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Linux and ASCOM

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#1 NigelS

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 01:03 PM

Does anyone know if the ASCOM platform is now available via the Ascom-x project? their yahoo group is invitation only, and im wanting to try to control the cg5 from linux as opposed to windows vista .. any help would be great :D

#2 JAT Observatory

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 02:31 PM

While there may be something else in the works the current 5.5 release is still for a Windows platform.

#3 Chris Rowland

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 05:05 PM

Post a message on ASCOM-Talk, I'm sure that Tim or Bob will invite you to join Ascom-X.

Chris

#4 rmollise

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 05:15 PM

Does anyone know if the ASCOM platform is now available via the Ascom-x project? their yahoo group is invitation only, and im wanting to try to control the cg5 from linux as opposed to windows vista .. any help would be great :D


I understand they've talked about this, but I don't believe it has gone farther than that.

#5 NigelS

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 05:25 PM

Thanks for the info guys, i'll drop a message on the ascom group and hope i can get at least a status of where they are at with Ascom-X .. failing that i'm stuck with windows :(

#6 rmollise

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 06:16 PM

Thanks for the info guys, i'll drop a message on the ascom group and hope i can get at least a status of where they are at with Ascom-X .. failing that i'm stuck with windows :(


Bummer...now you have to decide among all those zillions of great astro programs. :lol:

#7 groz

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 12:28 AM

Indi is the platform independant solution for telescope control, and on a linux box, the indi stuff will work with your cg-5 just fine. If you have Kstars installed, you can drive the scope from that via indi. Indi has a lot of other advantages over ascom, not the least of which, it actually works over network connections, without the need for remote desktop type kludges. Link here . Website is a bit dated, but if you check out the svn, there's support for a bunch more devices than it shows on the front page.

As for ascom-x, if you want a linux solution, dont waste your time. I joined that group a few years back, and, it's not about creating a platform independant way of doing things. It's about 'how to co-erce the dotnet way of doing things onto other platforms', something that wont work because of the inherent architectural flaws in the concept. that's why it's essentially a dead group. It's a bunch of windows centric folks, not interested in a non-windows solution, and only interested in how to do things the 'windows way', a concept that just doesn't work once you get out of the Visual Basic / Dotnet world. They have a strong tendancy to chase away the folks that actually do have cross platform experience, so, it's unlikely that discussion will ever result in something that works for end users.

#8 NigelS

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 09:40 AM

Thank you for the info Groz, i'll grab Indi and see how well i get on with it, i'm disappointed at the ascom group though, they had a great chance to get this truly X platform to! :(

#9 Arctic_Eddie

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 09:58 AM

It's good to see the Nexstar SE and the LX200 series on the Indi supported hardware list. When they add the Minitower I'm completely covered. I've got PCLinuxOS 2009 on one of my laptops and Ubuntu 9.10 on an Acer D150 netbook. The first laptop is a true dual boot from the HD. The Acer has Linux installed on a 16GB SDHC card. This laptop will boot directly from that card so the HD is left untouched. When Win-XP goes unsupported, I'm through with MS. It seems like the switch-over could be made now but the software variety is just not there yet. I have discovered that HNSky runs correctly through Wine and is easily installed through Wine-Doors.

#10 Arctic_Eddie

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 10:45 AM

I just installed the Indi packages into the PCL system along with Stellarium 0.10.2. They were all in the repository. I already had KStars installed. The HNSky program is only looking for Ascom and not Indi so nothing happens there. KStars found Indi and configures to ttyS1. I don't have a USB/Ser adapter plugged in yet so don't know how that's going to work out. Stellarium installed ok but won't run. It initializes ok but then terminates with no error window. The system log says segfault for both Stellarium and libQtCore. I have no clue as to how to fix that problem so will stick with KStars.

I've got the Acer booted up in U9.10 so will repeat the process on that machine.

#11 Arctic_Eddie

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 01:45 PM

I tried the same thing on the U9.10 system with no success. Indi was shown by itself with an associated library, libindi5. Installed this pair first which might be the problem I had later. I next installed KStars which had to include a huge list of KDE files. The libindi5 would not install as part of KStars because something else was in use. No amount of install, reinstall, or remove would work. I finally did a complete removal of KStars which solved the Indi problem, sort of. Indi is still there but the library file is gone. I'll leave it like it is for the time being. If you're going to install KStars then do not install Indi first. Let KStars install the Indi lib file so there's no conflict with something already there.

I also tried Stellarium. It installed ok and ran fine. The only thing I can't find is how to connect it to the telescope drivers. When I find that I may be able to solve the Indi problem.

So far I've discovered that KStars and Indi is likely to work on a KDE system but may not play right on a Gnome system like Ubuntu.

#12 llanitedave

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 10:28 PM

All of the KDE programs should work fine with GNOME if you've installed the required libraries. I know Kstars works that way.

#13 astrotrf

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 03:56 AM

As for ascom-x, if you want a linux solution, dont waste your time. I joined that group a few years back, and, it's not about creating a platform independant way of doing things. It's about 'how to co-erce the dotnet way of doing things onto other platforms', something that wont work because of the inherent architectural flaws in the concept. that's why it's essentially a dead group. It's a bunch of windows centric folks, not interested in a non-windows solution, and only interested in how to do things the 'windows way', a concept that just doesn't work once you get out of the Visual Basic / Dotnet world. They have a strong tendancy to chase away the folks that actually do have cross platform experience, so, it's unlikely that discussion will ever result in something that works for end users.


I was pretty active in ASCOM-X for a few months a while back, and, while groz's assessment is perhaps a bit harsh, there is some truth to it. How much of it was due to parochialism and how much of it was due to the simple fact that the current code base is VB, I really don't know.

What I *do* know is that, coming at the problem from a UNIX background, a lot of what was being discussed appeared weird, convoluted, and overly complex to me. My proposal to do things in a simpler, more straightforward way never received considered replies (not that I insist that my proposal was necessarily better, but it *was* different than what they were used to, and as such never seemed to receive any attention), even though the project was supposedly in a blue-sky design idea phase.

I'm not really sure how much "cross-platform" can really mean, anyway, in an environment where manufacturers write binary-only code for Windows to talk to their devices and don't release specs to enable someone else to write code for other systems.

#14 Arctic_Eddie

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 09:12 AM

I think the problem I had installing KStars on U9.10 was the order in which they were installed. I found Indi which required libindi. When I installed KStars it tried to install libindi again but it was locked by the Indi server. That was the only problem I had installing KStars and all the KDE files on U9.10. I eventually gave up though as I wanted to get the scope running on Linux and not spend a day fighting U9.10. I pulled the SD card out and put in my PCL2009. It hadn't been updated for over six months. There were 795 file updates and after about four hours it was finished with not even one hiccup. That speaks well of some Linux distros. The only problem I have left now is finding out how to address the USB/232 adapter from within KStars. The hardware manager sees the adapter but doesn't tell me what ttySx port it's assumed.

#15 NigelS

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 01:48 PM

Well i'm having a right battle here, i've installed Kubuntu on the laptop and kstars, using the version of libindi that comes with kstars seems like a dead end, i have the usb > rs232 adapter installed and recognised, btw if you install 1 of these adapters, run lsmod and check the module is loaded, probably pl2303 for a prolific adapter, and ch341 for a more generic adapter, they get added to /dev/ttyUSB0 .. but i dont get communication to the scope from the adapter, kstars just sits there trying to connect to the scope, i'm going to try installing the newer version of libindi to see if that helps .. what a knightmare!!

#16 llanitedave

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 04:40 PM

Nigel, have you registered a bug report with Kstars? https://bugs.kde.org/

I've found them to be pretty responsive.

#17 Arctic_Eddie

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 06:14 PM

I did find that the adapter was assigned to ttyUSB0 by running hwinfo in a terminal then examining the list until I found the device brand name. The problem now is that the Indi server cannot be contacted from KStars. The server appears to operate on a IP port on localhost. It starts with port 7278 then tries 7268. The only thing I can think of is that my firewall is blocking access. I have it set to stop all unsolicited incoming calls. I'm not sure if this applies to localhost and an inside call. I didn't have the scope plugged in so maybe Indi wouldn't respond to calls on it's port.

#18 NigelS

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 07:01 PM

Well then, after 4 hours of pulling my hair out, i did a complete reinstall of Kubuntu, and a fresh install of kstars from the apt repo.

I used the bundled version of indilib and it seems to be working now, i don't know why but it wouldn't work at all using the nexstar driver, but using the gps driver made it work, even though they both use the same physical driver file indi_celestron_gps.

What i have noticed though, and this maybe a solution, is that kstars doesnt always fire up the indiserver automatically as it should, i had to go into the devices section, manually start the service on the chosen driver, then go through the telescope wizard again and bingo it operates fine.

I'll be emailing the kstars devel list later on to see what the issue is, i hope this helps with your situation eddie.

BTW i did try it with stellarium, and after manually setting the config for telescope:TCP:localhost:7954:500000 all i get is a message in stellariums logs that the server disconnected, so i ran the indiserver in a seperate terminal with -vvv debug options and it's moaning about line 1 xml EOF issues, not sure what that's all about but i'll do more on it tomorrow, kstars is a good app, but i do prefer stellarium.

#19 Arctic_Eddie

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 07:31 PM

Ya, I'm tired of messing with mine also. Tomorrow I'll open the firewall to all incoming just to see if the Indi server can be reached. I'm safely behind a router firewall so the outside world will die at the doorstep.

#20 Arctic_Eddie

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 12:02 PM

I'm about to give up on Indi as I've run out of ideas. The server cannot be reached on any of it's port numbers using KStars. I connected the 6SE, confirmed the USB/232 adapter was seen, turned off the firewall, and still no luck. The same laptop can talk to the scope through HNSky and Ascom so I know the hardware is working. I haven't found a log file yet with any mention of Indi problems.

Any ideas?

#21 astrotrf

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 02:22 PM

Can you TELNET to the Indi server port successfully?

#22 NigelS

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 03:06 PM

Try terry's suggestion, and you can also try starting the indiserver manually instead of having kstars do it, not sure which method you're using, but try this in a terminal
indiserver -vv -p <port> <driver file>
for driver file i would suggest trying this one
indi_celestron_gps it should be located in /usr/bin or /usr/sbin .. also try running netstat when you have launched the indiserver to verify the port is actually open, let us know how you get on.

#23 Arctic_Eddie

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 04:03 PM

I server acts like it starts and listens on 7200 as requested. If I use the -vvv option it also says it's trying to talk on ttyS0 but my USB/232 adapter is on ttyUSB0. Also, netstat does not show this port as being open. How do you address the port with telnet? The help list doesn't do me much good.

#24 Arctic_Eddie

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 04:09 PM

I tried:

telnet open 127.0.0.1 7200 and get connection refused.

#25 NigelS

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 04:59 PM

Ok, something is definately very wrong, and i would rule out a firewall issue as you're only doing local connections, the firewall shouldnt effect that, i'll jump on the laptop and try to find a resolution for you, it WILL work .. 1 way or another lol ! :D


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