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08 Apr 2018
INDI development team is happy to announce the release of INDI Library v1.7.0. This new exciting release builds on the maturity of INDI Library and comes with many new supported devices and fixes for existing drivers.
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TOPIC: Lacerta MGEN support?

Lacerta MGEN support? 1 year 5 months ago #13198

This was fast,

so they aren't that busy. Here is what Tommy of Lacerta wrote:

hallo Andreas,

ja wir liefern gern das Protokoll für die Kommunikation über den USB Port,
--yes we provide the protocol for communication over USB port
und freuen uns wenn sich jemand bereit findet eine INDI Implikation zu machen.
--and we are happy if someone likes to do a INDI implication
Ich hänge das pdf mit den Protokoll Infos hier an, und hoffe daß es weiter hilft.
--I'm attaching the pdf with the protocols and hope it is helping

Ich bin mit Andrea Ricciardi von Astrel in Kontakt und weiß dass er eine komplette INDI Lösung
--I'm in contact with Andrea Ricciardi of Astrel and I know that he wants to get a complete INDI solution
über das TinyAstro OS an bord der Astel anstrebt. Der MGEN erhält jetzt den Trigger zum Dithern
--over the TinyAstro OS on bord the Astrel(Cam). The MGEN gets the trigger for dithering now
und meldet das vollzogene Dithern an die Astrel zurück - funzt tadellosest.
--and states back to astrel when dithering is finished - works great.

Mit iAstrohub funktioniert der MGEn inzwishen auch schon in entsprechender Weise.
--With iAstrohub the MGEN works accordingly
Bitte mich auf dem Laufenden halten, bzw wenn weiterführende Info nötig ist dann verbinde ich mit unserem MGEN Entwickler.
--Please keep me up to date, if further information is necessary I'll connect to our MGEN developer.

lg Tommy

EDIT: File was removed due to request from MGEN. Jasem
The following user(s) said Thank You: MiHell

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Last Edit: by knro.

Lacerta MGEN support? 1 year 5 months ago #13222

double post, deleted :oops:

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Last Edit: by nawratil.

Lacerta MGEN support? 1 year 5 months ago #13223

thanks Jasem :cheer:

@ all: Developers are warmly welcome to contact us at shop-wien(...)teleskop-austria.at
to get MGEN's USB communication protocol. We just don't want have posted it open on the net.

clear skies, Tommy

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Lacerta MGEN support? 1 year 5 months ago #13225

Understood! That's the reason I couldn't find that documentation again when I saw it earlier this year... I'm interested in giving this a try, Tommy, how should we proceed? You want to review source code after it is tested and before it is pushed?
-Eric

EDIT: I also received the document, thanks :) Here's what I'll possibly try (after pushing the other V4L2 activity I'm currently working out):

- Step 1: hello-firmware indi driver with basic informative gadgets, connect/disconnect and link robustness management
- Step 2: remote user interface navigation, eventually with retrieval of the interface frames as remote screen
- Step 3: automated user interface navigation (locked to specific firmware version) to build scenarii to functions such as star detection, calibration and guiding
- Step 4: bonus time, such as dithering or external exposure control, or fiddling with storage configuration files

Obviously, no attempt to manage firmware upgrades at all. No promises on how long this will take, of course ;)
-Eric

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Last Edit: by TallFurryMan.

Lacerta MGEN support? 1 year 2 months ago #14893

Hello,

I've got the rough edges of the driver sorted out thanks to the documentation :)
Right now I have a stable driver maintaining a robust connection, reading versions, voltage levels, and user interface frames.

However, how should I proceed to provide that user interface to the end-user?
I was looking for a way to display a raw black&white image in the driver interface, but I don't see any.
Do I need to develop a new panel in Ekos or is there another way to do this?

Thanks,
-Eric

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Lacerta MGEN support? 1 year 2 months ago #14906

Sorry I'm not following. Why do you need a specific user interface for this driver?

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Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?
Add your observatory info

Lacerta MGEN support? 1 year 2 months ago #14915

Ah, sorry for being opaque... Let me clarify.

The MGen is an autoguider, with a CCD and a ST4 connector. The interface to the CCD is connected to a command block, which has a LCD user interface with a few buttons. Roughly the procedure to start guiding is always the same:
1. Turn the device on and access the main menu
2. Find the best suited star in the current live view
3. Calibrate the guider by letting it compute drifts
4. Start guiding, and stop guiding

I've been looking into which INDI:: interfaces are best suited for each step using the device (CCD, Guider...), but that's not my point yet.

There are I/Os to transfer the contents of LCD user interface to the computer, and button states back to the command block (their PC application provides this feature).
As a first step in remote control, I'm looking for a way to reproduce that LCD user interface for the end-user.
Should I develop an external script with its own user interface, or is there a way to embed that more generically in an INDI client?

Thanks,
-Eric

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Lacerta MGEN support? 1 year 2 months ago #14917

Since this appears to be specialized functions for the device, I suggest you develop a client for it specifically. Not sure how you can use INDI there since everything operates within the device? Can you send external guiding commands to it? You probably need a new INDI:: interface for such a device, or a mesh-up for existing INDI device classes.

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Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?
Add your observatory info

Lacerta MGEN support? 1 year 2 months ago #14933

I was searching through the code of KStars, and I think that device could be managed in the same way as PHD2/LinGuider does with a CCD.

I see the following commands are published to Ekos interface GuiderInterface: calibrate, guide, abort, which could be used to control the MGen through user interface navigation scenarii. The MGen client would then be a relatively small implementation of device calls or user interface navigation requests. Only issue here is that I don't really see how I would connect that client to the actual Indi device. It seems the frames are provided to the external application via gadget guideView? Perhaps I should look this way to find a device handle I can manipulate?

-Eric

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Lacerta MGEN support? 1 year 2 months ago #14953

If you want to go this path, then your client either directly controls the device or uses INDI server (and then you have to write an INDI driver for that). As far Ekos is concerned, it is just talking to an external guiding application like PHD2 and LinGuider. So your client must implement a similar solution, i..e. a server where it would accept similar command for start/stop/calibrate..etc that the current external guiding applications support.

Then in Ekos, you would have to set IP/Port of the external guiding application (MGen) and proceed as usual.

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Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?
Add your observatory info

Lacerta MGEN support? 1 year 2 months ago #15050

Hi!

I also use the MGEN standalone autoguider. I really cherish the guider as it has turned out to be the most reliable piece of equipment I ever owned. Please let me know if I can do anything to support integrating the device with Ekos, e.g. beta testing or estabkisheung contact with the manufacturer ...

Best wishes
Stephan

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Lacerta MGEN support? 1 year 2 months ago #15055

Thanks for you support :)

Current state is of my development is a driver "indi-mgen" using INDI::CCD as interface.
When connecting, the driver detects the state of the device (can eventually turn the device if it is not powered yet).
Once connected, the driver forwards remote UI frames periodically, and provides a button interface to navigate in that UI.
(the driver also reports version and voltages, but that's not a major feature).

Communication uses libftdi1. I'll explain how to unbind driver ftdi_sio in order to use libftdi1 for a specific device.

Still testing:
- Communication robustness (initial states, disconnecting and recovering...)
- Integration with Ekos, the idea being to consider the device's CCD as a guider, display the remote UI in that tab and in parallel use the INDI tab to navigate
- Code cleanup (first driver, so things were not all clear at the beginning!)

Yet to do:
- Integrate the guider in Ekos as a real guider (calibrate, start, stop...) in order to support the scheduler.
- Proper turn off function.
- Filesystem interface (for instance to recover periodic error samples or forward exposure plans).
- Support for commands providing drift values (not clear what would be the interface in Ekos).
- Support for commands providing dithering feature (not clear what would be the interface in Ekos).

I'll provide screenshots and driver architecture after testing is complete.
-Eric
The following user(s) said Thank You: knro, Pepe.Lombris, andreas.d, koichi

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