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StarShoot Autoguider problem with PHD2


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Hello all,

First post on this forum and as someone who is brand new to astrophotography. 

I have invested in a beginners setup and feeling my way around things but having 2 issues at the moment. 

The first issue I am having is with my StarShoot autoguide camera.

I have downloaded drivers and have connected to my laptop. I can see the device under device manager and I can connect to PHD2 (takes a few minutes and often get an error code 13 a few times first).

However, when I actually view the feed in PHD2 is is just a bunch of grey lines in matter of I am pointing at the night sky, with lens cap on or somewhere lighter.

Has anyone else come across this kind of issue before? Any ideas on a fix?

I will leave my other issue for now as that is irrelevant while this is a problem.

For reference if someone does reply, I am quite tech savvy however I am new to anything astrophotography specific so appreciate if you could keep that in mind.

Thanks in advance!

Lance

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Looks like you were right! Managed to get it tracking too (albeit without and alignment as was just testing). PHD2 tutorial next and then need clear skies! Thanks for your help al

Well done  If you need to slide the camera out to get the focus you can get what's called a par focal ring to fit to it to get the same position every time. Dave

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The display in PHD2 is not optimised in the same way as imaging software would, so always looks grainy, but should show stars.

Have you hit the Loop Exposures button on the bottom bar?

Have you set exposure to between 1 and 3 seconds?

Have you adjusted the display brightness to the left of the brain icon?

Might be worth showing a screen grab - the Prt Scrn button on your keyboard top row will save to the clipboard.

Michael

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Hi all,

I am using an Orion StarShoot autoguide camera. This is what I select as part of the connection wizard and seems (after the initial errors) to connect ok. 

I have clicked on the loop icon and this is where I get the issue. I will grab a screenshot when I next hook up.

Thanks

Lance 

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You do have the camera mounted to a scope (either guide scope or with an OAG to the main scope) ?

With just the camera you won't see much more than a grainy picture.

If you do have it mounted to a scope chances are you are out of focus or your backfocus distance is wrong.

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5 hours ago, Lancebloke said:

I am using an Orion StarShoot autoguide camera.

Do you have the complete Orion guiding package including their guide scope or some other guide scope ?

Dave

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To answer both questions, I have the complete Orion guiding package so it is attached to the guide scope provided.

I will double check focus but would have thought I would see a difference in light or dark conditions but all I see is grey with darker grey lines across the picture.

Will try and screenshot tomorrow when I am at home and have access to the laptop. 

I will also give it a go on my main P.C. to check there are no hardware issue with the laptop (which I bought specifically for this a few weeks back).

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So I turned the brightness right down and then took the cap off and the picture changed so looks like something is working.

Here is a screenshot of what I see.

PHD2 Screenshot.png

 

Edit - just tried this on another P.C. and same result. Is this likely to be a hardware problem (camera or connection) or could this be something else?

Thanks

Lance

Edited by Lancebloke
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Is this screenshot with the scope pointing at stars, or just indoors?

Did you try shining a torch into the scope? 

If that works then probably way out of focus.

Try during the day pointing at a distant object with the exposure very fast, say 0.1 secs, because the camera will overexpose on a 1 sec exposure. 

Michael 

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The screenshot taken is with the scope lens cap on. If I take it off it gets brighter. 

I am outside with it now as it is dark here so cant find and easy distant object to focus on. If I point at a light I can see a blob so there is something getting through.

I just spent 10 mins with my mount pointed up and adjusting the focus but not getting anything other than what was above.

I will have to try in the day and seeing if I can get a focus on anything at all.

Lance

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Thanks.

I will give that a try when I am actually home during daylight.

The other issue I have is connecting my Sirius EQ-G mount to PHD2 for guiding. It uses the normal SynScan handset and I am connecting via ASCOM but the drivers dont seem to work (The Skywatcher drivers say they should work). 

Does anyone know why that may be? Should I try a different set of drivers?

Thanks

Lance

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Well, I tried to do this in daylight with exposure rate of 0.01s (otherwise it froze) and brightness turned down but came to the conclusion that everything I am able to point at is too close for that to work. 

So tonight I point my telescope up and tried to manually focus the guide scope... no luck, just grey lines. It seems to find super bright items that appear HUGE in PHD2 (e.g. sirius) but I cannot get it to be anything other than huge.

I tried a couple of spots in the sky in which I assumed the scope would pick up stars (tried pointing at Capella for example) but nothing.

Think I may have a dead camera!

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If you are getting a huge image of Sirius, then the camera is clearly not dead ??

Do you have the camera inserted into the guidescope only as far as in this Orion image?

image.png.82058721feb07648b372d06f021c6170.png

 

4 hours ago, Lancebloke said:

It seems to find super bright items that appear HUGE in PHD2 (e.g. sirius) but I cannot get it to be anything other than huge.

Which is what Sirius would look like if it was out of focus.

4 hours ago, Lancebloke said:

I tried to do this in daylight with exposure rate of 0.01s (otherwise it froze)

Not sure what you mean  by froze - do you mean 0.1 secs was too slow and only gave a white frame?

Try again in daylight on your most distant object, if necessary slide the camera in and out of the guidescope until you get focus.

Then try on a slightly closer object. Note which way you had to slide the camera.

Then try on Sirius with 1 second exposure, and move the camera the opposite way, because Sirius is further away than your daytime objects.

Michael

 

 

Edited by michael8554
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Hi,

I think that is the starshoot pro camera so not sure now that compares. The starshoot has a little extension tube which is pushed all the way in at the moment. 

20200128_080307.thumb.jpg.558ede79b066757a90c653bd3af1c92d.jpg

In the day I have to set the exposure rate to 0.01s as it is too bright otherwise and the frame freezes until I lower the exposure rate or take it somewhere darker.

I will try again. I am in a very flat part of the UK so without taking a little trek, a distant object is probably 1/4 mile at most.

 

Thanks

Lance

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4 hours ago, MarcusH said:

Am I daft, or is there a focuser missing from that picture…????🤔

That is all it came with... supposed to be the full package.

I focus the scope using the twisty bit (sorry) and locking ring at the front.

Edited by Lancebloke
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Could you post a picture of the whole guide scope ?

I'm puzzled because it looks so different from the picture @michael8554posted which should be the scope in the StarShoot guiding package...

Oh, never mind my ramblings, I presumed you had the 60 mm guidescope when you clearly have the 50 mm. My bad.

Edited by MarcusH
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Have a look online at images of your less expensive package ( I can't seem to copy them)

The camera appears to be inserted into the guidescope less than you have it. 

Try my suggestions at twilight so that you can get a useable exposure. 

Michael 

Edited by michael8554
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