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INDI Library v1.9.8 Released (29 Sep 2022)

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

iEXOS100 Mount Tested With PMC8 Driver

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Hi,

I'd like someone to clarify the iEXOS-100 connection to computer.

In the mount manual there is an image showing miniUSB port. In the indilib Devices/Mounts/Explore Scientific PMC-Eight/Requirements section, there is a statement that says we have to use SPECIAL USB Serial cable and link to the solution incorporationg a FTDI USB<->Serial cable.

What is the purpose of using this SPECIAL USB Serial cable if we already have an USB port in the computer and mount itself?

Clear skies!
Patryk
3 years 2 months ago #43716

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I don't think this applies for direct usb connection. The driver documentation should be updated. Were there models before that use serial to usb cables? if yes which ones? maybe we can post photos of the model that requires this FTDI cable mod?
Jasem Mutlaq
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3 years 2 months ago #43720

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It is pretty obvious which models need a USB->Serial adapter and which accept a mini-USB cable. The iEXOS100 is the only one I know of that takes the mini-USB at the moment but I haven't looked at this for many months perhaps ES changed something.
3 years 2 months ago #43721

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Thanks guys for quick reply.

Let me clarify: I'm in process of decision whether to buy iEXOS-100 and get rid of my EQ3-2 SynScan Goto. I've just bought QHY5L-II-M and QHY miniGuideScope and planning to buy TS71SDQ Quadruplet, the only thing remains is the mount.
For my amateur astrophotography I use INDI server on Ubuntu Server 18.04 on RPi2B+ with WIfi dongle. As a client for INDI server I use macOS 10.15 and Kstars 3.3.6 and like to stick with it, as a macOS-only user (no plans for VM/BootCamp with Wndows).
My hardware setup is: SW 150/750 on EQ3-2 SynScan Goto as EQMod Mount via PC-Direct mode and Canon 700D without IR filter.
I really like the iEXOS-100 mount because of it's light weight (I have to carry my gear IN and OUT everytime coz of robbing neighbourhood) and for belt-driven mechanism.

The thing is: will I be able to use iEXOS-100 the same way I did with EQMod Mount?

All the best!
Patryk
Last edit: 3 years 2 months ago by Patryk Gutaker.
3 years 2 months ago #43727

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The PMC8 driver has not seen much testing and I would consider it maybe beta at best in stability. The EQMOD driver on the other hand is one of the best developed and maintained drivers. I would look at another EQMOD mount if the functionality and stability of EQMOD is important to you.

And to be honest I don't consider a mount being light a good measure for an imaging mount - you want stability.
3 years 2 months ago #43742

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Hi Mike,
Yeah, I already know that... BUT I have to consider:
  • my spine injury (doctor said I'm not supposed to lift more than 25kg)
  • neighborhood (guys wandering around at night, stealing things)
  • I'm low on budget and can't afford HEQ5, worth in Poland ~1150$ (it's heavy BTW
I'm trying to find the best solution, and I find iEXOS-100 is the way to go, as the guys from espmc-eight reporting successful 10min exposures.

I think that swapping my old, good EQ3-2 SynScan GoTo for iEXOS-100 is the right choice, as my mount isn't capable of guiding anyway.
What do you think?
3 years 2 months ago #43743

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I understand the physical side is certainly a big factor.

I only had the mount a couple of nights to check the INDI driver compatibility.

No really experience imaging with it so you'd have to check with owners.

It is a really tiny mount - but if it is all you can move then not much of a choice I suppose.
3 years 2 months ago #43745

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Hi,

I finally managed to make my iEXOS100 work with INDI. However, only serial connection seems to work. For UDP, there is probably no reply from the mount and with TCP there possibly is a reply, but with too great delay. It seems to be a problem of the mount, not INDI.

I also have some problems with the alignment synchronization of the mount. I started at a (virtual) polar position of the scope, but slewing it anywhere else just pointed to meaningless directions, such as below the horizon. The geographical location was set both via the INDI control panel and (I suppose) also Kstars. But both Kstars and SkySafari just turned the telescope to wrong positions (I tried North, South, West and East) as if the sky was tilted for the scope. I do not know about the time - it was correct both in SkySafari and KStars, of course, but maybe not in sync with the mount? I parked the scope again and switched the mount back to UDP and tried the original ExploreStars application and it immediately started pointing in correct directions. I switched the mount back to serial and connected to INDI again and now it seems to have kept the right positioning. But what have I done wrong and what should I expect next time? How to make the mount in sync with INDI or reset its position? I always start in polar position of the scope, but it does not seem to be enough.

Thanks for any advice,
Pavel
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jasem Mutlaq
2 years 11 months ago #47277

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Perhaps the mounts needs to be aligned first with the HC before it is connected to INDI? All mounts (except for EQMod) require alignment prior to connection.
Jasem Mutlaq
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2 years 11 months ago #47284

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Excuse me, what is HC?

According to the driver documentation, it only needs to start in polar position and have location and time set correctly. (In the original vendors application, I only did that and it worked.) The location is being set as I can see from the INDI control panel messages. I cannot see anything about the date and time being set, however. I have no idea how the internal motors are being synchronized to the correct position, but I suppose it is being somehow reset to the polar position when powered on...?
2 years 11 months ago #47289

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HC = Hand Controller.

Perhaps turn on debug logging and share the logs?
Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
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2 years 10 months ago #47317

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Well, I found out the synchronization of Astroberry's internal time with the RTC did not work, so maybe that was the problem. Despite of the correct time in the clients (KStars, SkySafari) - they probably did not fix the time settings of the mount(?). I am sorry for beginner issues.

Last night I tested the mount in the field and it worked quite well. After parking it and turning off, it did not work so well any more when I returned and turned it on again. In the middle of the freezing field with the equipment getting quickly covered by freezing dew I had no more will and energy for more experiments late at night, and the conditions were not so much favourable anyway, so I gave up. There is still lot of questions about how the alignment is kept, how is it affected e.g. by SkySafari's own alignment corrections, but that is not a question for this place, I guess. However, I would like to know how the internal alignment of the mount is affected by the INDI driver at least - just reset to the polar position when turned on? Can it be reset or somehow adjusted by the clients afterwards?

BTW, this mount has no hand controller. The only "controller" is the vendor's software application ExploreStars using wireless communication. Unfortunately, switching between the wireless and wired control and back is too complicated to be done in the field without proper tools. And while possible in theory, the wireless control by INDI does not really work - obviously the mount does not cooperate well in this way, despite the promising documentation. Did someone here actually make it work using TCP or UDP connection?
2 years 10 months ago #47607

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