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Anybody using SVBONY cameras for guiding duties ?


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Duh! When Google just works...

https://www.svbony.com/blog/using-the-sv105-and-sv205-as-a-guide-camera-with-PHD2

Although then one finds https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/623451-svbony-sv105 with one of the admins saying about the 1sec time limit again although others saying guiding is fine!
Eugh!

https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/16030617321

For <£40, is getting one to try worth it or is it just wiser to ignore these and go to the better options?

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The SV305 looks to be about £120/130 after a quick Google. For another 20 or 30 quid you could get the tried and tested ASI120mm.

I guess that’s a NO then 😂 

Stellarium doesn't really guide.  It relies on the mount to talk to the camera (ST4) port or the use of an external, such as PHD2 to talk to the camera and mount through drivers. The above setup

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Thanks for the notes, I will take a fresh look soon, I'm sure it will be raining all day at some point 😉 

No Guide camera yet, my connection query came about due to the SVBONY only having one connection port back to the PC. compared with say a ZWO. In the meantime, while skies have been cloudy, I have been experimenting indoors with doing away with the handset and connecting direct from Laptop to the Synscan Module without success. I can only seem to get it to work via Stellariums own control protocol rather than ASCOM/EQMOD.

When it comes to guiding i really just want the simplest most foolproof way of starting out, something that is going to "just work" i dont really want to be spending hours checking Ports, Drivers, Hubs in the middle of the new forest at night. I appreciate some methods may be better than others which is why i asked the  initial question "Is some guiding, better than no guiding ?"

Thanks Again

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Hi Andy,
I understand your comment about just wanting it to "just work" only too well!
Agreed that a simple fool-proof method is necessary for us all! And in answer to your last question, "Yes, any is better than none if setup is reasonable" but I think you know that ;)
So the 2nd port on the ZWOs etc (as we've established you already know) is only when you're using ST4 for guiding. Yes, you can use it by setting PHD2 to control the mount 'via camera' I think the option is. But would love to help and get you running without this (directly from PC).

Can I suggest you look at https://edu.kde.org/kstars/ (there is a win version available, assuming that's what you're using?). This may look daunting, but it's really just Stellarium with extras. There's a little dome-like icon which is 'Ekos' and this connects all kit together. As I pointed out in my flow-diagram, I use controller to align, then everything switches to computer (i.e. kstars be it from macbook or Raspberry Pi). This does away with needing to install eqmod etc as all the drivers (INDI) are included. Then at least we'll see if things are talking correctly.
Last ditch effort - what is the baud rate set to for Stellarium when directly connecting to the EQM35? Most need set at 115,200 for whatever reason (at least this is how I've needed things to be with OSX/RPi).

If the pc won't talk to the mount, guiding ain't going to work to start with so need to iron this one out.
Writing on the fly... just googled "eqm35pro stellarium" and first hit or SGL. Try cloudynight link, baud-rate then perhaps kstars if you're ok with the idea of switching over?
What's your budget for guide cam? Just PM'd you about this too...

 

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Just a guess...I don't do Windoze, so I don't do ASCOM, but INDI has a different setup in the Connection Tab for USB vs. WiFi.  I don't know what the default is for ASCOM.

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19 hours ago, pete_81 said:

Hi Andy,
I understand your comment about just wanting it to "just work" only too well!
Agreed that a simple fool-proof method is necessary for us all! And in answer to your last question, "Yes, any is better than none if setup is reasonable" but I think you know that ;)
So the 2nd port on the ZWOs etc (as we've established you already know) is only when you're using ST4 for guiding. Yes, you can use it by setting PHD2 to control the mount 'via camera' I think the option is. But would love to help and get you running without this (directly from PC).

Can I suggest you look at https://edu.kde.org/kstars/ (there is a win version available, assuming that's what you're using?). This may look daunting, but it's really just Stellarium with extras. There's a little dome-like icon which is 'Ekos' and this connects all kit together. As I pointed out in my flow-diagram, I use controller to align, then everything switches to computer (i.e. kstars be it from macbook or Raspberry Pi). This does away with needing to install eqmod etc as all the drivers (INDI) are included. Then at least we'll see if things are talking correctly.
Last ditch effort - what is the baud rate set to for Stellarium when directly connecting to the EQM35? Most need set at 115,200 for whatever reason (at least this is how I've needed things to be with OSX/RPi).

If the pc won't talk to the mount, guiding ain't going to work to start with so need to iron this one out.
Writing on the fly... just googled "eqm35pro stellarium" and first hit or SGL. Try cloudynight link, baud-rate then perhaps kstars if you're ok with the idea of switching over?
What's your budget for guide cam? Just PM'd you about this too...

 

Hi,

read both messages, I’ve got a method that works for Stellarium which is basically the cloudy nights link you supplied. It’s no big deal if I have to use the hand controller in the chain it’s worked fine up til now, hopefully it will be easy enough to add guiding into the mix, maybe without EQMOD, maybe just with phd2 and Stellarium/CdC

For the T7 guide camera that is another on the list, you can get from Ali express for about £70-80 I know it will take a while but I’m in no rush to guide just yet.

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I would look at plate solving before guiding, but that probably won't work with Stellarium.   You can use PHD2 for guiding with Stellarium, but you'll need to be running either an ASCOM or INDI driver for PHD2 to connect to the scope.

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Hi Jon, just spied your gear list. Can you confirm if the sv105 or sv305 work "seamlessly" with PHD2? I guess Andy had the initial question about these working as Guiding and it'd be useful to know if there are other cheaper cameras available that actually connect and could be used potentially for Guiding? My initial concern was seeing reports and specs about the svbony cameras limit of 1sec exposure times... Can PHD2 override this and allow exposures up to, say, 5 sec? 2 secs seem to be the typical for zwo guiding.

Just a thought... 

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SUCCESS!!!

I have successfully got control of my EQM-35 PRO mount via laptop with no Handset involvement using the USB to B2 (Printer Cable) and also now can control the mount via a spare game pad. Next step guide camera which was where this all started 🤣

Thanks to everyone who contributed...... (Still cant decide on which camera though 😉 )

Andy H

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Nice one Andy! What changed? Or was this one of these "I'll just try one last time in hope?!" 🤣 We've all been there (or I'd guess most have as it's in line with the 'turn it off and turn it on' approach)!
And to confuse you further, I've just spied Svbony SV305Pro, so yes, you can use Svbony cameras to guide!
Although again you're into price realm of the 'well used' type!

Keep us posted though as to what you decide. It's tips like this that suggest you can do it on a reasonable budget!

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57 minutes ago, pete_81 said:

Nice one Andy! What changed? Or was this one of these "I'll just try one last time in hope?!" 🤣 We've all been there (or I'd guess most have as it's in line with the 'turn it off and turn it on' approach)!
And to confuse you further, I've just spied Svbony SV305Pro, so yes, you can use Svbony cameras to guide!
Although again you're into price realm of the 'well used' type!

Keep us posted though as to what you decide. It's tips like this that suggest you can do it on a reasonable budget!

It was that pesky Baud Rate, set that to the value above 9000 (115200 or something i think it was) and it connected ! and via the usb port so no need for a £35 eqdir cable etc. All working with Stellarium and CdC too, hopefully will get to try in anger if we get anything like a clear sky that i can at least try aligning with. So unless I've really misunderstood everything it should be a case of connecting Guide Cam to laptop and configuring with PHD2.

Got to say moving the mount around using the game controller is pretty cool, and will hopefully make aligning even easier.

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19 hours ago, pete_81 said:

Hi Jon, just spied your gear list. Can you confirm if the sv105 or sv305 work "seamlessly" with PHD2? I guess Andy had the initial question about these working as Guiding and it'd be useful to know if there are other cheaper cameras available that actually connect and could be used potentially for Guiding? My initial concern was seeing reports and specs about the svbony cameras limit of 1sec exposure times... Can PHD2 override this and allow exposures up to, say, 5 sec? 2 secs seem to be the typical for zwo guiding.

Just a thought... 

I have never used the SV105 for guiding, but the SV305 is my guide camera now.  It has worked without fail with the indi_sv305_ccd driver for indiserver.  I have used it to image in the past and occasionally now through the guide camera with exposure up to 30 seconds. I typically guide with an exposure of 2-3 seconds.  There may have been some issues with the driver when it first came out that artificially limited the camera for ASCOM or INDI, but I know that, for INDI, at least, that was corrected at least 8 months ago.  There have been some minor issues with the SV305Pro (not related to exposure), but that is an active project and if it isn't fixed today, it may be tomorrow.  

The SV105 is a V4L2 (basically, a webcam) device.  I see no reason to believe that it wouldn't work with the indi_v4l2_ccd driver and PHD2, but I only ever used it for my initial imaging trials with VLC.  It was not limited for exposure.

Many of the issues people have with this camera (and really, any astro camera) are power related.  You really need to run astro cameras using a powered usb hub.  They are "heavy eaters" in the power department.  It is not uncommon, for instance, to hear Raspberry Pi users complaining about computer instability after installing an astro camera directly to a USB port (without a powered hub).  This can also occur with some laptops.  This is especially important if you are running more than one camera to a computer (eg: guide camera and primary image camera).  That is a lot to ask for USB power from a Pi or laptop.

NOTE:  I recommend setting the binning at 4x4 for the SV305 as a guide scope for PHD2. I have noticed that even if I set all the specs in PHD2 to 4x4 binning, it doesn't really set them in the driver.  It also does not load the default configuration when connecting to the driver.  My recommendation is to connect the camera in PHD2, then go to the Indi Control Panel->Options->Load to load the configuration on startup of PHD2.  This assumes you went to the Indi Control Panel and set the bin to 4x4 and then Indi Control Panel->Options->Save when you setup the camera initially (I believe the bin setting isn in Indi Control Panel->Image Settings, but I have slept since I did the original setup, so that may not be right).

It may be me, but I also think the contrast slider in PHD2 works backwards.  There is probably a good reason for this, but if you don't see stars, perhaps the contrast is at the wrong end of the spectrum.

 

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After a disastrous test attempt Friday night where almost everything went wrong 🙈😂 I managed a successful live session Saturday night using CdC  via EQMOD and Xbox controller with APT to fire off 180 x 60sec on the DSLR, no synscan handset anywhere to be seen,.
So I’ve Bitten the bullet and went for a ZWO120mini mono, to add guiding into the mix. Thanks everyone for the help, I gave up on the svbony as it started getting just as expensive, so I figured I could only afford to spend once.

cheers

Andy H

 

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Nice one Andy! I was out last night for my first ever guiding effort and happy to report I had some success with this. I've just updated my RPi post with my setup images and description of what I was doing and how I arrived at success (or at least things got working!). Have a read and see if there's anything that you may be able to take from it as a relative newbie?

Pleased for you that you've had success also!

Hope you have more clear skies soon to get out more!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just thought I'd provide a brief update to this thread, with what I've learnt recently, I took the advice provided here to get a powered USB hub for the ZWO120MM picked up a reasonably priced 12v one from Amazon 4 port +1 Charging. I was dreading getting the guide camera focused but turned out to be straightforward.
I have added a field flattener (HUGE DIFFERENCE), installed desktop sharing so I can be outside and control the laptop whilst the lappy sits indoors, I had my doubts that it would work but it does and it works very well. So I use my mobile phone to access the capture software (APT, NINA, SHARPCAP) whichever, much easier than trying to focus on the DSLR screen, I'm using an old XBOX controller configured on eqmod to make the framing adjustments what a god send that is and can be used on the USB hub out at the mount or directly from the laptop indoors.

Familiarising myself with N.I.N,A currently and Plate solving I think I'm there after a lot of back and forth on another thread and speaking directly to @han59 who sorted my settings for me (thank you) just need a clear sky to test, Anyhow I digress, I had to abandon NINA on my first use in anger as it appeared to stall when connecting to PHD and starting guiding but it turned out to be my impatience and not realising how long PHD2 takes to calibrate and start guiding. I quickly switched over to APT & had same issue but while checking things over PHD completed its calibrating and started guiding ! and with only an hour left I stuck with APT and fired off a an hour of 2 minute GUIDED (woohoo, get me, GUIDED 🙂 ) subs of M45 Plaeides (spelling) whilst not perfect by any means its still my first guided attempt and quite proud that I worked it through and got a result.

Next stop, PLATE SOLVING and total control through NINA..... Thanks to all who helped me make the right decisions.

IMG_2993.thumb.jpg.efb1d833e4692222f83f3ec51213d592.jpgPleaides.thumb.jpeg.e1ba104baa16ecc528aa840d1e79f133.jpeg

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