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INDI Library v1.8.1 Released (09 Sep 2019)

Monthly maintenance release INDI v1.8.1

Guiding nightmare

1 month 3 weeks ago
wotalota
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Guiding nightmare #43682
I use the daily build. KStars 3.3.6, INDI 1.8.1-2.6. Guide camera ASI 174.
Cable drag and balance might be a factor although neither were adjusted going from bad to good guiding.
Did the same image again last night with similar results, started badly and gradually became stable. In my
case I'm thinking it might be associated with the location in the sky which was directly overhead. Started
settup right after a meridian flip, combined perhaps with balance or cabling. As the target moved a little
westward things calmed down, just a thought.

Mach1, TS86SDQ, ASI071, ASI174, OAG, focusPro

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1 month 3 weeks ago
the.cakemaker
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Guiding nightmare #43683
My last experiences with the internal guider are, that it helped quite a lot to check back the polar-alignment and to sync the scopes EXACTLY to the same star.
This is proved by the fact, that when i was using OffAxisGuiding, things went much better.
I hade to change to finder-guiding because of hardware...

cheers
Niki

Skywatcher EQ6-R | Lacerta 10" Carbon-Newton | Canon EOS 5DMarkIIIa | ASI120mm guiding cam | KSTARS NIGHTLY 3.3.6 on my outdoor-Laptop |

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1 month 3 weeks ago
rlancaste
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Guiding nightmare #43686
Yes Absolutely, you should be getting information from PHD2 when using it for external guiding. You should get both the image and the guiding information. This is what I spent so much time getting working properly. If there is an issue where some functionality got lost because somebody was working on something related, and it broke one of these things, I can go back and fix it again.

There are supposed to be two ways you can use PHD2. There is an option that says "Receive all external guide frames." The way that this should work is that if you have the same guide camera connected both to PHD2 and to Ekos, you can have the image fully load in both places. Ekos has no need for this image, since it isn't doing the guiding, but you can have it display there for you to see what the guider is doing. The other possibility is that you could have Ekos display just the star profile image, which PHD2 is always sending with the guide data no matter whether the camera is only connected to PHD2 or if it is an INDI camera. The method I always use is to get just the star profile image and I know that method is working because I use it all the time. If the other method no longer works for some reason, let me know and I will look into it.

My belief is that the option to receive just the star profile image is far superior to receiving the whole external guide frame. If you have the camera connected to INDI and it has to send images across the wifi network, that really slows down response time for guiding. It is much better to set up your INDI profile to leave out the Guide camera if it is natively supported by PHD2, then directly connect your camera to PHD2, and connect to PHD2 from Ekos. This won't hurt the control of the camera because PHD2 is the one doing the guiding and you can control most of the important functions from Ekos. The star profile image and all guiding data will come back to Ekos, and while the star profile image isn't that big, it is definitely good enough to see the star PHD2 is using for guiding and to see that there are no problems with the guider. As I said, I know this is working perfectly still because I was just using it last night and I have it running right now in the simulators with no issues.

This is a current screenshot right now with the latest versions of everything.

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1 month 3 weeks ago
rlancaste
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Guiding nightmare #43687
To clarify I think that the best way to use PHD2 with Ekos (assuming you have a raspberry pi connected to your equipment and you are using a laptop to remotely control it) is to:

1. Run PHD2 on the PI and directly connect your guide camera to it if possible (using PHD2's native camera support, NOT INDI). This makes the guiding very responsive and it is controlled by software on a computer that is really close to the equipment. Also not being connected to INDI allows faster image refresh rates since it doesn't have to send the image over the network

2. Setup your profile in Ekos on the laptop to use PHD2 as the external guider on the pi. DO NOT put the guide camera itself into your profile. This way KStars doesn't try to get the frames from the guide camera. It doesn't need them, PHD2 will still send the star profile image.
The following user(s) said Thank You the.cakemaker

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1 month 3 weeks ago
jerry
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Guiding nightmare #43691

The other possibility is that you could have Ekos display just the star profile image, which PHD2 is always sending with the guide data no matter whether the camera is only connected to PHD2 or if it is an INDI camera. The method I always use is to get just the star profile image and I know that method is working because I use it all the time. If the other method no longer works for some reason, let me know and I will look into it.

My belief is that the option to receive just the star profile image is far superior to receiving the whole external guide frame. If you have the camera connected to INDI and it has to send images across the wifi network, that really slows down response time for guiding. It is much better to set up your INDI profile to leave out the Guide camera if it is natively supported by PHD2, then directly connect your camera to PHD2, and connect to PHD2 from Ekos. This won't hurt the control of the camera because PHD2 is the one doing the guiding and you can control most of the important functions from Ekos. The star profile image and all guiding data will come back to Ekos, and while the star profile image isn't that big, it is definitely good enough to see the star PHD2 is using for guiding and to see that there are no problems with the guider. As I said, I know this is working perfectly still because I was just using it last night and I have it running right now in the simulators with no issues.


Excellent advice! Once my QHY-5L-II-M is working again with a (forthcoming) library fix, I'll try this.
I normally connect to Rpi (or in my case Odroid-N2) via NoMachine, rather than local Mac -> Rpi on the assumption that I would have performance problems moving too much between hosts -> my .fits files are 90M.

10" Meade SCT on Celestron CGEM DX HC: GEM 5.29.7137 MC: 6.50 6.50,
QHY-5L-II-M 1280x960 3.75um guiding,
Nikon Z7 8256 x 5504, 35.9 x 23.9mm 4.34 um pixel size.
StellarMate OS on RPI4 using kstars-bleeding and Kstars on Odroid-N2.

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1 month 3 weeks ago
Ihoujin
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Guiding nightmare #43715
Thank you Rob for the suggestion to use the guide camera with it's natively supported PHD2 driver. Up to now I have been using it with the INDI driver because I like being able to use it for plate solving. On the Pi3 this was practically required because it was very slow to solve a large camera image. I'm using a Pi4 now, and the plate solving performance is far better now. So I will try moving away for guide scope pointing and dedicate it to PHD2 next time.

INDI/KStars on Raspberry Pi 3B+
Lubuntu 16.04
Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro Mount
Canon 600D Camera
Orion SSAG @280mm Guide Scope
PHD2
Adafruit Motor Hat shield
Adafruit GPS Module
Generic Bluetooth Joystick.
Startech 7 port powered USB Hub.

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1 month 3 weeks ago
aj55
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Guiding nightmare #43722
Hi Rob,
I run PHD2 on the Pi and Ekos on my laptop as you suggest. I don't have the lodestar in my profile, but Ekos finds it anyway!
Is there a way to specifically leave-out a camera?
Cheers Arnold

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1 month 3 weeks ago
the.cakemaker
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Guiding nightmare #43726
Thanks Rob, this is indeed interesting. I will have a go on this.
The Information, (guiding graph) is still sent to EKOS this way?

cheers
Niki

Skywatcher EQ6-R | Lacerta 10" Carbon-Newton | Canon EOS 5DMarkIIIa | ASI120mm guiding cam | KSTARS NIGHTLY 3.3.6 on my outdoor-Laptop |

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1 month 3 weeks ago
rlancaste
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Guiding nightmare #43728
Yes Niki, I was just using it again last night while imaging Andromeda. All data should come back to Ekos as shown in my screenshot if configured correctly. It is possible that somebody made a change that made this no longer work when configured differently than I described above (as I mentioned). I never change my configuration because as I described above, I think its the best way to do it. If it stopped working for my setup one day, I would definitely do something about it. I find the data, the star profile image, and all the graphs to be very useful, particularly because I am running PHD2 on a totally different computer and don't want to view it over VNC all the time.

Arnold, is your camera natively supported by PHD2? If so, then you don't need to start up an INDI driver to control it. Ekos is probably finding it still, even though it is not in your profile, because you are using the camera in PHD2 with the INDI driver. Is that right? If it is natively supported, then select that instead of running the INDI driver for that camera.

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1 month 3 weeks ago
aj55
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Guiding nightmare #43731
Thanks Rob! I'll check ;-)

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1 month 3 weeks ago 1 month 3 weeks ago by Vox45.
Vox45
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Guiding nightmare #43805

Ihoujin wrote: Thank you Rob for the suggestion to use the guide camera with it's natively supported PHD2 driver. Up to now I have been using it with the INDI driver because I like being able to use it for plate solving. On the Pi3 this was practically required because it was very slow to solve a large camera image. I'm using a Pi4 now, and the plate solving performance is far better now. So I will try moving away for guide scope pointing and dedicate it to PHD2 next time.


Same here. I use my guidecam to platesolve as well. Still on RPI3B+, I will move to RPI4 asap ..

I am sorry, as the OP, that I could not comment before on all your really good suggestions and tips. I will look at all of them and try to solve this issue. Just to be clear, I run everything on the PI and only connect via VNC, I use Stellarmate, my last PA had an error of 12'' and evertthing worked fine in a previous session. so it is still hard to understand what has changed. One of my friend said that it could be because it was quite windy those 2 nights but the fact that it was an error that was predictable and repeatable rules that out... or not. I will test again a on calm night, so far I do not see what I could change or improve beside going to PHD2. Guiding used to be that least of my worries as it had always worked for me, now it is my own personal nightmare ;)

so thanks again all for your comments and tips, I did learn some tricks and learned more about some concepts reading you all. I still get some positive things out of this !

"Some people are so poor, all they have is money"
SW Black Diamond 80ED | SW150MAK | Newton SW 200/1000 | Orion 50mm Guider with Helical Focuser |Sirius EQ-G Rowan Belt Mode
Canon 1000D moded | ZWO ASI185MC | Baader Mark III Zoom
INDI | Stellarmate on RPI3B+ | Stellarium | Pixinsight

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1 month 3 weeks ago
jerry
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Guiding nightmare #43806
So with the recent 85-qhyccd.rules update, I can run my qhy5LLM under indilb successfully,

When I tried to connect to it directly in Phd2 to use your suggestion, it can't find the camera. I suppose I should do some reading to see how this camera needs to be installed to make Phd2 happy as well as Kstars.

Cheers

10" Meade SCT on Celestron CGEM DX HC: GEM 5.29.7137 MC: 6.50 6.50,
QHY-5L-II-M 1280x960 3.75um guiding,
Nikon Z7 8256 x 5504, 35.9 x 23.9mm 4.34 um pixel size.
StellarMate OS on RPI4 using kstars-bleeding and Kstars on Odroid-N2.

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