Re: Updating Cabling

Christopher Erickson

For me, most of the time a remote PC just simply won't work. I enjoy doing occultations with my two QHY174M-GPS cameras. Mini-PC's don't have the raw horsepower to do that and also tolerate the latency of a remote connection when capturing QHY174M full resolution, full depth FITS frames anywhere from 2 to 450 frames a second. I use a USB3 hub on the OTA to aggregate everything except the main camera, which gets its own dedicated USB3 cable to my occultation laptop. So there are two USB and one power cable through my AP mounts. I also have a PowerPole hub on the OTA. My laptop is usually a powerful gamer's model with a 2TB SSD drive.

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory engineer
Waikoloa, HI 96738

On Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 9:32 AM Dale Ghent <daleg@...> wrote:

> On Sep 19, 2020, at 9:20 AM, Seb@stro <sebastiendore1@...> wrote:
> Hello Dale,
> I’m also a mobile imager and agree the on-mount mini-PC should relieve a lot of the cable management burden while setting up / tearing down. I do not have any yet (besides a raspberry pi project I’m working on that will definitely not work below freezing temp next winter - I’m at 47 deg latitude and much of the 6-month winter season here is between -15 and -25C) so I was wondering if yours is an industrial type of mini-PC and if so what model it is.

I use an industrial fanless mini PC from OnLogic, in their ML100 series, specifically the ML100G-51 model:

The Whiskey Lake CPUs have a 15W TDP and so are very powerful but also very kind on battry-powered setups. However, I also run the Whiskey Lake CPUs because I run a 61mp QHY600 camera, and lower-powered Celerons (J series, N series) would have a tough time with that during autofocus and other image analysis operations. But if you went with a Celeron-based model, you would see even lower-powered usage.

The body of the case is a heat sink so it keeps itself clear of dew, and it doesn't have a fan to blow humid air through the inside, either. It also has external wifi antennas (vs. an intel NUC, which is internal) so when setting up at home, it has the reach to get good speeds on my home wireless network. When in the field I use a low power wifi router (repurposed Apple Airport Express) to make a small wireless network on the spot that the unit will auto-connect to. I am starting to experiment with the reliability of Windows' Mobile Hotspot/Hotspot On Demand feature, and if that works reliably I can remove the small wifi router from the setup. It's a shame that Windows 10 discontinued wireless ad-hoc mode, which was a bit more foolproof.

The only similar alternative to the OnLogic fanless models I found were SimplyNUC's Por-cool-pine line of fanless systems:

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