Ray Wells replied to the topic 'Ekos and usb remote trigger output driver' in the forum. 5 days ago

Now that many Pentax cameras are working in gphoto, I still find myself the one unlucky sap left out in the cold due to the broken bulb command in the k50d. After much research and testing I know know that the failure of the k50 to capture in indi are caused by this broken command, which returns an error and does not resume function. I made a remote trigger that works more like the commercial ones, (RTS line high opens shutter) but while I have it working in gphoto2's cli using a short script to trigger the rts line manually from another terminal, The trigger port still locks. It isn't working because the system is still calling bulb() which locks up the camera. Is there a way to have it bypass setting and triggering bulb(), and Instead calling the routine for wait-event-and-download when an external trigger port is defined? This seems like it would help make using an external port more universal with other cameras using the gphoto driver as well.

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Ray Wells replied to the topic 'Rpi DIY mount stepper control upgrade?' in the forum. 5 days ago

Hi guys, Quick update on this project. After much discussion, deliberation and review, I finally ordered a couple nema17 steppers to do the upgrade. I also got some timing gears and belts, aiming for 5:1 reduction. Once I had the parts on hand I hit a bit of a snag with clearances. The large 60t pulley contacts the RA clutch arm so it's starting to look like the smaller cg-4 mount is going to need to use gearheads after all. I'm still fiddling with mounting and ways around it, like perhaps putting a washer stack under the main bearing to jack up the RA head a bit for clearance but that's where things stand atm.
cheers!

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Ray Wells replied to the topic 'Gphoto command structure, vs. the new Pentax pslr updates.' in the forum. 2 weeks ago

@knro I don't think we should give up support, in fact I think we're close, especially with the possible use of external trigger like a few Nikons do. I tested the external trigger and bulbing works great with it while using the wait and download command from gphoto, so that should make it doable in any case, Many models will likely work, though we need more testers to report on it, the fact that there aren't many complaints is a good sign, especially after the announcement about the new additions to main libgphoto2. Most of the functions are working in the current version (with the dial set to user mode) and I have seen it work at least for exposures on earlier versions of kstars/ekos. This might be just an error introduced while sorting some other camera brand since there are so many attributed to this one driver.

@Gbeaton Good to see you got something working. depending on distro, you can usually open the system file manager and access volume management that way in order to set automount of plugged in devices to off. Which Linux distro/version are you using that works? I'm not above making partition space to run this thing. :)
Could it be that the repositories are lagging as they do? if so it might lend credence to my idea that this may be a new bug. It may also be that the K5 is older and may not be susceptible to the bulb issue the k50 has. The software changing the camera to bulb and doing the timing externally(pc side) would work just fine on those models and you wouldn't even notice if it was doing that instead of setting exposure unless debug showed it.

I'll go give this another couple hours of head scratching, this time from a code perspective.
--why is it changing to bulb, and why is it reporting exposure as empty..and are they related?
--And the other line of questioning-- why didn't it change to external trigger when I set the port? --does RTS toggle high/low or low/high? Does it trigger once and hold or does it trigger and then retrigger to close? and can't we just send a string like BOO or something? :D

"You never hear about a comfortable bike saddle. ~Ray Wells 4.0"

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Ray Wells replied to the topic 'Gphoto command structure, vs. the new Pentax pslr updates.' in the forum. 2 weeks ago

Okay, when I read the full log I made I was able to narrow the problem. It appears to be trying to use bulb mode all the time, regardless of setting. Bulb doesn't work on the later models* so we get shutter open and stay, and the requisite errors. I'll be glad to post this where you think best, but decided not to run off and paste it willy nilly until I verified where you want the issue.


*ASalamon of pktriggercord fame recently reported success with bulb in the K-70 and he said it was a workaround he figured out. He had me try it in the k-50 with no help - but I wouldn't run out and buy one based on that.

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Ray Wells replied to the topic 'Gphoto command structure, vs. the new Pentax pslr updates.' in the forum. 2 weeks ago

OOH! I hadn't heard about that! I'll go get it and see how it goes. Then work on that list. I hadn't gone directly at it because the problems are a bit glitchy and I've been trying to narrow the cause. The camera fails to trigger or triggers wrong in most circumstances with libgphoto from github. I'll try your version asap...as in right now!

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Ray Wells replied to the topic 'Gphoto command structure, vs. the new Pentax pslr updates.' in the forum. 2 weeks ago

Quick followup, Here's a copy of what I just posted at the k50 issue at github/libgphoto :

Eureka! I realize this is not strictly related to this issue but I wanted to share my discovery in hopes of helping more people. I was trying to work around the fiddly indilib drivers and hit upon a workaround for the K-50 bulb problem. Unlike some other cameras I've tried, the K-50 leaves its hardware trigger port enabled. I found out by taking apart a cellphone size plug and making a test plug with it. Then I ran: gphoto2 --wait-event-and-download and touched two of the wires together, and it worked! The focus trigger also works. This means hardware triggers can be used to get around the problem. They usually work by waiting for an active call to toggle on their attached usb port, to the effect of "cts low - cts high" This means I might be able to use a workaround in indilib/ekos similar to the one used for Nikon to get bulb to work on my remote telescope! I know it's not a great solution but at least now we have a direction to send folks on this issue.
cheers!

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Ray Wells replied to the topic 'Pentax Support as PTP' in the forum. 2 weeks ago

Thanks @knro. I'm planning to run some experiments with mine as I get time. I'll be sure to share anything I unearth. Would you like some logs from the k-50? If so I'll start a new thread to cut down on confusion.
@gbeaton, Assuming the rpi was running Linux that does seem to indicate a cross platform issue. I spotted a library
??libgphoto_port?? or something like that when I did a quick search, maybe a lead to follow.

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Ray Wells thanked Jasem Mutlaq in topic Pentax Support as PTP 2 weeks ago
Jasem Mutlaq thanked Ray Wells in topic Pentax Support as PTP 2 weeks ago
Ray Wells replied to the topic 'Gphoto command structure, vs. the new Pentax pslr updates.' in the forum. 2 weeks ago

Oh hey turns out I already mentioned my issue. I've been so busy I must have lost track of it. It's back on the agenda now that the eclipse is finally over. An older version of indi_gphoto_ccd made no difference. Head scratching to commence shortly.

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Ray Wells replied to the topic 'Pentax Support as PTP' in the forum. 2 weeks ago

Hi guys! I was just searching for Pentax stuff and came across this. To get your k5 working you need to be in msc mode as the camera uses usb_scsi protocols in gphoto2. I helped test the new setup and was actually just doing a search to see if anyone is getting it working in indilib as yet. It's possible the repos are out of date(I don't have a mac) so you could try compiling from github. github.com/gphoto/libgphoto2
I've had the most luck using the top dial to set modes and not switching from user mode/software. Don't put anything in the remote trigger tab in the dialog, that's for hardware triggers and possibly only Nikon at that(per research)
Hope this helps! Be sure to let us know how it goes, especially the bulb, which is tricky in any tethering system but so needed for AP.
I got it to work briefly in indilib/ekos for basic settings and capture early on after development earlier this year gphoto but I've somehow broken it...the subject of another thread as soon as I can narrow the cause a bit. - indi_gphoto_ccd connects fine but refuses to trigger the shutter.
It such a shame these cameras are so obstreperous when trying to tether, they have some of the best low light and noise ratings.

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Ray Wells replied to the topic 'Rpi DIY mount stepper control upgrade?' in the forum. 2 months ago

Yeah. That's the first thing Mark said, and it satisfies the law of conservation of energy and Occam's razor, being the simplest solution. "The energy used to create motion is subtracted from the heat produced", meaning that when it is turning the shaft some of the energy is converted to motion instead of heat, but it doesn't really solve all the variables involved or jibe with the fixed current (P=I2R), which should lower power output at standstill due to the loss of inductive reactance (XL=2piFL) ...and I Never did like that Occam guy. :P
He also mentioned that every stepper he has seen has drawn dramatically more current at standstill than while running if not current regulated. This led to us doing what we do all too often in repair, trying to guess from a distance what is wrong with something, which is sometimes helpful. In this case we both agree that your phidgets might not be limiting current correctly at zero or possibly set too high and running in voltage mode. You might try setting the limit lower while at zero (or possibly in tracking mode?), since they draw less current while moving they should still be okay at speed. Of course, if the heat isn't damaging, there's no need to change anything.

Interestingly, I've done repairs on industrial stepper drives for decades without actually knowing that much about the quirky little motor. This thread has been very educational.

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Ray Wells replied to the topic 'Rpi DIY mount stepper control upgrade?' in the forum. 2 months ago

Let's see if I can get this right... In my own words and hopefully avoiding jargon, a stepper holding a position has one or a set of coils energized and holds it so the power is constant and duty cycle 100% on that coil, where as a stepper in motion is changing coils and direction of current flow, making a 50% duty cycle and spreading out the heat load. Also, you would think the lower impedance of the coil at rest should make it roll back the output on its own in order to maintain the current setpoint. So why does it still heat up? Flux driven Hysteresis buildup in the core from the DC applied to the coil without switching. When running, the current flow changes direction every step which cancels out any residual magnetic flux/eddy current/ hysteresis, while at rest the core effectively gets a solid shot of direct current and magnetizes which creates eddy currents in the core and lots of heat...I think. :D
A tech that works with me is actually better at physics and theory, after 20+ years working together I still routinely bounce theory off him. I'll ask if I got it right when he comes over this evening. 8-D

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Ray Wells replied to the topic 'Rpi DIY mount stepper control upgrade?' in the forum. 2 months ago

Wow, got a link to that one Rob?
I've seen spi enabled units (dspin) but they're usually more expensive. Case in point www.sparkfun.com/products/13752

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Ray Wells replied to the topic 'Rpi DIY mount stepper control upgrade?' in the forum. 2 months ago

Score one for the Phidget!, The ability to control current remotely means you can determine needed holding current, often less than running current - especially vs. slewing, and turn the thing down when parked or possibly even use PEC (periodic error correction) or full position feedback from encoders to autotune for best minimum results for each mode. You would want to run it as a tuning process and then lock it though, I've seen tuning loops do some crazy stuff.

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Ray Wells replied to the topic 'Rpi DIY mount stepper control upgrade?' in the forum. 2 months ago

I fear clogged roads and crowds at the dome, I want to go there but I also don't want to have to watch from the roadside in a survival mode transportation disaster area(take the lightweight camera gear and a bike?). Oddly enough I can actually make knoxville in about the same time, but then it's another hour to get in shadow from there.
Quick response to the stepper question. The nema23/400/265 is quite a bit stronger than normal and 400steps gets you to 2:1 over a direct single stepping motor so you can half the microstep number in the spreadsheet. If you can figure out the count on that wheel and plug it into the worm slot in the spreadsheet, then you can see the results of different gear arrangements and levels of microstepping. It's big enough that the 400s might just be enough to go direct...did I already write that? I looked for the ratio of the lx3 last night but that photo was all I could come up with fighting sleep. Might be a good tihng to add to the list if we do find out, lx200 as well. knowing that is a big part of calculating needed gearings.

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