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Everything posted by Interested

  1. You can dispense with the ST-4 cable if you go the EQMOD/pulse-guiding route, but then of course, you will need an EQMOD cable. PHD 2 has plenty of instructions to get it up and running. Definitely take a set of Darks using PHD 2 and use that dark library when you are guiding. You can also build a Hot Pixel library using PHD 2. PHD 2 allows you to save I have done both, but use the dark library when I am guiding. I use an old QHY 5 on an OAG and find it works very well.
  2. Nice pics Bob! I know there was a Sunspot in the top left quarter. Had it on my photographs when I opened them in PS6. Thought it was a smudge on the lens first at first, but Stargazing live that night had the same 'smudge' on a photo and confirmed it was a Sunspot.
  3. I knew you were using Win 7 Gina, as in my #22 post. I mentioned the Win 8 driver because it was mentioned previously in this thread. The reason I have rebuilt my Win 7 laptop from a factory default was because it did fail in use Louise. It was -2 outside and I was packing up at about 4am. As I was taking flats, the filterwheel 'hung up' and from there on, the computer started running very slow and programs started hanging/crashing. I tried reloading software, running help utilities and software to edit the registry for the next day or so, to no avail. I then thought I might have a hardware problem, but decided to try a factory reset before I looked at hardware. I now reloaded the OS, all the software/Windows updates etc and the machine is running as it should be. Each to their own, of course, but I would always try to eliminate the possibility of software problems before I changed hardware.
  4. Interestingly, (to me, anyway), using the link to the 'Windows 8 driver will cause you to download an older, 2009 driver. It's not a new driver for Windows 8, it's just that Hitec found this driver worked with Windows 8. If you use it you have to follow the instructions on its use (2nd link on FLO) otherwise , once installed, Windows will try to update it to a driver that doesn't work. I found this out as I have been preparing a new (Win 8) laptop for use with my astro imaging. I had to 'roll back' the driver to the 2009 driver thanks to W8 installing a 'newer driver'.
  5. Hi Gina, You could try checking Windows 7 update settings. Make sure it is set to 'receive updates for Windows only' (otherwise, when you plug a device with no driver into a USB port, windows will look online for a driver and might not find the one on the computer). Then go to the Hitecastro website and download the driver on that page and install it. Then plug your EQDIR adapter back into the computer. If it works, you will have a spare adapter! Had problems myself with drivers, having just done a factory reset on my W7 laptop. Currently doesn't recognise my Atik EFW2 filter wheel and keeps loading a 'windows found' driver. It works, but have just selected 'Windows only updates and will try a reload in the morning. Hope this helps!
  6. There is a facility on The FLO website to enable you to ask questions on any kit you are thinking of buying. They get back to you pretty quick with answers as well
  7. Hi Gary, and, welcome to SGL. See you have already been given some good advice - about getting outside to view. My coldest session so far was at an outside temperature of -6 Celsius!
  8. Welcome to SGL Brian. Originally from Essex myself
  9. All very nice images. I especially like the Rosette Nebula, one of my favourite targets. Want to try using my FLT 98 with my 550D. I have done very little imaging with a DSLR.
  10. Hi David, welcome to the SGL. Not sure if this is the sort of thing you are looking for: http://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-star-adventurer/skywatcher-star-adventurer-astronomy-bundle.html Just a suggestion, You may get a better response to your post if you copy to the beginners section under "Getting Started Equipment Help and Advice" as more people are likely to read that section. Hope you enjoy the forum.
  11. Interested

    Hello all

    Hi Thom, welcome to SGL. My brother is like you, has been into astronomy for many years but has still not joined any forums. He asked where I gained my (not so vast) knowledge of astrophotography from. I told him from SGL, but still, he asks me questions rather than join!
  12. From Ha to S-II, progressively less nebulosity, but more Stars. Swings and roundabouts? I use a 5 position filter wheel with the 383 (2" filters) and currently have RGB, Ha and O-III loaded. Having seen your comparison above Sara, in future, certainly worth looking at the first couple of NB subs to determine potential for a bi-colour process.
  13. Found it! In the Tools drop-down list/ manual guide. That's a useful tool to ensure mount and PHD are talking to each other. The more I see of PHD2, the more I like it On my wish list would be a 'test' mode whereby you could try guiding during the daytime, rather than have to wait for a clear night to find guiding problems.
  14. Thanks for your input Geordie. Think I am all setup now. Carried out the PA using EQMOD, and, using Stellarium, now have several 'N-Points' recorded. Needed to go into the N-Point screen in EQMOD and select 'save' and, 'load on Startup' as these boxes weren't selected as default. I am using PHD2. For Pulseguiding I select 'EQMOD ASCOM EQ5/6 for 'Mount'. For ST-4 guiding I select 'On-camera' and use an ST-4 cable between the mount and guide camera (QHY5). Regards,
  15. If you are pulse guiding then you select 'Ascom' from the 'Mount' drop-down list in PHD. As far as I am aware, for ST-4 guiding you need a connection to your mounts ST-4 port. Taken from the EQASCOm and Autoguiding Manual on Sourceforge: "ST-4 Guiding ST-4 guiding works using a hard wired interface from connecting you PC/switch box/guide camera to the mount's Autoguider Port. The interface consists of control lines (RA+ RA- DEC+ DEC-) to control each direction the mount can move. When the mount sees a signal on one of the control lines it starts to move in the associated direction at a fixed rate. In the absence of a guiding signal the RA axis will moved at whatever the tracking rate has been previously selected. The DEC axis will stop.The guiding application keep the mount tracking an object by monitoring the apparent movement of a guide star and using the ST4 control lines to either command the Ra and DEC axis to move faster or slower than their nominal tracking rate.For ST-4 guiding EQASCOM plays no active part in the guiding process. You can however set the rate at which each axis will move when the associated guiding signals are present" Caveat: I am also new to EQMOD
  16. On my HEQ5 Pro, I used an ST-4 cable, connected mount to guide camera (QHY5) so, can't really comment on your cable setup. Using PHD 1, you would select 'on-camera' fom the 'Mount' drop down list at the top. Maybe others use a similar cable setup to you and will be able to advise accordingly?
  17. Silly question maybe, in PHD, have you set mount to 'on-camera'? And, of course, fitted an ST-4 cable?
  18. As I am now using EQMOD, I downloaded the EQMOD(?) version of 'Stellerium Scope' from Welsh Dragon Computing. Using that, Stellarium was very easy to configure and use with the mount. Tried it for the first time last night. Ctrl / 0 to bring up the scope slew/sync control. Worked like a dream and I quickly managed to slew and sync on several Stars and save as N-points. Stellarium stopped working once during the session and had to close. On re-opening, it started where it had left off, so no detrimental effects at all, the scope reticule was on the last target I had moved to and I just slewed to the next target.
  19. Thanks Louise, That certainly is worth considering. A few of my USB connections are not what I would call a tight fit. Think I might check them all and try and tighten them up as well.
  20. Well, problem seems to have gone away, Last night I was using PHD2 v2.4.1 (previously, v2.3.1), with Stellarium, EQMOD, and some different PHD settings. I managed 15 x 10 minute guided subs. Stars seem fairly round, though I didn't bother to much on focussing the telescope as I wanted to see if I could guide first. Once I managed to get guiding without an immediate RA 'runaway' I spent some time adjusting EQMOD and PHD settings to see if I could improve the guide graphs. DEC guiding was pretty smooth but RA was a bit bumpy. I had pushed the dome back on my POD and there were little gusts of wind, so, not sure if that was causing the problem. I know the mount is well balanced in RA, so that is not a problem. Guess I was a bit naughty really, using a new version of PHD, AND Stellarium instead of CdC, AND new PHD settings, all together. I should have changed one thing at a time to try to isolate the cause further, but, we just do not get enough clear nights in the UK to try a different setting every night! Next time out I will pick a target that doesn't require me to take the lid off the POD, so the scope is a bit more sheltered. Hopefully, I will then be able to 'tweak' settings for RA so that the guide graphs are a little more stable.
  21. Thanks D4N, I had v2.3.1 installed, I have now installed v2.4.1. I am not sure it is PHD causing the problem as, when I close PHD down after the 'runaway' has started, the mount is still running away. Failing a "I had a similar problem and xxx was causing it" response to my post, I think I will need to try guiding with EQMOD/PHD a few more times to see if I can isolate the problem further. I will try my original settings (which work reasonably ok for ST-4), I also have some new PHD settings given to me by Avalon, which I will also try. I have joined the EQMOD forum but the Yahoo 'search' function doesn't seem to work using a tablet or laptop, so I can't search to see if others have had similar problems to me. If no one has had a similar problem, it might be that I have 'missed a step' somewhere on starting everything up! Best to keep an open mind
  22. Just to add Gina, (as I can't edit posts as yet), I am now using Stellarium instead of CdC for mount control on my Win 7 & 8 laptops. it will be interesting to see if this makes any difference.
  23. Sounds like an interesting project Griz. As it's a pain to install, let's hope PixInsight updates that require a remove and install are fewer from now on. There seems to have been several instances where a user has had to remove the old copy to get the new one this past year.
  24. Thanks for your reply Gina - I didn't think this was going to be an easy question . I tried shutting down PHD totally, then restarting. The 'runaway' was still there. It was almost like there was a permanent guide pulse being fed to RA. I have an earlier version of PHD (1.12.4) which worked well before. I might try that version again. If it happens next time I am out, I will try parking in EQMOD, then shutting it down and restarting, to se if EQMOD might be causing the problem. I have the guide rate set at 0.30 in both RA and DEC as that was suggested to me by a fellow M-Uno owner. All other settings are at default. Failing everything, I will try guiding using ST-4 again. If that works, then I may try adjusting the pulse guide rate settings, though this won't be much good if there is a permanent 'pulse' being fed to RA! Maybe I should copy this post to one of the help sections?
  25. I have setup EQMOD for PulseGuiding my mount. The two times I have tried to use this method of guiding I have had a 'runaway' in RA almost as soon as PHD 2 has calibrated and started guiding. PHD2 will start flashing as it loses the guide Star and the Stars will start tracking right to left on the PHD screen. This 'runaway' is evident on my capture software as well, confirming the mount is moving right to left. From a Star entering the PHD screen on the right, it takes about 30 seconds for it to exit on the left of the screen. Before calibration, everything is stable and the mount is tracking normally. If I swap over to ST-4 guiding with the same settings in PHD I do not get the RA 'runaway'. Has anyone ever had a similar problem or can suggest a cause and cure? Many thanks.
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