xthestreams

xthestreams
byxthestreams, February 16, 2021
NexDome
The Nexdome integration is amazing, really works well. Nothing like being able to sit warmly inside your house while not worrying that a rainstorm is coming when you have full automation.

Jassem and the contributors have put a lot of work into making sure the driver works perfectly, but you should note that all is not perfect in the land of Nexdome, this has more to do with the firmware and hardware than teh driver itself. In particular the shutter opening requires the sensor to be detected for the driver to consider the shutter fully open - however sometimes this doesn't always happen (depending on exactly where you place your magnet - and so the dome driver sometimes thinks the shutter is neither open or closed and this can impact slewing the dome (if set to "open on unpark" for example.

Otherwise a great little driver+product combo, especially with a rain sensor!
byxthestreams, November 8, 2020
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
ZWO ASI Cameras & Filter Wheels
The work that's gone into this driver is amazing, it's wonderfully solid and complements the product itself really well.

Most of the power of the driver is managed through the Control Panel, which can be a little confusing for beginners (well it was for me).

The main ones being the Gain and Offset, which you have complete control over - which is good if you know what you're doing, not so good if you are new to the devices and the hobby. A quick check of CloudyNights.com will give you some ideas for settings to consider.
byxthestreams, November 8, 2020
Pegasus Ultimate Power Box
The review is more about the UBP than the driver. If you are thinking about one of these boxes, I highly recommend it to sue with INDI.

The driver itself works very well, I've noticed a few glitches with my V2 box and the Auto Dew setting not working and the power light not being able to be switched off (these have been reported - latest firmware & drivers as at October 2020).

Otherwise this is a great box to have mounted on your scope/dovetail and be able to distribute power to your NUC/Raspberry Pi along with all your devices, including the ability to reboot your USB and power ports if you really get into trouble.
byxthestreams, November 8, 2020
MoonLite Focuser
I've used this driver with both the Moonlite external motor controller (with temp sensor) and with the Pegasus UPBv2 to control the stepper directly and both worked great.

Note that in neither case can you be certain that you are getting an absolute position with the focuser unless you build a "reset" script to rack all the way in and reset the step count to zero. Not difficult to do, but worth knowing if you are fussy about recording focus positions for flats etc.
Optec IFW Filter Wheel
I've got the older IFW with a seperate controller unit (RS-232) and it works perfectly!
AAG Cloud Watcher
Great little product, however if you are thinking of buying one, please note that the driver assumes a direct connection the device (ie: not using a Solo).

If using a Solo you will need to use the Weather Watcher driver to call the status web page of the Solo and parse the values into a set of warnings/alerts which can then be used by EKOS/INDI.

The benefit of a Lunatico Solo is that it does not require EKOS/INDI to be running in order for it to detect rain or cloud and can trigger an NO relay switch which can be used for a safety override in the case of rain for example.

An open-source alternative to this product is the WeatherRadio driver and hardware combination, however at the time of writing it does not yet have a native rain sensor, but one is planned, check the forums for more detail.

P.S. In my experience the CloudWatcher rain sensor is not as sensitive/accurate as an RG11, which offers a similar NO relay option, is also heated and can operate completely autonomously with nothing more than 12V power.
byxthestreams, November 8, 2020
Optec TCF-S Temperature Compensating Focuser
Focuser driver works great!

Note this focuser is an absolute position device, meaning that you can set a number of focus steps for offsets etc and it returns to the same position after each session.

Tested October 2020 with the older external controller model. It will/does work without the inbuilt temperature sensor - the main benefit of having the inbuilt temperature sensor is that the unit can be "trained" to automatically compensate for temperature changes without software intervention, however it assumes the same focus point for all filters and therefor is of limited value unless all filters are absolutely parfocal.
byxthestreams, November 8, 2020
Bisque Paramount
The driver works great provided your follow the instructions however there are a few unexpected behaviours to note that are important for users of domes and remote observatories looking for complete lights-out automation.

#1 tracking rate defaults to "custom"
- you will need to manually (or through a script), select a non-federal rate and then re-select sidereal in order for the mount to track at the correct rate (Paramount ME with MKS3000 controller)
- an issue has been logged

#2 the driver does not correctly report side of pier
- this creates issues with dome drivers that require side of pier for azimuth slaving calculations

#3 not way to home the mount through the driver
- this will need to be done manually, through a script or via the TCS control interface where you can enable "home on connect" provided your observatory conditions allow it

Also at present, TPoint modelling requires the camera/filter to be controlled by TSX, although I suspect it may be possible to build an integration to enable end-to-end control of the Paramount via INDI with some creative scripting
byxthestreams, November 8, 2020
Apogee CCD
The driver works great, however please note that it is likely to crash/fail to initialise for firmware under V33 (my experience was that it will fail to recognise the camera with V23 firmware).

Unclear if RBI pre-flashing is supported in the code, I could not see how to activate it with my U16M.