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Problem using Skyris 132M as guide camera


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I recently spent an afternoon setting up a Celestron off-axis guider. I'm using an Atik 414EX as the imaging camera and had a Skyris 132M which allegedly can be used as a guide camera. I set up the OAG and the two cameras on my EdgeHD 8, got them parfocal in daylight and could see in-focus images of a distant rooftop from both cameras.

Last night was the first attempt to use the configuration with PHD2 guiding. Imaging camera was fine but all I could see from the Skyris in PHD2 was the image below. I systematically tried a wide mixture of exposure settings but non gave an image that contained stars which PHD2 could use. Any suggestions???

john

image1.jpeg

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Hi John

I would have hoped a Skyris owner would have replied by now, so instead here's my thoughts.

What software did you use for the daytime test? 

What camera did you select in that software that worked?

Did you select the same camera in PHD2 ?

The Celestron description says it works with Stark Labs PHD - that is PHD1 if you like, not the same as PHD2.

The display in PHD2 is not a true representation of the camera image, it often looks grainy.

Have you tried longer exposures? As far as I can tell the camera is not a long exposure capable camera, it's a planetary camera for taking high speed videos, not long exposures. However PHD2 can integrate/stack short exposures from webcams.

Finally, did you click on the circular icon at the bottom left of the PHD2 display to start the camera exposing?  :-)

Michael

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Hi i use a skyris 236m , im only just starting guiding with phd2 but have managed to sort of do it but not tried it with my oag yet..what it could be is because the prism picks off a small portion of light you might not be able to find a decent guidestar,ive been told by someone who used a qhy5-ii that he had to rotate it in the housing to find a guidestar..he then upgraded to a lodestar and now doesn't need to rotate... i am finding the exposure setting difficult to get a high enough snr on the guidestar but thats another test for the next available clear night,in your daylight test did you manage to get focus in both cameras?9 sorry,just reread what you wrote!) Quick question you could maybe answer for me is when you enter the focal length of the guidescope obviously there isnt one so what did you do? is there a separate part for oag's?   

Edited by newbie alert
must read text correctly!!
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4 hours ago, Merlin66 said:

I use the QHY5ii and the Lodestar for spectroscope guiding - which is very similar to OAG. This is on my C11 at f10.

No issues so far, either in finding a star or guiding.

Practise........

Qhy5 and lodestar have a bigger pixel than a skyris

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Hi All - thanks for your welcome input.
Answers to questions and comments below...

Michael: The daytime test used the same software as for the dark test; ie PHD2 for the Skyris guide camera and Atik Artemis Capture for the imaging cam. I selected ‘Windows WDM-style webcam camera’ for the guide scope in PHD2 and this was also selected for the evening run. As you point out the Skyris is not really designed for longer exposure - I accept it wasn’t designed for that :-) but I did try setting the exposure time to a variety of setting in the camera config and also to 3, 5 & 10 secs in PHD2 but to no effect. Not sure if your ‘Final’ question was referring to the ‘Loop for frame and focus’ button or the ‘Begin guiding’ button. The screenshot I uploaded was from the ‘Loop for frame & focus’ button but even if I selected ‘Begin guiding’ it made no difference to the image from the guide cam and PHD couldn’t see any stars. Also worth noting I did also go through PHD2’s Dark creation routine as well (made no difference though).

Combining the comments from newbie alert and Merlin66 its beginning to look like the Skyris may not be up to the job when using an OAG and maybe is only viable with the larger fov that a separate guide scope would provide. The Skyris tiny pixels probably don’t help either - I note the Lodestar pixels are twice the size of those in the Skyris.

I’m thinking I’ll maybe avoid wasting too much time with the Skyris for guiding and just by a Lodestar X2 which seems to get the thumbs up for guiding from a large number of folk. I'll keep the Skyris for the occasional bit of planetary work I do.

Thanks once again for your input.
john

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I had the same problem the 1st time i used PHD only the other week.  The camera image was exactly the same as above, it turned out to be an error which i caused.

I had somehow deleted the dark files, once i went through setting up a dark library again it was perfect.  Maybe worth checking..

 

Bram

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  • 2 years later...

Hope you don't frown on necroposts too badly, but I found this thread through google and I'm sure someone else is experiencing the same issue. 

I also have a Skyris 132M for a guide camera and had the same issue. Camera would work during the day at a distant object, but at night would end up with a nearly white screen. I could make out a few stars but they were washed out in the noise.  I could not get it to work at all for guiding but I remembered that it was The Imaging Source that made them for Celestron, so in a last ditch attempt I used the Device Driver for USB Astronomy Cameras. What do you know, it worked just fine and I was guiding with PHD2 after the 15 minutes to build a bad pixel map and create a dark frame. 

B

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