I just recently bought a Paramount MX+ and I want to use it with Ekos. There was a page from the INDI website that had instructions on setting it up, but it seems to have been taken down. Does anyone know where I can find any other tips for using the MX+ with Ekos? I've made a connection to the mount in Ekos via the TheSkyX server function, but I have not been able to successfully complete the alignment process, nor guide. Before I get to the point where I start uploading logs I want to make sure I have everything configured correctly.
I use Ekos with my Paramount MyT via TheSkyX just as you describe. You've done the hardest part (connecting INDI/Ekos to the TCP server in TheSkyX).
What I do is to get everything set up in TheSkyX first (TPoint model, Periodic Error Correction, etc). Then connect from Ekos. I have been guiding in Ekos through PHD2. The alignment works extremely well because of the underlying TPoint model in TheSkyX -- that is, Ekos tells the mount to point someplace and it hits it pretty much dead on the first try.
If you haven't used Ekos before, there's a significant learning curve, but once the mount is connected it's the same as any other mount.
You'll want to move through the tabs in Ekos, setting up camera, focuser, guider, and plate solving.
Once you have your MX+ connected try just right-clicking the planetarium screen, then select slew. Once it's done moving the mount, take a short exposure in the imaging tab to make sure it works.
You might want to set up a local solver like astrometry.net or ASTAP because Ekos won't have access to the "native" plate solving from TheSkyX. On the other hand if you have a good TPoint model set up in TheSkyX your pointing wish be so good you might not need solving at all. That just has to be done once unless you tear down your equipment each night.
If you have specific questions, I'd be happy to help.
Hey Wade - welcome to team Red! the link looks like it's back up.
1). alignment and T-Point modelling is critical - you cannot (at least to my knowledge) use EKOS for further improving alignment/gotos of the mount.
2). Synch does NOT work as intended and in fact may cause more problems than it solves - so you will need to update the Astrometry to use Differential Slewing.
Otherwise ping me and I'm happy to help
GSO Ritchey Chretien 12" Truss | SkyWatcher ED72
ZWO ASI 2600MC Pro, 1600MM Pro, ASI290MM and ASI224MC all-sky | ZEO EFW | ZWO OAG
Moonlite V2.5 CSL | DeepSkyDad AF3
EQ8-R | Paramount ME & MX
Nexdome | SQM LE | AAG CloudWatcher and Solo | Ultimate Power Box V2 | Spike-a-Flat
So, if I select differential slewing astrometry will solve successfully, but Ekos won't then slew to updated coordinates, or start the capture image over again to confirm it is within the arcsecond margin I've set. Is this normal behavior for differential slewing? If so, I cannot automate my session if I can't center the target properly.
Last edit: 1 year 5 months ago by Wade Prunty. Reason: Missing quote.
I totally get that. And that is what I want to happen. TPoint creates such a great pointing model, I would not want Ekos to mess with that at all. My issue is that the Ekos Align tool is not completing a full "closed loop slew." I'll type out how it happens below.
1. I use the mount control panel to slew to a target.
2. In the Align tab I select Capture & Solve with Slew to Target selected. Within the solver options I have "Use differential slewing instead of syncing" selected.
3. An image is taken and Astrometry solves it right away. Now it shows the arc second error in the Solution Coordinates Error box.
4. Ekos reports the mount is slewing to the solved coordinates.
5. When slewing completes Ekos reports that alignment has been completed within my accuracy requirement and ends its alignment process.
Normally the alignment behavior, when not using differential slewing, would be that after step 4 a new image would be taken and solved to confirm that the previous solve and slew did bring it within my accuracy settings. But this is not happening, and actually the mount seems not to have slewed like step 5 reported. It never continues to confirm the alignment.
Is what I'm reporting the expected behavior of the alignment tool when using differential slewing? If Ekos doesn't truly complete the "closed loop slew" then I'll never be able to use it with the Paramount.
If this is not the expected behavior then I will run this process again and upload the logs from it.
Thanks again for taking the time to help me with this! I REALLY REALLY love Ekos and want to continue to be able to utilize it for my acquisition sessions.
I've been using Kstars/Ekos/INDI/PHD2 for a while with a Celestron CGX, and have just upgraded to a Paramount MX+. I'm running Kstars 3.5.3 with PHD 2.6.9dev5 on Ubuntu 20, connecting to TheSkyX 10.5.0 (Build 12846) via TCP at the loopback address 127.0.0.1@3040
Slewing works great, and it's been a seamless transition in general. I've been able to successfully connect, calibrate and "sort of" guide.
My problem is that PHD2 guiding feels glacial - and doesn't work that well. Previously with the CGX, I had been able to guide with as short as 0.5s exposures and everything felt snappy. With the Paramount via indi_paramount_telescope, even with 3s exposures, it seems like there's an extra second or two added between imaging, guiding and update activities, and sometimes updates come in bursts. I tried updating the polling frequency to the mount (vs 0.5s then 0.25s) but that doesn't seem to make a difference.
Has anyone else experienced this problem? I'd invest time in getting TSX guiding working, but it doesn't help with an automation workflow on Linux.