This is an update to an older post about how to Turn a Raspberry Pi into an Astrophotography Autoguider. I rebuilt my autoguider from scratch with newer versions of the software. It's even a bit easier now.
Step 1: Install Raspberry Pi OS
Follow the official instructions and install the "Raspberry Pi OS with desktop and recommended software". All of the commands in the steps that follow are run from a terminal session on the Raspberry Pi.
Step 2: Install Git
You'll need to compile and build some software from source code, which requires Git to download the code for the projects:
$ sudo apt-get install git
Step 3: Build INDI
The first project you need to build from source is INDI, which allows the Raspberry Pi to connect to my camera and mount. To begin, install INDI's dependencies (note: in the previous version of this post, I had to install a specific version of libnova, but that's not required anymore):
$ sudo apt-get install -y libnova-dev libcfitsio-dev libusb-1.0-0-dev zlib1g-dev libgsl-dev build-essential cmake git libjpeg-dev libcurl4-gnutls-dev libtiff-dev libfftw3-dev
Now you can get the source code (I built with v1.8.9, but v1.4.1 is supposed to be the version used with the Atik INDI driver. I guess they both work):
$ cd ~ $ git clone https://github.com/indilib/indi $ cd indi $ git fetch --tags $ git checkout v1.8.9 -b v1.8.9
mkdir -p ~/build/indi-core cd ~/build/indi-core cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug ~/indi make -j4 sudo make install
Step 4: Install the Atik INDI Driver from CloudMakers
Because I'm using an Atik camera, I need the Atik driver for INDI, which is maintained by the good folks at CloudMakers:
$ curl -OL http://download.cloudmakers.eu/atikccd-1.30-armhf.deb $ sudo dpkg -i atikccd-1.30-armhf.deb
Step 5: Build PHD2
Now we can install PHD2, the autoguiding software. First, install its dependencies (I've exclude libindi-dev to ensure the correct versions above):
$ sudo apt-get install build-essential git cmake pkg-config libwxgtk3.0-dev wx-common wx3.0-i18n gettext zlib1g-dev libx11-dev libcurl4-gnutls-dev
Now get the source code (I used 2.6.9 because it was the latest stable at the time. No other reason):
$ cd ~ $ git clone https://github.com/OpenPHDGuiding/phd2 $ cd phd2 $ git fetch --tags $ git checkout v2.6.9 -b v2.6.9
$ mkdir -p tmp $ cd tmp $ cmake ..
In any case, the next step is to install the compiled package:
$ sudo make install
Step 6: Start the INDI Server
We're ready to run the autoguider, but first we need to start the INDI server, which exposes an interface to the camera and mount:
$ indiserver indi_atik_ccd indi_celestron_gps
Note: You can add -vvv to get detailed logging. This helps if you're having trouble in the next step.
Step 7: Run PHD2!
Start the program by running:
The program will prompt you with a dialog to setup your camera and mount. Once you've finished, be sure to export the profile because I tends to get wiped when the program can't connect to the INDI server.
Step 8: Make a script to start it all in one click
I created a script that I keep on my desktop to launch both INDI and PHD2 in one step. Create a
start.sh file and put the following code in it:
#!/bin/bash indiserver -vv indi_atik_ccd indi_celestron_gps & phd2
Then run the following from a terminal session:
$ chmod +x ~/Desktop/start.sh
Option: Install QHY PoleMaster
It's a little difficult to use the PoleMaster software on a 7-inch display, but it works.
Step 1: Install OpenCV 2.4
The default version of
libopencv-core on Raspberry Pi OS is 3.x, but the QHY software is linked to version 2.4. You can install 2.4 with these commands:
$ curl -OL http://http.us.debian.org/debian/pool/main/o/opencv/libopencv-core2.4v5_22.214.171.124+dfsg1-2_armhf.deb $ sudo dpkg -i libopencv-core2.4v5_126.96.36.199+dfsg1-2_armhf.deb $ curl -OL http://http.us.debian.org/debian/pool/main/o/opencv/libopencv-imgproc2.4v5_188.8.131.52+dfsg1-2_armhf.deb $ sudo dpkg -i libopencv-imgproc2.4v5_184.108.40.206+dfsg1-2_armhf.deb
Step 2: Install the QHYCCD SDK
Download and unzip SDK Installer:
$ curl -OL https://www.qhyccd.com/uploadfile/2018/1222/20181222054316365.zip $ unzip 20181222054316365.zip
Inside of the
zip file is a
rar file that the QHY instructions don't tell you about. The
rar format is pretty obscure, and there are different versions of it. The format QHY uses is 3.0, which doesn't work with the
unrar-free package you can install by running
apt install unrar-free. There is appearently an
unrar-nonfree you can install, but I decided to extract the
rar file on my Mac (using The Unarchiver.app) and transfering the extracted files to my Raspberry Pi via a file server. This is pretty ugly.
Once you have the extracted
rar file contents, you can run the
$ sudo ./install.sh
Step 3: Install the PoleMaster Package
Download and unzip the PoleMaster Debian package:
$ curl -OL https://www.qhyccd.com/uploadfile/2018/1222/20181222054634222.zip $ unzip 20181222054634222.zip
Then install the package using the
$ sudo dpkg -i PoleMaster_Qt-for-RPI-Ubuntu-220.127.116.11.deb
After the installation is complete, move into the
/usr/bin/PoleMaster directory and check if it was successful.
$ cd /usr/bin/PoleMaster $ ldd PoleMaster
Make sure all the listed dependencies map to a file location. If they aren't, you'll see a message like:
libqhyccd.so.4 => (file not found)
Step 4: Run the PoleMaster Software!
First, confirm that your PoleMaster device is plugged into the Pi by running:
You should see a line like:
Bus 0001 Device 009: ID 1618:0941
This line means the PoleMaster is connected.
Now run the PoleMaster software (I put this in an executable script on my desktop that I can double-click):
$ sudo /usr/bin/PoleMaster/PoleMaster
When program starts up, open the Device menu and click Connect. You're ready to polar align!