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Internal guider questions

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Hi!

I don't have a log for the 3.5.3-session - logging was not turned on, unfortunately. I've updated it now and turned logging on and will see of I can produce more crashes. 

Attached is the PHD2 log, starting immediately after I turned off the internal solver. 

Magnus

Celestron C11, Skywatcher 100 ED Pro
Losmandy G11
Atik 383L+, ASI294
1 year 6 months ago #71338
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Sorry, as Hi pointed out, I was mislead by the EKOS guiding log, I thought it was a PHD log.
TSA-120 + FSQ-85 + ONTC 10"F4 Newton (+ epsilon-160 on Japan trip) | Avalon Linear + M-zero | ASI 1600mm pro + 6200mm pro | KStars/INDI on Raspberry Pi 4/Intel NUC
1 year 6 months ago #71340

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Thanks.  The calibration angles aren't too different. However, the calibration pixels/second parameter (how many seconds of pulse are required to move so many pixels) vary a moderate amount, e.g. PHD2 calibrated RA as 1.3 pixels/second and Ekos found 1.65. So, assuming you're using GPG in Ekos (and Predictive PEC in PHD2), ekos would be a bit less aggressive for the same parameters. I kind of doubt that's the issue, though. (They vary more in DEC, but Ekos doesn't use the DEC pixels/second calibration value).

I did notice that in your PHD2 log, that it was calm for the first 15 minutes (23:23 - 23:38), but then there were 4 RA spikes during PHD2 guiding between 23:38 and 23:51, similar to the ones you observed in Ekos.
If you have a chance, could you repeat the experiment (guiding with PHD2 first for 10 minutes, then Ekos this time for 10 minutes or until things get obviously bad) to double check?

Here's a screen shot of a part of the first PHD2 guiding data

 

Thanks!
AP1100 & Orion Atlas Pro, WO/ZS105 w/Moonlight V2 focus, GSO RC10 w/RSF focus
ZWO ASI1600, Astronomik Filters, ST80, QHY 5L-IIm.
KStars/Ekos/Indi on NUC10 & RPi4 w/SSD -- Ubuntu
Projects: Greedy Scheduler, Terrain, Polar Align, Analyze, Linear Focuser, SEP MultiStar & GPG Guide, FITS autostretch.
1 year 6 months ago #71345
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Hi!

The RA spikes have been a recurrent issue with the mount (stiil not fully understood). I do not have many of them nowadays, so I was surprised to see these four yesterday. However, in Ekos, they turned into wild swings, not just a one-sided spike, if I got it right. 

I'll do a test run next time the cluods part. 

Magnus

Celestron C11, Skywatcher 100 ED Pro
Losmandy G11
Atik 383L+, ASI294
1 year 6 months ago #71348

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Hi!

Here's a log with a crash in the 3.5.3-system (slighly off topic but since you asked for it :)). 

Guide logs coming in 20 mins. 

Magnus

Celestron C11, Skywatcher 100 ED Pro
Losmandy G11
Atik 383L+, ASI294
1 year 6 months ago #71359
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Hi!

So (somewhat later than I intended), here are two logs. In the PHD2-file, there are 2 runs of about 10 mins. The Kstars log is shorter. It seemed that there were no corrections at all, again. Now I switched back to PHD2, and it works nicely again. What might I do wrong here....?

Magnus

Celestron C11, Skywatcher 100 ED Pro
Losmandy G11
Atik 383L+, ASI294
1 year 6 months ago #71360
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Replied by Alfred on topic Internal guider questions

I can confirm Magnus' issue. Tonight there were just a few holes in the clouds so I was chasing stars that disappeared within minutes. Accordingly, my logfiles aren't very helpful and a mess to wade through. Nevertheless I was able to gather a few calibration attempts and as it was the case with Magnus' G11, the mount didn't move in DEC. 



You can see the 5 iterations (500ms pulse) in RA and a couple more on the way back. When DEC calibration starts, the mount basically doesn't move. I suspect the minor movement that you can see here is the result of awful seeing plus polar alignment error.

Another attempt, same result:

 

It's 100% overcast now so I am unable to investigate further.
KStars and Indi compiled from GIT today.
Last edit: 1 year 6 months ago by Alfred.
1 year 6 months ago #71472
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Replied by Alfred on topic Internal guider questions

A few other quirks that I spotted during testing:

1. I started with SEP-multistar. After clicking "Guide" to start calibration, an error message "failed to select an auto star" appeared (as just one bright enough star was in the field of view) even though "Autostar" was not ticked. I find this confusing. In case SEP-multistar always selects the guide star on its own (I'm not sure), the "Auto Star" box should be ticked and greyed out automatically once SEP-multistar is chosen.

 

2. Since SEP-multistar didn't find proper stars to guide on, I reverted to SEP. Once I clicked "Guide", the calibration process started. However, the (0,0) reference point that Ekos chose was the position of the red marker rather than the actual position of the guide star. Instead of accepting a previously marked position as a reference point, Ekos should ask the user to mark the guide star every time "Guide" has been clicked (provided Autostar is inactive). Secondly, once the guide star is marked, Ekos should take one frame to determine the actual position of the guide star and mark it as reference point before sending the first RA pulse. As it is now, results may look like this:

 
Last edit: 1 year 6 months ago by Alfred.
1 year 6 months ago #71515
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Replied by Alfred on topic Internal guider questions

Today I had another try and to my utter astonishment everything went perfectly. I got crystal clear calibration including DEC. I have no idea what has changed as I did not touch the rig since my last attempt.

 

SEP with subframe did work very well, too. WTF!

 
Last edit: 1 year 6 months ago by Alfred.
1 year 6 months ago #71565
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Hi all
Are there any updates in the matter? I'm struggling currently with the same symptoms Magnus an Alfred describe while trying to guide internally on KStars 3.5.3 stable.  The "behaviour" of the guide-module seems very erratic especially with 'SEP-Multistar', but sometimes with "Smart"-Pofile too!
AOK Skywalker DDM
Celestron Edge HD 14"
Starlight Trius SX35
Starlight Lodestar X2
Starlight SX Maxi Filterwheel
Focus Boss II Focuser
KStars Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on NUC
Last edit: 1 year 5 months ago by Toni Schriber.
1 year 5 months ago #72542

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Alfred post=71515 userid=2597
A few other quirks that I spotted during testing:
1. I started with SEP-multistar. After clicking "Guide" to start calibration, an error message "failed to select an auto star" appeared (as just one bright enough star was in the field of view) even though "Autostar" was not ticked. I find this confusing. In case SEP-multistar always selects the guide star on its own (I'm not sure), the "Auto Star" box should be ticked and greyed out automatically once SEP-multistar is chosen.


Hi Alfred
You are right: Mode 'SEPMultistar' always uses 'Autostar'. I was able to write a small patch that corrects the display of the 'Autostar' checkbox. It is now checked and greyed out if the guider is in 'SEPMultistar' mode. I hope it will be merged in KStars-3.5.5.
AOK Skywalker DDM
Celestron Edge HD 14"
Starlight Trius SX35
Starlight Lodestar X2
Starlight SX Maxi Filterwheel
Focus Boss II Focuser
KStars Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on NUC
The following user(s) said Thank You: Alfred, Juergen Terpe
Last edit: 1 year 3 months ago by Toni Schriber.
1 year 3 months ago #74599

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I really like the internal guider, especially the MultiStar guiding. However, I have had mixed experiences with the guiding quality. It works, but I cannot really control the guiding quality, because there are a lot of unknown variables:

- the guiding pulse duration
- the proportional gain

Both are very technical aspects of the guiding mechanics behind the scene. I cannot really describe the problem with all this - it just feels less natural from the thinking I'm doing. On the other hand it seems that my NEQ6 introduces some problems, at least with pulse guiding. Until now, I'm back to PHD2 using an ST4 cable. Not because the internal guider is not good enough, but I'm still new to KStars/Ekos and the best results I got with the ST4 cable and PHD2 - here I get a nearly flat graph, if I have a good polar alignment and the seeing conditions are not so bad. And I have some easy to understandable controls to control aggressiveness and hysteresis for both axes. These are things I just can bring into relation to what I want, the hysteresis for overcompensations and the aggressiveness for reactiveness. Thinking in pulse duration (when I not even know how long the pulse should go) and a proportion factor is much harder to express how I want to control the curve, it's a less mathematical and more technical perspective of nearly the same thing. What I'm missing from PHD2 guiding with Ekos is the visible feedback from the camera, it is really soothing to see the stars matched inside their boxes - so if I would be able to have better control over the internal guider I really would prefer using it (needless to say: not having the control over it is just a user feeling :-) ). 

I would really appreciate if we could see some improvements in the UI and perhaps the logic of the internal guider in KStars 3.6 or so - understanding that it is not as easy as it might seem, but good things might take a while.        
1 year 3 months ago #74606

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