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INDI Library v1.9.0 Released (23 Apr 2021)

Major INDI Library release v1.9.0 bring significant internal changes championed by @pawel-soja to modernize core INDI Library drivers and clients. New drivers for DeepSkyDad Flat Panel & Pegasus devices plus further improvements to PCM8 drivers.

Using 3 cameras at once?

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Replied by andreas.d on topic Using 3 cameras at once?

Hi there,

if dithering is active, does the sequencer wait for settling after dithering between exposures or must this be done by delay time?
Or is the guidemodule sending some "dithering performed and settled" signal for the sequencer is listening to? Is it like this with external guiders?
If one session of ekos is mastering the guider and scope and other sessions just listen to that guider saying "dithering ok", than the sessions would be synced and multicamera operation was easy.

Andreas
2 years 11 months ago #26061

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Replied by xsnrg on topic Using 3 cameras at once?

A bit of an old topic, but I am curious. Has anyone done any more work with 3+ cameras? It would be amazing to guide with my off-axis, capture wide-field with the 1600MC and go deep with the 1600MM.
12" pier with HDX110 using EQMod
ASI 1600 mono/color mains with ASI290MM in off-axis
ASI filter wheel
Moonlite focusers for the sharpening
AT115EDT w/.8x for the light
Fedora Linux, 100% INDI
1 year 4 months ago #47636

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Replied by bigblue on topic Using 3 cameras at once?

I tried it quite some time ago with two sessions and simulators. But, it wouldn't keep the sessions in sync. Might very much be my fault, though.
I think it would be a great feature to support multiple long exposure cameras. But I guess it could be tricky to fiddle with the exposure pattern, like 1800 s for Ha in Cam 1, but 6x300 s L on Cam 2 and 3x600s R,G,B on Cam 3. The master-sessions would have to wait for respective slave session(s) to complete. Certainly manageable, but not a quick/easy implementation I assume. If one messes up the exposure pattern it might also cause a horrible duty-cycle.
Anyway, INDI/Ekos/KStars has received so many great features over the last few years, I keep my hopes up that the multi-cam feature will find it's way into the code eventually.
1 year 4 months ago #47643

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Replied by knro on topic Using 3 cameras at once?

It's on my TODO list for quite a while, but as indicated by Niko it can get quite complicated. It's also a LOT of work to make the architecture of Ekos ready for N cameras (not just 2, but any arbitrary number). This also requires changes to how the telescope information is shared as well, so we're talking major architectural changes.
Jasem Mutlaq
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1 year 4 months ago #47668

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Replied by monje on topic Using 3 cameras at once?

+1 for this. I'm help to a friend with an INDI based setup and he have in mind use two DSLRs with two telescopes in parallel (same mount).
1 year 4 months ago #47699

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Replied by xsnrg on topic Using 3 cameras at once?

Just a thought I had, but the support is already there and working for 2 cameras. The first camera is the main imaging camera, and the second is the guide camera. The guide camera still has all the basic functions such as repeated capture with settings such as exposure time and gain, and it always returns the image and goes to grab another one. It already does this in conjunction with the main imaging camera doing it's work. Would it be easier, as an intermediate step, to configure a third camera more like a second guide camera than a full fledged imaging system? It would not have all the features, but it seems like it could work. I am not certain if the architecture allows that any easier than what @knro was talking about though.
12" pier with HDX110 using EQMod
ASI 1600 mono/color mains with ASI290MM in off-axis
ASI filter wheel
Moonlite focusers for the sharpening
AT115EDT w/.8x for the light
Fedora Linux, 100% INDI
1 year 4 months ago #47702

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Replied by Ihoujin on topic Using 3 cameras at once?

How would it handle dithering with different exposure lengths? For example, camara 1 takes 300 second exposures on the main scope, and 120 seconds with a piggybacked camera 2. Having the shorter exposure camera waiting for the longer shot to finish is inefficient. So ideally dithering will take place with the least amount of idle time according to a ratio of images between camera 1 and 2 to finish.
With my example Camera 1 fanishes 1 image in 300 seconds and camera 2 can take 2 in 240 seconds but would then idle 60 seconds a ratio of 1:2. Instead camera 1 can take two images in 600 seconds, and camera 2 can finish 5 with zero idle time, a ratio of 2:5. While that works in theory; the time to download each frame must also be considered. Each frame could take 10-20 seconds to download. That would have to be added to the time per frame and could change the most efficient ratio between camera 1, 2, or more cameras.

Certainly not very straightforward.
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Orion SSAG/ASI120mm @280mm Guide Scope
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1 year 4 months ago #47703

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Replied by xsnrg on topic Using 3 cameras at once?

Or just don't start the exposure if there is not enough time left in the dithering timer/counter. There is no download contention either, this way. Yes, you would get fewer than the maximum frames on the waiting camera, but perfect is the enemy of something cool we don't have today.
12" pier with HDX110 using EQMod
ASI 1600 mono/color mains with ASI290MM in off-axis
ASI filter wheel
Moonlite focusers for the sharpening
AT115EDT w/.8x for the light
Fedora Linux, 100% INDI
1 year 4 months ago #47704

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There are two major challenges here, first is the synchronising of all the activities - alignment - focusers - filter wheels - rotators - weather - guiding - dithering - image acquisitions - meridian flip - limits - etc. Then there is the management of the schedules so as to minimise the waiting time, especally for the image devices.

The second is really up to the user but some tools to help would be useful. I can imagine running a rehearsal of the sequence using estimates for the various activities to get an idea of how much wasted time there is and when. A graphical display showing this would be good.

I'm not saying all this must be in place at the start but having a strategy for fitting everything into the system will I think be essential. Without that there's a risk that development will get bogged down in an endless series of refacatoring everything to handle an annotional scheduler option.
1 year 4 months ago #47727

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First, really loving kstars/ekos/indi - I'm a paid-up StellarMate RPi4 user and have been learning a LOT lately about moving into automated astronomy. My goal is mainly to do EAA but given the limitations of the platform for EAA I've been spending more time on astrophotography lately.

Apologies for re-opening the re-opened topic, but I have been thinking through the same question but for two different reasons.

1. simultaneously viewing the finder(s) and main scope
- mainly for initial alignment using a Meade LX-90. Using the finder scope for wide field "finding" and then the main scope (f/10 so REALLY tight FOV) I want to be able to see both simultaneously especially to be able to get the two scopes/cameras aligned on the same star. I have no interest in keeping the sequence, it's simple for alignment (I can't use the alignment tool, it causes my scope to do strange things with tracking).

2. I'd love to have a window open that's got a fish-eye view of the sky - of course I could do this with another window talking directly to the camera, but i like the idea of being able to see what's happening in teh sky above me especially when I am down in my office and can't see the sky only to find I am taking images of clouds! I saw two astronomers in Finland with a remote observatory who are doing something similar with a ZWO 120MM lying flat with the bundled fish-eye lens looking up to help them see what's happening in teh sky above - seems like a cool idea.

A long way of saying that I can see use cases for where N cameras (webcam of the observatory, 2-3 ultra-wide, wide and narrow) FOV cameras might be in operation simultaneously either for telemetry (looking out for cable snags, etc) or dithering etc could be super helpful.

I also say this knowing I don't have the skills to offer to help with the refactoring/architecting so it's easy to be the back seat driver!

Thanks again for everything you guys are doing to make this incredible platform!
GSO Ritchey Chretien 12" Truss | SkyWatcher ED72
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Angry missus
1 year 1 month ago #51651

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Replied by knro on topic Using 3 cameras at once?

So yes this is in principle possible. You can enable video streaming for multiple cameras simultaneously. If there is no active capture sequence going on, you can simply click the live streaming button and switch between cameras. If an active session in progress, you can go to INDI Control Panel --> Camera Driver --> Streaming and turn on the streaming from there.
Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?
Add your observatory info
The following user(s) said Thank You: xthestreams
1 year 1 month ago #51665

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Replied by xsnrg on topic Using 3 cameras at once?

@xthestreams, those are great use-cases for more cameras. The full sky camera tied into Ekos would be nice, but I wonder if it would actually make more sense to be part of the dome module vs the capture module. Perhaps even a new AUX cameras module?

With two ZWO cameras, I can currently set one as the main capture and one as the guider. The guider module will allow a continuous loop of images in its setup, as will the focus module. You might be able to use it, or the focus module to align your camera with the main.
12" pier with HDX110 using EQMod
ASI 1600 mono/color mains with ASI290MM in off-axis
ASI filter wheel
Moonlite focusers for the sharpening
AT115EDT w/.8x for the light
Fedora Linux, 100% INDI
The following user(s) said Thank You: xthestreams
1 year 1 month ago #51667

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