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Hello,

I was wondering if anyone could help with an autoguiding problem.

I have a Celestron AVX mount. I cannot get it to guide at all externally. It moves fine from the handset.

I have tried guiding from FireCapture, PHD2 (both auto and just manually guiding)

I have tried to connect via the USB to Handset, and via the autoguide port (via my ASI290mc).

I know the handset port communicates (on COM4) because I flashed the Celestron Firmware.

I am beginning to think I have a tech support problem, but I want to rule out errors on my part.

Thanks,

Long time lurker, first time poster.

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Hi

You should just connect your guide cam via usb to your computer and use PHD2. Connect the handset to usb using a usb-serial cable. Make sure you have Ascom installed and the correct Celestron driver. It should all work smoothly :).

Louise

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Thanks Thalestris24!

Regarding your instructions:

You should just connect your guide cam via usb to your computer and use PHD2. -> Yes

Connect the handset to usb using a usb-serial cable. -> The newer AVX handset is miniUSB at the bottom not serial , but otherwise yes, PC to Handset via USB.

Ascom -> Yes

Universal Celestron Driver (it's the only one on the Ascom site) -> Yes.

... and with all that, the PC PHD2 Manual Controls are dead... I think I have a tech support problem :(

 

Ken

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The phd2 manual controls only cause tiny movements. Test the guide output by using it for real on a guide star. I wasn't aware there was a new version/handset. I take it you can slew the mount ok via whatever planetarium software you're using? 

Louise

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Since you would like to go computerized, have you gotten Celestron's NexRemote on your computer?

It gives you a virtual hand controller on your computer. It can tie into Stellarium, and PHD2.

And it gives you computer control of your AVX. Also, your regular hand control still works at the mount for alignment corrections when needed.

I've gone so far with my AVX i refer to it as my Borg-a-Scope, and completely control it from inside my house, wirelessly.

 

Oh, and Welcome! Glad you decided to jump in, Ken!

Edited by SonnyE

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2 hours ago, Thalestris24 said:

The phd2 manual controls only cause tiny movements. Test the guide output by using it for real on a guide star. I wasn't aware there was a new version/handset. I take it you can slew the mount ok via whatever planetarium software you're using? 

Louise

Hi Louise,

Yeah, they finally decided to do a minor upgrade to the hand controllers. More modern computer friendly. (I haven't had a serial port in a while now)

Do believe I would miss the security of the old ST-4 plug snapping in though.

The telescope industry sorely lags behind other computer advances, and can't even see the dust from the Cell Phone industry. Sigh! :cussing:

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Hi Ken

Just to clarify:

1) If you're going camera - mount via an ST4 cable, have you selected "on camera" for the mount connection in PHD2?

2) If you've done that, did PHD2 report "Mount Connected" when you connected to the mount?

3) Ro Manual Guide in PHD2, best to set the step to 5000 (max) to get noticeable moves.

4) If all that worked, did PHD2 go through the calibration process - a number of steps to the west, back to the star, then a number of steps north, and back to the star?

Michael

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Louise,

I do not use any planetarium software on the PC. Just startracker on my phone and the NextStar library. I am really starting out on AP planets... so a planetarium is overkill for me right now.

SonnyE,

I did not know there was a handset emulator. I will get it and try it out. That would reveal that my AVX takes external control, or provide further evidence it does not.

And yes, the hardware remote works  fine on it's own.

Michael,

When I tested the Camera-ST4-AVX, I selected "on camera" in PHD2 and "camera-st4" or somesuch in firecapture. Yes, both programs said that the mount connection was successful. I will max up the step in PHD2, and no, PHD2 never did any calibration.

Thanks all of you and best,

Ken

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Ottawa Ken said:

Louise,

I do not use any planetarium software on the PC. Just startracker on my phone and the NextStar library. I am really starting out on AP planets... so a planetarium is overkill for me right now.

SonnyE,

I did not know there was a handset emulator. I will get it and try it out. That would reveal that my AVX takes external control, or provide further evidence it does not.

And yes, the hardware remote works  fine on it's own.

Michael,

When I tested the Camera-ST4-AVX, I selected "on camera" in PHD2 and "camera-st4" or somesuch in firecapture. Yes, both programs said that the mount connection was successful. I will max up the step in PHD2, and no, PHD2 never did any calibration.

Thanks all of you and best,

Ken

 

 

If you use ST4 then make sure the guide cam is set to 8 bit - it uses the other 4 for mount control. You set the bit depth in phd2 using the tool button next to the camera connect button.

Louise

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9 minutes ago, Ottawa Ken said:

SonnyE,

I did not know there was a handset emulator. I will get it and try it out. That would reveal that my AVX takes external control, or provide further evidence it does not.

And yes, the hardware remote works  fine on it's own.

 

It also allows me to completely remote operate wirelessly with my Desktop, or to carry my laptop out and operate at the mount, via my wireless router network. Pretty cool.

And if need be, I just plug in a 15 foot USB cable to my on-mount USB hub, to my laptop, and be in control at a campground.

The link I provided will take you to the Celestron page for the NexRemote.

When starting out, I had it in mind to be computer connected. Getting to the point I'm at now was a distant dream then.

Being totally in remote control now is a dream realized.

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Thanks everyone,

Nexremote worked and PHD2 manual guide worked with .5 degrees per second. Tonight I will try to use firecapture for imaging and PHD2 for guiding at the same time.

Ottawa winters would be ideal for remote. We have to get outside while we can in the Spring and Summer!

Best,

 

Ken

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