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CHDK AstroKam Support

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Offline Davo

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Re: CHDK AstroKam Support
« Reply #70 on: 09 / January / 2015, 06:28:18 »
I can succesfully use the CHDKPTP program to get a live view, but was hoping to use the astronomy features of your program!  If you can suggest anything I might be able to try, I would be grateful!

AstroKam makes heavy use of a derivative of M Weerden's CHDKPTPRemote.NET for camera control and live view. Unfortunately, live view doesn't work for some cameras and I don't have these cameras to test with. This is a shame because CHDKPTPRemote.NET makes it really easy to code for CHDK cameras using all the .NET languages.

However, you should still be able to use AstroKam to do your sky surveys without live view. Use CHDKPTP to align your scope, focus, etc and then disconnect it. Fire up AstroKam, don't turn on live view and away you go.


Offline Davo

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Re: CHDK AstroKam Support
« Reply #71 on: 10 / January / 2015, 06:03:42 »
Apologies for taking so long to respond. I have now uploaded a new version to with the  changes shown below in bold.

Thanks again for taking the time to make these suggestions.

It was bad weather for a very long time so outdoor testing was not much possible. I have many indoor and daylight tests. I tested Astrokam with Ascom telescope simulator and Cartes du ciel. Thanks for the great tips of CDC integration. Now I am testing Astrokam with my a590is, not SX110 (Astrokam with SX110 liveview is unstable). Liveview is ok, but OSD is not displayed properly in Astrokam. With OSD some icons, for example battery, are displayed with wrong color, but many original canon and CHDK OSD are not visible. With CHDKPTP canon and CHDK OSD ok. The manual focus control OSD and adjustment OSD not visible in Astrokam.

I am still in the process of figuring out how Astrokam works. I understand a great dial of it but there is still a lot to figure out and test. 

New functions would be very useful:

- Most important function: lots of times you can not tell if something is frozen or the process is just taking a particularly long time. It would be great to have a progress bar for all processes that are taking a long time. For example: when someone is initiating a preprogrammed shooting, a progress bar would be very useful to show if it is still going or it is frozen out.

Compare the time stamp of the progress messages in the top bar with the real time in the bottom left to measure progress and to check for freezes.

-It is not the best that one has to give a time period for a certain photo shooting. It would be great if a number of frames could be set.

I had to make a choice early on how to control the sequences. I thought that using duration for each sequence makes it easy to calculate total plan duration and target start times. Looking at the code, it would be a major rewrite to change to number of shots.

- The program is now showing the actual picture number when a preprogrammed photo shooting is in process, but it doesn’t show out of how many it is (like picture number 15 of 35).

Bottom bar now shows sequence x of y and progress in minutes run of sequence duration.

-When there is a plan in progress you can not interrupt it with the stop button. It would be great if it could be interrupted at any time and to have a response signal of it. 

Stop button will respond once camera has finished current shot. You only need to press it once.

- At each restart the settings would go back to default. It would be great if the program would remember the last settings.

Agreed, but it is a lot of work for me. Maybe if more users post their results I will be motivated.

-In case of a sequence the time can not be set to anywhere less then 1 sec (for normal image, not bias). For the daylight tests or in case of a bright target (like Sun, Moon, etc.) it would be useful to be able to set fractions of a second. 

Sub-second exposures work OK for me. You have to enter the exposure time manually in the box. Can you post a sequence that gives you problems.

When I set 1 sec exposition time on the sequence/plan tab, then the status line down below shows 16 sec. If you check the exif data, it shows that the pictures are 1 sec.

The bottom status line only shows the current exposure time to use for test shots. Sequence and plan exposures are set separately.

When I run a plan, I often get the following message:
Start settling scope (not responding). But after some time program works again.

The scope settling time is set by default to 20sec in Settings. AstroKam is locked out during this time.

I try dither with PHD2 too, not easy without real telescope and real sky. I think it works, but PHD2 does crash sometimes. Astrokam sometimes when running plan, displays error messages, on top status information (local language) English translation: The operation is not allowed on non-connected sockets.

Check with PHD2 support.


Offline mngc

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  • a590is fw 1.0.1b & sx110is fw 1.0b
Re: CHDK AstroKam Support
« Reply #72 on: 25 / February / 2015, 11:37:47 »
Thanks for the new version and sorry for long delayed reply. I have problem with my a590 camera, i think new version of chdk has a bug(s). I will test all problem and report to chdk team. I will test of your new program too of course.

Re: CHDK AstroKam Support
« Reply #73 on: 24 / June / 2016, 05:30:45 »
Hi - trying to learn AstroKam v10 package indoors, on desktop, taking images of the sky/clouds before strapping camera to telescope!!!

Seems to work fine and can get repeatable results of saving images to camera SD card BUT no images ever saved to laptop.  Any advice appreciated; here are the settings I am using with my Canon A590IS, firmware v1.01b loaded with CHDK 1.4.1 Rev 4306

Pre-shooting settings ie menu options and selections made:

CHDK Menus

1.   CHDK settings = reset options to default
2.   Miscellaneous Stuff – Enable Lua Native Calls = ON
3.   Raw (digital negative) – Save RAW = ON and DNG Format = OFF and DNG File Extension = OFF

Canon Menus

1.   File Numbering = Auto Reset
2.   Power Saving – Auto Power Down = OFF
3.   Lens Retract = 0 sec (ie OFF)
4.   Thumbwheel = M, manual mode

AstroKam Operations

1.   With Canon still in CHDK Display mode, connect via USB to laptop & launch AstroKam, choose capture folder.  AstroKam creates log file in capture folder.
2.   AstroKam header bar message: All captures will be saved in D:\AstroKam\Data\20160624
3.   Default AstroKam Menu Options: Download & Preview and RAW & Live are default highlighted – all four options left as is.
4.   Select AstroKam Record mode and Live View image available, AstroKam header bar confirmation.
5.   Select Scope (simulator) and AstroKam header bar confirmation.
6.   Setup Sequence Options (stop capture after 2mins, exposure time = 0.01 sec, ISO = 400, take dark frames every 3 lights, take bias frames every 3 lights) and press Start Capture Of This Sequence button.  Pre-Shoot Checklist pops up, press OK.
7.   A DSSM073.dss filelist starts to be created in capture folder (always ends up being 1kb when shooting finishes.
8.   AstroKam shows which image its taking, Lights, Darks or Bias BUT after taking the first light image then all other images will be preceded by a very fast error message in the AstroKam header bar:

ERROR TakeShot Start Index cannot be less than zero. Parameter name Start Index.  (can’t do a screen dump of the AstroKam window because the error message is only flashed across the header bar extremely briefly.)

9.   Preview active & function ok all the time and images are saved to SD card correctly but no image files on PC in capture folder.
10.   Final header bar message is “Finished Plan”.

Any thoughts?


Offline Davo

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Re: CHDK AstroKam Support
« Reply #74 on: 24 / June / 2016, 08:26:16 »
Hi and thanks for a great error report which has helped me see what part of the code is causing problems. I have added an additional error trap which should generate a much more detailed error report and it is available in v10a below.

Can you try this out and let me know what the new error message is.


Re: CHDK AstroKam Support
« Reply #75 on: 24 / June / 2016, 10:53:18 »
Dave Hi - thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

Trapped error report attached for v10a - using exactly the same settings



Offline Davo

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Re: CHDK AstroKam Support
« Reply #76 on: 25 / June / 2016, 08:37:53 »
Thanks Gee. What is your jpeg file naming convention on your SD card? For instance, my A810 fotos are named IMG_0001.JPG, etc

Re: CHDK AstroKam Support
« Reply #77 on: 26 / June / 2016, 00:21:08 »
Exactly the same when Canon set to Auto Renumbering


but with AstroKam I thought we were saving RAW images (which it has been doing)?

Re: CHDK AstroKam Support
« Reply #78 on: 01 / July / 2016, 15:01:21 »
hi Dave - not heard from you???....any progress??


Offline mngc

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  • a590is fw 1.0.1b & sx110is fw 1.0b
Re: CHDK AstroKam Support
« Reply #79 on: 12 / July / 2016, 11:09:58 »
I back to the astrokam forum. My a590 working again. I tried external power supply, but the third party dc jack killed my camera without connected to power supply. Another connector to panel, broken.

Welcome any ideas, test and more.  ::)


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