I have switched among many astroinmaging software suites and OSs over a decade, and I feel your pain!
One thing I've found in common among Windows, Mac, linux, Pi, StellarMate, KStars/Ekos, TheSkyX, SequenceGeneratorPro, CCD AutoPilot, etc is that they all take a lot of tweaking to get right. For me we're talking weeks to months, not hours to days. There are so many interacting components and it's NEVER easy to make a switch like that.
There was a thread on here awhile ago about the need for "total commitment" to be successful with INDI and Ekos, and I agree. But it really applies to all of these other options as well.
I wish you luck with your adventures in Windows and ASCOM. If you seek an integrated Planetarium solution you might consider TheSkyX, Stellarium, or CCDCiel.
Thank you Hy -- not just for your helpful response to this issue but for the actual functionality of the internal guider!
Regarding the specific numbers for Proportional Gain:
The user has no business entering the direct pulse-length-per-arcsec value at all! That number MUST MUST MUST be calculated by the calibration and not changed until we recalibrate.
Rather, we should have the option to enter a unitless scaling factor which defaults to leaving the calibration alone. Otherwise we've completely broken the declination calculation that allows calibration to be re-used for different objects at different declinations. If users make any change to the pulse-length-per-arcsec calibration, then the software must untick the "Save and reuse calibration" option in Settings, because the next slew will require a new calibration.
My mount has absolute encoders, so you've discouraged me from GPG guiding. I've noticed my setup produces about 1.5 x as much rms guiding error in DEC than it does in RA, so I'd like to tune the DEC aggressiveness. As it is I get rounder stars unguided for FL below about 1000 mm.
We really need a way to adjust the scaling of our corrections in both RA and DEC that doesn't break the calibration. Something like an "aggressiveness" number from 0% (no corrections) to 100% (full correction), for RA and for DEC that simply modifies the "real" pulse-length calculation that comes from calibration. It could be combined with the "Integral Gain" as you've described, but in my strong opinion it should not have physical units.
Thank you also for the reminder that this is a community project, and that all of us are needed to keep it moving. I am willing to help out with the guiding section of the hand book.
I THINK we're intended to do this by adjusting the "Proportional Gain" number under the "Control Parameters" tab at lower right in the Ekos Guider panel. The left column here is (I think) supposed to be RA and the right column (I think) is supposed to be DEC. See screen cap below.
Not really sure but I believe "Proportional Gain" is somehow proportional to milliseconds of mount movement at guide rate per arc second of movement on the sky, with the default of 133 meaning half of sidereal.
You can also change "Integral Gain" which is some kind of scaling for correcting slowly-accumulating guiding errors in RA & DEC. Also worth experimenting with minimum and maximum pulse.
This is one of the most frustrating pieces of UI in the internal guider to me, because the numbers seem to be almost completely arbitrary and with four meaningless numbers to adjust in each of two unlabeled columns there are an infinite number of wrong combinations! Finding the correct (or even an acceptable) combination by random fiddling seems extremely unlikely!
We need better names for some of these parameters ("aggressiveness" comes to mind), and labels above the two columns.
I bin my guide camera using an ASI290 mini in an OAG on my C8 f/7 at 1500 mm.
The pixel scale is less than 0.4"/pixel without binnning, and averaging makes the guide images nice and clean up to a gain of 400. I get way more guide stars this way.
With my 488 mm refractor, I don't bin.
Similar unpredictable crashes for me if I skip too quickly from Start KStars to Toggle INDI to Connect, on an x64 linux box running NoMachine.
Just take it slow and it rarely crashes.
Andrew, I'm using both "Unattended Flip" (until now set each time in MW4) and also "KStars Updates All Devices" following your advice from a few weeks ago. Since doing both those things I've been getting successful all-night imaging sessions.
I have watched closeup while the mount does the "unattended flip." It works even with no software connected, just the mount computer itself. Very impressive! With a good model I think you could track all night with just a DSLR and no KStars to manage things.
I think there's still something fishy with the time and location settings:
1) It's odd that the mount (or INDI driver?) truncates the lat/lon at degrees and minutes, setting seconds to zero
2) Occasionally the time reported by KStars randomly changes by an hour (!) when "Mount updates KStars" is selected. This is definitely a bug.
Until these issues are solved I will do as you recommended (and indeed as Hans does) and use NTP time and a fixed location in KStars, and be careful that KStars ignores the time & location reported by the mount.
Really appreciate your help in getting these things sorted. I'm now getting lovely unguided images at FL up to 1500 mm and up to 600 s, and crossing the meridian without a second thought.
Thank you very much for doing this, and in general for all your great support of 10Micron on INDI!
The software runs a web page on your Ekos machine.
To control with Android you just need to use your Android browser to visit the web page.
Right: To use KStars/Ekos on Windows you need an INDI server attached to your equipment (for example by plugging USB cables into it). Also the INDI server has to be reachable on your network (for example via WiFi or hard-wired ethernet).
The idea is to plug the mount, imaging camera, guide camera, focuser, filter wheel etc into a cheap ($45) RaspPi out by the scope, and run everything on Ekos from your windows laptop either indoors or out by the scope.
Personally I MUCH prefer this to sticking a $1000 laptop outside in the weather. It does take some getting used to and setting up. But the convenience of separating the user interface form the wires is just fantastic.
You've certainly come to the right place to get advice!
Thank you very much for this -- will be very helpful! I have been using MountWizzard4 for this, but it would be great to have it built into the INDI driver.
Really appreciate your work on this driver!!
Thank you both!
Feeling sheepish ... this FOV was left over from a different setup.