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Star Adventurer and PHD2 guiding


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I am using the SA with a Canon 650D and a 300/4.0 L USM for some months now. In order to get longer exposure times (>30 sec) I just got a little guiding cam (TSGM120M: https://www.teleskop-express.de/shop/product_info.php/language/en/info/p8963_TS-Optics-Mono-Planetenkamera-und-Guidingkamera-mit-Aptina-CMOS-Chip.html).

Stand alone guiding like the M-GEN II is way to expensive from my point of view, so I decided to use PHD(2) on a laptop to do the guiding. I use the Orion 50 mm Guide-Scope mounted on the second port of the L-Mount. But I don't know how to set up PHD2 to work with the SA. The guider-cam will be connected over USB to the laptop and over the ST-4 cable to the ST-4 port of the SA - now question about that.

There are some users in the forum, who already work with PHD and the SA as far, as I have seen. So maybe someone could help me about what "Mount" and "Aux Mount" do I have to choose in the connection dialogue of PHD? How do I switch off DEC-guiding, as the SA doesn't provide it?

Any experience with the dither function BackyardEOS provides with PHD2 connectivity?

Many thanks in advance!



Edited by chris-32
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Can’t help with BYE and PHD2 - I use APT, which just sees it and connects to it and dithers. Presume BYE will do the same if PHD2 is running before BYE is launched.

If you’re using ST4 from camera to mount, just select "On Camera" as the mount. Ignore aux mount. ST4 is a standardised protocol that isn’t dependant on mount-specific drivers.
Disabling Dec: https://openphdguiding.org/man-dev/Advanced_settings.htm#Algorithms_Tab and set Declination dropdown to 'none'.

Edited by Marci
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Yes, 'on camera' for the mount. You can only guide in RA with the SA so DEC guiding has to be disabled in PHD2. You will have to do a fresh calibration if you move to another target in a different part of the sky. Make sure the guide cam is set to 8-bit mode for ST4 operation.



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9 minutes ago, knobby said:

Slightly off topic but will dithering only in RA be of any benefit ?

I hope so cos I only dither in RA, too much Dec backlash. But having said that I've recently been Dec guiding in one direction and I imagine that should cope with Dec dithering better.

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4 hours ago, Marci said:

Can’t help with BYE and PHD2 - I use APT, which just sees it and connects to it and dithers. 

Forgive my stupidity; Does that mean you don't use PHD2 at all? IE: APT does it all, imaging plans, guiding etc?

3 hours ago, ChrisEll said:

I hope so cos I only dither in RA

Again, forgive my stupidity; What does dithering do/mean in astro terms?
(I know what the word dither means, just can't relate it to the mechanics of the mount :iamwithstupid:)

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41 minutes ago, Redscouse said:

Again, forgive my stupidity; What does dithering do/mean in astro terms?

Dithering randomly nudges the scope position very slightly inbetween exposures... this means the sensor is not sitting over the same bit of sky all the time and so sensor noise can be removed more effectively. I use DigicamControl and you can tell it to dither between shots, handy!

Edited by ChrisEll
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17 hours ago, knobby said:

Slightly off topic but will dithering only in RA be of any benefit ?

I guess, dithering on one axis is better than no dither. And using the Star Adventurer, you will not completely stop DEC drift, so you get movement on the second axis, too.

I don't use dithering so far and I am quite new to astro-photography, please tell me, if I am wrong!


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18 hours ago, Redscouse said:

Forgive my stupidity; Does that mean you don't use PHD2 at all? IE: APT does it all, imaging plans, guiding etc?

APT and BYE are just different flavours of imaging control software with pretty much similar feature-set. Both link to PHD2 for guiding.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...
On 19/04/2018 at 21:47, penguin_a_geek said:


stumbled into your post while searchin for a solution to make that TSGM120M work with INDI. Have you been successful?



Hi Stefan,

no, I was not able to get the drivers running and decided to switch to a ZWO ASI cam, where the drivers are widely available.




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  • 2 years later...

Let’s get this back on track. Can I control my SA with PHD2. My guide camera does not have a guiding port but connects directly via usb to the laptop. So if using ASCOM how do I connect from laptop to SA. My SA is not Wi-fi version using the az gti the mount guiding is just controlled by Wi-fi when set up in this way. The SA has an st4 port but what cable is needed to connect to the laptop to enable control. Is it an eqmod to usb for example. Anyone know.

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From memory (I've now sold my SA) the USB socket is for firmware upgrades not a guiding interface. The SA I think has an ST 4 socket which connects to the guide camera to provide single axis guiding. I don't remember ever connecting my SA to a PC/laptop in use. See  link below for PHD

The only other external connection is a direct link to a DSLR camera via a jack socket...

Link to my ST4 guide tests:


Edited by fwm891
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I have the SA and have just started guiding with PHD2 via Astroberry. For the life of me I can't get the Sony A7iii to work in EKOS to control the imaging but I am finally making progress with PHD2. To get to the point, if I can't get the imaging control for the Sony to work then is there any point in dithering? I'm guessing not as this needs to be done between shots?

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Yes, dithering must be performed between the shots (or between the shots group). Then is usually requires some time to stabilize guiding after dither command. 

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