried were flakey, but this version was easy: burn to SD and load.

The next part was installing VNC server and getting it to load at boot, a little tricky, but it worked. Then Indi/EKOS loaded without problems following the Ubuntu download instructions, added AStrometery and PHD2 installed easily too.

Only real issue seems to wifi. The Rock64Pro would not recognise my old RPI wifi dongle. I have ordered another make which is armbian approved. For the moment I am hard wired over Ethernet using Powerline.

So just need to wait for a cloudless night to test, but it seems good. However the instal process does make me appreciate how stable and great value the RPI is.

Max
2 years 4 months ago #40237

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I've read that this module will only work with Android and not with the typical Linux distributions. I don't know how old this message was so please report back if it works or not.

This was really putting me off because I need an ethernet port to control my mount and I don't want to add a switch or hub on top.
2 years 4 months ago #40270

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You are right there are reports of the rock wifi module not working, so I will let you know if it does. However this a board mounted module. I have also ordered from Amazon a COMFAST Mini WLAN USB Stick ..600MBIT. The Armbian RockPro64 site includes this particular dongle and others in a range of "Tested 3rd Party hardware" In fact it includes quite a few others too. So I am hoping it works.
2 years 4 months ago #40275

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Can I ask where you got the Rock64 Pro for $79 as the cheapest I can find is from China at $135, or Amazon here in the U.K. at £117.. ?. :0
Stellarmate OS on Raspberry pi4b
Skywatcher EQ8 pro, on steel pier
Takahashi FSQ85, FS60cb & Meade 8” SCT (de-forked)
Starlight Xpress SXVR H18, SXVR M25c, Lodestar x2 Guide Camera
Pegasus Ultimate Hub V2 for all USB & Power
Pegasus focus motors on all scopes
2 years 4 months ago #40311

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This looks like another good option as an upgrade, has USB 3 and USB C, and only 3.8” square, 4gb RAM and built in 64gb eMMc, and has full WIN 10, but that could be replaced with Linux.. :)

www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07GVG3Q4Z/ref=sspa_...fd-17483dcc3099&th=1
Stellarmate OS on Raspberry pi4b
Skywatcher EQ8 pro, on steel pier
Takahashi FSQ85, FS60cb & Meade 8” SCT (de-forked)
Starlight Xpress SXVR H18, SXVR M25c, Lodestar x2 Guide Camera
Pegasus Ultimate Hub V2 for all USB & Power
Pegasus focus motors on all scopes
2 years 4 months ago #40312

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Thanks to Wouter (WVREEVEN) I got a Minisforum Mini PC.
www.minisforum.com/view/46.html
It's 12x12cm. 12V. WIFI/Bluetooth, 64GB MMC included.
Comes with Windows 10 pre-installed but supports Ubuntu (they have a Win 10 image to restore on their forum).
There is one additional USB2 port under cover - to stick a better WIFI adapter or a flash drive.

After a couple of iterations I got it up an running with Ubuntu Mate 18.04.
The most difficult part for me was to get VNC to auto-start. Used X11VNC.
Also,
WIFI doesn't work by default - one needs to download a fix from their forum.
The unit doesn't boot without an HDMI monitor attached - one needs to download an updated BIOS from their forum to fix it.

Now my ZWO ASI294 runs at 6-7 frames per second in Live View instead of 0.8 on RPI thanks to USB3.
The system on the whole is considerably faster than RPI.
Will try it in the field on Friday.

Max

Max S.

RPI 4 B (4Gb) with SMate
Nikon D5500 H-a modified. Nikon D5500 stock
AT72EDII, TPO RC6
ASI2600MC Pro
ZWO ASI120MM Mini on ZWO 30F4
ZWO ASI224MC-S on Orion 50 mm f/3.2
ZWO EAF x 2
SW AZ-GTi
SW HEQ5
RST-135
Last edit: 2 years 4 months ago by maxthebuilder.
2 years 4 months ago #40316

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Good to read you have it fully operational now Max! I'll be looking forward to your field test on Friday.


Clear skies, Wouter
Wouter van Reeven

ASI6200MM and 7 slot 2" filter wheel with a SkyWatcher Esprit 80 ED on a SkyWatcher HEQ5-Pro
ASI1600MM-Pro Cooled and 5 slot 1.25" filter wheel with an 8" TS Ritchey-Chrétien on a SkyWatcher EQ6-R
2 years 4 months ago #40317

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2 years 4 months ago #40318

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Yes, I got my stuff from the Pine64 store . I paid for express shipping for my first order and then standard for the second. Standard shipping was faster. I ordered on june 3rd, it shipped on June 14 and arrived today June 19.

For the VNC server I used precisely the same instructions that Wouter quoted above, including the difficulty with autoboot.
2 years 4 months ago #40320

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Well the one I linked to above Is far smaller and cheaper... :) with same spec..
Stellarmate OS on Raspberry pi4b
Skywatcher EQ8 pro, on steel pier
Takahashi FSQ85, FS60cb & Meade 8” SCT (de-forked)
Starlight Xpress SXVR H18, SXVR M25c, Lodestar x2 Guide Camera
Pegasus Ultimate Hub V2 for all USB & Power
Pegasus focus motors on all scopes
2 years 4 months ago #40321

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If you select 4Gb/64Gb option, the price will be about the same.
There is a lot of similar devices available @ amazon with essentially the same hardware.
Minisforums's one is quite popular and seems to have at least some kind of support.
They built a custom BIOS for Wouter.
Max S.

RPI 4 B (4Gb) with SMate
Nikon D5500 H-a modified. Nikon D5500 stock
AT72EDII, TPO RC6
ASI2600MC Pro
ZWO ASI120MM Mini on ZWO 30F4
ZWO ASI224MC-S on Orion 50 mm f/3.2
ZWO EAF x 2
SW AZ-GTi
SW HEQ5
RST-135
2 years 4 months ago #40346

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Let's refine that statement a bit. MinisForum produced an improved BIOS based on my input. Needless to say I am very grateful for that :)


Wouter
Wouter van Reeven

ASI6200MM and 7 slot 2" filter wheel with a SkyWatcher Esprit 80 ED on a SkyWatcher HEQ5-Pro
ASI1600MM-Pro Cooled and 5 slot 1.25" filter wheel with an 8" TS Ritchey-Chrétien on a SkyWatcher EQ6-R
2 years 4 months ago #40347

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