INDI Library v2.0.0 Released (01 Feb 2023)

Bi-monthly release with major changes to INDI properties and client API in addition to new drivers and improvements.

Kstars/Ekos MacOS reliability?

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Hi folks, this is my first post to the group; I'm brand new to astronomy and astrophotography. I went to a star party with friends in Sep 2019, got intrigued and decided to give it a go. I have purchased a Sky-Watcher AZ-GTi and a few related accessories for mounting my Canon DSLR. I know there's simpler ways to get going, but I wanted to put together something reasonably easy to transport for travel and use/reuse gear I already had, so here's what I've been trying to work with. I don't think any of this is very exotic stuff:

- SW AZ-GTi mount (latest fw, in EQ mode), wifi conn to RPi
- SW Star Adventurer wedge
- Vanguard CF travel tripod
- RPi 3B+ with RTC module & cooling
- Canon 450D DSLR, USB conn to RPi

- Astroberry 2.0.1 (also with prev versions), wifi conn to mount and PC
- iOS SynScan Pro app
- Kstars/Ekos (just grabbed latest version yesterday, but have been working with whatever's been current since Oct 2019).
- MacOS 10.14.6 on a MacBook Pro

Weather was un cooperative for some time, but I have time now with good weather in a warmer locale, so I've been spending some evenings trying to get things going. So far, I've not been able to progress past getting either a polar alignment or star alignment due to a host of issues. Ultimately, I think the mount is defective and will have to be repaired/replaced. That issue aside, I have no problems getting Astroberry set up, connecting to the camera, mount and a joystick (game controller) for controlling the mount. I've played around with a few other SW options on the Pi and didn't really have any issues that I could not figure out. The SynScan app is "OK" and seems to work but obviously is not very polished. I don't have to use MacOS; I'm comfortable in Windows and Linux and can run Win10 and Linux in VM's if needed or use a separate laptop if not travelling, but this is the most convenient as I work mostly in MacOS.

So, my main question is for people who are also using Ekos on MacOS. How reliable is the software for you? My experience has been that during the processes of getting set up, attempting alignments, trying to do a few plate solves, etc (haven't made it as far as actual photography yet!), that Kstars crashes a few times per hour. Some evenings, I've had 15-20 crashes and it seems like it's borderline unusable. This can't be normal, right? Should I bail out on this and just use another OS? VNC to the Pi is an easy option, but seems quite inferior to just running the sw on my laptop and using my larger monitors, etc.

The following user(s) said Thank You: Eric
3 years 1 month ago #50115

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I use VNC on an RPi4 running Ubuntu MATE 18.04 and it is (reasonably) stable. Last night it ran through the entire night. Now and then an occasional crash of unknown origin.

I would suggest using the RPi4 and Ubuntu MATE 18.04 as your OS, then connect via VPN on GHz.

Doing this as I am writing this reply.



PS: Overall, this program suite works GREAT!
Atlas Pro AZ-EQ, ASI1600MM-Pro, ASI120MM-S, ES102ED, WO-Z61, Nikon D3300, ASI-EFW, ZWO LRGB,Ha,O3,S2 filter set
The following user(s) said Thank You: Eric
3 years 1 month ago #50130

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For me personally, I have run 3.4.0 four full nights now without loss of any data or crashes. I did have one focus issue, where my frames got out of focus and did not recover through the night, but this was due to the settings I used for the focuser. After a change, I've had successful runs.

I run fully automated with PHD2. I use the scheduler, image sequences, plate solving, and focus routines. Even startup and shut down work for me.

I run RPi4 at the scope with the INDI Server running (Not KStars/EKOS), and I have KStars/EKOS running on my Mac over the network. I've run it on both a 2015 13" MacBook Pro as well as a 2017 iMac Pro running both Catalina and Mojave.

I previously ran VNC on the Mac, and ran all software on the Pi. But experienced memory leak issues when images previewed. This is a known but in another thread that has been addressed with Stellarmate OS 1.5.1. Released in the last two days. This method should work reliably again, but I find it so much more reliable having more CPU power on a desktop running KStars/EKOS than on the Pi.
Mac Observatory - All about using the Mac for Astrophotography: www.macobservatory.com
Astrobin: www.astrobin.com/users/Lead_Weight/
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jim Whitelaw
3 years 1 month ago #50134

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Thanks for the replies. I do have 3.4.0 now, I will give it a try shortly and see how that goes.
3 years 1 month ago #50147

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I'm using Stars/Ekos/INDI 3.3.9 on an MacBook Pro 16" with Catalina installed. I run everything connected locally to the MacBook. Having started to use Stars/Ekos/INDi since last November I don't consider myself as an expert yet but all I can say, this is a masterpiece of a software. I had some crashes with plate solving and polar alignment but after a lot of trial and error with the settings and Phyton issues it runs perfectly. With version 3.3.4 the hassle with Phyton on the Mac should be solved but I didn't try it yet.
There are some issues with modal windows (a disables window can sometimes cover the active enabled window but it is not possible to access the active window) and then I have to kill KStars.

Summarized: having all devices controlled with one integrated software that supports the workflow of astro-photography so well: I consider this as a masterpiece and I'm quite tolerant for minor issues. Also the support by the developers and the folks in this forum is great.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Eric
3 years 1 month ago #50152

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