Noel replied to the topic 'Cheap 'VK-172' GPS/GLONASS USB module, U-Blox chip works well' in the forum. 1 week ago

My (limited) understanding is the indi driver is an interface to gpsd, if you got gpsd working in OSX you'll have a good head start. I don't have a Mac to play with but this link might help you in getting gpsd running under OSX.
I recall reading on the indi-gpsd device page it explicitly states 'it is operating system dependent and can be used only on linux'. Why this limitation if gpsd can work on OSX I don't know.
Of course Kstars will work in OSX and communicate with indi running on a linux device. Lets hope you've been good all year and get a Stellarmate (or at least an r.pi to put the indi backend on).


Noel replied to the topic 'Cheap 'VK-172' GPS/GLONASS USB module, U-Blox chip works well' in the forum. 1 week ago

I'm using Ubuntu Mate 16.04 with indi and kstars all installed on a pi type device which I access remotely using VNC, it all works much like the Stellarmate device.
indi-gpsd only works on Linux, so I'm not sure about using a GPS module like this in macOS.
I did test the unit briefly on Windows 7 and 10 using the 'standard' driver from the u-blox site, and it functioned correctly when checking it's output in a terminal.
Were you trying to use it with indi? If using for other tasks, the u-blox forums might be useful.


Noel created a new topic ' Cheap 'VK-172' GPS/GLONASS USB module, U-Blox chip works well' in the forum. 1 week ago

This is an FYI regarding some 'tested' hardware I want to share as everyone loves a bargain, I just tried a cheap GPS module I found on eBay and it works well. Location and time synchronized fine and no tricks needed to install it - just follow the steps described in the GPSD devices page on this site and enable the GPSD as an auxiliary device. The module was around $10AUD and was the cheapest of the modules I could find that hadn't had issues reported on the gpsd forums.

There is one small issue I overcame and that is the module has a bright green LED. Even with tape over it, in a dark environment the whole opaque white shell became illuminated with green flashes so I gently pried it apart and created a dark dull red lens over the LED by placing a drop of dark red nail polish on the LED and letting it dry upside down. Now the green flashes are barely visible and muddy red coloured. I guess you could paint the hole thing black to solve the light issue.

I had a look around and the modules can be found on ebay, Amazon, Aliexpress and pretty much all chinese online gadget/tech stores.
I've attached some pictures to help identify the module and show the nail polish modification.


Noel replied to the topic '[solved] ZWO ASI224MC Exposure Timeout inital troubleshooting' in the forum. 2 weeks ago

tl;dr > I traced the problem to a low quality power cable providing insufficient power to the pi.

For the benefit of others, this is what I found in my log files. I only had the ASI224MC connected to my NanoPi K2 running latest Ubuntu Mate 16.04, indi & kstars.

org.kde.kstars.indi] - ZWO CCD ASI224MC : "[DEBUG] StartExposure->setexp : 1.000s "
org.kde.kstars.indi] - ZWO CCD ASI224MC : "[DEBUG] ASIGetExpStatus failed (0). Restarting exposure... "

I first tested the ASI224MC on Windows PC with sharpcap and drivers from ZWO; all worked well. I knew the camera was fine.
I then installed latest indi & kstars on an old PC running Ubuntu Mate 16.04; all worked well. I knew indi & kstars were OK, well at least the x86 builds.
I then focused on the pi. I had a backup of the SD card from August when the install was fresh and 'known working'. I backed up my SD's current image and reloaded the one from August. It also failed the same way with exposure timeouts; my 'known good' image hadn't yet been updated so I started to suspect a hardware issue with the pi.
My next step was going to be to borrow a 'genuine' raspberry pi 3 b board from my media player and try a fresh install from scratch on that.
I stuck a thumb drive in to backup some custom scripts and noticed the unit powered itself off while copying. I wondered about load on the USB ports then remembered after I last updated the unit (it normally lives offline) I'd swapped the USB power cable with a longer one when shifting some gear around.

I put the original power cable back on the unit and everything started to work 100%, even with mount and DSLR connected.

In the end it was a hardware fault I'd caused by using a bad power cable (now in the bin) and nothing at all wrong with indi, kstars, the computer or camera.


Noel created a new topic ' ZWO ASI224MC Exposure Timeout inital troubleshooting' in the forum. 2 weeks ago

Hi Folks,
I have a ZWO ASI224MC connected to a pi-ish device (NanoPi K2), running UbuntuMate with full install of Kstars.
All was OK until last weekend when I did an apt update/upgrade on the unit. One of the updates seems to have affected the cameras performance in indi.
Now I'm getting exposure timeouts after the 2nd or 3rd or so frame (sometimes 1st fails). This is from the indi control panel, not just Ekos.
I will spend some time on the weekend testing the camera on another system (to rule out hw fault) and reloading the pi from a backup to see what differences are made.

Is there a basic troubleshooting guide someone could suggest before I capture and submit logs?
In additional to the logs is there other info you'd recommend I grab for the system?

Also - I'm new to this forum, is it best practice to come back and edit this post, or post a new topic once I'm armed with logs after preliminary troubleshooting?



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