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More PHD issues and wasted night


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Hi all PHD2 seems to be playing up again and Iost a clear night again¬†ūü§¨¬†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...

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Were you clutches tight? I've had this behaviour in PHD2 recently and the clutches weren't quite done up after I'd done the PA. 

Also I'd reiterate the advice above and redo a calibration (and guiding assistant for good measure) 

 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, david_taurus83 said:

Did you do a calibration in PHD?

Thanks and searching around suggest this too but no I didn't do anything other than start the sequence which does a calibration before it starts guiding.

I'm assuming there is a separate step somewhere so if so nope didn't do it or know about it....

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Just now, CraigT82 said:

Were you clutches tight? I've had this behaviour in PHD2 recently and the clutches weren't quite done up after I'd done the PA. 

I was about to post this same issue: A few days ago I forgot to fully close the DEC clutch and got the same error.

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2 minutes ago, CraigT82 said:

Were you clutches tight? I've had this behaviour in PHD2 recently and the clutches weren't quite done up after I'd done the PA. 

Also I'd reiterate the advice above and redo a calibration (and guiding assistant for good measure) 

 

 

 

Yep thanks, I'd checked that and seemed fine.

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18 minutes ago, scotty38 said:

 

Thanks and searching around suggest this too but no I didn't do anything other than start the sequence which does a calibration before it starts guiding.

I'm assuming there is a separate step somewhere so if so nope didn't do it or know about it....

Are you sure it started a calibration? PHD has the option to reuse previous calibrations as it saves time if you haven't moved your guide scope or camera. Dont assume NINA will take care of everything for you. All it does is send a command to PHD to start guiding. Do you strip down all your gear after a session and put it back together again for the next? If so, you will need to do a fresh calibration each time. It's also recommended you slew to near the celestial equator to perform the calibration as it gives better results.

There should be a folder in Documents titled PHD2 and it automatically stores guide logs in there. You can review the latest ones with the PHD log viewer.

https://openphdguiding.org/phd2-log-viewer/

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32 minutes ago, scotty38 said:

I didn't do anything other than start the sequence which does a calibration before it starts guiding.

I didnt know it did the calibration first, how did you get it to do that? 

If nothing has changed with the setup hardware since the last calibration then a new calibration shouldn't be needed for each session, just a guiding assistant run. I think if you rotate your guide cam in the guide scope you would need a new calibration.  You didn't have any windows updates or any other software changes that might have affected phd2 at all before that session? 

Edited by CraigT82
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I had this same issue a few nights ago. Doing another calibration seemed to fix it but I have no idea what caused the problem. I had been guiding fine earlier in the evening and it only started happening after I slewed closer to the pole and tried to guide there.

I have a suspicion that it may be related to the fact that I cleared all my alignment points at one point while trying to frame my target. I wonder if the mount had 'forgotten' where it was at the point when I started guiding in PHD.

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Hi Scotty

Sounds like it was using a previous Cal, and something was different from your last Cal, so carry out a new one.

If you hover the pointer over any of the PHD2 buttons, you get some Help text.

In the case of the "Guide" button, it says something like "Shift-Click to start a new Calibration"

In case there's a different problem, post your PHD2 GuideLog (they're in the PHD2 Folder)

Michael

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22 minutes ago, CraigT82 said:

I didnt know it did the calibration first, how did you get it to do that? 

If nothing has changed with the setup hardware since the last calibration then a new calibration shouldn't be needed for each session, just a guiding assistant run. I think if you rotate your guide cam in the guide scope you would need a new calibration.  You didn't have any windows updates or any other software changes that might have affected phd2 at all before that session? 

To be honest nothing... I just see the word "calibrating", "looping" etc at the bottom of the screen in NINA or PHD. It may well not be the same thing as an initial or full calibration though....

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1 minute ago, michael8554 said:

Hi Scotty

Sounds like it was using a previous Cal, and something was different from your last Cal, so carry out a new one.

If you hover the pointer over any of the PHD2 buttons, you get some Help text.

In the case of the "Guide" button, it says something like "Shift-Click to start a new Calibration"

In case there's a different problem, post your PHD2 GuideLog (they're in the PHD2 Folder)

Michael

Thanks and I'll try this and see what happens. I did try the shift-click thing and being honest didn't see it do much different at all, unless it was doing it anyway, if that makes sense. I'll grab the logs of my other machine and see what they say.

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5 minutes ago, scotty38 said:

To be honest nothing... I just see the word "calibrating", "looping" etc at the bottom of the screen in NINA or PHD. It may well not be the same thing as an initial or full calibration though....

OK. The full calibration normally take a couple of minutes. Definitely worth doing it next time you set up. 

When you shift click the green guide icon you should get a dialogue box asking you if you're sure you want to redo the calibration

Edited by CraigT82
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27 minutes ago, CraigT82 said:

I didnt know it did the calibration first, how did you get it to do that? 

If nothing has changed with the setup hardware since the last calibration then a new calibration shouldn't be needed for each session, just a guiding assistant run. I think if you rotate your guide cam in the guide scope you would need a new calibration.  You didn't have any windows updates or any other software changes that might have affected phd2 at all before that session? 

Sorry, I didn't answer your other questions. I have added an EAF which updated an ASCOM driver but nothing else has changed. I set up the focuser the other evening but after that was done the clouds rolled in so maybe that's affected something....

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3 minutes ago, CraigT82 said:

OK. The full calibration normally take a couple of minutes. Definitely worth doing it next time you set up. 

When you shift click the green guide icon you should get a dialogue box asking you if you're sure you want to redo the calibration

ok thanks, in that case it wasn't done as I saw no dialogue box. It all seems to be pointing towards doing that although I don't recall doing it previously and it has worked before so maybe just lucky that time....

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If you have PHD open during the calibration, it will give you information about the process in the bottom left hand corner. It should take about 10-30 steps and you can see the star being brought back to the centre when it moves in the opposite direction. 
Given the problem you had I would definitely recommend you do a calibration at the start of the session, if it successfully calibrates that rules out any initial set up problems.

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36 minutes ago, david_taurus83 said:

Are you sure it started a calibration? PHD has the option to reuse previous calibrations as it saves time if you haven't moved your guide scope or camera. Dont assume NINA will take care of everything for you. All it does is send a command to PHD to start guiding. Do you strip down all your gear after a session and put it back together again for the next? If so, you will need to do a fresh calibration each time. It's also recommended you slew to near the celestial equator to perform the calibration as it gives better results.

There should be a folder in Documents titled PHD2 and it automatically stores guide logs in there. You can review the latest ones with the PHD log viewer.

https://openphdguiding.org/phd2-log-viewer/

No I'm not sure to be fair. I take the scope, guide scope and cameras etc off the mount as one each time but they all stay connected relative to each other and all I do when it's remounted and after a PA is have NINA tell PHD to start guiding. Sounds like I've missed/missing some initial calibration at least....

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2 minutes ago, michael8554 said:

Hi Scotty

The difference between when PHD2 is Calibrating and when it's Guiding is pretty obvious.

Sounds like you need to read and apply some of the PHD2 Help Guides you can find via the Help menu.

Michael

Yep agreed!

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1 minute ago, tomato said:

If you have PHD open during the calibration, it will give you information about the process in the bottom left hand corner. It should take about 10-30 steps and you can see the star being brought back to the centre when it moves in the opposite direction. 
Given the problem you had I would definitely recommend you do a calibration at the start of the session, if it successfully calibrates that rules out any initial set up problems.

Yes I see all that and I'll do a full calibration next chance I get. Thanks

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Hi at first I was looking at the California Nebula then I tried M51 so pointing the other wayish. I've attached the PHD2 debug log too, there's a lot in there but you can probably ignore the latter half as I was messing at that stage with focus on the guide scope to see if that was the issue.

PHD2_DebugLog_2021-03-20_195954.txt

Edited by scotty38
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