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INDI Library v1.9.8 Released (29 Sep 2022)

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

Tips for Auto-Focus

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Replied by Jarno Paananen on topic Tips for Auto-Focus

Jasem does have quite a lot on his plate as is so having him hunt for magic patches with disparaging comments added doesn't help. Preparing a merge request at invent.kde.org/education/kstars and having discussion there would be the easiest way to get it merged.
Remote observatory running Ubuntu 21.10 x64 with ScopeDome 2M, Skywatcher EQ8, TS 8" RC, Atik 383L+, ASI178MC, ASI120MM-S, SX Lodestar X2, SX USB wheel with OAG, ZWO EAF, Gemini SnapCap, USB_DewPoint, KomaHub
1 year 2 months ago #75803

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Replied by Doug S on topic Tips for Auto-Focus

Hi Jarno, To be fair, what you suggest is exactly what happened. In the end, this wasn't decided by technical discussion/merit, but by politics. The developer (not Jasem) couldn't understand the interplay between error bars on the HFR measurements, and the polynomial regression being developed by those measurements. There *was* technical discussion, but rather than rock the boat, Jasem let the developer do as he pleased. Not the best result for the community IMO (in this specific case of focus control), but it did keep the developer happy. Sometimes (hopefully not too often), politics will dominate technical discussions. It is what it is.
RASA11, Celestron CGX-L, ASI183mc Pro, 60mm guider + ASI290mm mini, ASI EAF focuser, PPB, Rpi4-4Gb+SSD, Powered USB3 hub, hardwire Ethernet.
Last edit: 1 year 2 months ago by Doug S.
1 year 2 months ago #75806

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Replied by Jarno Paananen on topic Tips for Auto-Focus

Oh, that's unfortunate then, people can be defensive of "their" code after working hard on it and depending on the timing and way of presenting the issue can be crucial as we are all human after all.

I'm interested in taking this further along if you like, autofocus does work quite well with my setup after quite a bit of tuning, but more reliability never hurts. Now with 3.5.5 out the door would be a good time to get new code in and I don't have any other on going Ekos things pending. So if you have the code available somewhere already or could send me preferably a diff or just changed source files either here as PM or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. I could take a look.
Remote observatory running Ubuntu 21.10 x64 with ScopeDome 2M, Skywatcher EQ8, TS 8" RC, Atik 383L+, ASI178MC, ASI120MM-S, SX Lodestar X2, SX USB wheel with OAG, ZWO EAF, Gemini SnapCap, USB_DewPoint, KomaHub
1 year 2 months ago #75808

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Replied by Doug S on topic Tips for Auto-Focus

Hi Jarno; I'll send you a PM to consider. Thanks, and cheers, Doug
RASA11, Celestron CGX-L, ASI183mc Pro, 60mm guider + ASI290mm mini, ASI EAF focuser, PPB, Rpi4-4Gb+SSD, Powered USB3 hub, hardwire Ethernet.
1 year 2 months ago #75809

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Replied by Peter Kennett on topic Tips for Auto-Focus

I wonder if the original programmer doesn't use a long focal length scope.  The issue seems to be with seeing effecting very local lengths.   With my C11 I have NEVER been able to get consistent HFR values - even when I don't move the focus and just keep repeatably hitting the button to recapture and measure the HFR.  I typically get values like 2.56, 2.35, 2.61, 2.4..   it jumps around 0.20 t 0.40 points constantly.  I have tried fir two years with every suggestion, but unless I take 30 second exposures, or average 10 images - the values are never stable.  Thus, the current routine is not usable as it simply stops at a spot is 90% of the time off from the perfect polynomial calculated spot.   NINA is MUCH better as it ONLY selects the calculated spot.  

I have to wonder why EKOS goes through the trouble of calculating the perfect ficus spot - only to toss it out and use the last HFR change value instead.  In my system that is virtually always wrong, so I have to go back in and manually move the focuser back to the calculated value is always correct.  I have tested this many many times by looking at enlarged images taken after several minutes and the difference between a calculated focus spot and the selected one is very noticeable.

I am so glad though that I am not the only one that has seen this.  It is a consistent flaw in the system in regards to my optical setup and the ESATTO, and prevents any automation being

On a side note - while INDI allows me to set the ESATTO's backlash to a value over 1000 steps, EKOS rejects that value and limits me to only 1000 or less.  The Esatto has 420,000 steps - so a value of 1000 is not too large to consider.  Maybe whoever limited EKOS to only 1000 steps of backlash may be using a different focuser - where 1000 seems excessive.   In the ESATTO, I cannot see any focus difference within 1000 steps.

iOptron CEM120 EC2 and CEM25P
Celestron C11 EdgeHD and William Optics Star71
ASI 1600MM Pro, ASI 462MC
Moonlight Litecrawler (C11) and Motorfocus (WOStar71)
LodeStar X2 and ZWO OAG
Nextdome, AAG Cloudwatcher
MacMini
1 year 2 months ago #75813

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Replied by Sonny Cavazos on topic Tips for Auto-Focus

Same here. When I use my 10" RC or my 9.25 EdgeHD I get HFR values that are larger than my lower F number scopes. HFR is directly related to Focal Ratio. The larger the Focal Ratio the bigger the HFR values.

But I do get inconsistent HFR values, I end us using the 2 or 3 frame average, this makes focusing 2 or 3 times longer, but at least I get somewhat good focus.

I do agree that the Focus routine works much better at 200-600mm Focal Lengths, once you start going deep, focus becomes more problematic.
1 year 2 months ago #75814

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Replied by Peter Kennett on topic Tips for Auto-Focus

Yes it is problematic, but the calculated values are virtually always spot on. EKOS does a great job at calculating that curve and identifying the best focus spot. It just refuses to use it! And the really annoying part is that it can get that calculated value in about 6 exposures, but then goes on for 15-25 more exposures to only end up choosing the wrong one! What should have taken a minute now takes 10 minutes and then I have to go back in and manually move it anyway.

iOptron CEM120 EC2 and CEM25P
Celestron C11 EdgeHD and William Optics Star71
ASI 1600MM Pro, ASI 462MC
Moonlight Litecrawler (C11) and Motorfocus (WOStar71)
LodeStar X2 and ZWO OAG
Nextdome, AAG Cloudwatcher
MacMini
1 year 2 months ago #75815

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Replied by Andrew on topic Tips for Auto-Focus

I would like to try your code. Where can I find it?
INDI/KStars on Raspberry Pi 4, 4gb
Raspbian Buster with AstroPi3 script configuration
Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Mount
Canon 600D Camera
Orion SSAG/ASI120mm @280mm Guide Scope
PHD2
Waveshare Stepper Motor Board - DIY Focuser
Adafruit GPS Module
Generic Bluetooth Joystick.
Startech 7 port powered USB Hub.
1 year 2 months ago #75880

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Replied by Doug S on topic Tips for Auto-Focus

Hi Andrew, I sent you a PM..... check your forum email. Cheers, Doug
RASA11, Celestron CGX-L, ASI183mc Pro, 60mm guider + ASI290mm mini, ASI EAF focuser, PPB, Rpi4-4Gb+SSD, Powered USB3 hub, hardwire Ethernet.
1 year 2 months ago #75881

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Replied by Andrew on topic Tips for Auto-Focus

Ok :)
INDI/KStars on Raspberry Pi 4, 4gb
Raspbian Buster with AstroPi3 script configuration
Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Mount
Canon 600D Camera
Orion SSAG/ASI120mm @280mm Guide Scope
PHD2
Waveshare Stepper Motor Board - DIY Focuser
Adafruit GPS Module
Generic Bluetooth Joystick.
Startech 7 port powered USB Hub.
1 year 2 months ago #75882

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Replied by Andrew on topic Tips for Auto-Focus

You wrote to me that " As a result, when an HFR measurement rises above the prior measurement while in the tolerance zone, he felt that measurement should be trusted, even over the set (possibly as many as 29) measurements."
Yeah, I would not agree with that statement either! All things being equal an HFR measurement taken at the same position should always honour the lowest value, as we can reasonably conclude that atmospheric distortion will only ever make things worse.
INDI/KStars on Raspberry Pi 4, 4gb
Raspbian Buster with AstroPi3 script configuration
Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Mount
Canon 600D Camera
Orion SSAG/ASI120mm @280mm Guide Scope
PHD2
Waveshare Stepper Motor Board - DIY Focuser
Adafruit GPS Module
Generic Bluetooth Joystick.
Startech 7 port powered USB Hub.
1 year 2 months ago #75989

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Replied by Sonny Cavazos on topic Tips for Auto-Focus

I am willing to fund an issuehunt.io to fix the focus problem.  I would really like this issue fixed.

Thanks.
 
1 year 1 month ago #76088

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