Lodestar control using Rpi

Forums Computing Lodestar control using Rpi

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    Grant Privett

    Has anyone out there got RPi Python or C code for controlling a Starlight Xpress camera that they would be willing to give me a copy of please?

    I have a first gen Lodestar I would like to make into an all sky camera. My VB6 code works runs fine under XP/W7/W10, but I am having trouble running it on an RPi. I know this must be possible as the Starlight Oculus appears to do it. I’ve now made 3 separate attempts at this and have failed dismally. I don’t really want to buy a ZWO 120mm when I already have the Lodestar!

    Perhaps I’m being too stubborn and should just flog the Lodestar and buy a 120mm?


    • This topic was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by Grant Privett.
    Dr Paul Leyland

    What sort of control do you need over and above what EKOS/INDI can’t provide?

    It works fine for me on a RPi 3B

    Grant Privett

    I wanted to write my own code for controlling the camera without carrying along the huge baggage of filter wheels, dome control, mounts, derotators etc that will never be used.

    As I have written code previously for the cameras to run under VB6 I hoped it wouldn’t be stupidly difficult.

    With the RPi, I have found the problem to be that I do not have drivers for the SX cameras. I made it so the RPi recognises my Lodestar camera when it is plugged in, but it doesn’t have a driver to associate.

    Previously, I went looking for the EKOS source on github and when I searched for the phrases “Starlight” or “sx” I found nothing. Having, accidentally, missed the introduction of github I must admit to some confusion/uncertainty as to how it works but didn’t seem able to find anything about the SX cameras. Must get a “Github for Dummies” book sometime.

    Prompted by you I have now again looked at the Indi site and this time spotted that the cpp driver code appears to be available at http://svn.code.sf.net/p/indi/code/trunk/3rdparty/indi-sx/
    I will download it all shortly.

    I shall have a play. Not quite sure how it will go, as its 20 years since I did C++ in anger, so it should be an interesting learning experience. There may be bad language at some point. Hopefully, I can eventually tie it all into Python / QT.

    If anyone has already gone this route. Any “lessons learned” would be welcome.

    Dr Paul Leyland

    Grant: good luck.

    My view is that storage for all that baggage is cheap and the runtime fits easily within the 1G RAM on my Pi. I have little incentive to re-invent wheels, in other words.

    Grant Privett

    After some thought and contemplation on how little spare time I seem to have, I am trying to give in and go over to using Indi and then controlling the Lodestar using that, from Python – possible apparently.

    I had a look at the website and saw a GetIndi>RaspberryPi link so, I pressed that and was informed:

    “INDI Library is available for Raspbian Buster.”

    I checked the target RPi and its a later version of Raspbian. On the off chance I tried installing it anyway, but there were lots of errors (no ordure Mr Detective) – I will redownload the image and refresh the machine later.

    So, I’m now wondering whether Astroberry is actually under development still. Certainly Astroberry’s github site looks like its not been updated in 2 years. As RPis are now up to version 5 – which I think does have an onboard clock – its looking out of date.

    I suppose I could just get an old image – rather than install on a fresh Pi installation – but that does sound a bit clunky.
    I wondered about Alpaca/Ascom but, from the sometimes incomprehensible webpage, I didn’t get that warm fuzzy sense that it had drivers suitable for Starlight Xpress on a RPi. It sounded like it would connect if someone had written/provided an Alpaca compatible/RPi driver, but has anyone?

    Ho hum. Need to ponder – Confused of Wiltshire

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