Jump to content

1564402927_Comet2021Banner.jpg.a8d9e102cd65f969b635e8061096d211.jpg

KStars/Ekos New Release


wornish
 Share

Recommended Posts

Does it natively support ASCOM ?

I really like Kstars as an application, but the fact the windows version doesn't (or didn't) support ASCOM and could thus work with EQMOD / GSServer for scope control really annoyed me.  Years ago I did play abut with JINDI or whatever the wrapper was, but could never get it to work

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well worth another look, it has evolved considerably over the last few years.

Now it is probably the most complete astro package available.   It doesn't use ascom but INDi to control all the devices.

Works on Windows/ Mac/ and Linux systems.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

56 minutes ago, wornish said:

Well worth another look, it has evolved considerably over the last few years.

Now it is probably the most complete astro package available.   It doesn't use ascom but INDi to control all the devices.

Works on Windows/ Mac/ and Linux systems.

 

Does it work on Windows really ?
I know the actual planetarium works on Windows but how then does it control the equipment as normally would use EKOS with INDI server, I didn't think EKOS worked on Windows (or does it ?).

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, teoria_del_big_bang said:

Does it work on Windows really ?
I know the actual planetarium works on Windows but how then does it control the equipment as normally would use EKOS with INDI server, I didn't think EKOS worked on Windows (or does it ?).

Steve

 

Not natively...  There have been many attempts at a bridge between ASCOM and INDI over the years, but IMO its a clunky band aid fix to what really needed and that is a re-wright to use ASCOM natively.  

I did find this from 2017 which claims to bridge EKOS on windows.... never tried it, and can't confirm if it works

 

Doh... should have tried the link --- the download gives a 404 error... !

Edited by malc-c
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, malc-c said:

 

Not natively...  There have been many attempts at a bridge between ASCOM and INDI over the years, but IMO its a clunky band aid fix to what really needed and that is a re-wright to use ASCOM natively.  

I did find this from 2017 which claims to bridge EKOS on windows.... never tried it, and can't confirm if it works

 

Doh... should have tried the link --- the download gives a 404 error... !

Cheers, but I don't want to go too far down the experimental route so probably will at least stick with EKOS.
The RPI does work fine 95% of the time and I do really like EKOS and am used to it, it is just that I quite often get just a green screen for a few seconds quite often when using the KStars planetarium, that is probably down to WiFi speed more than the RPI, and I do get a fair few times when KStars just crashes, which shuts EKOS down and I have to open it all again. Now thankfully this only seems to happen when setting up, I don't actually think it has happened when the sequence has started and I just let things go, so wondering if a bit more processing power will help and I have this PC just sat in a cupboard, and it is a decent spec with good RPI without adding a dongle, and whilst not small I can still attache it to tripos easily which is where I have the RPi.
So I may as well use it or sell it, this test should make my decision.

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blimey, quoting issues from 2017 kind of suggests to me that perhaps a new look might be needed. 

Today, KStars and Ekos are certainly not experimental! and both work natively perfectly well on Windows 7, 8 and 10!  As well as Mac and Linux boxes.

OK, not sure about XP, but that came out in 2001 and EOL'd in 2019. Tech moves on and we now have many new features to choose from.

KStars has worked perfectly on my Windows 10 laptop for the last 3+ years.  Of course Ascom also works but is old tech that has not changed for a long long time and has many networking issues. Luckily it's not the only solution to controlling astro devices.

The comments about pauses in connections etc are almost always down to WiFi issues and are NOT simply due to KStars/Ekos as an app.

I know many people are happy to pay multiple £100's for old "proven" software that only works on Windows and that's fine.

But, don't expect to get support when new cameras are released , or new improved guiding  and plate-solving techniques are developed.

Did I mention that I like KStarsūüėÄ

 

And, no I have no connection with the development team I just appreciate great FREE software that keeps evolving and getting better.

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, wornish said:

Today, KStars and Ekos are certainly not experimental! and both work natively perfectly well on Windows 7, 8 and 10!  As well as Mac and Linux boxes.

KStars has worked perfectly on my Windows 10 laptop for the last 3+ years.  Of course Ascom also works but is old tech that has not changed for a long long time and has many networking issues. Luckily it's not the only solution to controlling astro devices.

Dave,

Can you explain in detail and in laymans terms how to get Kstars working with an HEQ5 (or any SW mount for that matter) on a windows platform (win10 64bit), ideally with links to whatever ASCOM alternative you hint at. 

I know often typing on forums the message can be misconstrued, this is a genuine question not being negative / nor should it be taken in an negative way, as I would like to try alternatives to the normal EQMOD / ASCOM / CdC option. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I too liked KStars and Co. But had nothing but misery trying to use a Pi 4 and then later using a mini PC running Ubuntu. That was less than 12 months ago.

I dabbled with running the software on my W10 lappy and having the Pi as an Indi server running only the drivers.

It worked in testing but was no solution to my wanting a headless system I could VNC into with a tablet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, wornish said:

Today, KStars and Ekos are certainly not experimental! and both work natively perfectly well on Windows 7, 8 and 10!  As well as Mac and Linux boxes.

Dave, maybe my use of the word experimental was not used in the correct context, I actually meant that I did not want to experiment too much with my setup which is currently KStars, EKOS / INDI on a RPi4.
I never meant to suggest KStars or EKOS were experimental.

I actually really love EKOS and having tries some other sequence software I do want to stick with it.
I love the way it is all presented, find it does all I want and is very easy to setup sequences and get going on a session.
I just I have had a few minor issues with crashes where KStars just shuts down. I also suffer with slow screen updates when using the planetarium over remote connections over WiFi, which I admit are more likely WiFi issues although the WiFi with a WiFi dongle is very good now.

I also have probably got a bit confused as just before I added to this thread I started a new thread about loading Ubuntu on a fairly high spec fanless PC I already had doing nothing to see how the same setup of KStars and EKOS worked on this PC compared to a RPi4 and see if it is worth swapping to the PC.
If no real increase in performance then I may as well sell the PC.
So my statement really meant I wanted to keep pretty much the same setup to do a direct comparison rather than experiment using Windows or some other setup, and I probably thought I was answering on my thread not yours giving us the heads up on a new release of KStars.

But in a way maybe not a bad thing as I was pretty much sure that EKOS / Indi did not really work on Windows so now interested to maybe later try that setup if is works well as although I admit Linux based OS's in their various flavors work well I just struggle with them and loading new programs via the Terminal so something on Windows would just be easier for me.

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I installed the latest version last night and all I got was pop up stating "not supported" when I tried to connect to EQASCOM, or set up an INDI service under windows.

If I follow this correctly, I need a Pi or a PC running Linux with INDI installed as a server.  Then on the Windows PC with the Windows version of KStars installed I have to RDC into the Pi for it to do all the work and then send data back to the PC.  IF that is the case then it's hardly an ideal solution.  

Does anyone know why the developers wrote / ported an application to run natively on a Windows platform, but not use the recognised ASCOM standard that was developed to do the same job INDI does on a Linux machine.  I remember raising this point when KStars was in its infancy, and it was suggested that it was just a matter of time... but here we are years later and nothing has changed.   IMO if a developer writes an application for one OS or another, then that program should work out of the box with any associated applications or equipment, and use the accepted standards such as ASCOM.  For me its like having a new car delivered only to find it has no engine.  All the lights and dials work but you can't go anywhere.

Dave, I look forward to some detail instruction on how to run KStars on my Windows 10 PC and communicate with EQMOD without the need for additional hardware... and if you have any links to the reasons ASCOM is not supported under the Windows version of Kstars that would be great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 18/09/2021 at 10:36, teoria_del_big_bang said:

I didn't think EKOS worked on Windows (or does it ?).

Yes, of course it does:)

We see many visitors struggle with SGP/NINA/stellarium and WHY. The simplicity and stability of Linux client-server comes as a breath of fresh air to many.

There seems to be a lot of confusion about what Kstars and EKOS do. Maybe some pictures?

Here is an INDI server controlling the hardware:

ss_1.png.2ca3401b344d82dfcb5b86a8d36a9ab1.png

And here is Kstars with EKOS communicating with it. On the same laptop sitting by the telescope if you really must. But then you've lost all the client server control-from-anywhere-with-Internet (or even just your warm dining room!) advantage.

ss_2.thumb.png.e95c86f0525bad8f59538bac8739c512.png

 

That's it. Installation takes around 5 minutes. There'as nothing else you need. No third party imaging program. No separate guide program. No separate planetarium. No anti-virus... It doesn't get much simpler:)

Cheers and HTH.

Edited by alacant
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, alacant said:

And here is Kstars with EKOS communicating with it. On the same laptop in a virtual machine sitting by the telescope if you really must.

Eek! You said 'yes it works in windows', then 'the simplicity of Linux', then 'Virtual machine' appeared in your answer...

There are many discussions about the different ways to set up kstars/Ekos (I am running it at the mount on an rpi4), but I think the question being asked at the moment is "can I connect my windows laptop to my astronomy gear (let's say at the mount to keep it simple) and *just* run windows with kstars/Ekos to control everything.?" 

Running the indi server on a Linux VM doesn't count as an answer to this question... 

Hope I'm not making things worse ūüėȬ†

Ady

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, adyj1 said:

and *just* run windows with kstars/Ekos to control everything.?"

Kstars EKOS runs on windows. Fact. It is a CLIENT.

23 minutes ago, adyj1 said:

can I connect my windows laptop to my astronomy gear

Yes.

 

23 minutes ago, adyj1 said:

and *just* run windows with kstars/Ekos to control everything.

No.

Note: you don't need a virtual machine. Another computer to act as the server (e.g. your rpi) is fine and to be recommended.

HTH

Edited by alacant
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 minutes ago, alacant said:

Yes, of course it does:)

We see many visitors struggle with SGP/NINA/stellarium and WHY. The simplicity and stability of Linux client-server comes as a breath of fresh air to many.

There seems to be a lot of confusion about what Kstars and EKOS do. Maybe some pictures?

And here is Kstars with EKOS communicating with it. On the same laptop sitting by the telescope if you really must. But then you've lost all the client server control-from-anywhere-with-Internet (or even just your warm dining room!) advantage.

That's it. Installation takes around 5 minutes. There'as nothing else you need. No third party imaging program. No separate guide program. No separate planetarium. No anti-virus... It doesn't get much simpler:)

Cheers and HTH.

Hi alacant, sorry again its probably my lack of knowledge and the way I refer to EKOS and INDI in my posts that is confusing those more adept with this software.
Once again I used the wrong wording and should have really said "I didn't think EKOS / INDI worked on Windows (or does it ?)." and to my understanding it is the INDI server part of it that has to run on a linux based OS computer.

I was aware I could run the KStars with EKOS on another Windows based computer and get that to control the INDI server on a RPi but I really want to keep the package on the remote computer at the mount, whether that be an RPi or small PC as I see that the most reliable setup.
Running the scheduler from a PC that the communicates with the remote PC running INDI means that if the link (in my case WiFI) fails then the session may end premeturely, whereas if I am just connecting with Teamviewer, Remote DT or whetever the imaging session carries on in a loss of communication.

Steve

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, teoria_del_big_bang said:

to my understanding it is the INDI server part of it that has to run on a linux based OS computer.

Hi

My poor explanation.

But yes. INDI, the bit which runs your mount and cameras etc. runs under Linux. 

I think it's maybe the client-server bit which is the most misunderstood. If you want just a single computer, then a Linux laptop at at the mount could be used to run both INDI and EKOS, the same as you would say ascom and SGP on windows.

For beginners, we use Ubuntu mini-pcs running INDI-EKOS at the mount to supply remote imaging. Our experience with teamviewer is largely unprintable on a family site; most take our advice and connect over VNC, A few understanding souls also learn the ssh tunnel so taking control into their own hands so we can get some sleep!

Cheers

 

Edited by alacant
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok to make things a little less techy and to explain the rational of a server based setup.

User A wants to run a cheap simple system on inexpensive computer hardware mounted on telescope/mount.

  • uses a Raspberry Pi/Mini PC running Linux
  • Installs Ekos/Indi (may be Astroberry or Stellarmate for ease)
  • Accesses the system via VNC (or app on Android/IOS) to remotely run system from PC/MAC/Linuxs system

User B wants similar but to use some software on local machine

  • uses a Raspberry Pi/Mini PC running Linux
  • Installs Ekos/Indi (may be Astroberry or Stellarmate for ease)
  • Runs Kstars and other Indi client software on local machine

The key here is the remote control.

  • Devices on the indi-server can be accessed/controlled remotely so no need to have all the drivers on the local computer.
  • Hardware running the indi-server can be cheap and less expensive to replace than a laptop/PC/Mac
  • Use can be made easy - just ask a happy ZWO Asiaair user (or Astroberry/Stellarmate devotees)

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve, the problem I'm having with all this is the all the work arounds revolve around having some linux capable box with all the hardware connected at the mount and then a second machine running windows or mac OS remoting into that box.  The difference being that the linux box can be just controlling the hardware, with the client (EKos/ KStars) running on the laptop, or the linux box runs everything and you use the laptop just for RDC...  This would be fine in an observatory / permeant pier set up, but not really practical in other situations.

Maybe I'm missing something, but to me one of two things really need addressing.  Either  the windows version of Ekos/KStars needs to be fully ASCOM compliant.  Or the guys behind INDI need to bring out INDI for Windows to give ASCOM some competition :)

I've already mentioned  linux is totally alien to me, and I've never used a Pi in my life, and there are others like me out there.  Heck some people are still unsure about changing port speeds in windows device manager, so how they would manage having to faff around with all this I don't know.  Which brings me back to the point I raised above, and that is if you are going to port an application over to another platform then it needs to support whatever is needed to give the application 100% compatibility, in this case it needs to support ASCOM.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, malc-c said:

Maybe I'm missing something

Hi

Could be. Maybe best simply to go along to an astro club meeting and see it being used.

A Linux INDI Kstars installation upon e.g. a laptop is exactly equivalent to the same running Windows ascom APT. It is limited neither to fixed observatories nor do you have to use remote desktop to manage it.

If you so wish, you could sit with a Linux laptop at the mount and control it in exactly the same way as you would with windows. Same cables, same hardware. Same everything. Apart from the operating system.

If you want ascom, either just use Windows or try Alpaca. I don't think though, there'll be much enthusiasm for a port of EKOS to connect to it.

Cheers

 

Edited by alacant
Translate es.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, malc-c said:

Which brings me back to the point I raised above, and that is if you are going to port an application over to another platform then it needs to support whatever is needed to give the application 100% compatibility, in this case it needs to support ASCOM.

I agree with what you've said and can see where you're coming from - apart from this last bit... 

We've 're-established' the baseline that Kstars/Ekos is separate from (but requires) an indi server. Kstars/Ekos is a client/server application in the finest tradition of unix client/server applications, in that the two are developed independently. You can run kstars/Ekos on a unix machine in the house, and the Indi server on a unix machine at the mount. 

When the kstars/Ekos team ported their application to windows, it caused a bit of confusion for those unfamiliar with this architecture (usually traditional windows users), who expected it all to work on windows. 

So to someone familiar with this sort of setup it is completely acceptable for the current situation to exist - kstars/Ekos runs on unix or windows, and it relies on an indi server which runs only on unix.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There used to be an indi server for Windows but that's no longer maintained.

The point missing about the  porting of Kstars is not to provide a Windows only solution, it's to allow people to buy a cheap (or expensive  - their choice) external server. If you already have a good Win computer you can use that for your client needs- if there was no Win port you'd need a non WIn computers locally as well as the remote one, or be limited to a VNC type session.

Indi drivers are mostly, as I understand, Ascom code reconfigured for Linux so you know that an Ascom device with an indi driver is compatible.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies, and I understand the client server logic....  and agree that if there was no need to run two computers then having a single machine running Linux / INDI and the linux versions of Kstars / Ecos would be logical.  I get what folk are saying, but no one has come back and explained why for someone wanting to use a single laptop / computer running windows, ASCOM is not supported by the Windows version of Kstars / Ekos.   Is it too complicated to write the code, is there a cost involved for DLLs or API's (or whatever) that the developer doesn't want to pay?  

Steve, I tried this JINDI thing when it was around, but as you say, all the 3rd party solutions have been dropped and are no longer available.  They were also from memory very clunky and a bit of a faff to get working.

Maybe I'm getting too wrapped up in this... but for me (as I stated  above) I can't see the point in porting an application to Windows and then handicap it buy effectively disabling  one main aspect of the application and that is equipment control.  Especially as us windows users tend to expect all the functionality to work right out of the box :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's more like me asking the Indi developers if I can have the KStars client on my PC indoors - which is easier as the drivers are all on the Linux server. Why would I want them to re-write drivers for Windows.

Asking Linux developers to make a Windows equivalent is a bit unfair since the other way around has not worked well.

I guess it would be a bigger support issue for the developers maintaining a Windows port of Indi. Even if an intermediate routine could run the same code on either Win or Linux it would be a lot more unpaid work required.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I personally love KStars/Indi/Ekos. I find the interface much easier than anything I've seen on Windows. I'm not sure I fully understand this thread, but if you just want a single Windows laptop connected to your kit, I guess NINA or APT is a better idea? 

I've used a VM before, but for £50, and as long as you can get a reliable network connection, I can't see any reason not to use a Pi as the INDI server, even if you sit next to it with a windows laptop.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, StevieDvd said:

intermediate routine could run the same code on either Win or Linux

If you want to give it a go, Ascom Remote/Alpaca tries to do this.

I'd venture however that it's of little or no interest to Linux users who've had native client-server from the outset.

Cheers

 

Edited by alacant
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
√ó
√ó
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.