James Taylor replied to the topic 'Manual Focusing' in the forum. 4 months ago

u2pilotjt wrote:

It certainly seems like that's what's happening on the screen. I don't know if the screen is simply being zoomed or if the incoming signal is being digitally zoomed (or even if that makes sense). It looks like the resolution when zoomed is better than I would expect it to be if the screen is simply being magnified.

I looked at the APT forums and it seems that the zoom is a hardware zoom and a function of the the camera; it's not a software zoom specifically. I don't have a clue about how it's done but he does say that he's limited to 5X and 10X on a DSLR. Unfortunately, I have no clue beyond that. On an un-zoomed live view, you can click on a spot on the screen and it will make that the ROI and then you can zoom 5x or 10x on that spot.

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James Taylor replied to the topic 'Manual Focusing' in the forum. 4 months ago

It certainly seems like that's what's happening on the screen. I don't know if the screen is simply being zoomed or if the incoming signal is being digitally zoomed (or even if that makes sense). It looks like the resolution when zoomed is better than I would expect it to be if the screen is simply being magnified.

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James Taylor replied to the topic 'Manual Focusing' in the forum. 4 months ago

I can only tell you what I see at the user end but I'm sure we can find out the technical details somehow.

The live stream is taking images at about 10 frames per second or so. I guess when you zoom, it's digitally zooming the image on the screen. As I understand it, at 5x zoom on the live stream the pixel ratio between the camera sensor and the computer screen is 1:1. At 10x zoom, a bright star is very easy to focus using a Bahtinov Mask. APT even has a very slick Bahtinov Aid focusing tool built in that helps nail it down. The resolution is more than sufficient for that purpose.

APT will do auto focus similar to what Ekos will do if there's a motorized focuser there (including the auto focus on a DLSR lens). You can see a screen shot of the Bahtinov Aid on the APT web page at www.ideiki.com/astro/Screenshots.aspx

I'm not trying to suggest that Ekos should mimic what APT does. I just found it so difficult to manually focus my scope using just Ekos' live stream that I'm wondering if there's a way to do it better/easier that I don't know yet or if Ekos can be tweaked to make it easier. I suppose I could operate the scope using INDI and take photos using APT, but I would have to have my laptop connected directly to the camera and Ekos wouldn't have access to it for what it needs to do.

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James Taylor created a new topic ' Manual Focusing' in the forum. 4 months ago

I know INDI/Ekos is focuses on remote operations, more or less. But I'm trying to implement it as a replacement for my existing setup with the idea of being able to operate the scope without having to sit right next to it - so kinda remote, but local.

Anyway, I don't have a motorized focuser on either of the scopes I use. I typically use a mask, zoom in on a bright star and focus manually. I use Astrophotogaphy Tool, so by zoom I mean I put the Canon on Live View and hit the zoom button so I'm looking at a 10x live view. It's pretty easy to use a mask at that point to focus.

When I tried using Ekos for the first time, i immediately ran into a focusing dilemma. In live view in Ekos, I couldn't zoom in to see my mask spikes well enough to focus manually. I ended up disconnecting the camera from INDI, focusing with APT and then restarting INDI so I could use the camera.

Is there a method for manually focusing a scope when using Ekos that's workable that I haven't identified? I would like to be able to click on a star in the live view frame, zoom in on it and then use a focusing mask to nail down the focus manually.

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James Taylor replied to the topic 'Ekos and Canon 6D setup' in the forum. 4 months ago

Yes, I have astronometry.net installed on the Pi3. I have index files from 4203 to 4212. That's way more than I need but I will remove some later when I know I've got it all working. The solver, both online and off, is solving with index file 4209.

I ran the solver via the command line last night with the apod2.jpg file that I downloaded and it solved. But it took a pretty long time to solve. I guess that's normal since it's a blind solve?

I'll stop asking questions until I get my scope working again and can actually get some images and run the solver in Ekos. I think I have everything set up OK at this point....I just need a chance to test it.

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James Taylor replied to the topic 'Ekos and Canon 6D setup' in the forum. 4 months ago

u2pilotjt wrote:

knro wrote:
You're using remote astrometry or offline?!!

I'll try to do the test solve on the sample image when I get home tonight and make sure the solver is actually working - I just saw that in the FAQs.

Now another dumb question.... In the FAQs it says to run this command $ solve-field --scale-low 1 /usr/examples/apod2.jpg to test the solver. I looked in the usr folder and there's no example folder or apod2.jpg file anywhere. What download/install did I miss that should have contained that? I'm pretty sure I installed the astrometry stuff according to the instructions on the alignment module page.

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James Taylor replied to the topic 'Ekos and Canon 6D setup' in the forum. 4 months ago

knro wrote:

You're using remote astrometry or offline?!!

Remote.

When I ran the simulator last night, it looked like those numbers were tied to the RA and DEC of the mount. But I was looking at those numbers when I was trying to do alignment for real the other night (when it was failing) and no matter where I pointed the mount it looked like those numbers never changed. So I'm asking the question to make sure I have the right idea.
I'm anticipating that I've made another mistake with my setup since that's usually the case, but I intentionally didn't touch anything this time and left it at default. I don't have logs yet, so other than asking some basic questions I'll have to wait for my mount to get fixed before I can really figure out what was happening. I did have the scope information correct and updated, etc. I'll try to do the test solve on the sample image when I get home tonight and make sure the solver is actually working - I just saw that in the FAQs.
And sorry, Jasem, for the questions. I know I'm being a pain. But despite my efforts to just leave things at the default, keep it as simple as possible, etc. I just can't seem to get things to work right the first time out without a bunch of questions and research; which I know is not how you have made this thing to work. So I'm frustrated as to why I'm having problems with pieces.
On the good side, aside from the plate solving, everything appeared to be working just fine after doing my Pi3 setup instructions. Once I resolve the astrometry issue in my own head, I'll update my guide to cover whatever basic mistake I'm making along with some of the other, scattered, info I'm finding into one location.

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James Taylor replied to the topic 'Ekos and Canon 6D setup' in the forum. 4 months ago

Can someone tell me what the numbers at the end of this string from the alignment module options field mean?

--no-verify --no-plots --no-fits2fits --resort --downsample 2 -O -3 79.4875 -4 46.0122 -5 30

The numbers aren't in the options field of the astrometry tab for the CCD in the INDI control panel. I'm just wondering how they got there and what they mean.

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James Taylor replied to the topic 'Ekos and Canon 6D setup' in the forum. 4 months ago

knro wrote:

The alignment images are not stored. Next time you try it out, make sure to enable the logs (INDI and Alignment) and also to enable Verbose astrometry.net under Ekos options.

Thanks. I will do that once I'm up and running again, which will take a couple weeks. The motor controller circuit board on my mount went bad. Orion is having me mail it to them to look at and replace, if needed. So I'm stuck for a while.

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James Taylor replied to the topic 'Ekos and Canon 6D setup' in the forum. 4 months ago

Unfortunately I did not. And now, after I brought everything inside, my mounts motor controller board has gone on the blink.

It was taking and displaying images. Can I use the telescope simulator to get the alignment module up and try solving the images that I took with logs tuned on? Will that give you what you need?

Are the images taken by the alignment module stored in a different pace than the regular images from the camera module or are they deleted afterwards?

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James Taylor replied to the topic 'Ekos and Canon 6D setup' in the forum. 5 months ago

u2pilotjt wrote:

Alignment Module question for the group.

Are you guys using your Canon 6D to do alignments in the alignment module? If so, do you have a recommendation for good settings to use? I'm mostly concerned about the script commands that appear in the tool and if those are working OK for the 6D or if I should change/add/delete anything. I'm still waiting for a chance to get this rig out and test it but when I do, I would like to be close to the right settings when I start out.

I finally got outside with this thing and gave it a try tonight. Everything worked fine except the alignment module failed to solve any images with my 6D. I made sure the scope details were correct and saved so the field of view in the alignment module looked good. I was offline and I have all of the index files downloaded in the astrometry folder that I need (more than I need, actually, just to be sure). It captured, attempted to solve for maybe 30 seconds and then reported that it failed.

I haven't touched any of the setup items; left them at default. Any trouble-shooting suggestions? I had tried to solve some images indoors previously by loading them to solve with the same results. My All Sky Plate Solver solves them fine, so they're solvable.

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James Taylor replied to the topic 'Ekos and Canon 6D setup' in the forum. 5 months ago

Alignment Module question for the group.

Are you guys using your Canon 6D to do alignments in the alignment module? If so, do you have a recommendation for good settings to use? I'm mostly concerned about the script commands that appear in the tool and if those are working OK for the 6D or if I should change/add/delete anything. I'm still waiting for a chance to get this rig out and test it but when I do, I would like to be close to the right settings when I start out.

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James Taylor created a new topic ' which version of Astrometry?' in the forum. 5 months ago

I see the note in the solver about needing to delete an command option if using astrometry version .68 or higher. When I load astrometry.net using the apt-get install command, it says it's loading version .67+dfsg-1

The astrometry page has a link to download the "latest" version. Should we stick with what gets loaded using the apt-get command or is it OK to install a newer version? Does Ekos care? And if downloading a newer version is OK, will extracting the .tar.gz file automatically put it in the right place for Ekos to see?

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James Taylor replied to the topic 'Ubuntu Mate customized image for Raspberry PI 3?' in the forum. 5 months ago

Jasem:
While exploring around on the INDI site I came across EQModgui as a package for managing the EQMod driver info. Is there any reason or benefit to installing that package? My mount seems to work just fine using KStars/Ekos, so I'm just curious. If it can serve a purpose, I'd like to figure out how best to include it in the Pi3 install.

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James Taylor replied to the topic 'ASI120 Driver not starting' in the forum. 5 months ago

Works now after the firmware flash. THANKS!!

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James Taylor replied to the topic 'Ubuntu Mate customized image for Raspberry PI 3?' in the forum. 5 months ago

knro wrote:

Yes, we can make it into a website tutorial, I'll work on it tomorrow and will grant you permission to edit it.

Jasem: I see the tutorial is there now and I can edit it. The formatting is a mess and I'll go in there and clean it up nice and pretty for the readers as soon as I can.

Thanks! I'll try to keep it current.

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James Taylor replied to the topic 'ASI120 Driver not starting' in the forum. 5 months ago

Whoa sparky! You guys are talking computer stuff again and I'm the guy that's looking for simple answers for non-computer speaking morons like myself. "Compile" and "rebuild from source" are like you speaking Martian. But I do appreciate the suggestions since I'm sure they're good ones!

I did see all the comments about updating the zwo with the compatible firmware - that's something I can do. Looks like it will probably fix my problem.

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James Taylor thanked Jasem Mutlaq in topic CCD FAQ 5 months ago
James Taylor replied to the topic 'ASI120 Driver not starting' in the forum. 5 months ago

Hey, I've got an ASI120MC that I've been trying to get working with Ekos and it's just not happening for me.

When I start INDI Server, the ASI camera tab is there and it actually connects. When I go to the guiding module and hit capture, I get an error message that the ASI driver crashed and the little progress wheel just sits and spins. Updates are current, etc. I've been trying it off and on now for a few days and it never works. PHD2 can't get it to work, either.

Is/are there some settings I should be careful about? I'm just starting it now with everything at default.

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