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Hi, I'm new to this whole auto guiding thing so bare with me!
So I have a iOptron SkyGuider Pro with a WO Zenithstar 61 and recently bought a ZWO ASI120MM Mini and guide scope to have a go at auto guiding. I followed tutorials online step by step (installing drivers, and changing the settings in PHD etc.) and managed to connect the camera and mount in PHD, start looping exposures and select a star. But when I start the calibration, it counts to 'west step 61' and comes up with "RA Calibration Failed: star did not move enough"
I have tried reinstalling all drivers/software, using a different laptop and solutions other people have found do not help. Guide scope is focused and it's not trying to track a hot pixel.
The star is supposed to move up and down as the mount moves during the calibration although nothing happens. So this makes me think there is something wrong with the mount or the ST4 cable from the camera to the mount. Cable securely clicks into both ends. I have heard the term "backlash" with mounts and not sure if this could be the cause? Not sure what this means or if this is possible with a star tracker?
I can't seem to manually control the mount in PHD although I'm not sure what I'm doing. I can however, manually press the buttons on the mount itself and it moves fine.
I've attached pictures of my setup along with the 'Guide Log' that people often ask for - PHD2_GuideLog_2021-08-23_225305.txt
(Also, the total weight on the mount is 4.7kg and the max payload is 5kg for imaging so this should be fine?)
Any Ideas? Let me know if you guys need anything else.
iOptron Skyguider Pro
WO Zenithstar 61 ii
Guide Camera: ZWO ASI120MM Mini
Guide Scope: 32mm F4 (focal length - 125mm)
Below are consecutive raw pictures if the ring nebula I took with my canon 600da and RCT 8" with neq6 pro guided with sharpcaps polar alignment procedure on the 15th of this month at 1am. I have 20 of these all 1600 iso auto wb 2 minute exposures. The problem will become apparent when you closely examine them, tracking is almost completely broken. I only stacked about 8 of them as most of the frames are unusable, some are star trails, some are commas and some are double exposures. This has become standard and getting worse since I tampered with my mounts gears and backlash adjustment. I have never been able to get consecutive 3min exposures on this mount, and I got it new 6 years ago, and only used it less than 30 times. I have spent roughly 20 hours trying to get rid of the backlash, coffee grinding noise and knocking when I press the directional keys to no avail, when the keys are pressed I notice the image wobbles violently. The go-to is also not working to 100% efficiently, I have to do guess work if I want my image centred.
Hi guys, hoping you can help with the tracking problems I'm coming across with my astrophotography setup. I've been using it since August 2020 and have kind of put up with the problem until last night where I think it's getting worse...
Specs below (let me know if you need anything else):
William Optics Zenithstar 61 II (360mm F6.1) - Zenithstar 61Adjustable Field Flattener iOptron SkyGuider Pro Camera Mount Full Package K&F Concept Aluminium Tripod with 2kg weight Canon EOS 250d (cropped sensor 1.6x) The problem:
I take roughly 40 pics with each being 1 minute long at 1600 ISO and stack them on DeepSkyStacker. From a few people I know on the internet, it seems as though, with a very similar setup and same focal length, they can get around 3 mins of exposure with no problem. And that's without a guide camera.
With my 1 minute exposure, roughly 10 of 40 images are reasonable but the rest have star trailing or double stars (see attached downscaled, unedited pics of Orion nebula)
What I think it could be:
My first idea was the tripod, it's not the best but it's not cheap plastic, and it should be fine for a 1 min exposure. Then I thought it could be the iOptron tracker that could be faulty?
Every screw has been tightened, there's no play in any of the adapters/mounts.
I thought I'd post this here to see if anyone else has the same problem or has more experience/knowledge that could help. Also to see if there's an obvious problem before I spend hundreds on a new tripod or send the tracker back for a replacement.
Any help would be much appreciated!
Hi! I'm Fran
Not so long ago I took a picture of the ISS I never thought I was going to be able to get with the equipment I have.
After saving for a long time, I was able to buy my first scope, an OTA Skywatcher 200P. I adapted it to be used in a dobsonian base because it was the cheapest way I had to get it to work.
One night, I thought it might be cool to try to aim and record with my phone an ISS pass overhead. During the first attempt, I messed up the focus extremely bad but you can't imagine how happy I was to get a white blob in a frame that only I knew was the ISS.
The following afternoon I tried again. This time the flyby was almost exactly overhead and the night was crystal clear. So I manually tracked the station looking through the finder scope and recording it with my phone at 1080p 60fps. Without much expectations I downloaded the files into my computer to review them. And was shocked with the results.
The video was processed with PIPP, AutoStakkert and RegiStax.
If someone told me the image was taken with a phone and manually tracked with a shitty dobsonian base I would not believe him! I got really lucky that night, but I can not be happier with the results. I believe I got to the edge of what I can accomplish with the equipment that I was able to buy. I'm not sure if ext step up should be a real camera or a mount. Anyway, any of them are too expensive 😬
If you want to see the frames before processing (and some nice shots of the moon that night), I'll leave a link to the video where I show them:
Thank you so much for reading it all.