Willi replied to the topic 'Polar alignment - mount does not slew' in the forum. 1 week ago

Maybe you could share your experience in the Avalon Forum:
www.avalon-instruments.com/forum/stargo2...ate-to-fix-bugs#1093

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Thank you for clarifying... I get it now, you were referring to ancient drivers rather ancient SkySafari Apps ... I am so embarrassed.

I will check with Avalon... actually, I have posted the issue in their forum and had sent them a couple of e-mails. There has been no reply to any of these request, nor any acknowledgement. Absolute radio silence. Therefore, I am even more grateful that you and this forum replied so quickly and provided a solution!

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Hi Gene,

Ui... good to know. The StarGo2 Raspberry Pi has its own INDI-server / library. The SkySafari driver/client is adapted to their systems. So I don't think I could just update INDI. Preferably, this would need to be updated by Avalon.

Anyway, if I run indiserver from the command prompt own the RPi I get the following:

pi@StarGO2:~ $ indiserver -vvv
2022-10-29T13:44:22: startup: indiserver -vvv
Usage: indiserver [options] driver [driver ...]
Purpose: server for local and remote INDI drivers
INDI Library: 1.8.9
Code v1.8.9-1-g4c3f1c60. Protocol 1.7.
...
pi@StarGO2:~ $

Again, the skysafari driver is updated separately from IND, I think. There is an extra indi director in the home directory which contains their own drivers, including the ones for SkySafari.

BTW, I like to come back to the comment that it is an "ancient" SkySafari version ;-). This is actually not really the case. Until very recently (earlier this year) with SkySafari 7, you had to connect SkySafari 6 via port 9624 to any INDI-based telescope controller. Only with the new SkySafari 7 version, you have the option to use port 7624 and thus the native mount drivers, but you still also have the option to use port 9624, which would still be using the one that had DEC flipping issue.

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Hi Gene,

Thank you !!! Great find in the code.

I will check with Avalon to update the driver or to fix this bug!

Willi

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Willi replied to the topic 'Skysafari 7 with stellarmate' in the forum. 1 month ago

Hi Fred,

Good idea. I am using PHD outside of the EKOS environment or better without the EKOS/PHD2 connection, which is an option.

Because I had problems finding the best settings with the EKOS guider(s), I changed to PHD2 and the recommended settings for PHD2 by the mount manufacturer. Then I still ran the guiding assistant in PHD2, which fine tunes the guiding settings. Now I have very good guiding results:
openphdguiding.org/man-dev/Tools.htm#Guiding_Assistant

In my case, the WiFi satellites are not very far apart and create a perfect WiFi-6 mesh. Each and everyone of the satellites has two ethernet ports, which makes the wired connection very fast from the RPi’s to any other device in the (WiFi) network.

Yes, support is very important. Unfortunately, the support for the software for my mount is very spotty. While mechanically great, the software has some (minor) issues and the support is not very responsive.

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When you connect to the StarGO2 via port 9624, the StarGO2 automatically uses the SkySafari INDI driver, which was originally intended/developed for SkySafari 6. Any device that connects through this port uses that driver. IPad, computer or the ASIAIR. The SkySafari INDI driver kind of emulates an LX200 protocol/interface.

When you are using SkySafari 7 Pro, then you can use the INDI server one the StarGO2 and the native INDI driver for the mount/controller via port 7624.

This comparison shows that the issue is with the SkySafari INDI driver and not with the communication or SkySafari itself.

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With the StarGO2 controller, you can use the LX200 BASIC driver, which is actually accessing the SkySafari client on the mount. Same problem.

The StarGO2 has two INDI drivers: a) The SkySafari driver/client for SkySafari 6 and the b) the „native“ INDI driver for the mount, The latter can be used with SkySafari 7 Pro, which can access INDI drivers directly. So, no problem with SySafari 7,

The SkySafari INDI driver is used by the ASIAIR its LX00 BASIC driver. The LX200 CLASSIC does not work and the native driver cannot be accessed with the ASIAIR. I think the ASIAIR cannot access other INDI servers….

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Willi replied to the topic 'Skysafari 7 with stellarmate' in the forum. 1 month ago

Hi Fred,

My mount controller and the ASIAIR are both based on RPi 4B’s. Just as you said, their WiFi connectivity is very unreliable if you are more then 3m/10ft away. My solution was then similar to yours: I have a WiFi-6 mesh at home and put one of the satellites next to the mount and connect both devices with ethernet cables to the mesh satellite. This is a super fast connection anywhere in the house :-)

I do not use much of AP planning nor mosaicking just yet. I got into AP during the pandemic because of much less traveling. Never regretted it.

I found the KStars/EKOS planner far from being straight forward, while manageable. So I use the simple planner in the ASIAIR, which is good enough for me for now. I am beta tester for the ASIAIR version 2 app, which runs perfectly well on the M1 Macbook.

TheSky is very expensive… not sure if it is worth it. I haven’t used Starry Night in maybe 15 years, since I am super happy with SkySafari 6 and 7. The planner in SkySafari is not adapted to AP… So for now I am OK with the ASIAIR.

The only problem I have now is the limited compatibility between the ASIAIR and the StarGO2 Pro controller. Guiding is not supported in this interface, while GoTo and plate solving is. So I need to run either the PHD2 or the EKOS guider separately. For now I prefer PHD2… again, i found it more intuitiv than EKOS. Technically, I could do everything with the StarGO2 controller and EKOS on either the RPi or on my Mac… but I do not like the GUI and the ASIAIR is easier to use.

There are so many settings and options in EKOS, that I find it counter productive for just a simple AP session. I find myself trying out all the options and settings forever until it kind of works the way I want to. ASIAIR and PHD2 are much more intuitiv and straight forward. The PAA in EKOS, however, is constantly improving and a great help.

There are also a lot of people who love N.I.N.A., which is also freeware. NINA seems very good, but does not support INDI, as far as I know. ASCOM works, though. Matter of taste.

Yes, all these options and tools keep us busy. It‘s still a lot of fun and the images are great!

Willi

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When using the SkySafari INDI driver / interface on the Avalon StarGO2 Pro, it inverts DEC values between -1° and 0°. The values become positive and the mount slews to the opposite side of the celestial equator. E.g. -0° 27' becomes +0° 27'.

I could confirm this with three stars in Pisces: 12, 13, and 14 Piscium. For the first two, the mount goes to the opposite side of the equator, for the last one it goes to the star correctly. Plate solving cannot fix this, either … obviously.

Avalon Instruments is neither answering to e-mails nor acknowledging this bug in a post in their user forum. And since I assume they are using the standard INDI driver/client for SkySafari 6, I posted the same question here.

Below a screenshot when trying to slew to Jupiter. The mount always slews to the positive number of the DEC value:



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Willi replied to the topic 'Skysafari 7 with stellarmate' in the forum. 1 month ago

Polaris is blocked by my house. I use the PAA (aka PAT) in EKOS fore polar alignment. As stated in the previous post, My mount has its integrated INDI server, which is equivalent to a StellarMate-based INDI Xserves. I access the INDI server from KStars/EKOS from my M1-MacBook and run the the PAA. Works perfectly now.

Since the M1-based Macs can run (some) iOS- and iPadOS-based apps, I can run SkySafari 7 Pro, the ASIAIR or the StellarMate apps directly from my Mac. This is so cool.

Effectively, depending on what I need to do, I run KStar/EKOS on the Mac for the PAA first and then, for the EAA, I use PHD2 for guiding, ASIAIR for imaging and either the ASIAIR Atlas or SkySafari 6 or 7 for slewing, i.e. GOTO. The Avalon StarGO2 INDI server is basically the hub for the mount to make this all possible. Depending on the mount, the SG2 could easily be replaced with the StellarMate.

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Willi replied to the topic 'Skysafari 7 with stellarmate' in the forum. 1 month ago

Nice set-up. I like it. I have very similar hardware and I am fully Apple-based as well, except for the RPi of course ;-). I have both the ASIAIR Pro and the StellarMate. So far I use mostly the ASIAIR. The mount is a Avalon M-Uno with the new StarGO2 Pro controller (SG2), which is RPi-based and runs its own INDI server, KStars/EKOS.

I also interface with SkySafari 6 or 7 Pro from the iPad, because I like the SS interface and GUI much better. Easier to read. Finding things quicker.

This is related, because the SG2 is basically taking over the function of the SM INDI server.

There are some issues with the communication between SS6 and the ASIAIR. I can either use SS6 or the ASIAIR.

As for SS7, I use the INDI-based client in SS7, which had some issues in the beginning but those problems seemed to be resolved. The main issue was, whenever SS7 slewed to a new target, plate solving did not work because the mount was not switching back to the tracking mode. When looking at how the INDI communication works, in some mount drivers you have to re-start the tracking mode after slewing. It is not always automatic.
Lately, I do not have this issue anymore.

Since you all Apple based, did you try INDIGO? I would love to try it out, but the Avalon SG2 interface is not compatible.

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