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Disaster! I don't know how to control my telescope at all! Ekos/INDI/Kstars/Astroberry/WiFi woes


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+ 1 for external WiFi Dongle and +1 for adequate power, and a big, flamboyant +1 for testing FIRST with ethernet cables.  The Pi uses a "printed on the PC board" antenna for default onboard WiFi.  Not ideal.  The only time I use the onboard WiFi is with a Compute Module 4 on an I/O board, and then I use an external antenna.  That has better range, and since the boxes for most I/O boards for the CM4 are all metal, you -must- use an external antenna.

The only thing I have used the stock onboard Pi WiFi for (without external antenna) that worked well was a setup where I used it to do the connection over WiFi to the mount WiFi hotspot.  It was able to manage the half-meter distance very reliably, and it reduced my need for USB cables by 1 on that rig. I used an additional WiFi dongle to communicate with my desktop via the home network.

 As an aside, since I brought it up indirectly, DO NOT try to use a mount's hotspot as a router to connect your Pi and your Laptop/Desktop.  It -will- work, but mount hotspots typically have dismal throughput and pushing images through that tiny pipe will not be pleasant.  They are designed to manage the minimal traffic involved with operating the mount. Speed or performance is not a requirement nor design consideration.

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Sadly the dongle isn't plug-and-play any more, perhaps they changed the chip inside of it at some point without changing the product listing (happens more than we'd like to think...)

I managed to get the driver installed now regardless. I'm going to see if it behaves itself tomorrow when I get home from work.

Thanks for your help guys : D

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just recently started using Astroberry,  KStars and Ekos  with my NexStar 102SLT and Canon 700D. I run the INDI servers on the RBPi (Model 3B), and run KStars/Ekos on a Kubuntu 20.04 laptop (i3 with 4MB RAM). While I haven't tried platesolving yet, the rest seems to work very smoothly.  As Kstars is a KDE application, I think it might work better on Kubuntu (vs RBPi Windows Manager or regular Ubuntu - this latter on which I have had some issues with UI elements not displaying properly). I am thinking of trying to run the INDI server on a headless RBPi as I don't intend to run the other software that comes with Astroberry on it.

Best!

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1 hour ago, beka said:

run the INDI servers on the RBPi (Model 3B), and run KStars/Ekos on a Kubuntu 20.04 laptop

The problem that I had with this configuration was that if I lost (wifi) connection between the server and the client, my imaging session would crash. Because of this I now run everything on a RPi4 and connect to the linux desktop with MS RDP. If I lose the connection, my session happily continues. Platesolving never takes more than 2-5 seconds with the newest StellarSolver.

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I definitely feel the pain of the OP - been there too. Took an age to get everything running via EKOS/INDI. A combination of the latest version (with the stellarsolver), plus wired connections for everything, and decent power supplies all helps. And practicing in the daylight! Oddball slews running off in the wrong direction (and then hitting the software limits) used to be my pet peeve, eventually solved once I'd fixed the home/parking "definition"... 

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I changed my setup to use an ethernet cable connection and it made a huge difference. WiFi even with dongles still had drop outs and caused all sorts of issues.

 

One thing you can do is set up an Ekos profile to use the simulators and then you can practice the plate solving and get to know Ekos in the warm in the daylight.  Make sure you load the GSC file first or their won't be any stars showing.

The internal platesoving StellarSolver2 that comes with the latest stable version 3.5.8 works much quicker than others. Need to make sure you have all the required library files installed or it won't work. 

 

Edited by wornish
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On 30/03/2022 at 12:54, beka said:

 As Kstars is a KDE application, I think it might work better on Kubuntu (vs RBPi Windows Manager or regular Ubuntu - this latter on which I have had some issues with UI elements not displaying properly). I am thinking of trying to run the INDI server on a headless RBPi as I don't intend to run the other software that comes with Astroberry on it.

Best!

I run Kstars on Linux Mint, with Xfce or Mate as desktop environments. Everything works and looks just fine, it's just a matter of installing the proper icon themes. I'm hesitant to run any Ubuntu flavour on mission-critical machines, especially with KDE on the desktop. Mint is buildt on the Long-Term-Support version of Ubuntu, and is refined a bit further, to offer even better stability. Xfce and Mate are much leaner then KDE as desktop environments, and thereby more stable and resource-friendly. Will probably get some whining on this issue, but I stand my ground.

The latest Debian Testing (Bookworm) has the complete set of INDI drivers in their repo. On the next crossroad, I'll most likely switch, as I use Debian everywhere else.

Edited by Rallemikken
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5 hours ago, Rallemikken said:

I run Kstars on Linux Mint, with Xfce or Mate as desktop environments. Everything works and looks just fine, it's just a matter of installing the proper icon themes. I'm hesitant to run any Ubuntu flavour on mission-critical machines, especially with KDE on the desktop. Mint is buildt on the Long-Term-Support version of Ubuntu, and is refined a bit further, to offer even better stability. Xfce and Mate are much leaner then KDE as desktop environments, and thereby more stable and resource-friendly. Will probably get some whining on this issue, but I stand my ground.

The latest Debian Testing (Bookworm) has the complete set of INDI drivers in their repo. On the next crossroad, I'll most likely switch, as I use Debian everywhere else.

I actually only use KDE only on the laptop I use for doing astrophotography. I also favour leaner and more stable desktops for work. I have been trying MX which is also based on Debian, but my workhorse for the last decade has been XMonad on the latest long term support Ubuntu available at the time. I have tried many other desktops but nothing seems to be as rock solid as XMonad. Probably wrong place to discuss this 😏...

Edited by beka
typo
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12 hours ago, beka said:

Probably wrong place to discuss this 😏...

So be it! Those tiling wm's is prolly a little to hard-core for this audience. Have to moderate my last post, on closer look a lot of indi-drivers are lacking in Debian testing. Those I need are present, but many are lacking. Maybe they'll turn up. Should wish someone could maintain a complete Debian/MX/Ubuntu/Mint indi-repo that you could add with a line in /etc/apt/sources.list. With the ppa-way-of-doing you are exluding Debian and MX.

You mentioned Astroberry and headless pi indi-server: I installed a minimal RaspberryOS (which is Debian based) on a Pi3 B+ and connected the Astroberry repo with the indi drivers in the /etc/apt/sources.list. I got excellent performance: Max ram usage never over 152 mb, and max cpu-usage never over 7,1% while operating my Canon 600D. The bottleneck will be transfer speed of your images. The wifi on this board is capable of 10mb/sec.

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12 hours ago, Rallemikken said:

I installed a minimal RaspberryOS...

Do you mean the Raspberry Pi OS Lite, or the one with the Desktop, and did you need to add the Astroberry repo to operate the 600D?

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2 hours ago, beka said:

Do you mean the Raspberry Pi OS Lite, or the one with the Desktop, and did you need to add the Astroberry repo to operate the 600D?

2021-10-30-raspios-bullseye-armhf-lite.zip  --  Headless.  On the Astroberry website you find instructions on how to add their repo: https://www.astroberry.io/docs/index.php?title=Astroberry_Server#Configuration

Their repo is based on Buster, and I pulled in some packages from there. Take a look at http://www.agle.no/astro/kommeigang.html

In norwegian, but it should give you a few clues. Maybe simpler to use a buster raspios image......... 

http://www.cs.tohoku-gakuin.ac.jp/pub/Linux/RaspBerryPi/2021-12-02-raspios-buster-armhf-lite.zip

????????  

Edited by Rallemikken
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2 hours ago, Rallemikken said:

2021-10-30-raspios-bullseye-armhf-lite.zip  --  Headless.  On the Astroberry website you find instructions on how to add their repo: https://www.astroberry.io/docs/index.php?title=Astroberry_Server#Configuration

Their repo is based on Buster, and I pulled in some packages from there. Take a look at http://www.agle.no/astro/kommeigang.html

In norwegian, but it should give you a few clues. Maybe simpler to use a buster raspios image......... 

http://www.cs.tohoku-gakuin.ac.jp/pub/Linux/RaspBerryPi/2021-12-02-raspios-buster-armhf-lite.zip

????????  

Thanks , will look into it.

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