Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
20 Aug 2017
INDI development team is happy to announce the release of INDI Library v1.5.0. This new exciting release builds on the maturity of INDI Library and comes with many new supported devices and fixes for existing drivers.
Read More...
  • Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: AP MACH 1 GTO...cannot guide, and where's park positions?

AP MACH 1 GTO...cannot guide, and where's park positions? 1 month 2 weeks ago #20024

I cannot get guiding to work with my mount. Supposedly there should be an option in the driver to use pulse commands on the 'Connection' tab but it's not present. I am using my own Pi3 and installed the Stellarmate image. I then ran the Software Updater while online to get up to date packages. I got all my equipment to connect but when I tried to start internal guider calibration, it would fail because the star didn't move. I would think that pulse guiding on an AP mount would be something that would work upon install, instead I've been searching up and down the forums trying to figure out why it doesn't. I saw a post from another AP mount user saying that he was able to select pulse guiding but that the option would sometimes be there and then not. Huh? Pulling my hair out here. Can I pulse guide with INDI/EKOS or not?

Coming from Ray Gralak's ASCOM driver, I find myself in uncharted territory with the INDI driver and I'm not clear on how it works. Is there a manual or guide or something? Why would something as standard as pulse guiding be missing from here? Also, what about park options? I don't use a keypad and have to set up every time to image. The AP preferred park position is PARK 4, I manually move the scope to this position before powering up then upon connection to the ASCOM driver I select 'unpark from PARK 4'. From there, the mount knows where it is facing and I can immediately slew to any object from SGP or Stellarium without having to plate solve. The only park related options on the INDI driver are 'Park' 'Unpark' on the Main Control tab and 'Current' 'Default' 'Write Data' Park Options on the Site Management tab.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

AP MACH 1 GTO...cannot guide, and where's park positions? 1 month 2 weeks ago #20030

Yes you can pulse guide. There was a small regression in the driver that caused this and I just fixed it, so please update StellarMate.

Regarding parking, slew the desired parking position, go to Site Management and then click Current, then go to Main Control Panel and click Park.
Now internally, I am just writing the function based on my understand of the command set since AstroPhysics offers no official support for INDI. So what is happening internally after you click "Park" above is this:
1. Set AstroPhysics Az/Alt to the current parking position.
2. Slew to target Az/Alt above, if you're already there, then no motion happens.
3. Az/Alt parking position is recorded in ParkData.xml

When you UnPark:
1. Parking Az/Alt is ready from ParkData.xml file
2. Astrophysics Az/Alt is set to the above values.
3. Astrophysics Sync is called.

If the workflow above is not valid, please let me know. Unfortunately, there is no feedback from Astrophysics despite many users who use this driver.
The following user(s) said Thank You: SparkyHT

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

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

AP MACH 1 GTO...cannot guide, and where's park positions? 1 month 2 weeks ago #20031

Ok, here is one more thing. Cold vs. Warm initialization. Now the user must either click Cold or Warm before they can start using the mount. The only difference between the two is that Cold initialization parking and calls Unpark() and stops the mounts. However, if the mount is to be used in a robotic fashion, I don't users to click on anything, so what is the best solution here?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

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

AP MACH 1 GTO...cannot guide, and where's park positions? 1 month 2 weeks ago #20033

I've been using INDI with my Mach 1 since early July. We've fixed some issues then and I've been using it for imaging since and have around 100 hours of operation so far. Overall it has been a very good experience. I am still on a branch I made in late July so I don't have experience with the latest releases. If I have a clear night during the Full Moon I'll try to build the latest code and confirm it is still working. Unfortunately I think I'm the only heavy user of the AP driver these days (would like to think I'm wrong) so problems could creep in I suppose.

The issue with the pulse guide option showing up is something I had reported and also intended to look into but simply have not had a chance. I've been using an ST-4 guide cable from my ASI1600MM-Cool and that works great with PHD2. My guiding is typically around 0.4 arcsec RMS.

As you mentioned the park operation of the driver is the weakness. If you do not get the position initialized properly then the mount will most likely eat itself if you tell it to park as it is slewing to an alt/az position - usually the default 0/0. If you started at a different position then it is going to be bad news when you park.

I have a checklist whenever I bring up the driver to make sure I avoid these problems:

1) Make sure mount is on before starting driver. If you forget this then stop indiserver/etc and restart with mount powered
2) Cold init mount the first time you init after mount is powered on, warm init afterwards (though I never have used this, if I have to unload indiserver I always power cycle mount to be sure I'm starting at #1).
3) Confirm park alt/az loaded properly. If not I go back to #1

This works well for me. For a remote mount it would not be viable but I am standing next to my mount so I take these extra precautions.

I use the Park 3 position myself since I am always near the mount - I understand why AP suggests Park 4 if you were in a remote observatory. You can pick any park position you want as long as you supply the proper alt/az.
The following user(s) said Thank You: knro, SparkyHT

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last Edit: by mikefulb.

AP MACH 1 GTO...cannot guide, and where's park positions? 1 month 2 weeks ago #20035

Thanks for the responses. I've been running a rig with a mini PC that is mounted on a plate on top of my OTA to minimize setup time and wire slop hanging from the mount down, Plus, I'm using a Lodestar as a guide cam...the one with the 4 pin flat plug that has a tenedency to break and fail.....yeah, THAT one. I keep the GTOCP3 on the tripod spreader and running a flimsy cable from the Lodestar down is just asking for problems. I already have everything working near perfectly with Windows/ASCOM/SGP, But I've had this Pi3 laying around and thought I'd give INDI/Ekos a try. The focusing routines and image downloading have proved to be much faster, almost enough to make me want to jump ship from the PC and run with the Pi3. If plate solving turns out to be as reliable as SGPs Platesolve2 routines and if I can get pulse guiding, then it might seal the deal for me. Another thing I noticed is that I am missing most of the indexes from astrometry.net. In EKOS I set it up for offline, but in options I only see index-4208 checked. I verified the index file being present by checking usr/share/astrometry folder. It looks as though those index files were installed with the Stellarmate image file, but if I need additional Index files to meet other FOVs (I have an RC and a fast refractor), EKOS will download them upon asking it to plate solve. The thing is when I'm out in the field, I don't have internet, how can EKOS plate solve offline if there's no index files to support beyond the field of view covered by index-4208? Is there a way to add more index files to my equipment profiles while on the internet at home so EKOS will access them in the field while offline? There's no 'wizard' in the EKOS setup like I remember encountering years ago with Astrotortilla where it would ask you about what FOVS need to be covered and then present a selection of index files to download. Do I have to have an active profile with equipment connected and a FITS image loaded to trigger index files to download or am I missing something?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last Edit: by SparkyHT. Reason: Changes

AP MACH 1 GTO...cannot guide, and where's park positions? 1 month 2 weeks ago #20036

Yeah that Lodestar is just waiting for the moment to break down... and it broke on me over a year ago. Thankfully the Lodestar X2 does not suffer from that annoying problem!
Regarding your issues:
1. Pulse guiding issue should be fixed now, please verify on your next update.
2. StellarMate Image v1.2.1 includes index files from 4206 to 4219. Now I'm a bit confused as where Ekos is running? Is it running on StellarMate or elsewhere?
The following user(s) said Thank You: SparkyHT

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?
Last Edit: by knro.

AP MACH 1 GTO...cannot guide, and where's park positions? 1 month 2 weeks ago #20037

Ok I'll update and check. I installed the image less than a week ago, do I have to flash another image to get the index files? To answer your question, I am running EKOS/Kstars on the Pi3 and accessing it from a Windows netbook with VNC through the wifi hotspot. The pi is running headless on the OTA with the camera/guider/EFW/mount/Robofocus connected through a USB hub. I am planning on running it this way and storing my FITS files locally to keep data transfer between the pi and the netbook to a minimum. Like I do with my stick PC with SGP, I would VNC into the Pi, slew to the object I plan to image for the night, autofocus, platesolve and center, set up the sequence, start guiding and then start the sequence. I let it run headless like this for the night, occasionally opening up the netbook to check on progress and focus.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

AP MACH 1 GTO...cannot guide, and where's park positions? 1 month 2 weeks ago #20039

You could install the index files yourself on the RPI3, or download the latest image. Either way works. Btw, another way to control this if download KStars for Windows on your netbook and then access StellarMate from it, it might be better than VNC.
The following user(s) said Thank You: SparkyHT

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

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

AP MACH 1 GTO...cannot guide, and where's park positions? 1 month 2 weeks ago #20042

Sound good, I'll check it out. You're right about VNC being clunky, I don't really care for the 'window within window' feel to it. Do I connect to EKOS directly from Kstars on the PC, or do I use the web manager to gain entry?


--EDIT-- My netbook is 32 bit, so it won't run Kstars, so never mind.

Thanks!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last Edit: by SparkyHT.

AP MACH 1 GTO...cannot guide, and where's park positions? 1 month 2 weeks ago #20062

We are a heavy user of the AP driver, having used it, successfully, for over 3 years. We have an AP1600GTO, not a Mach 1, so perhaps, some difference could exist. I agree with Mike's comments and procedure for startup. I would add to that, AP mount firmware is rather slow to load when first powered up, so, make certain you give it a minute before attempting to connect and Cold initialize. We have found on our system, it is possible to 'rush' into operation and thus cause issues.

I would also add, TEST THE SYSTEM with a real PC connected LOCALLY before running off to remote operation with some device like a Pi3. Now, I am certain many will want to argue the merits of quality and stability of using Pi3 as a computer to control their telescope, but honestly, if one really needs to remote operation, you'll want to be there for the first tests. Just take a good PC along and test the hardware, cables, etc. with something a bit more robust.

If the driver is at fault it needs diagnosed, but, we do not see issues here.
Dan

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Page:
  • 1
Time to create page: 0.228 seconds

Login

3rd Party

Choose from the numerous 3rd party INDI drivers to suit your needs!

Got Problem?

Check out the FAQ, the forum, and the bug tracking system to resolve any issues you might have!
You can also subscribe to INDI newsletter and development mailing lists to get the latest updates on INDI!


Gallery

Replica

Why INDI

Replica