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INDI Library v1.8.9 Released (01 Mar 2021)

INDI monthly update. In addition to driver improvements, major code refactoring is in progress by @pawel-soja to modernize and improve INDI aging code.

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EQMod tracking stops after making corrections with the handset

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Hello

We run an observatory with public visits, we have been using the skyfi module with skysafari along with the handset on an EQ8 mount for years now (tablet to goto and handset to make corrections when necessary). I would now like to pilot the EQ8 through the handset in PC-Direct mode, to keep the "correct with handset feature" (some of my "old school" colleagues insist on keeping this). However, when I make small corrections with the handset, tracking stops although ekos says it's still tracking (I checked motor status and the RA steps don't change). However, if I make another correction from ekos this time, tracking resumes ... Any idea whether it is an expected behaviour or not?

Thanks,
F.

Using indiserver head builds and Kstars 3.4.3
3 months 3 weeks ago #65015

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It makes sense for tracking to stop when an external control is applied, but I'm not the authority on this driver.
Jasem Mutlaq
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3 months 3 weeks ago #65029

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Hi Jasem,

Fair enough, however, I tried your synscan driver instead and unless I am mistaken (there is no motor status available), tracking still ran after I played with the handset: same use case, different behaviour (yours makes more sense, if you ask me). I would be quite happy going for the synscan driver except that when I switched tracking off in ekos, it would not switch back on unless I slewed to another target (or the same, I imagine). No indication whatsoever that it even tried to switch tracking on (and failed). I guess I just traded one issue for another ;-)

Cheers,
F
3 months 2 weeks ago #65048

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switux wrote: Hi Jasem,

Fair enough, however, I tried your synscan driver instead and unless I am mistaken (there is no motor status available), tracking still ran after I played with the handset: same use case, different behaviour (yours makes more sense, if you ask me). I would be quite happy going for the synscan driver except that when I switched tracking off in ekos, it would not switch back on unless I slewed to another target (or the same, I imagine). No indication whatsoever that it even tried to switch tracking on (and failed). I guess I just traded one issue for another ;-)

Cheers,
F


This error actually happens to me sometimes when I manually move the mount in Ekos, it just stops tracking in RA, no handset attached or used, so it is a bug, and not just when handset is used, the last time I had to completly reset and start over, but if you click “sync” after making any manual movments it does not seem to happen...... :(
Stellarmate OS on Raspberry pi4b
Skywatcher EQ8 pro, on steel pier
Takahashi FSQ85, FS60cb & Meade 8” SCT (de-forked)
Starlight Xpress SXVR H18, SXVR M25c, Lodestar x2 Guide Camera
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3 months 2 weeks ago #65067

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The motor controller firmware only allows to set speed and direction of motors, there is no notion of tracking state in the firmware. And EQMod can't know that you're pressing a button on the handset before eventually restarting tracking. The same applies to the handset which does not know (or look) whether the mount was tracking before the manual move. A solution would be to start tracking on the handset before the manual move.
When using the synscan driver, it talks to the handset firmware itself, there is an unique state of the mount, I believe.
3 months 2 weeks ago #65098

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Hi Jean-Luc,

So if I got it correctly, whether we use EQMod (in PC-Direct mode) or Synscan, corrections made with the handset should not affect tracking, albeit for different reasons (ignored or single tracking status).

That said, it seems we have a problem with EQMod since I performed the very same use case you mentioned: start tracking and use the handset to make corrections. In that case, tracking stops.

Are we on the same page?

Cheers,
F
3 months 2 weeks ago #65102

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geehalel wrote: The motor controller firmware only allows to set speed and direction of motors, there is no notion of tracking state in the firmware. And EQMod can't know that you're pressing a button on the handset before eventually restarting tracking. The same applies to the handset which does not know (or look) whether the mount was tracking before the manual move. A solution would be to start tracking on the handset before the manual move.
When using the synscan driver, it talks to the handset firmware itself, there is an unique state of the mount, I believe.


So how do you explain it happening with no handset connected or used, just ekos with the EQMOD driver...??
Stellarmate OS on Raspberry pi4b
Skywatcher EQ8 pro, on steel pier
Takahashi FSQ85, FS60cb & Meade 8” SCT (de-forked)
Starlight Xpress SXVR H18, SXVR M25c, Lodestar x2 Guide Camera
Pegasus Ultimate Hub V2 for all USB & Power
Pegasus focus motors on all scopes
3 months 2 weeks ago #65103

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switux wrote: Hi Jean-Luc,

So if I got it correctly, whether we use EQMod (in PC-Direct mode) or Synscan, corrections made with the handset should not affect tracking, albeit for different reasons (ignored or single tracking status).

That said, it seems we have a problem with EQMod since I performed the very same use case you mentioned: start tracking and use the handset to make corrections. In that case, tracking stops.

Are we on the same page?

Cheers,
F

I think that what Jean-Luc is saying is that after the handset slews the mount it then has to restore the tracking state to what it (the handset) thinks it was before the slew. If the handset had not been set to tracking mode before the slew then it will not track after the slew. So if you set tracking on in the handset first (even if the mount is already tracking as commanded by EQMOD) then after slewing with the handset it will know that it needs to restore tracking.
-- Ken
RPi3 Ubuntu Server 20.04, Windows 10 AMD64, AAEON UP Core Ubuntu Desktop 20.04
Avalon M-Uno, EQ6 Pro, Atik420, ASI1600MM-C, ASI120MM-S, DBK21AU04, ZWO EFW, Optec TCFSi
Vixen R150S, GSO RC8, ST80
3 months 2 weeks ago #65106

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Hi Ken

Ok, that makes sense and it explains why tracking is not affected when I use the Synscan driver and why it is when I use EQMod. I reckon I have no other option than to use Synscan or to tell my colleagues to go back to ekos/skysafari to either resume tracking or sync; if we were to use EQMod, that is.

Now that leaves us with the potential bug with Synscan where tracking cannot be resumed after being suspended but that is another story :-)

Thanks everyone!
F
3 months 2 weeks ago #65108

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Have you conidered using a joystick control with the EQMOD driver? It would provide the same functionality as the hand controller as far as making corrections goes but the ommands go through the driver so everything works as expected.
-- Ken
RPi3 Ubuntu Server 20.04, Windows 10 AMD64, AAEON UP Core Ubuntu Desktop 20.04
Avalon M-Uno, EQ6 Pro, Atik420, ASI1600MM-C, ASI120MM-S, DBK21AU04, ZWO EFW, Optec TCFSi
Vixen R150S, GSO RC8, ST80
3 months 2 weeks ago #65118

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I will give it a try, thanks for the suggestion, however it will have to be ok with my colleagues which this time is my problem to solve :-)

Having said that, I inserted some traces and hacked a couple of lines in synscandriver.cpp and it turns out that the driver sends a T0 (means 'stop tracking') even if I click on "track" either in ekos/indi panel. I suspect it takes the actual value of "track mode", which, since no mode is selected, ends up with no tracking at all (when I actually force the mode in the driver code itself, it works). Now the question is: why, when I select the EQ track mode, the panel will NOT acknowledge it? That's kind of a chicken and egg problem: no tracking if no mode is set and no mode can be set hence tracking will not fire ... Seems like the driver cannot/will not override the handset's track mode. Maybe Jasem can shed some light on this matter.
2 months 4 weeks ago #66053

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Answering to myself ... out of curiosity, after fidgeting with the UI, I found out that you can actually resume tracking by clicking on "EQ" track mode and then on "Tracking On" (set polling frequency to a few seconds, otherwise you'll have to be pretty fast because the driver will read the track mode from the handset and put it back to 0 in the meantime). I find this a bit cumbersome, am I the only one?
2 months 4 weeks ago #66058

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