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INDI Library v1.8.5 Released (19 Apr 2020)

April 2020 release of INDI Library v1.8.5 introduces new drivers while providing fixes and improvements to existing devices and core framework.

Collimation Circles

2 months 2 weeks ago 2 months 2 weeks ago by Megiddo.
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Collimation Circles #50795
I used Mire de Collimation last night and was really able to dial in my SCT's collimation. You can see in the image below, I'm almost there.
The software is on this page: http://sweiller.free.fr/collimation.html
But the link to the exe is here: Mire de Collimation

This is what I'd like with my Raspbain version, so I don't have to run this on a Windows PC. I as able to find my old Windows tablet to do this last night.
I just can't get my my current Python version to display a transparent canvas. I'm now looking into doing this in C++.

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2 months 2 weeks ago
wvreeven
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Collimation Circles #50799
Thanks for the download link. I just tried to run the app with wine on my MacBook (well, the new wine64 since macOS Catalina refuses to run 32 bit applications but that's beside the point). The app runs very well so at least I can use it there. Unfortunately wine doesn;t run on arm processors so it won't run on your Raspberry Pi.

ASI1600MM-Pro Cooled and filter wheel with a SkyWatcher Esprit 80 ED on a SkyWatcher HEQ5-Pro
ASI1600MM-Pro Cooled and filter wheel with an 8" TS Ritchey-Chrétien on a SkyWatcher EQ6-R

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2 months 2 weeks ago 2 months 2 weeks ago by wvreeven.
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Collimation Circles #50800
By the way, I was able to run the Python code in the second answer here

stackoverflow.com/questions/6104991/transparent-colors-tkinter

using Python 3.7. I disabled overridedirect and resizable so the window can be resized and has a title bar. Resizing the window doesn't work well since dragging the mouse also results in moving the window and it shouldn't but You probably are able to fix that. And play with the alpha value until you're happy with the amount of transparency.


HTH, Wouter

ASI1600MM-Pro Cooled and filter wheel with a SkyWatcher Esprit 80 ED on a SkyWatcher HEQ5-Pro
ASI1600MM-Pro Cooled and filter wheel with an 8" TS Ritchey-Chrétien on a SkyWatcher EQ6-R
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2 months 2 weeks ago
Megiddo
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Collimation Circles #50803
Was this done in Raspbian? Running it doesn't show any transparency. No matter what value I put in the alpha value. I understand this works fine in Windows, but not Linux.

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2 months 2 weeks ago
wvreeven
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Collimation Circles #50805
I ran it on my MacBook and haven't tried on Raspbian, sorry.

ASI1600MM-Pro Cooled and filter wheel with a SkyWatcher Esprit 80 ED on a SkyWatcher HEQ5-Pro
ASI1600MM-Pro Cooled and filter wheel with an 8" TS Ritchey-Chrétien on a SkyWatcher EQ6-R

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2 months 2 weeks ago
Megiddo
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Collimation Circles #50816
I've heard, yes it's do-able on the Mac and PC, but not Linux. I'll keep looking at the C++ version.

BTW, what is KStars and Ekos written in?

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2 months 2 weeks ago 2 months 2 weeks ago by Marc2b.
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Collimation Circles #50858

Megiddo wrote: I've heard, yes it's do-able on the Mac and PC, but not Linux. I'll keep looking at the C++ version.

BTW, what is KStars and Ekos written in?


It's written in C++ using Qt framework. Qt provides the Windows/Mac/Linux portability.

- Marc
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2 months 2 weeks ago
TallFurryMan
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Collimation Circles #50873
Hello all,

I had a look at this feature request. I'd like to offer a procedure with what exists right now in Ekos, and you tell me if/how it may be improved. Then, I would propose how we may automate/improve feedback in the code.



1. Open Ekos, connect equipment, point your telescope to your preferred star or a star open cluster. Verify your CCD can capture the star(s).

2. Navigate to the Focus Module, verify the relevant CCD is selected for operation.

3. Using the "Capture image button", grab a full-field capture of the current star field. Find the optimal focus using your preferred procedure: looping manually, auto-focus... Then reset the procedure results using the Reset button in the CCD & Filter Wheel tab.

4. From there, configure the Settings tab on the lower to not select a star automatically, to not use full field and its annulus circles. Like the following picture, for instance:



You may want to keep guiding with an off-axis guider, and suspend it (eventually) with an on-axis guider.

5. Configure the Process tab on the lower left to use Gradient as detection method, whose detection may be more robust against out-of-focus stars. Like the following picture, for instance:



6. Configure the FITS View on the right to display stars and cross hairs, as well as the default stretch function. Like the following picture, for instance:



7. Using the "Capture image button", grab a full-field capture of the current star field. You should see red circles around some stars, with their HFR written on the side. Like the following picture for instance:



Note that your optical train should be at optimal focus following step 3.

8. Configure the Settings tab to use a sub-frame. The width of the sub-frame depends on your sensor and on the size of the star. Like the following picture for instance:



9. Review HFRs and choose one star to start your collimation by clicking on it in the FITS view. Depending on which progress you made on the procedure, select a star at the center or on the sides of the frame. A new sub-frame will be taken automatically with the crosshairs overlaid:



10. Write down the current focuser position in case you want to return to it later. Click the "Start framing" button, and iteratively de-focus the star on one side of the optimal focus plane by entering a different enough focuser step value in the "Desired absolute focus position" edit box and clicking the "Go to an absolute position".



This manipulation depends on your focuser hardware, but the result should be a properly visible de-focused star. Increase exposure if necessary. This is what the CCD Simulator shows, but you should get an elongated star instead:



11. Execute your collimation procedure while the Focus module is looping on the star. If the star is moving out of the subframe, you should use guiding in parallel.

12. Move the focuser on the other side of the optimal focus plane just like you did at step 10, at the opposite distance. Check and eventually adjust your collimation.

13. When satisfied, stop looping and delete the focus results. Grab a new full-frame star field and repeat from step 9 with another star, preferably on the other side of the frame.



Note the procedure does not define what a "collimation procedure" is, as this depends on your setup.
There is also no support for determining the center of the illuminated frame right now. Such information could be determined from star ellipses on the full-field frame.

-Eric

HEQ5-Pro - Atik 314E - Orion ED80T - DMK21 on Orion 50mm
DIY 3D-printed Moonlite and FWheel RGB/LPR
KStars and indiserver on two Atom 1.6GHz 1GB RAM Linux, VPN remote access
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2 months 2 weeks ago 2 months 2 weeks ago by Marc2b.
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Collimation Circles #50876
As I'm stuck home because of this @%##d! virus, I've started writing a little something ... The capture says it all.
You can of course adjust the size of the circles, change the color, etc... I'll publish the source so everyone can build it 'per se' .
It's a standalone program. Should be finished soon.

- Marc

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2 months 2 weeks ago
Megiddo
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Collimation Circles #50877
Eric... this is precisely what got me thinking about this in the first place.

I was doing the very same thing (using guiding to keep the star centered). I thought, wow this could be slightly tweaked to have the added and enlargeable collimation circles to be able to center the donut!

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2 months 2 weeks ago 2 months 2 weeks ago by Megiddo.
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Collimation Circles #50879
Marc, that's it! Well done.

I assumed you did it in C++ using Qt framework. Nice! <em> (Oh, I just looked at the price of that app... am I missing something? That's crazy expensive!!!)</em>

The only suggestion is to make the circles change-able in size, or maybe just add another couple more. And the overall window a bit larger... maybe 500x500 (I was using 501x501 to make the centering of the target lines easier... centering on 250x250)
^^^
Doh, I re-read your post and that's exactly what you said.

Something like this might just be added to the toolbar in the FITS Viewer.

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2 months 2 weeks ago 2 months 2 weeks ago by dmsummers. Reason: minor edit
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Collimation Circles #50882
Nice job Marc.

@Meggido: (Oh, I just looked at the price of that app... am I missing something? That's crazy expensive!!!)
If you're referring to SkyGuide or CCD Inspector, the answer to your question (am I missing something) is that these programs perform quantitative analysis vs qualitative analysis on the image. People are pretty good but not perfect at seeing concentric circles, but to perform beyond "eyeballing it", you need some math. I own CCD Inspector, and it is expensive (~1.7x SkyGuide's price). Had I known about SkyGuide's WFE analysis before I purchased CCD Inspector, I probably would have gone for SkyGuide instead. Even so, the price is not that bad given we've got equipment worth an order of magnitude (or 2) more! If you want peak performance, quantitative is the only way to go. Think about focusing without an HFR value..... As kstars/ekos gets even better, we'll want the collimation tool to provide some analysis on the unfocused image (as well as the circles).

If Marc want's to go the distance while this crazy virus is keeping us down and add some quantitative analysis on the unfocused image (only half kidding), that would be AWESOME!

RASA11, Celestron CGX-L, ASI183mc Pro, 60mm guider + ASI290mm mini, ASI EAF focuser, PPB, Rpi4-4Gb+SSD, Powered USB3 hub, hardwire Ethernet.

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