Max Dobres created a new topic ' Pre-Set terrestrial location' in the forum. 2 months ago

First, thanks again for a great system, the more I use it the more I appreciate it.

Is there a way to pre-set terrestrial locations for use in GOTO. A bit like setting the custom park position?
I have fixed pier and there are a number of points I often GOTO: A distant tree for rough focus when changing gear; a wall point for an LCD panel; a piece of clear sky for some flats.
Navigating there is not a huge deal, but it would be nice if I could set up these a fixed terrestrial points. I have tried searching the documentation and forums and had a good loo round "Site Management" but cannot find anything.

Thanks again


Max Dobres replied to the topic 'ASI294MC-Pro 16 bit download problem.' in the forum. 5 months ago

BTW+ : ASI 294 16bit RAW file size should be 22,3 MB. yes on the host computer, as its expanded to 16 bit but I believe its a lot smaller on the camera where it is held on the camera in 14 bits, not sure of the exact encoding. Which raises the additional point about where the file structure encoding is done. Given 8 bit files transfer OK and 16 bit ones don't it suggests it might be done on the camera. But its not something I intend diving into.

My main concern is image quality. Is there any adverse effect in transferring the 16bit image via USB2 vs USB3? Given that the DDR Memory Buffer on the ASI294Pro was specifically designed to "minimize amp-glow, which is caused by the slow transfer speeds when the camera is used with a USB 2.0 port." maybe is does not matter


Max Dobres replied to the topic 'ASI294MC-Pro 16 bit download problem.' in the forum. 5 months ago

Herrhausen, thanks for the suggestion
The solution is UNBELIEVABLE it all works if you connect the camera to the USB2 rather than USB3.
The threads quoted by starman345 point to a problem Unix Core problem, maybe only with the version running on Rock64
I assume that as I did an sudo apt update / sudo apt upgrade I have got the latest version. I am now running Armbian 5.3 but the problem persists.

It looks like it has to do with file size, the ASI294 generates an 11.7MB file which is twice as large as my ASI178MC. For smaller files including 8 bit USB3 works fine.
Just to check I set up a job to capture 120 x 5 sec 16 bit exposures with only a 1 sec delay and it works fine.

The shame is I ditched my old RPI3 to get the Rock64Pro for the USB3 port. It is however much faster on plate solving and other tasks
I wonder if any of the RPI4 early users are getting any problems with USB3 and large file size cameras?

At least it works now.
Thanks for the help!


Max Dobres replied to the topic 'ASI294MC-Pro 16 bit download problem.' in the forum. 5 months ago

I checked and the rule does exist, I changed the 256 to 512 and rebooted.
It now reads:
ACTION=="add", ATTR{idVendor}=="03c3", RUN+="/bin/sh -c '/bin/echo 512 >/sys/module/usbcore/parameters/usbfs_memory_mb'"
# All ASI Cameras and filter wheels
SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="03c3", MODE="0666"

Did not make a difference, shame.


Max Dobres created a new topic ' ASI294MC-Pro 16 bit download problem.' in the forum. 5 months ago

I have a problem taking 16 bit images with my new ASI129MC-Pro . (this is similar to the zwo-1600mm-16bit topic below, but I am using an "official" build)
The first few work, but then it hangs.

My normal sequence is 60 x 60 sec lights. However when I try it, the system stalls. First time after 17 images, now just trying with logs after 7. ( I used 5 sec lights but the effect is the same)

I can download some 16bit images but then after a variable number, no further images are downloaded and I need to reboot the system to unfreeze it.
In the example I logged, the system freezes after 7, it loops taking more images, but not downloading them. In a previous session it downloaded 17.
Eventually the system aborts.
If I reset and restart the sequence it continues to hang.
If I stop and restart EKOS and add a new sequence it still hangs. I need to reboot to get it to re-start

The ASi294MC is a 14 bit system, but 16 bit images preserve all the data.
I was previously using an ASi178MC, also 14 bit, and capturing a 16 bit, doing 60 images per session with no problem. Of course the file size of my new camera is much larger.
If I set the image capture to 8 bit, it all works, but only after system reboot.
So it looks like a buffer type problem, but I could not see anything in the INDI control panel.
Any ideas?

My system: Rock64 running Ubuntu(Armbian) Indi Ekos, built using the download instructions on Ubuntu
ASI294MC connected direct to USB3 port
Nightly builds , just updated: Kstars version 3.3.6 Build: 2019-09-22T09:43:47Z

The problem looks similar to the one reported in
but I used an official build that I thought would avoid it because “This rule is installed when you install the PPA along with other rules per camera manufacturer.”


I have tried several solutions to the pi in the field problem. I have a dedicated "Field Pi" all set up with the right connections and I can the connect via VNC from my laptop, just like I do on my home setup. It all works well, when it works well. However when there is a problem on the Pi and I cannot connect , the only way to diagnose is by connecting a screen/keyboard and mouse to the Pi. This is in effect a full PC set up. So I think the problem is mis stated. It should not be, how do I connect a screen to a field Pi, but rather what kit do I need in the field.
One solution is the PC/pi free route eg smart mount, DSLR local storage, it works its simple and its light, but you loose all sorts of useful features,
If you want INDI/EKOs in the field, then you need a processor, a keyboard/mouse and some sort of screen to see what is going on. Indi/Ekos is very resource light and therefore the obvious solution is not a Pi but a cheap laptop running Ubuntu. I have loaded The Ubuntu version of INDI/EKOs and its easy, there are excellent instructions here: Ubuntu Instructions .

Before this revelation I would take my Pi and travel gear on vacation to a dark sky and spend half my time trying to fix problems. Now laptop based its much more straight forward.


Max Dobres replied to the topic 'Right Click--GOTO object' in the forum. 6 months ago

This looks better, but I agree with Robs original suggestion. In general the interface should put the most used functions first & easiest. I find it a particular problem as I access the system via VNC on a laptop with a small screen, so getting my cursor in the right place is tricky at present. I often select the wrong option by mistake.


Max Dobres replied to the topic 'Moonlite focuser protocol' in the forum. 6 months ago

Yes its very possible to add a control box to this Hansastro Moonlite protocol focuser. however the fact that you are asking the question may mean that its not so easy for you. I say this because from the code it is self evident that such an enhancement is possible if you have Arduino coding experience. If you do not then this is a good time to learn.

I am assuming you want to add this control box to a system that is connected to Indi/EKOS.
Moonlite protocol commands are defined in this Moonlite Guide :
The code in the Hansastro version loops round waiting for a command from the serial port in the form :command# such as :SN0200# which sets the new position at 0200 (hex).
To modify the code you would need to include within the loop some code that checked if the the switch (either in or out) was being pressed and if so issue the appropriate command set.
Things like writing code loops testing for a switch to be open or closed, are standard Arduino techniques and you should master them first on a simple system, rather than try and modify the code. So for example write a simple system that lights a blue led if one switch is pressed or a red one if another is pressed.
Alternatively you will see that within the focus module you can just press a software button for in or out.

If however you just want a stand alone manual/electric focuser then you should just write a "simple stepper motor control program in Arduino" a search for the text in quotes will give you lots of examples.
On the the motor front, beware of lightweight stepper motors, they will not hold focus. The Nema17 is rock solid when under power or not.

Best of luck


Max Dobres replied to the topic 'What is Stellarmate?' in the forum. 8 months ago

That's really useful, Although I have already installed most of the stuff, I can use it as an easy checklist. Thanks