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INDI Library v1.8.0 is Released (27 Jul 2019)

INDI Library v1.8.0 is mostly a maintenance release to fix a few bugs in several drivers.

What is the right way to control meridian flips?

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What is the right way to control meridian flips? was created by sterne-jaeger

Dear KStars-friends,
a while ago we tried to optimize meridian flip handling in that way, that the meridian flip control was shifted from the capture module to the mount module. This gave us more freedom to handle for example meridian flips if no capture is running at all.

Since it had been first introduced with the capture module, we thought it would be best if we still leave the option to control it from there - additionally with the controls on the mount tab.

The downside of this is, that it adds complexity and might create confusion.

In the meanwhile, I would like to remove the control entirely from the capture tab - including the option to control enabling/disabling meridian flips directly from saved capture sequences. Instead, I would simply introduce a new option where a user may set his preferences about a meridian flip.

What are your thoughts and preferences about this?

Wolfgang
3 months 2 weeks ago #38584

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Replied by knro on topic What is the right way to control meridian flips?

Less complexity is always good. I presume this would be set in the mount tab? I think it's good to go.
Jasem Mutlaq
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3 months 2 weeks ago #38587

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Replied by Lead_weight on topic What is the right way to control meridian flips?

I prefer it on the mount tab. Seems like the appropriate spot. Since the action is for control of the mount. Although not related, this makes me think the re-focus options should be moved to the focus tabs with this line of thinking.

Personally I wasn’t aware of the updated meridian flip change, and despite setting it in the capture tab how I always have, flips have not been happening for me at all. Previously in prior versions to 3.2 (or possible a version prior) it was working. But to me even if not capturing, if your mount tracks past the meridian, I would assume you would want it to flip so that once you start a sequence, you’re already flipped and ready to go.
-Andrew
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3 months 2 weeks ago #38588

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Replied by wvreeven on topic What is the right way to control meridian flips?

I’d prefer to have it in the mount tab as well.


Wouter
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3 months 2 weeks ago #38589

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Replied by schwim on topic What is the right way to control meridian flips?

I think having it in the mount tab as an option to flip exclusive of any imaging might be handy for some or at least as an optional safety to keep a mount from a pier crash if it is incapable of saving itself from that kind of doom. Maybe use it as a means of overriding whatever default behavior the mount itself might do (some mounts will autoflip on their own or just stop).

However, it would be handy to override even those basic functions within some part of the imaging sequence control, whether in the capture module or (even better IMHO) the scheduler. I say this because it moves the control to a single point - where you're controlling your imaging.

I suppose it's possible to have the switch in 3 locations (mount, capture, scheduler) and have an order of priority such as scheduler overrides capture overrides mount setting for the flip.

Also nice would be to be able to set both positive and negative HA values for when the flip happens for mounts that can flip well outside of the meridian. Right now it seems it only accepts positive values.

- Greg
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3 months 2 weeks ago #38591

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Replied by ChrisRowland on topic What is the right way to control meridian flips?

I woud be wary of adding more complexity to something that is already causing support problems becuse of it's complexity.

Doing the pier flip early will probably need further information from the mount and also a bool SetSideOfPier(PierSide ps); function. The driver would need to implement this, including reporting an error if it can't be done. Many mounts can't flip early so some way of notifying the user that it's possible would be needed. Some indication of an allowable hour angle range would be one way.
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3 months 2 weeks ago #38598

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Replied by sterne-jaeger on topic What is the right way to control meridian flips?

I have submitted a change to Kstars eliminating the meridian flip from the Capture module: phabricator.kde.org/D21222

Feedback warmly welcome!

As next step I would like to add a warning dialog before a meridian flip is executed. I think this makes sense, since an unexpected flip may create serious damage. For those wanting unattended flips (like myself), I will add an option to turn off the warning.

What do you think is the best solution? Having it on or off per default? Issuing a warning in the EKOS log?

- Wolfgang
3 months 3 days ago #39135

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Replied by wvreeven on topic What is the right way to control meridian flips?

I mostly use unattended flips so for me no warning should be issued. However, I do understand that this could be useful to some users. Perhaps a "Show warning popup when meridian flip starts" checkbox right under the meridian flip checkbox in the mount tab could be the clearest way of introducing this?


Thanks, Wouter
ASI1600MM-Pro Cooled and filter wheel with a SkyWatcher Esprit 80 ED on a SkyWatcher HEQ5-Pro

ASI1600MM-Pro Cooled and filter wheel with an 8" TS Ritchey-Chrétien on a SkyWatcher EQ6-R
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3 months 3 days ago #39136

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Replied by knro on topic What is the right way to control meridian flips?

I think most users expect unattended meridian flip. So if there is a warning, it should be opt-in.
Jasem Mutlaq
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3 months 3 days ago #39137

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Replied by schwim on topic What is the right way to control meridian flips?

I agree with Jasem and Wouter. An unattended meridian flip that is coordinated with my imaging strategy is a required feature for me. A merdian flip is a "major" action in an imaging sequence, much as guiding, focusing, capturing are. It would be frustrating to wake up to a dialog asking if I want to flip and find that the system sat waiting for input and stopped imaging.

As an imager, I primarily interact with the capture and scheduler tabs. I can agree that maybe the flip feature might be better located elsewhere (like in the scheduler). However, it may make it unclear from a planning point if or when the flip may occur if it is no longer associated with one (or both) of these tabs. It will also make it easy to forget to consider it as part of the imaging sequence if it becomes otherwise "hidden" by relocating it away from these tabs. I think the flip *during imaging* should be well coordinated with the imaging sequence, and highly visible within the sequence, and predictable.
3 months 3 days ago #39139

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Replied by schwim on topic What is the right way to control meridian flips?

ChrisRowland wrote: I woud be wary of adding more complexity to something that is already causing support problems becuse of it's complexity.

Doing the pier flip early will probably need further information from the mount and also a bool SetSideOfPier(PierSide ps); function. The driver would need to implement this, including reporting an error if it can't be done. Many mounts can't flip early so some way of notifying the user that it's possible would be needed. Some indication of an allowable hour angle range would be one way.


A fair point. I admit I am unfamiliar with out Ekos presently initiates a flip. I suspect it may just be a normal slew command?

In the case of my equipment (paramount), TSX mostly controls when the early (or late) flip is available I. Generally, I keep the flip point as far east of the meridian as possible. As long as the mount has passed that line, issuing a slew is enough to get the job done. In a case like this it could be as simple as re-issuing a slew command and trusting that the mount knows what to do.

I guess a complexity in this is ensuring that Ekos knows to reset guiding and the model due to the flip. In that case it would need to know the change in the side of the pier.
3 months 3 days ago #39141

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Replied by wvreeven on topic What is the right way to control meridian flips?

schwim wrote: I agree with Jasem and Wouter. An unattended meridian flip that is coordinated with my imaging strategy is a required feature for me. A merdian flip is a "major" action in an imaging sequence, much as guiding, focusing, capturing are. It would be frustrating to wake up to a dialog asking if I want to flip and find that the system sat waiting for input and stopped imaging.


Come to think of this, with a telescope on the west side of the pier, not automatically doing a meridian flip (because there is a popup waiting for confirmation of the user) "may create serious damage" (quoting from Wolfgang) as well if tracking continues. What would be the course of action in that case? Suspend tracking until the user has confirmed?


Wouter
ASI1600MM-Pro Cooled and filter wheel with a SkyWatcher Esprit 80 ED on a SkyWatcher HEQ5-Pro

ASI1600MM-Pro Cooled and filter wheel with an 8" TS Ritchey-Chrétien on a SkyWatcher EQ6-R
3 months 3 days ago #39142

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