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After two deluding years using SkyWatcher AZ EQ6 to handle a Meade 7” ED refractor, I got back to my previous mount, the manual Losmandy G11. I had to have maintenance performed by a specialized firm, and also to inspect the RA and Dec worms bearing screws and Oldham joints most accurately by myself. At last, after a good tweak and regreasing I reliably got round star images in my frames, without guiding, up to 60 s exposure. I don’t care with longer exposures since I was forced to choose capture of many short shots, useful to increase the combined image S/N ratio, after my once dark sky site was ruined by light pollution.
Still, a tiny RA drift still remains, as visible after capturing a handful of frames. I use the QHYCCD Polemaster for polar alignment, and I move the mount manually when accomplishing rotations of the RA axis forward and backward. The instruction manual strongly recommends not to do this by hand as it requires clutches release, possibly generating axis unset. Since Losmandy clutches do not need to be released for manual axis motion, I disregarded this advice. As expected, the reference star of Polemaster neatly follows the green circle when I put back the scope to home position. When I align by Polemaster the mount already aligned by the drift method I find exact coincidence of the two methods, not as time consumption, of course! PHD2 evaluation of alignement precision rates 3 arcsec distance of the true NCP.
My former expectance with Polemaster was better precision than with drift align in much less time … well, I get similar precision in much less time. Did I attain the best? Is this residual imprecision I get with Polemaster to be attributed to inherent matters of the mount? Is there any optimization for increasing the precision with Polemaster? Can poor mount leveling affect Polemaster performance? What about imperfect RA and Dec balance?
Thank you for advice and suggestions.
I have guiding problem with the following guider setup: 9x50 finder + ZWO ASI 120mm mini + PHD2.
The imaging scope is a 6' newtonian + canon dslr on a HEQ5, driven by a laptop via diy EQDIR cable.
When the mount is set up and running correctly, polar aligned and all... I connect the guider camera
and mount with phd2. All nice and easy, I run a calibration, then it starts to guide. All seems ok.
Then I am starting to take pictures. The first seems OK, then the second have the star trails...
I check phd2 and there is a message: the camera (ASI) did not take a picture for "xy" seconds so it is disconnected.
Grrr.... I reconnect try to set up a longer period for "xy" in the settings as mentioned in the message.
And all the same again and again. Whatever I add for connection timeout for the camera, it just reaches that
and disconnect the camera.
PHD + philips toucam has worked for me flowlessly. I changed to PHD2 because I gave myself a birthday present,
the little ZWO camera. (and PHD did not recognize it)
Do you have any idea what can be the problem? I will contact PHD2 help also, but maybe somebody had already
the same problem and figured out how to overcome. I am almost sure I make some dumb mistake in the PHD2
software settings, however I tried to change only what was needed.
I'm trying to balance my AZ-EQ5 as perfectly as I can, all was going well (all 3 axes) until I added the Polemaster. As this is off-axis it applies torque to the RA causing the axis to rotate until the Polemaster is hanging at the lowest point.
I need to couterbalance this, any ideas how?
Do I need to counterbalance this? Am I being too picky?
I have considered taking the arm off and gluing the Polemaster onto the on-axis point of the top cover, but again, is this overkill?
Ok, so this is a really annoying bug / problem that I have with my setup:
From time to time, in non regular intervals the image my guiding cam (ZWO ASI120) send seems to get flipped / mirrored or looks like it's from a completely different patch of sky.
When I'm paying attention to the guide images I can clearly see that the image seems to be flipped in some way.
It only happens for 1 frame PHD send a warning ( No star found / Star lost Mass changed) and after that everything is fine again. My gear is all connected to a single USB3 Hub which then runs via powered USB3 cable to my Pc.
I'm not binning and have the noise reduction off (though PHD might got hickups while processing) but it still happens. Sometimes there are minutes between two events sometimes it happens 5 times in a row.
It also seems like it's only happening during guiding, I haven't seen it happen during calibration yet...
I'm completely clueless what's happening or how to get rid of it, any help / idea is greatly appreciated.