Remote dark site wireless network

Discuss what equipment, AP Software, AP Apps you are using.
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TexasStar United States of America
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Remote dark site wireless network

#1

Post by TexasStar »

Hey guys I have always dreamed of having a travel trailer that I could take to a dark sky site and spend days under dark skies imaging and having the comfort of running everything from inside the camper. Well it has finally happened. I do spend time at the scope and sitting back with a cigar watching shooting stars etc. while imaging, but it's nice to have the comforts of a camper where you can be warm, or in the case of Texas summer nights, in some cool AC. I'm researching getting my rig set up at so I can run everything wireless from inside.

So far in my research I have learned (I think) that I will need a mini-PC connected to a router and power supply at the scope, this will create a network that connects to my laptop in the camper. I know this may be simple to a lot of you, but it is new to me and I hope this would go into the archives so that it may help other newbies like me in the future. I'd like to run this potential layout by you more experienced APers out there that might be doing this and get some feedback.

So the mount, camera and guide scope camera all connect to the mini PC via USB. The mini PC is loaded with NINA, ASTAP, Stellarium and PHD2. The mini PC is connected via ethernet cable to a mini router. All of this is powered by a 12 volt power supply. At the laptop in the camper you are in control of the mini-PC just as if you were sitting next to it.

Don't be shy in correcting me if ANY of this is wrong or not up to running what is listed as far as the software. Potential equipment listed below.



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Re: Remote dark site wireless network

#2

Post by Petrol »

Hi, I have done exactly this but have gone a different route. I run a 12V cable to my rig from my RV. This has a 110AH lithium battery and solar panel to charge. I use a laptop to control the rig which I leave outside but covered up in case of dew. The max length of a USB cable is about 5M so it's just easier to leave it outside. I also need to see the screen whilst focusing.

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I 'm only using a Samyang 135mm lens at the moment for portability but the mount will take a reasonable sized scope.

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I have installed Tight VNC on the laptop and can monitor whats going on from my Samsung phone inside the RV. For internet connection to the laptop I have 2 methods; a wifi hotspot on my phone or a connection to a pocket wifi inside the van. This device is connected to an external antenna to improve signal strength. If your running a mini PC you could use a USB wifi dongle.
Have to say it's awesome to be able to get to dark skies and stop overnight. HTH and if you have any more questions please don't hesitate to ask.

Clear skies
Pete
Rig1. Samyang 135 F2 ED UMC, Player One Poseidon-C Pro, EQ5
Rig2. Celestron RASA 8, Zwo Asi 533 MC Pro, EQ6
APM Astrograph 107/700, Hutech/Idas filters, NINA, Pix.
lots of cables!
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Re: Remote dark site wireless network

#3

Post by pakarinen »

I haven't researched them in detail, but have you considered an ASIAir for a wireless connection?
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Re: Remote dark site wireless network

#4

Post by chris_g »

I don't use wireless myself except as a backup. I run an Ethernet cable from my lap top to the router. Ethernet can run up to 330 feet over a CAT 5 cable. And it's consistent, especially in the winter time. The best distance I managed last winter was 20 feet over wireless and the signal would still drop occasionally. 20 feet, ok, so I ran an Ethernet cable, all problems solved
Image Cam: Canon 6D (Ha mod), 600D (Stock), SVBony SV405CC
Image OTA: EvoStar ED80, WO Z73, C8-A XLT
Mount: EQ6-R Pro Pier, AZ-EQ5 Pro Pier
Guide OTA: Orion 60mm, WO 32mm, ZWO OAG, SV501P
Guide Cam: ZWO 120mm, 290mm mini
EAA OTA: Orion ST80
EAA Cam: SVBony SV705C
EP: Baader Hyperion Modular Set
Filters: L-Pro Canon EOS C, L-eNhance, L-Pro, Optolong Ha 7mm, Optolong Oiii 6.5mm, Optolong Sii 6.5mm, ES H-Beta
Session Control: Mini PC/Win11 Pro, APT 4.1, PHD2 2.6.10
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Re: Remote dark site wireless network

#5

Post by JayTee »

I don't see a signature for you so I don't know what you have for equipment.

Depending on what mount you own or wish to own, some mounts come with wifi built-in. My iOptron CEM 70G has just that. I can connect to it wirelessly from my warm room. It takes care of the wiring problem.

Cheers,
JT
∞ Primary Scopes: #1: Celestron CPC1100 #2: 8" f/7.5 Dob #3: CR150HD f/8 6" frac
∞ AP Scopes: #1: TPO 6" f/9 RC #2: ES 102 f/7 APO #3: ES 80mm f/6 APO
∞ G&G Scopes: #1: Meade 102mm f/7.8 #2: Bresser 102mm f/4.5
∞ Guide Scopes: 70 & 80mm fracs -- The El Cheapo Bros.
∞ Mounts: iOptron CEM70AG, SW EQ6R, Celestron AVX, SLT & GT (Alt-Az), Meade DS2000
∞ Cameras: #1: ZWO ASI294MC Pro #2: 662MC #3: 120MC, Canon T3i, Orion SSAG, WYZE Cam3
∞ Binos: 10X50,11X70,15X70, 25X100 ∞ AP Gear: ZWO EAF and mini EFW and the Optolong L-eXteme filter
∞ EPs: ES 2": 21mm 100° & 30mm 82° Pentax XW: 7, 10, 14, & 20mm 70°

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Re: Remote dark site wireless network

#6

Post by Gordon »

I run my scopes using "Team Viewer". It's fairly reliable and it's free. My nuc's and desktop are windows 11.

https://www.teamviewer.com/en/info/free ... -software/
Gordon
Scopes: Explore Scientific ED80CF, Skywatcher 200 Quattro Imaging Newt, SeeStar S50 for EAA.
Mounts: Orion Atlas EQ-g mount & Skywatcher EQ5 Pro.
ZWO mini guider.
Image cameras: ZWO ASI1600 MM Cool, ZWO ASI533mc-Pro, ZWO ASI174mm-C (for use with my Quark chromosphere), ZWO ASI120MC
Filters: LRGB, Ha 7nm, O-III 7nm, S-II 7nm
Eyepieces: a few.
Primary software: Cartes du Ciel, N.I.N.A, StarTools V1.4.

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Re: Remote dark site wireless network

#7

Post by TexasStar »

chris_g wrote: Sat Apr 01, 2023 2:35 pm I don't use wireless myself except as a backup. I run an Ethernet cable from my lap top to the router. Ethernet can run up to 330 feet over a CAT 5 cable. And it's consistent, especially in the winter time. The best distance I managed last winter was 20 feet over wireless and the signal would still drop occasionally. 20 feet, ok, so I ran an Ethernet cable, all problems solved
So you still use a mini pc and connect to the router via cable then from router to laptop via CAT 5?
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Re: Remote dark site wireless network

#8

Post by dcrowson »

I do something similar but I just turn on the access point functionality on my (Windows) laptop. This creates an network that the outside setup can connect to.

You could definitely use a small physical access point at or near the mount or inside your camper that everything could connect to.

Just using an ethernet cable strung across the ground would work, too.
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Re: Remote dark site wireless network

#9

Post by TexasStar »

dcrowson wrote: Sun Apr 02, 2023 1:18 am
Just using an ethernet cable strung across the ground would work, too.
Yep, I don't need to be fancy and wireless. The scope will only be 20-30, 50 feet at most from the camper. It's looking like it's much cheaper too.



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Re: Remote dark site wireless network

#10

Post by chris_g »

TexasStar wrote: Sat Apr 01, 2023 9:52 pm
chris_g wrote: Sat Apr 01, 2023 2:35 pm I don't use wireless myself except as a backup. I run an Ethernet cable from my lap top to the router. Ethernet can run up to 330 feet over a CAT 5 cable. And it's consistent, especially in the winter time. The best distance I managed last winter was 20 feet over wireless and the signal would still drop occasionally. 20 feet, ok, so I ran an Ethernet cable, all problems solved
So you still use a mini pc and connect to the router via cable then from router to laptop via CAT 5?
I run two mounts, mini PCs on each mount on a top rail, ethernet to each mini PC from to a switch and then the switch to my router, you'll see the router behind the laptop on my desk I have full internet access both wired and wireless on remote site. You can see the switch on the corner of the table, all stock equipment running off of 12 volt DC

When I'm on remote site, I use an 8 port switch attached to my mobile router. It all runs DC. When I'm in the backyard, I run a 75 foot ethernet cable through a window to the scopes to the router behind my laptop.

Image below will give you an idea, three batteries, one for each mount and one for the ancillary equipment, dew heaters, router, switch,...
20230209_140250.jpg
Image Cam: Canon 6D (Ha mod), 600D (Stock), SVBony SV405CC
Image OTA: EvoStar ED80, WO Z73, C8-A XLT
Mount: EQ6-R Pro Pier, AZ-EQ5 Pro Pier
Guide OTA: Orion 60mm, WO 32mm, ZWO OAG, SV501P
Guide Cam: ZWO 120mm, 290mm mini
EAA OTA: Orion ST80
EAA Cam: SVBony SV705C
EP: Baader Hyperion Modular Set
Filters: L-Pro Canon EOS C, L-eNhance, L-Pro, Optolong Ha 7mm, Optolong Oiii 6.5mm, Optolong Sii 6.5mm, ES H-Beta
Session Control: Mini PC/Win11 Pro, APT 4.1, PHD2 2.6.10
Processing: PixInsight, DSS 4.2.6, Adobe PS CC, Astronomy Tools Action Set, Star Spikes Pro
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Re: Remote dark site wireless network

#11

Post by SkyHiker »

I have a Pi4B with a powered 7-port USB2 hub and 12-5V DCDC on a plywood frame rubber banded to the scope. The Pi can act as an access point but it just complicates things, so I use ethernet to connect to my laptop - is much faster and more reliable too. I use TightVNC for remote desktop; works with everything, laptop, Android tablet and phone. It all runs off 12V with a 12-24V DCDC for extra stepper responsiveness.

If you decide on ethernet then you don't need a router, you can plug the mini PC straight into the laptop. At home you would use your home router so then too you don't need a router on the scope.
... Henk. :D Telescopes: GSO 12" Astrograph, "Comet Hunter" MN152, ES ED127CF, ES ED80, WO Redcat51, Z12, AT6RC, Celestron Skymaster 20x80, Mounts and tripod: Losmandy G11S with OnStep, AVX, Tiltall, Cameras: ASI2600MC, ASI2600MM, ASI120 mini, Fuji X-a1, Canon XSi, T6, ELPH 100HS, DIY: OnStep controller, Pi4b/power rig, Afocal adapter, Foldable Dob base, Az/Alt Dob setting circles, Accessories: ZWO 36 mm filter wheel, TV Paracorr 2, Baader MPCC Mk III, ES FF, SSAG, QHY OAG-M, EAF electronic focuser, Plossls, Barlows, Telrad, Laser collimators (Seben LK1, Z12, Howie Glatter), Cheshire, 2 Orion RACIs 8x50, Software: KStars-Ekos, DSS, PHD2, Nebulosity, Photo Gallery, Gimp, CHDK, Computers:Pi4b, 2x running KStars/Ekos, Toshiba Satellite 17", Website:Henk's astro images
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Re: Remote dark site wireless network

#12

Post by chris_g »

SkyHiker wrote: Tue Apr 04, 2023 2:25 pm
If you decide on ethernet then you don't need a router, you can plug the mini PC straight into the laptop. At home you would use your home router so then too you don't need a router on the scope.
If you do that, you'll need a what's called a cross over ethernet cable and you will need to be familiar with manually setting up IP addressing on your ethernet adapters. Happy to help with that if you need. I also have a 25 foot cross over cable for just such a need.
Image Cam: Canon 6D (Ha mod), 600D (Stock), SVBony SV405CC
Image OTA: EvoStar ED80, WO Z73, C8-A XLT
Mount: EQ6-R Pro Pier, AZ-EQ5 Pro Pier
Guide OTA: Orion 60mm, WO 32mm, ZWO OAG, SV501P
Guide Cam: ZWO 120mm, 290mm mini
EAA OTA: Orion ST80
EAA Cam: SVBony SV705C
EP: Baader Hyperion Modular Set
Filters: L-Pro Canon EOS C, L-eNhance, L-Pro, Optolong Ha 7mm, Optolong Oiii 6.5mm, Optolong Sii 6.5mm, ES H-Beta
Session Control: Mini PC/Win11 Pro, APT 4.1, PHD2 2.6.10
Processing: PixInsight, DSS 4.2.6, Adobe PS CC, Astronomy Tools Action Set, Star Spikes Pro
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Re: Remote dark site wireless network

#13

Post by SkyHiker »

chris_g wrote: Tue Apr 04, 2023 4:28 pm
SkyHiker wrote: Tue Apr 04, 2023 2:25 pm
If you decide on ethernet then you don't need a router, you can plug the mini PC straight into the laptop. At home you would use your home router so then too you don't need a router on the scope.
If you do that, you'll need a what's called a cross over ethernet cable and you will need to be familiar with manually setting up IP addressing on your ethernet adapters. Happy to help with that if you need. I also have a 25 foot cross over cable for just such a need.
No you don't, they solved that problem long ago. A regular ethernet cable will do.
... Henk. :D Telescopes: GSO 12" Astrograph, "Comet Hunter" MN152, ES ED127CF, ES ED80, WO Redcat51, Z12, AT6RC, Celestron Skymaster 20x80, Mounts and tripod: Losmandy G11S with OnStep, AVX, Tiltall, Cameras: ASI2600MC, ASI2600MM, ASI120 mini, Fuji X-a1, Canon XSi, T6, ELPH 100HS, DIY: OnStep controller, Pi4b/power rig, Afocal adapter, Foldable Dob base, Az/Alt Dob setting circles, Accessories: ZWO 36 mm filter wheel, TV Paracorr 2, Baader MPCC Mk III, ES FF, SSAG, QHY OAG-M, EAF electronic focuser, Plossls, Barlows, Telrad, Laser collimators (Seben LK1, Z12, Howie Glatter), Cheshire, 2 Orion RACIs 8x50, Software: KStars-Ekos, DSS, PHD2, Nebulosity, Photo Gallery, Gimp, CHDK, Computers:Pi4b, 2x running KStars/Ekos, Toshiba Satellite 17", Website:Henk's astro images
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Re: Remote dark site wireless network

#14

Post by chris_g »

SkyHiker wrote: Tue Apr 04, 2023 5:05 pm
chris_g wrote: Tue Apr 04, 2023 4:28 pm
SkyHiker wrote: Tue Apr 04, 2023 2:25 pm
If you decide on ethernet then you don't need a router, you can plug the mini PC straight into the laptop. At home you would use your home router so then too you don't need a router on the scope.
If you do that, you'll need a what's called a cross over ethernet cable and you will need to be familiar with manually setting up IP addressing on your ethernet adapters. Happy to help with that if you need. I also have a 25 foot cross over cable for just such a need.
No you don't, they solved that problem long ago. A regular ethernet cable will do.
As long as the card supports auto config mdx or mdxi. All switches do now, but I haven't known any consumer level NICs that do. You have my curiosity up now, I'm going to go straight to one of the mini PCs after work with my laptop.
Image Cam: Canon 6D (Ha mod), 600D (Stock), SVBony SV405CC
Image OTA: EvoStar ED80, WO Z73, C8-A XLT
Mount: EQ6-R Pro Pier, AZ-EQ5 Pro Pier
Guide OTA: Orion 60mm, WO 32mm, ZWO OAG, SV501P
Guide Cam: ZWO 120mm, 290mm mini
EAA OTA: Orion ST80
EAA Cam: SVBony SV705C
EP: Baader Hyperion Modular Set
Filters: L-Pro Canon EOS C, L-eNhance, L-Pro, Optolong Ha 7mm, Optolong Oiii 6.5mm, Optolong Sii 6.5mm, ES H-Beta
Session Control: Mini PC/Win11 Pro, APT 4.1, PHD2 2.6.10
Processing: PixInsight, DSS 4.2.6, Adobe PS CC, Astronomy Tools Action Set, Star Spikes Pro
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Re: Remote dark site wireless network

#15

Post by JayTee »

chris_g wrote: Tue Apr 04, 2023 1:50 pmthree batteries, one for each mount and one for the ancillary equipment, dew heaters, router, switch,...
Chris, why are you running batteries in your house? Is there some reason you're not running 12 volt DC converters off of house power? If it's a question of dirty power you can buy a bit more expensive converters that have a pure signal.
JT
∞ Primary Scopes: #1: Celestron CPC1100 #2: 8" f/7.5 Dob #3: CR150HD f/8 6" frac
∞ AP Scopes: #1: TPO 6" f/9 RC #2: ES 102 f/7 APO #3: ES 80mm f/6 APO
∞ G&G Scopes: #1: Meade 102mm f/7.8 #2: Bresser 102mm f/4.5
∞ Guide Scopes: 70 & 80mm fracs -- The El Cheapo Bros.
∞ Mounts: iOptron CEM70AG, SW EQ6R, Celestron AVX, SLT & GT (Alt-Az), Meade DS2000
∞ Cameras: #1: ZWO ASI294MC Pro #2: 662MC #3: 120MC, Canon T3i, Orion SSAG, WYZE Cam3
∞ Binos: 10X50,11X70,15X70, 25X100 ∞ AP Gear: ZWO EAF and mini EFW and the Optolong L-eXteme filter
∞ EPs: ES 2": 21mm 100° & 30mm 82° Pentax XW: 7, 10, 14, & 20mm 70°

Searching the skies since 1966. "I never met a scope I didn't want to keep."

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Re: Remote dark site wireless network

#16

Post by chris_g »

JayTee wrote: Tue Apr 04, 2023 7:10 pm
chris_g wrote: Tue Apr 04, 2023 1:50 pmthree batteries, one for each mount and one for the ancillary equipment, dew heaters, router, switch,...
Chris, why are you running batteries in your house? Is there some reason you're not running 12 volt DC converters off of house power? If it's a question of dirty power you can buy a bit more expensive converters that have a pure signal.
Prioritized the equipment needed, remote setup was first priority because of a camping trip last summer. Now because the power connections from the mounts are all so easy to plug into the batteries, they are nice in that they do support pass through charging. I may eventually set up AC power in the office but they are so rarely on when I'm inside, I'm not sure it's worth the expense! :lol:
Image Cam: Canon 6D (Ha mod), 600D (Stock), SVBony SV405CC
Image OTA: EvoStar ED80, WO Z73, C8-A XLT
Mount: EQ6-R Pro Pier, AZ-EQ5 Pro Pier
Guide OTA: Orion 60mm, WO 32mm, ZWO OAG, SV501P
Guide Cam: ZWO 120mm, 290mm mini
EAA OTA: Orion ST80
EAA Cam: SVBony SV705C
EP: Baader Hyperion Modular Set
Filters: L-Pro Canon EOS C, L-eNhance, L-Pro, Optolong Ha 7mm, Optolong Oiii 6.5mm, Optolong Sii 6.5mm, ES H-Beta
Session Control: Mini PC/Win11 Pro, APT 4.1, PHD2 2.6.10
Processing: PixInsight, DSS 4.2.6, Adobe PS CC, Astronomy Tools Action Set, Star Spikes Pro
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Re: Remote dark site wireless network

#17

Post by JayTee »

Eventually, your batteries will run down to unusable. When you get there, one to several of these will make AC power your preferred choice. Everything in my observatory runs on AC to DC power supplies.

Here's a link for a 3-pack. These cost a lot less than a battery.
JT
∞ Primary Scopes: #1: Celestron CPC1100 #2: 8" f/7.5 Dob #3: CR150HD f/8 6" frac
∞ AP Scopes: #1: TPO 6" f/9 RC #2: ES 102 f/7 APO #3: ES 80mm f/6 APO
∞ G&G Scopes: #1: Meade 102mm f/7.8 #2: Bresser 102mm f/4.5
∞ Guide Scopes: 70 & 80mm fracs -- The El Cheapo Bros.
∞ Mounts: iOptron CEM70AG, SW EQ6R, Celestron AVX, SLT & GT (Alt-Az), Meade DS2000
∞ Cameras: #1: ZWO ASI294MC Pro #2: 662MC #3: 120MC, Canon T3i, Orion SSAG, WYZE Cam3
∞ Binos: 10X50,11X70,15X70, 25X100 ∞ AP Gear: ZWO EAF and mini EFW and the Optolong L-eXteme filter
∞ EPs: ES 2": 21mm 100° & 30mm 82° Pentax XW: 7, 10, 14, & 20mm 70°

Searching the skies since 1966. "I never met a scope I didn't want to keep."

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Re: Remote dark site wireless network

#18

Post by TexasStar »

I ordered the USB extender and a 75 foot CAT6 ethernet cable. For right now I'm going as simple as possible.
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Re: Remote dark site wireless network

#19

Post by chris_g »

JayTee wrote: Tue Apr 04, 2023 11:09 pm Eventually, your batteries will run down to unusable. When you get there, one to several of these will make AC power your preferred choice. Everything in my observatory runs on AC to DC power supplies.

Here's a link for a 3-pack. These cost a lot less than a battery.
These are LiFePo4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) batteries, their duty cycle is four to five times more than standard lithium ion batteries. When they hit that plateau instead of charging to 100% they only charge to 80%. They also provide regulated 12-volt power on all 12-volt ports. It provides full power until the battery level hits 10%, then it shuts everything off. Learned that the hard way. They were advertised at 8000 full discharge before only charging to 80%, that wouild make them 260 watt hour at the end of their life cycle about 10 years from now, they'd still be usable. They are safer and provide more consistent power in the cold, that one is confirmed in my backyard, though they stop charging below freezing but I think almost all batteries in this class do. I will eventually set up an AC to DC power bench, (couple of power strips with all the power packs plugged in), problem is I don't have enough power packs to go around. Only the SV Bony camera provided one.

Here's better comparison than I could provide, it explains a lot better https://blog.epectec.com/lithium-iron-p ... advantages

Now that both mounts can go full remote, the obsy is next! :dance: :dance: :dance:

Your link isn't working. :)
Image Cam: Canon 6D (Ha mod), 600D (Stock), SVBony SV405CC
Image OTA: EvoStar ED80, WO Z73, C8-A XLT
Mount: EQ6-R Pro Pier, AZ-EQ5 Pro Pier
Guide OTA: Orion 60mm, WO 32mm, ZWO OAG, SV501P
Guide Cam: ZWO 120mm, 290mm mini
EAA OTA: Orion ST80
EAA Cam: SVBony SV705C
EP: Baader Hyperion Modular Set
Filters: L-Pro Canon EOS C, L-eNhance, L-Pro, Optolong Ha 7mm, Optolong Oiii 6.5mm, Optolong Sii 6.5mm, ES H-Beta
Session Control: Mini PC/Win11 Pro, APT 4.1, PHD2 2.6.10
Processing: PixInsight, DSS 4.2.6, Adobe PS CC, Astronomy Tools Action Set, Star Spikes Pro
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