Hi guys,

Many good affordable common Sony camera's (like my A7S) have a problem where the data gets filtered in-camera, eating up many tiny wanna-be stars. This only occurs in BULB mode. In manual mode this problem is absent. It's well-documented and in fact in the last four years about 10,000 signed this petition for Sony to address it (www.change.org/p/sony-remove-the-star-ea...-i-ii-and-a9-cameras) but it didn't happen.

I assume Sony will never fix it. It would be real nice if KStars could use the manual (M) mode instead of the BULB mode. Currently it is advised against it here: indilib.org/ccds/gphoto.html (section Exposure Modes). Indeed when I test with M mode and Ekos it behaves badly. Could somebody fix this? I would love to file the bug report, help test and debug. Unfortunately I don't develop in C myself.

I have tested with another program called AstroDSLR which shares some code with KStars. AstroDSLR is capable to use the M mode so I'm hoping KStars will do too.

Cheers,
Jurgen

I attach two pictures; without and with star-eating BULB modus. They open up nicely with e.g. PhotoShop. Can you tell them apart? ;-) I'll post the answer in a bit.

File Attachment:

File Name: DSC00154.ARW.zip
File Size: 11,925 KB

File Attachment:

File Name: DSC00155.ARW.zip
File Size: 10,710 KB


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I guess this would be a nice thread for posting on the "wish list" in this forum and as a feature request of the github issue tracker. Sorry for cross posting.

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Hi guys,

Many good affordable common Sony camera's (like my A7S) have a problem where the data gets filtered in-camera, eating up many tiny wanna-be stars. This only occurs in BULB mode. In manual mode this problem is absent. It's well-documented and in fact in the last four years about 10,000 signed this petition for Sony to address it (www.change.org/p/sony-remove-the-star-ea...-i-ii-and-a9-cameras) but it didn't happen.

I assume Sony will never fix it. It would be real nice if KStars could use the manual (M) mode instead of the BULB mode. Currently it is advised against it here: indilib.org/ccds/gphoto.html (section Exposure Modes). Indeed when I test with M mode and Ekos it behaves badly. Could somebody fix this? I would love to file the bug report, help test and debug. Unfortunately I don't develop in C myself.

I have tested with another program called AstroDSLR which shares some code with KStars. AstroDSLR is capable to use the M mode so I'm hoping KStars will do too.

Cheers,
Jurgen

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On the bitness: you correctly selected "Format: FITS" which currently gives 16 bit / channel .fit files from my Sony A7S mark i. I presume yours will be the same.

Go ahead and set "Bits per pixel" to 16 as well. This setting syncs with the Format option above. I have noted that when I set the Format to 'raw' the setting will default to 8 bits. This is then causing problems with Ekos truncating the 12-bit data to just 8 bit and the view can show clipped data that in truth is not clipped. Not all is lost though because the saved .arw file still contains the 12-bit data and is nice and small because losslessly compressed. It's just something to consider when estimating your best exposure time and such.

Bye now, J.

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Go ahead and add some screenshot. Cheers,
Jurgen

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Hi Kurt,

I can imagine it feels like that and I'm in no way the expert in these matters. I have not done guiding like you are trying. I did see KStars perform a bit faster on the Mac in the case of the histogram calculations of the image viewer. It certainly is a nice port/build on macOS.
No need to edit the files. No need to do anything with the db file.
Do turn on debugging for the camera as you can do shown in the attached.

Let me know if you like me to record a little screencast demo of working with the Sony A7S.

Cheers,
Jurgen

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Jurgen Doreleijers is friends with Patrick

Go ahead and tell me if I'm wrong but does your setup look something like the below?

So basically you're asking if a INDIlib servers can be joined, running your original one outside together with a new one inside. Looking at:
"indilib.org/what-is-indi/features.html" it mentions "intermediate servers" however in www.clearskyinstitute.com/INDI/INDI-1.5.pdf it becomes clear from the drawing on p.2 that is not what you could use in my glansing impression. Sorry, I'm of no help ;-)

Jasem might have written up some manual for it though as promised at: indilib.org/forum/wish-list/811-connecti...di-servers.html#7055 ;-)

"Chaining" seems to be possible but I don't know if it's desirable for the small problem you try to solve. Nighty night.

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Cool. I have no idea about running it with the RPI. Perhaps my below notes can help you to turn on the diagnostic reporting on the different (2?) levels of Kstars and indilib perhaps there are more?
Do you get things working well without the RPI? Simplify first if not and then build up?

Cheers,
Jurgen

=== Settings
* DB ~/Library/Application Support/kstars/userdb.sqlite
* Ekos ~/.indi
* KStars preferences file ~/Library/Preferences/kstarsrc
=== Logs
* Indi using utc time stamps ~/.indi/logs/2021-01-08/indi_sony_ccd/indi_sony_ccd_19/53/15.log
* KStars using local ts ~/Library/Application\ Support/kstars/logs
=== Drivers
* Indi /Applications/KStars.app/Contents/MacOS/indi
=== Data
* KStars Data Directory ~/Library/Application Support/kstars

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The images save fine now. What I changed? Not much.

In KStars/Ekos/Indi Control Panel:
Under the tab GPhoto CCD, tab Options:
"Force BULB" set to Off instead of On.
"Debug Levels" to include "Driver Debug".

Tested with settings in Ekos "CCD" tab with settings as shown below.
Exposure: 2
Count: 2
Delay: 3 (This might be important; see www.gphoto.org/news/ section: "libgphoto2 2.5.26 release" )
ISO: 100
Etc.

In Camera:
Controls:
M modus
AF set to AEF (should not be relevant)

Settings:
Camera Tab >
4 >
ISO set to 100
DRO/Auto HDR set to "Off" (This might be important)
5 >
Long Exposure Noise Reduction (NR) set to "Off" (This might be important)
Utility Tab >
5 >
"Format" done but was also done before so should not be relevant.
6 >
"Version" checked to be the latest 3.20

I suspect the delay or the BULB thing fixed my problem. Hopefully it will yours too. Happy - 2021 - New Year!

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Hi Guys,

I get my Sony A7S connected to KStars but the setup frequently behaves badly. Let's focus on one problem at the time: saving an image.

I just moved from macOS to Ubuntu hoping I could follow new developments more closely. I installed using the recommended setup:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:mutlaqja/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indi-full kstars-bleeding


Possible issues
- How critical is a good USB cable? How to know if this could be the issue. I have about 10 cables but only one of them seems to connect.
- Newer driver from Gphoto2 needed still? How to install?

I attach my workflow and the logs I was able to find. Please let me know if other info could be useful! It's vacation time now so I have some time to tinker with this.

Best regards,
Jurgen

File Attachment:

File Name: README_connecting_Sony_With_Kstars.txt
File Size: 2 KB

File Attachment:

File Name: GPhotoCCDdriver.txt
File Size: 1 KB

File Attachment:

File Name: GPhotoCCD.txt
File Size: 2 KB


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Jurgen Doreleijers replied to the topic 'A7S non Bulb mode' in the forum. 4 months ago

To start debugging the issue: does the problem occur when you're in a simpler situation, saving the data locally instead thru Rasberry PI?
Which driver and version are you using.

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Hi Peppuccio,
I am starting to use the Sony A7S with EKOS. It is my understanding so far that the driver should NOT be "QHY CCD driver" but "GPhoto CCD". I am still having troubles (crashes) with it as well which is how I found this post. Please stay in touch.
Cheers,
Jurgen

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