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14 Nov 2018
Glad to announce of release of INDI Library v1.7.5 on 2018-11-14. A few drivers were added in this release as we continue to improve & stabilize existing drivers.
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TOPIC: Ubuntu Mate customized image for Raspberry PI 3?

Ubuntu Mate customized image for Raspberry PI 3? 2 years 6 months ago #8424

I used an edimax nano dongle with the right driver allowing emitting the beacon signal for wifi and it works. What is difficult is the hotspot software. Errors in the configuration blocked everything and requiering a new installation. If I can avoid I will go for other options. In one of my previous posts someone explained how he needed gigabit capacity via optical fibers. So I abbandoned wifi networking and went for wired connection of machines. My router is rather old but can be powered from 12V battery. My throughput is only max 300Mbps what is sufficient for the moment. In the future I would may be buy a compact switch or router with Gbps channels and with a more performing wifi. To be seen what future will bring.
Stefan

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Pentax K-5; Samyang 800mm F8.0;Sky-Watcher ED80 D=80mm F=600mm;ZWO ASI120MC

Ubuntu Mate customized image for Raspberry PI 3? 2 years 6 months ago #8425

Jasem,
I have tried and it works with the gui on the Rpi. I have some questions I need to answer the next sessions.
We do here instrument control and rather heavy data processing all on a normal OS as Linux. Is this time wise still ok? I know about the existence of Linux versions optimised for realtime processing and control. Why do they exist if we can do all our guiding, gui, instrument control and astrometry simultaneously on a non realtime os? Sooner or later we will see effects we cannot solve anymore in this way.
Does have someone have experience or thoughts about this dilemma?
My zwo blocked me some time but now I can fully experiment with all features and will quickly discover answers on the question.
Stefan

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Pentax K-5; Samyang 800mm F8.0;Sky-Watcher ED80 D=80mm F=600mm;ZWO ASI120MC
Last Edit: by noste99. Reason: Typo zal but I intended zwo

Ubuntu Mate customized image for Raspberry PI 3? 2 years 6 months ago #8428

Max, ok so I checked the Ubuntu-Pi-Flavor-Maker and the scripts make sense. Now, the only thing is how to install INDI Web Manager, did you figure out a way to put that in the build scripts? If yes, please share your scripts.

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Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?
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Ubuntu Mate customized image for Raspberry PI 3? 2 years 6 months ago #8431

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function install_astro_software() {
    chroot $R apt-add-repository -y ppa:mutlaqja/ppa
    chroot $R apt-get update
    chroot $R apt-get -y install kstars-bleeding libqt5libqgtk2 

    git clone https://github.com/knro/indiwebmanager.git
    cp -rf indiwebmanager/servermanager $R/home/${USERNAME}/
    rm -rf indiwebmanager
    cat <<EOM >$R/lib/systemd/system/indiwebmanager.service
[Unit]
Description=INDI Web Manager
After=multi-user.target

[Service]
Type=idle
User=${USERNAME}
ExecStart=/usr/bin/python /home/${USERNAME}/servermanager/drivermanager.py

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target
EOM
    chroot $R apt-get install python-psutil
    chroot $R systemctl enable indiwebmanager.service
}
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Ubuntu Mate customized image for Raspberry PI 3? 2 years 6 months ago #8435

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I think you folks are kind of beating your head against the wall with the pi + wifi + astro gadgets. The reason is, it's ALL usb stuff on the pi, and runs thru the same usb controller, which is just a hub buit into the pi. The nature of it all introduces severe latency and thruput bottlenecks. One would expect the bottleneck to be the limitiing speed of the wifi, but in fact, on a pi, the limiting speeds come about from it's poor thruput on the usb connector. To add to the injury, even the ethernet connector on the pi is indeed done thru usb under the covers, it's just all stitched onto the board to make it appear to be a true hardware ethernet.

In my real work, I manage a modest wide area network that has roughly a thousand edge nodes, and about 8000 access points total on the network. From my experience managing a significant amount of wifi installations, I can say with some certainty, if you are using usb wifi gadgets you can expect your overall thruput to be on par with a 10mbit wired connection on 2.4ghz wifi, and roughly double that if you are on 5ghz, except most 5ghz usb dongles aren't up to that kind of speed no matter what it says on the box.

I have at my disposal just about any kind of wifi gadgets you can think of in the sub $1000 range, we use them all in various locations. I ran the all-sky on a dedicated 2.4ghz wifi link for a couple of years, and the best i can describe that was a 'poor' link, but, I didn't have cables in the ground between the house and the all sky location, so it was run over wifi at a distance of about 50 feet using dedicated point to point connections to join the house network. Even with a highly optimized point to point link, using the starlight xpress oculus to deliver uncompressed frames with 16 bit data at 1392x1024 it took upwards of 5 seconds to transfer an image from the server out there back to the clients in the house. The indi server in that case was an old netbook (eee 701) with usb2 connection to the camera and 100mbit ethernet to the access point. When I ran hardware ethernet out to the location, transfer times went from upwards of 5 seconds to sub 1 second for the same frames. I tried a pi in that spot, but it was much much slower transferring frames from the all sky onto the network, so I put the old netbook back.

When we planned out our observatory build, the first thing I did was put conduits in the ground for power and gigabit connections. It's more than 300 feet from the house to the obs, so the data conduit has optical fiber in it.

The pi is a great deal if you want something cheap with rather good video performance, but, when it comes to network performance, it's pathetic. i have a few kicking around here, but when it comes to putting a dedicated device in the observatory to manage data from the cameras, pi is not even on my radar. My requirements are to have a gadget that can deliver frames in real time from guide cameras over a gigabit connection fast enough that network latency is insignificant compared to the usb download time for the camera. A pi just cant do that.

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Ubuntu Mate customized image for Raspberry PI 3? 2 years 6 months ago #8438

Gerryr, any idea how odroid is behaving from this point of view?
Which hardware do recommend for mobile setup if you want good data throughput? Are there laptops with fiber connectors providing Gbps at a modest price?

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Pentax K-5; Samyang 800mm F8.0;Sky-Watcher ED80 D=80mm F=600mm;ZWO ASI120MC

Ubuntu Mate customized image for Raspberry PI 3? 2 years 6 months ago #8439

knro wrote: The idea behind the RPI3 image is to be completely newbie friendly. That is, anyone who hasn't used Linux before can easily use it straight away. Personally, I'd never run a GUI in raspberry pi designated for equipment control.


I agree with that. One of the best features of Indi is its elegant client/server implementation. I think the Raspberry Pi is extremely popular and now that at PixInsight they are looking at Indi it will make many people look at a combination of Raspberry Pi + Indi.

If network latency is an issue, would it be possible to run on the Pi all the modules affected by latency? I'm mostly thinking of guiding and focusing.
What about a configuration wizard that lets the user choose what to run locally and what to run remotely?

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Ubuntu Mate customized image for Raspberry PI 3? 2 years 6 months ago #8440

Ok thanks to Max, I built an image for RPI3. I will try to customize it a bit more in the next few days before I make it available for testing & feedback.

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Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?
Add your observatory info

Ubuntu Mate customized image for Raspberry PI 3? 2 years 6 months ago #8444

I look forward to trying this :)

Malcolm

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Ubuntu Mate customized image for Raspberry PI 3? 2 years 6 months ago #8445

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noste99 wrote: Gerryr, any idea how odroid is behaving from this point of view?
Which hardware do recommend for mobile setup if you want good data throughput? Are there laptops with fiber connectors providing Gbps at a modest price?


The only reason to go with fibre instead of ethernet cable is if you are trunking data over a distance longer than 300 feet. Typically fibre terminates into a switch and then you connect the computers thru the switch. When we used to go mobile, we had a camper van, and it was our main power source, had a 110ah battery in the van, so we ran power from the van to the telescopes the old fashioned way, with an extension cord. If I wanted to run a setup with an indi server at the telescope and computers in the van to drive it all, I'd do that with an ethernet cable. Fibre run is only suitable for fixed installations.

As for the odroid, i've never had one to work with, so dont know what it's cabilities are. For our setup, since it's fixed and we have no shortage of power available, I'll use stuff I already have kicking around here. I have a couple of Atom based fanless motherboards with the PicoPsu power supply, so they are candidates. For me, the important things I'm interested in for our remote gadgets, they must be capable of grabbing frames over the usb connection to the cameras, then deliver those frames over the network with minimal network latency, ideally network thruput can be such that it's bordering on insignificant in comparison to the time taken to pull the image out of the camera over the usb connection. This latency isn't critical at all for images coming from the main camera, but it does get important for guiding data.

We are getting a bit behind on the build schedule here, life / work has got to hectic, we just haven't had time to work on getting the platforms built for the domes, but it's not a big deal right now. We are headed into the part of the year where we dont get proper dark at night, we are far enough north that astronomical sunset doesn't happen at all for 7 weeks of the year around summer solstice.
The following user(s) said Thank You: noste99, MiHell

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Ubuntu Mate customized image for Raspberry PI 3? 2 years 6 months ago #8467

I don't know if this could change your evaluation but PI 3 has its own WiFi on board so you don't have to use external USB dongle, maybe situation woul be different.

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Ubuntu Mate customized image for Raspberry PI 3? 2 years 5 months ago #8989

It is ironic that I just found this thread now which was created a month ago that is about creating a Raspberry Pi image with Ubuntu Mate and KStars and Ekos running on it and velcro-attaching the whole thing to a telescope, since I started working on exactly that project almost a month ago. I have accomplished this. It is still a work in progress, but it is a fully functional one. It is currently waiting for the moon and clouds to go away.

It actually seems to be working pretty well with my SBIG 8300M with 8 position filter wheel, Moonlite Focuser, Losmandy Gemini Mount, and Meade DSI Pro for guiding. It is great to have a wireless setup in the field with the option to either run the Pi as just an INDI server and use your laptop as client, or the option to VNC into the PI and run everything from the PI (so you can turn off your laptop when it is all working well and save power).

It also can control my Canon XSi and my Canon 60D (except in bulb mode), but this is where I have run into issues with the Raspberry Pi. I have had some issues with taking anything other than very small jpegs when the Canons are in FITS mode. Anything bigger seems to crash KStars with the Canon cameras in FITS mode. They can take full size photos in "native" mode, but then those photos don't really work with Ekos. This may be a limitation of the Raspberry Pi. I think it might be too much for the memory and processors. I am going to try an ODROID C2 for this reason.

But it does work great with my SBIG, so the configurations that I have done for my Raspberry PI could help others who want to do the same thing.

My Configurations:
  • Headless Raspberry Pi 3
  • 32 GB micro SD Card
  • 12 Volt USB hub with 7 plugs and 2 USB power plugs (one can power the Pi)
  • Ubuntu-Mate 16.04 LTS
  • Vino for VNC control
  • KStars-bleeding (Need to run kded5 before running the bleeding version, not true for the stable version from apt-get. Some features don't work without kded5 I found.)
  • Oxygen icon theme (needed because the buttons do not look right)
  • indi-full (run INDI from the command line on the same Raspberry Pi, create a launcher for it, or use INDI Web Manager. The Local Server does not work. But "remotely" connecting to it on the same Pi works fine)
  • INDI Web Manager (necessary for controlling INDI since KStars can't in local mode on the Raspberry PI for some reason)
  • Samba for remote access to home folder
  • phd-2 (though I have been using the built in guider in Ekos mostly)
  • Astrometry.net with specific index files (note, must be run in "remote" mode, since the built in offline solver does nothing)
  • UDev rules for assigning names to USB devices when they are plugged in. (Needed because the first USB serial device you plug in is USB0, and it is a pain in the butt to change this setting every time in Ekos)

I do have a complete document I am working on that explains everything. There were a number of different things I had to configure to get all this working and I have tried a bunch of different things until I settled on this configuration. Let me know if you want to know more.

I have already had it in the field and have done some decent astrophotos with it. KStars and the INDI server did crash sometimes, but this may have been due to things I was trying out with the system or it may be due to limitations of the PI. Regardless, I am going to be trying this configuration in the field some more and I will be trying the same thing with an ODroid C2 which has more memory and processing speed.
The following user(s) said Thank You: knro, oleg, ggkids, Astromaniac

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