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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.

Capture & Solve problems...

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Hello everyone,

I'm still overwhelmed by all those settings, but also all these possibilities in EKOS. Now my thanks to a much better polar alignment done with the alignment module my guiding is much better. I used the EKOS polar alignment with my guiding camera (ASI ZWO 120mm Mono with 60/240 guiding scope). My NEQ6 did not slew noticeable with the default 64x speed, but increasing this value helped and now the polar alignment works like a charm. However, I could not use it with my primary scope and my Canon 700D at all for a reason I still don't understand. I installed all index files and I'm now using the internal solver, because switching to "local astrometry.net" does not work - my understanding is that should be nearly the same only using different processes. When I capture an image preview with 60s exposure time (with a Baader sky glow filter) I can see clearly many sharp stars in the preview. Using the same exposure time with this camera in the alignment module just does not work. I get always the message that there are no stars in the image.

The polar alignment is just good enough solved using my guiding scope, however when I use capture and solve to slew the telescope to the correct target in the sky it just fails. However, I can use a captured 60s exposure time image from my camera and primary scope in the simulator and it works in the simulator, EKOS slews the virtual telescope to the exact target position, so the image is not really the problem. Perhaps the image is never downloaded from my Astroberry Raspberry PI 4 when using capture and solve? Oh, I forgot to mention: I'm running KStars now on macOS and connect it remotely to Astroberry Server - only the guiding is done directly on the PI, because in the past the performance of capture and solve was to bad on the PI and always timed out. The crazy thing now is I have logging configured and working on the PI, but unfortunately not on my Mac - or something went obviously wrong while trying to log into a file - the log files are not available yet, some are just empty. I will try to check this now and provide the log files in the next night if still necessary. Until now I can only slew to the desired target using my guide scope and this does not work so well, because its not exactly enough pointing in the same direction. I can correct this manually, but this is very time expensive when it needs to be done multiple times during the night due the need for many test exposures.

Does anyone already have an idea what I'm doing wrong? :-)

Thanks in advance,

Jürgen
    
Last edit: 3 months 4 days ago by Juergen Terpe.
3 months 4 days ago #73714

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Replied by robert on topic Capture & Solve problems...

So basically capture and solve for your primary scope/camera doesnt work/?

Whats your primary scopes focal length and what FOV is the alignment module stating for this scope/camera configuration?



Maybe a screenshots of your setup might help,its probably something simple.

All the plate solving issues I have had have turned out to be my error rather than EKOS issues
3 months 4 days ago #73720

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Check settings under Options/ Fits, it might have something to do with checking/unchecking the Auto Debayer. Not 100% sure as I haven't used a DSLR.
3 months 4 days ago #73721

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Right, it works for the guiding camera but not for the primary scope/camera. I always double check that I set both primary scope and the right camera in the settings on the left side, so its at least not the simplest error. :-) I will try to provide some screenshots, but this means to setup the entire scope (I will not fake it with just the simulator where everything works). And don't understand me wrong: I don't want to blame EKOS for this issue, I'm convinced it will be my own mistake - and hopefully it is so simple that someone else already stumbled on it.

Regards,

Jürgen
3 months 4 days ago #73725

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Good point, Mark. I don't think that I ever changed this.   But when it works for a dedicated astro mono camera and it does not work for a DSLR color camera it could have to do with the different resolutions/image sizes (can't change the binning for the DSLR) or perhaps the interpretation of the pixel data (bayer pattern). I will check my settings here. Unfortunately,  this summer is very cloudy. I cannot test anything, but probably I can make screenshots and get the logs working with my setup.   
3 months 4 days ago #73727

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Here are my screenshots attached below. Due to the weather conditions I did not capture any stars, so this time it is expected to get no stars as an error message. If this is not enough we need to wait for the next observing session hopefully on Friday or Saturday. I also got at three crashes during this short session - the current version is not really stable, but this is another topic (is there a special board where I can help to find those bugs? I will try to reproduce them if I can). Back to the main topic here. Debayering is checked on and I also could enable logging into files (the "Default" is misleading and seems to log only into the message bar below). Sounds all negative but I'm really convinced that this is a really great project that deserves all support we can give for all of us!    

Hopefully someone already might see any wrong setting here - I don't see it. Otherwise I will provide logs next time from a real working session. But I believe there was not any star visible at anytime in the preview during plate solving while using the canon with the primary scope, but I can remember that I already used it with the canon and a 300mm lens directly from my Raspberry PI - it never worked with smaller fields on the RPI due to performance issues. For this reason I'm now using a remote connection to the RPI to avoid using too much resources on the RPI. Before someone asks, I installed all index files. 

Any idea how to proceed is highly welcome. Otherwise I will try to improve the orientation of my guiding scope as a temporary workaround, but this will have only limited success. Thanks in advance for your ideas!

.  
3 months 4 days ago #73737
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Cant see anything wrong with your settings, how many attempts does the solver try? I only see one attempt in the screen shots, usually you should get aligned in 3 or 4 attempts.
Maybe try raising the accuracy to 30 or more.
3 months 4 days ago #73742

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I've had issues before similar to this, but it's been so long ago that I can't remember how I solved it.

Given the ISO 3200 and exposure time of 60 seconds, but the image doesn't show stars it could be: a) camera is not focused, b) mirror lockup might be an issue. Are you able to see stars/sources when you take an image in the Capture module, rather than the Align module? If you're not getting stars there, then it is to do with the camera settings. 
  • If you've not focused before aligning, then just slew to a bright source and focus first.
  • Once focused you might want to check that your Ekos settings for BULB and Mirror Lockup are the same as on the camera.
For my Canon 70D when doing polar alignment I use ISO800 and exposure around 5 seconds and I don't have any issues with detecting stars.

Another thing you might want to look at, is on the Camera is your image quality setting RAW or JPEG? (It's okay to be RAW+JPEG) because JPEG is lossy compression, shoot in RAW.
 
RPI 4 B (4Gb) running Manjaro ARM
Kstars/Ekos
SkyWatcher Esprit 80ED
SkyWatcher EQ6-Pro
ZWO ASI1600MM Pro
ZWO ASI290MM-Mini
ZWO EFW
PrimaLuceLab Sesto Senso 2
Pegasus UPBv2
3 months 4 days ago #73745

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Hi Will,

I can capture images using my scope and the Canon 700D. Last night I focused on the moon limb. Capture and solve failed using the Canon, but after switching to the guide scope and guiding camera it targeted M13 perfectly in the center of the image from the guiding camera. The image from the Canon showed M13 with 60s exposure (with a Baader Moon and Skyglow filter) but not centered and it took me many preview images to center it (I'm convinced Ekos can do a better job on this). More problematic was capturing NGC6960 due to 300s exposure using L-Extreme filter. Its very impractical to frame the target manually and if the night is only less than 3 hours long you just don't get enough frames for a good image. And if the target is not good enough centered it does not make sense to stack multiple nights.   I use the 700D only for astrophotography and it is shooting in RAW with Mirror lock enabled (and I'm sure it works). The Mirror lock is also enabled in the driver settings of the camera and in the properties (I don't know if this is necessary too). 

Okay, I have no idea how to get the things to work. But what I can do next Friday (if the weather let me do something) is try it again and I will also put my guiding camera to my primary scope. If this combination works it must have something to do with the camera and its settings, otherwise if it fails it must be an issue with the 600mm focus length.I'm.not sure if the log files can bring some more light into this. 

Thanks for your "educated guesses"! 
 
3 months 3 days ago #73778

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Mark,

Thank you! When using the guiding camera it takes 3-4 attempts until its aligned in the image of the guiding camera, just to far away for my primary optics. When using the Canon it takes a second image before it aborts the stellar solver, because it just never detects any star. I'm not sure if I did ever see stars in the image preview during capture and solving using the Canon. If others are using a Canon with the same primary scope and it works this must be either very different software versions or some kind of misconfiguration - I'm still tend to consider this as my own mistake.  
3 months 3 days ago #73779

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Only thing I can suggest is that the filter is cutting out a lot of light.
So up the ISO to 6400 or more and maybe shorten the exposures if the image gets blown out. 
Default Accuracy is 30 which should be fine for 600mm FL.
 
3 months 3 days ago #73781

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Yes, I also had some concerns about this. For this reason I used the 60s exposure (the same I used for M13) per subframe. However, I will also try this without any filter to have short exposures. If this would solve the issue I will need another way to change the filter. Thanks for your ideas... 
3 months 3 days ago #73784

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