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INDI Library v2.0.6 is Released (02 Feb 2024)

Bi-monthly release with minor bug fixes and improvements

What are some INDI-friendly mounts that allow full automation?

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I have a Celestron CGX mount but, despite some herculean efforts by the community (Thanks @Fabrizio and @Jasem!), there are problems with the driver that make full automation in Kstars/Ekos difficult. It seems that the driver is particularly difficult on the Celestron hardware.

What mount would you recommend for full automation in Kstars/Ekos? I am seriously considering a better mount, rather than struggling with the CGX. Are there any mounts with factory-supplied INDI drivers?

1, I need to be portable.
2. The CGX at 44 lbs is about the limit my aging back can manage.
3. I currently have 28 lbs of goodies on mount.
4. fully automated; park/unpark for easy setup/tear down, alignment and solid tracking

Thanks in advance for your ideas!
11 months 8 hours ago #91669

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The troubles you seem to be having are probably mount problems and not really INDI problems. Mounts are like petulant children. They, quite literally, have a mind of their own. In most cases, the mount has its own built in controller (separate from the HC) and this controller is the single source of truth.

I have had a decent experience with Skywatcher/EQMOD mounts, but its still not perfect.

For instance, the park position. If you move your mount a lot and move the axes with the clutches released, the first thing you should probably do when you power it back on is to re-park it. Once the mount is "parked" whatever position the mount thinks is parked, release the clutches and manually put it back in the standard park position.

I never use any alignment routines that are native to my mount. I polar align with the Ekos module, that is it. 1/2/3 star alignments should never be done if you are doing astrophotography with an equatorial mount.

I am not trying to blame you for your problems, I blame the mount. But the point is you have to not fight the mount and just figure out its idiosyncrasies.
10 months 4 weeks ago #91687

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I don't know anything about CGX with regards to INDI...

I successfully use Skywatcher HEQ5 and AZ-GTi with INDI. Both work under EQMod protocol.

I also used an iOptron CEM40 for about 6 months. It worked well with INDI.
The only thing - the included iGuider didn't work with INDI.
They don't supply iGuider anymore AFAIK. Stay away from iGuider.

Take a look at iOptron. They just released a bunch of strain-wave mounts such as HEM44.
They seem to be supported by INDI but I have no idea how well. They are still fairly new...

Another option - ZWO AM5. I think that's the most popular mount right now. I just ordered one.
Up to 44 lbs load. 28 without a counterweight.
-- Max S
ZWO AM5. RST-135. AZ-GTI. HEQ5. iOptron SkyTracker.
TPO RC6. FRA400. Rokinon 135 and other lenses.
ZWO ASI2600MC. D5500 modified with UVIR clip-in filter.
ZWO ASI120MM Mini x 2. ZWO 30F4 guider. Orion 50mm guider.
ZWO EAF x 2.
10 months 4 weeks ago #91693

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I had pretty good driver related experience with Celestron AVX. Not sure how it is different from CGX. It is lightweight, but it barely handled my EdgeHD 8". I can hardly imagine it juggling 28 lbs :)
I switched to Losmandy G11T and it had some bumps in the driver. The fixes are already done and it now does what I want. You may choose G11 or G811 if you want it lighter. They all work exactly the same with regards to automation.
10 months 4 weeks ago #91707

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Hi!

I've been using a Losmandy G11 for years (not noticing any driver bumps for a very long time, since side-of-pier was successfully implemented). It works like a charm. That is, as already said, mounts have a (charming) mind of their own at times.... But is really a workhorse, I tend to think "it works like a machine". Well, it is a machine :)

Magnus
10 months 4 weeks ago #91708

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Stands that can be fully automated are limited to those that have the same INDI functions as HC (obtaining latitude/longitude date and time, coordinate measurement using alignment information) without using HC.

example. Use of EQMod drivers in SkyWatcher products.

For Celestron products, the CelestronAUX driver is applicable, but it seems to be incomplete.
10 months 3 weeks ago #91816

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Hi
I think indi-eqmod is at the stage of maturity that we can safely say that if it isn't working, it's operator error.
Cheers
10 months 3 weeks ago #91821

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A lot of my problem is I don't understand what functionality is encoded in the HC and what is in the mount and to what extent the driver is supposed to reproduce that functionality. I am coming to understand that the mount control and driver are very blunt and use very basic functionality. They are largely ignorant of any advanced commands the mount might understand. For example, when the CGX powers up, the first thing done through the HC is a very precise seek to the home position. With Ekos on power up, "Park" will quickly slew to some coordinates that can be really surprising. It is clear that the driver is not sending the same "park" instructions to the mount that the HC is. I have mad respect for the people reverse engineering these things. But wouldn't it be sweet if Celestron saw value in providing an INDI compatible driver? As has been pointed out, we all have to do our own reverse engineering and figure out a workflow that works with the quirks of our equipment. The fact that we can do that at all is amazing mixed with moments of terror as the mount races off to who knows where!
10 months 1 week ago #92312

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I have been using Sky-Watcher mounts with Ekos/EQMOD driver for five years now.
Never had a single bad experience.

- Marc
10 months 1 week ago #92315

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Skywatcher seems to have better support than Celestron. I slightly regret not waiting for a skywatcher mount to come back in stock given how much I've probably caused Jasem to curse as I report yet another celestron bug. Even my Az-GTi, running in brainwashed EQ mode was pretty stable right out of the box.

That said, have you tried the very latest indi-celestron-aux from git? Jasem has done some amazing work recently that has greatly improved my AVX; not all of it is in INDI 2.0.1.

Story time: I had to power cycle my whole rig last night to do some power cable management. When I was done, I flipped the main power switch back on, and went back into the house. Kstars had started up, the GPS had a fix, I started EKOS, it synced time and location to my AVX and sent a quick align command over USB and the hand controller. I loaded up a schedule and pressed go. Ekos slewed the mount, plate solved and aligned, started guiding, and then photographed all night. At the end of astronomical night, the scheduler parked my mount and let my camera warm back up.
10 months 5 days ago #92452

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