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INDI Library v1.9.2 Released (14 Sep 2021)

Bimonthly Stable INDI Library release introduces new drivers and fixes for existing ones.

Re:New Polar Alignment Scheme and Features

  • Posts: 55
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Hello Hy,
first of all, Thank you for the great improvement in polar alignment. After months of clouds, I finally managed to test it yesterday, My usual observing position does not provide any view to the north, so the new polar alignment helps a lot.

What I noticed is, that (at least with my IOptron CEM 25P) the "Start" button does not become clickable, while the mount ist "tracking". I had disable tracking, before I could start the polar alignment routine, which makes sense. It might be useful to either mention this in the explanations ... .


Regards

Dirk
iOptron CEM25P
Skywatcher Evostar 72 ED DSPro
Explore Scientific ED 102
ASI 1600Mm Pro ASI EFW Mini
QHY 8L
DeepSky Dad AF1 motor focus
ASI 120MM Mini and Bresser (Touptek) 290 Guidecams
Sykwatch EvoGuide 50/242 and NoName 50/175 Guidescopes
Raspberry Pi 3 and 4
7 months 1 week ago #67342
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Dirk, Thanks for testing!

I'm actually surprised by your feedback. This isn't an issue for my Atlas Pro mount (I just retested), and I also verified the simulator has no such issue. I haven't received any other feedback like this either, and I'd expect that others would have run into this, given that for off-pole polar-alignment, folks would have to slew to the start position, and that will start up tracking.

I do know that the start button is disabled while the scope is slewing (e.g. to the start-of-polar-alignment part of the sky), Start will be disabled for the duration of the slew, but it should be enabled once the slew is done. Perhaps Ekos somehow missed the end-of-slew message from your mount? That kind of thing has been seen in various other Ekos/mount issues over the years. (Of course, it would be good to get that kind of thing fixed, but it wouldn't be part of the polar-alignment code.)

Could you please re-verify that polar alignment won't work for you while tracking, and if so, send a log with mount and align debugging enabled. It might have been that the very act of turning on/off tracking got ekos and your mount back in sync, and it was not the tracking itself.

Thanks,
Hy
Orion Atlas Pro, William Optics ZS105, Moonlight V2 focuser
ZWO ASI1600, OAG & Filterwheel, Astronomik Filters, QHY 5L-IIm guidecam.
KStars/Ekos/Indi on RPi4 w/SSD
Ekos Projects: Terrain Backgrounds, Polar Alignment, Analyze, Linear Focuser, SEP MultiStar & GPG Guiding, FITS autostretch.
7 months 1 week ago #67345
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Hello Hy,
I will retest, as soon as I have some clear skies, the forecast is not the best...

Regards

Dirk
iOptron CEM25P
Skywatcher Evostar 72 ED DSPro
Explore Scientific ED 102
ASI 1600Mm Pro ASI EFW Mini
QHY 8L
DeepSky Dad AF1 motor focus
ASI 120MM Mini and Bresser (Touptek) 290 Guidecams
Sykwatch EvoGuide 50/242 and NoName 50/175 Guidescopes
Raspberry Pi 3 and 4
7 months 1 week ago #67351
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Excuse me for digging up an old topic :whistle:

I just wanted to say I'm happy with the polar alignment.
Of course I still have wishes ;), but it's already excellent that I can get in four or five iterations from placing the tripod to this result:

It's even difficult to see the vector...

Cheers!
Latest Stellarmate on Rpi 4B, 294mm-pro, EFW-8, CEM70
6 months 4 weeks ago #67693
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Hi there,
Just to say thank you so much for doing this, the new "Triangle" really speeds up getting an accurate ( as reported ) alignment. I haven't yet checked it against the PHD2 drift align or guiding assistant but plan to. I'm fairly new to this hobby so anything that makes it easier is greatly appreciated.

I found one thing that has now changed that I haven't seen reported in what I've read so far on this thread. When you've finished your polar alignment and hit Done or Stop, it used to slew my mount back to the parked position automatically ( I'm aligning on NCP area ), but now it doesn't and you have to do that yourself. Don't know if this is a bug of a feature, but thought I'd mention it.

Thanks again, great work!
6 months 4 weeks ago #67706
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Finally I got a few logs:

[2021-02-21T19:07:36.162 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Number of Matches: 34"
[2021-02-21T19:07:36.163 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Solved with index: 4209"
[2021-02-21T19:07:36.165 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Field center: (RA,Dec) = (88.7944, 7.40904) deg."
[2021-02-21T19:07:36.166 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Field center: (RA H:M:S, Dec D:M:S) = (05:55:10.647, +07:24:32.542)."
[2021-02-21T19:07:36.167 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Field is: (1023.19, -1.60195) deg from search coords."
[2021-02-21T19:07:36.168 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Field size: 2.35378 x 1.77885 degrees"
[2021-02-21T19:07:36.169 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Pixel Scale: 1.82006\""
[2021-02-21T19:07:36.171 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Field rotation angle: up is 82.5178 degrees E of N"
[2021-02-21T19:07:36.172 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Field parity: neg\n"
[2021-02-21T19:07:36.173 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Solver completed after 0.55 seconds."
[2021-02-21T19:07:36.174 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Solver RA (88.79436) DEC (7.40904) Orientation (82.51781) Pixel Scale (1.82006)"
[2021-02-21T19:07:36.188 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Solution coordinates: RA (05h 56m 19s) DEC ( 07° 24' 38\") Telescope Coordinates: RA (05h 56m 19s) DEC ( 07° 24' 31\")"
[2021-02-21T19:07:36.219 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - ZWO CCD ASI1600MM Pro : "[INFO] CCD FOV rotation updated to 82.5178 degrees. "

Up to here, I slewed to a star, a bit east of the meridian, I think it was Beteigeuze...


[2021-02-21T19:07:57.046 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - Mount status changed from "Tracking" to "Idle"

Here I had to stop tracking manually, because the "start" button was greyed out.

[2021-02-21T19:08:16.485 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Starting Polar Alignment Assistant process v2.3 ..."
[2021-02-21T19:08:16.485 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - ISD:Telescope: UnParking...

[2021-02-21T19:08:16.497 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Capturing image..."
[2021-02-21T19:08:16.535 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - iOptron CEM25 : "[INFO] Telescope already unparked. "
[2021-02-21T19:08:18.046 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - Mount status changed from "Idle" to "Tracking"
[2021-02-21T19:08:20.569 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - processBLOB() mode 4
[2021-02-21T19:08:20.898 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Image received."
[2021-02-21T19:08:20.904 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Automatically downsampling the image by 3"
[2021-02-21T19:08:20.946 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Evaluating Installed RAM for inParallel Option. Total Size of Index files: 1.22301 GB, Installed RAM: 7.36862 GB, Free RAM: 4.33127 GB"
[2021-02-21T19:08:20.948 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "There should be enough RAM to load the indexes in parallel."
[2021-02-21T19:08:20.950 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++"
[2021-02-21T19:08:20.951 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Starting Internal StellarSolver Sextractor with the 4-SmallScaleSolving profile . . ."
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.101 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Stars Found before Filtering: 355"
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.103 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Removing the stars with a/b ratios greater than 1.5"
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.104 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Keeping just the 50 brightest stars"
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.105 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Stars Found after Filtering: 50"
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.107 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++"
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.108 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Configuring StellarSolver"
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.404 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Scale range: 85.3931 to 169.428 arcmin wide"
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.406 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Image width: 4656 pixels, Downsampled Image width: 1552 pixels; arcsec per pixel range: 3.30128 to 6.55004"
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.408 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++"
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.409 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Starting Internal StellarSolver Astrometry.net based Engine with the 4-SmallScaleSolving profile. . ."
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.463 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++"
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.484 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Solve Log Odds: 104.543"
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.486 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Number of Matches: 17"
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.487 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Solved with index: 4211"
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.488 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Field center: (RA,Dec) = (88.8818, 7.40959) deg."
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.489 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Field center: (RA H:M:S, Dec D:M:S) = (05:55:31.642, +07:24:34.538)."
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.490 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Field is: (1013.82, -3.59769) deg from search coords."
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.492 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Field size: 2.35346 x 1.77875 degrees"
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.493 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Pixel Scale: 1.81989\""
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.494 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Field rotation angle: up is 82.5068 degrees E of N"
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.495 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Field parity: neg\n"
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.497 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Solver completed after 0.55 seconds."
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.498 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Solver RA (88.88184) DEC (7.40959) Orientation (82.50679) Pixel Scale (1.81989)"
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.499 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Solution coordinates: RA (05h 56m 40s) DEC ( 07° 24' 39\") Telescope Coordinates: RA (05h 56m 39s) DEC ( 07° 24' 31\")"
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.507 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "Please wait while WCS data is processed..."
[2021-02-21T19:08:21.547 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - ZWO CCD ASI1600MM Pro : "[INFO] CCD FOV rotation updated to 82.5068 degrees. "
[2021-02-21T19:08:25.831 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.align] - "WCS data processing is complete."


After that, polar alignment performs great....

I think, that when you change the step size from 30 degree to e.g. 20, then Tracking stops automatically and the start button becomes active, but after the initial slew and without changing the default parameters, the start button keeps being disabled, which is understandable, because how should the software know, that a polar alignment is "wanted"... .

Regards

Dirk
iOptron CEM25P
Skywatcher Evostar 72 ED DSPro
Explore Scientific ED 102
ASI 1600Mm Pro ASI EFW Mini
QHY 8L
DeepSky Dad AF1 motor focus
ASI 120MM Mini and Bresser (Touptek) 290 Guidecams
Sykwatch EvoGuide 50/242 and NoName 50/175 Guidescopes
Raspberry Pi 3 and 4
6 months 4 weeks ago #67709
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Paul (@pdmogg),

There is a (well hidden) checkbox in the alignment options menu, top tab now called "StellarSolver Options", that's called "auto park".
It should control whether the system parks after polar alignment or not. See the screenshot below.

Hy

Orion Atlas Pro, William Optics ZS105, Moonlight V2 focuser
ZWO ASI1600, OAG & Filterwheel, Astronomik Filters, QHY 5L-IIm guidecam.
KStars/Ekos/Indi on RPi4 w/SSD
Ekos Projects: Terrain Backgrounds, Polar Alignment, Analyze, Linear Focuser, SEP MultiStar & GPG Guiding, FITS autostretch.
6 months 4 weeks ago #67715
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Dirk,

I took at quick look at the code (and, BTW, this part of the code was not changed with my recent polar-alignment changes).
From what I can see, there is no issue with tracking during polar alignment. In fact, the code explicitly turns on tracking
if it isn't already tracking (though after Start is clicked).
See invent.kde.org/education/kstars/-/blob/m...lign/align.cpp#L5398

However, the Start button is explicitly disabled during slewing and re-enabled when slewing is completed:
invent.kde.org/education/kstars/-/blob/m...lign/align.cpp#L5868

I'll bet that, as I mentioned earlier, for some reason the end-of-slew status-change message was missed,
so the Start button was never re-enabled. Then, I think that when you turn off tracking, that causes a change the mount's status,
and that causes the setMountStatus method to be called again
invent.kde.org/education/kstars/-/blob/m...lign/align.cpp#L5868
and this causes the Start button to be re-enabled!

To show that this theory might be correct, I'll bet that if you did the following, it would also work.
After your slew is complete, if the Start button is not enabled, then disable tracking, and then a few seconds later re-enable tracking
(so that you've really done nothing but "shake things up").
My guess is that after all that the Start button will be enabled, with tracking on, and you'd be able to polar align.

If this is the case, I can forward this issue to someone else who knows more about mount/Ekos communications than I do.
Hy
Orion Atlas Pro, William Optics ZS105, Moonlight V2 focuser
ZWO ASI1600, OAG & Filterwheel, Astronomik Filters, QHY 5L-IIm guidecam.
KStars/Ekos/Indi on RPi4 w/SSD
Ekos Projects: Terrain Backgrounds, Polar Alignment, Analyze, Linear Focuser, SEP MultiStar & GPG Guiding, FITS autostretch.
6 months 4 weeks ago #67727
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Hello Hy,
the explanation sounds reasonable for me, I will check the turn off / turn on procedure when the next opportunity arises. and keep you updated.


Generally speaking, I am very happy with the easy and precision of the new polar alignment and especially that you do not need a view to north anymore.

Thank you again

Dirk
iOptron CEM25P
Skywatcher Evostar 72 ED DSPro
Explore Scientific ED 102
ASI 1600Mm Pro ASI EFW Mini
QHY 8L
DeepSky Dad AF1 motor focus
ASI 120MM Mini and Bresser (Touptek) 290 Guidecams
Sykwatch EvoGuide 50/242 and NoName 50/175 Guidescopes
Raspberry Pi 3 and 4
6 months 4 weeks ago #67732
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Hello Hy,
I can confirm, that disabling tracking and enabling immediately after this, keeps the "Start" button enabled.
I slewed to the target with platesolve and slew to target enabled, maybe this is where the information of the movement gets lost. I will check, what happens, if I:
1. simply slew to the target
2. slew to the target with plate solve and sync.....



Regards

Dirk
iOptron CEM25P
Skywatcher Evostar 72 ED DSPro
Explore Scientific ED 102
ASI 1600Mm Pro ASI EFW Mini
QHY 8L
DeepSky Dad AF1 motor focus
ASI 120MM Mini and Bresser (Touptek) 290 Guidecams
Sykwatch EvoGuide 50/242 and NoName 50/175 Guidescopes
Raspberry Pi 3 and 4
6 months 3 weeks ago #67820
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Hello Hy,
Radek has just updated Astroberry to include KStars 3.5.2. so I have now been able to test out your new upgraded polar alignment with the right angle triangle of adjustment. Works very well - thank you for your intensive work on it! I have yet to try out your suggestion of using manual adjustment to turn the RA axis through 60° East in advance of the PA routine. This should compensate for the PA routine turning the RA axis through two 30° shifts to end up in the Park position where the right angle triangle will have horizontal and vertical sides and the hypotenuse should directly describe the adjustment vector. I am also yet to try PA elsewhere than at the NCP, not normally needed where I set up my equipment, but could have major benefits for a friend who lives in a bowl with no view of Polaris.
Thanks again, Ed
Currently running KStars/Ekos/Indi on two Raspberry Pi 4Bs 4GByte under Raspberry Pi OS thanks to Astroberry
Two mounts, two Fracs, a Newt and a Mak and a couple of OSC cameras.
6 months 2 weeks ago #68024
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I could finally try the new polar alignment of 1.5.2 and it looks great. The circle which marks the star selected for the movement is of great help in case of correcting to fast.

However for me the alignment of the green and yellow line with Az/Alt knobs does not seem to correlate and I still follow the direct vector purple line. I would be keen to understand why that is.

The only idea I have so far is that it might be caused by the use of a dual mount where the main telescope and the guider and the main telescope are mounted side by side. So both are outside of the actual rotation axis (see attachement showing my 'home' position.)

  

Is it possible that my setup prevents that I can follow the vectors straight indicating the Alt/AZ corrections?

Thanks for any hints on what I should do differently or adjust to take full advantage of the new feature.

Alex
Standard setup: EQ6R, Williams Megrez 72- ASI 533MC -ZWO EAF, 50 mm viewfinder - ASI 120MM
Last edit: 5 months 4 weeks ago by Alexander Weis.
5 months 4 weeks ago #69008
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