Ekos can be accessed from the Tools menu in KStars or via the Ekos icon on the mail tool bar.
Profiles: You can define profiles for your equipment and their connection mode using the Profile Editor. Ekos comes pre-installed with the Simulators profile which can be used to start simulator devices for demonstration purposes:
- Connection Mode: Ekos can be started either locally or remotely. Local mode is when Ekos is running in the same machine as INDI server, i.e. all the devices are connected directly to the machine. If you run INDI server on a remote machine (for example, on a Rasperry PI), you need to set the INDI server host and port.
- Site Info: Optionally, you can check the Site Info checkbox and Ekos will load the current city and timezone whenever is Ekos is started with this profile. This can be useful when connecting to remote geographic site so that Ekos is in sync location and time wise.
- Device Selection: Select your devices from each category. If the driver is only available on the remote machine and is not listed in Ekos, you can directly put its executable (e.g. indi_eqmod_telescope). Please note that if you have a CCD with a guide head, you can leave the guider dropdown menu blank as Ekos will auto-detect the guide head from the CCD camera. Similarly, if your CCD includes embedded filter wheel support, then you do not need to specify the filter wheel device in the filter dropdown menu.
- Start & Stop INDI: Start and Stop INDI services. Once INDI server is established, INDI Control Panel will be displayed. Here you can change some driver options such as which port the device is connected to ...etc.
- Connect & Disconnect Devices: Connect to INDI server. Based on the devices connected, Ekos modules (CCD, Focus, Guide...etc) will be established and available to use.
All INDI drivers supports loading and saving of INDI properties. For example, if you use a telescope driver, you can set your telescope aperture and focal length, and then save the configuration (under the Options tab) so it can be retrieved in a future session. The configuration option decides how to load the configuration file for INDI drivers:
- Never: Never load any configuration. The configuration can still be loaded manually in the INDI control panel.
- On Connection: Automatically load the driver's configuration on connection.
- Always Load Default: Always load default configuration, if it exists
Set Scheduler Module options:
- Lead Time: Lead time is the minimum time in minutes between jobs. The scheduler starts execution of a job before its scheduled start-up time by this lead time. Early execution is useful as focusing, alignment, and guiding procedures may take prolonged periods to time to complete.
- Pre-Dawn: Do not permit jobs to be scheduled or executed past this many minutes before dawn.
- Pre-Emptive Shutdown: In case no scheduler job is scheduled for this many hours, perform a complete shutdown procedure and restart observatory operations once the next job is ready.
Set Capture Module options:
- Temperature Threshold: Maximum acceptable difference between requested and measured temperature set point. When the temperature threshold is below this value, the temperature set point request is deemed successful.
- Remember Job Progress: When loading an Ekos Sequence Queue file (*.esq) file, check if any jobs have already completed capture process and resume from where last capture was taken.
Ekos can switch between using internal guider or external PHD2. When selecting external PHD2 guiding, specify the host and port if they are different from the default values.
Ekos can utilize both astrometry.net online and offline solvers.
- solver: Path to astrometry.net solver binary. You only need to specify this settings if you are using the offline astrometry.net solver.
- wcsinfo: Path to astrometry.net wcsinfo binary. You only need to specify this settings if you are using the offline astrometry.net solver.
- config: Path to astrometry.net configuration file. You only need to specify this settings if you are using the offline astrometry.net solver.
- API Key: API Key to utilize astrometry.net online solver. You only need to specify this settings if you are using the online astrometry.net solver. You can obtain your own API key if you register in the astrometry.net site
- API URL: URL to the Astrometry.net API site. You only need to specify this settings if you are using the online astrometry.net solver.
- Use JPG: Convert captured FITS image to JPEG before uploading to astrometry.net to conserve bandwidth.