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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.
After some trial and error I'm getting some very good guiding results with PHD2 now. 60mm guidescope and ASI290MM mini camera. The M42 image taken late March was 12 x 15 second exposures taken manually with my dslr / C8 and a stopwatch. Stacked in DSS and played with a bit in GIMP. On the night I couldn't get APT to register the camera - turned out to be the mini USB cable (although later trials point to the socket in the camera being a bit loose too).
Bought an iOPTRON iPOLAR that arrived on Friday and had a play with that which has resulted in near perfect polar alignment. 2 star alignment and an additional 2 calibration stars on my Advanced GT mount means I'm getting very accurate GOTOs now and PHD2 (through the ST4 port on the ASI camera) seems to be guiding very well. Last night after more cable faffing I managed to get everything working together to the point where I felt confident enough to leave it running by itself for an hour and a half (45 minutes of 180 second exposures plus 3 minutes each exposure to save the file - I've since found out I shouldn't have noise reduction switched on in the camera - DOH!) so M51 is 15 x 180 second @ ISO 800 lights and 5 x 180 second darks. A little manipulation in GIMP and I think it's come out very well. Obviously still have a lot to learn and I'm going to have to start taking much longer exposures but I'm quite pleased with these 2 pictures.
Hi to all.
The most popular mounts - even those that are included in the small-medium range group, do drive the axes rotation via worm wheel coupling .
This one are plagued by the drawback that I have always considered very unpleasant: the mechanical play is not properly controlled and it can’t be always limited within acceptable tolerance limits.
The adjustment of Back Lash (BL) is entrusted to two screws (more often they are grains) usually positioned at 180 ° from each other. However - as we all know, even a wheel very slight eccentric creates
an inconstancy of contact with the worm: when the play is adjusted for an initial position of the axis, it is not in other positions.
In other words, there are positions where the worm rotates with adequate friction, others in which the same friction can increase significantly, and still others where it is so reduced to the point
that it causes excessive play.
So, the tuning screws are sometimes too tight and sometimes too loose … mission impossible to find the right compromise!
This behavior is already annoying in manual movement because the task of pointing at an object in a steady way is not feasible because it ever 'jumps'.
In photography it's even worse.
Not only does an unavoidable backlash often appears in Dec – and it is very badly correctable also by the autoguider software, but- and it is dirty worse, the tracking in RA does not perform evenly
and smoothly. The typical ‘micro’ irregularities in star images is what we see in our shots.
Many high range mounts adopt different methods to contain lashes, and the best ones adopt mechanical systems with which that error is reduced to zero.
With this long introduction, I will tell you what very simple modification I thought of making on my HEQ5.
Please, stay tuned 🙂
Hi all PHD2 seems to be playing up again and Iost a clear night again 🤬 Everything appeared to be fine and after polar aligning (separate camera to guide scope) I set up a new sequence. That started up and focused, plate solved and then guiding started but after a few seconds of perfect looking guiding the RA and Dec went off the scale massively ending up with a PHD error along the lines of "PHD2 is unable to make sufficient corrections in RA, check for cable snags, redo calibration...." Images obviously come out trailed. I have an RDP connection to the laptop at the mount so after happening a few times I went to check for snags etc but it all seemed fine. I set up the sequence again at the mount and the same thing happened. Restarting the apps, power cycling the kit and choosing different targets all resulted in the same issue so I packed it all away. It was also the same if I used PHD2 via NINA or if I just started PHD2 on its own and tried guiding separately.
I'm using an AZ-EQ6 with a WO guide scope and 120mm if it's relevant.
I checked everything was tight and have not looked at any logs yet but does anyone have any bright ideas what might be happening please?
Thanks in advance...
I'm going to rent a pier in shared observatory at Astrocamp.es Nerpio, Spain.
My setup is 10Micron GM1000HPS and I'm planning to order Lacerta Photonewton 200/800. It's well corrected carbon fiber Newtonian.
I don't require any equipment being contributed, just rent 50/50. Total: 300 euro+Tax. hence 150 euro +tax per person.