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INDI Library v1.9.6 Released (21 May 2022)

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

EQMOD sync and align settings

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Hi!

Can someone share their EQMOD sync and align settings used for a permanent observatory equatorial setup using plate solving extensively for goto? The mount is an EQ6 SyncScan and is quite well polar aligned...

I can't seem to get them right:
1. The mount sometimes moves like crazy in kstars but not in "reality", for example "jumping" 10-20 degrees in kstars and showing a location that is way off.
2. Often gotos works fine initially, but after some time they get worse and worse and end up being way off.
3. Sometimes an endless loop of GOTOs and tracking on/off is seen after using the Align module and I have to disconnect the mount to make it work again. Mayby this has to do with "limits"?

Thanks!

Søren
4 months 3 weeks ago #79151

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Replied by Jim on topic EQMOD sync and align settings

1. I have seen this before too, but have not been able to track anything down. When it gets in this way, kstars is out of sync with where the scope is pointing and I end up having to park, clear alignment, and start over. Thankfully it does not happen a lot.
2. I find there is a limit to the number of alignment points that are healthy, and things start to degrade after about 4 to 5 points on each side of the meridian. I sync a few extra points at start, but then switch to solver action "Nothing" which seems to stop the sync points from getting added. It might be a nice setting to not sync after a certain number of points are achieved successfully, then I could leave it set to either "Sync" or "Slew to Target". "Slew to target" would be ideal because the solve could still center the target. There may be some limitations on knowing the starting point for the next slew.
3. not sure on this one

EQ8 on a permanent pier here, by the way.
12" pier with HDX110 using EQMod
ASI 1600 mono/color mains with ASI290MM in off-axis
ASI filter wheel
Moonlite focusers for the sharpening
AT115EDT w/.8x for the light
Fedora Linux, 100% INDI
4 months 3 weeks ago #79166

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First make sure that the coordinates evolve the expected way in the INDI driver interface : when tracking, alt-az progresses but not ra-dec, when not tracking, ra-dec progresses but not alt-az.

Also make sure you sync far enough from the celestial pole to avoid precision issues that would creep in next alignments. Think of this as a spline, the more points you add to the curve the greater the chance you will get oscillations in-between.

-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
4 months 2 weeks ago #79188

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One thing to check to make sure to use nearest point alignment in EQMod align tab options, the n-star does have issues when there are many sync points close together which is the case when refining alignment and sometimes it just doesn't converge and jumps around. Haven't had issues with nearest point alignment on permanently mounted EQ8.
Remote observatory running Ubuntu 21.10 x64 with ScopeDome 2M, Skywatcher EQ8, TS 8" RC, Atik 383L+, ASI178MC, ASI120MM-S, SX Lodestar X2, SX USB wheel with OAG, ZWO EAF, Gemini SnapCap, USB_DewPoint, KomaHub
4 months 2 weeks ago #79244

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Replied by S on topic EQMOD sync and align settings

Thank you all for the tricks :-)

Can you just leave sync at "add point" when using nearest point of do you switch to "standard sync" after having added a few points?
4 months 2 weeks ago #79246

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I have left it on add point as it doesn't seem to do any harm with nearest point alignment. After doing taking down the mount for maintenance or similar I clear the alignment data, make a loose model by syncing in a few places (around 10 or so) around the sky and save that as a base alignment data which then gets loaded for every subsequent session. That way the first slew is usually already fairly close and plate solving does the rest. This is also useful during the light summer nights here in Finland or day time imaging of planets when plate solving can't be used.
Remote observatory running Ubuntu 21.10 x64 with ScopeDome 2M, Skywatcher EQ8, TS 8" RC, Atik 383L+, ASI178MC, ASI120MM-S, SX Lodestar X2, SX USB wheel with OAG, ZWO EAF, Gemini SnapCap, USB_DewPoint, KomaHub
4 months 2 weeks ago #79250

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Replied by S on topic EQMOD sync and align settings

Thanks a lot, i will try to follow your model.

Have you selected "kstars updates all devices"?
4 months 2 weeks ago #79251

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Yes, I used to have a GPS device connected to the computer too and used it when mobile, but it didn't make much sense anymore with fixed place and network syncing for time.
Remote observatory running Ubuntu 21.10 x64 with ScopeDome 2M, Skywatcher EQ8, TS 8" RC, Atik 383L+, ASI178MC, ASI120MM-S, SX Lodestar X2, SX USB wheel with OAG, ZWO EAF, Gemini SnapCap, USB_DewPoint, KomaHub
The following user(s) said Thank You: S
4 months 2 weeks ago #79253

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Replied by S on topic EQMOD sync and align settings

Tried again today with no luck. The mount is all over the place, jumps erratically in kstars, complaints about limits, goes into an endless GOTO-tracking loop, crashes into the pier, you name it.... :-(

Do you have in the EQMOD Options tab set "Align Method" to "EQmod align" or "Alignment Subsystem"? No idea what any of it is... :)
4 months 2 weeks ago #79357

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I use EQMod align. Those erratic jumps sound a lot like what I had with my previous HEQ5 mount which had a bit loose power connector and that manifested itself as occasional serial port errors. I ended up changing the power connector to a screwed one and that cured those issues. If you enable logging for EQMod, does it report any serial errors? Or does the power led blink / fade or is it stable?
Remote observatory running Ubuntu 21.10 x64 with ScopeDome 2M, Skywatcher EQ8, TS 8" RC, Atik 383L+, ASI178MC, ASI120MM-S, SX Lodestar X2, SX USB wheel with OAG, ZWO EAF, Gemini SnapCap, USB_DewPoint, KomaHub
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4 months 2 weeks ago #79358

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My very same behaviour! Erratic random jumps and get lots of " [WARNING] Horizon Limits:" in the log page. Posted the very same question a couple of hours ago... Looking for a solution or an advice!
4 months 2 weeks ago #79369

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I'm not sure I have the same issue, but I had a lot of random tracking aborts with my SW EQ6-R Pro. Jasem researched the problem and it looked like the mount was sending occasionally random position information back to EKOS. So he suggested disabling aborts due to these positional communications by doing the following:

Go to INDI Control Panel --> EQMod --> Horizon

Then uncheck "Abort Tracking" and also set Limit GOTO to "Disable".

Finally, go to INDI Control Panel -->EQMod -->Options --> Configuration --> Save

It worked for me and (best I can determine) doesn't have a downside. EKOS will still abort tracking based on the altitude parameter set in the mount tab.

Hope this helps!

Ron
Mounts: Sky-Watcher EQ6-R Pro, Meade LX85, Celestron NexStar Evolution Alt/Az
OTAs: Celestron 8" Edge HD w/Celestron Focus Motor, Meade 80mm APO Triplet Refractor w/ZWO EAF
Cameras: ASI533MC Pro, ASI183MC Pro, ASI224MC, ASI120MC-S, ZWO ASI290MM
Raspberry Pi 4 with Stellarmate OS, MacBook Pro
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4 months 2 weeks ago #79376

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