Edwin Hekman replied to the topic 'Success and observations' in the forum. 4 months ago

Update:
I found that the hotspot was not set to start automatically. I will leave it that way.
Apparently the real time clock did not have a battery. I replaced it with one that does have a battery.
The Canon T7i appears to have some control of the sensitivity for the live view operation. Adjusting the shutter speed - not using the bulb mode - changes the sensitivity without changing the frame rate.

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Edwin Hekman replied to the topic 'Success and observations' in the forum. 4 months ago

Also:
I installed a real time clock last week and it worked perfectly. However, late in the photo session I noticed the OS date and time were way off - December 31, 1999. I was unable to set the OS date and time using the OS tool. What is the procedure for manually setting the date and time on the RTC? Is that normally updated when the RPi is connected to a time server on the internet? There is a GPS connected to the RPi which usually sets the kstars time but not the OS time.

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Edwin Hekman created a new topic ' Success and observations' in the forum. 4 months ago

Success! Spent an all-night session in the mountains of southern CA under a Bortle 4 sky. Temperature was forecast to be in the 40's F according to Clear Outside but in the morning there was frost on the keyboard and 27F temp. This was the first time I was able to use Stellarmate for finding objects with kstars and scheduling the photographing session with Ekos. Also used the live view for manually adjusting the focus. I was able to monitor the progress and take a nap inside in front of an electric heater during the photographing sessions. Those were the primary reasons for using the Stellarmate.

Observations:
The RPi 4 often does not boot up when the USB mouse is plugged in. There is no problem with the dongle for the wireless keyboard.
Still having difficulty connecting to the Canon T7i DSLR. All the OS updates were installed last week but not SM 1.4.5. I will try reinstalling the custom gphoto2 which resolved the issue before the OS updates.
When using the live view for focusing and framing objects the frame rate is around 15 fps which results in low sensitivity that is adequate only for very bright stars. There does not appear to be a way to set the frame rate in Ekos for the Canon DSLR. I think I have found a way to control the frame rate on the camera which I will try that the next time we have clear skies.
There was no WiFi available but the hotspot did not start automatically. It had to be manually started. It is possible there was a WiFi visible from a neighbor.
The image download time was around 3 seconds and storing the images on a USB 3.0 thumb drive worked perfectly. The actual total delay between exposures was about 10 seconds.

Thank you again to the SM team for a great product and excellent support.
Ed

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Edwin Hekman replied to the topic 'Canon DSLR connection issue' in the forum. 5 months ago

That appears to have solved the problem. Thank you very much for your help, Wouter.

Ed

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Edwin Hekman replied to the topic 'Canon DSLR connection issue' in the forum. 5 months ago

File Attachment:

File Name: ExecutionSequence.txt
File Size: 6 KB
These are the instructions in the link:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mutlaqja/libgphoto2
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y indi-libgphoto2
sudo apt-get update

I executed those commands.

File Attachment:

File Name: ExecutionSequence_2019-11-11.txt
File Size: 6 KB


What did I miss?

Ed

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Edwin Hekman replied to the topic 'Canon DSLR connection issue' in the forum. 5 months ago

After I executed this command:
sudo apt-get install software-properties-common

Then the add-apt-repository command was successful.
But when I executed:
sudo apt-get install -y indi-libgphoto2

I get:
E: Unable to locate package indi-libgphoto2

Ed

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Edwin Hekman replied to the topic 'Canon DSLR connection issue' in the forum. 5 months ago

Thanks for the response. Now I recall the discussion about this...

When I execute:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mutlaqja...

I get:
sudo add-apt-repository: command not found

Ed

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Edwin Hekman created a new topic ' Canon DSLR connection issue' in the forum. 5 months ago

I am very happy to see that the indi driver for the Canon DSLR in the 3.3.7 release works reliably. The problem I am experiencing now is that when the camera is connected to the RPi, it is automatically mounted as a USB storage device which prevents SM from connecting to it. There is a short window of time after the physical connection is made in which the SM connection can be done. Does anyone know how to prevent the automatic mounting of the camera by the OS? I assume this is a Ubuntu issue.

Ed

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Edwin Hekman replied to the topic 'At an impasse with CGEM/NexStar USB' in the forum. 6 months ago

It appears that the source of the problem may have been an AC to 12VDC charger for a Lithium Ion battery that may not be completely isolated from the AC lines. The problem disappeared after disconnecting the charger and operating only from the battery. It is now running without problems from a good quality AC to 12VDC adapter that is properly isolated from the AC circuit. The Stellarmate is operating from a 12V to 5V converter with the goal of portable operation from a 12V battery only.

I apologize for exercising folks with an issue caused by my poor quality system. But at the least it has been an excellent learning experience for me and I hope this experience will save trouble for someone else interesting in setting up a portable system. Thanks for all the help in gaining a better understanding of the Stellarmate system and the Celestron equipment.

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Edwin Hekman replied to the topic 'At an impasse with CGEM/NexStar USB' in the forum. 6 months ago

A ticket has been opened.

Ticket Details
Title CGEM/NexStar+ USB communication failure when connected to StellarMate
Reference EOWB-000488
Product StellarMate
Category StellarMate App

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Edwin Hekman replied to the topic 'At an impasse with CGEM/NexStar USB' in the forum. 6 months ago

I thought the ASCOM driver was a Windows driver. Is there a version that works with the Stellarmate? If so, how can it be selcted?

There appear to be 2 drivers that may be associated with the CGEM mount. One is listed as 'Celestron CGEM', and the other is listed as 'Celestron NexStar'. Which one should I be using? The same problem is seen with both drivers.

After performing a series of diagnostic steps requested by Celestron Technical Support, they had concluded from my description of the problem and the results of the diagnostic steps, that the problem must be with the Stellarmate software. Chris, you have been extremely helpful with investigating the issue. And the logs support my conclusion that although the problem is experienced when the mount is connected with the Stellarmate, the failure is in the communication between the Celestron mount and the Celestron hand controller. I am not yet willing to give up on Stellarmate because it is the best tool for my requirements. And I am not ready to dump the CGEM and purchase a different mount. As a retired engineer with hardware design and software development and testing experience, I know that this is a solvable problem and one I can solve if I have the appropriate tools. Celestron has agreed to provide me with a NexStar hand controller with a serial port to test. In addition to that, I plan to probe the Celestron internal communication bus with an oscilloscope to see if there any apparent electrical changes when the Stellarmate is connected. Beyond that, I would need guidance and diagnostic tools from Celestron to investigate the issue. It remains to be seen how much support they would be willing to provide.

Chris, Thank you for your help. Let me know if you have any connections with Celestron that might have the knowledge to assist with this investigation.

Ed

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Edwin Hekman replied to the topic 'At an impasse with CGEM/NexStar USB' in the forum. 6 months ago

That confirms my earlier conclusion that the connection to the RPI causes a failure of the communication between the mount and the HC. I have opened a topic on the Team Celestron forum.
teamcelestron.com/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=1551

Ed

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Edwin Hekman replied to the topic 'At an impasse with CGEM/NexStar USB' in the forum. 6 months ago

Chris,

Here is a new log file with the procedure you requested. It still looks like the mount does not report the firmware versions correctly. Is this helpful?

Ed

File Attachment:

File Name: log_22-43-14.txt
File Size: 48 KB


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Edwin Hekman replied to the topic 'At an impasse with CGEM/NexStar USB' in the forum. 6 months ago

Chris,

Thank you for the detailed information about the functionality of the different ports. I had not been able to find that information anywhere.

That opens some questions about the EQMod software. Does it work only with mounts that have the required computational functions in the mount head? Or does it provide this functionality in the software?

Ed

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Edwin Hekman replied to the topic 'At an impasse with CGEM/NexStar USB' in the forum. 6 months ago

I will be out of town until 10/12 so I will not be able to do any testing on the RPI/mount until then.

There was a question about what I meant about the connection from the NexStar hand controller PC port to the mount. The 2 ports - HC port and AUX port - on the mount serve identical purposes. The HC and GPS can be connected to either port and the HC can also be connected to another port on the SkySync GPS. My question is about the internal connection between the PC port on the HC and the cable on the HC that connects to the mount. it obviously can't be a direct connection because the PC port is a USB input and the connection to the mount is something else - like RS232 serial but with the levels translated to 5V only instead of the bipolar signals of an RS232 port. But there is definitely some interaction between those 2 connections. And what I have heard about bypassing the HC and connecting the PC directly to the mount suggests that the communication from the PC is equivalent whether the PC is connected to the HC PC port or the mount HC port. So the HC must simply be passing traffic between the two ports. Is this correct?

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