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INDI Library v1.9.7 Released (29 Jul 2022)

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

Astrotrac 360 INDI Driver documentation development

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I don’t think I have got that problem with the unpark/park.

But when I first connect the mount in ekos.

I got to park and physically press unpark then park again to force it to park. For some reason the mount always begins unparked and tracking. This is default firmware behaviour since the mount is technically designed to be turned on and immediately start working. When using an external software one has to trigger a park event first for the program to “take over” I feel all our problems are related to something with the native design of the mounts firmware.

Also there is new firmware and UI files from Astrotrac on there website. I am yet to update them as well not sure of they make a difference. I am also assuming your astrotrac driver for indi is uptodate.

I have not used my mount due to weather and other commitments for some time , but will likely start again soon and I’ll probably update the firmware and UI first.

I hope Richard participates in this discussion.

For me the TheSkyX plugin was also unusable due to frequent timeout errors although I never tried with a high gain antenna etc.

I also suggest what sameer told me use the ethernet cable to connect to the pi inside whilst testing to eliminate some latency. Unfortunately there is no way to connect a wired connection to the mount. I feel if it could that would fix all our problems for good. Not sure how to go about doing that.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Peter
3 months 1 week ago #82551

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Strange that I am showing the park problem. I think Sameer was saying he sometimes sees that but not all the time. And I can remember from a while back that it was not doing that either, making things even stranger. I did do all the updates of the drivers, and also the firmware of the drives. I’ll try and switch the units and see what happens then. I have tested with StellarMate both wired and wireless, does not seem to make a difference.
I have also tried the unpark park routine, but the dot before the park option immediately turns red when I do that and only the RA drive will park.
I’ll setup and switch drives now and see what happens.
I too hope that Richard will join in on this. Before the mount came out he basically promised all this functionality, but he doesn’t seem to involved lately. I am sure he has his reasons.
Again I am working with Jerry on Cloudynights. He is trying to add to the current UI to give it goto functionality and the basics look pretty good so far.
wired connection is definitely something we could’ve used. I wonder if it could be added to the board, shouldn’t be too hard I would think.
3 months 1 week ago #82552

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Ok, I just switched my drives around and made the dec drive the RA drive and vice versa. Behavior was exactly the same as before. So park only works for RA but not for the Dec drive. I did perform a full update right before I did it, just to be sure.
3 months 1 week ago #82553

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Allright, I decided to flash both my drives with the latest ui files that are provided by Richard on the website. For some reason this has helped as everything is now working as it should (yes!!) Parking and everything, it evens starts parked when first connecting. So apparently my firmware got corrupted or something. I couldn’t be more happy. The timeouts have stayed away by using the 3000ms iso 1000. Should have some clear skies later this week. Hope to be able to try it out under the stars.

Peter
3 months 1 week ago #82556

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By the way, there is some confusing information on how to upgrade to the latest firmware on the website. It tells you to load it via the firmware update prompt in the UI. That is easy. But then it tells you that you have to also upload 3 other files to the mount. A mount.js an Astrotrac360 html file and one other.
I tried that via the UI as well and it caused me to no longer be able to communicate with the mount. That’s why I had to flash the entire software to the mount with Arduino. So please be careful when upgrading.
3 months 1 week ago #82557

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So you mean you werent able to load the UI files from the UI. A member on cloudynights had the same issue apparently but Richard did say that you could upload it from the UI.

By the way the latest UI is only compatible with the latest fw. Did you update FM then try load the UI files from the ui?

Also what were the steps to load it via arduino, I had to do some time ago like a year so Ive forgotten the complete steps. Do you mind posting the steps in sequence, in case I wreck mine.
3 months 1 week ago #82558

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Hi, yes I did do the firmware first and then the file transfer and it. There are two options for that as far as I can tell in the AT360’s web interface. One is in the firmware upgrade section, and there is a separate option as well to load files. I used the one that is combined with the firmware update section. Did not work.
Anyway I had a lengthy conversation with Richard last year by email, where he described all the steps including some screen shots. I’ll be posting those here later today. I simply do not have time to do that right now. I found that I still had Arduino running om my computer and as I had done it before, it was still properly setup to work with Astrotrac, so I was done in just a few minutes. With the firmware update, Richard also posted a folder with all the files that need to be transferred to the mount, not just the three that he says you need to transfer. I used those and everything is working fine no, finally!


Peter
3 months 1 week ago #82567

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By the way, I am working with a guy on Cloudynights who is skilled in writing code. His name is Jerry. He already has a little test file on GitHub. When finished it is supposed to completely replace the current firmware on the mount and will have a basic star alignment and goto right in the web interface.
I am testing for him as he does not own the mount. I am sure that he would like to get some help, especially from someone with coding skills. It would be nice if maybe you guys here would get involved in that project as well.
github.com/concordia000/Astrotrac360UI/r...ses/tag/v0.0.6-alpha
This is the link where you can download the files. All you need to do is extract the folder on your computer, connect to the mount and then from the file run Astrotrac360 html file. The interface looks like the one from Astrotrac, but has some basic extra functionality in it.

Peter
3 months 1 week ago #82568

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Allright, I had an email exchange with Richard on how to install all the files on the drives. I'll try to copy what is relevant here.
1. you need to install Arduino IDE
2. Install the following 2 plugins: 1. arduino-esp8266.readthedocs.io/en/latest/installing.html

2. github.com/earlephilhower/arduino-esp8266littlefs-plugin


3 in Arduino . Select board: see screenshot 1
4.Ensure board options are as follows (particularly the Flash Size must be FS: 3MB): see screenshot 2
5.Create a new empty project - call it something like 'test'. Once the new project is created, open your file manager, and create a new empty folder called 'data' in the folder containing your test.ino file.
The folder/file structure should be as follows: see screenshot 3
6.Copy the mounts files (from the Astrotrac website) to the data folder you've just created.

7. Power up your 360 drive, connect to it's WiFi access point.

8.In the Arduino IDE, you should see your 360 drive's IP address on the port menu, under the COM ports IP address not shown in the below screenshot):see screenshot 4
I did not see the mounts adress here right away, but got it afer restarting my computer while still connected to the drive's wifi. That worked
9.
Goto the Tools menu and select the ESP8266 LittleFS Data Upload option - this will upload everything you've placed in your sketch 'data' folder (the mount.js.gz file) to your 360 drive:see screenshot 5
Only takes a little while to copy all the files, after that things should work again.
3 months 1 week ago #82588
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Thanks for posting that, its as I remembered, I think one of my laptops is already setup for it so that should be quiet doable. Have you tried with a smaller polling rate since the upgrade to see if that works ok.

Also in the UI from a web browser if you type the following commands you can check the current version of the firmware.

1zv? to check firmware of RA drive
2z?? to check firmware of Dec drive (do not need separate connection to it)
3 months 1 week ago #82591

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thanks, I’ll try those commands and see what they say. With the new firmware loaded the driver works perfectly now. Still a very occasional timeout error but hardly any, neither at 1 second now it seems.
Again, Jerry over at Cloudynights is busy designing basic goto UI, to replace the one that Richard made. He says he has used a lot of code from the Indi driver, but does not understand everything about it yet. Is there any way he can get in contact with you guys, especially with Jasem. Would be great if you guys can assist him a bit, so that we get some goto functionality right from the phone/tablet.

Cheers,

Peter
3 months 1 week ago #82634

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Apologies for the delayed response Peter. Need to catch up on all prior messages as well. Jasem can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and he is super helpful
3 months 1 week ago #82656

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