Greg replied to the topic 'kstars/ekos bleeding hangs indefinitely - Xenial (mint variant)' in the forum. 1 month ago


Thanks for digging that up. It is possible this is related to the start up problem of kstars but I'm not sure. I managed to get commit fe37827 to build and install properly. For this commit the start up problem does not occur. Also, the first time I received the error I also received an application pop up to configure KWallet, which I did. Doing so didn't help.

The hang after the start up occurs after a bit of use as described. It also happens in commit fe37827 (at least) but not as consistently. I managed to get a run through using that build, but it seems unstable all around.


Greg created a new topic ' kstars/ekos bleeding hangs indefinitely - Xenial (mint variant)' in the forum. 1 month ago

The summer storms are finally over and it's time for imaging!

I've had problems getting kstars to build so reverted to the bleeding builds on my Mint system running Xenial (up to date). To be safe, I reinstalled indi-full and kstars-bleeding (apt-get install --reinstall ...), including indi-*.

What I am experiencing is roughly as follows (running from console):

- kstars starts, hangs ~ 20 seconds, at which point the following message is output. After the message is output kstars (not ekos) seems to run OK

Gkr-Message: secret service operation failed: Did not receive a reply. Possible causes include: the remote application did not send a reply, the message bus security policy blocked the reply, the reply timeout expired, or the network connection was broken.

- Start Ekos - seems ok
- Start INDI - launches the control panel, devices connect. System operates for up to a minute, then kstars hangs. I can reproduce this with real hardware as well as with the simulators
- On occasion, if I close the control panel immediately, I might get a job started. This is very hit and miss, usually ends up with a hang.

I grabbed gdb output (attached). Note that I had to interrupt the process as kstars/ekos just hangs indefinitely.

A quick test starting indiserver externally to ekos seems to help. Need to test this a bit more to confirm.


Greg replied to the topic 'Re:RE: How to visually frame a subject?' in the forum. 1 month ago

My approach to framing is as follows:

- Take an initial frame on center. Decide how I want to offset from there, then find a star or object that
- Once re-framed, select the object at the center and right click->Copy Coordinates. Put these in a text editor. You want JNOW.
- In the Data menu, select "Manually add a deep-sky object" In that dialog, name the object. I use "PRJ-<object name>" so I can easily find any items I added for a project.
- Put in the JNOW coordinates. YES - it says to put in J2000. Doesn't work. Must be a bug. Use JNOW.
- Save it/click OK

Now when you go to Find - search for PRJ and your object will come up framed and centered as you wanted.


Greg replied to the topic 'Re:RE: Re:Announcing Ekos Live' in the forum. 4 months ago

Forgive my ability to maybe see the obvious, but where did the indi control panel button that was on the Ekos setup tab go? I see it's been replaced with the Ekos Live button, can't figure out where it's been moved to.


Greg replied to the topic 'Announcing Ekos Live' in the forum. 4 months ago

Re: cloud storage, would connecting to a service like Dropbox and others do the trick? This would allow users to use existing accounts.

I'd imagine you'll want an abstraction layer so you can switch between storage providers.


Greg replied to the topic 'Ekos - TheSKYX - RPI3, and potential PHD2' in the forum. 4 months ago

I run TSX with Ekos on Linux daily. It works. There are some caveats that I've not gotten around to reporting tho. These are mainly around the park/unpark state of the mount.

As for RPi, I tested it a bit but found the Rpi3 doesn't have enough RAM to run TSX and Ekos concurrently.

I haven't used PHD.


Greg replied to the topic 'MacOS Stars 2.9.5 crash' in the forum. 6 months ago

Has anyone tried creating a new user account, logging into that and reinstalling & running kstars? I'd try that to filter out any user specific settings that might be influencing things.


Eric thanked Greg in topic Call for SEP testing 7 months ago
Greg replied to the topic 'Call for SEP testing' in the forum. 7 months ago

Finally, after spring break (kids), work travel, and terrible weather I got a clear night. I did some basic testing of SEP in the focus module that comprised of running the focus module both with the default of gradient detection and SEP. Gradient worked and selected a star. SEP did not. Instead it either found a hot pixel or a blank area and the focus module continued with attempting to focus. Obviously it failed.

Looking at the red circles in the focus module I see that SEP does find a couple of stars but also hot pixels.

Logs and a full-frame fits image, logs, and a couple of screen shots here:


Greg replied to the topic 'Call for SEP testing' in the forum. 7 months ago

Will give it a shot tonight if the wx holds.


Greg replied to the topic 'Messier Marathon session?' in the forum. 8 months ago

Thanks! That will be helpful I think.
So - 110 objects. One night. One deep-cycle battery. No focuser. Lots of beer. My kind of challenge!
Right now the challenge is getting my RPi3 to run Ubuntu Mate. Seems I just can't get the SD card to write the image properly. I was hoping to run initial tests tonight but that seems to be off the table. Hrm.


Greg replied to the topic 'Messier Marathon session?' in the forum. 8 months ago
Greg created a new topic ' Messier Marathon session?' in the forum. 8 months ago

I'll be heading out to the Arizona desert in 2 weeks to participate in the 2018 Messier Marathon. The idea is that in one evening all 110 Messier objects are observed. I'm considering imaging all 110 that night or possibly over 2 nights. My plan is to create a job schedule and capture 4 images of each using my Sony A7S. I will be using my visual rig while Ekos does the heavy lifting for me. I don't have a focuser for this rig but it's proven to be fairly temperature stable.

Has anyone used Ekos for one of these events? Suggestions and general input are welcome.


Greg replied to the topic 'Troubleshooting lost guide star' in the forum. 8 months ago

Maybe, but I don't think so. I had a 64x64 box set in the guide module (above I said 36x36 - edited for accuracy). I've seen other stars fit in a sub like that in the past, so that would make it possible. However, if I compare the center of the two subs from the main camera as ONE (where I wanted to be centered) and TWO (where I ended up) it's too far. In fact, that motion takes the center of ONE right off the guide chip. Yet, the log only shows it being out by ~37 pixels (assuming that is what diff refers to - can someone confirm?).

[2018-02-21T03:44:07.331 MST DEBG ][] - -------> BEFORE ROTATION Diff RA:  -27.001  DEC:  36.9

Here's an example - screencap from kstars with a FOV of the guider. My guider is on-axis (ONAG) so this is the FOV my guider sees.

This is centered on ONE:

And centered on TWO:

If you flip the images in my earlier post you can see that the stars move that amount.

Very interesting.


Greg replied to the topic 'Troubleshooting lost guide star' in the forum. 8 months ago

Logfile attached.

File Attachment:

File Name:
File Size: 2,457 KB


Greg created a new topic ' Troubleshooting lost guide star' in the forum. 8 months ago

I was asleep and didn't witness it. That's a good thing, right? Nevertheless, it seems I lost the guide star, or at least guiding just stopped working. Ekos aborted guiding and restarted automatically. Guiding resumed and the next image began. Also a good thing. But, I found my subs on either side looked like this:

I'm posting this both in search of ideas (below) and in hopes that others might benefit from ideas around troubleshooting guiding.

Properly centered:

Uh, what? Calculating the center of the two shows they're 0.20 degrees off from each other. Wow.

Checking the logs, I see this event directly between these two subs:
[2018-02-21T03:44:07.330 MST DEBG ][] - Received guide frame.
[2018-02-21T03:44:07.330 MST DEBG ][] - Tracking Square  QRect(22,4 32x32)
[2018-02-21T03:44:07.331 MST DEBG ][] - ################## BEGIN PROCESSING ##################
[2018-02-21T03:44:07.331 MST DEBG ][] - Star    X :  37.1411  Y  :  19.6493
[2018-02-21T03:44:07.331 MST DEBG ][] - Reticle X :  71.6676  Y  : 66.8336
[2018-02-21T03:44:07.331 MST DEBG ][] - Star    RA:  29.0457  DEC:  15.3665
[2018-02-21T03:44:07.331 MST DEBG ][] - Reticle RA:  56.0468  DEC:  52.2665
[b][2018-02-21T03:44:07.331 MST DEBG ][] - -------> BEFORE ROTATION Diff RA:  -27.001  DEC:  36.9
[2018-02-21T03:44:07.331 MST DEBG ][] - -------> AFTER ROTATION  Diff RA:  27.1894  DEC:  -36.761[/b]
[2018-02-21T03:44:07.331 MST DEBG ][] - RA channel ticks:  22  DEC channel ticks:  22
[2018-02-21T03:44:07.331 MST DEBG ][] - Processing Axes
[2018-02-21T03:44:07.331 MST DEBG ][] - At # 22 drift[ 0 ][ 22 ] =  27.1894  , t_delta:  27.1894
[2018-02-21T03:44:07.331 MST DEBG ][] - delta         [ 0 ]=  27.1894
[2018-02-21T03:44:07.331 MST DEBG ][] - drift_integral[ 0 ]=  9.75255
[2018-02-21T03:44:07.331 MST DEBG ][] - pulse_length  [ 0 ]=  3624
[2018-02-21T03:44:07.331 MST DEBG ][] - Direction     :  Decrease RA
[2018-02-21T03:44:07.331 MST DEBG ][] - At # 22 drift[ 1 ][ 22 ] =  -36.7613  , t_delta:  -36.7613
[2018-02-21T03:44:07.331 MST DEBG ][] - delta         [ 1 ]=  -36.7613
[2018-02-21T03:44:07.331 MST DEBG ][] - drift_integral[ 1 ]=  -12.5693
[2018-02-21T03:44:07.331 MST DEBG ][] - pulse_length  [ 1 ]=  4900
[2018-02-21T03:44:07.331 MST DEBG ][] - Direction     :  Decrease DEC
[2018-02-21T03:44:07.331 MST DEBG ][] - ################## FINISH PROCESSING ##################
[b][2018-02-21T03:44:07.332 MST DEBG ][] - Aborting "Guiding"[/b]

Guiding aborted, presumably because the guide star moved outside of the box (36x36). I'll be testing guiding without a box the next good night of weather. Regardless, I like to know how and why a system does the things that it does.

I happen to log RA/Dec to a different system every 10 seconds and noticed that both diverged in a very short time frame in between the two subs above. No slew commands were captured, so the input must have been from the guiding system in Ekos:

And here is the result of the diffs in the Ekos log file during the entire evening:

And for reference, what it looked like in a normal state:

So, in spite of all of this data I can still only guess:

- Maybe clouds came through? Some of the subs suggest it as a possibility but I'm not sure of it.
- Did the quality of the guide star change somehow?
- Did the guide star really move? Not sure - sometimes I find it guiding or focusing on nothing.
- Did the mount slew or otherwise get moved? External logs show the mount did not slew, but RA and Dec did adjust by way of guiding.

Is there any other data point I'm missing? If not, it might be good to have two things for the wish list:

- A way to log the quality of the guide star. Perhaps ADU count of the guide star from guide frame to guide frame would be good?
- Also nice - the RA & Dec of the guide star used!

- Greg


Greg replied to the topic 'Difficulties With Dithering' in the forum. 8 months ago

knro wrote: Checking the logs it looks like that the dithering process was proceeding normally, but capture was not triggered for some reason. Anyone having similar issues with dither?

I see that. It captures for several iterations, then it doesn't.

I just checked my log files from last night. All appears to be fine.


Greg replied to the topic 'Auto Select Star failing frequently on guiding and focusing' in the forum. 8 months ago

Just build and tested the latest git pull. In this case, the sequence bins as before, but no subframing occurs for any of the subs. Logfile attached.


Greg replied to the topic 'Auto Select Star failing frequently on guiding and focusing' in the forum. 8 months ago

If we don't need stars I guess dust donuts will do. I pointed at my flat panel and let ambient light illuminate it. Results....

NOTE: I don't use binning for focusing or alignment, so I'm not sure if this is relevant. I only use binning on my guide camera (SX Ultrastar). I did not test that one yet.

I set up an image capture as follows:
- Light001 binned 2x2 full frame
- Light002 binned 2x2, subframe set to coords 1790,1448 with 1000x1000 size <- did not subframe!
- Light003 binned 1x1, subframe as above <- did not subframe!
- Light004 binned 2x2, subframe as above <- subframed
- Light004 binned 1x1, subframe set as above <- subframed

Fits files, log files, and the .esq file are here:

I'm going to run this with the guide camera to see what happens.



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