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JHuer2
Beginner
5,162 Views

Using a NUC in Headless Mode

Can a NUC be used without a screen, keyboard and mouse being attached via remote desktop? I am currently using a different mini-pc attached to my telescope in this fashion successfully, but it has a Celeron CPU, and running multiple applications via Remote Desktop results in slow program response. I want to get a NUC with W10 PRO and something like an i7 or faster processor to be able to handle multiple applications simultaneously via remote desktop, as long as all I need on the telescope would be the NUC.

Yours truly,

Jack Huerkamp

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11 Replies
n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
2,383 Views

First of all, you are not required to have keyboard and mouse connected. As for monitor, the NUCs are supposed to be able to boot headless. This is something I have not played with, however. You need to look at the Technical Product Specification (TPS) for the particular NUC (or NUCs) that you are interested in to see what you have to do for headless boot. You can find the TPS documents here: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/boards-and-kits/000005545.html Technical Product Specifications for Intel NUCs

...S

JHuer2
Beginner
2,383 Views

Thank you for the link to the TPS document. I will start doing my homework to find a NUC with W10PRO, an i7 processor and headless operation.

Jack Huerkamp

JHuer2
Beginner
2,383 Views

In reviewing the product info on the NUC, it appears that they all function on 19VDC but the spec sheets show an input voltage of 12 to 19VDC. I power my telescope in the field from a large LiFePO4 12VDC battery. I have a 12VDC power distribution rail built into the telescope for other accessories attached to the scope. Will the NUC run on applied 12VDC?

Yours truly,

Jack Huerkamp

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
2,383 Views

Yes, many (but not all!) of the NUCs can operate on any voltage in the 12-19VDC range, provided the amperage is also sufficient. Check the TPS carefully; as I said, there are some NUCs that are more picky regarding voltage and, while most operate on 65W supplies, there are a number that require 90W and a few that require even more.

When operating off battery, while not absolutely required, it is recommended that you use a Buck Converter to better regulate the power supplied to the NUC. Best example I know of is here: http://www.mini-box.com/DCDC-NUC Mini-Box.com: DCDC-NUC, 6-48V automotive power supply for NUC, 12V or 19V output.

Hope this helps,

...S

JHuer2
Beginner
2,383 Views

I assume that the buck converter is installed inside the NUC and regulates the voltage supplied by the battery to what the NUC needs to operate.

Jack Huerkamp

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
2,383 Views

No, you put the board between the battery output and the NUC's (DC) power input. The idea here is to ensure that the power coming from the battery is consistently in the appropriate range regardless of battery condition and power draw.

...S

JHuer2
Beginner
2,383 Views

I only saw the buck converter available as a bare board. I wonder if one is available installed in a case as I would not want to have one exposed to condensation while being connected to the NUC on the side of my telescope. You can see the current Celeron processor based mini-pc installed on the side of the mirror box to my telescope. It received 12VDC from a power rail in the base that is connected to a 12VDC 130AH LiFePO4 battery. The buck converter would probably reside next to the NUC where the existing mini-pc is installed, so it would be subjected to lots of dew. An enclosure is a must.

Jack Huerkamp

GStew3
Beginner
2,383 Views

Jack,

I am running a NUC6CAYS on with the Celeron processor along with a mini travel wifi router on the imaging mount. It is powered by a Rigrunner setup with 13.8V DC input to the NUC and has had no issues using that voltage. I use Teamviewer and the wifi LAN option to connect remotely. I had to connect a mouse, keyboard and monitor for the initial software setup and startup programs.The Celeron processor has had no issues running all the acquisition software including Sequence Generator Pro, PHD2 guiding, Gemini ASCOM, Plate Solve 2 and ANSVR.The only thing I would have done differently would be get A NUC with the OS pre installed on a SSD, as is the emmc on board is limited so I restrict the NUC from any internet connection due to Win10 updates.

JHuer2
Beginner
2,383 Views

I was going to change the power distribution bar in the base of my scope to a Rig Runner with Anderson Power Pole Connections, but decided to leave the power distribution bar alone. The existing mini-pc with Celeron processor came with W10 PRO and I upgraded the RAM to 16GB. I moved W10 PRO to a 500GB SSD. And using Remote Desktop and a Netgear range extended set up as a Wi-Fi hot spot, I can connect to the mini-pc. I installed SkyTools3 PRO on the mini-pc along with MallinCamSky to run the cameras and during daytime tests, I was able to control the camera. I still have to bring the scope outside and confirm that the existing mini-pc can handle both camera and scope control. If all works well, then I will stay with what I have. If not, I will be looking to get a NUC with more CPU processing power.

Jack Huerkamp

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
2,383 Views

Sorry John, this link is really all that I have. You could call Mini-Box and see if they have a packaged version available.

Sigh, it's not like the good old days when you could just walk into your neighborhood Radio Shack store and find an appropriately-sized p-box that you could drop something like this into...

...S

JHuer2
Beginner
2,383 Views

I contacted Mini-Box to see if they offer the buck converter in an enclosure or just a circuit board and cabling. I will let you know what they tell me.

Yours truly,

Jack

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