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INDI Library v1.7.9 Released (23 Jun 2019)

INDI Library v1.7.9 is mostly a maintenance release to fix a few bugs in several drivers.

Re:Scheduler

  • Posts: 38
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Scheduler was created by hy

Last night the skies were finally clear, but we had guests for dinner. I had never used the scheduler before, and this seemed the perfect time for it.
I have no focuser (yet), and the mount was polar aligned the previous night, so all it had to do was unpark, slew/plate-solve/track, guide, capture and park.
I came home 30 minutes before my guests arrived, wrote the capture and scheduling files, and pushed play. I checked it out late that night after everyone had left...

It worked perfectly! Thanks so much for the very nice software.

Here are a few questions I have regarding the experience:

- I just had one capture job, so I set the scheduler to run the job at 8:30pm, about 90 minutes after sunset. Is there a "start when it gets dark" kind of option?

- I wasn't sure if I was supposed to connect to Indi or not after I pressed play in the scheduler (at 5:30pm 3 hours before the job was to really start). In the end, I chose not to manually connect to Indi, and it worked fine. Should it also have worked if I had left it connected? Hopefully it would work either way.

- I use Phd2 to guide. I started up Phd2 manually when I pushed play on the scheduler at 5:30pm (though it was obviously unconnected to the guide camera, since indi was not running). Is that the normal mode of operation? I suppose I could have written a script to start Phd2, but it seems easier this way.

- The scheduler required me to enter the RA and DEC of my target before it was happy with my job, even though I had entered a fits file to tell it where the target was. Since I didn't know the RA/DEC, I needed to start up the plate solver, solve my fits file, and feed that info into the text boxes. Seems like that's an unnecessary step (e.g. the scheduler could have done that too, or could have just solved it when it ran at 8:30). Is there a way to avoid that?

- I'd like to issue a command that states: "No matter what's happening, shut down and park at 4am" or something like that. The Mount tab has that functionality, but it clearly states not do use that functionality when using the scheduler. How can I make sure my telescope parks before sunrise?

Thanks again,
Hy
3 months 1 week ago #36631

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Replied by TallFurryMan on topic Re:Scheduler

Thanks for the kind words. We're approaching the "it just works" level apparently :)
- when it gets dark: that's the twilight restriction. It tells the scheduler to execute the job inside the astronomical dusk/dawn interval. Combine with "start asap".
- connected/disconnected: Ekos will work either way, and will also make sure all devices are online during the session. But make sure the profile is correct in the scheduler list to avoid taking your shots with the simulator :)
- phd2 : Ekos will ask phd2 to connect devices when starting to guide. However you need to have the phd2 application running before Ekos is started, because the guide tab will only connect to the guider server by itself when Ekos starts. Same, if for some reason phd2 exits during the session, Ekos will not be able to restart the application nor reconnect to its server, unless Ekos restarts.
- ra/dec required : that should not be, thanks for reporting, I'll have a look.
- parking before sunrise : if the twilight restriction is enabled and you let your job run indefinitely, use the "preemptive shutdown" Ekos option. That option will make Ekos shutdown the observatory when the interval between two jobs is large enough. The twilight restriction will abort the job at the astronomical dawn, reschedule it for the next night, and turn off the observatory until then.

-Eric
HEQ5-Pro - Atik 314E - Orion ED80T - DMK21 on Orion 50mm
DIY 3D-printed Moonlite and FWheel RGB/LPR
KStars and indiserver on two Atom 1.6GHz 1GB RAM Linux, VPN remote access
Last edit: 3 months 1 week ago by TallFurryMan.
3 months 1 week ago #36646

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Replied by hy on topic Re:Scheduler

Just got a moonlight focuser, and started working with it and the scheduler.
I decided not to have the scheduler do the main focus, I setup the focus myself (I still don't "trust" the auto focusing ;)
So, I setup the schedule module with checkmarks for track, align, and guide, but not focus.
Still, I expected the system to honor the filter focus offsets in the capture tab (and it mostly did).

I started the scheduler with two jobs. On my first one, things worked as expected until a meridian flip.
That is, a red filter was first-up, and the capture module moved the focus +80 steps to focus, as expected.
Then, after 7 captures, an automated meridian flip swapped in the my LPR filter for the post-flip plate-solving.
Then the capture module moved back to the Red filter to finish it's Red sequence.
Unfortunately, the way it looks, it moved focus to LPR's offset for the plate solve, but did not move it back to the Red offset when the camera-module continued with its Red sequence,
so the remaining red shots were out-of-focus. It did seem to get back in focus the for Green sequence which followed the Red.

Let me know if this doesn't make sense, or if somehow you'd like me to get you more detail.
I'd love to re-create this for you, but the meridian flip is a bit of a tricky thing to recreate.
2 months 3 weeks ago #37178

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Replied by knro on topic Re:Scheduler

It's not hard to recreate meridian flip in simulators. Will try to replicate this. Was autofocus checked?
Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?
Add your observatory info
2 months 3 weeks ago #37179

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Replied by hy on topic Re:Scheduler

Focus was NOT checked in the scheduler.
I was hoping to set it up such that it didn't try to autofocus, but that it did move the focus according to the filter offsets setup in the capture module.
For the most part, it did do that, except through the meridian flip.
2 months 3 weeks ago #37180

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Replied by knro on topic Re:Scheduler

Please check KStars nightly later or build from GIT. I've included a possible fix to this.
Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?
Add your observatory info
2 months 3 weeks ago #37189

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