I’m running Stellarmate on a RPi and have been really pleased with the functionality that has been brought together in one package. I have though been frustrated by a problem with getting the mount to connect and when it does, unparking it. I’m using the Synscan WiFi dongle on the mount which Stellarmate seems happy enough to connect to.
Four nights ago I gave the mount (HEQ5 pro) a test as I yet to use this kit to its full potential having only just acquired it and am getting used to how it works. I would add I’m a complete Ubuntu noob although happy enough with using command lines from messing about with windows computers. The test ran well I went from object to object with no trouble, everything connected as it should and performed as expected. So having visually notched up a few more Messier objects I thought the next night, I would photograph them.
The following night I set up the kit and powered up connected to the mount camera and guidescope with no problem but would the mount unpark NO it just sat there like an oversize paperweight. Ok, so applying the principal that power down and power up should sort it out that is what I did. Now the mount wouldn’t connect. After a few more attempts which included shutting everything down I managed get the mount online but still it wouldn’t unpark. Looking on the forums there seem to be a few mentions of unparking but none that seemed to relate to the issue I was having.
The third night was a night off at the astro society but even there a friend who’d put me on to using the RPi couldn’t fathom the problem. At least I got a look at the sky through the 12” Newtonian we have.
So the fourth night and I’m late to the ‘scope but again connect everything up and at first can’t even see the Synscan dongle so after a bit of tinkering I check the RPi’s connection is to the Synscan and by disconnecting and reconnecting, everything runs perfectly again. The mount slewed from object to object and even parked correctly so a success. Unfortunately the weather has turned and we have lost the clear nights for now.
Apart from the weather does anyone have any idea why having successfully connected to the mount I can’t then unpark it?
Skywatcher Explorer 200p on HEQ5 pro
Rpi 3B running Stellarmate.
Canon EOS 550D
I'm at work now so I can't check this but in directory "~/.indi/" you can check your telescope file and there should be an entry in XML-format called "Parked" or similar, it probably says "True" but you can change it to "False", after that start up everything and see what happens.
EQ8, Small scope SW200, Big scope SW300, Xagyl FW, Guidescope Celestron 80mm, SX LodestarX2, SXVR-H9.
RPi3, Ubuntu Mate, and many Arduinos..
With another good night I thought it time to check what is happening and see if I can reproduce the same unparking issues and see them on the log files. Well I had the same problems but didn’t reset the logs from default to file as I thought the default would create a file. So no file again So having found how to create a file I decided to do a test run from Parked to Vega then to Cappella and finally Alpheratz. I noticed during this run that it took some time to complete and on examining the logs noted that there was a loss of communication with the mount on five occasions. See the attached logs, one direct from Kstars and the other where I have highlighted the disconnects.
For information here, I am running Stellarmate connected to the Synscan WiFi dongle plugged into the mount - no FTDI cable. I use a MacBook Pro which is connected to the dongle via WiFi thus completing a small WiFi based network. Apart from the unparking issue this has worked well enough on test in the past and on one occasion when I did a visual survey, going from target to target was faultless.
What I am wondering is if there any Gremlins getting in with using two devices which are both trying to create hotspots although I have made the Synscan a connection on StellarMate. But are they competing with each other to have control? - Don’t know. Not enough of a networking Geek to be able to answer that one.
What are the thoughts of those of you who have tried this and is it worth scrapping the idea of using the dongle and buying an FTDI cable to give me a hard connection between mount and StellarMate and simply using the StellarMate WiFi connection from the Mac.