INDI Library v1.9.3 Released (11 Nov 2021)

Bimonthly Stable INDI Library release introduces new drivers and fixes for existing ones. Some highlights:

Requirements for remote image usage

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Dear KStars friends,
we are currently working on improvements for the manager tab of Ekos. Therefore I would like to get a better understanding about use cases where images are stored remotely, not locally:

It would be great if you share what the intention is when you are using the remote option and whether you have ideas about improving Ekos for these scenarios.

TSA-120 + epsilon-160 + FSQ-85 + GSO 150/750 | Avalon Linear + M-zero | ASI 1600mm pro + 6200mm pro | KStars/INDI on Raspberry Pi 4/Intel NUC
3 months 6 days ago #74992

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Hello Wolfgang, 

Meanwhile I'm storing my images locally, just because I get the benefit that the latest image is always shown in the image preview inside the manager and I want to see if the conditions changed, a very important requirement in this cloudy summer (I'm sitting inside my garden house when all setup is done and don't see the clouds outside). I'm now connecting kstars remotely over WLAN to my Raspberry PI using Astroberry. However, in the past I worked very differently.  

1.) Using kstars for the first time I was running it directly on the RPI and I was using a VNC connection to control it. My images were stored on the camera SD card and on a USB stick attached to the RPI (to avoid writing to the SD card of the RPI). The WLAN hotspot of the RPI was not so stable so I decided to improve my WLAN in the garden with a repeater. 
2.) Now using my home WLAN it was better to run kstars remotely on a small MacBook Air, because I wanted to reduce processing on the RPI. However, I also wanted to avoid guiding issues due to WLAN instabilities. For this reason I used again PHD2 for guiding on the RPI and to avoid too much WLAN traffic leading perhaps to some instability I stored the images only remotely on the RPI. This helps a lot if the WLAN is corrupted by other signals, because you have only very small network traffic. Despite this I could still do a capture and solve to get a better framing for my target. These days this feature still worked for me... 

The downside of this second approach is that you can see only the last preview inside the preview window if you disabled the external fits viewer window. After some nights without no WLAN issues I decided to store the images locally and also remotely on the USB stick attached to the RPI. I just wanted to be sure that all images I captured are at least stored on the USB stick. Its also more easy to put the stick on your desktop machine later to do the processing. The decision to store locally was done especially to see what's going on. I also had some issues with the dithering, because the default dithering offset was much to less (walking pattern noise in all images despite dithering, no noticable offset between the images). 

Finally, now I'm not storing the images remotely anymore, because when the WLAN is stable enough and you are also downloading the images locally, this just does not make so much sense. However, when there are nights where WLAN signals in the neighborhood are interacting with my own WLAN and it occurs an image of 300-480s exposure gets lost I would switch on storing the images remotely and/or avoid storing it locally. I don't really like this workflow, but I cannot use a cable for this connection. I'm not so really convinced that this would help so much in this case, but at least I would give it a trial. Not sure what will happen with the entire system when the connection drops from time to time, maybe it would not really help. However, if my WLAN would be really slow then I would really prefer storing the images only remotely, 38MB now take about 9s to transfer - longer than 30s would be unacceptable - too much can happen during this time.  

The following user(s) said Thank You: Wolfgang Reissenberger
3 months 6 days ago #74995

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Hi Wolfgang,

Here are my thoughts based on my usage of the remote storage feature. I have Ekos on a Limux Mint laptop and thats connected to a RPi via ethernet which runs INDI server.
a) Using the option Remote
- Cant see a preview of the image
- Scheduler doesnt keep track of number of images captured. (Interestingly I noticed that the Analysis tab showed correctly the number of captures so wondering if Scheduler can make use of this?)
- storage capacity of SD card is a limiting factor
+ Faster download of images
b) Using the option Both
- For some strange reason the number of images on the RPi SD card were more than number stored locally. Local storage had correct number of images as requested from scheduler
- Slower download compared to Remote
- storage capacity of SD card is a limiting factor
+ Can see a preview of images
+ Scheduler is able to control the number of images

Nice to have feature would be a new option to store remotely and option to copy/move to local storage in the background, giving best of both worlds.
Hope this helps.
2 months 1 week ago #75811

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