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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.

So how is this any better...?

2 months 1 week ago
moxican
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So how is this any better...? #52910
Quick introduction. Not new to computers at all, but new to Linux/Ekos/Indi. I have rarely been this frustrated in my life.
I have purchased a Raspberry Pi 4 lately and loaded Astroberry on it. Reading a lot on online forums (CN) how great linux is in terms of reliability and networking. Up here in Canada we get some extreme weather and laptop outside in the -20C is not the best way to go. So I wanted to upgrade, automate and have my observatory more robust. So, after about two weeks of messing around with astroberry/Ekos/Indi even CCDCiel I have to say I am ready to kick this entire thing to the curb.
Not once anything worked flawlessly. Apologies, connecting to hardware, camera, mount, guider works fine. It is when I actually want to do some sophisticated operation, the whole Ekos/Indi system bums out. There is no USB/DSUSB long exposure control, no dual camera sync for dithering/guiding, the moment I try to connect to astroberry from outside network it collapses, if I apply a setting on Indi it is a major problem to disable it (buggy much). There is no UI where I could make settings for it, and whenever I see someone explaining or problem solving with the damn "sudo apt" command and the endless lines of pointless command prompts (pointless to me at least), my hair stands on end.
So, to all the above problems, I am begging to the developers for a solution that sounds/looks like it was made in human language before I set the Raspberry on fire. What I mean by human language is, i.e. adjusting Gphoto library settings tells me nothing as there is no such option/setting tab in Indi settings. If you post a screen capture of command lines that goes on for two pages also tells me nothing.
Is there a solution or should I just by a windows system where this all works without any problem and just find a way to insulate and keep it at reasonable temperature. I don't mean to went my frustration or blame anyone, after all it is all being developed by people giving their own free time for it, but if it won't work I just cut my losses and toss it. I do not plan to spend the rest of my life trouble shooting Linux/Ekos/Indi.

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2 months 1 week ago
Ihoujin
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So how is this any better...? #52925
I am also Canadian, from Ottawa, and was attracted to INDI on a Raspberry Pi for the same reason as you. It hasn't always been easy, but I have found it worthwhile. I am sorry to hear your frustrations, I completely understand.
Personally I do not use Astroberry or Stellarmate. Instead I have a Pi4 with Raspbian Buster and made use of the AstroPi 3 setup script. Maybe give that a shot. You can also try running KStars/EKOS on a desktop/laptop with the Pi acting as a remote INDI server for all your devices over a network.

INDI/KStars on Raspberry Pi 4, 4gb
Raspbian Buster with AstroPi3 script configuration
Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Mount
Canon 600D Camera
Orion SSAG/ASI120mm @280mm Guide Scope
PHD2
Adafruit Motor Hat shield
Adafruit GPS Module
Generic Bluetooth Joystick.
Startech 7 port powered USB Hub.

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2 months 1 week ago
Avocette
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So how is this any better...? #52930

moxican wrote: Is there a solution or should I just by a windows system where this all works without any problem and just find a way to insulate and keep it at reasonable temperature.

I sympathize with your frustration - the learning curve for linux/kstars/ekos/indi is just as steep as the learning curve for much of the things we attempt to do in AP, but from what I have read, taking the 'Windows system' approach would be equally fraught - I read on other forums the difficulties that others have in piecing together a Windows-based NUC with many hardware and software issues.
We Astroberry users all start from the basis of one hardware platform, these days mounted on the Raspbian linux distribution which is in massively used and professionally supported, with the Astroberry collection of open source softwares as the icing on the cake.
You are right that there are missing features of KStars/Ekos/indi such as you mention 'no USB/DSUSB long exposure control, no dual camera sync for dithering/guiding'. I don't know what these are and if your setup needs them then there is no instant fix. You would have to submit some requests for new features to be added to the Indi forum and hopefully some of the excellent voluntary development team would see the benefit of adding to the Indi arsenal.
You mention technical issues of connecting 'the moment I try to connect to astroberry from outside network it collapses'. It's just possible that this may be due to some interference that other users have been reporting between the USB3.0 functions and the 2.4GHz WiFi channels of the RPi. I personally set up the Astroberry hotspot to prioritize the 5GHz bands.
Overall I am amazed at how well Astroberry on the RPi4 functions, how reliable it is, and I am enjoying advancing slowly on my AP journey with its help (and the posts on this forum and elsewhere)!

Currently running KStars/Ekos/Indi on a Raspberry Pi 4B 2GByte under Raspbian thanks to Astroberry
Sky-Watcher ED80 Pro with 0.85x FR/Corrector with Canon DSLR on AZ-EQ5 GT mount
Other Sky-Watcher scopes - SkyMax 150 Pro Maksutov Cassegrain and Explorer 150p Newtonian
The following user(s) said Thank You El Corazon

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2 months 1 week ago
moxican
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So how is this any better...? #52940
Thanks guys.

I have been an amateur astronomer for about 12 years now, 10 of which I am doing astrophotography. I have learned a lot in it, worked with a number of equipment, paid my "learning" money, had my frustrations... the learning curve as pointed out above. I realized that taking a step to new system is going to be big one and not easy, but migrating over to Linux is like starting everything from scratch. It feels like 10 years out the window.
In order to troubleshoot linux one needs to learn at least the basics of its coding language. That is not the case with windows. Furthermore, you have to be inclined to want to learn that language, at the age close to 40 not one part of my brain wants to do that. If it'd take some hours I would but this thing will eat up years, which I will not give to this project no ways. I am not trying to say windows is better I know it isn't, but it is user friendly. It's like buying a car that is specifically built for mechanics or one that is built for the regular people. I would bet money that the one built for the regular Joe will sell much much more.
Is there any way to implement an USB long exposure control with Astroberry based on the FTDI chipset? This is what I mean www.cloudynights.com/topic/457536-usb-co...r-control-for-nikon/

Ihoujin, thanks for the advice. I guess I'll look into Astro Pi 3 sometimes. But as you mentioned it is a script, so I kind of have an idea that it is not a simple click and go set up as well. And it is risky now, cause if that doesn't work either... well lets just say that the hammer is already out of the tool box :(

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2 months 1 week ago
Lead_weight
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So how is this any better...? #52943
If you feel like you need better support, purchasing the software image of Stellarmate might be a better way to go. Unless you need some specific piece of software other than EKOS, this is the way I chose to go. There is support offered through the Stellarmate site since it's a pay piece of software. There is a dashboard that allows you to see everything going on with the Pi, and you can choose to image on the Pi, or remotely on your desktop through your home network. I've not had to use any code to configure anything. But, just a thought for some option to explore.

-Andrew
––––––––––
Mac Observatory - All about using the Mac for Astrophotography: www.macobservatory.com
Astrobin: www.astrobin.com/users/Lead_Weight/

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2 months 1 week ago
moxican
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So how is this any better...? #52947

If you feel like you need better support, purchasing the software image of Stellarmate might be a better way to go. Unless you need some specific piece of software other than EKOS, this is the way I chose to go. There is support offered through the Stellarmate site since it's a pay piece of software. There is a dashboard that allows you to see everything going on with the Pi, and you can choose to image on the Pi, or remotely on your desktop through your home network. I've not had to use any code to configure anything. But, just a thought for some option to explore.


I have looked into Stellarmate. Checked out a number of youtube vids too. It is almost exactly the same as Astroberry. Ekos/Indi just the same which turns out to be pretty buggy for me. I have not checked if they are capable of synced dithering, I'll look into that.

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2 months 1 week ago
ChrisRowland
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So how is this any better...? #52949
What is the application out there that does synched guiding and dithering?

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2 months 1 week ago
moxican
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So how is this any better...? #52950
For windows I have done it with APT, but I heard you can do it with SGP and BYN as well.

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2 months 1 week ago
Lead_weight
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So how is this any better...? #52953
There would be no difference in terms of features within EKOS by switching to StellarMate. But just thought you might encounter less issues from a setup and configuration standpoint.

-Andrew
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Mac Observatory - All about using the Mac for Astrophotography: www.macobservatory.com
Astrobin: www.astrobin.com/users/Lead_Weight/

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2 months 1 week ago
jws_indi
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So how is this any better...? #52979

moxican wrote: Is there any way to implement an USB long exposure control with Astroberry based on the FTDI chipset? This is what I mean www.cloudynights.com/topic/457536-usb-co...r-control-for-nikon/


After reading through the CN post, I have to ask if you have one of those Nikon DSLR models where 'BULB' mode cannot be controlled by USB interface? Seems kinda like jumping through a hoop to get a long exposure image, lots of soldering, transistors, diodes... Gonna be honest, how can a community of volunteers write code to make a device do long exposure if you have to go through that serious amount of a work to make a Nikon take long exposure?

I understand your frustration, trust me the learning curve is steep but the sense of accomplishment when you finally make that transition is priceless. I must say age should not be a factor as I am 57 and figured it out, yeah I cussed a LOT and READ a lot but it finally clicked.

These people on this forum are helpful. I may not ask or post a lot but I read a lot. Every thing I have had issues with, someone else had it long before and just reading those resolved posts has lead me to the light :)

Celestron CGX, QSI683 Astrodon Gen 2 E series LRGB, Ha, OIII, ES102CF, ZWO-ASI178MC, 60mm guide scope, Pegasus Focus Cube 2, Feather Touch Focuser.

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2 months 1 week ago
jws_indi
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So how is this any better...? #52982

Celestron CGX, QSI683 Astrodon Gen 2 E series LRGB, Ha, OIII, ES102CF, ZWO-ASI178MC, 60mm guide scope, Pegasus Focus Cube 2, Feather Touch Focuser.

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2 months 1 week ago
jws_indi
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So how is this any better...? #52983
indilib.org/devices/cameras/gphoto.html

Section in here about shoestring astronomy and GPhoto use with DSLR;

"When using external shutter release cable, you must use the GPhoto generic driver and not a camera-specific driver (e.g. Nikon) as only the GPhoto generic driver would work with external shutter release cables. Additionaly, users may employ DSUSB/DSUSB2 from Shoestring Astronomy in order to control the shutter. Before you connect, the port field must be set to DSUSB."

Celestron CGX, QSI683 Astrodon Gen 2 E series LRGB, Ha, OIII, ES102CF, ZWO-ASI178MC, 60mm guide scope, Pegasus Focus Cube 2, Feather Touch Focuser.

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