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Kstars crashes when taking flats

1 month 2 weeks ago
the.cakemaker
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Kstars crashes when taking flats #44127
Hi there!

Interesting things you tell here. Could explain lots of funny behaviours :-)

In fact the dial was on Bulb the whole time . I have to check this with your post side by side when there is time with my cam. Thanks for that!

cheers
Niki

Skywatcher EQ6-R | Lacerta 10" Carbon-Newton | Canon EOS 5DMarkIIIa | ASI120mm guiding cam | KSTARS NIGHTLY 3.3.6 on my outdoor-Laptop |

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1 month 1 week ago 1 month 1 week ago by Herrhausen.
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Kstars crashes when taking flats #44135

the.cakemaker wrote: In fact the dial was on Bulb the whole time .


With the dial set to "B" none of the strange behaviour should occur. The problem with "B" mode is this: Ekos sends a command "open shutter" to the camera, then starts a countdown let's say from 0.001 to 0.000. It then checks whether 0,000 has been reached and once that happens, a "close shutter" command is sent to the cam. Unfortunately the whole procedure (open shutter, countdown, checks, close shutter) takes longer than 0.001s so the picture you end up with is not a 1/1000s one.

Back to the task at hand, Ekos taking 3600 second flats. The log attached is for two lights (0.1s and 0.001s), and then an attempt to take flats (Flat source "manual", Flat Duration = ADU 29500, FORCE BLUB = OFF, dial in "M" mode, subdial = 1/1000s). What happens is pretty clear:

1. Ekos takes a 0.001s flat. shutterspeed: 30 is chosen correctly. The result is a current ADU of 1023.5, lower than the desired 29500 target.
2. Ekos now requests a flat at 0,00125 seconds (1/800s) which is not available in my cam.
3. Ekos cannot find a shutter speed matching 0,00125s thus falls back to "B" mode.
4. Ekos sends an EOSremoterelease: 2 (Press Full). Since the camera is in "M" mode, it fires a 1/1000s exposure. Ekos starts the countdown, sends an eosremoterelese : 4 (Release Full) but none of that really happens in the camera!
5. Ekos receives the in-fact-1/1000s-flat with an ADU of 1024.09, again much lower than the 29500 target.
6. Ekos reacts by increasing the exposure time to 12,1s.
7. Since 12,1s is not in my cam's list, Ekos again falls back to "B" mode, sends ( Press Full ) which triggers another 1/1000s flat and so on...

The fallback to "B" mode results in 1/1000s exposures being received. In return Ekos increases the exposure time further and further. That's how you end up with 3600s flats being requested.
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1 month 1 week ago 1 month 1 week ago by Herrhausen.
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Kstars crashes when taking flats #44136
One possible workaround for you:

1) Set your cam to "M" mode, disable FORCE BULB, apply your flat box.
2) In the CCD tab set Exposure: to "0.001", Type: to "Light" and take a preview shot. If it looks like a decent flat, good!
3) Increase/decrease Exposure time as needed and take another preview but MAKE SURE the Exposure time requested is available in your camera!
4) Once you have found a reasonable Exposure time and the preview looks like a decent flat, add a sequence of as many lights (no flats!) as needed to the queue and click start.

Use these "lights" as flats.
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1 month 1 week ago
the.cakemaker
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Kstars crashes when taking flats #44139
Hey there. Thanks for the explanation.
The fastest shutterspeed from my 5diii is 1/8000sec. So thats far faster then the speeds i entered.
Anyway, with your informazion its easy to do a workaround. I just take the flats direct on the cam. I know where the histogram has to stay so thats not a problem.
Apart from this i ordered a „flatbox controller“ that will take my flats in the future and gets rid of the artefacts you get from a DSLR shutter and too fast exposuretimes when taking flats.

Cheers Niki


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1 month 1 week ago
knro
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Kstars crashes when taking flats #44144

Herrhausen wrote:

the.cakemaker wrote: In fact the dial was on Bulb the whole time .


With the dial set to "B" none of the strange behaviour should occur. The problem with "B" mode is this: Ekos sends a command "open shutter" to the camera, then starts a countdown let's say from 0.001 to 0.000. It then checks whether 0,000 has been reached and once that happens, a "close shutter" command is sent to the cam. Unfortunately the whole procedure (open shutter, countdown, checks, close shutter) takes longer than 0.001s so the picture you end up with is not a 1/1000s one.

Back to the task at hand, Ekos taking 3600 second flats. The log attached is for two lights (0.1s and 0.001s), and then an attempt to take flats (Flat source "manual", Flat Duration = ADU 29500, FORCE BLUB = OFF, dial in "M" mode, subdial = 1/1000s). What happens is pretty clear:

1. Ekos takes a 0.001s flat. shutterspeed: 30 is chosen correctly. The result is a current ADU of 1023.5, lower than the desired 29500 target.
2. Ekos now requests a flat at 0,00125 seconds (1/800s) which is not available in my cam.
3. Ekos cannot find a shutter speed matching 0,00125s thus falls back to "B" mode.
4. Ekos sends an EOSremoterelease: 2 (Press Full). Since the camera is in "M" mode, it fires a 1/1000s exposure. Ekos starts the countdown, sends an eosremoterelese : 4 (Release Full) but none of that really happens in the camera!
5. Ekos receives the in-fact-1/1000s-flat with an ADU of 1024.09, again much lower than the 29500 target.
6. Ekos reacts by increasing the exposure time to 12,1s.
7. Since 12,1s is not in my cam's list, Ekos again falls back to "B" mode, sends ( Press Full ) which triggers another 1/1000s flat and so on...

The fallback to "B" mode results in 1/1000s exposures being received. In return Ekos increases the exposure time further and further. That's how you end up with 3600s flats being requested.


Thank you for the detailed analysis.. this makes perfect sense.

Do you think that Ekos should always force BULB off for any exposures less than 1 second? would this resolve these many issues?

Jasem Mutlaq
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1 month 1 week ago
Herrhausen
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Kstars crashes when taking flats #44157

the.cakemaker wrote: Anyway, with your informazion its easy to do a workaround. I just take the flats direct on the cam. I know where the histogram has to stay so thats not a problem.


Be careful, I can not recommend doing the flats on the cam directly. What you will get is CR2 files whose geometry do not match those of your lights. Your stacking software will complain about it. What I had described is a better solution since you'll receive FITS files with the exact same geometry as your lights.

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1 month 1 week ago
wvreeven
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Kstars crashes when taking flats #44159
Why would the geometry be different between shooting directly on the camera and shooting with Ekos? Does Ekos resize the geometry because if yes then that would be bad. However, in my experience it doesn’t do that.

Also, using a DSLR and saving the images as FITS is not to be recommended because it involves a conversion from CR2 (i.e. RAW data) to FITS which might (and very likely will) lead to data loss. Please try to always save the data in CR2 format to get the most out of the camera.


Wouter

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1 month 1 week ago
Herrhausen
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Kstars crashes when taking flats #44161

knro wrote: Do you think that Ekos should always force BULB off for any exposures less than 1 second? would this resolve these many issues?


IMO this would not solve the problem. A user could still enter a shutter speed unavailable in its camera or Ekos could still request the same when taking flats. Even with FORCE BULB = OFF Ekos would then resort to taking "B" exposures which must be prevented when the cam is in "M" mode.

My proposal is this: Use the "available shutter speeds list" that Ekos obtains from the camera anyway.

[2019-10-01T23:48:55.578 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 0: 30 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.578 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 1: 20 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.578 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 2: 15 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.578 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 3: 10 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.578 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 4: 8 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.578 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 5: 6 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 6: 4 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 7: 3 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 8: 2 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 9: 1.5 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 10: 1 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 11: 0.7 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 12: 0.5 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 13: 0.3 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 14: 1/4 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 15: 1/6 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 16: 1/8 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 17: 1/10 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 18: 1/15 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 19: 1/20 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 20: 1/30 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 21: 1/45 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 22: 1/60 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 23: 1/90 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 24: 1/125 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 25: 1/180 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 26: 1/250 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 27: 1/350 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 28: 1/500 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 29: 1/750 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] * 30: 1/1000 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 31: 1/1500 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 32: 1/2000 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 33: 1/3000 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 34: 1/4000 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.579 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 35: 1/6000 "
[2019-10-01T23:48:55.580 CEST DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Canon DSLR EOS 5D Mark II : "[DEBUG] 36: 1/8000 "

Before taking any picture Ekos should check whether the camera is set to "M" mode. If so, Ekos should avoid all shutter speeds hat are not in the list (also reject all other shutter speeds entered by the user manually). Ekos should offer all valid shutter speeds either by way of a pulldown menu in the CCD TAB's "Exposure:" field and/or by clicking the UP and DOWN arrows next to it. This of course requires Ekos to allow deviation from the desired ADU to some extent when taking flats.

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1 month 1 week ago 1 month 1 week ago by Herrhausen.
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Kstars crashes when taking flats #44164
All cameras with a separate "B" mode would benefit massively from this modification. But other cameras would benefit to some extent, too since Ekos would no longer obtain inaccurately timed "B" exposures for fast shutter speeds when falling back to "B" mode. IMO 1/2000s cannot be timed by countdown. Even in a camera without separate "B" mode, requesting a 1/1400s (just an example) exposure would - as it is now - result in an inaccurately exposed frame.

The fallback to "B" mode is what should be prevented. With "B/M cameras" like the 5D it results in malfunction. With all other cameras it results in inaccurately timed exposures (at high shutter speeds).

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1 month 1 week ago
Herrhausen
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Kstars crashes when taking flats #44165

wvreeven wrote: Why would the geometry be different between shooting directly on the camera and shooting with Ekos? Does Ekos resize the geometry because if yes then that would be bad. However, in my experience it doesn’t do that.


In my experience, it does!

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1 month 1 week ago
wvreeven
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Kstars crashes when taking flats #44166
Ahh ok I was aware of that thread but only fleetingly read it.

So, why not use CR2 files? As I pointed out, that prevents one image conversion (from CR2 to FITS) which will prevent any possible (i.e. very likely) data loss.


Wouter

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1 month 1 week ago
the.cakemaker
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Kstars crashes when taking flats #44167

Herrhausen wrote:

the.cakemaker wrote: Anyway, with your informazion its easy to do a workaround. I just take the flats direct on the cam. I know where the histogram has to stay so thats not a problem.


Be careful, I can not recommend doing the flats on the cam directly. What you will get is CR2 files whose geometry do not match those of your lights. Your stacking software will complain about it. What I had described is a better solution since you'll receive FITS files with the exact same geometry as your lights.


Thats not a problem since i use the raw files from the CF Card anyway, when i am working with the DSLR.


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