Atik Air

By Jo on

Meet Atik Air, the simple way to use your Atik Camera over your wifi network. With just a few easy to get hold of bits and pieces and our free Atik Air software, you’ll have everything you need to get setup wirelessly, or use your Atik Camera over an Ethernet connection.

For more information and a list of what you’ll need, see our Atik Air product page. Atik Air is completely free from us, you’ll just need to get yourself a Raspberry Pi and a few other small bits and pieces, and you’ll be ready to connect to your camera wirelessly and use all the functionality of your regular imaging software on your computer.

Atik Air Simple Setup

We’ve put together a tutorial video on how to get your Raspberry Pi set up with Atik Air, which covers all you need to know about how to install your Atik Air Image download and connect to it from your computer.

Transcript:

Hello everyone, my name’s Chris and I write the astronomy software here at Atik Cameras. Now today I’m going to talk to you about a new application we’ve created called the Atik Air. This application will allow you to use your Atik Cameras and filter wheels across your wifi network or using a standard Ethernet cable.

Now the main advantages of doing this are firstly, it’ll help reduce the number of cables you’ve got going between your equipment and your PC and this will help tidy up your cable management. But it’ll also help reduce the amount of weight which you have on your telescope which should improve the performance of your tracking. Secondly, it will get round the USB length-issue which means you can have your PC much further away from your equipment than you could before and thirdly, because we’ve written everything on a Raspberry Pi, it means that if anyone has the ability to write their own applications on Raspberry Pi, they can share them with everyone else and help to improve everything.

In fact, we’ve created a group on our forum especially for this, so if you do have any ideas, feel free to share them on there.

What You’ll Need

Okay so before we get started, you’ll need to get hold of a few things. First of all you’ll need a Raspberry Pi 3. If you don’t know what these are, they’re just mini computers with built-in wifi, an Ethernet port, and four USB ports for connecting equipment. To power it, it’s just a mini USB power supply, and you’ll also need an SD card. It needs to be at least 2 GB in size in order to do this.

Now you also need to download and install the latest core installer and if you’re going through this example, you’ll need an SD card writer as well.

Now this guide will show you how to setup your Raspberry Pi from scratch . If you already have a Raspberry Pi and just want to install the Atik Air on there, you can do that as well by following the Advanced guide that’s also included in the core installer. But for this guide we’re just going to go through the simple installer as that’s much easier to go through.

Step One

Okay, Step One. The first thing you need to do is set up the SD card and in order to do this you’ll need to download the Atik Air image from our website and you’ll also need some SD card writing software. I’d recommend using Win32 Disk Imager as it’s free to download and use.

Okay, once you’ve done that, just put your SD card into your SD card writer, and just pop that into your PC. Once it’s connected you’re likely to see a couple of dialogues like this, just close both of them and then go ahead and just open up the Win32 Disk Imager.

So once you’re there you’ll see this is the program itself if you click this folder next to the image file text box. You can see I’ve already downloaded the Atik Air Image in my downloads there so we’ll just select it and click open. Then next to that it says device, you’ll see mine says F:// just ignore that. If you’ve got more than one SD card writer it will make a difference so look out for that. Once you’re ready, just click ‘Write’, and then click Yes. It will take a little while to install, it may take about 2-3 minutes, but once it’s done just click okay then that should be it.

Okay, once your SD card is set up, you can just remove your SD card writer, take out the SD card and put it into your Raspberry Pi. There’s normally a silver connector on the back that you just plug it into – it should just slide in like that. Okay next you just put in the Ethernet cable, like so, and then connect in the power cable.

(Tip: Once the Pi is powered on, you should have a constant red light and a flickering green light, and the Ethernet light should be on)

It normally takes 30 seconds to a minute to power up, but you can feel free to put in your camera now, it doesn’t really matter, and then you’re ready to move onto Step 2.

Step Two

Next thing you need to do is open up the Atik Air application on your PC. Now this’ll just be in the Start menu > all programs > ArtemisCCD > AtikAir and the program looks like this.

So you’ll see at the top here we’ve got ‘Local’ that means it’s looking for cameras connected to your local PC and then it says ‘Remote’, and that’s look for cameras on the Raspberry Pi itself. You’ll see that it says (Not set) at the moment and that’s because we haven’t set up the Raspberry Pi so in order to that just click ‘Find Pi’. This will then scan your network, it might take a few minutes to go through all the combinations, and once you’re finally there, it’ll then display you a list of different network connections that are available to the Raspberry Pi.

So you’ll see at the top of the list it will always say Ethernet and this means a direct connection through Ethernet to your Raspberry Pi (using your router). If you want to stick with that and don’t want to set up wifi for it, just highlight that and press the select button. However, I’m going to show you how to setup the wifi. So in this case we want to select our wifi network. You’ll see next to it it says password ‘True’ and that means it needs a password in order to do it. so click the select button, you enter in your password and you press okay. So then It’ll take you to this screen where it’ll say connecting and again it might take a couple of minutes but once it’s done it’ll say connected – like that – then just click finish.

This will take you back to the first page, and you’ll see now that Remote’s been selected and now though it says Available which means everything’s set up and everything’s working properly.

So now we can just try, so if we just open Capture. Here we go, we can see this is Capture and it’s now using an Infinity that’s connected to the Raspberry Pi instead, so there’s a nice picture of our ceiling.

If you want to go back to using cameras connected to your PC, just click Local. You’ll see at the moment I don’t have one so now it’s connected to Local, Capture won’t connect. I should also point out that if you try to open Capture and you click ‘Retry’ and then select Remote and then press ‘Retry’ it won’t load it up. That’s because Capture’s already available and it’s still looking at the old connection, so you have to restart it. And then you should be there.

So that’s the setting up stage, you can take images like you would normally with any of the astronomy programs. Once you’ve finished you can click this Shutdown Pi button. It’s not necessary but it’s a bit safer to do that. Then it’ll take a few minutes to shut down then once it does you’ll see that it’s (Not available) again.

Okay, so that’s how you set up and use the Atik Air. We hope you’ve enjoyed this video, please feel free to write comments and ideas on our forum, and we’ll see you next time. Thanks.


We hope you enjoy Atik Air and we look forward to seeing how it grows in the community.

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