- This topic has 3 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 3:12 pm on 2017-01-03 by urbanMark.
December 14, 2016 at 7:00 am #115678
Richard S. Wright Jr.Senior Moderator
I might seem a bit maniacal in this blog post… but I'm pretty jazzed.
Well, it is official. Finally. TheSkyX Pro is now available for 64-bit Ubuntu Linux and Raspberry Pi, and it's available to anyone not only with a Universal Subscription, but also the Multi-OS and Six License Add On. This means if you purchased a Paramount mount in the last five years or so, you can download it now (assuming your subscription is up to date…we need to eat you know
This is a substantial milestone in a broader vision to make TheSky a ubiquitous imaging platform. Linux is the cornerstone for a number of institutional customers, and the Raspberry Pi is the foundation of what will become “SkyBox”, an embedded version of TheSky where the “computer disappears”. With these latest releases, you can now build a low cost imaging control system that is robust, reliable, and that you can “leave alone” and it will work for years. No more OS updates that turn off your USB ports after twenty minutes of imaging. No more resetting of the update parameters causing a reboot in the middle of the night during your imaging run for “important updates”. No more OS updates that require all new USB driver updates.
If you are a serious and frequent imager, you can (and should) dedicate a computer to imaging. Friends ask me what kind of laptop or desktop they should get for their imaging. Listen… unless you're going to run PixInsight on the same box, you don't need a quad core killer game machine to take images and guide. My observatory is run by a Raspberry Pi 3 that cost less than $100.00 total in parts, draws only 500ma, and it works every time I turn it on. Done.
If you image with a DSLR, it has a computer built into it. Do you check email on it? Do you surf the web? Play games? No, a DSLR is a device for imaging (don't get me started on phones – ha ha). In the same way your imaging system can just be an imaging system. “I upgraded to El Capitain and all my USB devices don't work”… why did you update? Because it's a new OS, and it's my laptop and it had features I … blah blah blah… Now, you can have a small cheap Linux box (doesn't have to be a Pi) that runs your imaging session and THAT'S ALL. Don't freak'n touch it unless you're updating your imaging software. I've been imaging for two years now on Ubuntu using a $99.00 netbook. It's cheap, it's disposable… it's RELIABLE. This is the future, and it starts today. Modern desktop operating systems seem to be geared towards nothing more than helping you shop faster, or stay entertained all the time. If you want to get real work done… I think you can see my point.
All this grandiose posturing aside (hey, I know what I amDecember 22, 2016 at 11:06 am #239003
Outstanding, Richard!! I've been (patiently?) waiting a development like this involving the Pi3, but certainly didn't expect this much functionality on first announcement. I use an SBIG camera/filter wheel/autoguider, so I'll still have to wait for a while. But you've already covered my P-MX mount and FBII focuser, so for me you're 2/3's of the way there.
I have an older Pi2 and a pair of Pi3's for Linux learning and beginner development, so I'm definitely in your target audience.
Quick question: how does TSX user interface connect to the Pi3? Or are you saying TSX now runs ON the Pi3, and that TSX is now on the Raspbian GUI Desktop? The little Pi3 has the oomph to run a near-real-time GUI like TSX?December 23, 2016 at 12:03 pm #239039
This is really wonderful news!
Now hoping to see a corresponding major update to the iOS app TheSkyXHD soon that allows full control of imaging runs, guiding, autofocusing, dithering, mount flip, sky flats, etc via control of the embedded Raspberry Pi version of TheSkyX.January 3, 2017 at 3:12 pm #239369
This is fantastic news Richard! And just in time – standard desktop OS's are quickly becoming unworkable for imaging control with forced updates, automatic restarts, and settings that magically revert to factory preferences.
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