In the process of setting up a 12’ Astro Haven dome and moving my 12.5” RC and AP1200 mount from the ROR to the dome. In the process I’m contemplating replacing the observatory computer with a NUC to both shorten the cabling and have a more compact unit. I counted the ports as the computer is now configured and have the following needs:
Serial ports=7 I have a StarTech ICUSB23241 4 Port Industrial USB to RS232 Serial Hub but that still leaves 3 needed ports (focuser, rotator, AP1200 backup, Dew Heater Controller, Flat Panel, Boltwood, and dome controls)
USB ports = 4 including the one for the Serial Hub, Guider camera, Main Camera, mouse and keyboard
Network minimum=1 then use the 8 port Gigabit switch I have ( 1 AP1200, 1 Computer network, onsite pan cameras (3), etc.)
Display port=1 HDMI or DVI
Anticipating fiber optic internet connections in the next month or so I also ran Cat6 cabling for network switch and mount.
So with that in mind the ports, mainly serial are what have me second guessing the NUC. I have, almost ready to ship out, a OnLogic NUC for a friends SRO system but that’s way more then I care to spend although it has all the necessary ports to hook everything up directly with hubs and so on. So based on this what would be a reasonable budget for what I’m looking for in a quality, reliable NUC? Even if I use the existing desktop computer I have now it will be without all the extender cables I’m using now as the computer is in the warm room 20’ away but the idea of a sealed fanless computer really appeals to me for this type of usage. Hence I’m looking for ideas to explore while this project continues, in of course, the hottest time of the year.