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INDI Library v1.8.9 Released (01 Mar 2021)

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(SOLVED)Meridian Flip fails with EQ6r-Pro and Kstars

  • Posts: 22
  • Thank you received: 3
I"ve been running Kstars now a couple yrs without much trouble. About a month ago without any changes to anything the meridian flip suddenly stopped working. Kstars starts the flip, and immediately says it failed without moving the mount at all. I've tried updating to kstars 3.5.0 stable, same thing. Yesterday I dropped back to kstars 3.5.0 beta (which has been working well for me) and still no meridian flip. Here is a snippet of last nights log:

2020-12-01T19:06:06.093 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - Meridian flip: slewing to RA= "23h 21m 37s" DEC= " 61° 18' 47\"" Hour Angle "00h 01m 25s"
[2020-12-01T19:06:06.093 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - "Meridian flip started."
[2020-12-01T19:06:06.097 CST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - ISD:Telescope sending coords RA: "23h 21m 37s" ( 23.3603 ) DE: " 61° 18' 47\"" ( 61.3131 )
[2020-12-01T19:06:06.098 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - "Meridian flip slew started..."
[2020-12-01T19:06:06.118 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.guide] - "PHD2: Guiding Stopped."
[2020-12-01T19:06:06.121 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.guide] - "Autoguiding aborted."
[2020-12-01T19:06:06.158 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Starting Goto RA=23.3603 DE=61.3131 (current RA=1.66454 DE=57.5245) "
[2020-12-01T19:06:06.166 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] GOTO ALign Nearest: delta RA = -21.696289, delta DEC = -3.789080 "
[2020-12-01T19:06:06.168 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Aligned Eqmod Goto RA=1.66401 DE=57.524 (target RA=23.3603 DE=61.3131) "
[2020-12-01T19:06:06.170 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Setting Eqmod Goto RA=1.66401 DE=57.524 (target RA=23.3603 DE=61.3131) "
[2020-12-01T19:06:06.171 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Slewing mount: RA increment = 261, DE increment = -11 "
[2020-12-01T19:06:06.182 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Slewing to RA: 23:21:37 - DEC: 61:18:47 "
[2020-12-01T19:06:06.626 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Iterative Goto (1): RA diff = 0.10 arcsecs DE diff = 0.01 arcsecs "
[2020-12-01T19:06:06.635 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Telescope slew is complete. Tracking TRACK_SIDEREAL... "
[2020-12-01T19:06:06.920 CST WARN ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.capture] - Skipping flat/dark cap since it is not connected.
[2020-12-01T19:06:07.011 CST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - processBLOB() mode 2
[2020-12-01T19:06:07.041 CST WARN ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - Meridian flip failed, pier side not changed
[2020-12-01T19:06:07.042 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - "meridian flip failed, retrying in 4 minutes"
[2020-12-01T19:06:07.043 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - "Meridian flip completed."
[2020-12-01T19:06:07.046 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.capture] - "Telescope completed the meridian flip."


The mount otherwise is working perfectly. It parks, slews and tracks just fine. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
4 months 1 week ago #63737

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There is a value to configure in the Mount module tab to tell how long to wait after transit time. How long did you tell Mount to wait? Can you increase the value and check?

-Eric
HEQ5-Pro - Atik 314E - Orion ED80T - DMK21 on Orion 50mm
DIY 3D-printed Moonlite and FWheel RGB/LPR
KStars and indiserver on two Atom 1.6GHz 1GB RAM Linux, VPN remote access
4 months 1 week ago #63752

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I've just looked thru all 12 tabs in the EQMod Mount within the INDI control panel and didn't see anything obvious. Can you tell me what tab to look at? and the name of the field? thanks
4 months 1 week ago #63753

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I am referring to the Ekos Mount tab.

-Eric
HEQ5-Pro - Atik 314E - Orion ED80T - DMK21 on Orion 50mm
DIY 3D-printed Moonlite and FWheel RGB/LPR
KStars and indiserver on two Atom 1.6GHz 1GB RAM Linux, VPN remote access
4 months 1 week ago #63754

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In any case Ekos is not supposed to leave the setup in "meridian flip completed", so that's an issue.

-Eric
HEQ5-Pro - Atik 314E - Orion ED80T - DMK21 on Orion 50mm
DIY 3D-printed Moonlite and FWheel RGB/LPR
KStars and indiserver on two Atom 1.6GHz 1GB RAM Linux, VPN remote access
The following user(s) said Thank You: pug916
4 months 1 week ago #63755

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I had it set to flip if HA> .2 hrs.
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4 months 1 week ago #63756

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Would you care to try to increase that value to make sure your mount actually flips when requested to slew to the same coordinates? Let your mount track over the meridian, check how far it can go without hitting the tripod and choose half that distance in hour angle.

-Eric
HEQ5-Pro - Atik 314E - Orion ED80T - DMK21 on Orion 50mm
DIY 3D-printed Moonlite and FWheel RGB/LPR
KStars and indiserver on two Atom 1.6GHz 1GB RAM Linux, VPN remote access
4 months 1 week ago #63760

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So I have a question about this value. I just now slewed to Caph. At the moment, the mount says the flip will occur in 4hrs and 22 min. with the value set to "flip if HA > .2 hrs. If i change it to .3 hrs, the fill will occur about 6 mins later. I'm understanding if I increase this value the flip will occur later. I'm on a pier, I would be worried if I raised that value the camera or filter wheel would hit the pier.

I'm confused why this has been working for a couple yrs now and out of the blue, it stopped. Looking at the timestamps in the logs, it all happens so fast. Ekos says flip, the mount gets the word and almost instantly you see the logs says the flip failed.
4 months 1 week ago #63763

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This is a good question, for which I don't have an answer yet in your particular case. The mount driver is supposed to initiate a slew to the same coordinates, and simply because those coordinates are on the other side of the meridian, the mount hardware will flip the setup.

My own flip configuration is set to 2 degrees. Recently I lost the geographical settings, which made the longitude value reset to zero. This had no visible consequence on the flip as I am at -1.5, but it may impact you. So if the mount driver is not considering the request, then its own view on the LST has drifted over time and/or is now incorrect. Check the geographical location, the time source and other relevant settings in the driver and hardware.

-Eric
HEQ5-Pro - Atik 314E - Orion ED80T - DMK21 on Orion 50mm
DIY 3D-printed Moonlite and FWheel RGB/LPR
KStars and indiserver on two Atom 1.6GHz 1GB RAM Linux, VPN remote access
The following user(s) said Thank You: pug916
4 months 1 week ago #63790

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Were you able to overcome the issue?

-Eric
HEQ5-Pro - Atik 314E - Orion ED80T - DMK21 on Orion 50mm
DIY 3D-printed Moonlite and FWheel RGB/LPR
KStars and indiserver on two Atom 1.6GHz 1GB RAM Linux, VPN remote access
4 months 1 week ago #63977

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Just realized that my problem is the same as this one, but with a different mount/driver. Therefore I'm also posting as a reply to this thread hoping that there are generic issues:

My meridian flips fail under 3.5.0 but logs report that they have completed.

Running 3.5.0 on R Pi 4 (64-bit ubuntu 20.04.1) from mutlaqja/ppa (not indinightly).

As always, the trick has been to set a slew limit in the mount that is LESS permissive than the Meridian Flip setting in Ekos.

This means the mount tracks *past* the point where a slew to the same coordinates will trigger a flip in the mount itself, for example while taking a scheduled image in a sequence.

A little later (further west) but still exposing the same image, the mount tracks past the "Meridian Flip" limit in Ekos. This should put Ekos in "Meridian Flip Waiting" mode.

Finally, when the current exposure is finished, Ekos should issue a slew to the same coordinates, which are now far enough west of the meridian to trigger the mount to flip.

I have set the "Flip Slew Tolerance: in the mount hand controller to 1 degree. This means that a slew to coordinates at Hour Angle less than +1 degree will still have the scope pointing east, but a slew to coordinates at Hour Angle greater than +1 degree will cause the mount to point west.

Accordingly, I have set the Meridian Flip in Ekos to HA > 1.5 degrees, so when an exposure finishes and the Hour Angle > 1.5 degrees Ekos triggers the slew that will flip the mount. (1st screen shot)

In the attached logs you can see that Ekos correctly detects the HA>1.5 degrees condition and initiates the slew that is supposed to flip the mount.

But the mount does not move.

The first log snippet at 1 AM this morning shows the message "[
2020-12-06T00:59:10.898 MST CRIT ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.capture] - Accepting meridian flip request while being in stage 1

It then shows that identical message every second until morning. The mount just sits there at the meridian for hours and accumulates this log message.

The Analyze Panel in Ekos shows the "Flip Waiting" for many hours (second screen shot)

The second log snippet shows the results of a sequence this morning without the Scheduler. Again, we reach the meridian, pass the mount slew limit, then pass the HA>1.5 degree Meridian Flip position in Ekos.

This time the log shows that the Meridian Flip slew starts, then fails, that the pier side has not changed.

But then the log reports that the flip was successful and that the flip has completed.

But this is not true. The mount never flipped. In fact it reaches a safety stop soon afterward and the mount stops to protect the scope from hitting the pier (third screen shot)

I realize that there are subtleties relating to the interaction of mount and driver and Ekos here which are likely specific to 10micron.

I have often been able to get successful flips with these settings and it seems the Mount Slew Tolerance MUST be less than the Meridian Flip HA in Ekos to make it work.

Can anybody help with this?

Thanks,
Scott
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4 months 1 week ago #63992

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Morning Eric,
No, The issue is still there. Yesterday I upgraded phd2 to the latest release just out of desperation. I did that because something odd happened during the day yesterday. With the roof closed I pointed the scope where it would do a flip and sure enough it flipped. Then I realised phd2 wasn't running. So I repeated the test with phd2 running(but not guiding) and it still did the flip. But last night, sure as anything with the scope synced and tracking, phd2 guiding and taking pics, the flip failed again. Here is the snippet of log:

Meridian flip: slewing to RA= "01h 35m 02s" DEC= " 30° 46' 04\"" Hour Angle "00h 01m 03s"
[2020-12-05T20:57:57.282 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - "Meridian flip started."
[2020-12-05T20:57:57.285 CST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - ISD:Telescope: TRACK
[2020-12-05T20:57:57.287 CST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - ISD:Telescope sending coords RA: "01h 35m 02s" ( 1.58407 ) DE: " 30° 46' 04\"" ( 30.768 )
[2020-12-05T20:57:57.288 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - "Meridian flip slew started..."
[2020-12-05T20:57:57.332 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Starting Goto RA=1.58407 DE=30.768 (current RA=3.87842 DE=26.9616) "
[2020-12-05T20:57:57.333 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] GOTO ALign Nearest: delta RA = -21.705849, delta DEC = -3.803392 "
[2020-12-05T20:57:57.333 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Aligned Eqmod Goto RA=-20.1218 DE=26.9646 (target RA=1.58407 DE=30.768) "
[2020-12-05T20:57:57.334 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Setting Eqmod Goto RA=-20.1218 DE=26.9646 (target RA=1.58407 DE=30.768) "
[2020-12-05T20:57:57.335 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Slewing mount: RA increment = 147, DE increment = 77 "
[2020-12-05T20:57:57.362 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Slewing to RA: 1:35:03 - DEC: 30:46:05 "
[2020-12-05T20:57:57.363 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.guide] - "PHD2: Guiding Stopped."
[2020-12-05T20:57:57.366 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.guide] - "Autoguiding aborted."
[2020-12-05T20:57:57.616 CST WARN ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.capture] - Skipping flat/dark cap since it is not connected.
[2020-12-05T20:57:57.668 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Iterative Goto (1): RA diff = 86399.66 arcsecs DE diff = 0.01 arcsecs "
[2020-12-05T20:57:57.668 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Iterative goto (1): slew mount to RA increment = -36, DE increment = 0 "
[2020-12-05T20:57:57.783 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.guide] - "PHD2: Guiding started."
[2020-12-05T20:57:57.786 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.guide] - "Autoguiding started."
[2020-12-05T20:57:58.626 CST WARN ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.capture] - Skipping flat/dark cap since it is not connected.
[2020-12-05T20:57:58.683 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Iterative Goto (2): RA diff = 86401.01 arcsecs DE diff = 0.01 arcsecs "
[2020-12-05T20:57:58.684 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Iterative goto (2): slew mount to RA increment = 109, DE increment = 0 "
[2020-12-05T20:57:59.207 CST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - processBLOB() mode 2
[2020-12-05T20:57:59.299 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.guide] - "PHD2: Guiding Stopped."
[2020-12-05T20:57:59.302 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.guide] - "Autoguiding aborted."
[2020-12-05T20:57:59.627 CST WARN ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.capture] - Skipping flat/dark cap since it is not connected.
[2020-12-05T20:57:59.698 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Iterative Goto (3): RA diff = 86401.01 arcsecs DE diff = 0.01 arcsecs "
[2020-12-05T20:57:59.698 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Iterative goto (3): slew mount to RA increment = 108, DE increment = 0 "
[2020-12-05T20:58:00.628 CST WARN ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.capture] - Skipping flat/dark cap since it is not connected.
[2020-12-05T20:58:00.714 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Iterative Goto (4): RA diff = 86401.02 arcsecs DE diff = 0.01 arcsecs "
[2020-12-05T20:58:00.715 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Iterative goto (4): slew mount to RA increment = 109, DE increment = 0 "
[2020-12-05T20:58:01.629 CST WARN ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.capture] - Skipping flat/dark cap since it is not connected.
[2020-12-05T20:58:01.730 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Iterative Goto (5): RA diff = 86401.01 arcsecs DE diff = 0.01 arcsecs "
[2020-12-05T20:58:01.731 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Iterative goto (5): slew mount to RA increment = 109, DE increment = 0 "
[2020-12-05T20:58:02.631 CST WARN ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.capture] - Skipping flat/dark cap since it is not connected.
[2020-12-05T20:58:02.749 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Iterative Goto (6): RA diff = 86401.01 arcsecs DE diff = 0.01 arcsecs "
[2020-12-05T20:58:02.750 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Iterative Goto Limit reached (6 iterations): RA diff = 86401.01 arcsecs DE diff = 0.01 arcsecs "
[2020-12-05T20:58:02.754 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - EQMod Mount : "[INFO] Telescope slew is complete. Tracking TRACK_SIDEREAL... "
[2020-12-05T20:58:03.284 CST WARN ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - Meridian flip failed, pier side not changed
[2020-12-05T20:58:03.285 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - "meridian flip failed, retrying in 4 minutes"
[2020-12-05T20:58:03.286 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.mount] - "Meridian flip completed."
[2020-12-05T20:58:03.289 CST INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos.capture] - "Telescope completed the meridian flip."

It just kills me to see the mount working and slewing just fine but not doing the flip. The timestamps on the events are only like 6 seconds from start to fail.

I jut compared last nights logs (which the flip failed) to an earlier log(which th flip was succesful on Nov. 7th) and notied these lines:

[2020-12-05T20:57:57.285 CST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - ISD:Telescope: TRACK
[2020-12-05T20:57:57.287 CST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - ISD:Telescope sending coords RA: "01h 35m 02s" ( 1.58407 ) DE: " 30° 46' 04\"" ( 30.768 )

What is this item indi is calling an ISD:Telesope? These lines are not in the succesful log file from Nov. 7th.

This is driving me crazy! Thanks again for your help on this. I dont have much more hair I can pull out.
4 months 1 week ago #63995

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