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Can I run SharpCap in windows 10 home

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:31 am
by PeterO

I'm about to buy the smallest computer I can find in Australia (Lenovo Idea Pad 330) to use with SharpCap as part of an ultraportable telescope.

This comuter comes loaded with Windows 10 home and I believe operates in secure mode.

Should I switch out of secure mode to use Sharp Cap?

Thanks for any advice, Peter

Re: Can I run SharpCap in windows 10 home

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:51 pm
by admin

Windows 10 home in itself shouldn't be a problem, but I have no idea what 'secure mode' is, so I have no idea whether that would stop you from installing or running SharpCap.

Anyone know what Windows secure mode is?

Cheers, Robin

Re: Can I run SharpCap in windows 10 home

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:44 pm
by BlackWikkett
Hi All,

I've never heard of "secure mode" and Google search results point to "safe mode" that's something else entirely. Word of caution on low power PC for SharpCap. If you plan to take advantage of all the SC has to offer a low power PC may not provide the best experience. I've tried several different low end PC, compute sticks etc and the performance is very lack luster. If you plan just to capture images and maybe PHD you should be fine.


Re: Can I run SharpCap in windows 10 home

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:13 am
by PeterO
It turns out I had misunderstood a Microsoft description that said Microsoft Home had additional safety features. I thought this meant the Home version was the same as the S version and wouldn't down load anythng excpt Apps from the Microsoft store. So thanks for clearing that up for me. It also turns out Safe mode is just a maintenance tool and not relevant to my question.

Re the interesting point about performance of Sharp Cap on low power computers. I hope to use Sharp cap's live stacking capability to visualise and identify stars that otherwise couldn't be seen in a small telescope, for spectroscopy and photometry. The computer I intended to use has about the same speed, capability and size as a Microsift Surface Go. Do you think that has enough speed and processing capability for my application?

The gear is small enough to fit in an instrument case and tripod bag and portable enough to walk a few kilometres with so I can't use anythng larger that a ten inch mini computer. The Sharp Cap stacking is an essential element of the package to get enough sensitivity.

Many thanks, PeterO

Re: Can I run SharpCap in windows 10 home

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:44 am
by NeilG
I run my observatory software -Sharpcap, Cart du Ciel, virtual Moon atlas all on a Lenovo X230 - which I think is lower powered than your 330.

SC livestack works perfectly well with my ASI 1600 (my usual exposures are between 4 and 32 seconds)- just make sure you have at least 4Gb of memory - mine has 8. I have the X230 attached to a docking station to give me enough usb connectivity, but with the on-board USB3 I can manage about 150fps high speed lunar/planetary capture onto an SSD in the DVD bay of the docking station.
Hope this helps

Re: Can I run SharpCap in windows 10 home

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:23 pm
by BlackWikkett
You'll have to give it try and see results. NeilG is using an older laptop that I believe was equipped with an intel i5 ivey bridge CPU which is more than adequate to run SC plus more. He also states he's docked which means his laptop is running at full power. Normally laptop and and other mobile computing devices such as your tablet will run in a lower power state to conserve battery when not connected to external power.

I've had SC, PHD2, all working on a compute stick but the experience was less than stellar. I'm sure you can get it to work on your tablet but don't expect too much.


Re: Can I run SharpCap in windows 10 home

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:36 pm
by galljj
The X230, if it is equipped with an i5 processor is significantly more powerful than the base model 330. So that may not be a useful comparison.

It appears you can buy a 330 with the i5 processor - but it is about 2x as expensive (in the US) than the base model.

What camera will you be using, and will you use it cabled or wireless ? I'd suggest a minimum of 4 gig of RAM, and an i3 or greater processor.

I'm not sure if they are available where you are, but I picked up (Ebay) a refurbished Microsoft Surface Pro 2 with 8 gig of RAM, an i5 processor, a 256 gb SSD and windows 10 pro for $230. I bought some additional protection for another $25 or so. Very small, light, long battery and fast. Operates both with a keyboard, and in tablet mode.

i hop this helps


Re: Can I run SharpCap in windows 10 home

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:48 pm
by galljj
Last thought

Wikkett brings up a good point about power, especially in portable mode. The Surface pro only has one USB port (3.0), but I suspect it is pretty low power. It is sufficient to run a risingtech IMX224 camera, but I haven't tried it with any larger power hungry computer.

You should see if you can get the amp output of the Lenovo PC. It has 2 USB 3.0 ports, but I can't find the amp rating. Many (most) low power pc USB slots support only 0.5 amp.

If you want to run mounts, and cameras, plan on getting a li-ion battery to carry with you, and perhaps a powered USB hub.