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INDI Library v1.9.9 Released (30 Nov 2022)

Bi-monthly INDI Library released with new drivers and bug fixes.

Driver OnStep (LX200 like) for INDI

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I can report good results and( like a good bike saddle) nothing to report with OnStep. I should note that I have bypassed the parking in firmware with terrific results. It even pops right back online and in place when Kstars crashes.

Udev rules to stop usb ports from creeping are nice. I use them too. I've had troubles when using more than one "cheapduino" clone at a time however since they both have the same vendor code. Authentic boards have a serial number you can also flag for the symlink. Of course I had to be the guy to find this out the hard way. :P I think there's a way to nail down physical hub holes/ports but I don't quite have it formatted right. Working on the new Odroid-XU4 indiserver computer before I get back to wrangling ports. Just thought it might be worth mentioning in case anyone runs into the duplicate vendor issue.

Cheese!
Last edit: 4 years 10 months ago by Ray Wells.
4 years 10 months ago #23793

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Hi,

thanks for the udev mention, I forgot to mention it, was trivial to me but I should know trivial does not exist :-)

Blueshawk, still KStars crashes?
What version and on wich distro are you running KStars?
I currently have 2.9.3 on Debian Buster and no crashes since a long time.

Would be nice if you could share your experience with the Odroid-XU4.
Looks like a powerfull solution.

regards
4 years 10 months ago #23800

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OOh that script is a neat idea!
Power is STILL out. Generator avr(automatic voltage regulator) broke Saturday and overvoltaged a bunch of wall transformers and an as yet unknown amount of equipment. The new generator voltage regulator arrives today. I'm probably upgrading to a real whole house unit after this. I took my venison(very hard to get) to my dad's freezer in Woolwine still good and frozen, which put me in a better mood. I saw power company trucks in force this morning on my way to work. It was a big one for sure! Signs billboards trees, broken power lines. It's a mess. I've gone as much as 9 days before, the price we pay for dark skies and the occasional black bear visit. ;>

The Odroid is very promising and with armbian the desktop is snappier all around from pi3b/mate. With xfce's great panel as a bonus. I'm going to build latest Kstars on it when I get power/internet back. I'll try to remember to do an update when I get everything running again.

Looking forward to seeing which display and control method works best with the new gear. I like the usb-ip idea but have had trouble with compatibility with some versions/distros in the past but might try it again at some point. I wonder if a wireless lan would keep up with usb3 speeds? I've got cat 5 run to the yard so we'll see how much difference that makes too. --All gearing toward planetary ap, the original reason I changed motors and to Onstep.

Cheers!
edit: the billboards were down when I got to town. :P
Last edit: 4 years 10 months ago by Ray Wells.
4 years 10 months ago #23887

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Hi Blueshawk,

Hope no damage due to the storm. Last time I spent some time on the roof replacing tiles :-(

On my side I am making progress on the hardwar, OnStep and Raspberry inside the box and ... I retrieve the bug with OnStep not connecting the first time.
Now I think I now where it comes from.
Some spurious data from Raspberry when connecting usb.
The difference between now and before is that Teensy is already powered when USB connects and/or Raspberry boot at box power on.
On the breadboard I powered the Teensy with USB this is why it never happened before.

I asked udev to solve this for me by running a script at connection (excerpt of 49-teesy.rules)
KERNEL=="ttyACM*", ATTRS{idVendor}=="16c0", ATTRS{idProduct}=="04[789B]?", MODE:="0666", SYMLINK+="teensy", RUN+="/usr/local/bin/teensy"

So now each time I connect to raspberry udev runs this script:
===========
#!/bin/sh
echo :# > /dev/teensy
===========

Since I did this I never had connection issues again.
4 years 10 months ago #23891

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I added a high precision function (which should be usable on AutoStar II, if that becomes a separate driver) to lx200 generic and OnStep.

Allowing for xx.xxxxx Hz (currently 55-65) instead of xx.x Hz settings. This is because I use a Mega, and I've used the freq to fine tune how well it's going and 0.1Hz is too coarse.

Oh, and there's a change from 0.1 sec to 0.2 sec pulses for the focuser, because the 0.1 seems to not be long enough. That's my next project.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Ray Wells
Last edit: 4 years 10 months ago by james_lan.
4 years 10 months ago #24360

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(last post ghosted...it may return to haunt me)
Nice! I've been wanting that (55-65hz) for a while myself. I'll try it out next chance I get.
Has it been pulled into git master yet?
4 years 10 months ago #24365

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Thank you James,

I will check and merge when I have time. Sorry I'm a bit busy on some other stuff for my boss :-).*

A propos Focuser, I agree I found also it is too short.
I just finished my new Focuser since I had to replace the CC motor by a stepper to be driven by OnStep.
I used a 48 stepper from a scanner with a reduction gear 21/1. Works fine.
Since no good weather (still snowing) I started to dismantle the mount to adapt everything to OnStep but beeing stopped in my hobby ...

Regards
4 years 10 months ago #24366

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No problem on any delay. I haven't tested it as much as I'd like (Clouds are evil). It came out efforts to deal with timing, I thought. (Really caused by datasheets that lie. Gear ratios weren't exact, so hopefully I don't even need it!)

It's not in main or azwing's yet (though there's a pull request.) If you want to try it out: github.com/james-lan/indi until it gets merged in. I'm supposed to have good skies so I'll try it out tonight and let you know if there are any other problems I have.

As far as the focuser, I think I'll add a variable for length of pulse. (Timing it exactly is going to be a pain.) If that doesn't work, I'm gonna modify OnStep to include an absolute position that ties to steppers instead of a time based function on a serial connection. (Depending on how it gets sent, etc, because it's sent so quickly afterwards, if it hits a buffer, that's only a few characters, and so only the processing time between them. < Best working guess as to why it seems... inconsistent in terms of movement.)
4 years 10 months ago #24372

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Ice and snow tonight..yay.
I really think absolute position is the way to go unless you have a (commercial?) focuser that doesn't use a stepper. I just don't see open loop timing being repeatable or an enjoyable process for man or machine.
My arduino nano/drv8825 focuser project used the Moonlite focuser driver instead which uses absolute stepper positioning rather than timing. I haven't tried the onstep built in one as a result but I can see the lure there, just add another driver board to some open i/o and off you go. The Moonlite driver has repeatable position, saved relative and absolute variables and offsets and saved focus points. You might be able to look over that code or integrate it somehow to add the function options. When I got mine done even 40k wasn't enough range for a shaft coupled gearhead stepper like the 24byj-48 or someone using the 10x shaft, so that's something to be considered if you get into coding absolute positioning.
4 years 10 months ago #24381

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Actually, I was looking at it, and OnStep, while supporting the LX200 commands which have no concept of anything other than speed/in/out, has relative and absolute position available. Which is what I thought I'd have to add.

// :FRsnnn# Set focuser target position relative (in microns)
// Returns: Nothing
// :FSsnnn# Set focuser target position (in microns)
// Returns: Nothing

Which should make it fairly easy.

Also, while I didn't get a chance to take pictures last night, I was able to verify that the Frequency seems to work. (After being really confused, as I'd been working on the pi, and was using my laptop directly, where I hadn't recompiled INDI)

We do need to tie it in with INDI's focuser support, as well, but I'll settle for getting it working first, then tie it in.

EDIT: It looks like azwing has already done some work on this so cool. Though it's confusing when I've looked at it. (Namely, it reads absolute position, as opposed to Relative, but uses the FR)
Last edit: 4 years 10 months ago by james_lan.
4 years 10 months ago #24429

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I almost remember something about taking pictures with a telescope, but I'm starting to think it was all a dream.
That's really all you need for a focuser, and maybe a home/reset function though if you have a large enough range its not really needed as it's relative in the end. I often get focus somewhere close by hand before going inside anyway.
Keep an eye out for *stack smashing* on the pi. I've been finding sporadic reports just like my problem with various different arm based projects and don't have a cure yet. I know it's an anti hacker function built into gcc but that's about it so far. No idea why my intel stuff is fine but my arm machines both crash with it. Starting with a clean new install on the Odroid-xu4 I ended up with the exact same problem I had on the rpi3
Last edit: 4 years 10 months ago by Ray Wells.
4 years 10 months ago #24430

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James,

yes I made a mix between Absolte position read and Relative set.
I do not see the advantage of using abolute and relative setting when relative can do both and the difference was by head in my thinking :-)

Seriously I was thinking too on a adjustable timer for the in / out commands but also here I still don't kwow how to have predictable results.
The same happens with the bluetooth commands, the pulse are not always moving the same amount.
4 years 10 months ago #24431

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