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INDI Library v1.9.6 Released (21 May 2022)

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

Sky Watcher ALT-AZ driver does not work.

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Thank you for your reply.
Indi is a very nice environment, but I would like you to consider the compatibility of the initial setting file when reviewing the driver setting items and updating.
Even though the function does not change, items related to parks and domes are added to the driver and it does not work, or the initial settings are not read and problems often occur.
1 year 5 months ago #65698

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I should let you know that I am not directly associated with indilib. I have written a documentation for a driver and am a retired programmer, though like you, am an end user. While it is likely others with some actual authority will be reading this thread, I have none.

This community thrives on suggestions and bug reports are always helpful. The community also works best with the combined experience of experienced and users contributing input and potential solutions. The community frequently comes up with options, methods and work-arounds for issues which arise in the software. It is a monumental job to keep up with the changes in hardware and software for all the hardware and software supported with every change and to maintain the codebase.

In the case of this particular driver, it was an adaptation from another driver for a different mount. So, it is not so much that the Park and Dome were added and non-working as they were carried over from the previous driver and time for debug work did not allow the discovery of the issue. I speculate that the original modification for the intended mount may have fallen aside with the arrival of the SynScan device and subsequent indi_synscan_telescope driver, creating a duplication of drivers for the same scope, despite different methods
.
Recently, there has been some significant work done to the driver to address some of the issues. Park now works as expected and some of the code that caused that and other issues has been removed. I am currently using this driver for every session with my 250P with good success. There are still 3 bugs on my list, but they are more inconvenient than detrimental.

I run Linux on RPi4's, and indi is the only reasonable choice. Having run programming shops in my working life, I am amazed at the amount of code that is written and maintained by so few, especially with most of it being available at the raw code level. Indi is a very nice environment, and astronomy is on fire globally at the moment. With patience and reasonable suggestions for improvements, I believe it can only get better.
SkyWatcher 10" SynScan Goto Dobsonian, SV106 Guide, ZWO ASI178MC, Svbony SV105, SV305, Pi3HQcam, Pi4, DIY WaveShare focuser, Linux Ubuntu, KStars/Ekos, Carte du Ciel/CCDCiel, AstroDMx_Capture, Siril, StarTools, GIMP
Last edit: 1 year 5 months ago by Jon Carleton.
1 year 5 months ago #65707

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Yes, I understand that you are a user.

I have been using INDI for 4 years.

The evolution in the meantime was amazing.

However, I also feel that there are improvements due to repeated updates.

I have a lot of information and distributions about INDI on my blog.

The blog also mentions notes about INDI, so please have a look if you have time.

tstudioastronomy.blog.fc2.com/blog-category-3.html

tstudioastronomy.blog.fc2.com/blog-category-31.html
1 year 5 months ago #65777

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@T-Studio: Thanks, I will look at it this afternoon. I may get involved with the KStars handbook update shortly it would be good to review that kind of change detail.

Take a look at the thread: indilib.org/forum/general/6762-indiserve...or-synscan-goto.html
It contains a running dialog of testing and changes made by some of the programmers working on this particular driver along with some of my testing and results.
SkyWatcher 10" SynScan Goto Dobsonian, SV106 Guide, ZWO ASI178MC, Svbony SV105, SV305, Pi3HQcam, Pi4, DIY WaveShare focuser, Linux Ubuntu, KStars/Ekos, Carte du Ciel/CCDCiel, AstroDMx_Capture, Siril, StarTools, GIMP
1 year 5 months ago #65778

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I would very much like to test the latest version of the Alt-Az driver. I am running astroberry on a pi4/4gb. I did install the latest indi driver according to the instruction on github.com/indilib/indi. When I start the driver via ekos, it does show version 1.2 in the "connection" tab, so I assume I have the latest version.
My mount is an Az-Eq6. I tried two variations to connect the mount: via usb cable (I have the most recent motor controller interface with a built-in usb; for that I have to choose 115 kbaud) and via bluetooth dongle (i.e. rfcomm with 9.6 kbaud) both variants will not connect. Does anybody give advice ?
Many thanks !
1 year 5 months ago #66531

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tstudioastronomy.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-391.html

I've put together a workaround for the bug on my blog.

Please convert it with a translation engine and check it.
1 year 5 months ago #66540

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@T-Studio: first off, many thanks for your reply. I tried to follow the instructions from the web-page reference (the translation worked remarkably well), but it did not solve my problem. My mount will not even connect physically to the driver. This is the feedback I receive in the Ekos window:

2021-01-27T11:11:29 Skywatcher Alt-Az is disconnected.
2021-01-27T11:09:18 INDI services started on port 7624. Please connect devices.
2021-01-27T11:09:18 Starting INDI services...

Did anybody manage to connect the Az-Eq6 to this driver ? If so, by what means ? Do I have to connect via the HC in PC mode ? I took from the discription on the indi site ( indilib.org/telescopes/skywatcher/skywat...lt-az-dobsonian.html ; which is indeed the only reference there to the alt-az driver) that I can/should connect the mount directly to my raspberry (as with the EQmod, which runs flawlessly).
Any hints welcome !
Many thanks !
1 year 5 months ago #66552

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I don't have the same mount exactly, but there should be three options for SynScan devices:
1 - Connect to the HC in PC Direct mode via USB-A (printer) cable. Getting the correct USB port designation is important.
2 - Connect via WiFi to the Motor Controller
3 - Use the indi_synscan_telescope driver and connect to the mount via tablet/phone running the SynScan.app and from the indi driver to the app all over WiFi.

There is a more recent version on github, but you will have to compile it. Although, I am not certain the version number is different, it has a variety of updates and fixes.
SkyWatcher 10" SynScan Goto Dobsonian, SV106 Guide, ZWO ASI178MC, Svbony SV105, SV305, Pi3HQcam, Pi4, DIY WaveShare focuser, Linux Ubuntu, KStars/Ekos, Carte du Ciel/CCDCiel, AstroDMx_Capture, Siril, StarTools, GIMP
1 year 5 months ago #66562

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Jon,
many thanks, your help is very much appreciated. The Az-Eq 6 does not have any wifi capabilities. My options to connect are either through the built-in usb port (works well with EQmod @115 kbaud), via the usb port of the HC (@ 9600 baud) or via a bluetooth dongle, which is inserted into the MC unit instead of the HC.
I have just changed my setup to the most recent stable version of Stellarmate, in the hope of having newer drivers.
Again, the version of my driver is 1.2. From browsing through the code of "skywatcherAPI" on github (github.com/indilib/indi/commit/aeba92ac6...b96cd00d41f17c2f1359) I did understand that version 1.2 does include the most recent changes. Anyway, yesterday I did compile the most recent version on my Astroberry and it did also gave me version 1.2 of the Skywatcher Alt-Az driver. However, the response was the same as it is with Stellarmate. I enabled logging. This came out, when trying to connect via the HC @ 9600 baud:
[2021-01-27T15:54:29.472 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Skywatcher Alt-Az : "[DEBUG] Connecting to /dev/ttyUSB0 @ 9600 "
[2021-01-27T15:54:29.477 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Skywatcher Alt-Az : "[DEBUG] Port FD 3 "
[2021-01-27T15:54:29.477 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Skywatcher Alt-Az : "[DEBUG] Connection successful, attempting handshake... "
[2021-01-27T15:54:29.477 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Skywatcher Alt-Az : "[SCOPE] SkywatcherAPIMount::Handshake "
[2021-01-27T15:54:29.478 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Skywatcher Alt-Az : "[SCOPE] InitMount "
[2021-01-27T15:54:29.478 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Skywatcher Alt-Az : "[SCOPE] CheckIfDCMotor "
[2021-01-27T15:54:31.494 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Skywatcher Alt-Az : "[SCOPE] SkywatcherAPIMount::Handshake - Result: 0 "
[2021-01-27T15:54:31.495 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Skywatcher Alt-Az : "[DEBUG] Handshake failed. "
[2021-01-27T15:54:31.760 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos] - "Skywatcher Alt-Az" is disconnected.
[2021-01-27T15:54:31.761 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos] - "Skywatcher Alt-Az is disconnected."

Same result when trying to connect through the built-in usb (which works flawlessly with EQmoc):
[2021-01-27T15:57:34.413 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Skywatcher Alt-Az : "[INFO] Scan complete. Found 1 port(s). "
[2021-01-27T15:57:39.177 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Skywatcher Alt-Az : "[DEBUG] Connecting to /dev/ttyUSB0 @ 115200 "
[2021-01-27T15:57:39.187 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Skywatcher Alt-Az : "[DEBUG] Port FD 3 "
[2021-01-27T15:57:39.188 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Skywatcher Alt-Az : "[DEBUG] Connection successful, attempting handshake... "
[2021-01-27T15:57:39.188 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Skywatcher Alt-Az : "[SCOPE] SkywatcherAPIMount::Handshake "
[2021-01-27T15:57:39.189 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Skywatcher Alt-Az : "[SCOPE] InitMount "
[2021-01-27T15:57:39.189 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Skywatcher Alt-Az : "[SCOPE] CheckIfDCMotor "
[2021-01-27T15:57:41.194 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Skywatcher Alt-Az : "[SCOPE] SkywatcherAPIMount::Handshake - Result: 0 "
[2021-01-27T15:57:41.195 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.indi] - Skywatcher Alt-Az : "[DEBUG] Handshake failed. "
[2021-01-27T15:57:41.300 CET DEBG ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos] - "Skywatcher Alt-Az" is disconnected.
[2021-01-27T15:57:41.301 CET INFO ][ org.kde.kstars.ekos] - "Skywatcher Alt-Az is disconnected."

I remember having a similar problem last year prior to the revision of the Skywatcher Alt-Az driver. Apparently the Az-Eq 6 gives a response during the handshake process which is not anticipated by the driver.
Any ideas ?
Cheers and kind regards
Dirk
1 year 5 months ago #66566

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I'll take a look at the driver tomorrow and see if I can sort out what it expects. It is looking for a 1 rather than 0. Perhaps the programmer who made some of the changes recently will have some useful input. I will try to contact him. Though, you may be correct and even if the handshake is adjusted and succeeds there may be other issues beyond the handshake if the firmware in the motors is that different.
SkyWatcher 10" SynScan Goto Dobsonian, SV106 Guide, ZWO ASI178MC, Svbony SV105, SV305, Pi3HQcam, Pi4, DIY WaveShare focuser, Linux Ubuntu, KStars/Ekos, Carte du Ciel/CCDCiel, AstroDMx_Capture, Siril, StarTools, GIMP
Last edit: 1 year 5 months ago by Jon Carleton.
1 year 5 months ago #66577

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Many thanks, Jon. I looked up the issue I had last year. Here is the link to the conversation: indilib.org/forum/wish-list/7524-alt-az-...-eqmod.html?start=24
Apparently the `CheckifDCMotor` routine uses commands the Az-Eq 6 does not understand. The reply of my mount is "!0", which is apparently an error code. Jean-Luc Geehalel did test the driver back then with his Az-Eq 5 and received an error code "!1".
I checked the response of my mount with picocom according to the instructions from Jean-Luc. Unfortunately I never managed to compile the code from his indi branch correctly. Hope we can solve it this time...
1 year 5 months ago #66578

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Hmm, I tried again to understand what is happening: the way I read it, the handshake process with my mount is broken off after the "check if dc motor" routine. My mount does not have DC motors, but stepper motors, hence the "!0" response. Peeking at the further code of the driver, it seems to be capable of controlling stepper motors. I guess the code needs to be changed so that the handshake process continues with a "false" for the "dc motor" variable...
1 year 5 months ago #66582

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