Re: Remote operation advice


Dec 20, 2014

 


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#58707 Dec 20, 2014

Hope this is a good place to post this, if not apologies.�� Recommendations on better places to post greatly appreciated.

I have set up an observatory located about 400ft from my house, my goal being to do imaging from the comfort of my couch.

Right now I am using Windows Remote Desktop via Wifi with a Wifi extender and high gain antenna to and from the observatory.�� I have come to the conclusion that this setup is simply not reliable enough to do any serious work, the connection is simply not stable and the speed varies a lot.�� I have come up with 2 possibilities for improving the situation.

1.�� Replace the Wifi with CAT5 cable from the observatory computer to the network router, still using Remote Desktop.�� Don't know if its too long a distance, boosters needed etc.

2.�� Connect all the equipment (everything is USB) to a USB over CAT5 extender�� and run CAT5/USB to my computer in the house and run all the software locally.�� Seems to me this would be the most reliable (but expensive) option.

What I am asking is what to others do in similar situations? Any advice on other ways, best equipment choices etc. would be much appreciated.

Thanks



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#58708 Dec 20, 2014

Running a wired network to your observatory would be my choice. I image remotely myself, the observatory is located about 200ft from the home of my friend, who lives about 60 miles from me. You might need some type of switch of booster in line with that long of a distance, but in my opinion you will have a LOT less problems trying to run one network cable over that distance as opposed to trying to run all the devices over usb extenders that distance.

Josh



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#58709 Dec 20, 2014

I use a hardwired network connection to my observatory, and run

everything via IP protocols (that is, everything in my observatory is

configured as a network device). This allows me to run all my control

software outside the observatory. That's very similar to your idea of

remoting the USB connections.



I've found this approach to be very robust. I don't recall any

communications failures, and there are a number of advantages to running

the control software in a more controlled environment than the

observatory provides, as well as a degree in comfort eliminating the

lags always present with remote desktop solutions.



Chris



*******************************

Chris L Peterson

Cloudbait Observatory

www.cloudbait.com

On 12/20/2014 10:46 AM, giuseppej@... [MaxImDL] wrote:

> Hope this is a good place to post this, if not apologies. Recommendations on better places to post greatly appreciated.

>

> I have set up an observatory located about 400ft from my house, my goal being to do imaging from the comfort of my couch.

>

> Right now I am using Windows Remote Desktop via Wifi with a Wifi extender and high gain antenna to and from the observatory. I have come to the conclusion that this setup is simply not reliable enough to do any serious work, the connection is simply not stable and the speed varies a lot. I have come up with 2 possibilities for improving the situation.

>

> 1. Replace the Wifi with CAT5 cable from the observatory computer to the network router, still using Remote Desktop. Don't know if its too long a distance, boosters needed etc.

>

> 2. Connect all the equipment (everything is USB) to a USB over CAT5 extender and run CAT5/USB to my computer in the house and run all the software locally. Seems to me this would be the most reliable (but expensive) option.

>

> What I am asking is what to others do in similar situations? Any advice on other ways, best equipment choices etc. would be much appreciated.

>

> Thanks

>

>



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#58710 Dec 20, 2014

There are two observatories located on the property here, several hundred feet from the residence. There is a CAT 5 cable to a switch in one observatory and then another line that runs to the second observatory. There is a high speed (for my rural location) Internet connection to a router in the residence, from the router one line to observatories, another to house computer. One of the observatories is run totally via the Internet, the second is run via Remote Administrator. No boosters and seems to work well although Internet speed is the limiting factor.







From: MaxImDL@yahoogroups.com [mailto:MaxImDL@yahoogroups.com]

Sent: Saturday, December 20, 2014 10:46 AM

To: MaxImDL@yahoogroups.com

Subject: [MaxImDL] Remote operation advice











Hope this is a good place to post this, if not apologies. Recommendations on better places to post greatly appreciated.



I have set up an observatory located about 400ft from my house, my goal being to do imaging from the comfort of my couch.



Right now I am using Windows Remote Desktop via Wifi with a Wifi extender and high gain antenna to and from the observatory. I have come to the conclusion that this setup is simply not reliable enough to do any serious work, the connection is simply not stable and the speed varies a lot. I have come up with 2 possibilities for improving the situation.



1. Replace the Wifi with CAT5 cable from the observatory computer to the network router, still using Remote Desktop. Don't know if its too long a distance, boosters needed etc.



2. Connect all the equipment (everything is USB) to a USB over CAT5 extender and run CAT5/USB to my computer in the house and run all the software locally. Seems to me this would be the most reliable (but expensive) option.



What I am asking is what to others do in similar situations? Any advice on other ways, best equipment choices etc. would be much appreciated.



Thanks











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#58711 Dec 20, 2014

What I.m wondering is whether this .IP only. configuration doesn.t limit your choices with regards to devices and .possibly software. I can see how any device with an Ethernet port and a driver that supports the protocol would work, but what do you do with devices that don.t have an Ethernet port in the first place? Do you use converters on both ends . USB->Ethernet in the observatory and Ethernet->USB in the house or is there something slicker that you can do? I don.t think that any of my equipment has a device driver that supports any of the IP protocols which makes me curious as to how you.ve done this. ��Rgrds-Ross �� ��From: MaxImDL@yahoogroups.com [mailto:MaxImDL@yahoogroups.com] Sent: Saturday, December 20, 2014 9:55 AMTo: MaxImDL@yahoogroups.comSubject: Re: [MaxImDL] Remote operation advice



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#58712 Dec 20, 2014

It's also worth mentioning that if you're in an area prone to lightning,

it is highly advisable to run fiber optic cable rather than copper. It's

more expensive (although nowhere near as much as it used to be), but can

really save a lot of expense and heartache from just one close lightning

strike.



Chris



*******************************

Chris L Peterson

Cloudbait Observatory

www.cloudbait.com

On 12/20/2014 11:04 AM, 'Mike Shade' mshade@... [MaxImDL] wrote:

> There are two observatories located on the property here, several hundred feet from the residence. There is a CAT 5 cable to a switch in one observatory and then another line that runs to the second observatory. There is a high speed (for my rural location) Internet connection to a router in the residence, from the router one line to observatories, another to house computer. One of the observatories is run totally via the Internet, the second is run via Remote Administrator. No boosters and seems to work well although Internet speed is the limiting factor.



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#58713 Dec 20, 2014

It is potentially limiting, but I haven't found it so in practice.



I don't use USB at all. I don't consider the standard suitable for

astronomical equipment. All of my instruments are either native

Ethernet, serial, or capable of conversion to Ethernet. The serial ports

are converted to Ethernet.



If I had to use USB for something, I would use an Ethernet converter for

that, as well, which would allow the data to be transported over the

same network used for everything else (as opposed to an extender- some

of which use IP- that requires a dedicated cable).



Chris



*******************************

Chris L Peterson

Cloudbait Observatory

www.cloudbait.com



On 12/20/2014 11:09 AM, Ross Salinger rgsalinger@... [MaxImDL]

wrote: > What I.m wondering is whether this .IP only. configuration doesn.t limit your choices with regards to devices and possibly software. I can see how any device with an Ethernet port and a driver that supports the protocol would work, but what do you do with devices that don.t have an Ethernet port in the first place? Do you use converters on both ends . USB->Ethernet in the observatory and Ethernet->USB in the house or is there something slicker that you can do? I don.t think that any of my equipment has a device driver that supports any of the IP protocols which makes me curious as to how you.ve done this.

>

>

>

> Rgrds-Ross



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#58715 Dec 20, 2014

The maximum length for a Cat5 run is 100 meters, or 400 feet. In actual

practice you can usually get away with longer runs and see little or no

performance loss.



New installations should use Cat5e or Cat6 in order to fully support

gigabit network connections.



Chris



*******************************

Chris L Peterson

Cloudbait Observatory

www.cloudbait.com

On 12/20/2014 2:20 PM, 'Don Waid' don@... [MaxImDL] wrote:

> I have an observatory located in my Denton, TX back yard. The observatory computer is wired with CAT5 Ethernet directly to my router/cable modem (Verizon FIOS) in the main house. (About 150 feet.) This allows me to connect with the observatory computer using remote desktop over my local network and also via the Internet using TeamViewer. (I regularly operate the observatory from Florida.) The 400 foot distance you mentioned should not be a problem with CAT5 Ethernet as I believe it is good to about 1,500 feet. A friend and I have a remote observatory located in the Texas Davis Mountains and we operate it in the same way.

>

> HTHs,

>

> Don Waid



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#58716 Dec 20, 2014

I stand corrected on the max length of CAT5 Ethernet.. It is 10base5 50-ohm coax that can be used to 500 meters.Sorry about that.Don Waid �� ��From: MaxImDL@yahoogroups.com [mailto:MaxImDL@yahoogroups.com] Sent: Saturday, December 20, 2014 4:28 PMTo: MaxImDL@yahoogroups.comSubject: Re: [MaxImDL] Remote operation advice



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#58718 Dec 21, 2014

I have quite a bit of experience with remote observing. ��The most reliable route is to put the computer and softer IN THE OBSERVATORY. ��I've tried both, local and remote computer and I can tell you remote computing is THE best way to go. ��You'll run into all sorts of driver issues, time lags, dropped packets if you try to run the software from your home. ��I now have an observatory ...very remote....an hour away by car. ��The observatory actually has two computers one for back up control. When I ran "remote" to the yard I found that having a computer in the house ultimately was a nightmare. ��For all the above reasons putting a computer IN the observatory will serve you much better. ��Just knuckle under and get it done. ��You are fighting an ultimately loosing battle if you try to run from the house. ��Further, that length of CAT 5 is beyond the recommended range. ��Good LuckPeter







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#58719 Dec 21, 2014

For about 6 or 7 years now I have been using a remote systemthat runs from my house to a computer in my observatory about 200 feet away frommy home. I ran a Cat5 line from the router in my house to the observatory. Iran the cable through 1 inch pvc conduit for general protection. My scope,camera, and other equipment are all connected to the observatory computer. Ithen use Radmin as the communicator between the office and the observatory computer..Since I first set up that equipment, I have added anobservatory, 2 more scope/cameras, and 2 more observatory computers so eachscope has its own computer. Using Radmin, I can run all three simultaneously frommy office computer. Works like a charm. ...Keith



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#58720 Dec 21, 2014

I've never had a problem running all the instrument control signals over

a LAN. Running over the Internet can definitely be problematic. In that

case I'd definitely go with something like ACP (and NOT a remote desktop

solution). But if you're having problems on a LAN, I'd suggest it's a

configuration problem, nothing intrinsic to this general approach.



Chris



*******************************

Chris L Peterson

Cloudbait Observatory

www.cloudbait.com



On 12/21/2014 9:26 AM, Peter pgprendergast@... [MaxImDL] wrote:

> I have quite a bit of experience with remote observing. The most reliable route is to put the computer and softer IN THE OBSERVATORY. I've tried both, local and remote computer and I can tell you remote computing is THE best way to go. You'll run into all sorts of driver issues, time lags, dropped packets if you try to run the software from your home. I now have an observatory ...very remote....an hour away by car. The observatory actually has two computers one for back up control. When I ran "remote" to the yard I found that having a computer in the house ultimately was a nightmare. For all the above reasons putting a computer IN the observatory will serve you much better. Just knuckle under and get it done. You are fighting an ultimately loosing battle if you try to run from the house. Further, that length of CAT 5 is beyond the recommended range. Good LuckPeter

>



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#58721 Dec 21, 2014

If the computer is in the observatory and the communications get interrupted for any reason you still get your session completed.If the computer is in your house and the communications get interrupted you.re out of business in most if not all cases.I think that you need to consider degree of remoteness in the equation. I image routinely 1000 miles from my house at NMS and the computer is in the observatory.Lots can go wrong but as long as I can get in the next day my images are waiting.Rgrds-Ross ��From: MaxImDL@yahoogroups.com [mailto:MaxImDL@yahoogroups.com] Sent: Sunday, December 21, 2014 8:54 AMTo: MaxImDL@yahoogroups.comSubject: Re: [MaxImDL] Re: Remote operation advice



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#58722 Dec 21, 2014

Exactly. That's why I was distinguishing between LAN and Internet

operation. It would be a pretty unusual setup that operated over a 1000

mile LAN!



It's also why I would recommend something like ACP for truly remote

operation, and not simply running the control software in the

observatory and then using a remote desktop method of managing it.

Because in that case, if you lose communications you're still left with

a hanging session, and the potential for disaster. A full remote control

solution like ACP will take care of things for you even if you lose

communications.



Chris



*******************************

Chris L Peterson

Cloudbait Observatory

www.cloudbait.com



On 12/21/2014 10:18 AM, Ross Salinger rgsalinger@... [MaxImDL]

wrote: > If the computer is in the observatory and the communications get interrupted for any reason you still get your session completed.

>

> If the computer is in your house and the communications get interrupted you.re out of business in most if not all cases.

>

> I think that you need to consider degree of remoteness in the equation. I image routinely 1000 miles from my house at NMS and the computer is in the observatory.

>

> Lots can go wrong but as long as I can get in the next day my images are waiting.

>

> Rgrds-Ross



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#58725 Dec 22, 2014

I operate a remote observatory some 100ft from the house and have used wired connection due to its reliability. First you need to check your wireless device to see what speeds it can operate at, not all wireless cards are the same. Even if you go wired I had to change my network cards to support gigabit (1000) connection as cards on older equipment are often only 10/100 and the switches as well need to support 10/100/1000 otherwise i found it was too slow for sending video files between the observatory and the house.



You can buy expensive professional wifi boosters to extend your signal but unless running the cable is a problem go wired. I installed my cable inside some hose pipe (not easy) to protect it and 14 years later its still working great.



Also take a look at the software you are using to make the remote connection that can be a contributing factor. I have used several different products, some were not reliable, at the moment my favourite is VNC.



I always use an old pc in the dome as I don.t need much processing power and its easy to change a power supply every so often when the elements have gotten to it.



Lilian



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