Re: How do I connect SiTech.exe over TCP/IP network to a ZWO ASI533 camera connected to a 2nd laptop?


Rusty Fletcher
 

Hello Don!

Thank you for your advice and help. I tested both laptops under "Windows Task Manager - Performance", as was discussed in another post. It turns out the CPU does get used consistently at about 80% and often hits 100% when all the processes I want to use are all running simultaneously. I think it hits 100% when the computer is attempting to download both an auto-guiding image from PHD and a deep sky image from my ZWO ASI533 Camera simultaneously. With everything running on one laptop the processes are as follows:

SiTech.exe;   The Sky 6 connected to SiTech.exe (ASCOM);   ASI Studio V1.4 running "Deep Sky Imaging" connected to my ZWO ASI533 Camera;   PHD2 Guiding 2.6.9  connected to both My Mead DSI II Camera & SiTech.exe (ASCOM).

This test was done using the camera's and motors lying on my desk... so the images were done with dust caps on... no actual guiding commands were sent to the SiTech.exe driver. Also, I plan to stay inside my house on cold nights and remotely control both laptops using "Remote Desktop" on Windows 7 since all my computers are running Windows 7 Professional. There will be some additional CPU usage when using Remote Desktop over a TCP/IP network.

if everything is running on one laptop my concern is it's just too much for one laptop to do with the ease and grace that makes for great performance. I was in the computer business for almost 20 years. I sold my business in 2015. I learned that even though a computer can often handle a job... it is wise to allow for extra memory and CPU usage for everything to run smoothly and at peak performance. Especially when doing critical work. With 1 second exposures I want my guiding camera to update every 2.5 to 3 seconds to maintain good round stars. I confess my homemade mount could handle many improvements but I have learned, by experience, that good auto-guiding will make up for my mounts poor performance. If there is any way I can divide all the task's between two older laptop computers I want to do it. The other option would be to purchase a new (very powerful) $1,400 laptop but I don't want to do that ... I want to keep my wife happy! Lol She approved my purchase of the SiTech Controller II. I think she is still happy!  :-)

I timed the download speed of my auto-guiding images. With everything running on one computer I found that it definitely slows down the auto-guiding speed by about 30 to 40%. That is enough to require that I throw away a lot more of my main images when doing deep sky imaging. When I ran the PHD auto-guiding software by itself on just one laptop with 1 second exposures the performance was about 2.5 seconds per update. Using 2 computers to run everything definitely makes some difference. I could run PlateSolve connected to my guiding camera because that is the computer I am using to run SiTech.exe. But, I would prefer to use PlateSolve connected to my primary imaging camera. It will allow for faster centering of objects and will probably work best with PointXP because the primary imaging camera is mounted on the primary imaging scope. Maybe with your expertise and possibly the advice of others this could be made to work. Thank you sir!

Rusty Fletcher

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