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02 Jan 2018
INDI development team is happy to announce the release of INDI Library v1.6.0. 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?

Re:Lacerta MGEN support? 3 weeks 2 days ago #22848

Cool, thanks for the info. I'll need some time to get set up with my dev env around INDI before looking at getting productive but I got everything to build.

Personally, I think it might make sense to pursue the dithering independent from the overall automation (at least as a near-term increment). This wouldn't work for a completely automated setup. However, if just using KStars/EKSO for controlling alignemnt and capture, one would just get the guing going "manually" with the MGen handbox but control the subsequent image capture through INDI and just send the dither command between frames. (It would also be cool if one could get the guding stats while the guiding is running so that could be displayed during capture - however, I suspect that the protocol might not support you getting at the data while guiding is running)

Cheers,
Lars

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Re:Lacerta MGEN support? 3 weeks 2 days ago #22851

Hi Lars,

there is a windows project called "astrophotography tool" (APT) which does just what you described. Guiding is det manuelly at the handbox or by means of a dedicated windows app. Once up and running the connection is closed and the APT software takes over and coordinates dithering inbetween frames.

APT shows a guinding graph so there must be some comunication with the MGEN guider. So it seems the protocol supports getting at the data while guiding is running.

Cheers
Stephan

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Re:Lacerta MGEN support? 3 weeks 1 day ago #22861

Yes, as soon as a star is locked, the MGen protocol allows retrieval of dx/dy, in pixels.

-Eric
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Lacerta MGEN support? 2 weeks 4 days ago #23045

I've started to make a little progress on adding a new guiderinterface implementation for MGen to EKOS.
Still lots of work to do talk to the actual device but Eric's work will help a lot in figuring that out...

While working on getting my guiderinterface impl wired up, and controlling the state of the Guide UI, I noticed that a CCD is always being added to the Guide instance, which would re-enable the binningCombo that I wanted to keep disabled in the MGen case.
Now I obviously know next to nothing about the inner workings of kstars/EKOS so far as I've pretty much only looked at the external guider code so far.
Anyone care to explain where that CCD that is being added is coming from and whether that is expected in the case of not using the internal guider?

Cheers...
~lars

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Re:Lacerta MGEN support? 2 weeks 4 days ago #23046

I think it's interesting for you to try the guider interface out, to understand better how the drivers work. But unfortunately, a guider is a device that provides a way to alter the movement of the mount, from the client perspective. Because MGen actively runs the guiding, it doesn't fit the purpose of that interface much...
If you are looking to implement an extension to the current driver, I suggest delving how the frames are sent to clients. Right now the remote UI is sending blobs that can be mistaken with the actual camera frame of a different ccd. Try to make that clearer to clients.

-Eric

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Re:Lacerta MGEN support? 2 weeks 4 days ago #23053

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You can try install indi-mgen driver from Alstronomy Linux DEB repository .

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You can try my open project Astronomy Linux

Lacerta MGEN support? 2 weeks 4 days ago #23066

@oleg, thanks, that is a build of Eric's driver. It doesn't support synchronitzing the dither function as of yet as there is no interface to do that through INDI

Here's what I'm working on (see attachments)
- I've managed to add a new external guider implementation to the selection


- I got the implementation hooked up so that it is getting the dither signals when guiding is running during during capture


Now I need to get it to talk to the actual device and then work on writing back the drift stats to the guiding UI...
Attachments:

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Last Edit: by voidpointer.

Lacerta MGEN support? 2 weeks 4 days ago #23070

That all looks great!

I am not into programming or coding or something like this, but i have an MGen Device here. So if there is need of some testing, maybe i could help a bit. I just need clear instructions and syntax to do so.
Just tell me if i can help...

cheers, Niki

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Lacerta MGEN support? 2 weeks 3 days ago #23106

@voidpointer Excellent :) I shared what I did with the PHD2 basic server on my github repository: check branch "feature__mgen_navigation" in repository " github.com/TallFurryMan/indi ". There are a few fixes in there, and a PHD2 protocol tester. The part that will be of interest is the way the device class and the PHD2 server are communicating: check the callbacks "engageSearchStar", "engageStartGuiding", "engageStopGuiding". Those are propagating to actual navigation inside the MGen UI. This is not really robust for now, but the protocol allow to verify is a star was detected, and to retrieve dx/dy. Along with information about the optical path, this can be translated to arcsecs. I think the two railways are about to be connected!

@the.cakemaker I reproduce the problem with the MGen device not showing up in the Ekos Profile Editor in KStars released 20180128. I thought this was fixed by @knro some time ago, because it is related to the MGen device listed under group "Aux" instead of "Auxiliary" in indidrivers.xml. To work around this issue, copy "/usr/share/kstars/indidrivers.xml" in your personal folder, in ".local/share/kstars". Command:
cp /usr/share/kstars/indidrivers.xml ~/.local/share/kstars/
In that copied file, look for "Lacerta MGen" and change the "group" attribute of the enclosing "devGroup" element from "Aux" to "Auxiliary". Restart KStars, and the device should appear in the Profile Editor.

-Eric

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Last Edit: by TallFurryMan.

Lacerta MGEN support? 2 weeks 1 day ago #23137

Hi!

Tryed to use the syntax but that does not work for me.
I also can not find the folder .local/share/kstars...

Niki

Edit: Found out lots about hidden directorys, just forget what i wrote...

Edit #II: Worked for me. Mgen is there now. Thanks for the Lesson ;) and thanks for the help. Next Clear Sky i will test!
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Last Edit: by the.cakemaker.

Lacerta MGEN support? 1 week 3 days ago #23336

Hi there.

Two days CS was good for some testruns.
MGen is appearing now, after the workaround you told me about.
I can work with it with the remote window and thats (almost) everything i wanted.
Thank you so much!
I was a little afraid, that the guiding-signals of the MGen would maybe somehow "interferre" with the KStars/Ekos/Indy-system, but thats absolutely not the case.
So at the moment i use KStars for problem free slewing to my target of choice and focussing. And then i use the MGen for guiding AND dithering, and because of that for the capture-control too. Since i work with the SD Card anyway, this is good for me.
The guiding implementation of voidpointer would be the "luxury-version" for me :)

so long
Niki
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Re:Lacerta MGEN support? 1 week 1 day ago #23355

Currently that's what I do too: I set the MGen up on a star, calibrate, then have all my exposures autoguided while I go to sleep. But yeah doing this limits my night to a single object. And meridian flip, aha.

@voidpointer have you got any progress on your side? I'll try to find some time to work on the PHD2 part, there could be a few good nights to test next week. And I also want to delve a bit in kstars.

-Eric

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