ekos summaryEkos is include with KStars. KStars/Ekos is already included with your StellarMate gadget. It is also available for Linux, MacOS, and Windows if you want to install on your primary machine. After you run KStars on your PC or on StellarMate (Either directly via HDMI or via VNC), Ekos can be accessed from the Tools menu or via the Ekos icon on the main tool bar, or by a keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + K). In addition to the Ekos window, KStars provides a more detailed INDI Control Panel where you can directly set and control the device parameters.

When running Ekos, it is not necessary to start INDI Server via StellarMate Web Manager as Ekos manages that transparently.

KStars &Ekos

1. Profile Wizard

The Profile Wizard is a handy tool to setup your equipment for the first time. It should popup automatically the first time you run KStars. Follow the guided instrustions to setup your first equipment profile.

1.1. Greeting Page

Profile Wizard Welcome

The first greeing screen contain some links to learn more about Ekos & INDI. Click Next to continue.

1.2. Equipment Location Page

Next you will be presented with the equipment location page. Your selection depends on where Ekos is running:

  • Ekos is running on StellarMate unit: If you are connected to StellarMate and ran Ekos on the unit, select the first option since equipment is connected locally to the unit itself where Ekos is running.
  • Ekos is running on your PC: Select the second option since equipment is connected remotely to StellarMate.

Profile Wizard Select

Click next to continue.

1.3. Remote Connection Page

In case selected the 2nd option in the last step, you shall be presented with the Remote Connect Page, here you will enter the hostname or IP address of the StellarMate unit. You can get the hostname from the StellarMate mobile App. Alternatively, you can construct the hostname from StellarMate HotSpot SSID. You should see the SSID when you search for WiFi networks nearby. For example, suppose the SSID is stellarmate_f0220c.  The hostname should be stellarmatef0220c.local. That is, if you remove the underscore, and append .local, then you will get the unit hostname. You can always use the StellarMate App to change the unit default hostname to a name of your choice.

profile wizard remote

For the INDI Manager question, always select Yes since StellarMate Web Manager is running by default on the unit. Click Next to continue.

1.4. Profile Creation Page

Now you get to name your equipment profile. Afterwards, select which guider application to use. The Internal Guider is the only officially supported selection in StellarMate. You may opt to select PHD2/LinGuider but the details are out of the scope of this documentation. If additional services are desired, check the ones you want to run.

profile wizard done

In the example above, we select Remote Astrometry, WatchDog, and SkySafari drivers. The detailed explanations for each in provided in the tooltip when you over them. Once done, click Create Profile button. You should now be presented with the Profile Editor.

2. Profile Editor

profile editor

2.1. Profiles

 You can define profiles for your equipment and their connection mode using the Profile Editor. Ekos comes pre-installed with the Simulators profile which can be used to start simulator devices for demonstration purposes:

  • Connection Mode: Ekos can be started either locally or remotely. Local mode is when Ekos is running in the same machine as INDI server, i.e. all the devices are connected directly to the machine. If you run INDI server on a remote machine (for example, on a Rasperry PI), you need to set the INDI server host and port.
  • Auto Connect: Check this option to enable automatic connection to all your devices after INDI server is started. If unchecked, INDI devices are created but not automatically connected. This is useful when you want to make changes to the driver (e.g. change baud rate or IP address or any other settings) before you connect to it.
  • Site Info: Optionally, you can check the Site Info checkbox and Ekos will load the current city and timezone whenever is Ekos is started with this profile. This can be useful when connecting to remote geographic site so that Ekos is in sync location and time wise.
  • Guiding: Select which Guide application you want to use for guiding. By default, the Ekos internal Guide Module is utilized. External guiders include PHD2 and LinGuider.

    Support for PHD2 and LinGuider is limited and requires external setup outside of the scope of Ekos. It is highly recommended to utilize the internal guider for best results.

  • INDI Web Manager: StellarMate Web Manager is a web based tool to start and stop INDI drivers. You should always check this option when connecting remotely to a StellarMate unit.
  • Device Selection: Select your devices from each category. Please note that if you have a CCD with a guide head, you can leave the guider dropdown menu blank as Ekos will auto-detect the guide head from the CCD camera. Similarly, if your CCD includes embedded filter wheel support, then you do not need to specify the filter wheel device in the filter dropdown menu.

2.2. Start & Stop INDI

Start and Stop INDI services. Once INDI server is established, INDI Control Panel will be displayed. Here you can change some driver options such as which port the device is connected to ...etc.

2.3. Connect & Disconnect Devices

Connect to INDI server. Based on the devices connected, Ekos modules (CCD, Focus, Guide...etc) will be established and available to use.

Once you are ready, click Start INDI to establish INDI server and connection to your equipment. Ekos shall create the various module icons (Mount, Capture, Focus..etc) as connection is established with the device.