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BYN with INDI Server


bkcarter333
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The INDI environment has expanded to include Windows, so being a .NET Program does not necessarily set a barrier for BYE/BYN.

However, BYE/BYN neither provides an ASCOM Output Interface such as would allow the Image Data to be streamed to an INDI Device or to allow BYE to be Controlled Remotely via an INDI Interface.

Nor does BYE/BYN have the ability to manage an ASCOM Camera such as could be augmented with INDI support to allow BYE to be that Remote Controller.

These have simply not been the uses which Guylain has designed BYE/BYN to fill.  Instead, users have had great success using their choice of Remote Control Software to manage BYE running at a Mount-side PC (or in some cases found USB2-to-Ethernet Extension Cables to move the BYE PC into the House).

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Ok, good to know. I had hoped I would be able to continue to use BYN, however, like many in the field I am transitioning away from the mount side PC laptop, to a smaller form device like a Raspberry Pi, running INDI. The advantages are many including a highly reduced power need at the mount, wireless support, compact size, shorter wires, and much less cost. It's also easy to carry a spare RPi into the field if desired. I had hoped to avoid the learning curve of another package like EKOS, but that sounds like it will be a requirement for my transition.  Thanks for the info.

 

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7 hours ago, bkcarter333 said:

Ok, good to know. I had hoped I would be able to continue to use BYN, however, like many in the field I am transitioning away from the mount side PC laptop, to a smaller form device like a Raspberry Pi, running INDI. The advantages are many including a highly reduced power need at the mount, wireless support, compact size, shorter wires, and much less cost. It's also easy to carry a spare RPi into the field if desired. I had hoped to avoid the learning curve of another package like EKOS, but that sounds like it will be a requirement for my transition.  Thanks for the info.

 

There are so many PC sticks nowadays and a lot of small fanless PCs that this statement is no longer true.  Windows PC also comes if small factor.

I use the "ZOTAC ZBOX-PI331-P-U".

https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856173133&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleAdwordsCA&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleAdwordsCA-_-DSA-_-CategoryPages-_-NA&gclid=CjwKCAiArOnUBRBJEiwAX0rG_bBNpZeg8IWNiaW-C7tWKPO8K-5GRdRlG5XyKLQFJ9ogC2H4UH811hoC-p8QAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Regards

56-173-133-04.jpg56-173-133-08.jpg

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Yes, there are, however I can purchase 5 Raspberry Pi for the price of one of those machines. I didn't come to argue the point. I simply asked a question and made an observation.

I purchased a license of BYN several months ago. Wish I'd have known then, what I know now.

 

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7 hours ago, bkcarter333 said:

I purchased a license of BYN several months ago. Wish I'd have known then, what I know now.

Well, at least you have one AP Imaging Product which you KNOW will Work.  So, you can still do some AP Imaging while you are working out all the kinks in a combo like Linux-Ekos-Indi...

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Wow, such  bitterness! You’re not helping your cause much. I WISH what you state were true. It’s great to be in the middle of a capture session and have BYN drop the connection to the camera! I had hoped that connecting through INDI would help with that since BYN no longer had to maintain that connection. Guess not!

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Okay, let's play nice please.  It's hard to read emotions in online conversation sometimes :(

In any case, I have no plan to officially support INDI unless it magically works as-is with the Nikon SDK and .Net.

@bkcarter333 I'm sorry if my post regarding the Zotac was construed as arguing your point... it was not my intentions.  It was just my way of saying that support for INDI is not in my current plans.  But plans do change sometimes so although I have no immediate plans it would be foolish of me saying it will never be supported.  Hope this makes sense.

Regards.

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Sorry, I will be nice. :) 

Let me explain my situation, not because it is right, or correct, or that anyone else does it like me, but it might be worth something to you if you know what angle I am coming from.

I have been doing AP for about 3 years now. I have finally been able to get some equipment, although not high end stuff, that hopefully will get me to the next level.

I currently have an old laptop running Windows that I use to control the mount (Stellarium), guiding (PHD2), and capture (BYN).

On any given night, I run into challenges getting all of the different software packages, and all of their associated connection to play nice together. This cuts into my imaging time and is frustrating to me.
The easiest solution is to replace the laptop. It is an older model, and I'm sure that leads to some of the issues. It also costs money that I would rather spend on other equipment.

So I went looking for solutions. I am quite familiar with Windows, Linux, Mac, and the Raspberry Pi (been a network engineer for 30+ years), and have done many projects with it. 
I found the INDI project for the RPi, and it intrigued me, so I pulled out a spare RPi and started playing with it.

There is a learning curve for certain, but the connections to the equipment were much more reliable than on the Windows box. I connected Stellarium to INDI without issue, and I connected PHD2 to INDI without too much problem. It took a little tweaking, but once working, it works well.

At that point, I started looking into BYN and if it could connect. I didn't find any references to it, so I posted the question here.

The INDI connection to the equipment is so much more stable on the other two packages, that I am left with a problem. I don't want to have multiple computer devices at the scope, plus I don't want to spend the $$$ on a new laptop if I don't have to.
That leaves me at a decision point about using BYN, EKOS,  or some other option that I am unaware of yet. Both BYN and EKOS have their pros and cons. BYN is a great package, no doubt there. EKOS has some added functionality like Mosaics since it can communicate to the mount control. One is not better than the other, just different approaches.

With all of this said, it appears that for now, my only choice is to go with something else that supports INDI, but I will continue to watch to see if BYN supports INDI one day. I can only hope that is does, but I may be standing on my own in that hope.
I really appreciate the feedback, and in no way wanted to come across as nasty. My apologies for that.

Bryan
 

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Bryan,

Good luck with your approach.

I worked in IT for 40 years before retiring a few years ago.  I have not seen your issues with software and devices not playing nicely together. I use a variety of different equipment and software and have not had many issues with program errors, connection errors or device errors.

The cameras that I use are a Canon T5i, QSI 583, QHY 10, or a ZWO ASI-174, with either an SBIG STi or Starlight Xpress Lodestar for guiding. My mounts are Celestron and Astro-Physics. My focusers are MoonLite. For software, I use a camera control program (BYE or a program of my own design for my non-DSLR cameras). In addition I typically have Sky Tools 3 running and connected to my mount, a .NET version of AstroTortilla that I wrote from looking at the Python code for plate solving, and PHD2 for autoguiding. These programs all run at the same time on my quad-core i7 laptop. They all work side-by-side. The devices all connect to an onboard USB hub so I have one cable running to the computer from the mount.

I don't know much about INDI, but I suspect that it is trying to solve a problem that I don't have. Again, best of luck.

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On ‎3‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 8:22 AM, bkcarter333 said:

Wow, such  bitterness! You’re not helping your cause much. I WISH what you state were true. It’s great to be in the middle of a capture session and have BYN drop the connection to the camera! I had hoped that connecting through INDI would help with that since BYN no longer had to maintain that connection. Guess not!

Bryan,

Your assumption is that dropped connections are the fault of BYN. This may not be the case. It is likely that BYN is not dropping the connection; but that the Nikon SDK is dropping it after losing communication, even momentarily, with the camera. You have said that your laptop is old, without giving any more info. In general, "old" may mean smaller and slower. The most common causes for dropped connections are bad cabling or saturated USB hubs. You did not say what troubleshooting you have performed to try to figure out the cause. If the cause is a bad USB connector in the camera, then you are doomed to failure as long as you use that camera. If it is due to bad cabling (faulty cable, cable too long) then you are also doomed until the cabling is upgraded or replaced. I would suggest trying to figure out what is actually going on. Your issues may be simpler to fix. I would think that you would want to truly understand the cause(s) for your issues before heading off in a totally new direction that could just suffer the same deficiencies. If the issue is that your laptop is too underpowered to support your needs, then it may be time to replace it, whether with a new laptop or some other device. But when your new solution is in place, don't you want some assurance that your problems will be behind you?

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No, I am not blaming BYN for the dropped connection, I blame 1) Windows, and 2) an old laptop system (about 8 yrs or more now). 

I have a lot of experience at diagnosing these things, so I have done so, at length. No bad wires, but I did find a bad USB hub which I replaced with a higher quality powered one. That helped with a lot of it.  In the end, the result of the diagnosis, as I stated, is that I need a new laptop to continue on the way I have been going. I completely agree.

Rather than just go out and drop a bunch of coin on a new laptop, I decided to step back and rethink things. The INDI solution intrigues me as I stated. For $35 spent on a RPi (that I already had) it is worth the shot. Maybe I’ll end up coming back, who knows at this point. But for a very small investment, mostly in time,  it is worth chasing for a bit. I have another month or so before the skies clear in my area, so I am not looking any shooting time right now.

Besides, as far as control and guiding go, there is no change because they both talk to INDI. It is just the capture process that will change.

i appreciate all of the feedback I have received. My original question was whether BYN supported INDI. The answer to that is “no”, or at least “probably not”. I can accept that.

 

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Bryan,

I'm sure we all wish you well in your endeavor.  But don't let Guylain off-the-hook completely.  Or rather, come back and report your experiences in an effort to "set-the-hook" with Guylain. 

Automation and Remote Control are ONLY getting More Popular,  and Win-based AP Software usually playes in this area at the mercy of Microsoft and the Internet.  Other than Microsoft RDP and the VNC variants, all Remote Control Software products have migrated to being Cloud Server / Web Service based - something not always feasible or desirable in the AP world.  So, that leaves ASCOM and INDI with their Network-exposed Interfaces.

BYE/BYN will likely NEVER be anything but Windows-based, but if folks can present Use Cases for INDI support (BYE/BYN presenting an INDI Interface for the Image Output and Program Control Interface) then who knows where that might take things...

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