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INDI Library v1.9.0 Released (23 Apr 2021)

Major INDI Library release v1.9.0 bring significant internal changes championed by @pawel-soja to modernize core INDI Library drivers and clients. New drivers for DeepSkyDad Flat Panel & Pegasus devices plus further improvements to PCM8 drivers.

3.5.0 Flip Failure (10Micron)

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Here's the thread. I never came to a successful conclusion. Even if I could get the times to match in both EKOS and the mount, the meridian flip would happen one hour early. I believe Somehow EKOS was compensating for DST even using only UTC time without an offset.

The only way I can successfully get flips to work on time, is if I let EKOS update the mount. I do have an MBox (regular) but GPS module on the 10Micron, which I use to create and build models. Basically I polar align the mount after GPS has updated it. Then load MountWizard4, and EKOS, which syncs time and location to the mount. Meridian flips work perfect this way.

If I set the mount to update EKOS, I have time mismatches between the hand control and EKOS, and I believe DST in EKOS still counts whether or not it's on or off on the mount. Then the flip doesn't occur correctly. Anyhow, feel free to look through the thread at what I tested.

indilib.org/forum/general/7928-why-is-th...y-mount.html?start=0

Another issue that crops up for me if I have EKOS update the mount with time and location. The second night out GOTO starts to get off by a few arc seconds. EKOS can barley nudge it back into position after plate solving. It saves, moves it a tiny fraction, then solves again, and continues to do this while it slowly nudges it over about 30 tiny moves until the object is centered again. The only way I've found to fix this, is to build a new model each night I use the mount. Annoying, but it only take about 20 minutes since it's automated. I never SYNC any plate solves. I only have EKOS update the time and location to the mount.
-Andrew
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5 months 1 week ago #64123

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Just for reference here, there are three "implemented" ways to point to an object unattended:

- iterative plate-solving with syncs to the mount, no mount model (check align or slew to target).
- preliminary mount model, two-step plate-solving without sync (in the Ekos options).
- preliminary mount model, direct slew with no plate-solving (uncheck/don't use align).

First item suffers from rounding when there are too many sync points. Second and third items suffer from quality of the mount model and refraction, and will offset after some days. Second item is supposedly the safest. First item is choice for mobile astronomy or without model.

-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
5 months 1 week ago #64155

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Replied by H__ on topic 3.5.0 Flip Failure (10Micron)

Hi Scott,
I'll add an interface to manage unattended flip setting. Tracked here github.com/indilib/indi/issues/1276

On the flip initiating afaik KStars indeed just issues a slew command. This is awkward for a 10micron because it has a #:FLIP# command in the API for this very purpose and we should use that instead.

```
#:FLIP#
This command acts in different ways on the AZ2000 and german equatorial (GM1000 – GM4000) mounts.
On an AZ2000 mount: When observing an object near the lowest culmination, requests to make a 360° turn of the azimuth axis and point the object again.
On a german equatorial mount: When observing an object near the meridian, requests to make a 180° turn of the RA axis and move the declination axis in order to point the object with the telescope on the other side of the mount.
Returns:
1 if successful
0 if the movement cannot be done
```

-- Hans
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4 months 3 weeks ago #64910

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For clarity, Eric is talking about the mount models in EKOS. These are not related to the pointing models inside a 10micron mount.

Good to know. I'm still not sure which would be preferred for a 10micron mount that has a proper pointing model though.

-- Hans
4 months 3 weeks ago #64912

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Hi Hans,

Thank you very much for this -- will be very helpful! I have been using MountWizzard4 for this, but it would be great to have it built into the INDI driver.

Really appreciate your work on this driver!!

Scott
4 months 3 weeks ago #64914

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Replied by H__ on topic 3.5.0 Flip Failure (10Micron)

github.com/indilib/indi/pull/1298 # UnattendedFlip handling, implements #1276
Read UnattendedFlip setting from mount and config, Update where needed.
Log why and if sendScopeLocation and sendScopeTime are being called.
Clean up code, reorganize and comment API calls.
4 months 3 weeks ago #64984

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Replied by H__ on topic 3.5.0 Flip Failure (10Micron)

The Pull Request is merged into the master branch. This means the new Unattended Flip handling feature will be available in the next build.
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4 months 2 weeks ago #65205

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So the unattended flip update just lets the 10Micron automatically perform it's own flip when the goto command is issued and the driver detects that unattended flip is on? In other words, is there anything the end user needs to set up or configure differently for the driver change that is coming?

For the record, flips had always worked for me in the past. I did have unattended flip turned on in the mount controller. This new issue reported by Scott, I have been getting in version 3.5.0 as well where the mount attempts to flip every 4 minutes. I seemed to think this was a time mismatch between KStars and the Mount. When I let KStars control the time everything works. But to be honest, I've not had my 10Micron out since the very first day of the 3.5.0 release, and I didn't spend much time looking into whether or not previous time issues could be remedied by not syncing time either way between the controller and KStars.
-Andrew
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4 months 2 weeks ago #65209

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Hans,

Thank you very much for doing this, and in general for all your great support of 10Micron on INDI!

Scott
4 months 2 weeks ago #65220

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Replied by H__ on topic 3.5.0 Flip Failure (10Micron)


10Micron describes it as follows (It's called unassisted here, the API calls it unattended but it's clear that it's the same thing):

Unassisted flip: when this option is enabled, the mount will
not stop when reaching the tracking limit, but it will begin
an UNATTENDED slew to the other side of the meridian in order
to continue to track the object. WARNING: use this option
with extreme care, because it renders the mount able
to start a slew operation without a specific instruction by the
operator or by the controlling software.


The addition of the 'unattended flip' switch in the INDI driver just controls this setting in the mount.

Good to hear.


Oh, that is bloody annoying. I have not ran into it yet myself.


It probably prevents that issue. EKOS has to be told if it is to upgrade the mount time and location or not. It does not check afaik whether the mount has a GPS receiver or not. So that can cause fights.
I have not seen this issue because I have my GPS receiver not connected and let EKOS control time (i use NTP) and location (fixed).

Also, the 'unattended flip' switch is just part one, the mount has several other calls that are related to flips that need to be added to the driver:
:Glmt#
Returns the meridian limit for tracking in degrees.
Returns: NN#
The meridian limit for tracking in degrees.
Available from version 2.11.
 
:Glms#
Returns the meridian limit for slews in degrees.
Returns: NN#
The meridian limit for slews in degrees.
Available from version 2.11.
 
:Gmte#
Returns the estimated time to tracking end due to horizon / flip limits reached.
Returns: NNNN#
The estimated time to tracking end in minutes of time.

I'll expose them all in some future PR, unless someone beats me to it ;-)

-- Hans
4 months 2 weeks ago #65221

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Hans, Thanks or the information, and work on the driver! It's much appreciated by us 10Micron owners. :)

It sounds like maybe I don't want unattended flip. I don't want the mount flipping unless I give it a goto command on the other side of the pier. I'm guessing this is for automatic tracking of satellites and such when viewing visually? Seems that as it's tracking, it reaches the meridian limit then flips due to this setting. This would be my assumption.

I'll continue using no time sync, and let KStars control everything time wise, as I have no issues here using those settings with regards to meridian flips. It's only when I let the mount sync it's time and location to KStars that issues crop up.
-Andrew
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4 months 2 weeks ago #65224

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Andrew, I'm using both "Unattended Flip" (until now set each time in MW4) and also "KStars Updates All Devices" following your advice from a few weeks ago. Since doing both those things I've been getting successful all-night imaging sessions.

I have watched closeup while the mount does the "unattended flip." It works even with no software connected, just the mount computer itself. Very impressive! With a good model I think you could track all night with just a DSLR and no KStars to manage things.

I think there's still something fishy with the time and location settings:

1) It's odd that the mount (or INDI driver?) truncates the lat/lon at degrees and minutes, setting seconds to zero
2) Occasionally the time reported by KStars randomly changes by an hour (!) when "Mount updates KStars" is selected. This is definitely a bug.

Until these issues are solved I will do as you recommended (and indeed as Hans does) and use NTP time and a fixed location in KStars, and be careful that KStars ignores the time & location reported by the mount.

Really appreciate your help in getting these things sorted. I'm now getting lovely unguided images at FL up to 1500 mm and up to 600 s, and crossing the meridian without a second thought.

Scott
4 months 2 weeks ago #65235

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