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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.

Collimation Circles

2 months 2 weeks ago
Marc2b
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Collimation Circles #50883
David: You resize the window and it resizes the outer ring. Then you roll the mouse and you adjust the size of the inner ring :)
Right click changes the color.
The window always stays on top, so you can move whatever window you have under for alignment purpose.

It's written in C under GTK. As I barely know Qt, it would take me much more time to do this same trivial thing.
And it's easy to add to the fitsviewer a new icon launching my offspring :)

- Marc

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2 months 2 weeks ago
Megiddo
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Collimation Circles #50885
Price-wise, I was talking about the purchase price of the QT Framework... it's >$5000. Yikes! I have to be seeing that wrong.

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2 months 2 weeks ago
Megiddo
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Collimation Circles #50886
Ah, I was playing around with CodeLite on the Raspberry. I saw C under GTK.

But very nice Marc!

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2 months 2 weeks ago
TallFurryMan
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Collimation Circles #50890

Megiddo wrote: Eric... this is precisely what got me thinking about this in the first place.

I was doing the very same thing (using guiding to keep the star centered). I thought, wow this could be slightly tweaked to have the added and enlargeable collimation circles to be able to center the donut!


Yes! I just wanted to formalize the procedure so we could imagine an assistant.

@Marc2b: Could you formalize how you expect the circles to extend or shrink? Is there a relation with aperture? How would you manage elongation, and what information would you gain from it?

-Eric

HEQ5-Pro - Atik 314E - Orion ED80T - DMK21 on Orion 50mm
DIY 3D-printed Moonlite and FWheel RGB/LPR
KStars and indiserver on two Atom 1.6GHz 1GB RAM Linux, VPN remote access

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2 months 2 weeks ago
Lead_weight
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Collimation Circles #50891
I'm not a fan of this living on the focus tab, unless you can save your settings and reload them. So much room for error if you don't forget to put it back the way it was. I lose whole nights of imaging when focus goes bad.

-Andrew
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Mac Observatory - All about using the Mac for Astrophotography: www.macobservatory.com
Astrobin: www.astrobin.com/users/Lead_Weight/

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2 months 2 weeks ago
dmsummers
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Collimation Circles #50893
I would concur with Andrew about probably needing a new home (tab) that goes beyond the issue of putting focus tab settings back. Should we be considering a "collimation" tab? If you think about what features might be included in time, one could imagine a looping track control for the out-of-focus image, concentric circles, metrics for WFE quality, and potentially inward focus/outward focus comparision. An aid for the collimation screws/direction to adjust could be even longer term desirable.... I think a collimation tab might prove useful.

RASA11, Celestron CGX-L, ASI183mc Pro, 60mm guider + ASI290mm mini, ASI EAF focuser, PPB, Rpi4-4Gb+SSD, Powered USB3 hub, hardwire Ethernet.

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2 months 2 weeks ago 2 months 2 weeks ago by Marc2b.
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Collimation Circles #50894
Ok this is a test run...

So, you start sct-colim, then adjust the size of the window so the outer ring fits the exterior brim of your donut.
Then you use the left click/right click to adapt the size on the inner ring to the circle of the secondary mirror. (wheel mouse in the dark... not good, too easy to roll it unwillingly). And you can change the colour (RGB) with the central click. Window is always on top.
Program is x86_64. Haven't tried to build it on a raspi so far. Hope for clear skies tonite. ;)
Please test it if you can. I'll publish the source as soon as everything is OK. You need GTK+2.0 GDK and cairo libs installed.

- Marc
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2 months 2 weeks ago
Megiddo
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Collimation Circles #50897

Marc2b wrote: I'll publish the source as soon as everything is OK. You need GTK+2.0 GDK and cairo libs installed.

- Marc


I assume you mean we should do: sudo apt-get install libgtk2.0-dev

I did and was able to build and execute the sample Codelite GTK 2.4C.

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2 months 2 weeks ago 2 months 2 weeks ago by Marc2b.
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Collimation Circles #50901
First real life test... Sure it's a bonus ... :)

- Marc

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The following user(s) said Thank You TallFurryMan

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2 months 2 weeks ago
TallFurryMan
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Collimation Circles #50903

Lead_weight wrote: I'm not a fan of this living on the focus tab, unless you can save your settings and reload them. So much room for error if you don't forget to put it back the way it was. I lose whole nights of imaging when focus goes bad.


Agreed on the subject of settings. I've got yet another code branch on my computer that provides settings serialization for all tabs, that is, saving and loading tab settings to XML files. Not complete yet, no...

However, we need to keep the amount of tabs minimal. Right now we have:
- Manager, responsible for editing profiles, and starting the INDI server and drivers.
- Scheduler, responsible for orchestrating observation sessions.
- Mount, responsible for pointing and monitoring the telescope movement.
- Capture, responsible for exposing one, eventually filtered, optical sensor.
- Focus, responsible for moving the sensor to the optimal focus plane.
- Align, responsible for resolving the position of the telescope.
- Guide, responsible for keeping sensor pixels illuminated by the same sky spatial angle.
- Observatory, responsible for ensuring safe operation of the observation setup.

The next tabs that could appear are a log analyzer and a storage manager. Whatever feature we create, we need to find the best location where to insert it: if a collimation helper is created, then its best location is clearly the Focus module currently.
When development progresses and that helper takes so many settings that it doesn't fit the Focus tab anymore, then, agreed, it should move out. Frankly, right now, most of the features are already covered by Focus.

dmsummers wrote: If you think about what features might be included in time, one could imagine a looping track control for the out-of-focus image, concentric circles, metrics for WFE quality, and potentially inward focus/outward focus comparision. An aid for the collimation screws/direction to adjust could be even longer term desirable....

Unless we get much help, Ekos cannot achieve the same level of specialization as SkyGuide or CCD Inspector. But some neat things can be done.

That's why I listed the steps of the procedure that best fits the OP requirement, in order to find where elements should be fixed, improved or automated. I understand that:
- altering settings with no way to return to stable values is a BIG problem for many of us.
- the cross-hairs overlay should be configurable, and/or should fit star properties detected in the sub-frame.
- process automation would be desirable, in the same way as the polar alignment tool.

Any other ideas?

-Eric

HEQ5-Pro - Atik 314E - Orion ED80T - DMK21 on Orion 50mm
DIY 3D-printed Moonlite and FWheel RGB/LPR
KStars and indiserver on two Atom 1.6GHz 1GB RAM Linux, VPN remote access

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2 months 2 weeks ago
Lead_weight
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Collimation Circles #50904
I'm thinking there needs to be a way to invoke interfaces that are not regularly used in an imaging session but could borrow from components that are already built. Maybe just make it a button on the Camera tab to launch a collimation interface that borrows heavily all the correct components.

This would be similar to the mount model feature on the align tab.

-Andrew
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Mac Observatory - All about using the Mac for Astrophotography: www.macobservatory.com
Astrobin: www.astrobin.com/users/Lead_Weight/

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2 months 2 weeks ago 2 months 2 weeks ago by Marc2b.
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Collimation Circles #50905

TallFurryMan wrote: @Marc2b: Could you formalize how you expect the circles to extend or shrink? Is there a relation with aperture? How would you manage elongation, and what information would you gain from it?

-Eric


I agree the best place is in the focuser tab. That seems obvious as you need to focus in/focus out along the process
(i.e you need to test extra focus AND intra focus, if the difference is important, it could mean your Shmidt blade is misaligned).

I think you need to deal with the two circles (one for the outer ring and one for the inner ring) separately. At least it's what I have done...
How you do this is not really important, this is trivial to program..

I think The process should be linked in a way or another with autoguiding. Trying to collimate an SCT (most particularly the longest ones)
without autoguiding is just futile.

I also think we could have 2 presets :
- One fast fps 100/300 mlsecs and high gain for "ordinary" nights.
- One slow fps 1000->3000 mlsecs low gain for high turbulences nights.

For elongation, I have no (simple) idea. The simplest way is probably to put the test star in the middle of the field.
Remember some SCTs are corrected, other not, if you have in mind to test both the center and the edges ...

- Marc

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