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INDI Library v1.9.9 Released (30 Nov 2022)

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

Automated Flat Panel Control

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Hi All,

If this is in the wrong place or there is already thread containing this info it please let me know. I just didn't see one.

First, I have very very limited coding experience, but am looking for some help in controlling an EL Panel via the Calibration settings within the capture module of Ekos.  I have an RPi 4 running astroberry with a Raspberry Pi Expansion Board, Power Relay .  I'm using a 3d printed shutter on a servo driven by servoblastercap.  The cap closes properly/automatically when it comes time to taking darks so that's not an issue.  I had planed to control el panel via the relays on the hat.  I found Astroberry DIY including the Astroberry Relay, and while I can manually flick the relays on within the INDI Control Panel, I can't seem to get it to respond to the calibration settings.  I also found a driver written dokeeffe on GitHub call qik_flat, which at first glance looks exactly like what I'm trying to do, but again I'm code dumb and don't know.  So I'm humbly asking the community for help.  Any direction would be fantastically appreciated.

Thanks all,
YKMFPTD :)
8 months 3 weeks ago #81372

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Replied by Tim on topic Automated Flat Panel Control

At the risk of me being very dumb, how are you controlling the EL panel? Relays can turn a power supply on and off, but they will not allow you to control intensity. The arduino code in qik-flat does not appear to control intensity - the INDI driver states "not supported" under SetLightBoxBrightness.
I understand that not all EL panels are dimmable, and that dimming those that are is non-trivial. You will either need to experiment with arduino control of the EL and amend the driver, or switch to a driver that dooes support dimming and devise arduino code that responds to it. It might be easier to use an LED panel - see github.com/jwellman80/ArduinoLightbox, which I used as the basis for my fixed flat panel.
Regards
Tim
8 months 3 weeks ago #81403

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On a side note - is there a way for EKOS to automatically measure an adjust the brightness of an LCD board (using FlipFlat device driver)?  I made may own light board with an Arduino controller and and INDI can adjust the brightness (manually) and can go to preset filter brightness settings.  But I would like EKOS to keep my exposures at 2 seconds and then let EKOS measure the brightness and adjust the brightness level to match my selected ADU value.  Is that possible?



 

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8 months 3 weeks ago #81404

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Replied by DL on topic Automated Flat Panel Control

Peter, Tim,
Thank you for the insights!Given the nature of my question regarding code, I obviously see no dumb questions, ever, which is a blessing and a curse. I’m just grateful you’ve shared your thoughts. Yes, I am controlling the EL Panel with the relay board mentioned in my original post. As of right now, I am not too concerned about controlling the brightness of the EL panel. I’m shooting with one light pollution filter on a one shot color camera so I don’t need to adjust brightness for multiple filters at this point, that will be a bridge across later I suppose. For now, I want Ekos’s capture module two turn on the EL panel when servoblaster has my automated dust cap closed via the calibration settings for flats. The EL Panel is mounted to the inside of my dust cap. Automated flat capture is my final step in complete rig automation.  I’d like this to be a pi based solution if possible without adding another component to the mix. As far as the question about Ekos adjusting the brightness for a static exposure, I don’t know. I’ve never seen that behavior offered from the system before. But I do like that idea, it could check a lot of boxes, not that my opinion carries much weight.  Any suggestions on how I can modify a driver to fit my needs or a good place to start to learn how to accomplish that?
8 months 3 weeks ago #81421

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Replied by dave on topic Automated Flat Panel Control

Hi.
Just wondering if you have any follow up on this post. I am also busy trying to get an automated 'flats system' working.. still trying to get my head around it.

Basic question, if I add 'astroberry_relays' to turn on my flat lamp - does ekos 'know' to use it when I'm doing flats. I know I set 'Dust cover with external light' in Flat calibration - but how do I tell ekos to use that (astroberry_relays) device?
And same for controlling a servo (I will close the flat panel / dustcap before taking flats)?

Any enlightenment appreciated,

Dave.

p.s Great product Astroberry 10/10 !!
8 months 5 days ago #81973

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Ekos finds devices that implement the corresponding interfaces (dust cap and light box) and uses those. Usually they are the same device that implements both, like Flip-flat or Snapcap, but I don't see why they couldn't be two different devices too (barring any other bugs :)
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8 months 1 day ago #82119

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Replied by dave on topic Automated Flat Panel Control

Hi,

Thx..

I am using relays to open/close a diy flat panel & turn the light on/off.
The relay is not usb, it is run from rasp pins..

How do I 'tell' ekos to use that relay? How do I connect it to the relevant flatpanel interface?

As a work-around I could call the relay with a pre-job script - but that is a less integrated solution.

Dave
7 months 2 weeks ago #82421

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It has to be done via an INDI driver. You can checkout of the existing driver like flipflat and customize this to your needs. Perhaps we need a generic driver like Dome/Mount script gateways.
Jasem Mutlaq
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7 months 2 weeks ago #82433

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I am on the hunt for an automated solution flat panel - dust cap, of course fully controlled through Ekos. Trying to compare and weight my options between commercial and DIY.
Does anyone have a specific schematic or guide (parts, drivers etc) that followed with success to share?
4 months 1 week ago #84741

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Replied by DL on topic Automated Flat Panel Control

I use a 3d printed shutter, connected to this servoservo . It's purched on a 3d printed platform at the end of my dew shield. I use the servo blaster driver to control its opening and closing. I attached an EL panelEL panel to the inside plane of the shutter and while flats are not 100% automated, the servo blaster driver is picked up by Kstars and allows for automated darks and biases. And a remote triggering of flat capturing sequence.

The only problem I'm still trying to tackle from a DIY perspective is 100% automated flats. Which would then let me capture flats while using the Scheduler module. For now I have to manually engage the EL panel when I need to capture a fresh batch of flats and current configuration is not dimmable, but that will be changing soon.

To do this, I use the astroberry relay driver to flick on an RPi relay hat . Since I'm using a dedicated astro camera I can take advantage of the ADU auto flat capture feature within Ekos. So at least part of the flat capture process is automated.

Hope this helps.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jasem Mutlaq
4 months 3 days ago #85049

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