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INDI Library v1.8.1 Released (09 Sep 2019)

Monthly maintenance release INDI v1.8.1

Celestron AVX mount and Starsense

1 year 2 months ago
ChrisRowland
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Celestron AVX mount and Starsense #29676
The current sources have the command to detect the StarSense HC and a load of checks for it so it looks as if the patch is in.
I may be able to help with things Celestron because I've been developing the ASCOM driver for the Celestron mounts for many years.
Chris
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1 year 2 months ago
suramare
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Celestron AVX mount and Starsense #29680
Hi all,

I gathered some logs to better explain what's going on.
The config:
- Celestron Advanded X mount
- NexStar + HC
- StarSense HC
- SkySync GPS module
- StellarMate 1.3.0 OS on a RPI 3 B+
- Kstars:
kstars-bleeding/xenial,now 6:2.9.8+201808180747~ubuntu16.04.1 armhf [installed]
kstars-bleeding-data/xenial,now 6:2.9.8+201808180747~ubuntu16.04.1 all [installed,automatic]
kstars-bleeding-dbg/xenial,now 6:2.9.8+201808180747~ubuntu16.04.1 armhf [installed,automatic]
- libindi:
libindi-data/xenial,now 1.7.4~201808180610~ubuntu16.04.1 all [installed,automatic]
libindi-dev/xenial,now 1.7.4~201808180610~ubuntu16.04.1 armhf [installed]
libindi1/xenial,now 1.7.4~201808180610~ubuntu16.04.1 armhf [installed]
libindicator3-7/xenial,now 12.10.2+16.04.20151208-0ubuntu1 armhf [installed]
libindicator7/xenial,now 12.10.2+16.04.20151208-0ubuntu1 armhf [installed]

1. I've connected the StarSense HC, without align. The INDI control panel output was:
2018-09-21T09:20:39: [INFO] Device configuration saved.
2018-09-21T09:20:39: [INFO] Saving device configuration...
2018-09-21T09:20:39: [INFO] Device configuration applied.
2018-09-21T09:20:39: [INFO] Pulse guiding is enabled.
2018-09-21T09:20:39: [INFO] Session log file /home/stellarmate/.indi/logs/2018-09-21/indi_celestron_gps/indi_celestron_gps_09:20:38.log
2018-09-21T09:20:39: [INFO] Loading device configuration...
2018-09-21T09:20:39: [WARNING] Mount does not support retrieval of date and time settings.
2018-09-21T09:20:39: [INFO] Mount is parked.
2018-09-21T09:20:39: [WARNING] Mount firmware does not support track mode.
2018-09-21T09:20:39: [INFO] Starsense controller detected.
2018-09-21T09:20:38: [INFO] Mount model: AVX
2018-09-21T09:20:38: [INFO] Controller version: 1.19
2018-09-21T09:20:38: [INFO] Celestron GPS is online.
2018-09-21T09:20:38: [INFO] Session log file /home/stellarmate/.indi/logs/2018-09-21/indi_celestron_gps/indi_celestron_gps_09:20:38.log
2018-09-21T09:20:38: [INFO] Debug is enabled.

The log is attached as log_starsense.txt

Attachment not found



2. I've connected the NexStar+ HC without align. The INDI control panel output was:
2018-09-21T09:54:01: [INFO] Device configuration saved.
2018-09-21T09:54:01: [INFO] Saving device configuration...
2018-09-21T09:54:00: [INFO] Device configuration applied.
2018-09-21T09:54:00: [INFO] Pulse guiding is enabled.
2018-09-21T09:54:00: [INFO] Session log file /home/stellarmate/.indi/logs/2018-09-21/indi_celestron_gps/indi_celestron_gps_09:54:00.log
2018-09-21T09:54:00: [INFO] Loading device configuration...
2018-09-21T09:54:00: [WARNING] Mount is NOT aligned. You must align the mount first before you can use it. Disconnect, align the mount, and reconnect again.
2018-09-21T09:54:00: [INFO] Mount UTC offset is 2.00. UTC time is 2018-09-21T10:53:58
2018-09-21T09:54:00: [INFO] Mount tracking is off.
2018-09-21T09:54:00: [INFO] Mount is parked.
2018-09-21T09:54:00: [INFO] Mount model: GPS Series
2018-09-21T09:54:00: [INFO] Controller version: 5.29
2018-09-21T09:54:00: [INFO] Celestron GPS is online.
2018-09-21T09:54:00: [INFO] Session log file /home/stellarmate/.indi/logs/2018-09-21/indi_celestron_gps/indi_celestron_gps_09:54:00.log
2018-09-21T09:54:00: [INFO] Debug is enabled.

The log is attached as log_nexstar.txt

Attachment not found



3. I've connected the NexStar+ HC after align. The INDI control panel output was:
2018-09-21T10:04:44: [INFO] Device configuration saved.
2018-09-21T10:04:44: [INFO] Saving device configuration...
2018-09-21T10:04:43: [INFO] Device configuration applied.
2018-09-21T10:04:43: [INFO] Pulse guiding is enabled.
2018-09-21T10:04:43: [INFO] Session log file /home/stellarmate/.indi/logs/2018-09-21/indi_celestron_gps/indi_celestron_gps_10:04:42.log
2018-09-21T10:04:43: [INFO] Loading device configuration...
2018-09-21T10:04:43: [WARNING] Mount does not support retrieval of date and time settings.
2018-09-21T10:04:43: [INFO] Mount is unparked.
2018-09-21T10:04:43: [INFO] Mount model: AVX
2018-09-21T10:04:43: [INFO] Controller version: 5.29
2018-09-21T10:04:42: [INFO] Celestron GPS is online.
2018-09-21T10:04:42: [INFO] Session log file /home/stellarmate/.indi/logs/2018-09-21/indi_celestron_gps/indi_celestron_gps_10:04:42.log
2018-09-21T10:04:42: [INFO] Debug is enabled.

The log is attached as log_nexstar_after_align.txt

Attachment not found



On the other hand, I've read on other threads that is possible to connect via minicom to the mount and issue some commands, by example to query the time/location from the gps module. I have a doc (NexStar_AUX_Commands_10.pdf, author Andre Paquette), with comands accepted by Celestron NexStar.
Unfortunately I've have no idea how to issue the commands, if possible please give me some quick instructions. So far I've tried to use minicom on /dev/ ttyUSB1 (/dev/mount) but I'm stuck in the front of the terminal, no output and I have no idea how to send commands, thanks in advance.

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1 year 2 months ago
ChrisRowland
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Celestron AVX mount and Starsense #29691
I'm not sure about minicom, the only way I communicate with the Celestron mount is using the serial port on the base of the HC. Even the USB port appears as a serial port.
It's possible to communicate with a GPS module if you have one by using the commmands in Andre's document and the AUX bus commands, these are sent using the
int CelestronDriver::send_passthrough(int dest, int cmd_id, const char *payload,
int payload_len, char *response, int response_len)
method.
dest is the device id cmd_id is the command and so on. There's an example of using this in the Pulse Guide command.

Personally I wouldn't bother with getting time or location from the GPS, the HC will connect to the GPS and updaate it's internal time and position. Also some mounts, such as the AVX don't have a GPS but do have a RTC. This can be read in a similar manner as the GPS but with a different device id.
I'm not sure why the time and date can't be retrieved when the mount is aligned. I don't hve a problem doing this. There's a recommendation that the time and location are not updated when the mount is aligned because these are used in calculating the local sidereal time and so changing them affects the alignment.
Looking at the logs both the log_starsense and log-nexstar logs are actually using a starsense HC. I can tell this from the controller version and variant.
The low version number seems to cause the driver to use the low precision 'E' command to get the ra and dec rather than the high precision 'e' command. This is fine with the starsense.
The third does use the nexstar HC. Incidentally earlier version of the HC dn't support the 'm' command and these will give a timeout error. Easy to trap and assume it's not Starsense.
I'm not sure how any of the logs are determining if the mount is aligned, there's a command that will do this - 'J', it returns 0 or 1.
Hope this hurried response helps, I'm going to have to get the QT environment set up and start learning how to debug.
Chris
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1 year 2 months ago
ChrisRowland
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Celestron AVX mount and Starsense #29694
I hadn't even tried connecting my AVX to the Pi, didn't anticipate any issues. BIG mistake.

When I tried it things are really strange. Slews are all over the place, the HC produces slew limit exceeded messages, KStrars doesn't display the correct, or expected, mount position. Errors in the status line at the base of KStars but practically nothing in the log files.
It looks as if the serial communication is very unreliable, what messages I do get seem to show lots of timeout errors.

The identical hardware plugged into my Windows machine works perfectly using my ASCOM driver. Not casting stones, just a data point.

What I've done is:
Start mount and do a Quick Align.
Use EKOS to get a connection to the CelestronGPS driver.
Back to KStars and point to various stars and slew to them. I'm currently using Altair and Vega.
The USB to serial interface is a fairly elderly FTDI, it's been rock solid for years.
Will persist some more tomorrow, maybe I will be able to get more out of the logs.

Chris

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1 year 2 months ago
ChrisRowland
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Celestron AVX mount and Starsense #29696
It looks as if the problem is with my hardware.

If I connect the USB to serial adaptor directly to my Pi it's fine, but if I connect the adaptor through a brand new 7 port USB hub then the serial communication seems to be unreliable. I see communcation failures and the mount does some very strange things. I guess that the commands being sent have been corrupted in some way.

Chris

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1 year 2 months ago 1 year 2 months ago by knro.
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Celestron AVX mount and Starsense #29753
Yes, that was applied long ago. Regarding the time/date, this is the code right here:
 // JM 2014-04-14: User (davidw) reported AVX mount serial communication times out issuing "h" command with firmware 5.28
        // Therefore disabling query until it is fixed.
        // 2017-07-06: Looks like CGE Pro also does not support this
        if (fwInfo.controllerVersion >= 2.3 && fwInfo.Model != "AVX" && fwInfo.Model != "CGE Pro")

So AVX was disabled due to this. Now you can try recompiling this and removing && fwInfo.Model != "AVX" from celestrongps.cpp file to see if it would with your mount, but it was a report by another user that the AVX mout times out. Can you perform such a test and see if the problem remains there?

Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?
Add your observatory info
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1 year 2 months ago
suramare
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Celestron AVX mount and Starsense #29806
Thanks Jasem!

I will do it today and I'll keep you updated about results.
Lucian

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1 year 2 months ago
ChrisRowland
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Celestron AVX mount and Starsense #29902
I've enabled the 'h' command with my AVX running a StarSense HC version 1.19 and there's no problem reading the time. This isn't a surprise because the HC commands tend to follow the HC type and version, not the mount type.

Chris

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1 year 2 months ago 1 year 2 months ago by knro.
knro
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Celestron AVX mount and Starsense #29905
I've updated the driver, can you pull and test it?

Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?
Add your observatory info
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1 year 2 months ago
ChrisRowland
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Celestron AVX mount and Starsense #29906
Your test will fail with StarSense HCs because their versions are less than 2.3. What I implemented is:
if (checkMinVersion(2.3, "read time"))
This uses a different version for the StarSense controllers.

Not sure I can pull your code into my branch but I'll try.

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1 year 2 months ago
knro
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Celestron AVX mount and Starsense #29908
It won't fail because in checkMinVersion(...) it's checking if it is StarSense and will check if it >= 1.18 so it will pass.

Jasem Mutlaq
Support INDI & Ekos; Get StellarMate Astrophotography Gadget.
How to Submit Logs when you have problems?
Add your observatory info

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1 year 2 months ago
ChrisRowland
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Celestron AVX mount and Starsense #29909
Yes, we have implemented the same code, I got confused looking at the diff.

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