Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Stellarium direct ASCOM Support Testers wanted

  • Please log in to reply
154 replies to this topic

#26 gionk

gionk

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 111
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2019

Posted 13 October 2019 - 07:49 AM

Scope connects,slew to, sync and abort all work using my Takahashi Temma 2 with Chucks Temma ASCOM driver!

When I closed Stellarium the ASCOM driver remained open, shouldn't the driver close with Stellarium?

THANK YOU!!!

Thanks again @Iver for this report. I was researching a bit more, and now I'm disposing the ASCOM objects completely after disconnect which results in the ASCOM Telescope control window to be closed immediately. The fix is already in my code branch but I'll wait with a new release since this is not critical.


  • beammeup, Bob Denny and RVVCUDA like this

#27 Bob Denny

Bob Denny

    Vendor (DC-3 Dreams)

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 335
  • Joined: 17 Mar 2009
  • Loc: Mesa AZ USA

Posted 13 October 2019 - 11:57 AM

 

What was still unclear to me was that all API's seem to expect that I already know the device no on the server. Isn't there a call similar to the ASCOM Chooser, in order to list all available devices on a server first?

The Alpaca "discovery" protocol has been under development over the summer, thanks to Daniel Van Noord and others. After today's ASCOM Core Group meeting I expect it to go up for Request for Comment on the ASCOM Developer's Group. It is extremely lightweight, and has been implemented on several tiny processors, e.g., ESP8266, NodeMCU, Huzzah, Arduino MKR 1010, straight C on Ubuntu and Raspbian, .NET Core (cross platform), Python. Unsure how to create a common "chooser" for applications cross platform with the plethora of distros and GUI kits. It may be left to the app developer how to display the list of discovered devices and allow selection. One step at a time, and this was a huge one.

 

Meanwhile yes you need the IP address and port. This is not mysterious for many people, just inconvenient.


Edited by Bob Denny, 13 October 2019 - 11:58 AM.


#28 NameOfTheDragon

NameOfTheDragon

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: 13 Oct 2019

Posted 13 October 2019 - 03:42 PM

 

If you'd like to test my Stellarium build with ASCOM support, just download the 64bit installer available here: https://drive.google...Pi7?usp=sharing

 

 

Hi @montejw360

 

Thanks for taking the time to run a test! What do you mean by readout? Did you compare RA / DEC from your mount with the coordinates seen in Stellarium? Or did you platesolve and got the numbers from there? Could that be also just a pointing accuracy thing of the mount itself and if you did a second slew, it was better?

 

Cheers

Gion

 

Hi

 

After I've installed my Astro Imaging software on my new imaging computer, I was getting tired of the missing ASCOM support within Stellarium and looked for alternatives. Stellarium Scope always felt wrong in my opinion and it is just an additional source for errors within the already complicated software stack for image acquisition.

 

There are alternatives to Stellarium, but to be honest, Stellarium is just the most beautiful of the planetarium software, and I tend to have a crush for beautiful things :-)

 

Being a developer my-self, I decided to talk to the maintainers of Stellarium and started to develop on the necessary changes to enable direct ASCOM support within Stellarium. I now have a first sneak peek version and some enthusiastic ASCOM users could get there hands dirty. Since there are so many ASCOM scopes, I think it's crucial to collect as much feedback as possible and therefore I decided to write this post, before my changes go into the official beta Version of Stellarium.

 

If you'd like to test my Stellarium build with ASCOM support, just download the 64bit installer available here: https://drive.google...Pi7?usp=sharing

 

DISCLAIMER:

 

I've just recently started to contribute to the Open Source Software Stellarium and this build is not official yet. I've performed some substantial changes to the official version and build the code on my local machine. If you install this build of Stellarium, you need to be aware of that. 

 

Changes in a nutshell

My changes are very simple, just configure a new telescope in the telescope control plugin and select ASCOM. Within the configuration section, click the "Choose ASCOM Telescope" and the ASCOM Telescope chooser is shown which allows you to select the desired driver.

 

There are also new shortcuts available in Stellarium which more or less reflect the functionality added by StellariumScope:

<ctrl> + # = slew telescope number # to selected object (as before)

<ctrl> + <shift> + # = issue a sync of telescope # to the selected object

<ctrl> + <shift> + <alt> + # = Abort the last slew action of telescope number #

 

 

Help me to improve the quality of this change

 

There are a lot of ASCOM compatible mounts / telescopes on the market and I'd like to gather as much feedback as possible. Please report any issues you discover here in this thread. I'll then collect the feedback and feed it back into the development process.

 

 

Cheers

Gion

Thanks for taking this on, Gion. This is something that's been long missing from Stellarium and which has really prevented me from using it much. There have been various attempts and external solutions but this is clean and simple. Nice job.

 

I'm testing it right now using the ASCOM Remote tools, to connect across the Internet to my remote observatory, which is using the AWR Intelligent Drive System (retrofitted to a Meade LX-200 Classic). The observatory uses ACP Expert Scheduler so it is robotic and autonomous, but this lets me keep an eye on what the telescope is doing in real time.

 

I don't really need to control the telescope at all, just observe it. What would be nice is a way to keep Stellarium's view centered on the telescope. Maybe there's already a way to do that - but as I said I don't know Stellarium all that well. Do you know if there's a setting for that? Or - is it something you could add maybe?

 

I like to live-stream what the observatory is doing and at the moment I use Cartes-du-Ciel to show where the telescope is pointing in context, because CdC moves the view around to follow the scope. I can't currently find a way to get Stellarium to do that, otherwise I'd switch over to it.

 

I see Bob has already plugged ASCOM Alpaca. I would just add to Bob's comments that quick adoption of Alpaca would put Stellarium in a very strong position as one of the best cross-platform applications. I really hope you consider having a go at adding Alpaca support.

 

Best regards,

Tim Long



#29 HxPI

HxPI

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,845
  • Joined: 05 Sep 2013
  • Loc: Virginia Beach, VA

Posted 13 October 2019 - 04:43 PM

 

If you'd like to test my Stellarium build with ASCOM support, just download the 64bit installer available here: https://drive.google...Pi7?usp=sharing

 

 

 

Thanks for taking this on, Gion. This is something that's been long missing from Stellarium and which has really prevented me from using it much. There have been various attempts and external solutions but this is clean and simple. Nice job.

 

I'm testing it right now using the ASCOM Remote tools, to connect across the Internet to my remote observatory, which is using the AWR Intelligent Drive System (retrofitted to a Meade LX-200 Classic). The observatory uses ACP Expert Scheduler so it is robotic and autonomous, but this lets me keep an eye on what the telescope is doing in real time.

 

I don't really need to control the telescope at all, just observe it. What would be nice is a way to keep Stellarium's view centered on the telescope. Maybe there's already a way to do that - but as I said I don't know Stellarium all that well. Do you know if there's a setting for that? Or - is it something you could add maybe?

 

I like to live-stream what the observatory is doing and at the moment I use Cartes-du-Ciel to show where the telescope is pointing in context, because CdC moves the view around to follow the scope. I can't currently find a way to get Stellarium to do that, otherwise I'd switch over to it.

 

I see Bob has already plugged ASCOM Alpaca. I would just add to Bob's comments that quick adoption of Alpaca would put Stellarium in a very strong position as one of the best cross-platform applications. I really hope you consider having a go at adding Alpaca support.

 

Best regards,

Tim Long

I think you can select the telescope crosshair and center on that.



#30 montejw360

montejw360

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 36
  • Joined: 02 Sep 2019

Posted 13 October 2019 - 08:41 PM

Hi @montejw360

 

Thanks for taking the time to run a test! What do you mean by readout? Did you compare RA / DEC from your mount with the coordinates seen in Stellarium? Or did you platesolve and got the numbers from there? Could that be also just a pointing accuracy thing of the mount itself and if you did a second slew, it was better?

 

Cheers

Gion

Gion,

There is (what I think) a display in both programs (CPWI, Stellarium) that shows the RA and DEC for the object being tracked. That's what I think I am looking at. There is a slight difference between them. I may be wrong, it's just something I noticed. I may take a screenshot at some point. I'm a newb at all this, so take it with that in mind.


  • gionk likes this

#31 mikenoname

mikenoname

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,025
  • Joined: 29 Jan 2015
  • Loc: Death Valley Region (Bortle 2 - SQM 21.9+)

Posted 13 October 2019 - 11:45 PM

Gion,

 

As I write this, I am sitting out with my Celestron SLT running your new build right now and it runs perfectly! Slews, Syncs and Aborts all work without a hitch and no StellariumScope to be found. Great work!

 

And thanks so much for your work on this!

 

Mike


Edited by mikenoname, 14 October 2019 - 12:09 AM.

  • Guest7564635 and gionk like this

#32 Xeroid

Xeroid

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,376
  • Joined: 21 Sep 2013
  • Loc: USA

Posted 15 October 2019 - 11:46 AM

My initial indoor test of your "Stellarium direct ASCOM" to my iOptron AZMP Pro mount- SUCCESS!!

 

I use two different methods to connect and control the AZMP mount:

1. Direct Mount Serial-to-USB PC COM port (Window 10 Home)

2. Wifi From PC- Celestron SkyLink re-director- Raspberry Pi 3 B- USB - AZMP Pro

 

Note: Raspberry Pi 3 has better Wifi and I use add-on re-director software: Ser2Net to receive/send net data via USB port

 

Both methods connected, did a simple on star alignment and Stellarium show this:

 

 

BRAVO! Well Done! bow.gif 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Stellarum_Arcturus_COM3.JPG

Edited by Xeroid, 15 October 2019 - 11:47 AM.

  • gionk likes this

#33 Whichwayisnorth

Whichwayisnorth

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,348
  • Joined: 04 Jul 2011
  • Loc: Southern California

Posted 15 October 2019 - 02:27 PM

For some reason the developers of Stellarium have always ignored ASCOM and if anyone called them out on it the canned response was always "do it yourself".  Well I am glad someone came along and "did it themselves".  Excellent job!  

 

Tested on my end.  Connects just fine. :)


Edited by Whichwayisnorth, 15 October 2019 - 02:31 PM.

  • gionk likes this

#34 PatrickVt

PatrickVt

    Viking 1

  • ****-
  • Posts: 987
  • Joined: 20 Apr 2018
  • Loc: Vermont, US

Posted 16 October 2019 - 08:38 AM

Out of curiosity, when and how will this version of Stellarium be made available to everyone?  Or, is this just some sort of add-on and this is the way it will be available to use with all future versions of Stellarium?

 

Patrick  



#35 Whichwayisnorth

Whichwayisnorth

    Gemini

  • *****
  • Posts: 3,348
  • Joined: 04 Jul 2011
  • Loc: Southern California

Posted 16 October 2019 - 11:12 AM

Out of curiosity, when and how will this version of Stellarium be made available to everyone?  Or, is this just some sort of add-on and this is the way it will be available to use with all future versions of Stellarium?

 

Patrick  

I think it just needs a lot of testers to confirm no glitches and it will become part of the official beta release and then eventually the official release.

 

AlphaTest -> Beta -> Official.

^^^^^^

^We are here


Edited by Whichwayisnorth, 16 October 2019 - 11:12 AM.

  • PatrickVt likes this

#36 gionk

gionk

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 111
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2019

Posted 16 October 2019 - 11:44 AM

Yes, we still need to test a few things and then there's some documentation that needs to be updated. After that, there's nothing holding it back from entering the main branch which is available as beta version.


  • Alexander Wolf, PatrickVt and starbuckin like this

#37 PatrickVt

PatrickVt

    Viking 1

  • ****-
  • Posts: 987
  • Joined: 20 Apr 2018
  • Loc: Vermont, US

Posted 16 October 2019 - 08:34 PM

Thanks for the info, gionk.  I just wasn't sure if this was a "do it yourself" type of one time separate thing or if the plan was to eventually incorporate it into the mainstream program.  Thanks again.

 

Patrick



#38 gzotti

gzotti

    Stellarium

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 108
  • Joined: 20 Mar 2017
  • Loc: Vienna, Austria

Posted 18 October 2019 - 03:44 AM

Gion is finally the user who "does it himself", and we of course are happy to receive integrated ASCOM support that promises to be better than what was already available by external programs like StellariumScope. Just that none of the current core team has a personal need for ASCOM, running their telescopes with other connection types or even on non-Windows operating systems. Worse, we don't have your latest equipment (WiFi telescopes, etc) to test all kinds of connections, so we are now in the early public testing phase and Gion can use your input well. He gave a download URL above. Use it, stress it, break it, and tell Gion how it broke.   Or just say thanks to him.  It looks very good so far, and we hope to have it available in the next official release around Winter solstice, and betas at least a few weeks before that.

 

Open-source software done by volunteers in (mostly) their spare time (what could have been observing time...) usually grows where a user/developer (core team or external contributor) has own ideas and requirements what the software should include, and does not just report "wanna have/me too", but actually writes the code to do it. And there is still room for improvement way beyond ASCOM support.


  • RVVCUDA likes this

#39 mtc

mtc

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 518
  • Joined: 04 Apr 2005
  • Loc: Bortle 6, MA

Posted 18 October 2019 - 10:00 AM

Woot - this 'just works'! waytogo.gif

 

Select 'ASCOM' in the Telescope Control plugin, give it a name, click 'JNOW' & 'start/connect at startup'. ASCOM settings set to 'Let ASCOM decide'. Press OK.

 

It took me longer to remember how to reset my keyboard shortcuts than it was for this to just work. I unmapped the default mappings I wanted to use (ctrl-1,ctrl-3 and ctrl-5) and then set them to move/slew, sync, abort/cancel respectively.

 

Mount is EQMOD ASCOM HEQ5/6

StellariumASCOMBranch1-2.jpg

Thanks for your integration efforts with this!

 


Edited by mtc, 18 October 2019 - 10:20 AM.


#40 Bob Denny

Bob Denny

    Vendor (DC-3 Dreams)

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 335
  • Joined: 17 Mar 2009
  • Loc: Mesa AZ USA

Posted 18 October 2019 - 10:07 AM

Just that none of the current core team has a personal need for ASCOM, running their telescopes with other connection types or even on non-Windows operating systems. Worse, we don't have your latest equipment (WiFi telescopes, etc) to test all kinds of connections


The good thing about ASCOM is that, as an app developer, you don’t need any “latest equipment” and you don’t care about WiFi, Serial, Ethernet, or what protocol and data flows across these connections. You make the standard calls and read the standard properties. You don’t care about any of that. Same with “old equipment” you might not have, right? No problem.

For non-windows, you may want to look at ASCOM Alpaca where the standard calls are on (internet) REST endpoints instead of the COM system in Windows. There is a 2-way gateway on Windows so your Linux or Mac Stellarium could use Windows-ASCOM devices like Planewave PWI or Astro-Physics Command Center. Of course you have direct access to Alpaca-capable devices like the Optec FocusLynx. More are on the way. Cartes du Ciel and HNSky already support ASCOM Alpaca. For developer info see

https://ascom-standa...oper/Alpaca.htm

#41 gzotti

gzotti

    Stellarium

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 108
  • Joined: 20 Mar 2017
  • Loc: Vienna, Austria

Posted 18 October 2019 - 10:42 AM

Yes, we are open to and looking forward to receiving also Alpaca support (this sounds really interesting) from somebody who develops it because of his/her personal requirements (so there will be some intensive testing made with at least one piece of real equipment), or who takes the challenge just because it can be done.


  • RVVCUDA likes this

#42 mtc

mtc

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 518
  • Joined: 04 Apr 2005
  • Loc: Bortle 6, MA

Posted 18 October 2019 - 11:16 AM

On the topic of keyboard shortcuts...I edited them to provide the keyboard mapping I have accustomed to.

Since I have only 1 scope/1 mount, this is what I did:

 

In this build of Stellarium

click on the "?" icon to bring up the help menu,

click 'edit keyboard shortcuts'

 

scroll down to the 'Telescope Control' section,

click on each item and press the 'delete icon' and 'apply' to clear the mapping (I kept the 'Move telescope' Ctrl-0 & Ctrl-1)

(I only have 1 mount/scope, so I can free up the mappings and use them elsewhere)

Stellarium-KB-before-2.jpg

Then I selected the 1st item in 'Abort' and pressed Ctrl5 and 'Apply'

Stellarium-KB-moveAbort-2.jpg

Then I choose the 1st item in Snyc and pressed Ctrl3 and 'Apply'

Stellarium-KB-sync-2.jpg

 

Lastly, I reopened the 'configuration window' and pressed 'Save Settings' waytogo.gif

 

 


  • Xeroid likes this

#43 cmooney91

cmooney91

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 450
  • Joined: 18 Sep 2017
  • Loc: Massachusetts

Posted 25 October 2019 - 06:33 AM

Seems to work well with my OnStep mount controller.

 

Thank you so much!!



#44 shorty123

shorty123

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 33
  • Joined: 21 May 2014

Posted 28 October 2019 - 05:46 PM

Stupid question, but could I run a sequence in SGpro and have stellarium tracking my EQ6?



#45 mikenoname

mikenoname

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,025
  • Joined: 29 Jan 2015
  • Loc: Death Valley Region (Bortle 2 - SQM 21.9+)

Posted 29 October 2019 - 12:08 AM

I have used it over several sessions now with my SLT and haven't experienced a single issue.



#46 jcpatrick51953

jcpatrick51953

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: 03 Nov 2019

Posted 03 November 2019 - 01:31 PM

Everything works for me. ctrl-1, ctrl-shift-1, and ctrl-shift-alt-1.

 

Celestron EdgeHD 8 OTA # 12096
     NexStar Evolution alt-az go-to w/wifi 10/2019
     StarSense Autoalign camera # 94005 10/2019
CFM firmware updates 10/2019
CPWI 11/2019
Stellarium 10/2019
1. added ASCOM Platform 6.4SP1 11/2019
2. reinstalled CPWI 11/2019 per Stellarium/ASCOM error message

 

I'm new to amateur astronomy - 2 months. New to telescopes - 3 weeks. Had to learn about CPWI and ASCOM. Agree totally that Stellarium rocks.

 

Thanks very much for adding this interface. Just learning about the culture, in between learning hardware, software, and of course the sky! Live in Albuquerque, 5,300 ft, clear skies most days and nights, decent viewing in my back yard, seriously dark skies 30 minutes away, active club. Pretty easy to have serious fun.



#47 gionk

gionk

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 111
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2019

Posted 03 November 2019 - 04:49 PM

Everything works for me. ctrl-1, ctrl-shift-1, and ctrl-shift-alt-1.

 

Celestron EdgeHD 8 OTA # 12096
     NexStar Evolution alt-az go-to w/wifi 10/2019
     StarSense Autoalign camera # 94005 10/2019
CFM firmware updates 10/2019
CPWI 11/2019
Stellarium 10/2019
1. added ASCOM Platform 6.4SP1 11/2019
2. reinstalled CPWI 11/2019 per Stellarium/ASCOM error message

 

I'm new to amateur astronomy - 2 months. New to telescopes - 3 weeks. Had to learn about CPWI and ASCOM. Agree totally that Stellarium rocks.

 

Thanks very much for adding this interface. Just learning about the culture, in between learning hardware, software, and of course the sky! Live in Albuquerque, 5,300 ft, clear skies most days and nights, decent viewing in my back yard, seriously dark skies 30 minutes away, active club. Pretty easy to have serious fun.

I envy you... Here in Switzerland, we have clouds all over the last 5 weeks :-( There was one clearish night, with 99% humidity ;-)

 

Great to hear it was working out for you!



#48 gionk

gionk

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 111
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2019

Posted 03 November 2019 - 04:50 PM

I have used it over several sessions now with my SLT and haven't experienced a single issue.

Good to hear such reports! Consistency and robustness is crucial in this hobby. I was also able to run the build in a 4 hours session and last weekend the whole night, without any issues.


  • RVVCUDA and mikenoname like this

#49 Forward Scatter

Forward Scatter

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,345
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2018
  • Loc: Wandering the PNW

Posted 03 November 2019 - 08:10 PM

Gion, 

Your plugin has worked almost flawlessly with my AVX thru either CPWI or the Celestron Scope Control without any fuss right out of the box.

The only issue I've run across is Stellarium initializing then closing/crashing if the check box for the "start at startup" box of the scope control plugin is checked already without a scope connected first. Then I have to change the configure.ini line for scope control from "true" to "false" and then restart if I want to play around without a scope. Very minor.

 

Again, many kudos and praise your way for your direct ASCOM support plugin!!!!

Made things way simpler.

 

cheers!


  • cmooney91 likes this

#50 wrnchhead

wrnchhead

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,961
  • Joined: 28 Aug 2017
  • Loc: NE Kansas

Posted 03 November 2019 - 08:22 PM

I have been using this for weeks now, it’s one of those things that works so well, I forget that it used to be the old way.
  • mikenoname and Forward Scatter like this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics