I recently purchased an EQ6-R and I want to take advantage of the PPEC of the mount, I am very new to the INDI/EKOS environment and I have ran into a few issues. Firstly I pointed my scope North and at the celestial equator (I live in the southern hemisphere so I assume North is the correct direction) and then restored calibration data and unticked the enable guiding output button in PHD2, I started "guiding" with hysterisis, then in the indi control panel I ticked RA PPEC Training and it said "Turning RA Training On" and the light in the panel turned yellow, and approximately 10 mins later turned off and said training complete I think, I then went to enable guiding in PHD2 and then click Turn RA PPEC On but it just said Turning RA PPEC On and then 5 seconds later spit two messages out simultaneously saying Turning RA PPEC off while guiding and Turning RA PPEC on after guiding. I am not sure why it has done this, the button still stayed yellow and kept looping through this cycle, If I disabled output it stopped displayed messages and stayed yellow and it seemed like it was working just by the fact the RA stayed relatively centred. So I am wondering have I done anything wrong here.
Also I would like to collect a few cycles with a PHD2 guidelog and run that through PECPrep and install that to my mount, I am wondering where is the PPEC file in Linux, I cannot find the file location at all.
Hi Tom, I will try to answer some of your questions:
1) PPEC and guiding is fighting each other. The fact is when you enable PPEC, the corrections are managed by mounts electronic and Ekos/INDI don't know, which corrections is the mount doing. So if you also turn on guiding, and Ekos is sending the corrections to the mount, they fight each other. It is possible to enable PPEC wth guiding, but this PPEC will not be the one which is ctored in the mount. For this purpose ther is a GPG RA algorithm in Ekos, or altenatively VS-PEC in ASCOM (EQmod driver). The reason why your PPEC was turned on and of was that the guiding pulses from Ekos tried to compensate while PPEC was runing.
2) There is no PPEC file stored in Ekos so far. The best way, how to create nice PPEC curve is to record it under ASCOM with PHD2 and EQmod. Then, as you mentioned, you will need to average and smooth the curve in the PECPrep and record it again using PHD2 and EQmod under ASCOM. After this, you will be able to enable it under INDI/Ekos, but don!t try to enable aslo guiding (as I mentioned in previous text).
I hope that I have answered your questions.
Thanks Hades that clears things up. So from what I was aware on ASCOM EQMOD you could have both guiding and PPEC running without interferring as long as your tracking was set to sidreal only and then enabling PPEC and guiding, but this isn't an option in INDI EQMOD? Also I am aware about making a smoothed curve however I have no clue about specifically how to upload the smoothed curve, like exactly where to put the file and what buttons to click. I have heard of GPG and PHD2 predictive algorithms but I was hoping to take advantage of my mounts ability to do PPEC on its own. So from what I am hearing there actually isn't an option in the INDI environment to have PPEC and guiding running harmoniously because my thoughts is PPEC got rid of all the massive RA swings from the imperfections in the worm and then the guiding would handle the small errors.
Even though the driver is called EQMod, it actually has nothing to do with the Windows ASCOM driver by the same name. In particular, there is no place to put a PPEC file for the driver to use.
To upload a PEC curve to the mount, the easiest thing to do is to do it via Windows and PEMPro.
Unfortunately, when you clicked the button to record the PEC to the mount, all you did was record an empty curve (a flatline). This is because while it is recording, it is "listening" for guiding pulses, and uses those to create the internal PEC model in the mount. But because you had guiding output disabled, you didn't actually record anything.
Please note that using PHD2 to try to create a PEC curve will not be optimal. It will record all the noise resulting from bad seeing, etc. since it will only record for a single worm period. Software like PEMPro will collect data over many worm cycles, create a smoothed curve, and can then upload that to the mount (through the Windows ASCOM driver).
To add some confusion, the Windows ASCOM driver can do its own PEC, independent of the PEC stored internal to the mount. That's not what we want. We want the PEC to be stored in the mount, so that when we reboot into Linux for INDI, the PEC is inside the mount and will just work.
The messages about the PEC being disabled while guiding are normal messages, which should probably be removed (or turned into debug messages). When you have PEC enabled in the mount, guiding pulses can end up being ignored or truncated. So to overcome that, the driver will turn off PEC, send the guiding pulse, then turn PEC back on. Those are the messages you are seeing, and is nothing to be concerned about.
Wow thankyou, this clears it up alot, so I can run PEMPro from windows, record 5 cycles or so and send that to the mount then I can just guide like normal with PHD2/Ekos and it should all work? And I won't need to enable PPEC or anything in the INDI control panel.
Thanks for the help, I was having a hard time wrapping my head around this.
That's mostly correct. But you need to enable PEC in the INDI control panel for the mount to actually use it. When you power the mount on, that feature is turned off until you explicitly enable it.
But yes, I used PEMPro in Windows, let it collect about an hour's worth of data, created the curve in PEMPro. Now here's the important part. It will ask you to save the curve to EQMod. Say no to that, it won't do what we want. Instead, in PEMPro, go to the PEC playback tab, and start playing back the PEC curve. Then in the EQMod control panel, expand it so all the controls are visible, and press the "record PEC" button on the far right side. That is how you actually upload the PEC curve into the mount's firmware. This can take up to 16 minutes. You can occasionally hit the Refresh button in EQMod to check the status. As long as it says "recording PEC" (or something like that) just leave it alone. When it says it's done, you can turn off the PEC playback in PEMPro. Then you're good to go, you can reboot into Linux, and use PEC with INDI.
Actually, I wouldn't reboot just yet. I'd collect another round of PEC data, with PEC enabled on the mount this time. And compare the before and after periodic error, and see how much of an improvement you got. If instead it actually made things much worse, the curve probably needs to be inverted and recorded again.