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INDI Library v1.9.2 Released (14 Sep 2021)

Bimonthly Stable INDI Library release introduces new drivers and fixes for existing ones.

Fuji X-T3 observations - what I've learned so far

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Every now and then I find Kstars (3.5.0 & 3.5.1) will crash, seemingly randomly, but so far not during an actual imaging session, just during testing and fiddling about. (Which is good considering how few clear nights we get around here in the winter.)
7 months 2 weeks ago #67273

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Thanks for these posts as I'm sure they will be helpful once I figure out what else I have to do. I have tried these settings but still remain unable to capture images using Ekos. My set up is

Fuji X-T3
SW Star Adventurer
ZWO 120MM-S Guide camera
Astroberry

When using PHD2 for guiding and controlling the camera manually everything works fine.
When I try to use EKOS to control the X-T3 I just get messages saying "capture aborted" and Indi control panel usually says either something in relation to the directory.
It would be very useful to see a screen shot of the camera and filter wheel screen in Ekos and of each of the tabs in the main camera section of Indi Control panel or to receive any suggestions.

Thanks

Steve
6 months 3 weeks ago #68079

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Steve - I was not successful either... Still getting the random aborts and weird communication issues. I'm at the "throw in the towel" phase of getting Ekos to work reliably with my Fuji gear.
6 months 3 weeks ago #68090

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Steve, I will capture some screen shots of my setup in Ekos and Indi for the relevant tabs when time allows (today or tomorrow).

I am using the internal guider rather than PHD2 for no reason other than I wanted to keep it all "in house" in my learner phase. I have found that I need to follow a set sequence to ensure things work as expected - the biggest "gotcha" is the Fuji not working due to some sort of directory error or communication timeout. Getting an external, powered USB hub made the system more reliable as I think the Fuji was trying to draw too much power from the Raspberry Pi (to keep the battery topped up).

Despite following my setup ritual (devices connected appropriately, Fuji switched ON before connecting with Ekos, etc.) I still get frequent image capture failure for the first exposure attempted. I ALWAYS make a short exposure time test with at least TWO shots in the sequence. >90% of the time the first exposure fails on the first attempt but if I've remember to check the image save location settings are "correct" the second attempt works, (and as I'm still new to this I'm often forgetting one step or the other...)

Even so, with everything "perfect" I still get random, unexplained Kstar crashes (3.5.0, 3.5.1 and 3.5.2). Not in the middle of an exposure sequence that I can recall but while I'm attempting to do something else (can't make any correlations here).

I also figured out how to save FITS images to the Pi while the RAF files go to the camera's card. (One less step in later processing, though I've yet to have a clear night to try it with actual astro images.)
6 months 3 weeks ago #68097

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Yes I'm about to give up too unless anyone has a magic solution.
6 months 3 weeks ago #68100

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That will be extremely helpful thanks. I suppose the issue where I live is that clear nights are few and far between so it has to be foolproof really so any help appreciated.
6 months 3 weeks ago #68101

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Here are some screen captures from Ekos & Indi related to my Fuji X-T3 settings, these work for me - Kstars 3.5.0 running on my MacBook Pro (2016) with the imaging equipment attached to a Raspberry Pi 4B (4GB) running Astroberry (current). Captured on a running system.

First a few of the Ekos Camera Module:




NOTE: I save "Remotely", that is to the Pi running the Indi server so the large file doesn't need to be transferred to laptop. (which is quite time consuming and delays next image while transfer occurs.)

Now most relevant Indi tabs (others where I made minimal or no changes to will be in next post)
I started saving the raw (RAF) files but switched to FITS to save a conversion step in later processing.




6 months 3 weeks ago #68120

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Dear all,

I have similar set up (see preview reply) X-T4, PI4 8 GB + Astroberry, PC Windows

@ DaveSw, do you use the FITS file later ? can you use them ? I use only .RAF saved remotely in the PI, as you mention if not take to long to transfer to the PC Win, in my case.

- For camera settings, I disabled the Power from USB, I use a theter tools cable. It is a good Idea to power the camera with a dummy battery. You can find in China for some $.

- Remember to turn on the camera before switch on the PI or Laptop -> indi is not Hot Plug !
- Check All parameter, in indi driver, Bulb off, image settings, take an exposure from the indi control panel (Main Control tab - Exposure elect 1" ie. & see the result) to see if everything works!
- in Ekos choose remote or local and a good path to save the pictures, I use a PC win connected through WIFI, to a PI4, adn I save the RAF file on PI (so in Ekos on windows remote)

- Set the exposure to the camera exposure time i.e 180 sec. will never work.The exposure that works (X-T4 at least): (in Ekos)

ie. 1", 1.3", 1.5", 2", 2.5", 3", 4", 5", 6.5", 8", 10", 13", 15", 20", 25" , 30", 40", 50", 60", 2'00", 4'00", 8'00", 15'00"


SW EQ3 Pro Synscan Goto (Modified)
Tecnosky 60/360 F/6
Fuji XT-4
QHYCCD 5II
QHYPolemaster
135mm Samyang
12mm Samyang
Last edit: 6 months 3 weeks ago by Timothy.
6 months 3 weeks ago #68123
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Thanks so much for these. I seem to be making progress with these settings. One issue I still have is that the exposures are all the same regardless of the exposure time set in Capture module. Any ideas?
6 months 3 weeks ago #68139

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I will get the rest of the screen shots posted after this...

Regarding all exposures being the same: The camera must be on "B" and use the "electronic shutter" (ES) otherwise it can't be controlled remotely. AND as timopro mentions you can only use a subset of the shutter speeds that Ekos shows in it's drop down list of shutter speeds. The list of "acceptable" shutter speeds is shown in the log files and is as timopro shows in his post.

I change exposures only in Ekos Capture Module and not in any of the Indi screens (the Main Control tab shows "Preset" of 1/32000 but is not green lighted. This is the max. shutter speed of the electronic shutter on the Fuji X-T3 (and likely others.)

@timopro... Yes I now use FITS files for processing (as Siril and other processing programs use this format natively) but have the RAF files available on the camera's SD card if I need them. I like the fact that Ekos will name the files saved on the Pi with object, exposure time, date and sequence number while the camera uses it's normal numbering scheme.

The point about Indi not being hot-pluggable is great. I learned that through trial and error, hence the power-up ritual.

Using the 12V powered USB hub I find the camera drains it's battery very slowly and to this point I have not needed to change the batter during an imaging session (if I start with a freshly charged battery). The camera uses the USB power to charge the battery if the camera is off and when the camera is on and in use, seems to keep the battery from draining quickly. The hub came as solution to my low voltage warnings on the Pi and the fact that Ekos wouldn't always see my Fuji and the ZWO ASI120mm mono guide camera if they were on the same device - so ASI on the Pi and Fuji on the hub works fine. My boot SSD is also on the hub - no more undervoltage issues on the Pi (and it's on a 10A rated 5V supply of it's very own via my power-box).

A few other random observations. Camera USB set to proper mode (previous posts), I have camera power off time set to NO so it won't shut down during any time I spend troubleshooting or just setting up. JPEGS work, but why use them, but RAW+JPG apparently doesn't (I haven't tried it as I don't shoot that way).

No real progress on using "video" for focussing in Ekos but using the camera back and a Bahtinov mask make focusing very easy (as long as I can bend around enough to see the screen).
6 months 3 weeks ago #68143

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And now more of the screen captures:







6 months 3 weeks ago #68144

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...and the last few: (now all I need is some clear nights - only had 3 since mid-December)





6 months 3 weeks ago #68145

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