×
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.

Guiding nightmare

10 months 3 weeks ago
crw4096
Expert Boarder
Expert Boarder
Posts: 94
More
Guiding nightmare #43671
Hi,

I highly recommend using PHD2 for guiding. I had problems like you are describing for at least a year, up until early July, which is when I switched to PHD2. Since then, guiding has been much much better.

PHD2 is fairly well integrated with EKOS, but it does require that you start it up separately from kstars/EKOS. This has not been a problem for me.

A very useful part of PHD2 is Guiding Assistant. I highly recommend using it for 2x or 3x your worm period before you start guiding.

Anyway, I don't mean to diss the guiding in EKOS, but it seems that implementing a guiding algorithm is a lot harder than it might seem at first. PHD2 has so much good stuff in it, plus excellent documentation. I don't know what the magic is, but I'd give PHD2 a try.

Charles

Ubuntu 18.04 and Raspbian Jessie; INDI 1.7.4
Mounts: CEM-60 chiefly; iEQ45
Cameras: Atik 383L+, QHY5-II-M
Focuser: Moonlite

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

10 months 3 weeks ago
jerry
Gold Boarder
Gold Boarder
Posts: 187
Karma: 1
More
Guiding nightmare #43681
Hi Rob,

Re "integrate all the functions that I could in Ekos" Are the guide star image and guiding history currently supposed to be displayed in the Setup pane of EKOS when using PHD2? They show up for me only when using internal guiding.

Thanks

120 MM Skywatcher Esprit on Celestron CGX
ZWO ASI 224MC or QHY-5L-II-M for guiding
Nikon Z7 8256 x 5504, 35.9 x 23.9mm 4.34 um pixel size
Triad Ultra Quad Band Narrow Filter
Kstars installations:
1) Odroid-N2 Ubuntu-mate 20.04
2) StellarMate on RPI4 8G
3) KStars on Astroberry RPI3.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

10 months 3 weeks ago
wotalota
Gold Boarder
Gold Boarder
Posts: 176
More
Guiding nightmare #43682
I use the daily build. KStars 3.3.6, INDI 1.8.1-2.6. Guide camera ASI 174.
Cable drag and balance might be a factor although neither were adjusted going from bad to good guiding.
Did the same image again last night with similar results, started badly and gradually became stable. In my
case I'm thinking it might be associated with the location in the sky which was directly overhead. Started
settup right after a meridian flip, combined perhaps with balance or cabling. As the target moved a little
westward things calmed down, just a thought.

Mach1, TS86SDQ, ASI071, ASI174, OAG, focusPro

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

10 months 3 weeks ago
the.cakemaker
Gold Boarder
Gold Boarder
Posts: 310
More
Guiding nightmare #43683
My last experiences with the internal guider are, that it helped quite a lot to check back the polar-alignment and to sync the scopes EXACTLY to the same star.
This is proved by the fact, that when i was using OffAxisGuiding, things went much better.
I hade to change to finder-guiding because of hardware...

cheers
Niki

Skywatcher EQ6-R | Lacerta 10" Carbon-Newton | Lacerta MFoc Motorfocus | Moravian G2 8300 Color | Canon EOS 5DMarkIIIa | Lodestar X2 guiding cam | KSTARS 3.4.3. on my outdoor-Laptop with KDE-Neon/Plasma | KSTARS 3.4.3. on Remote-IMac with Catalina | KSTARS 3.4.3 on Remote-Macbook Air with Catalina

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

10 months 3 weeks ago
rlancaste
Platinum Boarder
Platinum Boarder
Posts: 2265
Karma: 22
More
Guiding nightmare #43686
Yes Absolutely, you should be getting information from PHD2 when using it for external guiding. You should get both the image and the guiding information. This is what I spent so much time getting working properly. If there is an issue where some functionality got lost because somebody was working on something related, and it broke one of these things, I can go back and fix it again.

There are supposed to be two ways you can use PHD2. There is an option that says "Receive all external guide frames." The way that this should work is that if you have the same guide camera connected both to PHD2 and to Ekos, you can have the image fully load in both places. Ekos has no need for this image, since it isn't doing the guiding, but you can have it display there for you to see what the guider is doing. The other possibility is that you could have Ekos display just the star profile image, which PHD2 is always sending with the guide data no matter whether the camera is only connected to PHD2 or if it is an INDI camera. The method I always use is to get just the star profile image and I know that method is working because I use it all the time. If the other method no longer works for some reason, let me know and I will look into it.

My belief is that the option to receive just the star profile image is far superior to receiving the whole external guide frame. If you have the camera connected to INDI and it has to send images across the wifi network, that really slows down response time for guiding. It is much better to set up your INDI profile to leave out the Guide camera if it is natively supported by PHD2, then directly connect your camera to PHD2, and connect to PHD2 from Ekos. This won't hurt the control of the camera because PHD2 is the one doing the guiding and you can control most of the important functions from Ekos. The star profile image and all guiding data will come back to Ekos, and while the star profile image isn't that big, it is definitely good enough to see the star PHD2 is using for guiding and to see that there are no problems with the guider. As I said, I know this is working perfectly still because I was just using it last night and I have it running right now in the simulators with no issues.

This is a current screenshot right now with the latest versions of everything.

Attachments:
The following user(s) said Thank You Gonzothegreat, jnowat

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

10 months 3 weeks ago
rlancaste
Platinum Boarder
Platinum Boarder
Posts: 2265
Karma: 22
More
Guiding nightmare #43687
To clarify I think that the best way to use PHD2 with Ekos (assuming you have a raspberry pi connected to your equipment and you are using a laptop to remotely control it) is to:

1. Run PHD2 on the PI and directly connect your guide camera to it if possible (using PHD2's native camera support, NOT INDI). This makes the guiding very responsive and it is controlled by software on a computer that is really close to the equipment. Also not being connected to INDI allows faster image refresh rates since it doesn't have to send the image over the network

2. Setup your profile in Ekos on the laptop to use PHD2 as the external guider on the pi. DO NOT put the guide camera itself into your profile. This way KStars doesn't try to get the frames from the guide camera. It doesn't need them, PHD2 will still send the star profile image.
The following user(s) said Thank You the.cakemaker

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

10 months 3 weeks ago
jerry
Gold Boarder
Gold Boarder
Posts: 187
Karma: 1
More
Guiding nightmare #43691

The other possibility is that you could have Ekos display just the star profile image, which PHD2 is always sending with the guide data no matter whether the camera is only connected to PHD2 or if it is an INDI camera. The method I always use is to get just the star profile image and I know that method is working because I use it all the time. If the other method no longer works for some reason, let me know and I will look into it.

My belief is that the option to receive just the star profile image is far superior to receiving the whole external guide frame. If you have the camera connected to INDI and it has to send images across the wifi network, that really slows down response time for guiding. It is much better to set up your INDI profile to leave out the Guide camera if it is natively supported by PHD2, then directly connect your camera to PHD2, and connect to PHD2 from Ekos. This won't hurt the control of the camera because PHD2 is the one doing the guiding and you can control most of the important functions from Ekos. The star profile image and all guiding data will come back to Ekos, and while the star profile image isn't that big, it is definitely good enough to see the star PHD2 is using for guiding and to see that there are no problems with the guider. As I said, I know this is working perfectly still because I was just using it last night and I have it running right now in the simulators with no issues.


Excellent advice! Once my QHY-5L-II-M is working again with a (forthcoming) library fix, I'll try this.
I normally connect to Rpi (or in my case Odroid-N2) via NoMachine, rather than local Mac -> Rpi on the assumption that I would have performance problems moving too much between hosts -> my .fits files are 90M.

120 MM Skywatcher Esprit on Celestron CGX
ZWO ASI 224MC or QHY-5L-II-M for guiding
Nikon Z7 8256 x 5504, 35.9 x 23.9mm 4.34 um pixel size
Triad Ultra Quad Band Narrow Filter
Kstars installations:
1) Odroid-N2 Ubuntu-mate 20.04
2) StellarMate on RPI4 8G
3) KStars on Astroberry RPI3.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

10 months 3 weeks ago
Ihoujin
Platinum Boarder
Platinum Boarder
Posts: 904
Karma: 3
More
Guiding nightmare #43715
Thank you Rob for the suggestion to use the guide camera with it's natively supported PHD2 driver. Up to now I have been using it with the INDI driver because I like being able to use it for plate solving. On the Pi3 this was practically required because it was very slow to solve a large camera image. I'm using a Pi4 now, and the plate solving performance is far better now. So I will try moving away for guide scope pointing and dedicate it to PHD2 next time.

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.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

10 months 3 weeks ago
aj55
Senior Boarder
Senior Boarder
Posts: 42
More
Guiding nightmare #43722
Hi Rob,
I run PHD2 on the Pi and Ekos on my laptop as you suggest. I don't have the lodestar in my profile, but Ekos finds it anyway!
Is there a way to specifically leave-out a camera?
Cheers Arnold

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

10 months 3 weeks ago
the.cakemaker
Gold Boarder
Gold Boarder
Posts: 310
More
Guiding nightmare #43726
Thanks Rob, this is indeed interesting. I will have a go on this.
The Information, (guiding graph) is still sent to EKOS this way?

cheers
Niki

Skywatcher EQ6-R | Lacerta 10" Carbon-Newton | Lacerta MFoc Motorfocus | Moravian G2 8300 Color | Canon EOS 5DMarkIIIa | Lodestar X2 guiding cam | KSTARS 3.4.3. on my outdoor-Laptop with KDE-Neon/Plasma | KSTARS 3.4.3. on Remote-IMac with Catalina | KSTARS 3.4.3 on Remote-Macbook Air with Catalina

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

10 months 3 weeks ago
rlancaste
Platinum Boarder
Platinum Boarder
Posts: 2265
Karma: 22
More
Guiding nightmare #43728
Yes Niki, I was just using it again last night while imaging Andromeda. All data should come back to Ekos as shown in my screenshot if configured correctly. It is possible that somebody made a change that made this no longer work when configured differently than I described above (as I mentioned). I never change my configuration because as I described above, I think its the best way to do it. If it stopped working for my setup one day, I would definitely do something about it. I find the data, the star profile image, and all the graphs to be very useful, particularly because I am running PHD2 on a totally different computer and don't want to view it over VNC all the time.

Arnold, is your camera natively supported by PHD2? If so, then you don't need to start up an INDI driver to control it. Ekos is probably finding it still, even though it is not in your profile, because you are using the camera in PHD2 with the INDI driver. Is that right? If it is natively supported, then select that instead of running the INDI driver for that camera.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

10 months 3 weeks ago
aj55
Senior Boarder
Senior Boarder
Posts: 42
More
Guiding nightmare #43731
Thanks Rob! I'll check ;-)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 0.511 seconds