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Author Topic: Ekos/Indi/Kstarrs  (Read 5322 times)

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Offline chris.bailey

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Ekos/Indi/Kstarrs
« on: 15:15:12, 23 April, 2016 »
This has come a long way over the past few years. This https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8vIXD1kois is IndiServer running on a Raspberry PI acting as a fully remote observatory. There is even an EQMod equivalent and most commonly used hardware is now supported. If you have a bit of Linux/Pi knowledge its a tempting proposition. The Pi could be mounted topside so the only wires involved would be power and a Cat5 lead.
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Offline MikeDunn

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Re: Ekos/Indi/Kstarrs
« Reply #1 on: 16:05:32, 23 April, 2016 »
Hmmm !!!  Interesting video !!!

Gonna have to have a look into this, see if it's something I want to get (or can use).  Wonder if (or how much) better it is with a Pi3, instead of the Pi2 he would have been using ...

Mike
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Offline chris.bailey

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Re: Ekos/Indi/Kstarrs
« Reply #2 on: 16:13:59, 23 April, 2016 »
Mike

At ~£30 for a Pi3 (£40 with a nice case) and a bit of sudo'ing about it has got to be worth a play around.

Chris
LX200|ZS70|FSQ85|FLT110|Altair DF250RC|EQ6 Pro(Rowan Belt Mod)|ParamountMX
ATIK383L+/EFW2/OAG|Lodestar|Baader 36mm LRGBHaSIIOIII
Starlight Express SXVRH16/ONAG/FW|Lodestar X2|Baader 2" Filters
Starlight Express SXVRH814/ONAG/FW|LodestarX2|Baader 2" Filters
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Offline MikeDunn

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Re: Ekos/Indi/Kstarrs
« Reply #3 on: 17:00:51, 23 April, 2016 »
Hell, I have Pi's (got a Pi1 that doesn't do a lot, a Pi2 that I have connected to the touchscreen, and a Pi3 I'm playing with), so no expense there ;)

It'll all be around the "what can this do for my setup" - what will it give me, how do I get things working etc.  Nice little project I think !!!  :yes:  I can add this to my Pi Guider project !  :laugh:  Have to see about moving the screen to the Pi3  :embarrass:

BTW - no real need for the Cat5 on a Pi3, as it has built-in WiFi (OK, signal back might not be great, but ... ;))
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Offline chris.bailey

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Re: Ekos/Indi/Kstarrs
« Reply #4 on: 17:18:49, 23 April, 2016 »
BTW - no real need for the Cat5 on a Pi3, as it has built-in WiFi (OK, signal back might not be great, but ... ;))

May be a bit slow for remoting to Indi Server when you start downloading images.

I have thought for a while that it would be great if all the control software was in a small PC actually sitting on top of the telescope. Light, low power requirements and all the linking cables short and tidy. Indi/Ekos/KStarrs seems to be just about there.

Chris

ps You can use PHD2 to control an Indi Server running on the PI
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Offline Bazzaar

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Re: Ekos/Indi/Kstarrs
« Reply #5 on: 17:42:07, 23 April, 2016 »
Chris, I'm thinking about single cable solutions too.
It seems to me what you have highlighted here is big on automation via Indi and associated apps, but what if you want to run the more familiar PC apps like CdC/PHD2/APT whilst manning the PC?
I'm not comfortable relying on USB with cables more than 10m and the ever increasing data throughput needed.

Baz
Tal 200k, SW 200P, iOptron iEQ45 pro, HEQ5 pro, QHY5III174m, QHY5L II mono, Samsung SBC 2001, SharpSky focuser, Zwo ADC,  Celestron 15x70 bins,

Offline chris.bailey

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Re: Ekos/Indi/Kstarrs
« Reply #6 on: 18:50:20, 23 April, 2016 »
Baz

I have only just got it all downloaded myself so am very far from an expert but have managed to get it to connect to a SX Lodestar and Atik camera. EQmod next to get it talking to a mount.

It can be run local or remote. Indi is a little like Ascom as being the glue that holds it all together. KStars is the base planetarium and Ekos is the front end to Indi (at least I think thats how it all works; Linux world seems to make everything nerdily complex). You would no longer use CdC or APT but PHD2 is compatible. KStars is actually pretty nice once you have downloaded the extra catalogs and done a bit of configuration.

For a local solution you would connect everything to the PC and run Indi locally just as you would Cdc/PHD/APT. To get rid of the wires you would install Indi server on a Pi and then connect to that remote Indi server from Ekos on the PC over Ethernet or possibly wireless (though I have doubts). The remote copy of Indi would connect to the mount, cameras etc and be controlled by Ekos on the PC. Its all very elegant.

The Schedular can be as simple as say "Image M93 when it gets to over 40 degrees elevation, flip at the Meridian and continue till it drops to 40 degrees" to full remote operation. It appears very powerful indeed and compared to the costs of the competition....

Chris

LX200|ZS70|FSQ85|FLT110|Altair DF250RC|EQ6 Pro(Rowan Belt Mod)|ParamountMX
ATIK383L+/EFW2/OAG|Lodestar|Baader 36mm LRGBHaSIIOIII
Starlight Express SXVRH16/ONAG/FW|Lodestar X2|Baader 2" Filters
Starlight Express SXVRH814/ONAG/FW|LodestarX2|Baader 2" Filters
Lunt LS60PTBF1200|DMK41|Quark Chromo
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Offline MikeDunn

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Re: Ekos/Indi/Kstarrs
« Reply #7 on: 20:25:39, 23 April, 2016 »
One potential issue for the Pi (any flavour) will be the routing of hard-wired ethernet via the USB2 system.  So any access via USB will be affected by the LAN connection (and vice versa).

However ... my (extremely basic) understanding of Indi is that in theory you could have several Pi nodes handling different aspects of the remote work; so one could be managing the imaging process while another is handling the control processes.  As such, once the image has d/loaded to the Pi from the camera the image could be shunted to the repository while the next image is being taken.  It does mean you'd have several Pi's in action though.

Thoughts ?
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Offline chris.bailey

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Re: Ekos/Indi/Kstarrs
« Reply #8 on: 20:43:20, 23 April, 2016 »
Mike

From what I have seen this is not an issue. Indi is a server application and is doing everything on the PI. Ekos is a client to the Indi Server communicating via Ethernet. Even if everything is on the PC its still a client/server setup, the server is just local.

Ive got a Pi3 on the way so I should be able to say a bit more in a few days. Ive got most things connecting locally now (even my Optec Lynx focuser) though have yet to get EQMod running.

Chris
LX200|ZS70|FSQ85|FLT110|Altair DF250RC|EQ6 Pro(Rowan Belt Mod)|ParamountMX
ATIK383L+/EFW2/OAG|Lodestar|Baader 36mm LRGBHaSIIOIII
Starlight Express SXVRH16/ONAG/FW|Lodestar X2|Baader 2" Filters
Starlight Express SXVRH814/ONAG/FW|LodestarX2|Baader 2" Filters
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Offline MikeDunn

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Re: Ekos/Indi/Kstarrs
« Reply #9 on: 20:58:01, 23 April, 2016 »
Indi is a server application and is doing everything on the PI.
Yeah - and this is where I am a little concerned re the internal USB hub on the Pi architecture  :suspious:

Let's assume we have a Pi controlling a USB micro-focuser, a USB camera, a USB disk (for image storage) and communicates via ethernet.  Given that the ethernet is driven internally via the USB architecture, that may be a lot of traffic going through USB2 ...  Hence my thinking about splitting the roles onto separate Pi's to limit interference between sub-systems.

I'm hoping that this wouldn't happen - but this seems to be "early days" for INDI & the Pi, and I am unsure how much has been done & documented as yet ? 
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Offline Bazzaar

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Re: Ekos/Indi/Kstarrs
« Reply #10 on: 23:56:49, 23 April, 2016 »
Chris, OK your talking me round to it :)
With PoE it would be one cable.

Mike, I dont think the Pi's USB/EtherNet system will be a problem, its 10/100Mbs implemented on a 480Mbs USB port, only a fraction of capacity.

Baz
Tal 200k, SW 200P, iOptron iEQ45 pro, HEQ5 pro, QHY5III174m, QHY5L II mono, Samsung SBC 2001, SharpSky focuser, Zwo ADC,  Celestron 15x70 bins,

Offline chris.bailey

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Re: Ekos/Indi/Kstarrs
« Reply #11 on: 08:21:12, 24 April, 2016 »
Baz

PoE would be very cool. 30Watts isn't a lot though with a cooled camera on the end (~ 12 volt 2 amps). A halfway decent 13.8volt 30 Amp bench supply is not a lot of money and delivers 12.5 volts over a 15m cable (its what I do at Kelling)

I figure that for £40 its worth a few hours playing around on a rainy day. Its a little clunky in places compared to the SkyXPro/CCD Autopilot system I use in the obsy but considering its near on a grand cheaper I think that can be forgiven! Its also much friendlier to a small screened laptop.

Chris
LX200|ZS70|FSQ85|FLT110|Altair DF250RC|EQ6 Pro(Rowan Belt Mod)|ParamountMX
ATIK383L+/EFW2/OAG|Lodestar|Baader 36mm LRGBHaSIIOIII
Starlight Express SXVRH16/ONAG/FW|Lodestar X2|Baader 2" Filters
Starlight Express SXVRH814/ONAG/FW|LodestarX2|Baader 2" Filters
Lunt LS60PTBF1200|DMK41|Quark Chromo
Samyang 135mm f1.8

Offline Bazzaar

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Re: Ekos/Indi/Kstarrs
« Reply #12 on: 09:48:29, 24 April, 2016 »
The 30W had me baffled initially. So I read up about it all.
WARNING RANT AHEAD!
Well, what a quagmire of hi-viz, hard hat, hand wringing, nay saying BS!
You start off with a wire, 24awg, that can carry 2 or 3 amps, you go through a standardisation process and that comes out as....
360ma :surprise:

Utter 80110X
RANT ENDS
Thank God I'm trained through the university of  Find-out-for-yourself-what-works and have some increasingly rare common sense.
Use Cat6 cable, (23awg), 10/100 modeB, leaves 4 cores for power, 100 watts easy. Admittedly you wouldn't be able to market it but for personal use, jobs a good 'un.
Tal 200k, SW 200P, iOptron iEQ45 pro, HEQ5 pro, QHY5III174m, QHY5L II mono, Samsung SBC 2001, SharpSky focuser, Zwo ADC,  Celestron 15x70 bins,

Offline MikeDunn

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Re: Ekos/Indi/Kstarrs
« Reply #13 on: 11:57:44, 24 April, 2016 »
Baz,

In theory it should be fine; but all 4 USB ports as well as the ethernet all route through the single USB point in the Pi; hence the (theoretical) 480Mbps is shared with 5 devices; in reality, we're probably looking at 220Mbps across 5.  Have a camera d/loading on one port to a USB drive on another port, and an ethernet connection back to a remote station (ie a PC (or similar) inside the house) and this may have adverse impact.  I guess we'll need to test & see !  :yes:


Re PoE - if you're meaning on the Pi - DON'T DO IT !  Unless you want a $35 paperweight, of course  ;)  Stick with the micro-USB power input from a 2.5A supply :yes:
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Offline Bazzaar

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Re: Ekos/Indi/Kstarrs
« Reply #14 on: 12:48:35, 24 April, 2016 »
PoE, I was thinking more globally. Power for all the devices at the scope/mount end. In reality would involve power converters to derive all the device supplies from the PoE supply.

USB/Ethernet, yep, someone needs to set it up and see if its an issue.

Baz
Tal 200k, SW 200P, iOptron iEQ45 pro, HEQ5 pro, QHY5III174m, QHY5L II mono, Samsung SBC 2001, SharpSky focuser, Zwo ADC,  Celestron 15x70 bins,

 

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