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INDI Library v1.9.8 Released (Yesterday)

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

Opening Remote Serial Shutter Failed

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Hi, I'm having a bit it trouble getting my USB-Serial shutter release cable to work in ekos. I am running astroberry and using a fuji x-t1 as my imaging camera. I've run into a myriad of problems getting the fuji to work, but it seems to finally be working except for this one issue. When attempting to take exposures in bulb mode, the serial shutter release will often not work, either spitting out an error that the serial port could not be opened, or that opening/closing the serial shutter failed. The strange thing is that occasionally these errors will go away and I can get imaging going, but I'm having trouble pinpointing what exactly is the issue and how to solve it. Usually what I end up doing is repeatedly allowing an exposure to start, then when it fails/aborts I will restart it again. Occasionally I will try rebooting the pi 4 and camera, or relaunching kstars/ekos as well. Eventually somehow the issue gets fixed and just starts working, but I have no clue as to why or how. This is frustrating as it can take up to an hour or more to get things working, and sometimes not at all. I can reliably take exposures using the fuji predefined exposure times (max 30s) but would like to shoot longer subs, hence the cable. Can anybody help me figure out how to fix this issue permanently?
1 year 2 months ago #73850

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Maybe watch the system log and see what would cause the serial port opening to go wrong? and what kind of remote shutter you're using exactly?

Use this to monitor the system.
journalctl -f
Jasem Mutlaq
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1 year 2 months ago #73853

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Just to make sure I'm understanding correctly, I just type that command in console and then try to get my imaging started, yes? And the remote shutter is this one (The serial one with the transistor and diode) www.covingtoninnovations.com/dslr/canonrelease.html but I have pins 4 and 6 wired together as well.
I am using a pl2303 USB to Serial cable if that helps.
Thanks.
1 year 2 months ago #73861

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Yes, this just monitors system events. Maybe when you trigger the exposure it would shed some light on the failure.. maybe not, we'll see.
Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
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1 year 2 months ago #73864

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Sorry for the delayed response, got wrapped up in work. I tried to start imaging again and this is what kept popping up in the terminal whenever an exposure was attempted.

Jul 30 23:11:14 astroberry python3[1135]: /python detected a memory leak of type 'INDI::BaseDevice::Properties *', no destructor found.
Jul 30 23:11:14 astroberry python3[1135]: swig/python detected a memory leak of type 'INDI::BaseDevice::Properties *', no destructor found.
Jul 30 23:11:14 astroberry python3[1135]: swig/python detected a memory leak of type 'INDI::BaseDevice::Properties *', no destructor found.
Jul 30 23:11:14 astroberry python3[1135]: swig/python detected a memory leak of type 'INDI::BaseDevice::Properties *', no destructor found.
Jul 30 23:11:56 astroberry python3[1135]: swig/python detected a memory leak of type 'INDI::BaseDevice::Properties *', no destructor found.
Jul 30 23:11:56 astroberry python3[1135]: swig/python detected a memory leak of type 'INDI::BaseDevice::Properties *', no destructor found.
Jul 30 23:11:56 astroberry python3[1135]: swig/python detected a memory leak of type 'INDI::BaseDevice::Properties *', no destructor found.

Hopefully this helps. Thanks.
1 year 1 month ago #74008

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So a bit of an update regarding what might be happening. I can confirm the shutter release did in fact work this time. The problem is the camera only actuates the shutter when it is disconnected from the pi. As long as the camera is tethered it wont do bulb exposures using the shutter release. I checked this by starting a series of exposures using the capture module, and then when they started failing I would disconnect the camera by pulling out the usb cable. The camera then would do bulb exposures as normal, but obviously wouldn't transfer the files to the pi. I can however verify that bulb exposures while tethered are possible, as I have taken 320s bulb exposures with the capture module in the past. There seems to be something going on regarding the tethering as well as the shutter release. I can't figure out exactly what the cause for the inconsistency is, but will continue to provide information as I come upon in. One thing that I will test is seeing if different batteries affect this behavior. I was able to get imaging working as normal earlier today, but had to switch batteries right after this as it was running low. Upon restarting the camera and kstars I couldn't get the exposures to work again. No amount of pi, kstars, or camera restarts fixed this. It is unclear whether it is due to the battery itself, or perhaps just some other software related issue.
1 year 1 month ago #74010

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One more detail that might be important. When I managed to get imaging working earlier today, I also ran into the same problems with the tether+bulb exposures. However, when I disconnected the camera and verifed that the shutter release worked, I restarted kstars right after, and did not restart the camera. Running the capture module worked perfectly first try after this while tethered and using bulb exposures. After the battery swap, I did the exact same sequence of events as I just described, but the issue did not fix itself like last time. I hope this helps in figuring out what exactly is going wrong, and why there is so much inconsistency in the behaviour.
1 year 1 month ago #74011

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Ok major news. I believe I've figured out how to reliably get the x-t1 and shutter release working while tethered to the pi. It requires following a specific sequence of steps in order to work.
1st: Boot up the pi and camera and connect the relevant cables (shutter release + micro usb)
2nd: Launch kstars and ekos
3rd: run the capture module with a simple imaging sequence. I usually do between 2-3s exposures with a count of 2 or 3.
4th: You will notice as the exposures begin, on the camera LCD the exposure time indicator will change from BULB to 30s. Anytime exposure starts using the shutter release and the camera shows 30s exposure will fail. Let the first exposure run and fail, and on the 2nd, shut off the camera and then turn it back on WHILE the imaging sequence is still running. The time will revert to bulb and it will start taking bulb exposures not tethered to the pi. It will save these junk exposures to the SD card.
5th: This is very important. Either wait for the imaging sequence to abort, or cancel it yourself. Then click on the first 'tab' ekos starts at and click disconnect. Once disconnected then click the red telephone button. Then close the ekos window through the top right x, and then do the same for kstars.
6th: Relaunch kstars and ekos as before and begin an imaging sequence. You will notice this time the camera LCD will not change from BULB to 30s but will stay at BULB when taking exposures.
These exposures will be saved to the pi and will not be saved to the SD card. You can now begin imaging as normal.

I have no idea what exactly is causing this behaviour, but it seems to be something to do with the tethering. I have a suspicion that the X-T1 does not support bulb exposures when tethered, and can only do T-mode exposures (up to 30s). However by doing the steps above I think it might be altering something to do with the tether to allow changing of settings and downloading of exposures while still getting bulb to work. I am not technically inclined enough to know as to how to begin investigating this behavior. Perhaps someone with more knowledge could do so.

In a couple days I will have clear skies and will test my entire setup. If everything goes smoothly, I will write up a complete post as to how to get the fuji x-t1 to work with astrophotography. There are many more issues I have ran into besides this that I think others would be greatly appreciative to know how to solve. Here's to hoping everything works!
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jasem Mutlaq, Klyress
Last edit: 1 year 1 month ago by Sophia.
1 year 1 month ago #74029

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Wow thanks for all the effort put into this. I've linked to the documentation now to your response above so that prospective users may use this information when imaging. Thank you for all the dedication!
Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?
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1 year 1 month ago #74036

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Still relevant?
1 year 1 month ago #74046

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Today I got the exact same issue and can be workaround exactly with the steps provided by Sophia.
I'm using a Nikon 5100d with a DIY USB shutter cable which is mentioned in the thread:
www.cloudynights.com/topic/457536-usb-co...r-control-for-nikon/

I'm wondering if this issue is solved. If you need any information for debugging please feel free to contact me.

Cheers
1 month 4 weeks ago #84836

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