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Would an old Win8 tablet (updated to win10) work to run BYE?


jproehl
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I have an old windows 8 tablet (ASUS VivoTab Smart ME400C Tablet with an Atom Z2760 / 1.8 GHz - 2 GB RAM - 64 GB SSD - 10.1" IPS touchscreen 1366 x 768 (HD)) and I'm wondering: 1) Would BYE run smoothly on this tablet if I were to update it to Win10 and 2) Would it be worth doing given the Win10 update cost is $139 or would it be so slow that I should instead just get an updated tablet with newer processor and more RAM? 

If a new tablet is the best path, then what would be the minimum specs I should get in a new tablet or 2-in-1? Would a Surface 3 with a 10.1" screen and 4GB be a good choice for using primarily to run BYE to support my Canon T3i astromodified camera and Celestron's SkyPortal software to control a Celestron 8SE?

ANY advice or comments are welcome! Even if I get a lot of "You're crazy to even think of turning on that old of a machine!" then I would have my answer.

 

Thanks in advance!

Jeff

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These are the prerequisites, as listed in the BYE User Guide:

Prerequisites
    BackyardEOS is built using the Microsoft .Net Framework and runs only on Windows operating systems.

The Mandatories:
    Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 or higher
    Microsoft .Net 4.0 (the installer will detect if it is not installed on your computer)

The Minimum:
    All items in 'The mandatories'
    Screen resolution of 1024 x 600
    Single CPU
    1GB memory

The Recommended:
    All items in 'The mandatories'
    Screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or higher
    Dual CPU or more
    2GB memory or more

If your computer meets these requirements/recommendations I would download the software and "purchase" a free 30-day trial to test it. Make sure to configure Windows to never shut down the USB port(s). It will give BYE fits if the USB port powers down during a capture run. Also if you need to use a USB hub to connect multiple devices, be sure that it is a powered hub!

I would think that your biggest issue has nothing to do with BYE or the cmputer. It would be field rotation when trying to do long exposure imaging with the alt-az mount.

Another task is adapting the telescope's 1.25" visual back for the camera. Celestron makes several accessories like the T-adapter, Canon T-ring and f/6.3 reducer corrector to make this possible.

All in all, BYE is the least of your problems.

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For as aged a Tablet, it has a good CPU (Atom Z2760 is 2-Core/4-Thread).  The rest of the hardware listed is "adequate" - Low-End but Adequate.  It isn't much "below" the hardware of my "Backup Imaging Laptop" on which I've successfully run night-long Imaging Sessions with BYE and PHD2 and Irfanview and Stellarium all running.

It should work for your purposes.

You will want to ensure that you have your Battery Charger available full-time, as running such a CPU Load will drain the Battery rather quickly.  And you will want a Powered USB Hub (only needs be USB2 for your combo - but needs to be independently powered).  If your Imaging Location will be within an Extension Cord-length of an Outlet, you can use your standard Wall-Warts, else you'll need to figure out a Battery Power setup.

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Thanks for the info Astroman133, the tablet meets the basic requirements. I'm looking for experienced users opinions on whether in practice that tablet would be annoyingly slow to use. I already have purchased BYE and are beginning to learn how to use it on my desktop computer. But I know I'll need a laptop of some kind in the field.

I have two imaging options that I plan to use to mount my astro-modified Canon T3i - 1) a polar aligned Celestron 8SE on a wedge and 2) a polar aligned SkyWatcher.

Field rotation won't be a problem. I also have the T-adapter and the f/6.3 focal reducer to use for mounting on the 8SE.

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The issue with a tablet or netbook is that the USB circuitry in the tablet may not have the capacity to handle the volume of information that comes with controlling imaging, autoguiding, along with telescope and focuser control. The specific bottleneck may be downloading a new image from the main camera and a guiding image at the same time.

So it may be OK with only controlling the camera, but may choke on all the remaining device control.

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Thanks again Astroman133. Unfortunately, I ran into a snag when I tried to update the tablet to Win10, the updater told me that the Atom processor my tablet has isn't compatible with Win10. I don't think I want to try to use Win8 to control the camera, so the question may be moot. I may give it a try to see what its capable of, but I'm probably looking at a new laptop/tablet for the job.

As for file transfer, I thought that might be an issue, so I have a 256GB card in the camera that I was planning on storing each sessions images for later transfer.  Would that suffice for most sessions if I only store the RAW files? I assume image processing would be better done on a more capable machine, correct?

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BYE is compatible with Windows 8 so that should not be a problem, as long as the requisite version of .NET is installed.

If the tablet has LAN access to the machine where you plan to process the images, you should be fine as far as file transfer is concerned.

I would caution you to avoid inventing issues, like "file transfer might be an issue". Just try it and see.

I only store RAW image files from the Imaging tab. They are also only stored on my PC. If I only store them to the camera's memory card then I cannot see them as I capture them. I do occasionally store JPG images for plate solving, but they are taken via the 3rd party API that BYE supports.

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Jp-  Just my two penneth . . . I use two 'non state of the art' puters for telescope guiding and wi-fi HEQ5 mount control. 

 

One is a 10.1'' ASUS Aspire One (Win 8.1 x86) (2007), and the other is a (lovely) Lenovo Flex 10 (Win 10 x86) - also 10.1'' screen.  Both are 2 GB and slow but adequate for my purposes. 

 

The other thing I also use to control the mount is a Nexus 7 with the Skywatcher android wi‑fi software. 

I believe your Win 8 tablet has operating system 'built in like firmware' so not easily upgradable - could be wrong though. The tiddlers are pretty cheap on ebay.

 

I would use a more updated puter, but in total darkness tripped over the first Flex 10 (Win 10 x64) power cable . . . . all mounts and tripods should have some wood . . . . I keep the thread‑ripper pcs indoors on the floor. 

 

I guess this is the first hand experience pc you are looking for. 

 

I've promised myself sorting out how to control the 10.1'' from indoors.  Object is to control the Flex 10 which in turn passes on scope and guiding control.  No 1 Son who really is a professional programmer is visiting in a few months time.  I shall 'chin him' then.  He says things like, yes I can do it - and then mutters 'busman's' holiday (!). 

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