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25 Jul 2018
Glad to announce of release of INDI Library v1.7.4 on 2018-07-25. A few drivers were added in this release as we continue to improve & stabilize existing drivers.
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TOPIC: Astrophysics Updates

Astrophysics Updates 8 months 2 weeks ago #22146

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I've been making some updates to the Astrophysics lx200ap driver and wanted to give a status report.

Website
I've added docuemntation for the Astrophysics driver here: Astrophysics Documentation . I would appreciate feedback.

Driver Development
With help from Jasem and users we've started to evolve the Astrophysics driver towards a more usable driver. The existing lx200ap driver works well and I've been imaging with it for the last 9 months. But it shows it age in ways like requiring the user to choose a COLD or WARM initialization. When I investigated this I discovered for legacy firmware versions there just wasn't a good way to handle this. Talking with Astro-Physics I determined to be able to implement the features we wanted we would need to have a driver that required the 'V' level of the firmware. This is the same level that Astro-Physics requires for the APCC control software.

In order to maintain compatibility for existing users with older firmwares we decided to split the driver into lx200ap for legacy use and lx200ap_experimental for a actively developed driver requiring the 'V' firmware level. If there are problems discovered with the lx200ap driver we will of course look into them. But most of my development time with be on the newer driver.

The immediate benefits of the newer driver are that you can now have the driver initialize the mount from the last parked position and avoid having to be involved in the initialization process - basically COLD and WARM initialization are now gone. There are also presets for setting the parking position to one of the 4 defined by Astro-Physics (PARK1/PARK2/PARK3/PARK4).

I am looking into adding the "Meridian Delay" functionality that lets you basically shift where a meridian flip occurs. Why would you want this? It lets you start imaging from a counter weight up position if your scope allows it and avoid a meridian flip. It has to be used to EXTREME caution obviously!

The lx200ap_experimental driver should land on github sometime in the next week and I'd love to get feedback from anyone who wants to test it. As it is a new driver I would caution anyone using it to be careful and I'd be near the mount when doing slews and parking until we get some more testing in place. I've used it for imaging the past week and so far no surprises!
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Astrophysics Updates 8 months 2 weeks ago #22152

Mike,
It looks like you have been busy in recent days on the driver updates for the newer Astro-Physics Control Boxes. Thanks for the update notes and for all the work your doing on the driver. I have just sent out some updated notes to you and Jasem on my ongoing tests on the older GTOCP2 controller and the (other) driver specific to the older controllers and firmware. I am excited to see the direction and more complete implementation the AP drivers are taking.
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Astrophysics Updates 8 months 2 weeks ago #22153

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Let me know if I can be any help - if I had a CP2 box I'm sure I could fix it in a couple of minutes. :)

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Astrophysics Updates 7 months 3 weeks ago #22576

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I've committed my changes for lx200ap_experimental and these should show up in a binary build soon.

Please check the documentation out before using this new driver.

The driver requires a 'V' firmware level as it takes advantage of many firmware features.

Be aware that unparking and parking are handled differently and are more consistent with how the Astro-Physics ASCOM driver works.

Also I added an implementation of the "Meridian Delay" found in the ASCOM driver - please read about this before using it as it has the potential to cause problems if you don't know what you are doing. I would leave it at 0 unless you know what you are doing. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

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Astrophysics Updates (Parking positions wrong?) 4 months 2 weeks ago #25649

First of all thanks for the work on the AP driver.! I have an odd situation where the Parking positions 1 and 4 generated by the driver do not match the docs nor positions set by my hand controller. Park1 should be on the west side of the pier with the scope pointing north. In my case Park1 is on the east side pointing north. Actually, FWIW, if I was in the Southern Hemisphere with the my RA axis pointing south, the position would be correct according to the AP docs. Likewise Park4 should be in the east side of the pier with the scope pointing south. In my case Park4 is on the west side pointing south.

I've enclosed screen shots and logs of the driver initialized at Park1, and a picture of the incorrect scope position, commanding to slew to Polaris, and then back to Park1.

What am I missing? Do I need to set these positions manually and use the button that says Current, Default, Write?
Thanks ahead of time for your help.

Notes. Running on a Stellarmate with the latest software. I normally use a GPS for time and location but in this test case to simplify I am using kstars as the source, which all seems fine and synchronized. Just a the AP driver and CCD sim in the test profile.

Incorrect position


Indi panels at startup



Kstars/Scope control at startup at Park1


Command to Polaris and back to Park1 via Scope Control Panel



Log file, see attached

EDIT: Note Pier Side is incorrect, Park1 should be on the west side, but the scope is clearly on the East Side. Must be significant.

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Last Edit: by deisenlord.

Astrophysics Updates (Parking positions wrong?) 4 months 2 weeks ago #25652

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If I have a chance I will try to look at it over the next week or so.

Just scanning the log at the top it sends the command:
CMD <#:St +44*56:23#> "
I believe that sets the latitude to +44:45:23 so it would think its in the Northern Hemisphere?
If you look through the code for "Computing PARK1" or whatever park position you can see the values it is using:
[2018-04-29T08:03:25.518 CDT DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - AstroPhysics Experimental : "[DEBUG] Park to pos set to (1). "
[2018-04-29T08:03:25.518 CDT DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - AstroPhysics Experimental : "[DEBUG] Computing PARK1 position... "
[2018-04-29T08:03:25.519 CDT DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - AstroPhysics Experimental : "[DEBUG] calcParkPosition: parkPos=1 parkAlt=0.000000 parkAz=0.000000 "
[2018-04-29T08:03:25.519 CDT DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - AstroPhysics Experimental : "[DEBUG] Set predefined park position 1 to az=0.000000 alt=0.000000 "

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Astrophysics Updates (Parking positions wrong?) 4 months 2 weeks ago #25655

Yep, I am in the Northern Hemisphere. I think it somehow has to do with Pier side which is incorrect (if understand it correctly). Scope is clearly on east side of mount but Pier side in Indi says West pointing east?

No great urgency here, full moon :-)
David

EDIT: Just read some on Peir Side, not a straight forward as I thought, maybe not a tell.

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Last Edit: by deisenlord.

Astrophysics Updates (Parking positions wrong?) 4 months 2 weeks ago #25657

Another observation FWIW. If I park the mount with the hand controller to Park 1 or 4 indii displays the correct Pier Side. When I park to 1 or 4 with indi the scope is on the wrong side of the pier, pointing in the right direction, and Pier Side is physically incorrect in indi. Pier Side displays the side of the pier the scope should be on.

SCRATCH THIS. Damn my apologies. This morning I did not observer this, Pier side was reading correctly. The park position is just on the wrong side.
In researching this I haven't wrapped my mind around it. Whats wrong is pier side but of course a given set of coordinates works on either side of the pier. So given an alt/az coordinate of 0,-180 how does the pier side get chosen.

I'll just shut up now.

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Last Edit: by deisenlord.

Astrophysics Updates (Parking positions wrong?) 4 months 2 weeks ago #25714

I believe this thread has the solution to the problem.

http://www.indilib.org/forum/development/3355-ap-experimental.html#25712

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Astrophysics Updates (Parking positions wrong?) 4 months 2 weeks ago #25731

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I think I have the changes to get Park1/2/3/4 working properly in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

My plan is to submit a PR tonight.

Thank you for the good reports that helped me track down the issue.
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Astrophysics Updates (Parking positions wrong?) 4 months 1 week ago #25836

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I believe the code is in place has anyone been able to test this?

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Astrophysics Updates 4 months 1 week ago #25862

Yes, I did. It works. Except for the Park 3 position, the azimuth for park 3 is still 0 in the northern hemisphere.

thanks

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