Got StellarMate AG about a week ago. System consists of a D5 Nikon with a 500mm f/5.6 lens mounted on an iOptron CEM25 mount. Computer is a MacBook Pro laptop, dedicated to Astrophotography only. Initially I am using the home wifi, not the hotspot. I am also using Ekos Live as I need Polar Align assistance and Astrometry for plate solving.
The forums have been helpful in solving a few setup issues. There are still a couple remaining, one of which is: When opening KStars (remotely via VNC) a window pops up asking for a password to allow " An application wants access to the keyring "Default keyring", but it is locked". To this prompt I have to click cancel as the "smate" password is incorrect, and I guess I don't know the SU password. Small but annoying problem.
The main issue is the DSLR driver.
Usage/Test 1: Run KStars on the Stellarmate using VNC. I had problems getting the profile setup, so I have tried a few and deleted them after trying different settings. I started over again yesterday with a profile called DSLR_D5. It has all of the proper sensor settings for the D5 - 5568x3712, 6.41x6.41 pixel size. When opening the Capture tab, the frame size is listed as 36x24, and the captured preview is just that36x24 pixels. FOV in the solver is 0'x0'. Also, upon loading the camera, INDI gives "[ERROR] NEF+Fine format is not supported. Please select another format." I very carefully setup the camera this am to RAW only, etc. to be sure it wasn't a camera issue. In checking the INDI panel again, the file format is plank, so I re-selcted RAW. The captured preview size is unchanged. A check of the camera confirms that it has been reset to JPEG, not RAW. I have created a log for the CCD only, for one startup and capture.
Usage/Test 2: Run KStars on the local laptop with the StellarMate profile. Similar warnings in INDI as to file format and SD card as in test 1 .Change settings for DSLR in INDI to RAW, SD Card, etc. In this config, the frame size IS CORRECT, including the FOV at 245'x164' and the frame size in capture. Also. the camera has remained set to RAW. A quick 1 second preview was successful and quick. This is new... lol. Yesterday was all failure all the time when capturing. Just ran a test sequence of 2 images each of lights, darks, bias, and flats, and all were captured and saved properly.
SO, the results seem to be that working remotely the system is ok with the exception of the initial load of the INDI driver for the Nikon DSLR. I have not tested this with the D2 or the Z7 yet.
UPDATE/EDIT: I just checked the CF Card in the camera and the images saved locally on the laptop were not also saved to the camera. As I want RAW files, I changed the setting in the capture window to NATIVE instead of FITS and confirmed that the INDI tab is set to RAW.. The image captured to the local folder is a JPEG, not a RAW file.
After beta update on the StellarMate, no differences when running via VSC. Keyring issue still there as well when starting KStars, and the password the system is looking for is NOT smate.
Running from the laptop also appears the same. I did a capture test and the fits images are captured ands saved locally to the astro folder as setup. However during the capture the Ekos states says capture failed Check Indi…. Doing so shows exposure failed to save … unspecified error.
I changed the settings in INDI to RAM instead of SD Card and re-ran the sequence. The results were the same. FITS captured and save, warnings of failed capture and warnings the images not saved.
I suddenly noticed that the image size had changed… The test sequence I ran before the beta were the proper image size. I also notice that the bit depth will only read 8 bits, and won’t allow me to set it to 14 or 16 (in case the system needs to work in 16 for 14 to work). I attempted to correct the image and sensor size settings but the system will not accept the changes. Restarting INDI and Ekos allowed me to correct the sensor and image settings. I then hit RESET in the capture window and the settings updated to the correct size. The instant that I started the new sequence the image size reverted to the smaller numbers. When checked, the FOV in the solver window is also at a smaller area than with the correct sensor size.
I started an INDI only log before this last run and then a CCD log and am attaching it, along with a screenshot.
SO: Bottom line, the updated Nikon driver has not improved and may have a new issue. Sorry…
Not sure I have a good answer for that... my day job is photography, so all my gear is in the expensive range, and I don't know much about the more affordable models. I do have a D2, and while it was a $5k camera 10 years ago, it doesn't do video, and has no live view. As it is just my underwater camera these days, I would be happy to lend it to you if you think it would be helpful. Maybe I should test it here when we get the D5 working first?
Let me know what you think.
I just updated the StelllarMate per your post, but the little window of sky I had earlier is gone, so testing tonight will likely be futile... living at the beach can have its downside! OOH, Darks! I can shoot darks!
to be continued!
Oh dear... After doing the updates to Stellarmate (ubuntu security update and Indi gphoto update) I restarted the unit. I have not been able to connect since, via Kstars, or vsc.
Jasem, damn, don't you ever sleep? WOW! I checked the remote again today and there was a new bleeding update, and after installing that and the few other OS updates, I am able to capture images again! That you!
1. Image and sensor size issues are fixed so far.
2. The StellarMate OS has started mounting the DSLR cards again. I ran the unmount command again and restarted... Either I typed something wrong or the command is no longer working. For now I am using VNC to unmount the cards.
3. With the camera set to RAW, the INDI driver still complains about RAW + Fine.
So the last update corrected the image and sensor size problem.
Tuesday eve was clear, and I was finally able to capture a test image. Then I was able to plate solve an image. Then I was finally able to use the Polar Align Assistant and get dialed in for a long track of Saturn.
The system then refused to capture an image.
I have erased all profiles both remote and local, and started over. I did the StellarMate first, creating a new profile via VNC and attempted a capture. It timed out and no image was captured. I then did the same on the laptop, creating a new profile for the StellarMate. The preview seemed to work, so I set up a capture sequence. Once again, no image captured, and the sequence timed out after a period of failed image capture attempts.
So, short story long, On the first clear night in weeks, and Saturn at opposition, no images.
Log and screenshot attached. Log set to INDI, Capture, and CCD.