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Found 21 results

  1. Hi can any one assist My lovely wife purchased me the full SW Adventurer package as I requested I wanted a grab and go to use with my modded Dslr when travelling All great!! have set up and have got a few widefield shots over last few days. As with DSLR colour mottle is a big problem and having used dithering with my GT81 and 460EX and with a lot of the DSLR processing tutorial advising extreme dither I thought I'd have a go. The mount has a ST4 interface and the manual suggests that any auto guider should work. So in brief I have usb powered hub which is powering the SW Adventurer, I have both the camera and QHYII guide scope (Altair Astro 60 guide scope) dual mounted. The Canon D1100 and QHYII are connected to USB hub and in turn this feeds back by active USB to laptop. I have the ST4 cable connected to the QHYII and mount. PHD2 can find the QHYII but its asking for a mount ( normal It would be my AZNEQ6) BYO is used for software capture for the Canon ( this has a PHD dither setting ) which when a test signal is sent connects but PHD2 (latest version) PHD starts calibrations but seems stuck in clearing backlash I know the SW Adventurer only has RA and no DEC but if it can auto guide I'm hoping it can dither as well. If anyone can advise settings in PHD2 or if this can be done I would be gratefully as I would like to use this great little mount as much as possible as it was a Xmas gift and I wont hear the last of it if I pack it away Thanks Allan
  2. I used to scoff at people who had problems getting PHD to work. It was easy, use the default settings, adjust the calibration steps to suit your guide scope focal length and away you go. It works fine on my HEQ 5 PRO and up until a couple of months ago, it worked fine on the LX200 Classic in the observatory. I don't recall altering any of the settings, but now PHD won't calibrate on my 80ED piggy-backed on my LX200 mount. It used to work fine. I've tried calibration steps all the way up to 9999 ms, but it still times out. HELP! PS - the term you're looking for is 'Hybris' - ( see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybris_(vice) )
  3. Here's my quicky at M82 SN2014J, two nights ago and the only clear night for ages but quite gusty so the 200p what an excellent sail. 16 x 180s Lights10 x 180s Darks800iso200p HEQ5 Guided in phdProcessed in Nebulosity & CS6
  4. Hello Astrophotographers, Now that I have my CGEM on a permanent pier, I figured that I should get much better accuracy in guiding quality, especially at 2032mm (F10) focal length on my 8" SCT. I spent a bit of time getting guiding results that are at the very least acceptable and thought I’d share my experience with anyone who is looking for info on PHD autoguiding. In the pasten setting up for each astro session and using PHD I was generally getting RMS about 2.2-2.6ish and after stacking and processing, the soft effects were able to be negated to a great point, revealing detail and with results that I was quite happy with (on a good night) imaging at 2032mm using a modded Canon 40D. The stars were round and generally I was able to use most (if not ALL) of the subs generated, even when I was exposing through Halpha or SII for 30-40 minutes per sub. That in it self, I thought, was pretty good for the setup that I'm using... or... I'm just easily pleased. I use a OAG for my exposures so guiding on the same FL as imaging. That said I did spend a bit of time playing with PHD settings, as well as the backlash setting on the CGEM, along with autoguide rates to try to get better guide graph. After a spending a bit of time on both polar alignment as well as tweaking the autoguiding parameters in PHD, I was still getting a graph that showed large jumps, see pics… Nowhere near the near flat line that a few imagers were getting. Although the RMS level at 2032mm did improve, now I’m getting numbers of between 0.83-1.3, so it is definitely an improvement but still didn’t look flat. The test exposures I done at those RMS levels using the 40D at ISO100 on a 40 minute exposure showed round stars and the frame exposure looked good. I decided to investigate to try to improve the graph, and when turning off the guide commands the graph showed large bumps generated by star movement caused by the atmosphere, the graph was very similar, although slightly higher RMS, due to the star moving around obviously due to seeing. At this stage I put my larger graph RMS in comparison to other very flat graphs to perhaps me guiding at 2032mm on a 1/4” CCD and others guiding using a much smaller/shorter FL guidescope where such large seeing related star movements are not picked up at a shorter FL, I base this on the fact that when imaging and guiding while using my 80mm/500mmFL frac where I generally got a RMS of 0.3ish. Using the size of the pixels and CCD on the focal length the results are 0.548 arcsecs per pixel so multiplying that by the RMS I get the guiding is 0.45 – 0.71 arc seconds accuracy (?) which if I’m right, sub arc sec accuracy is OK for AP. I used http://www.celestialwonders.com/tools/imageScaleCalc.html for the calculation. NOTE That until I had decent backlash set on the handset I was still getting intermittent saw tooth like spikes in DEC and RA, and the guide star did spontanously jump large distances periodically. The way I adjusted the backlash on both RA and DEC was by centering a star on the laptop screen and at 1X guide speed moving forward, forward, back, forward, back, back, adjust the backlash and repeat until the star responded instantly. Also my autoguide rate is set at 40% for both DEC and RA. My PHD parameters that seem to give the best guiding at 2032mm are below: RA Aggressive: 50 RA Hyster: 10 Max RA Dur: 350 Search Reg Pix: 15 Min motion: 0.15 Calib Step: 500 Time Lapse: 0 Dec Guide Mode: Auto Dec Alg: Resist Switching Dec Slope: 4.5 Max Dec Dur: 350 Star Mass Tolerance: 1.00 Dither Scale: 0.05 Hopefully some of this helps someone. Also if I'm missing something and anyone has advice to improve that graph, please feel free to share. Clear skies.
  5. Hello, So I thought I would share some screen shots of my XP SP3 Virtual Machine that I have setup for Astro Imaging. The nice thing about putting all the software into a Virtual Machine is that I can move it about between different laptops. VMware also allows you to remotely connect and disconnect USB sockets, which is hand when you want to restart a usb camera. Lastly I can put the VM to sleep and start it up so as to keep everything as is. Some screen shots of the different aspects of the VM with a custom red theme. EQMOD, Astro Tortilla, PHD2 EQMOD, Stellarium (Stellarium Scope to control EQMOD) EQMOD, APT (Focus aid and other tools) Hope you take some inspiration
  6. I’m having problems setting up the SPC900 as a guider in PHD, it is modded for LX and works very well in this mode using WXcapture, SharpCap, so I know it works in LX mode. But it doesn’t seem to work in PHD, any clues or even better what settings should I be using. Cheers for any help (after three nights starting to lose the will to live). Lee
  7. Hello all Ive been through this a few times but I thought I would look at what other people think on this. Is the time spent on dithering really worth it? Or is it better to use that time to get more subs? It seems to me in my experience that im spending at least 2 minutes between shots for dithering. When I look back through my pictures when I wasn't even guiding they look much better. One thing I have changed is not using darks anymore. I used to always use them. Now I use flats and bias shots but they seem noisier than my older shots. What sort of times are others getting in dithering? Is there a way to speed it up? I'm using APT. EQMOD PHD2 eq6. Many thanks Gerry
  8. I had a quick go at using PHD with my new QHY5 on a 80mm scope. PHD accepted the camera, mount and calibrated ok. The main scope was my Orion Optics 200 F6 with my Canon Eos1100D I did a quick test on M3 (1 minute exposures) but it showed some trailing? Everything seems to work, but what should the setting be on PHD? So any help would be much appreciated Lee
  9. Hopefully a simple question. When inputting the Focal Length for an OAG in the guiding details in PHD v2. Do I simply input the telescope's Focal Length as this is light path that the guide stars travel through? Thanks.
  10. I connect my mount to PHD2 using ASCOM and most nights I have the error "Star did not move enough" as well as "Suspicious blah blah, axis may not be perpendicular". This does not happen when I connect the mount via ST4 cable. I read somewhere that I can do a Calibration Sanity Check in PHD2. I am however unable to find that function in the software. Is it some pop up feature or does it have a location in the settings/brain icon? Any help will be highly appreciated.
  11. Hi, I am using the SA with a Canon 650D and a 300/4.0 L USM for some months now. In order to get longer exposure times (>30 sec) I just got a little guiding cam (TSGM120M: https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p8963_TS-Optics-Mono-Planetenkamera-und-Guidingkamera-mit-Aptina-CMOS-Chip.html). Stand alone guiding like the M-GEN II is way to expensive from my point of view, so I decided to use PHD(2) on a laptop to do the guiding. I use the Orion 50 mm Guide-Scope mounted on the second port of the L-Mount. But I don't know how to set up PHD2 to work with the SA. The guider-cam will be connected over USB to the laptop and over the ST-4 cable to the ST-4 port of the SA - now question about that. There are some users in the forum, who already work with PHD and the SA as far, as I have seen. So maybe someone could help me about what "Mount" and "Aux Mount" do I have to choose in the connection dialogue of PHD? How do I switch off DEC-guiding, as the SA doesn't provide it? Any experience with the dither function BackyardEOS provides with PHD2 connectivity? Many thanks in advance! Chris
  12. Hi All! I would like to share a minimum movement calculator according due to http://www.myastroscience.com/minmoveinphd FYI: Do Not Touch RED cells!!!! min move calculator.xlsx
  13. This is more of a story about last nights efforts than a cry for help. I went out at ten to focus the OAG on the scope fitted with a lodestar and align the guiding axis to the telescope. The ultimate aim was to calibrate the PEC on the SS2K to start to take decent pictures with the mount. It was a glorious night. But my lodestar seems to have grown duff bright pixels by the dozen over summer. Even using full autocalibration in Maxim didn't seem to remove them. So I created a bad pixel map and applied it to my auto calibration groups but still with no effect. Meanwhile I soldiered on, using a brighter star in the OAG to focus and align axiis on. That done, I discovered there seemed to be a reflection from the bright star that Maxim insisted trying to guide on. It turned up on the row of the first bright star image and even after subsequent images when the star clearly moved according to movement calibration requests, the false star remained fixed and caused maxim to fail the tracking calibration. An hour and a half of this I tried, with various combinations of bin ratios, exposure times, star in different quadrants of the CCD and all with no success until I put the star in the top left quadrant and then calibration success! You might think that was it, I was motoring, since Maxim was now seeing the star. But no. Maxim could calibrate on the star but reported 'star faded' when trying to use it a guide star, consistently and persistently. Apparently it needs a different type of star to guide on. There were no others. So half an hour later I gave up with that and went to PhD2. It had support for the Lodestar and for the ZWI so I persevered with the Lodestar. It could even see the star Maxim refused to guide on and I could use it to calibrate the movement of the scope for Phd to guide with. I did get a 'ratio difference alert since my motion was very assymetric 'L' shaped but it did calibrate so on I went. Now I could calibrate my PEC!. Several times I achieved this, repeating it starting at different times on the worm since the ss2K will even out the measured with the already recorded. And then Puff! the star had gone - nothing to guide on and the duff pixels were there polluting the image as before. Where did it go ? The sky was still clear and the dome slot was right there where the scope needed it to be. Now I tried a few exposures at 3mins just to get a feel on what quality had resulted from all my efforts. Its an 8" 1800mm so its was optimistic but the evening conspired further - the camera intervalometer battery was flat. Not to be deterred I dug out the spare. That'll teach it. But that one has a duff lead that causes the camera to turn off occasionally and it wanted to play. It was now 1.30, I was freezing and not thinking about swapping batteries so it was time to hit the sack. Only up at 6 for work. I love these succesful evenings. Gotta have more of them. Better luck to every one else, and if you have a solution to the Maxim problem I'm interested. Mike
  14. Having just read this great guide here on PHD:http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/188777-phd-guiding-basic-use-and-troubleshooting/ Would people be willing to post up their settings so as to give people a known starting point that works or at least a good starting point?As I think it's hard to know what settings to choose in PHD. Something along the lines of: Webcam model: SPC900 Type of guide scope: 9X50 Skywatcher finder scope Then list your settings for PHD This way,it can be kept all in one place for future reference.Sound like a good idea or a non starter?
  15. Previously, the Opticstar Guide camera, PL131M was working fine with PHD, and hoped to use it with the later version PHD 2, but in this version the camera is not listed under the camera list. Has anyone found the same problem and later discovered a solution to the problem so the camera works using the later version of PHD 2 ?
  16. I've been guiding using PHD on my EQ5 & Orion Starshoot Autoguider for a while. I recently hooked up a QHY5-ll to do some planetary work om my main scope using SharpCap (successfully). However since then I've gone back to my deep sky work and the AutoGuiding is now failing with an Error - 22 (sometimes when connecting the camera and sometimes when trying to calibrate). Last night, having got past the error 22 on connection (connected the Orion late after starting the App) I then got an "start didn't move enough" error even though the settings hadn't changed from when I successfully guided (as far as I can remember). Also using the same cables to the same Win10 laptop. Not sure if the QHY camera is a red herring or a possible cause. Any pointers would be appreciated.
  17. Hi All I have recently started using EQMOD to control my EQ5 Pro mount. When I use the mount with the SynScan Hand Controller I have noticed the usual backlash in the Declination axis when reversing the direction from north to south or vice versa. In the SynScan Setup/Backlash/Declination menu option, I find that setting this to 0deg 0' 50" (ie 50 arcseconds) compensates for the backlash when using the hand controller. My questions are these; When using EQMOD and the PC Direct mode setting on the hand controller, is this Declination Backlash compensation still applied? (I suspect not) Does EQMOD have the functionality to apply similar Declination backlash compensation when using the the direction buttons in EQMOD to control the mount? I intend using EQMOD's Pulse Guiding and see that there is a Declination backlash compensation for this feature. Please bear with me whilst I ask another couple of questions; I intend to use PHD2 as the guiding client. I think that PHD2 will 'build in' backlash compensation when it performs its calibration. If this assumption is correct, does this mean I do not need to enter any value into the Backlash compensation in the guiding area of EQMOD? Out of curiosity more than anything else, what on Earth would the value be I should enter in the EQMOD backlash compensation? On the SynScan the backlash compensation is entered as an angular measurement (ie 50 arcsecnds) but in EQMOD guiding it seems to be entered as a time value (ie between 0 and 2000 milliseconds ) Anyway, thanks for looking.
  18. Good evening chaps (and chappettes), the clouds have rolled in so I thought i'd use my time wisely. I'm currently running a 200PDS on a G11, Gemini 1L4, with C2A as my planetarium and PHD2 as it's awesome. All is well, my alignment is great, and i manage good 5min subs from my dslr. 10mins works too if I bother to drift align (mod 1100d). However, I have an issue. I can't get my head around the meridian flip. If I nip outside at an opportune time and ask C2A to do it for me, then it asks for all sorts of parameters that i don't know. Do I just make them up? I've upped the slew speed to 1500 in the losmandy driver, as i've put hi torque motors on my G11 and it's great. Still Gem1, L4, but since i use a PC i don't miss Gem2. Do I put similar numbers into C2A, and if so, what is the centering and guide speed?? I've also bought SGP, but I am reticent to waste a valuable clear night playing with it, when I could be imaging... I'm sure we've all been in this situation! Same reason I haven't put the 120ED with moonlite motor focuser on the mount yet. Actually, that isn't true... That one isn't on there as the wife might see it and realise I've been shopping again! Please someone tell me SGP is worth learning. Currently it looks alien to me.... But really... Do i have to bite the bullet and embrace SGP, and if so, can someone point me to a decent newbie tutorial? or am I missing something mega obvious in C2A... thanks, as ever. Jim
  19. I have recently upgraded my mount to the Avalon Linear Fast Reverse based on great advice on SGL and have noticed in a few threads that it was mentioned that PHD settings are available to help improve the tracking. My question is therefore can anyone confirm what the recommended PHD settings are for the Avalon Linear? Any help would be very appreciated. Thanks
  20. PHD2 has been popping up in various places on this forum, with many if,buts and maybe's. So last night while I was waiting for the clouds to clear, I downloaded and installed it. (I was a bit annoyed at the additional stuff that you needed to install, but hey, if it works it works.) So plugged everything in and started it up. Some of my WOW moments: - The equipment profiles that seem to be pre-tuned. (So plug and play!) - Auto tuning of your camera dialogue and the new darks works great, stars where bright and the background black ... out the box. - The new / updated graphing and the star profiles are very cool. (Still need to learn what all the new stuff means!) - Seems more stable and less resource intensive / laggy. Although when I woke up this morning, it had frozen and so had EQMOD. Was this because it got confused when the clouds rolled in? (The clouds rolled in at about 2am, so managed 3hrs data, all tight 5 min subs at 900 FL, with a 600D and a Finderguider 200FL.) Looking back at last night I have some question for the veterans. 99% of my nudges kept me within 0.5 target on the star profile. I had 1 in a hundred that pushed out, but always below 1. My Dec was buttery smooth, almost no movement at all a flat line, sometimes just below the line and other times just above. My RA was more hacksaw blade, with higher peaks (EQMOD) than what I got with PHD1. How should I tame the yo-yo effect so that it if a flatter line? (EQMOD is set to 0.5 RA and 0.9 DEC, min pulse is smallest at 20) (Avg size RA Oscillation between was 0.2 and 0.3, but some times up at 0.5) Anyway just a big thumbs up to the DEVs and really everybody should give a go, it is super cool.
  21. Finally received my QHY5l-II from Astronomia so had a go at setting up PHD2 last night/this morning.Finding stars with this camera was easy compare to the SPC900! Equipment used: iOptron ZEQ25GT,SW 200PDS with an Optistar AR80/QHY5l-II piggy backed,default settings in PHD2.Once locked onto a star it all then went pete tongue,the graph below tells the story of my 1st attempt,the RA just dropped off the scale! So after this I altered the counter weight on the mount which gave me this graph,maybe get the balance better on the mount? Then the dec went 'off course' for some reason? Managed a 5 minute sub with this but compared to some graphs I've seen this isn't right! Any tips etc much appreciated!
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