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INDI Library v1.9.5 Released (08 Mar 2022)

Bi-monthly INDI Library released with new drivers and bug fixes.

Alternatives to Raspberry Pi4?

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Hi,
I'm looking for an alternative to the Raspberry Pi 4. I'm now on my second unit and both have exhibited the exact same problem - flaky USB3 connections. I've turned off wifi and run a network hard wired to the Pi, but this does not make any difference. Both of them were bought early on after the Pi's release. Now that I have completed a new obs, I'm keen to get back in to using Kstars/Ekos, but for me, the Pi is more trouble than it's worth, and yes, I know many people have no issues, but I obviously have bad karma from my past lives :-)

Is there an alternative I could use - looking at spending up to $200US.

cheers
Gary
1 year 5 months ago #64185

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I have had these issues as well. I have found that using a good powered USB3 hub helps out a lot. I have use the amazon basics USB3 hubs with great success.

I have used mainly Raspberry Pi 4 units, but I have switched my main scope to a LattePanda Delta unit running Ubuntu 20.04 and INDI server - I run k-stars on my Windows PC inside the house and connect to my equipment via INDI server on the LattePanda Delta.

It's a bit expensive, but has a Real Time Clock, internal memory, active cooling, and plenty of RAM.

Thanks.
1 year 5 months ago #64187

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In my obs, I switched from an RPi4 to a refurbished Intel NUC clone and run indiserver on that with a wired connection to the house. It is a refurb from circa 2015 I think - it's been in my obs for about 2.5 years, and has survived Winnipeg winters like a champ. It's fanless doesn't seem to mind temps as low as -30C or as warm as +35C (although I typicaly don't image at high temps).

When I take the gear out to the field, I use two RPi4 - one running indi server (4Gb model) and another (8Gb) model for Kstars, both booting from SSD. No issues with USB, but I do use a power hub as well, given two cameras, mount, and a focusser. No wifi: all wired and works well - I like the 1Gb throughput.

Everything runs ubuntu 20.04.

As an aside, it's amazing how we take things for granted. Even a few years ago, operating my gear like I do now would have been wishful thinking - now plate solving to do PA instead of drift alignment, automated focusing, capture, accurate GPS, accurate slews with plate solving, and I can run everything in the comfort of my home or trailer. Big thanks to all who have contributed. Retirement isn't that far off - perhaps I'll write a user manual for all this!

jmh
1 year 5 months ago #64191

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I've been using an AAEON-UP core for some time now. At the time I got it being x64 based was an advantage as some vendors devices would not work on ARM computers. It also has USB3 and on board eMMC storage and RTC. The onboard wifi can accept an external antenna unlike the PI.
There is no on-board ethernet LAN but I just connect a gigabit adapter to the USB hub.
Normally I run wireless and save images to the eMMC. when finished I transfer them to my main computer via the gigabit LAN.
The only downside is that it lags behind on Ubuntu support as they need to port some patches to the kernel - currently 18.04 is supported and 20.04 is on its way.
up-shop.org/up-core-series.html
-- Ken
RPi3 Ubuntu Server 20.04, Windows 10 AMD64, AAEON UP Core Ubuntu Desktop 20.04
Avalon M-Uno, EQ6 Pro, Atik420, ASI1600MM-C, ASI120MM-S, DBK21AU04, ZWO EFW, Optec TCFSi
Vixen R150S, GSO RC8, ST80
1 year 5 months ago #64194

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FWIW, I have had good luck with a Hardkernel Odroid XU4 running Ubuntu. www.hardkernel.com/shop/odroid-xu4-special-price/ I have put it in an enclosure suitable for outdoors that has sufficient space for cable management. I use E-MMC for root (fast) and capture frames onto an SD card (64GB). Works fine off battery power (hours and hours...all night). With the XU4, I have experienced some issues using Zwo ASI120MC-S (which appears to reset the USB3 bus constantly...), but resolved by re-arranging the other usb devices (some are more tolerant of this behavior than others, it would appear). I'm currently using an external (usb powered) WIFI adapter (IOGear GWU627) that plugs into ethernet on the XU3 (I suspect this has better throughput than using USB).
1 year 5 months ago #64195

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What is the point/benefit of running two RPI's in the field? Power draw is two-fold....
I am using just one and it works well.
I don't use VNC (in the field) - I use a 10" HDMI monitor.
Max S.

RPI 4 B (4Gb) with SMate
Askar FRA400, TPO RC6, Nikon D5500 full spectrum (with IDAS clip-in filter).
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
1 year 5 months ago #64206

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I actually started having a problem with USB lately too. Starting with SM 1.5.4 and now with 1.5.5.
When everything runs on RPI - no problem, but often when I use a Windows client, one of my cameras is not functioning right.
I have two, of course - primary and guide.
Both cameras are connected/recognized but one of them wouldn't complete the image download. Sometimes the primary, sometimes the guide.
I need to reboot the RPI once or twice or trice to make both cameras to work. With Windows client. Wired connection. WIFI is active but not used.
Max S.

RPI 4 B (4Gb) with SMate
Askar FRA400, TPO RC6, Nikon D5500 full spectrum (with IDAS clip-in filter).
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: 1 year 5 months ago by maxthebuilder.
1 year 5 months ago #64207

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Gary,

For my work I use several Raspberry Pi 4's and we have issues with the early models as well. It seems to originate in the firmware because the newer ones have a newer firmware and they run very stably. Have you considered either updating the firmware or buying a newer RPi4 and see if that solves the issue? As you write, many people report success (actually, I am one of those people having used four different RPi4s now without issues) and there must be a reason for that, right?

As Max writes, it may be due to using Windows KStars as a client. Have you tried connecting via VNC instead and seeing if that solves your issues?

It is of course very well possible that your RPi4s are falty but I'd want to make sure they are before spending potentially lots of money to solve an issue which may be solved for free.

Just my $0.02


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
1 year 5 months ago #64209

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Just FYI. My RPI4's are about a year apart but both show similar behavior.
Max S.

RPI 4 B (4Gb) with SMate
Askar FRA400, TPO RC6, Nikon D5500 full spectrum (with IDAS clip-in filter).
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
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary McKenzie
1 year 5 months ago #64213

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Replied by PDB on topic Alternatives to Raspberry Pi4?

Those camera hangs have turned lately, but I see these also when I connet 2 ASI cams to my Intel PC. (If I connect 2 diiferent makes eg ASI and Omegon no problem and no hangs) Looks more like a driver issue (timing) or a ZWO SDK issue.

Anyway I run an RPI4 and so far it works ok. Must say I connect everything on the RPI via a Pegasus Powerbox V2 and that makes it more stable.
And of course a good power supply for the RPI is a must.

Paul
1 year 5 months ago #64214

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Now that I have everything satisfactorily running on a Pi3a, albeit slowly, I'm looking to upgrade to something more suited myself.

I'm leaning towards the Asus Tinkerboard mainly for the "SSD Like" 16gb onboard memory, and a 4x increase in RAM vs. the Pi3.
1 year 5 months ago #64217

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+1 for a good power supply. I use all RPi4s with a good battery and with 2 ZWO cameras. No powered hub. The ASI120MC-S is connected to the USB hub of the ASI2600MC or ASI6200MM which gets connected to one of the USB3 ports of the RPi4. No issues whatsoever.

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
1 year 5 months ago #64218

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