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Image Capture StellarMate

OhNo

Founding Member
This software can do both Capture and Control. It is INDI based as opposed to ASCOM. It is Open Source and used in conjunction with a Raspberry Pi. It seems to be the front runner of the three INDI based programs I am aware of. The other two are AstroBerry and ASIAir Pro.

I own the ASIAir Pro which left me feeling "dumbed down" after using NINA or SGP. Was Pretty basic at the time of purchase. Oh, and extremely expensive for a RPi with 4 useless power ports. That said I use the ASIAir Pro with the StellarMate OS in it. StellarMate is priced fairly at $49.00 USD and has an advantage over the Astroberry in that all the tools are already installed in the OS.

They have implemented a lot more abilities into it than most intermittent APers would likely use. For the diehard APer it is under constant improvement. Polar alignment, Auto Focus, plate solving, internal guiding, Sequence tools which are capable of running automated mosaic sequences.

Any questions, feel free to ask. I am no pro but I have a couple years of experience with it and still have most of my hair!:biglaugh:
 

Tracy Perry

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
263
34
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


I had an ASIAIR Pro on order (actually backorder) from Agena AstroProducts but got to doing more research and learned that it was basically a Raspberry Pi system with just a few power outlets attached to the case and 32GB of eMMC. It's also limited to ASI cameras and a few DSLR's. I cancelled that order (wouldn't be in until mid-September anyway) and decided to try the Pi's out, as I'm a computer geek and the price and the fact that they run on Linux were plus's.

The big benefit with Astroberry (the first I played with) and then Stellarmate is that you can use other cameras with it. You can always get a small power distribution block like a Pegasus and have even better power distribution, so that being built into the ASTROAIR Plus is not that big of a benefit to me, as I would prefer something that can supply more power than the ASIAIR can most likely do.

I DID have an issue with StellarMate (running Bullseye) in that my EQ35M mount was attached using a Tripp Lite RS-232 -> USB cable. The Prolific chip in that cable was recognized fine by Astroberry (running Buster), but I had some issues with Astroberry not recognizing my filter wheel reliably.... so I purchased StellarMate figuring the support would be better. i got great support from Jasem, but we had to upgrade the Pi to the latest cutting edge of the operating system (not fond of living on the cutting edge) and then StellarMate detected the EQ35M as SynScan Legacy instead of the normal SynScan that Astroberry did (I run through the hand controller currently).
Ended up getting a new RS-232 -> USB cable using the FTDI chipset, making a copy of the StellarMate OS install and then re-installing. Using the new FTDI chipped cable Stellarmate worked fine with the EQ35M, detecting it also as a SynScan.

Other than playing with them inside the house, I haven't been able to do anything real world with them yet.
 

OhNo

Founding Member
The main reason I went with the RPi/indi is my climate. I shoot every night I can. My ambient temperatures can range from 35C to -45C. I am more willing to crater a RPi over a expensive laptop. A year ago I trenched in a Ethernet cable from my house to the obs. Data transfer from the obs to the house is quick now. Darn obs is way too far away for WiFi without a couple extenders in the link. Up here, less is more!
 

Tracy Perry

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
263
34
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


The main reason I went with the RPi/indi is my climate. I shoot every night I can. My ambient temperatures can range from 35C to -45C. I am more willing to crater a RPi over a expensive laptop. A year ago I trenched in a Ethernet cable from my house to the obs. Data transfer from the obs to the house is quick now. Darn obs is way too far away for WiFi without a couple extenders in the link. Up here, less is more!
That is also one reason I went with the RPi route. Here in Texas we can go from about 3°F (-16•C) to 97° (36°C) at night.
I also like the fact that the RPi can be attached directly to the equipment.

I'd seriously look at moving that ethernet cable over to fiber... it's not that much more expensive than CAT5/6 and it is not impacted by any close lightning strikes picking up transient voltage. I had that happen at one of the municipal buildings where I used to work. I recommended fiber, the department head (old school IT guy) wanted CAT5. Needless to say he won. Then about 14 months later we had a bad thunderstorm blow through, one of the radio towers and some trees around it got several back to back lightning strikes... and transient voltage came in and fried equipment on both termination ends of the cable run. Only did about $14,000 worth of damage to the switches and other items attached directly.
You can get a decent fiber -> CAT5/6 converter fairly cheap (around $50USD from NewEgg). The fiber will only transfer light... it will not transfer an electrical load like CAT cable can.
 

OhNo

Founding Member
I'm all plastic on a wood floor. Wind scares me more than lightning!o_O
 

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Tracy Perry

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
263
34
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


I'm all plastic on a wood floor. Wind scares me more than lightning!o_O
nice observatory.. got a friend that lives in Arkansas that has a similar setup on some of his land in New Mexico. His is currently down as his ASI1600MM fan is kaput... simple to replace.. but long ways to drive just to do it. ⏳
He's more concerned with wind also as they don't get a lot of severe thunderstorms out there... not sure how bad they are around you. Here in Texas and such, they are a regular occurrence. In fact, I've seen a couple of places that got hit by lightning but didn't even get benefit of the rain that the storm was putting out recently.
 

OhNo

Founding Member
We get lightening, plow winds, Blizzards and in my yard on a Hill anything under 25MPH is called a breeze!
 

Tracy Perry

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
263
34
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


Was running Astroberry on the RPi I had set aside for use with the NexStar... but I like the fact that Jasem keeps Stellarmate updated regularly and you get great support... so I bought a second license and am currently setting it up on my 4GB RPi that had Astroberry on it.
I REALLY wish he had the geographical updates loaded in that I sent - now I have to add all the parks and other sites back in again.
 

OhNo

Founding Member
Why would you need 2 licenses?
 

Tracy Perry

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
263
34
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


Why would you need 2 licenses?
To support him.
I think you can put it on up to 10 devices for each license... but it's worth it to me. ;)
Not to mention.... I'm used to paying for one license per install with site related stuff... so it was basically force of habit when I did it originally.
 
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Tracy Perry

Dark Sky Lover
Founder
263
34
Texas
Telescopes

William Optics 103mm
Celestron NexStar 8SE


Just when I was bragging on Stellar Mate... 23 hours since ticket entered.... and this IS something that they had discussions about over 2 years ago... looks like nothing was done... but I STILL like the OS.
 
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