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alan potts

Totally fed up can anyone help

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Right, I have lost count how many hours i have tried to do this, guiding will not work for me no matter what I try. I am fairly sure PA is OK, 3 star align plus PA using SW software gives good goto.

Scope SW ED 50mm    camera  Zwo 290 mini.  Mount AZ EQ 6 .      scope 805mm APO.

No matter what I try all I ever get is, "   Cal Fail  Star did not move enough " .   I had the same message using my other guidescope and camera combo, time and time again

If it helps the calibration did 60 or so steps and the star moved a max of 8.4 units (don't know what this measures), no matter what I altered in the steps and M/s they should take in the Camera section, calculations wizard gave 450, I even adjusted it to 2500 and there was no change in the result.

Can anyone possibly give me a clue what to do or where to go next, this is a fairly costly (440 quid) guidescope/cam combo and should work.

Alan

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Do you have one of these? It might help and if you are using a laptop for guiding then platesolve will remove the need for star alignment.

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Hi Alan

it sounds to me like the mount isn't responding to the calibration commands. Its not clear to me what guiding software you are using and what is the interface between the computer running the guide software and the mount.

Perhaps a little more information on what set-up you have, would help.

cheers

gaj

 

 

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20 minutes ago, spillage said:

Do you have one of these? It might help and if you are using a laptop for guiding then platesolve will remove the need for star alignment.

Yes I do but I don't what to try to take on board too much at once, I struggle understanding the very basics. No matter how many times I read instructions.

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22 minutes ago, gajjer said:

Hi Alan

it sounds to me like the mount isn't responding to the calibration commands. Its not clear to me what guiding software you are using and what is the interface between the computer running the guide software and the mount.

Perhaps a little more information on what set-up you have, would help.

cheers

gaj

 

 

I am running ST4 "on camera" connected to the mount  and and using PHD 2 from a laptop, all other details I put above.

Alan

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Posted (edited)

As Mount is set to “on camera” in PHD, it look like the commands are not getting through for some reason. Have you tried using the manual move option in PHD to see if there is any movement?

Edited by Freddie
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Hi Alan.. probably already done this but check correct pixel size and guide scope focal length in Phd.  Incorrect info for these can give that error as I’ve found 

Dave

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Alan, try - tools-manual guide and check if the star moves when pressing buttons

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Silly question, but you're not trying to calibrate on a hot pixel are you?  

Carole 

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Alan, the manual guide will prove if the mount is being driven by PHD, it will only move very very slowly but if aimed on a star you should see movement 

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Posted (edited)

Are you doing pulse guiding in Phd2? 

I assume you are using Eqmod? If so (and you should!) then check your Guide Speed multipliers. This error is known to happen when they are set too low, like x0.1. You should set them to x0.5

Edited by Xiga
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When I first started guiding I had issues with the on camera guide connections. In the end I gave up and bought a Hitecastro USB guider. It worked for me. I just wanted to take pictures not become an IT expert.

Hope you get this sorted. Have faith!

cheers

gaj

 

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Also, I know it's a new camera / guidescooe but is the st4 cable new ?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, alan potts said:

No matter what I try all I ever get is, "   Cal Fail  Star did not move enough " .

Ok, I assume that it happens during RA calibration, and that it actually moves, albeit slowly, so:

Looks like it's not a defective ST4 cable

The camera is really seeing a Star and issuing guiding commands

PHD2 is seeing the star movement

I also assume that guide Camera is directly connected to EQ 6 via ST4 cable.. 

 Now, what seems to me the most likely cause of failure is wrong setting of pixel size or focal length . The guiding SW needs to move the star by 25 arcsec, so if the resolution it computes from FL and pixel size is too high, it assume the star has not moved enough and gives up. 

Edit: just noticed that Dave gave the same answer above. Had i read more carefully I could have spared the typing! ?

Edited by FaDG
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Ditch ST4. Get yourself an FTDI EQDIR cable (£35) and do pulse guiding instead via Eqmod. With the gear you've got this is a no-brainer. 

Don't get too downhearted. Just look at the response this thread has had in such a short time span. The SGL community will sort this for you, believe me! 

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Reading between the lines Xiga Alan has been trying to get guiding working for a long time and doesn't want to add even more equipment . ST4 / on camera should work and is pretty straightforward. I feel so sorry I wish I could help remotely with TeamViewer but only just got guiding working well myself. Assuming Alan has internet access in his imaging pc.

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Hi Alan, I have an Altair astro 115 edt-apo which has the same fl as yours and I use a guide scope with this (TS80mm guidescope+ASI120mm).

In PHD2 click on the brain symbol, then on the 'camera' tab and enter the camera properties (Pixel size and camera gain) Then under the 'Guiding' tab and calibration enter the focal length OF THE GUIDE SCOPE - my guide scope is 320mm fl, and calibration steps (mine currently says 6000) with 5000 the norm.

Also I connect my guide camera direct to the laptop tp pulse guide rather than ST-4. I use ST-$ on my Star Adventurer but the guiding is quite rough in comparison to pulse guiding (EQMod etc)

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THis is probably of no help but I will chip it in anyway.....

I could not get PHd2 to work at all for the reasons you have said. I have a HEq5.   I think got up into the 40's on the steps, and then it just quit.  But the same thing was happening with my MGEN autoguider, it failed to calibrate.    Biting the bullet I got the belt drive option done on the mount (both axes) and had it serviced.

It now works fine with PHd2 .... (providing the pesky cloud doesn't sabotage things !!)

Just a suggestion that your mount may have an issue and may not be rotating as originally intended.

Hope you get it sorted.

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Hi Alan

Can you do some screen snips of PHD2 showing the whole phd2 window when you're trying to calibrate and one of the relevant phd2 settings you're using. A video might even be better.

We can get to the bottom of this!

Louise

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17 minutes ago, Thalestris24 said:

Hi Alan

Can you do some screen snips of PHD2 showing the whole phd2 window when you're trying to calibrate and one of the relevant phd2 settings you're using. A video might even be better.

We can get to the bottom of this!

Louise

ps Don't forget to create a dark library, if you haven't already - more than one imager has been frustrated by guiding on a hot pixel! Also do make sure all the display options (except ao) are ticked under the View tab. 

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31 minutes ago, knobby said:

Reading between the lines Xiga Alan has been trying to get guiding working for a long time and doesn't want to add even more equipment . ST4 / on camera should work and is pretty straightforward. I feel so sorry I wish I could help remotely with TeamViewer but only just got guiding working well myself. Assuming Alan has internet access in his imaging pc.

I get you mean dude, and there's no good reason why ST4 guiding shouldn't be working, but pulse guiding via Eqmod is not only better, its actually much, much simpler too. It doesn't add complexity, it actually reduces it. Phd2 can then calculate the no. of calibration steps itself automatically for you, as it knows where in the sky the mount is pointing. Fewer variables to get wrong. 

If I already had an APO and an EQ6, I would spend the extra £35 to make my life simpler.

Louise's idea of screen shots of Phd2 setup is a great idea. 

@alan potts sorry to ask an obvious question, but I presume you are able to get an image on screen ok during daytime, with the guide cam on the scope? 

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Posted (edited)
Quote

Now, what seems to me the most likely cause of failure is wrong setting of pixel size or focal length . 

I know this is a retrograde step, but seeing the quote above, is one of the reasons why I never moved from PHD1 to PHD2.   PHD 1 works for me, so never had the need to change. 

PHD1 works without having to input all this stuff which I don't know the answer to.  So what I am saying is, could you get hold of a copy of PHD1 and try it out?  If this works, then that might narrow down the cause of your problems.

Carole 

Edited by carastro
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Posted (edited)

As per Carole, my obs'y has been running fine for years on WinXP Pro and PHD1 on the if it ain't broke principle so no reason not to try PHD1 and ST4 guiding.

You can check if there's lots of backlash to take up by nudging the scope east before calibrating although it should be east heavy to start with.

Dave

Edited by Davey-T

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Seems to me that Alan's guiding is failing at the first step - Calibration.

Until that is sorted all other ideas are out.

Adding Pulse Guiding at this stage ? A good idea, but most likely will start another load of problems with getting the Serial-to-USB converter to work, so let's not go there just yet !

Plate Solving ? Sorry, I don't see how that's going to help Alan's guiding, might eventually help him find his targets ?

There's a Star Cross Test in PHD2 that moves the mount N-S-E-W  and will produce an image of stars in the middle of crosses, if the mount is correctly moving in all four directions. In Alan's situation this is better than just nudging the mount with Manual Guide, as it gives a measurable indication of the movement.

For whatever reason, and I see no reason why, ST4 cables seem to be extremely unreliable connection-wise, but this test will expose that problem if it exists.

This is what I suggest Alan should do, improving his guiding is further down the road.

Michael

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7 hours ago, Freddie said:

As Mount is set to “on camera” in PHD, it look like the commands are not getting through for some reason. Have you tried using the manual move option in PHD to see if there is any movement?

 

7 hours ago, knobby said:

Alan, try - tools-manual guide and check if the star moves when pressing buttons

 

7 hours ago, knobby said:

Alan, try - tools-manual guide and check if the star moves when pressing buttons

 

7 hours ago, carastro said:

Silly question, but you're not trying to calibrate on a hot pixel are you?  

Carole 

I could try manual movement tonight, I didn't do this, though I am wondering if it is another cable issue, I have had 3 in total. Carole, no it is not a hot pixel, moved the star to 4 different ones and 5 different sky areas, same result.

Alan

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