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INDI Library v1.8.5 Released (19 Apr 2020)

April 2020 release of INDI Library v1.8.5 introduces new drivers while providing fixes and improvements to existing devices and core framework.

Guiding of Nexstar 4SE does not work

9 months 1 week ago
pcxz
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Guiding of Nexstar 4SE does not work #45282
In the INDI Control Panel SET option "Use Pulse Cmd" Off, this value is "Obligatory" for me with internal guide and Nexstar C8 GPS.

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Celestron C8 Fastar XLT U.S.A. (Carbon tube), seeker 9x50 (used as a guide scope), Wedge, Meade DSI (used as a guide cam), Canon EOS 500D Full mod, Canon EOS 1000D, RaspBerryPI3 with remote management through EKOS.
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9 months 6 days ago
Ben_Kenobi
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Guiding of Nexstar 4SE does not work #45287

In the INDI Control Panel SET option "Use Pulse Cmd" Off, this value is "Obligatory" for me with internal guide and Nexstar C8 GPS.


Hi,
I have already found your own thread regarding that issue and I tried it several times with turning that option ON and OFF. But the only effect for me is that the driver generates additional messages when each pulse is sent, but unfortunately the behaviour is the same.

I took a look to the wiring now and I realized that only 3 wires are connected to the handcontrol of the mount. My version of the handcontroller is connected by a RJ11 plug, which is capable of 4 wires, but only 3 are connected. If that 3 wires are something like GND, RX and TX, I wonder how an additional pulse command should be transmitted?!

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9 months 6 days ago
Ben_Kenobi
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Guiding of Nexstar 4SE does not work #45293
Ok, my last post was completely wrong!

First thing is, that the hand controller sends the pulse and not the software, so 3 wires to the hand controller should be ok, because a pulse command is just another RS232 command for the software.

I made a firmware update of my hand controller and tried again in a complete silent room.

With "Use Pulse Cmd" option "On" every pulse generates:
  • [WARNING] PULSE STILL IN PROGRESS, POSSIBLE MOUNT JAM.
  • no sound

With "Use Pulse Cmd" option "Off" every pulse generates:
  • [Info] Moving toward West.
  • [Info] Moving toward West halted.
  • [WARNING] PULSE STILL IN PROGRESS, POSSIBLE MOUNT JAM.
  • I hear the sound of the moving motor!!

So indeed, the pulse command works when "Use Pulse Cmd" option is turned "Off"! It still generates the warning and I was still not able to calibrate in my home with an artificial light and the wide angle lens of the ASI 120 MC, but I will try out with the guide scope in the next clear night.

I do not not know if the firmware update was important or not, because it is not easy to determine if the drive is executing a pulse command or not. I first had to switch off tracking and to shut down my PC before I was able to hear the noise of the moving motor. But I am glad to know that I am able to send a pulse command from the PI to the Nexstar.

Thank you very much for the useful hint! :cheer:

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9 months 5 days ago
ChrisRowland
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Guiding of Nexstar 4SE does not work #45347
How is the mount set up? Alt Az or equatorial? I don't think that the mount will guide in Alt Az mode.

I don't think the pulse guide commands will work at all with the 4SE mount because the pulse guide command must be handled by the mount firmware and the 4SE firmware doesn't have it. The time guide command, which is the equivalent of pressing an arrow key on the HC for a short time should work, but probably only in equatorial mode.

It's possible to get logging data by enabling full logging in the driver, this will show all the commands that te INDI driver sends to the HC.

Chris

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9 months 5 days ago
Ben_Kenobi
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Guiding of Nexstar 4SE does not work #45369
The mount is set up in equatorial mode, using the built in wedge. Before connecting to the driver I make a rough alignment and start equatorial tracking using the hand controller.

From what I've seen in my last test session I am pretty sure that the 4SE firmware can handle these commands. My test setup was the following:
  • 4SE mount is equatorial aligned but tracking is off so the mount does not move.
  • I open the "Manual tracking tool" in PHD2, which should work with the pulse commands. I configure the pulse length to the maximum of 5s.
  • I manually move to any direction using the buttons of the tool and I hear the drive moving for ~5s.

It's possible to get logging data by enabling full logging in the driver, this will show all the commands that te INDI driver sends to the HC.

This is a very good idea! I will check that on my next test.

Ben
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9 months 5 days ago
ChrisRowland
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Guiding of Nexstar 4SE does not work #45370
I've had a look at the CelestronGPS sources and can see what's happening.
The SE mount does not implement the PulseGuide commands so UsePulseGuide must be off to get any guide movement.
However at the end of the guide command the Pulse Command to check if the guide has finished is sent regrdless and the way this fails seems to generate the message you see.
In the short term you can ignore this.
I plan to sort this out, what I think is needed is:
  • Refactor the guiding commnds so there is less duplicated code.
  • Check the mount type and mount firmware version and not allow pulse guide when the hardware does not support it.
  • Make sure that puse guide commands are not sent when not available.
  • Allow pulse guide times of longer than the current limit of 2.55 seconds
Not sure when this will happen but in the meantime set Use Pulse to Off and ignore the warning.

Chris
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9 months 4 days ago
Ben_Kenobi
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Guiding of Nexstar 4SE does not work #45397
Wow! That's the perfect explanation for the observed behaviour. Your action list makes sense.

As I understand the driver uses the time guide command instead of the pulse guide command if switch "Use Pulse Cmd" is off? So PHD2 would be able to guide with these commands if the "pulse length" wouldn't exceed 2.55?

Thanks for the help!

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8 months 1 week ago
ChrisRowland
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Guiding of Nexstar 4SE does not work #46469
I've refactored the Celestron GPS guide code so this error doesn't happen, also allowed the PulesGuide to run for more than 2.55 seconds by sending multiple commands and done some housekeeping.
Finally got some clear sky to test and it sems fine.
And it's now pushed to the build so shoud be appearing soon.

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6 months 1 week ago
gilesco
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Guiding of Nexstar 4SE does not work #48621
I've enabled the nightly build (as had a separate issue with the HitecAstro DC focuser which will be fixed in 3.4.0).

I seem to not have a "Use Pulse Cmd" option for my CGX mount.

Does the CGX support Pulse Cmd, or will I need to use a ST4 cable?
Is it right that I shouldn't see the "Use Pulse Cmd" option under the Mount properties?

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6 months 1 week ago
gilesco
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Guiding of Nexstar 4SE does not work #48623
Ah, ok - seen the commit to remove the Pulse Cmd if the RA/Dec switch firmware is less than 6.12.

The CGX has firmware 1.0.7060 (as per attached), and it is up to date.

So am I to assume that the CGX cannot pulse guide, or should I be looking elsewhere for the Firmware revision?

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6 months 1 week ago 6 months 1 week ago by gilesco.
gilesco
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Guiding of Nexstar 4SE does not work #48624

gilesco wrote: Ah, ok - seen the commit to remove the Pulse Cmd if the RA/Dec switch firmware is less than 6.12.

The CGX has firmware 1.0.7060 (as per attached), and it is up to date.

So am I to assume that the CGX cannot pulse guide, or should I be looking elsewhere for the Firmware revision?


Ah, right, I see further, from this link: www.nexstarsite.com/Firmware/CGEProFirmware.htm it is the MC Firmware that supports Pulse guide since version 6.12. Which is the MC firmware, which is the 7.15 showing under Utilities --> Version on my handset.

Will try again without the ST4 cable when we have stars and no clouds. But are we sure we are checking the correct firmware version entry in the code?

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6 months 1 week ago
ChrisRowland
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Guiding of Nexstar 4SE does not work #48634
The easiest place the get the HC and MC versions is the Info tab of the driver. A CGX should be fine with any recent NexStar+ HC.

One way to tell if the guiding is working is to send guide commands from the Indi display and look to see how the Ra and Dec position changes. At the default 50% rate a 2 second guide command should change the Ra by one second or the Dec by 15 arc seconds. That will work indoors.

More information will need a log file showing the commands, enable mount logging in Ekos and Debug logging in the driver.

Chris
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