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Walking on the Moon

PHD2 basic settings......any ideas?


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Hi can anyone help me with some basic settings in the software for PHD2, ive used it for some time now, but I dont think my settings are right. And on top of that im still trying to get better polar alignment. Im guiding long focal length, (piggy backing my w/o zenithstar to my mak newt, to aliviate the issues on my images), ive been trying to use the drift alignment tool, but im finding that my trendlines are to erratic (another reason I feel my settings are wrong). So the mak is at the moment my guidescope which is 1000mm, and im imaging through a much shorter focal length zenithstar.

My settings at the mo are (on PHD2)............. "Guiding".........search region pixels...15, enable mass star detection with a tolerance of 50.0, focal length 1000mm,  once in calibration its... pixel size micron 7.40 (guide camera is atik 16IC mono), calibration steps 15, calibration declination, degrees 14, calibration steps, ms 350,  then in algorithym tab.........RA...hysteresis 10,  aggressiveness 20, minimum move 0.40, max RA duration is 2645, and then DEC hysteresis 10, aggressiveness 20, minimum move 0.90, backlash comp 0, max dec duration is 2500, dec guide mode is auto.

My mount is a losmandy G11, (standard not go-to Gemini), and my guiding rate is 0.5.....which I put in the PHD2 settings. my camera exposure durations are set to 1.5 sec as well.

If anyone can help me to get at lease some of my settings better then I would be very grateful. If I can get my settings right then I can maybe go back to the drift alignment tool and go from there to get better PA.

Many thanks.............

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Your first priority is to get a good guide star that is in focus and unsaturated. Use the View > Display Star Profile option to check.

Your next priority is to get a good calibration - this is absolutely critical. Did you achieve that? If not then PHD2 can't perform. Maybe post the log where you did the calibration if you are not sure.

I would then recommend to use the default settings till you know how your setup performs. In any case, the algorithm settings have no effect on drift alignment as it is done unguided. (For the pedantic - the built in drift alignment tool uses RA guiding but the Dec axis is the one to look at and it is unguided. With a good calibration anything happening on the RA axis should have little or no impact on the Dec readout)

Before fiddling with PHD2 settings, you want to understand how your mount performs. Mechanical issues are more likely a problem than PHD2 settings. Do a long drift of at least 15 minutes (I prefer 30+) wit all guiding off on both axes. Once you sort out the major mechanical issues THEN you might start to mess with the PHD2 settings.

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Hi WavyDavy

You haven't told us what issues you're having with guiding, so without a screen grab or log were're crystal-balling........

Don't be afraid to experiment with one PHD setting at a time to see what the effect is - make big changes to start with then fine tune.

For instance, bring Min Move back to 0.20.

Or up Aggresiveness to 60.

I found the PHD Drift Align Tool great for periodic checking, and very fine tuning, of good PA, but very difficult for initial setting from scratch.

I started with old-school drift alignment using a reticle eyepiece, no need to guess then which way to move the mount.


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