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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: What's next for EKOS?

What's next for EKOS? 2 months 3 weeks ago #27617

The platform has become very mature over the last year. Attention seems to be diverting towards EKOS Live. I'm wondering what are the next big features that EKOS still needs to support to continue advancing the platform?

From the forums I can tell there's still some development being put towards the scheduler, and refining it. Efforts are still going into better driver support. Are there really any big sets functionality left out at this point? What is the future direction of EKOS?
The following user(s) said Thank You: knro
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What's next for EKOS? 2 months 3 weeks ago #27626

From my own experience I am of the opinion that bug fixing and improving ease of use should receive most attention going forward, at least for a while. Even with 35 years experience in astronomy and computers there were quite a few things that prevented me from achieving what I wanted to achieve when I started using Indi/Kstars. Just as an example it took me days to figure out how to make the server side run multiple drivers (without Web Manager). Or, the driver for a Losmandy G-11 is named indi_lx200gemini but in Ekos you have to choose "Losmandy Gemini". Confusing, at least for me. What also caused confusion here is the two layers of configuration. Most settings are done in Indi whereas others are taken care of in Ekos. For a new user there is no way of knowing where to find it. He would expect to find all settings in one place.

I'm not complaining here. I became familiar with the software over time and am very happy with what I am now able to achieve. But if you're looking for ways to improve the software I am of the opinion we should focus more on ease of use and less on new features.
The following user(s) said Thank You: gbeaton, El Corazon
Last Edit: by Herrhausen.
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What's next for EKOS? 2 months 3 weeks ago #27629

Thanks for asking. I think the most important thing for me at least is more stability for INDI drivers. Next comes stability of Ekos + KStars, but Ekos is just one client out of many out there. So if drivers are working great, all clients would benefit equally.

For me personally, I'm currently spending a lot of time on EkosLive now. But my long term plans for Ekos is to make it suitable for scientific data acquisition & analysis. So photometry, variable stars, detection of objects...etc.
The following user(s) said Thank You: pcxz, El Corazon
Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?
Add your observatory info
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What's next for EKOS? 2 months 3 weeks ago #27630

Herrhausen wrote: From my own experience I am of the opinion that bug fixing and improving ease of use should receive most attention going forward, at least for a while. Even with 35 years experience in astronomy and computers there were quite a few things that prevented me from achieving what I wanted to achieve when I started using Indi/Kstars. Just as an example it took me days to figure out how to make the server side run multiple drivers (without Web Manager). Or, the driver for a Losmandy G-11 is named indi_lx200gemini but in Ekos you have to choose "Losmandy Gemini". Confusing, at least for me. What also caused confusion here is the two layers of configuration. Most settings are done in Indi whereas others are taken care of in Ekos. For a new user there is no way of knowing where to find it. He would expect to find all settings in one place.

I'm not complaining here. I became familiar with the software over time and am very happy with what I am now able to achieve. But if you're looking for ways to improve the software I am of the opinion we should focus more on ease of use and less on new features.


Thanks for the feedback!

1. Why did it take you several days to find how to start multiple drivers on an INDI server? Was it lack of documentation? If it was, can you please make a summary for new users on the procedure and we'll publish it here in the documentation?
2. Losmandy Gemini is the overall type.. we can't have Losmandy G-8, G-11...etc. as it would clutter the already cluttered menu.
3. Of course there would be two layers of configuration. Because you are using two separate software packages. If you used INDI with any other client (e.g. SkyCharts), it would have its own client-side configurations. INDI configurations are related to the actual driver.
Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?
Add your observatory info
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What's next for EKOS? 2 months 1 week ago #28404

1. Why did it take you several days to find how to start multiple drivers on an INDI server? Was it lack of documentation? If it was, can you please make a summary for new users on the procedure and we'll publish it here in the documentation?


It was lack of documentation. At the time the popup help did not yet work as it does now. I did several search queries in the support forum but didn't find my question answered. I assume it is documented now but will check this later today. [Edit: Hmmm, again I wasn't able to find the info how to start multiple device drivers on the remote machine without using WebManager. If it is already documented, please let me know where! If it's not, I would try to do it. A few sentences should do as it isn't complicated at all.]


2. Losmandy Gemini is the overall type.. we can't have Losmandy G-8, G-11...etc. as it would clutter the already cluttered menu.


The fact that the device and their respective drivers are named differently did cause confusion

3. Of course there would be two layers of configuration. Because you are using two separate software packages. If you used INDI with any other client (e.g. SkyCharts), it would have its own client-side configurations. INDI configurations are related to the actual driver.


I believe that's the programmer's point of view. As a new user of Ekos I don't know what the underlying architecture looks like. Currently the first layer of configuration is in Ekos and sorted application wise while the second layer is found elsewhere (Indi) and is sorted device wise. This is different from what a user is used to and would expect. Imagine we could set *all* settings in Ekos (Ekos simply "forwarding" the Indi-related settings to Indi). The more important/prominent settings could reside in their respective application tabs (guiding, capturing, solving, etc.) while the less important ones would only appear in the same tab once an "ALL setttings" button is pressed much like it is done in VLC, for instance. Indi would remain unchanged and could continue to serve as the foundation for a whole suite of clients while Ekos users would find all settings in the "most logic" place. "Exposure time" as well as "Gain" in the capture tab. That's where I need it (and as a new user would expect it). Nobody would have to know the former is a true "Ekos settting" while the latter is an Indi based one.
Last Edit: by Herrhausen.
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What's next for EKOS? 2 months 1 week ago #28406

Herrhausen wrote:

I believe that's the programmer's point of view. As a new user of Ekos I don't know what the underlying architecture looks like. Currently the first layer of configuration is in Ekos and sorted application wise while the second layer is found elsewhere (Indi) and is sorted device wise. This is different from what a user is used to and would expect. Imagine we could set *all* settings in Ekos (Ekos simply "forwarding" the Indi-related settings to Indi). The more important/prominent settings could reside in their respective application tabs (guiding, capturing, solving, etc.) while the less important ones would only appear in the same tab once an "ALL setttings" button is pressed much like it is done in VLC, for instance. Indi would remain unchanged and could continue to serve as the foundation for a whole suite of clients while Ekos users would find all settings in the "most logic" place. "Exposure time" as well as "Gain" in the capture tab. That's where I need it (and as a new user would expect it). Nobody would have to know the former is a true "Ekos settting" while the latter is an Indi based one.


This was my sentiment exactly when first using the application. There are core features (even in other Indi imaging apps) that need to be available on certain tabs. Gain and Offset are two that should be part of the capture tab. AstroImager includes these functions within it's main interface for capturing, not solely in the Indi control panel. Herrhausen is correct, that from a programmer point of view, this makes sense, but from an end user perspective it requires a learning curve since it's not the "norm". Otherwise I love what it offers.

The following user(s) said Thank You: Herrhausen, TallFurryMan
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What's next for EKOS? 1 month 3 weeks ago #28891

Ekos thinks that it is a very excellent integrated environment in capturing an astronomical object.

Regarding the requirement of function, it has been described before.

www.indilib.org/forum/wish-list/2665-feature-request.html
indilib.org/forum/wish-list/2792-request...acking-function.html

It is wonderful that you can schedule everything automatically and operate it, but if it is not reliable with the driver you will be in trouble.

Currently I will describe the items that will cause problems in automating on schedule in my environment.

The driver you are using is as follows.

· Mount driver
CerestronGPS, SkyWatcher Alt-Az, Digital Setting circles
· Focus driver
moonlite, FCUSB
· CCD driver
QHY CCD, SX CCD, ZWO CCD, Canon DSLR
· Other drivers
GPSD, SkySafari

We use these drivers according to the usage environment.

1. Park setting
As mentioned above, since there is only one setting file and only the absolute position is recorded, it is not functioning properly with the mount driver which does not have the parking function. My mountain has become extinct.
Since it will be the command used to start and stop automation on schedule, I think that it is necessary to reliably function with any mount driver.

In digital setting, circle park is unnecessary from the purpose of mounting. Rather, I would like to use only the mount driver. (Ekos can not be used unless you add drivers for cameras that are not currently in use.)

2. Solver Options
Depending on the mount driver, the current location of the mount may not be reflected in the configuration file, causing a solver error.
-O - ​​no - plot - no - verify --resort --downsample 2 -3 ooooo -4 xxxxx -5 30
(The part of ooooo, xxxxx will not be reflected in the mount's current location.)

3. Synchronization with GPS
In the current Ekos setting, it is synchronized with Kstars. It is not reflected in the mount. (After synchronizing with Kstars and GPS, it will not take effect until switching from Kstars to all drivers to synchronous setting.

Items other than Park are handled manually, but they are subject to the influence of automation in the attractive remote location of Ecos.

I think it is important to further improve the consistency of these drivers and Ekos.

Postscript

I switched all environments from Windows + Ascom to INDI + Ekos.

There are some operational precautions.
However, flexible integration control of the driver, Ekos is an attraction not seen in other environments.
The following user(s) said Thank You: TallFurryMan
Last Edit: by T-Studio.
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What's next for EKOS? 1 month 3 weeks ago #28909

"I think it is important to further improve the consistency of these drivers and Ekos." - totally agree . I Maybe a newbie to Indi but I totally agree.

A boss of mine used to say "its like the song Lemon Tree" when looking at some work produced by me but he continued " Lemon tree is very pretty but the fruit of the poor Lemon is impossible to eat" - Ekos live might be nice but if the base (Drivers/Ekos) aren't fully functioning (within reason) then you will quickly loose support.

Love Kstars/Ekos/distributed Indi but hate the many basic problems with some drivers (mine AltAz Sky Watcher) - e.g. as already mentioned Parking/Unparking.. Until this sort of basic problem is sorted (ok its on my grab and go) I am not transferring my main Obsys set up to Indi even though it would be using EQMOD.

Its not all doom and gloom not by any means but perhaps it would help to step back sometimes and see what people are saying :-)

Carry on the good work! :-)
The following user(s) said Thank You: TallFurryMan, T-Studio
RPI3 Ubuntu 16.04 / AMD desktop Kstars under Ubuntu 16.04 Mounts :azeq6 ,SWAZGoTo

RPI3 Fedora testing out on AMD desktop Fedpra 28 - running kstars 2.9.4 , Indilib 1.7.4 ?????
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What's next for EKOS? 1 month 3 weeks ago #28943

One item I started working on that should be a future Ekos/INDI feature but haven’t finished yet is Live Stacking. Back in February I got a preliminary interface and live stacking algorithm working, but I had to put it aside for awhile due to other things I have been working on. I did end up putting some of the code into the INDI webcam driver that I wrote back in June. I intend to come back to the feature sometime soon.
The following user(s) said Thank You: T-Studio, xsnrg
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Re:RE: What's next for EKOS? 1 month 3 weeks ago #28944

rlancaste wrote: One item I started working on that should be a future Ekos/INDI feature but haven’t finished yet is Live Stacking.


I did look into that too, just to see how it could be done. Last month, I used the stacking feature of the V4L2 driver to provide long exposures for streaming webcams. I concluded that if there was a live stacking feature in Ekos/INDI, it could only be implemented efficiently in the FITS viewer.

-Eric
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Re:RE: What's next for EKOS? 1 month 3 weeks ago #28945

TallFurryMan wrote:

rlancaste wrote: One item I started working on that should be a future Ekos/INDI feature but haven’t finished yet is Live Stacking.


I did look into that too, just to see how it could be done. Last month, I used the stacking feature of the V4L2 driver to provide long exposures for streaming webcams. I concluded that if there was a live stacking feature in Ekos/INDI, it could only be implemented efficiently in the FITS viewer.

-Eric


Yep, thats precisely what I did for INDI webcam as well. I gave it long term exposure capability by either averaging or adding as many frames as it can take in the desired time period. It doesn't align the frames though, it just adds them.

You are correct as well that the actual live stacking with alignment needs to be in the fits viewer. That is where I put the code that I wrote back in February. I do plan to come back to it, but there are a couple of other things I need to finish up first.
The following user(s) said Thank You: T-Studio
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Re:What's next for EKOS? 1 month 3 weeks ago #28953

Please do not hesitate to come back to it, that would be awesome! When in such a mode, I don't think Atik's Air nor Vaonis'Stellina do any alignment: if guiding is started, that would be sufficient probably. That feature would be quite attractive for club presenters. And designing a stacking algorithm suitable for this activity, with short exposures progressively getting longer, would be very interesting.

-Eric
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