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TareqPhoto

What is ST-4 guiding, and what is ASCOM guiding?

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TareqPhoto    92
Posted (edited)

By the title, what is ST-4 and what is ASCOM and ow to use each for guiding?

I downloaded ASCOM driver on my computer [version 6.3], i do have cables, i have a camera but not sure if it can be used for guiding, or if in fact camera is not needed but as an optional method with camera?

Also have PHD2 installed, but watching video it is like i still don't know how to setup the mount or camera or computer first so to use PHD2

Once i get that sorted out then i have only 1 more thing with the mount then i will be ready to take it out for first time to use, i waited long to ask about guiding.

 
 
Edited by TareqPhoto

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kens    150

Some cameras are equipped with a ST-4 port that can be connected to the mount. You connect the camera to your computer with a USB cable as usual and connect the camera to the mount with a ST4 cable. In PHD2 you select a mount type of On Camera. PHD2 sends guiding commands to the camera via the USB cable and the camera in turn sends them to the mount via the ST4 cable.

The advantage of this is that you don't need a driver for your maount.

With ASCOM guiding you install the driver for the mount on your computer and connect the mount to your computer with a suitable USB cable.  You connect the camera to your computer with a separate USB cable but you cdon't connect the camera to your mount. In PHD2 you select a mount type that corresponds to your mount e.g. HEQ5/6. PHD2 sends guiding commands directly to the mount.

The main advantage of this approach is that PHD2 can communicate with the mount so it knows where it is pointing. This lets you reuse your calibration in different parts of the sky.

For guiding you need a separate camera from your imaging camera.

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TareqPhoto    92
51 minutes ago, kens said:

Some cameras are equipped with a ST-4 port that can be connected to the mount. You connect the camera to your computer with a USB cable as usual and connect the camera to the mount with a ST4 cable. In PHD2 you select a mount type of On Camera. PHD2 sends guiding commands to the camera via the USB cable and the camera in turn sends them to the mount via the ST4 cable.

The advantage of this is that you don't need a driver for your maount.

With ASCOM guiding you install the driver for the mount on your computer and connect the mount to your computer with a suitable USB cable.  You connect the camera to your computer with a separate USB cable but you cdon't connect the camera to your mount. In PHD2 you select a mount type that corresponds to your mount e.g. HEQ5/6. PHD2 sends guiding commands directly to the mount.

The main advantage of this approach is that PHD2 can communicate with the mount so it knows where it is pointing. This lets you reuse your calibration in different parts of the sky.

For guiding you need a separate camera from your imaging camera.

Thank you very much!

I hope i can understand there more better.

So, if i go with guiding then i must or need to have another camera not the one i use for guiding? 

What is the benefit of guiding? when do you use or need to go with guiding?

Is guiding also used for polar alignment?

I really don't know in which method i should go, i have all the cables needed, the camera i have not sure if good for guiding or not, but i bought it for mostly lunar and planet imaging, so if i use it as an imaging camera then i don't have another camera for guiding.

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kens    150

Guiding lets you take longer images without star trails caused by Periodic Error (PE) or Polar Alignment (PA) error. Periodic error causes an oscillating movement in RA whilst Polar Alignment error causes a drift in Dec. Guiding uses a second camera to monitor the position of a guide star and sends small corrections to the mount to adjust for any movement caused by PE or PA. You need a second camera because the guide camera checks the guide star position every few seconds whereas your imaging camera might only take one expsoure every few minutes. The guide camera and scope can be relatively inexpensive.

Guiding is pretty much essential for DSO imaging. For lunar and planet the exposures are so short it isn't really needed.

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TareqPhoto    92
56 minutes ago, kens said:

Guiding lets you take longer images without star trails caused by Periodic Error (PE) or Polar Alignment (PA) error. Periodic error causes an oscillating movement in RA whilst Polar Alignment error causes a drift in Dec. Guiding uses a second camera to monitor the position of a guide star and sends small corrections to the mount to adjust for any movement caused by PE or PA. You need a second camera because the guide camera checks the guide star position every few seconds whereas your imaging camera might only take one expsoure every few minutes. The guide camera and scope can be relatively inexpensive.

Guiding is pretty much essential for DSO imaging. For lunar and planet the exposures are so short it isn't really needed.

Thank you very much!

This is clear for me now, so the guiding is like the tracking eyes or the tracking brain, the mount can track, but it can track blindly, so the guiding here is to correct the direction of the star or object to keep it on the view all the time and no trails result.

I used my camera for the moon, and i did shoot a video of the moon for 30 seconds, the moon was moving, so how can i stack if the moon is moving during that 30sec frames? that is why i ask or wonder if guiding is essential here or not.

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ollypenrice    17,372
1 hour ago, TareqPhoto said:

Thank you very much!

This is clear for me now, so the guiding is like the tracking eyes or the tracking brain, the mount can track, but it can track blindly, so the guiding here is to correct the direction of the star or object to keep it on the view all the time and no trails result.

I used my camera for the moon, and i did shoot a video of the moon for 30 seconds, the moon was moving, so how can i stack if the moon is moving during that 30sec frames? that is why i ask or wonder if guiding is essential here or not.

It is an advantage that your tracking is not perfect when doing fast frame camera imaging. It means that different parts of the target land on different pixels each time, so noise from the chip is averaged out while signal from the target builds up when you stack. Take one bad pixel on your chip. It finds itself in a different part of the image each time so its damage is averaged out to almost nothing.

This is possible because the stacking software reads each image and aligns them to one you have chosen as a good one. It is the equivalent of guiding after the video has been shot. Individual fast frames are too short to be affected by blurring due to the mount's errors.

But if you want to expose for ten minutes or thirty minutes then you need a guider to keep the mount on target throughout.

Olly

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SonnyE    340

ST-4 is, I believe, the actual connector used commonly from the guide cameras, and the mounts ST-4 port. More here. More commonly used in telephone connections and computer modem connection, but adapted by the Telescope industry, or ASCOM.

Now I have a great video set for you to take a look at about PHD and how to get it set up and going.

PHD (Literally, Push Here Dummy) was too difficult for this dummy to get working. Until I found these:

PHD Basics 1

PHD Basics 2

You're getting there, but it takes a lot of patience, and some twiddling. When you do get PHD2 operating, do your adjustments in smaller increments.  Experiment with the settings to find the best settings for your equipment. Review the videos as needed, take it slowly.

I managed to get mine to where I haven't changed any settings in a very long time. Because it works, and works great. Just take it slow, and enjoy learning. :wink2:

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TareqPhoto    92
4 hours ago, SonnyE said:

ST-4 is, I believe, the actual connector used commonly from the guide cameras, and the mounts ST-4 port. More here. More commonly used in telephone connections and computer modem connection, but adapted by the Telescope industry, or ASCOM.

Now I have a great video set for you to take a look at about PHD and how to get it set up and going.

PHD (Literally, Push Here Dummy) was too difficult for this dummy to get working. Until I found these:

PHD Basics 1

PHD Basics 2

You're getting there, but it takes a lot of patience, and some twiddling. When you do get PHD2 operating, do your adjustments in smaller increments.  Experiment with the settings to find the best settings for your equipment. Review the videos as needed, take it slowly.

I managed to get mine to where I haven't changed any settings in a very long time. Because it works, and works great. Just take it slow, and enjoy learning. :wink2:

Thank you very much!

I downloaded that 2 videos and more while ago but didn't watch any yet, was busy in many other things, so i will have a time to watch those to learn more, so far i managed to connect the camera and the mount each individually to the computer, and ports are fine, so all i need to do is to watch the videos and know the basics and more settings.

I am planning to get things slow, some already started regardless they bought items after me, i bought my mount on April 2 months ago, and my camera i bought it almost 2 weeks ago, so now i am learning and reading and asking more and more to get ready on time, it is very very hot in my country these months so  am not in rush to go out yet, i have to learn about how to balance my mount and then how to autoguide then i am ready to go out, and while i am still reading and learning i am planning to buy a Polemaster because i really not planning to do polar alignment by one of those old fashioned methods even, some told me to do those to learn and i will get quicker on it by the time, but even if i will be quicker later i won't be as quick as using the tools for PA, and i won't be as much accurate too, so i don't want to waste time aligning my mount always before i use it when i move the mount, i can't leave my mount outside at all, never, so it will be moved in and out all the time which means i will be doing PA always.

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SonnyE    340
6 minutes ago, TareqPhoto said:

Thank you very much!

I downloaded that 2 videos and more while ago but didn't watch any yet, was busy in many other things, so i will have a time to watch those to learn more, so far i managed to connect the camera and the mount each individually to the computer, and ports are fine, so all i need to do is to watch the videos and know the basics and more settings.

I am planning to get things slow, some already started regardless they bought items after me, i bought my mount on April 2 months ago, and my camera i bought it almost 2 weeks ago, so now i am learning and reading and asking more and more to get ready on time, it is very very hot in my country these months so  am not in rush to go out yet, i have to learn about how to balance my mount and then how to autoguide then i am ready to go out, and while i am still reading and learning i am planning to buy a Polemaster because i really not planning to do polar alignment by one of those old fashioned methods even, some told me to do those to learn and i will get quicker on it by the time, but even if i will be quicker later i won't be as quick as using the tools for PA, and i won't be as much accurate too, so i don't want to waste time aligning my mount always before i use it when i move the mount, i can't leave my mount outside at all, never, so it will be moved in and out all the time which means i will be doing PA always.

That's fine, just take your time. I did a lot of learning with my telescope and mount aimed out a (closed) window, focused on a neighbors chimney cap a ways off. It was all cloudy, but I played anyway.

Just take your time and you'll get there. :happy6:

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TareqPhoto    92
15 minutes ago, SonnyE said:

That's fine, just take your time. I did a lot of learning with my telescope and mount aimed out a (closed) window, focused on a neighbors chimney cap a ways off. It was all cloudy, but I played anyway.

Just take your time and you'll get there. :happy6:

bout the scope i can play with it anytime but without the mount, i am now only focusing on the mount because it is the main and most important item to be used in AP, the scope isn't that good anyway, once i buy another scope this will become what it is designed for, a guiding scope, so yes i am taking my time, and i hope to get there eventually.

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