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INDI Library v1.8.6 Released (21 Aug 2020)

August 2020 release of INDI Library v1.8.6 introduces new drivers while providing fixes and improvements to existing devices and core framework.

Current Selection Wisdom on INDI Focuser Software?

6 months 11 hours ago
JonCarleton
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Current Selection Wisdom on INDI Focuser Software? #51248
I noticed a little annoying property of my NEMA17 and the WaveShare. It may be limited to my install. When I fire up the Pi, the motor "bumps" and locks in position. It apparently has hold voltage. This goes away as soon as you connect with INDI and does not return, so all is well with the world. It also "unlocks" if you unplug the motor, although this is not a good practice, as it requires a reboot to begin working again. Odd that. I would not think that the HAT would care if there was a load or not.

I do not want hold voltage for my uses, as I still use the manual focus some of the time, even when connected to INDI. This did not occur with the Arduino and its HAT (not that I would care to regress).

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6 months 10 hours ago
kross
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Current Selection Wisdom on INDI Focuser Software? #51250
Yeah, that seems to be a property of the Waveshare HAT, as soon as it is powered up, it applies power to the motor. I know of no way to disable that feature, which is why that's the first thing the driver does when it starts, is to turn off the motor. But if you never run the INDI driver, it will sit there with power applied to the motor the whole time.

I've never tried unplugging the motor while the system is powered on. You're right, you would think the HAT wouldn't care. I'll give that a try later and see if the same happens for me.

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6 months 7 hours ago
kross
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Current Selection Wisdom on INDI Focuser Software? #51263
I tested unplugging and plugging the motor back in, and the Waveshare HAT continues functioning normally (as expected). So there's something weird going on in your setup.

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5 months 3 weeks ago
JonCarleton
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Current Selection Wisdom on INDI Focuser Software? #51450
I'm blaming aliens for the present. I'll test again next clear night (if ever) and see if I can repeat the anomaly. Thanks!

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5 months 3 weeks ago
JonCarleton
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Current Selection Wisdom on INDI Focuser Software? #51552
I tested my setup last evening and was able to duplicate the problem of connecting the NEMA17 to the WaveShare board after power-up and it did indeed fail to function. Not an issue, just a point of interest. Otherwise, the system worked flawlessly.

I do have another question, however, since you've been into the fiddly bits. My camera (SVBONY305) will only operate with AstroDMx_Capture software. They are working on an INDI driver, but that's somewhere out there in the future. Meanwhile, switching back and forth from the focus control in INDI (did I mention it works flawlessly!) to the image software to check focus, even in linux with multiple desktops, is vacuous. I need to write a little popup to talk to indiserver. Am I correct in assuming it is a simple matter of a socket connection with some XML packets? And, does indiserver support multiple connections to the default socket? Failing that, I may have to use your driver as a model for a stand-alone socket server that my popup can own. I'm guessing this would preclude using the INDI driver to avoid misdirection. I'd prefer not to do this, but I like the camera and don't see another path...excepting dual monitors...and that gets a little hardware-busy.

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1 month 1 week ago
xthestreams
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Current Selection Wisdom on INDI Focuser Software? #58310
Hey Chris - I'm curious about how you home your Moonlite - that is, how you can get it to a known 0-steps state in order to get back to a given starting point eg: for taking flats or to get to a known starting point for a given temperature?

I ask because I've owned both a Moonlite (still do) and now a Optec TCF-S and the Optec has a great feature whereby the controller forces the motor to step in 7000 steps (the range of travel is 7000 fully extended on teh 2" model) so that it knows it must be had up against to zero point and then from there it resets to the last known saved state eg: 3500 steps (or wherever you've saved it) from which point you can then either go into "auto" mode once you've trained the unit against a temperature curve or use software based autofocus as desired.

I have to say it's a far superior solution when it comes to remote imaging - you al always confident that you know where your focuser is in space even if you're hundreds of meter or miles away.

I have looked at the Moonlite and Pegasus versions of drivers and none of them seem to incorporate a reset feature.

Curious if anyone has a different experience.

GSO Ritchey Chretien 12" Truss | SkyWatcher ED72 | Celestron C14
ZWO ASI 183MC Pro | ZWO ASI290MM | ZWO ASI224MC all-sky | ZEO EFW | ZWO OAG
Moonlite V2 CSL | DeepSkyDad AF3
EQ8-R | Paramount ME (needs some loving)
Nexdome | SQM LE | Ultimate Power Box V2 | Spike-a-Flat
Angry missus

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1 month 1 week ago
ChrisRowland
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Current Selection Wisdom on INDI Focuser Software? #58336
Not sure if I'm the Chris asked but what I do is run the focuser to the inner stop and make sure that is zero. The focuser seems fine running into the hard stop.
The following user(s) said Thank You xthestreams

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1 month 1 week ago
xthestreams
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Current Selection Wisdom on INDI Focuser Software? #58349
Yes, same - which makes me happy!

My question I guess is, whether either the specific INDI driver OR the focuser module should implement a "re-home" API call/feature that you could, for example, insist is used at each session start-up - along with warming your heaters, cooling your CCDs, scaring off teh pigeons roosting in your truss OTA (hasn't happened yet, but I await the day! ;-)

My focus (pardon the pun) is increasingly getting my system to the point where it can run entirely autonomously - all of which requires what I would call an "assume nothing" model whereby unless it has a sensor, to use whatever logic is required to get it into a known/knowable state.

GSO Ritchey Chretien 12" Truss | SkyWatcher ED72 | Celestron C14
ZWO ASI 183MC Pro | ZWO ASI290MM | ZWO ASI224MC all-sky | ZEO EFW | ZWO OAG
Moonlite V2 CSL | DeepSkyDad AF3
EQ8-R | Paramount ME (needs some loving)
Nexdome | SQM LE | Ultimate Power Box V2 | Spike-a-Flat
Angry missus

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3 weeks 3 days ago
xthestreams
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Current Selection Wisdom on INDI Focuser Software? #59249
Another option that is not yet published on Ron's website is teh V3 stepper motor with a built in USB port - if I understand correctly you don't even need the HAT then, just plug and go. They're a little more expensive than a standalone motor, it all comes down to what price peace of mind and simplifying your image train. I use my Moonlite V2 motor controlled by my Pegasus Astro Ultimate Power Box - dew heater, temp sensor, focus motor control and switchable USB and power hub all in one - the perfect gift for Father's/Mother's Day :-)

GSO Ritchey Chretien 12" Truss | SkyWatcher ED72 | Celestron C14
ZWO ASI 183MC Pro | ZWO ASI290MM | ZWO ASI224MC all-sky | ZEO EFW | ZWO OAG
Moonlite V2 CSL | DeepSkyDad AF3
EQ8-R | Paramount ME (needs some loving)
Nexdome | SQM LE | Ultimate Power Box V2 | Spike-a-Flat
Angry missus

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2 weeks 5 days ago
Sarwar
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Current Selection Wisdom on INDI Focuser Software? #59553
Sorry to butt in.

but i did something similar last week and so started reading the thread. Interesting discussions.

Since you are using raspberry pi4, have you though about using astroberry-diy focuser? I have not used this module, but from what i can gather going over the code, if requires one to hook up a motor driver to the pi, and use the indi-astroberry-focuser to control it. This driver allows you to select which GPIOs the motor driver is connected to. so i imagine it is a matter of getting a DRV8834/DRV8834/A4988/A4988 and hocking up the cables properly.

github.com/rkaczorek/astroberry-diy/

I did it somewhat differently, in that I had the motor driver, drv8825 in my case, connected and fpga and connected that to the indi by using a indi_fpga_focuser derived from the above-mentioned indi module. Please see the screenshot.

github.com/rsarwar87/indi-3rdparty/tree/master/indi-fpgafocuser
github.com/rsarwar87/CmodA7-SkyTracker


PS:
"I should probably mention that I run Linux Ubuntu everywhere I can, including the Pi, laptop and desktops."

i wish more would ditch windows and apple for linux. it is so much better compared to 10/20 years ago.
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2 weeks 4 days ago
xthestreams
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Current Selection Wisdom on INDI Focuser Software? #59579
Agreed and I do the same - I've even written a little script that resets/resynch's the focuser to a known calibrated position even when the focuser itself has no home sensor and it relies on you observation that a good focuser has no issues running into the hard stop.

I send a synch command to the focuser driver to whatever focus Max is (in my case 18750 steps) - irrespective of where it actually is.
Once that's done I then can send my focuser to "0" position and no matter if it was actually already at 0 or all the way out to 18749 it will rack all the way back in and I can be sure it's at 0
I then send a final command to go to the "home" position - eg: in my case 12598 seems to be roughly in focus depending on temperature - I can then leave the auto focus routine to take care of itself.
In my ideal world EKOS would give me an option to do this "reset" partway through the night as occasionally the autofocus routine gets so far out of whack that it goes beyond the limits of the routine's ability to detect a defocused star and then the night is over.
A way of adding an option to "reset to home if focus routine fails" with a retry count to avoid pointlessly refocusing on the inside of the dome or a cloud if something's gone really wrong - would be great.

GSO Ritchey Chretien 12" Truss | SkyWatcher ED72 | Celestron C14
ZWO ASI 183MC Pro | ZWO ASI290MM | ZWO ASI224MC all-sky | ZEO EFW | ZWO OAG
Moonlite V2 CSL | DeepSkyDad AF3
EQ8-R | Paramount ME (needs some loving)
Nexdome | SQM LE | Ultimate Power Box V2 | Spike-a-Flat
Angry missus

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