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INDI Library v2.0.7 is Released (01 Apr 2024)

Bi-monthly release with minor bug fixes and improvements

Raspberry Pi camera does not connect

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Hi all, I bought a Raspberry Pi HQ camera the other day to use as a guide camera in my setup. Since the website of Stellarmate says that this is supported, I was surprised when I started INDI as usual in KStars, but it remained with a "Starting INDI services...". Then I looked if the INDI driver indi-rpicam is installed and lo and behold, I could not find it in the list after entering the command "dpkg -l". Then I tried to install the driver manually according to the following instructions (www.indilib.org/raspberry-pi/raspberry-pi-camera.html), but without success. I get the error message that the command add-apt-repository does not exist and probably related to that, that the repository indi-rpicam could not be located. In addition, I noticed that I could not enable the camera from the RPI configuration via the user interface, but had to activate it via the command line tool. Unfortunately, I do not know from here on and would be very happy about help. Many thanks in advance!
1 year 5 months ago #88940

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I don't think the Rpi HQ camera is sensitive enough to be a guide camera.
A guide camera needs 1-4 second exposures which is probably too short to get any useful images.
The rpi camera would work as a main camera via long enough exposures (1-5 mins say). Not sure about your issue with the driver but I suspect you may have difficulties even if you had it working.
A better low cost option would be the ASI120 mini mono camera ( at about 3x price of pi HQ)/
I use an RPI HQ camera as an allsky camera
(see : github.com/thomasjacquin/allsky )
to monitor the sky and cloud during a session.
The pi camera with this setup usually runs at 60sec exposures by default which is enough to see stars and clouds.
You might consider redeploying your camera like that if you can't get it working with your current setup. Good luck.
Nick
1 year 5 months ago #88950

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Hey Nick, thanks a lot for your reply. Yes, I know the ASI120 mini mono is probably the better choice in terms of guiding, but as you say, it is also much more expensive, which is why I wanted to try the RPI HQ first. I had previously used an even cheaper microscope camera, which can only expose 1/10s. Even with this camera, guiding was possible, only with bright stars, but the result was satisfactory. What didn't work is the Polar Alignment Assistant, because it was just not sensitive enough. With the RPI HQ it should work I think. If you also own Stellarmate OS I would be very happy if you could try to connect your camera to it and report how and if it works.
Greetings, Marc
1 year 5 months ago #88957

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What is the driver for the rpi camera ?
/usr/bin/indi_???_ccd ?
I have astroberry on the allsky cam box but cant locate a driver that loads.

I get this with RPi cam:

Failed to start profile on remote INDI Web Manager.
1 year 5 months ago #88959

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Thanks for testing it out! The driver is called indi-rpicam, but does not seem to be preinstalled on stellarmate OS and unfortunately I do not know how to install it (see original post).
1 year 5 months ago #88974

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Some sort of bug in the starting procedure, I couldnt get it to start automatically from EKOS but it does seem to work.

I managed to start indiserver manually on the allsky box and took a 1s exposure using the telescope simulator with indi-rpicam

On pi server:
indiserver -l -v -p 7624 -m 300 -r 0 indi_rpicam indi_simulator_telescope

Change the driver list to suit your setup. Eg with skywatcher eqmod and zwo camera it would be:
indiserver -l -v -p 7624 -m 300 -r 0 indi_rpicam indi_asi_ccd indi_eqmod_telescope

That's as far as I can get.
I wouldn't hold out your hope too much as the driver doesn't seem very stable and kept crashing. Not suitable fot 1000's of guiding shots unless it improves.
1 year 5 months ago #88977

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Hi Marc. I managed to compile the latest driver )version 1.9.9 and that seems better (astroberry tends to lag).
If this is the latest version in Stellarmate then it might work using the manual stratup like I described.
If you can login to stellarmate rpi box and type:

apt list | grep libindi-data

It will say the version eg
libindi-data/jammy,jammy,now 1.9.9

Nick
1 year 5 months ago #88992

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Hey Nick, thanks a lot for your replies! I tried to start the indi server manually without success. It cannot find the indi_rpicam driver. I also tried indi-rpicam with the same result. libindi-data seems to be updated (version 1.9.9). I guess I just have to install the indi_rpicam driver manually. Problem is, I dont really now how to do that and couldnt find any useful information on this topic. I also tried to factory reset the stellarmate OS via the stellarmate tools application and then updated stellarmate os which didnt help either. Screenshot with the outputs:

1 year 5 months ago #88999
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That's odd. If you can login (ssh) to your stellarmate. indi_rpicam should be located in the directory /usr/bin
pi@skycam:~ $ ls -al /usr/bin/indi_rpicam
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 943740 Dec 13 14:47 /usr/bin/indi_rpicam

If there is nothing there then maybe stellarmate doesn't have it.
I attach a zip file with the diver I compiled.

First check what stellarmate os is because I have no idea. Login to stelllarmate and use cat and arch as follows:
pi@skycam:~ $ cat /etc/os-release
PRETTY_NAME="Raspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)"
NAME="Raspbian GNU/Linux"

pi@skycam:~ $ arch
armv7l

If it says something similar (buster and armv7l) then you are probably ok.

You need to copy the zip file to stellarmate (scp from linux or (putty) pscp from windows)
Linux:
scp indi_rpicam.zip This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.: indi_rpicam.zip
Windows
pscp indi_rpicam.zip This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.: indi_rpicam.zip
Or failing that take the sd card out and copy the file over and re-insert it (remembering where you copied it to)

On stellarmate you need to be in the / directory

cd /
sudo unzip [path to where file is located]/indi_rpicam.zip

This should install it in /usr/bin.
Of course this may not work either since my version of pi os may differ . I dont have stellarmate so sorry.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Marc
1 year 5 months ago #89020
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Hey, I just installed the driver, I noticed that unlike you I do not have Buster, but the bullseye version. Unfortunately the driver crashes as soon as I try to start the Indiserver in ekos. I also found another topic on this subject, which describes in more detail the problem with the RPI camera. Probably the easiest way is to either buy another camera or somehow try to follow the instructions from the forum entry. indilib.org/forum/ccds-dslrs/6990-driver...-camera.html?start=0
1 year 5 months ago #89032

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Yes it will do.
The library versions are different on buster vs bullseye so it wont work - that's why I suggested you to check if they were compatible (ie buster +armv7l) before installing.
Unfortunately I don't have the time to install bullseye or a spare pi4 to compile again (My skycam is sealed into a weatherproof box).
You can try getting a message Jasem to ask if rpicam driver can be added to stelaarmate.
1 year 5 months ago #89036

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The Bullseye version of rasbian (and thus, stellarmateOS) depreciated the old camera system, its no longer using rpicam, but, instead, using libcamera.

Unfortunately, Indi /stellarmate does not have a compatible driver for the RpiHQ cam. This is something I discovered only -after- buying the software.

I sent in a ticket asking about getting it functional, or getting a refund. Jaesm told me that they hope to have the indi-libcamrea system working in a 'few weeks'; and suggested I monitor the indi-libcamera thread (which has had no activity for a few days.)

I did attempt to self-compile the indi-libcamera driver that's in progress, since it looked to be at least semi-functional, but to be honest, it started to prove more of a hassle than it was worth.

For the time being, I've just installed normal bullseye on my SD card, and I'm using a very basic software to make some use of the camera.

I feel that the Indi devices section could use an update, since it implies that the Rpi-cam and RpiHQcam should be fine (And they probably are, on a 32 bit OS, which is no longer supported by stellarmate).

The entire situation has been a bit disheartening.
Last edit: 1 year 5 months ago by lag0matic. Reason: typeo/formatting
1 year 5 months ago #89050

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