OK. I read from another post appearing the ASTAP solver reads the RA,DEC coordinates from the FITS header.

Can these coordinates be override with the parameter passing (similar to Astronomy.net) in EKOS? Just suggesting as there might be a situation that the RA, DEC of the mount was not written to the FITS header at the time of the image taken; or, like my case, I'd like to do some platesolve tests from old images (where the RA, DEC coordinates where not in the FITS).



I was trying to use ASTAP platsolve and found it requires an approx RA, REC for (speeding up) platesolving.
Astronomy.net suddenly do not work (not sure why).

I've found EKOS is not giving the -ra & -spd to ASTAP, even I manually typed it in the options line box.

Can someone see if they encounter the same problem?

Kstars 3.4.3. Build: 2020-08-08T19:57:56Z



Hi everyone
Just found the latest version of Atik 490ex is having an incorrect resolution (3379x2703) which should be 3380x2704.
It's not a big problem for the image itself, just that when i process the images with the calibration frames (I've take the calibration frames way before I do the imaging session) I have to crop 1 px at each side to make the process work.
Hope this can be fixed in future releases.


Hi Guys,

Just want to share a DIY focuser I built. I was thinking to get a electronic focuser for imaging session but I've found I've already got an old skywatcher focuser. I browse a little bit on the Internet and found there'a project by Wim van Berlo here: stargazerslounge.com/topic/297619-arduin...mpatible-dc-focuser/

which I'd think, yeah, why not just do the same thing? So I ordered some parts and build one myself, but without the HAT. I was trying to make the focuser as compact as it can be (I would have shrink it into a USB thumb drive size package, which is possible). I don't have a backyward site for astrophotography and I have to carry quite a lot of gears out to a remote site. So compact and lightweight are my priority. I figured out that I can just drive a TB6612FNG breakout directly with a UNO R3 (no HAT). The UNO got a 12V feed which also fits the motor requirement. See the photos in the attachments.

Basically everything is the same as what Wim has done, the arduino was uploaded with a sketch that handles the moonlite commands. I just need to modify the pin numbers to make it work.

I used a right-angled dupont pins and solder the breakout board right to the pins. This gives me a very compact size which I can fit the whole thing onto and arduino case:

I just solder the RJ11 socket directly to the breakout. The skywatcher DC focuser uses a RJ11 to connect to the motor.

**NOTE the correction on the wiring as the picture described - on the first attempted I wired the 5V incorrectly to wired to GND.

Also the breakout board - caution when you feed 12V into it. I've broke two of the breakouts because the capacitor cannot handle 12V. (Caution: It would cause a blast with sparks when the cap blows!!!).. So make sure you check the cap before connecting 12V.

The UNO R3 case fits perfect on the position of the RJ connectors. I just need to open up a hole for connecting the cable to the jack

and that's the whole thing:

I just hope this would help someone who wants to build something compact as this one. I'm sure the size can be shrink further to somewhat a pi zero case would fit: Arduino Nano + 12v + a stepper or DC breakout.

Next I would try to drive the breakout directly from a raspberry pi - I use RPI4 and run Kstars + EKOS on it for my imaging session. If I drive the arduino focuser I need an extra USB port, which for now all the 4 USB ports are already occupied: CCD + mount + guider cam + USB thumbdrive. I also don't want to carry an extra USB hub. If I uses a ZWO camera I can make use of the USB hub on the camera body so it wouldn't be a problem but I use Atik mostly. So my next project would be feeding 12V to the RPI4 with a DC convertor (that feeds 5V3A to the RPI4 itself) and make use of the 12v to the motor and breakout so I could simply connect the motor directly to the RPI4 with the RJ11. Then develop a custom INDI focuser driver.


Thank you Eric. This would be a nice-to-have feature so I won't accidentally slew my mount (especially to some wierd position like pointing under the horizon) after platesolve.
Or may be in the UI, consider adding "Ask Me what to do", so this would pops-up, ask the user to make sure it only applies to the UI interactions.
Thanks for considering my suggestions!


Hi everyone,

Can I set the default "Solver Action", like as "Sync" in the Solver module in Ekos?
The reason I'm doing this is that I mostly perform platesolve and sync where the telescope to point to, and then perform a goto to the target.

I was hoping I can set the "Sync" and save it as the default so every time I start Ekos it would start as "Sync" instead of "Slew To".


If the SSD is just for the storage why don't you consider a USB3 thumb drive?



I'm still stuck with the horizontal lines in the captured image on my 490ex. I tried to experiment a little bit using different OS and drivers: RPI3, RPI4, Ubuntu 16, 18, 19, Raspbian buster, etc.

Found only when I use cloudmakers Atik driver 1.17 (which is pretty old already) there're no horizontal lines.
When I use Cloudmakers 1.30, libatik (the new driver) both having the horizontal lines, at different position s though.
Short captures like 10 sec the lines are visible after autostretch. At long exposures like 300 sec the lines are not visible but I didn't stack them so I don't know if that'd affect the final output or not.

Can someone help please?



there's an FAQ in Atik website about the horizontal lines saying it's the USB transfer problem. I'm not sure if this is due to the USB in RPI4 causing this.
I tried ubuntu 19.10 kstars, raspbian. All same in RPI4.