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INDI Library v1.8.3 Released (02 Jan 2020)

Minor monthly bugfix release with a new RainbowAstro mount driver and improved pier side simulation.

Limits to protect the mount from bending over backwards

2 months 4 weeks ago
hy
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Limits to protect the mount from bending over backwards #46290
Last night, the following occurred.
I was shooting Orion, started while my scope was pointing on the east side of the meridian.
I ran a capture sequence job intending to shoot all night. No scheduler. Was guiding (using PHD2). I set the mount module to park at ~5:30 am. I did not have mount limits set nor enable limits checked.
The plan was it would capture with various filters until ~2am, then it would meridian flip and continue until 5am or so. I went to bed.
I have done this many nights successfully (including the previous night).

Unfortunately, a cloud must have passed by at 1:30am, causing PHD2 to abort guiding. Capture aborted too because of that. Without capture running, the meridian flip did not happen.
The mount kept tracking and unfortunately the camera eventually bumped into the tripod legs, which is the way I found it in the morning.
Fortunately, I don't believe I damaged anything.

My question is: What should I have done to prevent this?
I suppose suspect #1 is mount limits. I have never done that, probably because I never really understood how to set that up.
I want the scope to be able to point beyond vertical (because i have meridian flip set to +0.2 hours--otherwise I find my mount (Orion Atlas Pro) does not reliably switch pier sides when the meridian flip comes along.
Would mount limits have saved me, and yet worked properly and allowed the flip if a cloud didn't come by? How do I set them up? Can the limits be set "beyond vertical"?

Should we have a simpler interface --e.g. there is an "enable limits" checkbox in the mount tab, but it controls altitude and thus only goes to 90-degrees. I think I want something different--e.g. when my scope "bent over backwards" last night, its altitude was still below 90-degrees. Should we have simple max for that that could be enabled to protect our mounts in situations like what occurred last night? and what is the word for bending-over-backwards?

Thanks,
Hy

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2 months 4 weeks ago 2 months 4 weeks ago by Megiddo.
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Limits to protect the mount from bending over backwards #46302
So far, the new choice to set a default parking time does the trick for me (thanks Jasem!). But I see you did that.

Did it part at 5:30am?

But I see there are mount limit settings, which I've not set. I've no idea how to set them. It'd be nice to move your mount to a point and mark that is the limit.

Having a Schmidt-Cassegrain makes life a bit safer, back when I was using my 8' Dob, it was a close call many times.

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2 months 4 weeks ago
hy
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Limits to protect the mount from bending over backwards #46303
It did try to park at 5:30am, but by then it had long been in contact with the tripod legs.
It thought it was parked, but in reality it wasn't in park position, probably because the camera attached to the refractor on the mount was in contact with the tripod.

Yes, a shorter telescope would reduce this issue.

Hy

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2 months 4 weeks ago
werper
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Limits to protect the mount from bending over backwards #46309
I too, would like to set slew limits but also do not know how to do it. This is indicative of what I see IMHO as perhaps the single biggest problem with SM: lack of adequate up-to-date documentation. The SM manual is a good start, but does not go into enough depth. The Kstars manual covers more about Ekos, but at nearly four years old, it is very out of date. Many of the problems I keep seeing reported on this forum I believe stem from lack knowing how to use the many functions in Ekos, which I feel is due to inadequate documentation. I genuinely believe lack of adequate up-to-date documentation, more than perhaps anything else, is what's holding back wider adoption of SM.

TPO 8" Ritchey-Chretien Astrograph
Moonlite CS focuser with Motor Drive
RoboFocus Auto Focuser
iOptron iEQ45 Pro Mount
Stellarrmate OS (beta) RPi 4, 4GB
Canon T3i DSLR - Primary Cam
Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2 Guide Cam
Astromania 60 Guide Scope
Polemaster Polar Alignment Cam

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2 months 4 weeks ago
Megiddo
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Limits to protect the mount from bending over backwards #46310
As a former developer myself, I hate and I mean I HATE documenting. I spent all my time coding and the last thing I wanted to do was document. And I was paid to do it.

So I understand. Maybe what is needed would be more YouTube videos from those who use the software.
I know this forum has helped considerably.

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2 months 4 weeks ago
werper
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Limits to protect the mount from bending over backwards #46313
That's what Technical Writers are for. Hunting and pecking through complex software like this is no way to be productive as an astrophotographer. This hobby is hard enough without battling software via trial and error.

TPO 8" Ritchey-Chretien Astrograph
Moonlite CS focuser with Motor Drive
RoboFocus Auto Focuser
iOptron iEQ45 Pro Mount
Stellarrmate OS (beta) RPi 4, 4GB
Canon T3i DSLR - Primary Cam
Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2 Guide Cam
Astromania 60 Guide Scope
Polemaster Polar Alignment Cam

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2 months 4 weeks ago
knro
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Limits to protect the mount from bending over backwards #46315
Was the scheduler aborted? did it have Parking enabled on shutdown?

I just updated the tooltips for the mount limits

Enable or Disable the mount travel range limits. Once enabled, Ekos monitors the mount's altitude while slewing or tracking. If the mount slews/tracks below or above the limits, it shall be commanded to stop and tracking will be turned off.


However, not sure if setting the limits would have helped in your case. EQMod driver has its own limit settings as well.

Jasem Mutlaq
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2 months 4 weeks ago
hy
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Limits to protect the mount from bending over backwards #46317
Here is the log
drive.google.com/file/d/1VSDYDL8IZbWyQTD...Pk0/view?usp=sharing

It is gzipped to 12Mb but the log is 250Mb ungzipped because there's a new log line from indi that seems to print out a lot.

Again, bottom line is that when PHD2 stopped, capture stopped, and then there was no meridian flip.
Without a meridian flip, and with the mount continuing to track, it eventually went too far past vertical and bumped into the tripod leg.

I would love to have a limit, similar to parking, that stops the mount once it bends too far back.

Hy

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2 months 4 weeks ago
wvreeven
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Limits to protect the mount from bending over backwards #46320

Megiddo wrote: As a former developer myself, I hate and I mean I HATE documenting. I spent all my time coding and the last thing I wanted to do was document. And I was paid to do it.

So I understand. Maybe what is needed would be more YouTube videos from those who use the software.
I know this forum has helped considerably.


As a software developer I hate documenting as well but I also acknowledge the necessity of it so I just bite the bullet and do it.

As an end user, I hate videos. They explain too much and are too difficult to browse through and find the bit that I need.

So, your mileage may vary but please do not underestimate the importance of good documentation!

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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2 months 4 weeks ago
ChrisRowland
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Limits to protect the mount from bending over backwards #46321
What's needed are hour angle limits, these stop tracking when a specified hour angle is reached. It shouldn't be difficult to add them.

However IMHO safety limits should be in the mount, provided by the mont manufacturer. They are there to prevent their mount from damage if the operator goes away - it could be a person or a program. If Ekos crashes it stops monitoring the limits.
Celestron provides what they call Ra limits for this purpose and they stop the motor when the safety limit is reached. The default is 20 degrees past the meridian for most mounts. I don't know how many other manufacturers do this, There doesn't seem to be anything in the Synscan controller but it may be something that you could persuade Synscan to add.

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2 months 4 weeks ago 2 months 4 weeks ago by alacant.
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Limits to protect the mount from bending over backwards #46362

when PHD2 stopped, capture stopped

If capture or guiding are stopped, they are restarted. At least for me when running the job under the scheduler. This was a recent fix:
www.indilib.org/forum/ekos/5917-guiding-...oes-not-recover.html
HTH

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The following user(s) said Thank You hy

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2 months 3 weeks ago
werper
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Limits to protect the mount from bending over backwards #46377
Doesn't control software, like Ekos, supersede the mount's controller? If this is indeed the case, then I'd think you'd want to set a limit in both the control software and in the mount controller. Yes?

TPO 8" Ritchey-Chretien Astrograph
Moonlite CS focuser with Motor Drive
RoboFocus Auto Focuser
iOptron iEQ45 Pro Mount
Stellarrmate OS (beta) RPi 4, 4GB
Canon T3i DSLR - Primary Cam
Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2 Guide Cam
Astromania 60 Guide Scope
Polemaster Polar Alignment Cam

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