Gene N replied to the topic 'Ekos plate solving errors' in the forum. 10 months ago

The response below assumes you are using the CelestronGPS driver for the AVX.

This driver 'protects' the hand controller mount model by not allowing setting either time or location after you have gone through a HC initial aligment. If you set the location or time after the initial align, the HC internal model will break.
-BUT- if you never use the HC for anything and only use computer commands, even if you set the location or time and then do a force sync, everything works fine from the computer.

I had a discusion on GIT about this, see
Time/Date/Location in Celestron GPS driver.
if interested.

I modify the driver for personal use by removing the 'check_aligned' check and allowing it to pass through as only the computer side is used and never the hand controller.

Now how to get 90 degrees out, does your location match in both kstars/ekos and the mounts site settings?
Even if the date and time are wrong, solving near the NCP should give you something near the NCP.
What RA/DEC does it show for the solution?



Gene N created a new topic ' Autoalign utilitiy - DIY star sense' in the forum. 10 months ago

I have been using a Celestron SE mount but always needed an automated startup without touching the hand controller.
A few years ago I did a servo based button pusher based on the Celestron GPS INDI driver, ok for a perm equ mounted SE
but needed too many components for portable.
Button pusher autostart

Looking at the Celestron Starsense I could not justify the $400+ cost of it on a $1000 scope.

So came up with a DIY alignment on the same principals.
Components (I already had all the pieces, just no software to do it all)
1) 6/8 SE mount
2) PI 3
3) PI V2 Noir camera
4) 3D printed custom case with camera holder to 1.25 drawtube.
5) 30mm F4 guide scope

As the Celestron AUX driver has matured now it was a perfect fit for the use.

The combined utilities:
Does three separate blind goto's to user defined coordinates offset from LST for RA, capture and solve at each position using astrometry,
sync the mount at each position using J2000 coordinates from astrometry precessed to JNOW.

I believe the utility is valid for any fully supported INDI scope/camera combination, albeit with a few tweaks.

The GIT repository if interested:

Now how well does it work:
I am in heavy light pollution
The PI V2 Noir cam can pick up usually a minimum of 9 to 13 stars in a 1.65 x 1.23 degree field using 10 second exposures
I use Astrometry indexes 4108/4109/4110

The BIG problem is the mount itself, it just wants to skitter around so the solve fails on star trails.

It retries 3 times before failing out.




I was looking for the thread/bug report(?) talking about the update changes you had made about "Test with removing a duplicate sync point to see if this may improve …

What platesolving issue is this trying to fix?




Hi Sven,

Do you happen to have a modern, large thumb drive (modern = fast usb3) ?
If yes, look into rpi-clone utility.

It only clones used space, skipping temp files/directories created by the kernel/utilites and not needed across boots

If your PI4 is up to date firmware wise, rpiclone can give you a bootable thumbdrive which could be cloned back to the SD card if needed, or mounted after boot if need something off of it.

How much space is being used currently, a 'df -k' command in a shell will show percentages.



I started from scratch examining all messages from Kstars containing:
"queuing responsible for"
This provided the messages sent by the high level client.
Found the

were the missing culprits's, primarily the CONFIG_LOAD

So anyone using celestron_aux outside of Kstars, need to make sure at least the load of config is executed, of course after the config has been set and saved, eg: GEO coordinates, etc.



Sorry, make that Cartes Du Ciel/Skychart


I am at a loss.Using Celestron AUX v1.9.9 and indiserver v1.9.9 on a PI 4 Buster against a Nexstar SE 6/8 mount.

The dilemma is under kstars I can successfully SYNC but under either Ccdciel or scripting the SYNC does not happen.
Attached are log snippets with both kstars and ccdciel from the log indiserver -vvv

In both cases it stars with 0 entries in the alignment data
At the end of both cases the alignment data shows 1 entry

Any out there using Celestron AUX under anything other than Kstars?

Note: There are extra log messages I added to the CelestronAUX::Sync(double ra, double dec) routine, snippet of this code adds also included.


Note 1: I see the same no capability to sync if I use indi_setprop's with values for RA and DEC in snippet below
indi_setprop "Celestron AUX.ON_COORD_SET.SYNC=On"



Gene N replied to the topic 'RTC with PI PICO and DS3231' in the forum. 1 year ago

More project work on the dongle, adding GPS module and supported API

Parts cost:
PI PICO: < $8
RTC w/flash chip: $5, DS3231 with temp compensated xtal
GPS module: $9 (GY-NEO6MV2)
8X dupont wires + case + usb cable

Code supports mix and match:

Note: Without RTC + scratchpad, GPS data always streams

:c Set the RTC time in unixtime Zulu
Code to read from system and write to RTC
cmd = "date +%s"
print("System current unix time")
cmd1 = "\"{}\"".format(os.system(cmd))
unixtime = "{}".format(os.popen(cmd).read())
settime = unicode(":c"+unixtime[:-1])

:C Read the RTC, response format in Zulu time
2023/02/18 14:48:34
Suitable for use in unix date set
self_id = self.ser_io.readline()
print("RTC current time")
cmd = "date"
print("Current system time")
cmd = "date -s \"{}Z\"".format(self_id)
print("Setting time")

:S Status of GPS lock
1 = locked
0 = not locked

:G Stream GPS data, state remembered across restarts if scratchpad available
Direct input to GPSD

:g Stop stream of GPS data, state remembered across restarts if scratchpad available

:D Read the GPS date and time, response format
2023/02/18 14:52:41
Suitable for use in unix date set, see :C command above

:L Read the GPS Longitude, response format
Where negative = West

:l Read the GPS Latitude, response format
Where negative = South

:Q Read GPS Lat and Long, response format

:d Read GPS time, response format

:T Read temperature of DS3231, response format

Scratchpad flash supported if contained on RTC module

:WXXXX,YYY Write scratchpad flash
Where XXXX = address to write to, YYY = data to write
XXXX and YYY in decimal
Max value of XXXX based on which flash on the RTC module
All digits in XXXX and YYY required

:RXXXX Read scratchpad flash
Where XXXX = address to read
XXXX in decimal
Max value of XXXX based on which flash on the RTC module
All digits in XXXX required

NOTE: address 4095 is used to store state of :Q/:q GPS streaming enable


Gene N replied to the topic 'RTC with PI PICO and DS3231' in the forum. 1 year ago

Hi Andrew,

For sure soldering in or making dupont splitters would work but a real tight fit in the display case but needed a project and wanted portability across multiple platforms.
That coupled with the price of PI's currently said don't open case, don't solder, don't break or mod what works.



Gene N created a new topic ' RTC with PI PICO and DS3231' in the forum. 1 year ago

For my travel scope I use a PI 4 in a case with a 7inch DSI display.
Given there is no room in the case for standard methods of plugging module itself into the SDA/SCL lines and given the display uses the lines already another solution was needed for as low a cost as possible.

Seems PI PICO's have become available again for non-scalper prices and DS3231 modules with battery are readily available so a bit of code on the PICO and a few wires to the DS3231 module coupled with some python scripts on the PI to allow plugging the gadget (PICO+DS3231) into PI's USB and both setting the time into the gadget and setting system time from the gadget.

The solution is pretty much universal and can be used on basically any linux or windows or mac machine where there is admin access to modify the system time.

If any interest, I can provide more info, code, wiring, etc.



Gene N replied to the topic 'Solver is not working' in the forum. 1 year ago


I am a little surprised this info on no astrometry logging has gone unnoticed for a month since first posting.



Hi Bernd,

I make the assumption this is a build from Master? Maybe too close living on the edge as in Skysafari client, Toup items not up to date with 2.0.0 ?