Federico Parra replied to the topic 'Alt-Az mode for EQmod' in the forum. 1 week ago

Once again, the power of AZ-GTI in Alt-Az mode. I just walked out around 11PM in Poitiers, France (urban area, clean sky though), installed the mount on a Gitzmo lightweight photo tripod, launched the Synscan Pro app, did one star alignment to Rigel, connected Stellarmate with Synscan driver, did one Sync with astrometry, then goto M42. Then 100x10sec frames at 800ISO with my D5100 hacked DSLR through a 127" sky-watcher MAK, plus some dark and bias, then stack, boom.
Having a driver that can do this without having to bother about connection issues in the background to the Synscan app would be tremendous!



Read More...

Federico Parra replied to the topic 'Alt-Az mode for EQmod' in the forum. 2 weeks ago

Dear all,
Here's a picture I did yesterday using Stellarmate with my AZ-GTI working in ALT-AZ, Nikon D5100, and SkyWatcher 127 MAK, just one exposure of 30 seconds:


I used Synscan driver - just launched Synscan Pro app, did a one-star alignment with a star nearby the Orion nebulae, then goto Orion nebulae and alignment using Stellarmate astrometry.
Look how well defined the stars are, given that this is a somewhat long exposure and that it was in ALT-AZ, and that I only have done a one-star alignment.
I think if I repeat and align over 3 or 4 nearby stars before goto Orion, I could probably get even more dot-like stars and definition at even longer exposure times.
Of course, this opens the door wide-open to shorter exposure astrophotography, I did 10-second exposures, and then the stars were perfect dots.
This speaks volumes about how awesome the AZ-GTI is (especially given its price). This quality might not be enough for professional astrophotography (I think it might, if perfected a little) but it definitely is enough for EAA!
If only the AZ-GTI driver could do the same the Synscan Pro app do, then we would not need that app as an intermediary and we could start even faster: just turn on AZ-GTI, do alignment-sync using astrometry, boom, ready to start working.
Let me know your thoughts,
All best,
Federico

Read More...

Federico Parra replied to the topic 'Alt-Az mode for EQmod' in the forum. 2 months ago

@geehalel thank you SO MUCH for your work. Indeed, having a driver available to track correctly to be able to plate solve as a quick sync technique would be amazing. Let me know whenever there is something to test. All my very best and again, thank you. Federico

Read More...

Federico Parra replied to the topic 'Alt-Az mode for EQmod' in the forum. 2 months ago

"I don't know when does field rotation appear in altaz mode, but plate solving may also fail in altaz mode for that reason, even with a perfect smooth tracking. Or am I wrong ?"

Field rotation would not disturb pictures with an exposure so short as I was describing above (10-15 seconds)

Read More...

Federico Parra replied to the topic 'Alt-Az mode for EQmod' in the forum. 2 months ago

And to the why not use the wedge, I have it, but if I bring it I also have to bring the counterweight, which adds about 4kg to the package and also requires a more serious tripod and kind of overweights the AZ-GTI at least theoretically. In AltAz you can use AZ-GTI with minimum weight and becomes perfect for traveling. Additionally, Alt-Az doesn't require polar alignment so it can be snappier to set up.

Read More...

Federico Parra replied to the topic 'Alt-Az mode for EQmod' in the forum. 2 months ago

Dear Jean-Luc, I will read and respond more thoroughly later today but I wanted to mention that the situation where AZ-GTI (and others) in AltAz can excel is in EAA (Electronic Assisted Astronomy). With my Nikon D5100 you can capture deep sky pics of short exposure (10-15 secs) at 1000 ISO and live-stack them and have a wonderful experience of almost-real-time seeing of objects you can't see with your eyes. As you mentioned, doing this requires somewhat precise tracking (sufficiently precise to avoid blurry images during the 10-15 secs of the exposure), although movement / rotation between pics is unimportant since the live stacking can correct it.
Jasem mentioned EAA was in the roadmap of Stellarmate. More later, thank you for your response!

Read More...

Federico Parra replied to the topic 'Alt-Az mode for EQmod' in the forum. 2 months ago

Dear Jasem, sorry to be communicating about the same subject on many fronts (Stellarmate support ticket HAYB-000932, Github enhancement demand github.com/indilib/indi/issues/1232 , and now here).
As I mentioned in both other places, the version of the indi_skywatcherAltAzMount driver you are using with the alias AZ-GTI AltAz is the one that still contains the bug that doesn't allow UDP connection with Az-GTI, as explained -and then solved- in this GitHub bug github.com/indilib/indi/issues/1158 ).
So that's the first problem. The second problem for is that when using AZ-GTI in AltAz with indi_skywatcherAltAzMount driver (not your version), it does not track. The driver connects through WiFi (UDP), and then it is parked. If I unpark, it goes somewhere, but when it gets there it doesn't track. I can slew somewhere else (sometimes, sometimes it stops) but again when it gets to destination it does not track.
As the original post demanded, I also think the best would be to have an AltAz "translation layer" between Ekos and AZ-GTI eqmod-based driver, translating from AltAz to EQ and back in every interaction with said driver, would that be possible? Since that driver works seamlessly with AZ-GTI whereas the indi_skywatcherAltAzMount driver does not.

Read More...

Federico Parra replied to the topic 'Alt-Az mode for EQmod' in the forum. 2 months ago

Dear Jean-Luc, as I mentioned in my recent exchange with Jasem, both skywatcherAltAzSimple and indi_Skywatcher_AltAzMount drivers are buggy on many front; particularly, with the AZ-GTI mount, the mount keeps slewing randomly for no reason, these are small slews but enough to slip from your target. When you try to do platesolve-alignment, alignment is continuously stopped by an error that says "slewing detected, aborting solving". Also, it's difficult to provide any stable piture of stars for plate solving because tracking is significantly bad. These two drivers, at least when connected through UDP with the AZ-GTI mount, give very bad results in my experience. Compare that with your driver, based on eqmod: I've been using it (in EQ) for months, never a bug, tracking is perfect, etc etc. So I believe strongly that the best would be to have an option in your driver for alt-az mounts. That would also alt-az users to profit from all future features added to your driver. For instance, recently a version of your driver added a feature to use the SNAP port of the AZ-GTI mount to take pictures longer than 30s with DSLRs ( github.com/indilib/indi/issues/1181 ) - although pictures longer than 30s are not probably a good idea for altaz operation, it would be nice to have the feature to try. Thank you so much for your work on this driver!!!

Read More...

Federico Parra replied to the topic 'Alt-Az mode for EQmod' in the forum. 2 months ago

Can you invite Jean-Luc into this conversation?

Read More...

Federico Parra replied to the topic 'Alt-Az mode for EQmod' in the forum. 2 months ago

Dear Jasem, yesterday night I switched back to the Stable Stellarmate channel and after the switch all works, including UDP with AZ-GTI AltAz driver you made.
Unfortunately, as I mentioned, the driver it is based on (indi_skywatcher_altazmount) has bugs.
The first one is that, when tracking, in the Mount section the tracking button is not set to ON (both ON and OFF are greyed out).
The second, more important problem is that when tracking an object, Jupiter for instance, the mount will, every few seconds, slew on its own randomly, for example slew up a little bit, or slew left a little bit, then begin tracking again, then slew again...
When using the Alignment module, plate solving will be interrupted very often with the message "slewing detected aborting solving".
I tried by disabling the SoftPEC option, but crazy slewing continued.
I'm sure this can be solved. I'm also still inclined to think having two different AZ-GTI drivers, one based on indi_skywatcher_altazmount and the other on eqmod might not be the best road, and that it might be better to modify the eqmod based driver to work with altaz instead.
"

Read More...

Federico Parra replied to the topic 'Alt-Az mode for EQmod' in the forum. 2 months ago

Ok, I see that you are making it work.
In my case, after switching to the beta channel, only one driver works (AZ-GTI AltAz), all other drivers (including Nikon, etc) give me the "driver xxxx was not found on the system" error (and then Kstars closes). So that's bad, I think I'll have to download the image and start all over again. It's frustrating because I had downloaded the 4+ gb plate solving data files and my connection is slow.

In any case, the AZ-GTI AltAz driver (which does work) does not connect via UDP. I don't know why. The indi-SkyWatcher-AltAzMount driver did connect fine via UDP, but did not track correctly.

My last point was about what I mentioned in github.com/indilib/indi/issues/1232 enhancement: the point is that AZ-GTI driver is a superior driver compared to indi_Skywatcher_AltAzMount in many ways, it has more features and is more stable I think. If I am correct, then my point is that it would be better to make an AltAz version of that driver, an altAz version of the Eqmod driver beneath it. I know that sounds difficult, but that way altaz users would inherit all the advantages of the AZ-GTI driver and you would have a unified driver for altaz/EQ use, I think.

Read More...

Federico Parra replied to the topic 'Alt-Az mode for EQmod' in the forum. 2 months ago

Dear Jasem, sorry to be communicating about the same subject on many fronts (Stellarmate support ticket HAYB-000932, Github enhancement demand github.com/indilib/indi/issues/1232 , and now here).
As I mentioned in both other places, the version of the indi_skywatcherAltAzMount driver you are using with the alias AZ-GTI AltAz is the one that still contains the bug that doesn't allow UDP connection with Az-GTI, as explained -and then solved- in this GitHub bug github.com/indilib/indi/issues/1158 ).
So that's the first problem. The second problem for is that when using AZ-GTI in AltAz with indi_skywatcherAltAzMount driver (not your version), it does not track. The driver connects through WiFi (UDP), and then it is parked. If I unpark, it goes somewhere, but when it gets there it doesn't track. I can slew somewhere else (sometimes, sometimes it stops) but again when it gets to destination it does not track.
As the original post demanded, I also think the best would be to have an AltAz "translation layer" between Ekos and AZ-GTI eqmod-based driver, translating from AltAz to EQ and back in every interaction with said driver, would that be possible? Since that driver works seamlessly with AZ-GTI whereas the indi_skywatcherAltAzMount driver does not.

Read More...