Based on the (relative) successes I've been having the last two days, and also some bad reviews I've seen, I have cancelled my backorder of the Stellarmate Pro. I say relaytive successes because I am still troubled with being way out of focus and have had poor seeing conditions trying to resolve it, but I have seen enough to know that this is fixable when the weather gets better. Thanks to this community for all your help.
Just got done with another successful experiment. Bought an "extra-tough", Kevlar coated USB-C to USB-C cable from Ace Hardware and plugged it into the USB-C ports of the Bluetti and the Pi and it works, and it left me capturing objects on the ground.
Such an incredible brain-fart I was operating under for a year and a half. I bought the Bluetti BECAUSE I could plug my Pi AC adapter into its AC socket. So I never even NOTiCED its USB-C socket and never thought of powering the Pi this way. It even worked for awhile that way. And then it didn't.
I only use the cigarette lighter port if I'm using the dew shield which is only rarely necessary in this part of the world. The mount and the camera are powered from the 12V DC sockets on the Bluetti.
We'll give this a whirl tonight.
And Max, your Baldr and my Bluetti are essentially the same thing with different packaging.
"When at home I use generic 110V/12V power bricks."Hmmm, isn't my Bluetti E3BA a "generic 120V/12V power brick?This put something else on my mind. As you can see in
this picture of the Bluetti
,it has both AC and DC outputs and also that something is plugged into one of the AC outputs. That something the AC adaptor for my Raspberry Pi, II came with the Pi and I always thought it was necessary to use it. In fact, I chose the Bluetti BECAUSE it had both AC and DC outputs, and I never thought about it. The AC Adaptor cable plugs into the USB-C port on the Pi.However I now see in the picture, that there is a "USB-C 100W" output port on the Bluetti. I wonder, if I just got a USB-C cable of the correct gender, could I plug the Pi directly into that port on the Bluetti without messing with the AC adaptor, and might THAT improve performance of the Bluetti to the extent that the camera would work, since it's no longer needlessly pumping AC and DC (when the AC would only be converted back to DC by the adaptor)?
Well - all I can say is Glory Halle-f'in-lujah!
I have finally gotten to the bottom of all this. As several of you have suggested it was the power supply, which I was too thickheaded to believe.
But I have now proved it to be true.
My last problem was that, day or night, the camera would only produce a uniform-colored square.
I tried a test: took my Raspberry Pi completely out of the picture and connected the camera through the USB3 cable to my laptop, on which I had booted Windows and was running ASICap. Same problem therre.
So, it's got to be the camera, the cabling, or the power.
I thought the camera was the most likely culprit, so I took it to Starizona, where I'd bought it, and told them my problem. He hooked it up to a scope in the store, connected it to an ASIAir, powered it on, and quickly focused in on a building across the street and the camera captured it easily. He suggested that my problem might be out-of-focus. So I tried it again last night. But how do you focus the scope when you're looking at an undifferentiated grey-black square???
So I gave up in disgust and went to bed.
Overnight it dawned on me that
1) I had a power supply, a Starizona Power Pack II that came with my used scope and mount. I never used it because it wasn''t very powerful and I had this Bluetti EB3A that looked so nice and SEEMED like it was working, and indeed once it did work, powering all my devices, including the camera, whereas the Power Pack could only power one device at a time, and how long would the power last? Who knew, and good luck even finding documentation for the thing online. Maybe I could use that to power the camera. The Bluetti had no trouble with the mount or the Pi.
2) What did I have to lose.
So right before dusk I pointed my scope at a stucco fence post in my yard, focused it using the eyepiece, then connected the Pi and the mount to the Bluetti, the camera to the PowerPack, and captured a FITS image of the fence post., Then I turned everything off, and plugged the camera power connector into the Bluetti instead of the power pack, and took the same capture.
Thanks, but I don't know what an NVMe is nor do I know what PiMoroni base is. My pi is a 4. I will try to get KDiskMark and show you what it produces, maybe you can tell if it is good.
I know, this is not a decent answer and probably not the one you wanted
Not at all, bro! I can't thank you enough for your detailed explanation, it provides me with the right way to think about this.
A few further points if you will:
1. The green balance thing is the one problem I DID manage to get a handle on, with the white balance settings that I previously didn't know what to do with.
2. As for investigating the power produced by my power supply, I am going to take that seriously and have ordered a multimeter to test it. Only, how would I actually test it? For example, the cable plug into my mount is covered, so I'm not sure where I'd connect the probes. Or can I test at the power supply itself? Wouldn't the current depend on the amount drawn by the equipment?
3. as for a powered usb hub Isn't that what the Stellarmate Pro provides?
While I sit waiting for my Stellarmate Pro to be delivered(even the manufacturer not giving a firm date at this point), I find myself bothered by the thought that all my problems, as detailed in
my "bad-to-worse" topic,
may not be due to my favorite suspect, my Raspberry Pi, at all. Maybe it's the camera. Maybe it's the cabling. Maybe it's who knows what. How does one TEST a Raspberry Pi? Are there test suites of memory etc. that can be run from Astroarch? Are there ways to test the USB connections on the Pi? Grateful for any help anyone can provide. It occurs that this may be of use to others in my predicament.
I did not mean to be a nag, but I was in a crabby state when I wrote this and had bad memories of Astroberry. I am very optimistic that Mattia, you Stephane, and the rest of this team will get things going soon.
However, the last few months have been very disappointing for me as one thing after another happened to poor old Calamity Steve. Things that worked okay stopped working.
I came to realize that my problems probably had more to do with hardware than with software. Get one thing solved, only to find another one waiting behind it My laser-like gaze of suspicion has fallen on that little plastic brick called the Raspberry Pi. How durable was it really?
I decided to buy a more robust package called the StellarMate. At least that will allow me to finally exonerate my camera. Of course this means I will no longer be using AstroArch. I will miss you guys and all that you do, but my reasons for doing so are hardware rather than software-related and I wish you the best of luck. I suppose you might say I am too old to live on the bleeding edge.
The StellarMate will not ship for another month at least, so if the weather improves, I may give the old gear another try, and you may hear from me again. If not, I wish you the best of luck and thank you for all you’ve done to help me.
— Calamity Steve
Thanks for all you have done and are doing, I hear ya and get what you're saying.
And it appears that cabling, of all things, may possibly be a source of my latest SNAFU.
I think occasional updates from the developers if difficulties delay things may inspire confidence in the users.