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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: Driver OnStep (LX200 like) for INDI

Driver OnStep (LX200 like) for INDI 10 months 3 weeks ago #21251

Hi guys! I just finally got my steppers running with OnStep and found that with bluetooth on the phone app and the indi driver running in Kstars/Ekos it's a pretty amazing setup! I also noticed in my travels on this crazy ride that: A. you cannot move the step and direction pins, and B. this is really hard to figure out if you do.

I noticed the speed control in the on screen button pad doesn't connect to the speeds setting in the controller. Anybody wanna tackle that and get it up? Code for it could be grabbed from another driver as I noticed that while some needed functions were missing the speed appeared to be functional in those others. Maybe a bit of cut and paste from generic would shake it out. I'll be in the shop making mounts.. WOOT!

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Driver OnStep (LX200 like) for INDI 8 months 3 weeks ago #22528

I've had some time to test the system and driver for a while now and have found a few bugs that need ironing out. I hope I don't give too many at once.
1. The park/unpark is not initializing the system, there doesn't seem to be a way to talk it into firing up from start using the driver.

2. When set to update the mount, Kstars updates whatever location I give it, but it doesn't jibe with the mount protocol causing signing issues in stored gps positon/location data.
The location system used in the lx200 protocol has longitude as -longitude=EAST where as gps reports it as WEST (i.e. my house in Virginia= -80.2 ..not somewhere in northern Africa +80.2) I'm not sure which thing is to blame for this, but perusing the OnStep.ino code vs. the celestron lx200 protocol page revealed that it is acting on proper lx200 protocol - as "wrong" as that is.
a. Start mount, system uses stored position.
b. Start Kstars and then indiserver.
if set to update the mount Kstars will send a -80 from it's position data and mount points wrong.
If set to get updates from the mount, Kstars will set my position as north Africa based on the +80 it gets from the mount.
I've been getting things working eventually by setting Kstars to update the mount setting it's location in software, then using the phone to reset the mount. The easy answer looks like we need to switch that -+Lon sign in the driver before it gets sent.

3. Speed settings bar in the mount controller is not responding and won't move, as mentioned in my above post. I can set speeds in the OnStep phone app so they are working, but the driver isn't. Since my north location is well away from my indoor computer, my phone won't comm via bluetooth unless I run into the kitchen.

My current mountside system is 16.04 LTS Ubuntu Mate and updates every other day from the indilib repo. and is operated remotely via VNC to one in the house. I can build and test if needed and will start hacking a bit myself but I've found handing a todo list to programmers works much better than surfing the black hole and unraveling spaghettified code.
Cheers!
Ray

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Driver OnStep (LX200 like) for INDI 8 months 3 weeks ago #22529

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Hi,

I know the driver is not completely implementing all the OnStep functionalites.
At the time I wrote this driver it was a quick and dirty work and in the meantime I did not work on it since I had some other nasty concerns ... at work.
Now I am a youg retired fellow and hope I will have more time to work on it.
I am working on the hardware for the time beeing ( github.com/azwing/Kicad_OnStep ).
When this will work I think I then can seriously work on the driver.

sorry that I can't help more for now
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Driver OnStep (LX200 like) for INDI 8 months 3 weeks ago #22530

For now I modified OnStep driver to send the longitude for west being negative as opposed to LX200 protocol.
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Jasem Mutlaq
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Driver OnStep (LX200 like) for INDI 8 months 3 weeks ago #22540

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Thanks Jasem. and happy new year, even if I am late.

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Driver OnStep (LX200 like) for INDI 8 months 3 weeks ago #22541

Thanks Jasem! I knew you'd know right where to look! :D
I'll update and test it tonight. Looking good despite the snow on the ground. I wish I could get my head around indi programming so I could be more help. it's all those includes! eek! 9 headed hydra! lol

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Driver OnStep (LX200 like) for INDI 8 months 3 weeks ago #22542

Thank you also for your efforts on this Alain. Let know if I can help.

My build is with gearhead steppers on a celestron omni cg-4 mount, arduino mega, hc-06 and dvr8825 drivers.

If you're still in the hardware stage you might enjoy the stepper motors thread elsewhere in this forum. We hashed out a bunch of ideas there recently.

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Driver OnStep (LX200 like) for INDI 8 months 3 weeks ago #22549

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Hi,
my hardware setup for the MaxPCB version is now practically set-up and functional:

Now I am in position to check one by one all the hardware functionalities and see what needs to be developped in the driver.
As you said, help is really a good point, may be you could on your side point out the todo
On my side I need to jump agin in the code which will take some time :-)

regards

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Driver OnStep (LX200 like) for INDI 8 months 3 weeks ago #22557

Sure thing! I think fixing park/unpark to get the mount enabled and running and getting the slew speed settings(find,center,etc) to work with the slider in the motion pad would be a good start. There's still something going on with the location system as well. It's cloudy and going to rain soon. I may pull the mount in and play with that more to see if I can sort it as time allows, I'll be sure to share anything I find.
1. Sort out gps/location settings.
2. clean up unpark/intialize
Add a set park button?
3.add a home/reset and go home - I use this a far amount in the phone app due to the currently weird location issue.
P.S. I got guiding working last night!

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Driver OnStep (LX200 like) for INDI 8 months 2 weeks ago #22691

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Hi,
I started to work a bit on the lx200_OnStep driver.
the fork is available under github.com/azwing/indi
Dont expect everything is implemented it is work in progress.

At least it is possible to run the driver:
- start align
- park / Unpark
- Syncing, moving, tracking
- Site management
...

Would be happy to have some test by cold eyes
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Driver OnStep (LX200 like) for INDI 8 months 2 weeks ago #22715

Sounds great! I brought the mount in due to rain and bright moon and impending snow this week. Might actually be better for testing. I'll check it out asap!

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Driver OnStep (LX200 like) for INDI 8 months 2 weeks ago #22719

I got it to build and install on the rpi3b, and connected okay, with new buttons showing for align, which is pretty much as you describe in the status, goto, center, sync. Folks can also align using the plate solving and center/sync in Kstars or skychart, which is how I've been doing it once the times and places are matching.
The unpark now sets the motors in motion! It's still a bit glitchy, having to click park before you can unpark, and you might add the button calling the "set park position", go home and set home routines to your todo list for later polishing work too.
GPS coords error: The reported position from the mount is "correct" but looks bizzare --> 279:48:04 = -80:48:04 and while Kstars is showing the proper position for objects, goto's are claiming below horizon when I try to goto.
I did some more testing and now think the horizon errors may be due to times not being synced properly. I have kstars set to update the mount but was unable to goto until I set time via the phone app.I did a short hop to nearby kocab and it took it, and then I was able to use the goto. a bit weird. I'll do more testing on that. I don't have an RTC board on this new setup so time syncing may be important.
You might want to add "update tracking frequency" to the bottom of your todo list. It works fine after you poke the set button but isn't getting the original info from the mount.
Also add to that list to (if possible) increase the upper limit above 60.1hz to something like 62hz to give us more headroom when tuning for gear ratio discrepancies. I noticed that poking "sidereal" is already setting frequency above that point, and comes very close to matching on my mount but due to the above problem, isn't set at startup.
This is less of an issue than the init. and speed control but I thought it worth mentioning for later.

I tried to test using Skychart but ran into a few nasty bugs. I think Pascal doesn't grok Xubuntu very well.

Anyhow things are moving forward. A good days work! :silly:

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