Included with libindi v1.7+. For Ubuntu it is recommended to install the latest development version:
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:mutlaqja/ppa
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install libindi
This driver is under development and as such should be considered in a BETA state. This means you are testing the driver as much as using it.
Nevertheless, it has been used for imaging and appears to operate correctly. Use common sense when testing this driver - be near the mount whenever slewing or parking just in case!
Any feedback on this driver is greatly desired and will help it progress more quickly from the developmental state.
This driver requires a SPECIAL USB Serial cable arrangement to work.
There is a problem with how Linux handles the DTR line for serial connection and the fact that the PMC-Eight controller will RESET if the DTR line is manipulated.
To avoid this problem the supported setup is to use a FTDI USB Serial cable and then use the FT_PROG.exe to reprogram the FTDI chip to INVERT DTR so the default state (HIGH) on Linux comes out LOW!
The FT_PROG.EXE program is available from FTDI.
NOTE: When programming a new firmware to the PMC-Eight you will need to use a converter that does NOT invert DTR!
This driver supports Explore Scientific G11 PMC-Eight mounts over a serial connection.
Current features of the PMC-Eight driver:
- Sidereal, lunar, solar and custom track rates
- ST4 Guiding
- Full joystick support
When using the driver for the first time, ensure to set the telescope's aperture and focal length in the Options tab.
It is also necessary to set the geographic location and park position in the Site Management tab.
Do not try parking the mount until this position is defined!
The telescope must start in the park position - this is with the scope pointing towards the pole and the counterweight straight down.
The main control tab is where the primary control takes place.
To track an object, enter the equatorial of date (JNow) coordinates and press Set. The mount shall then slew to an object and once it arrives at the target location, it should engage tracking at the selected tracking rate which default to Sidereal tracking. Slew mode is different from track mode in that it does not engage tracking when slew is complete. To sync, the mount must be already tracking. First change mode to Sync, then enter the desired coordinates then press Set. Users will seldom use this interface directly since many clients (e.g. KStars) can slew and sync the mount directly from the sky map without having to enter any coordinates manually.
The Abort Motion button can be used to stop the mount at any time.
Four tracking modes are supported: Sidereal, Solar, Lunar, and Custom. When using Custom mode, the rates defined in Track Rates shall be used.
Tracking can be enganged and disenganged by toggling the Tracking property.
Mount parking and unparking is controlled by the Parking property.
The Firmware property shows the detected firmware version of the mount controller.
The Options tab is used to set debugging and other configuration options, as well as being able to load and save configurations.
- Debug: Enable debug logging where verbose messaged can be logged either directly in the client or a file. If Debug is enabled, advanced properties are created to select how to direct debug output. Watch a video on how to submit logs.
- Simulation: Enable to disable simulation mode for testing purposes.
- Configuration: Load or Save the driver settings to a file. Click default to restore default settings that were shipped with the driver.
- Snoop Devices: Indicate which devices the driver should communicate with:
- GPS: If using a GPS driver (e.g. INDI GPSD) then enter its name here. EQMod shall sync its time and location settings from the GPS driver.
- Dome: If using a Dome driver, put its name here so that Dome Parking Policy can be applied.
Dome Parking Policy
If a dome is used in conjunction with the mount, a policy can be set if parking the mount or dome can interfere with the safety of either. For example, you might want to always park the mount before parking the dome, or vice versa. The default policy is to ignore the dome.
- Ignore dome: Take no action when dome parks or unparks.
- Dome locks: Prevent the mount from unparking when dome is parked.
- Dome parks: Park the mount if dome starts parking. This will disable the locking for dome parking, EVEN IF MOUNT PARKING FAILS.
- Both: Dome locks & Dome parks policies are applied.
- Scope Properties: Enter the Primary and Seconday scope information. Up to six different configurations for Primary and Secondary Guider telescopes can be saved separately, each with an optional unique label in Scope Name property.
- Scope Config: Select the active scope configuration.
- Joystick: Enable or Disable joystick support. An INDI Joystick driver must be running for this function to work. For more details, check the INDI Telescope Joystick tutorial.
Under motion control, manual motion controls along with speed and guide controls are configured.
- Motion N/S/W/E: Directional manual motion control. Press the button to start the movement and release the button to stop.
- Slew Rate: Rate of manual motion control above when 1x equals sidereal rate.
Location settings are configured in the Site Management tab.
- Location: Latitude and Longitude must be set for proper operation of the driver upon connection. The longitude range is 0 to 360 degrees increasing eastward from Greenwich.
- The PMC-Eight driver is under development and needs testing - please be aware and always be observant of the mount when doing slews and parking.
- When you park the mount it is recommended to disconnect the driver from the mount and power the mount down as well before connecting again.
If you find a bug, please report it at INDI's bug tracking system at GitHub.