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INDI Library v1.9.6 Released (Yesterday)

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

Imaging during partly cloudy nights

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Thanks Wolfgang - this is a great solution to a problem that's been bugging me. I have to admit I've started testing Voyager recently because I needed a solution that was more robust in how it handled pausing and restarting due to weather (wind, rain and clouds).

Is there a mechanism by which Ekos could be made to only pause versus exit when it encounters certain conditions? (perhaps it can do this but I cant se how)
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Last edit: 8 months 3 weeks ago by Paul Muller.
8 months 4 weeks ago #74728

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Good point, Ron, there were discussions about this here in the past. The conclusion was to leave this better outside in the INDI watchdog and have only basic support in EKOS. The main point was robustness so that the observatory will react even if Kstars runs into trouble or even crashed.
TSA-120 + epsilon-160 + FSQ-85 + GSO 150/750 | Avalon Linear + M-zero | ASI 1600mm pro + 6200mm pro | KStars/INDI on Raspberry Pi 4/Intel NUC
8 months 4 weeks ago #74735

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Hi Wolfgang - sorry to confuse you by being another Ron :)

I have been using your settings for a while, having seen them in another thread. I have yet to encounter clouds sufficient to trigger a job abort / restart, just lots of capture aborts due to guide deviation. Including last night.

Last night I ran into another issue - when I woke up to check on things, the scheduler was stopped, no guiding was going on and the last note in the scheduler was that the meridian flip was successful. Looking at the part of the log just prior to the flip, it turns out that capture was already suspended due to guide deviation, so (apparently) once the flip completed the scheduler simply suspended itself(?). Is this the expected behavior? Is there any way around it, other than being awake at the right time?

In the part of the log below, the entries starting at 02:23 are from when I woke up and manually stopped then restarted the scheduler.

[2021-08-22T01:34:05.190 EDT INFO ][   org.kde.kstars.ekos.capture] - "Guiding deviation 3.110 exceeded limit value of 2.5 arcsecs, suspending exposure and waiting for guider up to 60.000 seconds."
[2021-08-22T01:34:05.220 EDT INFO ][   org.kde.kstars.ekos.capture] - "CCD capture suspended"
[2021-08-22T01:34:05.259 EDT DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.scheduler] - Capture State "Suspended"
[2021-08-22T01:34:05.505 EDT DEBG ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - Meridian flip planned with LST= "21h 59m 28s"  scope RA= "21h 51m 28s"  ha= 0.133496 , meridian diff= 0.133333 , hrstoFlip= -0.000162427 , flipDelayHrs= 0 ,  "Pier Side: West (pointing East)"
[2021-08-22T01:34:05.505 EDT DEBG ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - Setting meridian flip status to  "FLIP_PLANNED"
[2021-08-22T01:34:05.505 EDT DEBG ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - meridianFlipStatusChanged  "FLIP_PLANNED"
[2021-08-22T01:34:05.506 EDT DEBG ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - Received capture meridianFlipStatusChange  "FLIP_WAITING"
[2021-08-22T01:34:05.506 EDT DEBG ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - meridianFlipStatusChanged  "FLIP_WAITING"
[2021-08-22T01:34:05.506 EDT INFO ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - "Meridian flip waiting."
[2021-08-22T01:34:05.766 EDT INFO ][           org.kde.kstars.indi] - QHY CCD QHY183C-89efd84 :  "[INFO] Exposure aborted. "
[2021-08-22T01:34:08.361 EDT DEBG ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - Received capture meridianFlipStatusChange  "FLIP_ACCEPTED"
[2021-08-22T01:34:08.361 EDT DEBG ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - meridianFlipStatusChanged  "FLIP_ACCEPTED"
[2021-08-22T01:34:08.529 EDT INFO ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - Meridian flip: slewing to RA= "21h 51m 21s" DEC= " 47° 26' 49\""  Hour Angle  "00h 00m 33s"
[2021-08-22T01:34:08.529 EDT DEBG ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - Setting meridian flip status to  "FLIP_RUNNING"
[2021-08-22T01:34:08.529 EDT DEBG ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - meridianFlipStatusChanged  "FLIP_RUNNING"
[2021-08-22T01:34:08.530 EDT INFO ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - "Meridian flip started."
[2021-08-22T01:34:08.564 EDT DEBG ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - Slewing to RA= "21h 51m 21s" DEC= " 47° 26' 49\""
[2021-08-22T01:34:08.564 EDT DEBG ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - Initial HA  0.136151 , flipDelayHrs  0 MFStatus  "FLIP_RUNNING"
[2021-08-22T01:34:08.585 EDT INFO ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.guide] - "Mount is slewing. Aborting guide..."
[2021-08-22T01:34:08.592 EDT INFO ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - "Meridian flip slew started..."
[2021-08-22T01:34:08.600 EDT DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.scheduler] - Capture State "Meridian Flip"
[2021-08-22T01:34:08.600 EDT DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.scheduler] - Mount State changed to 2
[2021-08-22T01:34:08.736 EDT INFO ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.guide] - "PHD2: Guiding Stopped."
[2021-08-22T01:34:08.759 EDT INFO ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.guide] - "Autoguiding aborted."
[2021-08-22T01:34:08.766 EDT DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.scheduler] - Guide State "Aborted"
[2021-08-22T01:34:09.471 EDT INFO ][           org.kde.kstars.indi] - iOptron CEM25 :  "[INFO] Slewing to RA: 21:51:21 - DEC: 47:26:49 "
[2021-08-22T01:34:09.535 EDT INFO ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.guide] - "PHD2: Guiding started."
[2021-08-22T01:34:09.571 EDT INFO ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.guide] - "Autoguiding started."
[2021-08-22T01:34:09.624 EDT DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.scheduler] - Guide State "Guiding"
[2021-08-22T01:34:11.667 EDT INFO ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.guide] - "PHD2: Guiding Stopped."
[2021-08-22T01:34:11.690 EDT INFO ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.guide] - "Autoguiding aborted."
[2021-08-22T01:34:11.696 EDT DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.scheduler] - Guide State "Aborted"
[2021-08-22T01:34:11.729 EDT INFO ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.guide] - "PHD2: Lock Position Lost."
[2021-08-22T01:34:12.526 EDT INFO ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.guide] - "PHD2: Guiding Stopped."
[2021-08-22T01:34:12.533 EDT DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.scheduler] - Guide State "Aborted"
[2021-08-22T01:34:40.565 EDT INFO ][           org.kde.kstars.indi] - iOptron CEM25 :  "[INFO] Slew complete, tracking... "
[2021-08-22T01:34:41.529 EDT DEBG ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - Mount status changed from  "Slewing"  to  "Tracking"
[2021-08-22T01:34:41.529 EDT DEBG ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - Slew finished, MFStatus  "FLIP_RUNNING"
[2021-08-22T01:34:41.557 EDT INFO ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - "Meridian flip completed OK."
[2021-08-22T01:34:41.569 EDT DEBG ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - Setting meridian flip status to  "FLIP_COMPLETED"
[2021-08-22T01:34:41.569 EDT DEBG ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - meridianFlipStatusChanged  "FLIP_COMPLETED"
[2021-08-22T01:34:41.570 EDT INFO ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - "Meridian flip completed."
[2021-08-22T01:34:41.581 EDT INFO ][   org.kde.kstars.ekos.capture] - "Telescope completed the meridian flip."
[2021-08-22T01:34:41.612 EDT DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.scheduler] - Mount State changed to 3
[2021-08-22T01:34:41.612 EDT DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.scheduler] - Capture State "Idle"
[2021-08-22T01:34:42.501 EDT DEBG ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - Setting meridian flip status to  "FLIP_NONE"
[2021-08-22T01:34:42.501 EDT DEBG ][     org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - meridianFlipStatusChanged  "FLIP_NONE"
[2021-08-22T02:23:13.552 EDT INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.scheduler] - Scheduler is stopping...
[2021-08-22T02:23:13.553 EDT DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.scheduler] - Job ' "Cocoon_Lx_240" ' is stopping current action... 13
[2021-08-22T02:23:13.556 EDT INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.scheduler] - "Job 'Cocoon_Lx_240' is stopping guiding..."
[2021-08-22T02:23:13.557 EDT INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.scheduler] - "Job 'Cocoon_Lx_240' has not been processed upon scheduler stop, marking aborted."
[2021-08-22T02:23:17.283 EDT DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.scheduler] - "Searching in path '/mnt/usb/Cocoon_Lx_240/Light', files 'Cocoon_Lx_240s_Light*' for prefix 'Cocoon_Lx_240s_Light'..."
[2021-08-22T02:23:17.283 EDT DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.scheduler] - "> Found 'Cocoon_Lx_240s_Light_001'"
[2021-08-22T02:23:17.283 EDT DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.scheduler] - "> Found 'Cocoon_Lx_240s_Light_002'"
[2021-08-22T02:23:17.284 EDT DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.scheduler] - "> Found 'Cocoon_Lx_240s_Light_003'"

Attached are a screenshot of my settings and the full log from last night   

File Attachment:

File Name: log_20-02-24.txt
File Size:1,011 KB


 
8 months 4 weeks ago #74753
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Hi Ron,
you are running KStars 3.5.2, which indeed had this bug. Meanwhile, since KStars 3.5.3, this bug is fixed, so please upgrade to the latest version.
HTH
Wolfgang
TSA-120 + epsilon-160 + FSQ-85 + GSO 150/750 | Avalon Linear + M-zero | ASI 1600mm pro + 6200mm pro | KStars/INDI on Raspberry Pi 4/Intel NUC
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8 months 4 weeks ago #74758

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Thanks. I'm definitely the "only update a working system if you know the new version has something you need" type. Unfortunately, the astroberry forum here has several reports of problems with KStars 3.5.4 that I'm not sure would affect me or if they have been fixed (failure to connect the mount to PHD2, for one). Maybe it's time to graduate from astroberry and start building my own - but it's the beginning of my Fall term (teaching), so that's not something I will have the mental energy for right away.

Cheers,
Ron
8 months 4 weeks ago #74762

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Wolfgang,

This is the first Ron :-).

After looking at the log file a bit more and reviewing my timeline, I'm not convinced that the system would ever abort the job because of guide/capture failure. It went for a couple of hours of failure before shutting down completely. If your's is working, there must be some setting that is different than mine. Anything come to mind?

This is important to me because if enough time passes, my mount will drift. When this happened a few nights ago, after the clouds left I was not pointed in the right place. I needed it to do a new alignment... which only happens if the job aborts.

Any ideas?

Thanks!

1st Ron
Mounts: Sky-Watcher EQ6-R Pro, Meade LX85, Celestron NexStar Evolution Alt/Az
OTAs: Celestron 8" Edge HD w/Celestron Focus Motor, Meade 80mm APO Triplet Refractor w/ZWO EAF
Cameras: ASI533MC Pro, ASI183MC Pro, ASI224MC, ASI120MC-S, ZWO ASI290MM
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8 months 4 weeks ago #74764

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Building KStars  from sources is quite straight forward . As long as you don't issue a make install, you will keep your old version installed and can select, whether you use the (b)leading edge or the older version. But you need INDI 1.9.1 for the current version.
TSA-120 + epsilon-160 + FSQ-85 + GSO 150/750 | Avalon Linear + M-zero | ASI 1600mm pro + 6200mm pro | KStars/INDI on Raspberry Pi 4/Intel NUC
8 months 4 weeks ago #74765

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It looks like your guider takes hot pixels as guiding stars which you need to get under control. Do you use darks in the guiding module? This might be the solution.

The main difference is that I am using PHD2 for guiding while you are using the internal guider. In PHD2 I can set the minimum star FWHM so that I can avoid quite good taking hot pixels.
TSA-120 + epsilon-160 + FSQ-85 + GSO 150/750 | Avalon Linear + M-zero | ASI 1600mm pro + 6200mm pro | KStars/INDI on Raspberry Pi 4/Intel NUC
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8 months 4 weeks ago #74766

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Wolfgang,

Yes, I use darks when using the internal guider. Maybe I eliminate the gain setting. I've purchased a new guide camera (ASI290) to replace my ASI120. I'm beginning to suspect that the camera is part of the problem.

I've always used PHD2 until a couple of weeks ago. I suspected that I was having communication problems between PHD2 and EKOS, which was causing some guiding problems. Since moving to the internal guider, my results are much better.

Thank you,

1st Ron
Mounts: Sky-Watcher EQ6-R Pro, Meade LX85, Celestron NexStar Evolution Alt/Az
OTAs: Celestron 8" Edge HD w/Celestron Focus Motor, Meade 80mm APO Triplet Refractor w/ZWO EAF
Cameras: ASI533MC Pro, ASI183MC Pro, ASI224MC, ASI120MC-S, ZWO ASI290MM
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8 months 4 weeks ago #74768

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     The main difference is that I am using PHD2 for guiding while you are using the internal guider. In PHD2 I can set the minimum star FWHM so that I can avoid quite good taking hot pixels.

FWIW, if you use SEP MultiStar guiding, then StellarSolver is the star detection method, and StellarSolver has parameters to adjust for minimum star size. In fact, I'd expect that the defaults would do that.

Hy
 
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8 months 4 weeks ago #74771

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Yes, it's set to default. Perhaps I'll try mid-sized starts.

Thanks,

Ron
Mounts: Sky-Watcher EQ6-R Pro, Meade LX85, Celestron NexStar Evolution Alt/Az
OTAs: Celestron 8" Edge HD w/Celestron Focus Motor, Meade 80mm APO Triplet Refractor w/ZWO EAF
Cameras: ASI533MC Pro, ASI183MC Pro, ASI224MC, ASI120MC-S, ZWO ASI290MM
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8 months 4 weeks ago #74774

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So back to this, with particular questions about PHD2.

Since starting to use the scheduler with repeated ~1-hour jobs set to re-try on failure, I have had a few partly cloudy nights but never yet had PHD2 act in a way that triggered the sequence job to abort/restart. Instead, capture aborts (because guiding is out of limits), PHD2 continues to "guide" even though it can see only a few, if any, stars. When the cloud passes by and guiding gets back within limits, capture restarts. That is fine, except I think the point of abort/restart is to allow a re-alignment to deal with the mount drifting off target during the cloudy break.
Is there a PHD2 setting I should be looking for to help trigger the scheduler to abort the job?

Last night I had a particularly vexing PHD2 behavior with clouds. The early part of the night had several episodes of cloudy crummy guiding, but I was getting enough successful 4-minute exposures to keep going. Tried to get some sleep. Woke up to discover this:
 
The guide camera view showed that there were not currently clouds, but the guide star had a huge HFR. I guess it latched onto a really bright star when that was what was visible, and never let go. I stopped and restarted guiding, and it turned into this:
 

If I had not woken up and checked, I assume it would have continued trying to guide on that same bright star.
8 months 1 week ago #75334
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