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25 Jul 2018
Glad to announce of release of INDI Library v1.7.4 on 2018-07-25. A few drivers were added in this release as we continue to improve & stabilize existing drivers.
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TOPIC: Losing stars when guiding

Losing stars when guiding 2 months 1 week ago #27335

I tried guiding for the first times in the last nights and as it is getting better results (as it started successfully for the first time) it is still far away from being suitable.

I wondered, what I might be doing wrong. I am losing the guide star after a few seconds to briefly over a minute of guiding. Combined with the issue that I have with repeated alignment that leaves me with only the option to shut down indi and start over again.

I did not change anything in the settings, I only set the auto star in the calibration option. What happens is that after some time I see the star wandering out of the bulls eye in the drift plot to the lower side.

I do not have my EQ-6 R mount polar aligned yet.

Any hints on which settings I should change to improve the behavior?

Thanks in advance

Amin

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Skywatcher Newton 200/1000 on EQ6-R
Skywatcher Mak 105/1300 on AZ GTi
StellarMate @ Raspberry Pi 3B+
ASI 290 MC guiding cam on APM 60 ImageMaster
Canon 7D DSLR or ASI 183 MC Pro

Losing stars when guiding 2 months 1 week ago #27336

I experienced similar issues tonight. I did not have issues with guiding (other than dithering as discussed elsewhere) or losing guide stars during the last couple of months. Tonight though Ekos (after correctly guiding for a short while) suddenly "found" additionall stars in the guiding subframe where there were none. Up to 3 circles were drawn (stars detected) and that's where guiding was aborted (lost guide star). I tried several algorithms and methods without success. I had to quit and use an older version of KStars that did work perfectly again.

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Last Edit: by Herrhausen.

Losing stars when guiding 2 months 1 week ago #27348

Not subframing helps.

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Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?
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Losing stars when guiding 2 months 1 week ago #27357

Thank you Jassen, I will try that on the next clear night

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Skywatcher Newton 200/1000 on EQ6-R
Skywatcher Mak 105/1300 on AZ GTi
StellarMate @ Raspberry Pi 3B+
ASI 290 MC guiding cam on APM 60 ImageMaster
Canon 7D DSLR or ASI 183 MC Pro

Losing stars when guiding 2 months 1 week ago #27359

Setting up for the first time and also having some guiding issue. My problem appears related to pulse guiding. Tried changing just the via setting in the guider and the pulse yes/no in the indi mount control and it works well. Using the same settings with pulse guiding and things go badly wrong.
Take 15 second exposures without guiding, and the stars are fine.
Start guiding calibration which usually fails and after that just, streaks in subsequent 15 second images.
The stop button in guiding does not help, it seems almost as if the mount is now tracking at a different rate.
I have been parking the mount and restarting to reset back to the unguided state and being able to obtain an image again.
When calibrating it logs a message related to RA and the star stays in the box.
After logging the DE message the stars start drifting by and the box position seems unrelated to the stars.
It has managed to calibrate a couple of times somehow but with the same result regarding the image not being usable.

I assumed it was my setup/settings, then thought it might be related to the mount driver after discovering the ST-4 cable worked well but seeing the above reports we might have something in common. I'll attach a log to see if it helps.
[edit] I think in the attached screenshot I had previously calibrated using the ST-4 cable and had switched over to pulse to show the issue. [/edit]
/Tom
Attachments:

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Last Edit: by wotalota.

Losing stars when guiding 2 months 1 week ago #27367

Not subframing limits correction pulses to about one in 5 seconds which can affect the image. I'd prefer having a feature working as expected over deactivating it. I didn't get the most recent version of KStars to guide correctly whereas another version that is just a couple days older did work right from the start, all other equipment 100% the same. Even the server was the same, only the client version had changed.

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Losing stars when guiding 2 months 1 week ago #27380

wotalota wrote: Setting up for the first time and also having some guiding issue. My problem appears related to pulse guiding. Tried changing just the via setting in the guider and the pulse yes/no in the indi mount control and it works well. Using the same settings with pulse guiding and things go badly wrong.
Take 15 second exposures without guiding, and the stars are fine.
Start guiding calibration which usually fails and after that just, streaks in subsequent 15 second images.
The stop button in guiding does not help, it seems almost as if the mount is now tracking at a different rate.
I have been parking the mount and restarting to reset back to the unguided state and being able to obtain an image again.
When calibrating it logs a message related to RA and the star stays in the box.
After logging the DE message the stars start drifting by and the box position seems unrelated to the stars.
It has managed to calibrate a couple of times somehow but with the same result regarding the image not being usable.

I assumed it was my setup/settings, then thought it might be related to the mount driver after discovering the ST-4 cable worked well but seeing the above reports we might have something in common. I'll attach a log to see if it helps.
[edit] I think in the attached screenshot I had previously calibrated using the ST-4 cable and had switched over to pulse to show the issue. [/edit]
/Tom


You said you were using Pulse Guiding? Because from the logs, it doesn't appear pulse guiding was guide, just regular motion which is notoriously unreliable. I made some updates to the guiding code in the Astrophysics driver today. So if you can use the nighly PPA, it should be available later on. Or you can compile it yourself from GIT.

It appears that these issues are not related to Ekos per se, but to the drivers guiding implementations since using ST4 suddenly solves many issues for many users.
The following user(s) said Thank You: wotalota

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Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?
Add your observatory info

Losing stars when guiding 2 months 1 week ago #27381

Herrhausen wrote: Not subframing limits correction pulses to about one in 5 seconds which can affect the image. I'd prefer having a feature working as expected over deactivating it. I didn't get the most recent version of KStars to guide correctly whereas another version that is just a couple days older did work right from the start, all other equipment 100% the same. Even the server was the same, only the client version had changed.


The only change in KStars during that time was KStars now waits until the pulse duration is over before it requests a frame. This is the correct way to do it IMO. Suppose you're performing a 500ms pulse. Before, as soon as the command is sent, a capture is started. But this didn't allow time for the command to finish. Now it waits until the pulse duration is _over_ before it starts capture process.

Does the log show anything odd?

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Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?
Add your observatory info

Losing stars when guiding 2 months 1 week ago #27382

I assume my problem is unrelated to pulse guiding. I use ST4 guiding 100% of the time. And the apparent reason for losing the guide star was the fact that the guider suddenly started sensing multiple stars where there was just one. I tried SMART and SEP and different box sizes but no change. I re-started KStars again but the issue remained. That's where I got to a different client computer where a few weeks older version of KStars is installed. I connected to the very same server that was still running at the telescope and everything was fine again, no guiding issues at all, for several hours. Unfortunately, as it was a "production session" I did not have logging enabled. I will have it enabled from now on, no matter what.

If it was a general guiding issue, I assume we would have heard more about it by now. So I will keep quiet, have logging enabled, and report back once I have more information.

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Last Edit: by Herrhausen.

Losing stars when guiding 2 months 1 week ago #27399

Running on Fedora, these are the packages that got picked up yesterday evening.
Upgraded:
indi-gpsd-bleeding.x86_64 1.7.3-7.1
kstars-bleeding.x86_64 2.9.6-8.1
libapogee.x86_64 3.1-15.1
Did not see any change in the results, but the log captures guiding calibration.
Just to repeat, images are good without any guiding, The first attachment is a 2 minute exposure
unguided. After attempting pulse guiding 10 second exposures are streaked.
I could attempt installing PHD2 if that would help isolate.
Attachments:

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Losing stars when guiding 2 months 6 days ago #27407

My problem is actually fixed, I switched the via setting from mount to CCD and now it works perfect. guided within 2" variance for 5 mins successfully yesterday. I left sub framing switched on as well, so that works as supposed to for me.

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Skywatcher Newton 200/1000 on EQ6-R
Skywatcher Mak 105/1300 on AZ GTi
StellarMate @ Raspberry Pi 3B+
ASI 290 MC guiding cam on APM 60 ImageMaster
Canon 7D DSLR or ASI 183 MC Pro

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