Well that certainly fits any definition of "out of focus"! (is that the SCT? Looks maybe out of collimation, as well - but I am *really* not an expert in that realm)
Surely you could see in the focus tab display that you would up with donuts instead of stars (but that doesn't help if you're trying to automate).
When I first started autofocusing I made the mistake of tightening the 'regular' tension adjustment on the focuser, and all kinds of horrible things would happen, mostly related to the stepper motor reporting it had moved but the focuser was still really in the same place (different system, though - I use a Rigelsys NStep).
"Far from clear what the bottom of the curve is" makes me first think to suggest increasing the initial step size. You might (should, really, as long as you are experimenting) also try increasing the exposure time and averaging over 2 or 3 frames - though I still get "bouncy" curves with 2 or 3 frames when the seeing is poor.
My own question:
Is there an explanation written somewhere for the new behavior of the Linear algorithm, with the "Pending" part? A couple of times I have had that keep moving focus inward (by 1/4 the initial step size) until the curve is decidedly going back up.
What do you mean by "only get good focus about half the time"? What happens in the "bad half"?
Sometimes (nowhere near half) I get an especially low HFR value, or even a seeing change so the whole 2nd pass has higher values, and the algorithm often does not deal with that very gracefully.
I also pre-focus at the start of the night. I use the manual single-frame capture button and check the reported HFR. I have a pretty good idea what is right for in focus. If it is higher, then I manually step the focus motor and check again, repeating as necessary. One tip I just learned from this thread is for times when I have changed the setup more drastically I might uncheck full field for the early part of getting to nearly focused, just to speed up the calculation time.
I, too, had wondered about the fact that the stars being evaluated change as focus changes, but Peter's explanation makes sense.
I don't *think* there is a way to make the .CR3 files match the .fits files. But it should be possible to re-shoot darks and make sure they are getting saved as .CR3 (easier than re-shooting the lights, for sure!).
You want to make sure you have your settings correct in the future anyway, so you are always working either in .CR3 or .fits. When I use my 700D, I always use .CR2 for everything so I can read the sensor temp in the exif header to match lights to my darks library.
You could test it without clouds by physically covering the guidescope, right?
The only firmware that was not up to date was the Main board. Updated that, Ekos still does not connect to the CEM40 directly from one of the pi usb2 ports.
I have had no dropped connections by going through the unpowered usb2 hub - yet (about 4 hours running simulators and 4 hours actual imaging). So it works, even if it requires a weird hack that I don't understand.
"start over from complete scratch, with the stable release, not the nightly release installed."
Was there something in the nightly but not in the stable that you actually needed?
Will do. Not that 'update the firmware' doesn't strike terror into the hearts of many CEM40 owners...
I will check versions tomorrow when I have the mount back inside.
I noticed some threads around different fora where people with the same raspberry pi (including ASIAir) - iOptron usb connection problem inserted an *un*powered hub between the pi and the mount. After digging through my computer junk drawers I found an old Amazon Basics unpowered 4-port usb2 hub, plugged that into a usb2 port on the pi and the mount (and only the mount) into one of the hub outputs. So far, it seems to work. I don't trust it enough to go to bed, so I only had about an hour to run it last night.
During the day today I powered up and ran a profile with only the mount attached and let it go for a few hours. It threw 3 "Read timeout" errors, but never disconnected. I did not send very many commands, just an occasional round of "clear parking data" / "set current as park position" / "write park data".
I would be a lot more likely to trust this to be a long-term fix if I knew much of anything about why the pi does not want to talk directly to the iOptron usb hub (the usb-in port on the mount must be itself a hub input).
2nd night with new CEM40, using KStars/Ekos. First night went OK, but tonight usb is not connecting more often than it is, and when it does connect it will not stay connected very long.
I started with the mount connected to the pi through a powered usb3 hub, based on having read about an incompatibility between the mount's usb and the pi (the same issue experienced by ASIAir users). My on-the-scope powered usb2 hub was also connected to that 2nd hub, then to the pi, and all the scope devices connected fine.
I so far have tried:A different usb cable from the usb hub to the mount.
Different ports on the usb hubA different powered usb hub (the one that always lives on the telescope connecting the cameras, etc to the pi. it has never given me a hint of trouble)
Directly from both usb3 and usb2 ports on the pi (that never worked in indoor testing, didn't work outside tonight, either)The usb-serial cable I always used with my CEM25P (that did not see the mount at all, but maybe I'm forgetting a driver or setting I need to make that work?)
Anyone with other ideas?
Hy has it correct. You will have PHD2 running in a separate window, but the calls to begin guiding come from Ekos along with the dither settings (the PHD2 devs recently made it clear that dither settings is job of the imaging program, PHD2's job is to make the telescope move in the way commanded by the other program). Everything else you would do from the PHD2 UI you still do there - run Guide Assistant, set min-move and aggressiveness values, set camera binning and exposure time, etc.
Thanks, Alex. I talked to the seller of the used Vixen I had seen, and their description of its guiding behavior didn't sound very encouraging. So I'm back to planning on a new CEM40 while still keeping my eyes on used mounts until I pull the trigger.
Did you get any feedback on how this works? Did it get rolled into the regular distribution at some point?
I was looking at a used SXP2, but if INDI support is minimal or dodgy I will keep looking in other directions.