Ricardo Serpell replied to the topic 'Post your INDI Setup!' in the forum. 9 months ago

Hi!
I started trying INDI about a year ago as I was transitioning from unguided to guided exposures. I recently finished putting together the setup shown in these pictures.

I use Astroberry on a Raspberry Pi 4 to control everything remotely. There is a single cable going to the mount from the rest of the world: a 12V power cable, coming from a 12.5A source.

I wanted to have the least number of cables running across moving parts: the raspberry sits on the main telescope and so it moves with it, together with the cameras and electric filter wheel (and I hope an electric focuser in the future) that are connected to it (well, EFW is in fact connected to the ASI1600MM hub, the ASI120MM not, as I felt it worked better plugged in its own port at the raspberry). The raspberry connects to the mount via Bluetooth.

There is a power box (described in a previous post ) attached to the RA arm of the mount. It sources power to the mount and the camera cooler (12V) and to the Raspberry Pi (5V). Power cables to the raspberry and camera cooler run through the declination arm.




It's been a long learning process, but here is the first HaRGB image I have done with this setup: https://www.astrobin.com/thmb4v/

I'm grateful to all the people n this forum. You all have been a source of invaluable help.

Best regards!
Ricardo

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porkyhttp wrote: If there is a version of EkosLive that works offline, why do you have to built another system that do the same things??? In Atikbase seems thai it is present and use MongoDB to do some stuff.


I haven't found much information about Ekos live outside the Stellarmate pages (I use Astroberry), neither about it's offline version. Can you point me to instructions on how to implement it ?

I'm looking for a simple, offline, free, solution to interact with Ekos through a smartphone or tablet, that could be customized for mine (or anyone's) requirements. I think web-based is perfect. If Ekos live offline can do that and is available to us all, then no need to look further. I guess customizing it's Interface would be a matter of simple html and css editing.

Ricardo

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[quite="rickbassham" post=58200]You've inspired me to create this: github.com/rickbassham/ekos-web

It doesn't control the session, but will let you keep tabs on it from a mobile device.[/quote]

Thanks!
Looks like a great starting point. I'll check it.

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Sorry for my ignorance. I see now that Ekos uses Dbus for scripting. I should have done my homework before posting...

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Thank you for your replies. I wasn't aware of Ekos live. Not exactly what I was looking for, but close.

rickbassham wrote: Some quick searches of the forum show that Stellarmate has an offline version for Ekos Live. Which is good if you are using a Raspberry Pi for imaging.


That would be great indeed. I'll search for it.

I thought of using Apache on the pi to serve webpages to interact with Kstars+Ekos, using PHP to execute local scripts. Not knowing if Ekos accepted command-line commands I thought of using xdotool or similar to directly click on its window, and some screen capture tool to obtain images from it to display on the webpage (overall a very brute approach). An offline version of Ekos live would be much better, as the interfacing has already been taken care of.

I'll see what can be done with it in its current development stage.

All the best,
Ricardo

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Hi everyone,
Before switching to astroberry, I was using iastrohub to run my gear from the raspberry. Iastrohub had a web-based interface to control the various Linux apps running on the pi. Editing the html files and using css allowed me adjust it to my specific requirements and to make it phone-screen friendly (big buttons and larger text).

Using VNC to connect to astroberry from the phone works well but I find it hard to interface with ekos within such a small screen.

I'm willing to build a simple app (using Cordova for instance) to have a better interface.

What do you think would be a proper way to remotely interface with the kstars/ekos running on the pi? ...to change settings, start/stop actions and display information on their status.

Looking forward for your ideas and suggestions.

Ricardo.



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Just to give proper closure to the thread I started... Here are some pictures of my current setup, including the box I put together to distribute power to the mount and camera cooler and supply 5v to the Raspberry Pi from a common 12v input.

As I commented earlier, I'm now using a Meanwell 12V 12.5A power supply. I fitted it with a long cable ending in a 5.5 x 2.1mm plug. I know there are better connectors, but in this way I can still use it directly into the mount if necessary (without modifying the mount). I also feel I rather see the cable disconnect itself if accidentally pulled.

The box is thus fitted with a female 5.5 x 2.1 mm plug input. It could be alternatively sourced from a 12v battery. Here some views of the inside:


You can see the stripped HP 2x USB cigarette plug supply (sorry for my messy soldering job). There is still room in the wigo connectors to supply for an additional 12v output.

This is the box assembled, the cables for the mount and the camera cooler come directly from the inside (no connector):


And here is the box attached to the moving RA arm of the HEQ5 pro via a velcro strip:

The input cable comes from below. USB supply cable for the Raspberry Pi (which is attached behind the telescope in the first picture) and 12v cable for the camera cooler have a loop to allow for DEC movement and are rooted through an elastic band below the telescope saddle. The 12v for the mount goes around the RA arm to the mount input (as seen in second picture). The box remains permanently attached to the mount.

I'm extremely happy with the results, and still amazed at how much a good power supply can improve things.

Clear nights to you all.

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jpaana wrote: Communication issues with the mount occasionally cause these spurious out-of-limits issues too if the step count from mount gets corrupted. With this particular mount the power connector is unfortunately flimsy and causes voltage drops and communication issues. I replaced the connector with a screw secured one and didn't have these issues after that.


This is exactly what happened to me because of a noisy power supply (and it was a 12V 5A one, so no low current issues, just noise). Looking at the logs it was clear that DEC and RA counts were off-limits (meaning off the expected number range) because of spurious bytes being received.

I would be very wary of just disabling the "abort tracking" option as a permanent fix. Communication problems also affect slews and you might end up with your scope trying to become one with the tripod.

Ricardo.

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