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INDI Library v1.9.3 Released (11 Nov 2021)

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

Update Rainbow Astro RST-135(E) driver to allow syncing of star alignment.

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Happy to support. Will be a useful enhancement even for RST-135 albeit not as helpful as supporting unguided operation for RST-135E.
Borg 107FL, Astro-Tech AT130EDT; Rainbow Astro RST-135 SkyShed Pier; QHY600PH Chroma LRGBHa; QHY5-III-462C; IR Guiding WO Uniguide 50 & ASI290mm mini; ASUS PN51 ubuntu, kstars/ekos, & firecapture; Pegasus PPBA; Stellarvue Optimus + WO Redcat, Skyguider Pro RT90C, rPi4/stellarmate
The following user(s) said Thank You: W J Drijfhout
2 months 6 days ago #77436

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Done. For anyone who wants to support this feature, you can do that here: issuehunt.io/r/indilib/indi/issues/1564
Willem Jan Drijfhout
astroworldcreations.com
2 months 6 days ago #77437

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Willem, I have some questions regarding your issue description:
What I would like to have is a checkbox in the driver to turn on 'star alignment on sync'. When ticked, a regular sync command from Ekos would then be interpreted in the mount as star alignment point. As soon as the mount has received at least 5 star alignment points, it automatically calculates this model. [Is this something you would like to have or is this BJ's statement how the mount works?] If such an option is available, the existing mount model functionality in Ekos  can be used to just define five (or more) random alignment points, press 'run', and the model builds itself in the mount. Once the model is built, the check-box can be unchecked again if desired.

The protocol's command "star sync" is already implemented into the INDI driver, though I don't know yet where/when this function gets called during Ekos operation. Sorry, self explaining... 
Last edit: 2 months 6 days ago by Christopher.
2 months 6 days ago #77448

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@Christopher, the automatic calculation of the model in the mount is something that already exists in the mount's firmware. But it only does that if it is fed with 'star alignment' points. But even if you do 20 syncs from Ekos, the number of 'star alignment points' in the mount is still 0. So the 'Sync' command from Ekos should have the option to behave as 'star alignment'.
I also have a 10Micron mount, and there Ekos 'sync' behaves always as a star alignment point and you can create your mount model already with three alignment points. The mount model in 10Micron mounts is much more advanced, and separate software is written to manage those models (MountWizzard, Modelcreator). The RST-135(E) has a much more simple model, which can be easily fed from Ekos, as long as Ekos is sending 'star alignment' syncs.
This link is to a supplementary document on the mount, which describes a lot more detail on this model, and Chris Woodhouse is much better in explaining it than I can. See page 13-15.
Willem Jan Drijfhout
astroworldcreations.com
Last edit: 2 months 6 days ago by W J Drijfhout.
2 months 6 days ago #77449

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Thanks, got it know.
And BJ did not yet share this additional command with you, right? Because that's definitely needed for implementing into the INDI driver. In the protocol BJ sent me some months before only the single "star sync" command is listed. But it's very likely already there since I think the ASCOM driver will use the identical serial command set and not a completely different protocol (maybe I'm mistaken though).
2 months 6 days ago #77450

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No, not yet. But he said that he would if we wanted to update the INDI driver for this. He also referenced the ASCOM driver that has such an option. Not sure why the earlier protocol did not have this command. I remember someone saying that at the start BJ wanted to keep things as simple as possible, as that was the focus of the mount. Fiddling with mount models did not fit that picture. But if that's true, I don't know.
Did you write the current INDI driver?
Willem Jan Drijfhout
astroworldcreations.com
2 months 6 days ago #77451

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No, Jasem wrote the driver. I just contributed some fixes regarding time and location pulling.
I could give the syncing a look if I had the commands. Do you want to ask BJ – I think that's more straight forward since you already opened the discussion with him about this topic.
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2 months 6 days ago #77453

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2 months 6 days ago #77455

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Hi Guys I'd loved to give it a try and supplement the star alignment function at the INDI driver and test with my RST135.
I'd just need to see what would be the command strings the mount will be accepting.

Stephen
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Last edit: 2 months 5 days ago by Stephen Wong. Reason: edit content
2 months 5 days ago #77470

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That's great news, Stephen. Christopher was also open to help with this. I asked BJ yesterday for the protocol, so as soon as I have it, I will send to you.
Willem Jan Drijfhout
astroworldcreations.com
The following user(s) said Thank You: Stephen Wong
2 months 5 days ago #77474

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@Stephen Wong and @Christopher, I sent you both a DM with the document sent by BJ. Would be great if you could find a way how to build this into the driver. 
Willem Jan Drijfhout
astroworldcreations.com
2 months 3 days ago #77517

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Willem, I've got a working solution now. It exactly behaves as your requested "What I would like to have is a checkbox in the driver to turn on 'star alignment on sync'. When ticked, a regular sync command from Ekos would then be interpreted in the mount as star alignment point. As soon as the mount has received at least 5 star alignment points, it automatically calculates this model. If such an option is available, the existing mount model functionality in Ekos can be used to just define five (or more) random alignment points, press 'run', and the model builds itself in the mount. Once the model is built, the check-box can be unchecked again if desired."

Stephen pointed out that there's kind of an integrated feature of INDI called "INDI Alignment Subsystem". This is not used in my solution (but is used in the 10micron driver). To be honest, I don't fully understand how this subsystem works or should work. In my understanding this computes a mount model inside of Ekos/INDI, which should be the wrong way to go for Rainbow RST mounts, since they are computing their models inside the RST hardware only based on given star alignment points.

I faced one problem though: There's a random behaviour of RST's hand controller where it crashes. After I sent over the star alignment command the display on the hand controller correctly displays the star alignment but crashes after hitting the "ESC" button on the controller. I have no idea how this is connected. The display gets blank and it needs several seconds for a reboot. The mount's processor itself does obviously not crash though, since its continuously communicating with INDI. Additionally the hand controller shows some stored alignment data after the crash/reboot.
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2 months 3 days ago #77543

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