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INDI Library v1.9.1 Released (26 Jun 2021)

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Meridian flip not working consistently

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Over the last few days I have noticed that Meridian flip is not working. My setup is Raspberry PI4 running Astroberry version 2.0.3 which I run as a server at the telescope.The equipment at the telescope end is
  • Skywatcher HEQ5Pro so using EQMOD for that
  • 2 ZWO cameras one for capture the other for guiding
  • Lakeside focuser
  • ZWO filter wheel
  • PHD2 for guiding
I am remote controlling the PI with Ubuntu Mate which is running inside the house. KStars/EKOS runs fine with this setup and has worked flawlessly for months. I always ensure I keep everything up to date and have a spare PI that I use from time to time too.
I first noticed an issue with meridian flipping 29/03/2021 whilst tracking the sun and had to force a flip. Then when using the scope to image an Ha area in Cepheus I noticed again it did not flip. I have flip set to 0.01 hours after meridian. It seemed to sit there for ages doing nothing apart from stating "Waiting for flip". Again I forced it to flip and continued with its scheduled jobs.
Yesterday I tried flip during the daytime and it worked ok but this time I had mount and indi logs enabled. Last night I tried for my target again and found that it was stuck at the same point. I reinitiated the flip manually at around 03:45 at which point it captured 2 subs before the clouds finally set in and I had to abort it completely.
I attach the logs for your perusal. This log also contains the good test flips during the day as well as the "failed" one. 
Scopes: William Optics ZenithStar 73, William Optics ZenithStar 103, Skywatcher 200P reflector. Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Rowan. Guiders SW9x50 and WO 50 Uniguide both with ZWOASI120MM, Cameras: Canon EOS400D astro-modded, ZWO ASI 183MC-Pro OSC, ZWO ASI 183MM Pro mono Filters: IDAS D2, Altair Ast
3 months 3 weeks ago #69674
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I'd first try to increase the wait time, 0.01h = 36s seems awfully low. Some mounts don't flip on a slew command only a few arcmin past the meridian...
openSUSE Tumbleweed KStars git INDI git
GPDX+EQMOD, CEM60EC, ASI2600/1600/290mini+EFW+EAF
3 months 3 weeks ago #69675

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I am using an HEQ5-pro and EQMod as well. I need to set the meridian flip to happen at least 10 minutes after culmination. That’s 40 minutes!

There is no real meridian flip in Ekos. All it does is issue a slew and it is up to the mount to decide if a flip is necessary or not. As DerPit already suggested, this mount doesn’t flip until way past the meridian and it is not possible to set it to a lower value.

Having said that, the mount will eventually flip even when set to 0.01 hours. After each image taken Ekos will try to perform the flip and it will keep on trying after each next image until it succeeds.
Wouter van Reeven

ASI6200MM and 7 slot 2" filter wheel with a SkyWatcher Esprit 80 ED on a SkyWatcher HEQ5-Pro
ASI1600MM-Pro Cooled and 5 slot 1.25" filter wheel with an 8" TS Ritchey-Chrétien on a SkyWatcher EQ6-R
Last edit: 3 months 3 weeks ago by Wouter van Reeven.
3 months 3 weeks ago #69676

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Just some more info for you all. I had it at 0.1 hours and it worked great for months. I still had it at 0.1 hours and it stopped working hence why I decreased it to 0.01 hours. I did that yesterday in my initial daylight test at which point it worked fine so kept it like that for the night run.
However I will increase it back to 0.1 hours. 
Scopes: William Optics ZenithStar 73, William Optics ZenithStar 103, Skywatcher 200P reflector. Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Rowan. Guiders SW9x50 and WO 50 Uniguide both with ZWOASI120MM, Cameras: Canon EOS400D astro-modded, ZWO ASI 183MC-Pro OSC, ZWO ASI 183MM Pro mono Filters: IDAS D2, Altair Ast
Last edit: 3 months 3 weeks ago by Terry McKnight.
3 months 3 weeks ago #69678

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Reducing the grace time if something doesn't work is likely a bad choice in case of MF.  

However, I'm just looking at the log file.  What puzzles me is
[2021-04-04T00:30:57.849 BST INFO ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - "Meridian flip waiting."
[2021-04-04T00:35:48.519 BST DEBG ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - meridianFlipStatusChanged  "FLIP_ACCEPTED"
[2021-04-04T00:35:48.849 BST INFO ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - No Meridian flip: HA= "00h 48m 22s"
So the mount thinks it is already almost an hour past the meridian.  Either there's a time clash (DST), or the mount model is somehow messed up.
Do you use the hand controller in any way?  Is there a use/don't use DST setting for the mount?
 
openSUSE Tumbleweed KStars git INDI git
GPDX+EQMOD, CEM60EC, ASI2600/1600/290mini+EFW+EAF
3 months 3 weeks ago #69680

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No I don't use the hand controller. Not used it for years.
Scopes: William Optics ZenithStar 73, William Optics ZenithStar 103, Skywatcher 200P reflector. Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Rowan. Guiders SW9x50 and WO 50 Uniguide both with ZWOASI120MM, Cameras: Canon EOS400D astro-modded, ZWO ASI 183MC-Pro OSC, ZWO ASI 183MM Pro mono Filters: IDAS D2, Altair Ast
3 months 3 weeks ago #69682

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I hadn’t either until recently when I performed a factory reset of my HEQ5. That solved some issues for me (admittedly issues with using the hand controller for a change) so perhaps you can try that and see if it helps?
Wouter van Reeven

ASI6200MM and 7 slot 2" filter wheel with a SkyWatcher Esprit 80 ED on a SkyWatcher HEQ5-Pro
ASI1600MM-Pro Cooled and 5 slot 1.25" filter wheel with an 8" TS Ritchey-Chrétien on a SkyWatcher EQ6-R
3 months 3 weeks ago #69684

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OK it is worth a shot :) thanks. Now where is that hand controller?   
Scopes: William Optics ZenithStar 73, William Optics ZenithStar 103, Skywatcher 200P reflector. Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Rowan. Guiders SW9x50 and WO 50 Uniguide both with ZWOASI120MM, Cameras: Canon EOS400D astro-modded, ZWO ASI 183MC-Pro OSC, ZWO ASI 183MM Pro mono Filters: IDAS D2, Altair Ast
3 months 3 weeks ago #69685

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Terry?,
I have found that attempting to have an automatic meridian flip while tracking the Sun does not work since the pop up dialogue was added to confirm that you want to go to the Sun.
As far as Meridian flips are concerned it is the mount that needs to do the flip and you need to have Ekos configured to match what the mount requires. On my Losmandy G11 with gemini 2 you need to configure it to ensure nothing collides and there is point after which a go to produces a flip but if you leave it too late it will not do it but will beep. So, you need to make sure Ekos performs the request between those two points.

Paul
Losmandy G11 with Gemini 2 controller
QSI 583/683 monochrome camera with filter wheel
Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2 guide camera
Microtouch Focuser controlled using Arduino emulating Feathertouch controller
Raspberry Pi 2GB with Raspberry Pi Os 32bit
Last edit: 3 months 3 weeks ago by Paul. Reason: spelling
3 months 3 weeks ago #69707

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Not sure if this helps, but I just found that the recent DST time change was not configured properly in KStars.  It's under the geography/location setting.  If Kstars time doesn't match the mount then it calls for the meridian flip slew too early and the mount never changes sides.  Just a shot in the dark 
3 months 3 weeks ago #69711

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Thanks for all the replies everybody. It has given me a lot of food for thought. I do suspect the DST issue but will also try to issue a factory reset to the mount. I’m not sure if the HEQ5 Pro remembers much as I recall when operating it via the hand controller after it initialised you had to enter some more basic parameters. Years since I used the handset.
Scopes: William Optics ZenithStar 73, William Optics ZenithStar 103, Skywatcher 200P reflector. Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Rowan. Guiders SW9x50 and WO 50 Uniguide both with ZWOASI120MM, Cameras: Canon EOS400D astro-modded, ZWO ASI 183MC-Pro OSC, ZWO ASI 183MM Pro mono Filters: IDAS D2, Altair Ast
3 months 3 weeks ago #69749

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When you connect the handset to an HEQ5-Pro you always need to set the date, time, timezone and DST and confirm the location. But other items, like meridian flip behavior and the pointing model are remembered (at least partially) because when I used the handset with my HEQ5-Pro pointing was completely off despite setting all those initial parameters correctly.
Wouter van Reeven

ASI6200MM and 7 slot 2" filter wheel with a SkyWatcher Esprit 80 ED on a SkyWatcher HEQ5-Pro
ASI1600MM-Pro Cooled and 5 slot 1.25" filter wheel with an 8" TS Ritchey-Chrétien on a SkyWatcher EQ6-R
The following user(s) said Thank You: Terry McKnight
3 months 3 weeks ago #69752

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