Re: Off Topic-NUC Computer

Dale Ghent

Two things pop out at me:

1) You have a 1200GTO which lacks the through-mount cabling, which means any cables coming off your telescope will be suspended in air for some portion and would present snag hazards and each be subjected to repeated flexing and wear for some portion of their length.

2) Gosh, that's a lot of POS (plain old serial)

My own instinct and from working with mounts that have both thru-mount cableways and not, is to minimize that run of cables to the telescope and not run individual cables for each device up there.

On top of the scope, I would place a power pole hub and USB hub such as a StarTech 7-port model. I would run only one 12V and one USB cable from the NUC up to those devices. The powerpole hub would distribute power, and the USB hub would connect your USB devices and, for your devices which have only RS232 interfaces, USB to serial adapters for each. This the lightens the cable harness that comes off the telescope. Because you would use discrete USB to serial adaptors for your RS232 devices, you don't need to worry about having enough RS232 ports.

With all data devices on your telescope occupying only one USB port on your NUC, you can use a second USB port for the 4-port StarTech ICUSB23241. That can connect the dome, boltwood, CP backup, and flat panel. You'll then have USB ports to spare.

I would not bother with trying to pipe the NUC's keyboard+mouse and HDMI video over to your warm room. It's already on a 1Gb network, so just use MS Remote Desktop to remote in from a laptop of desktop PC on the network. Your wired LAN and also have a WAP so you don't even need a hardwire network connection for your latop and can also use tablet PCs or iPads to remote into your NUC to run sessions.

If you want to at the pier, you can keep a small keyboard and mouse to plug in to the NUC when you need to. Keep a small and cheap HDMI monitor on hand to use with them.

On Jul 12, 2021, at 13:33, Steve Reilly <sreilly24590@...> wrote:

I would guess sit on the pier.


-----Original Message-----
From: <> On Behalf Of Dale Ghent
Sent: Monday, July 12, 2021 1:26 PM
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Off Topic-NUC Computer

Just to be clear, is this NUC going to ride on top of your telescope on the mount, or sit on/close to the pier?

On Jul 12, 2021, at 13:11, Steve Reilly <sreilly24590@...> wrote:

Hey Gang,

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.



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