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starpusher

new and struggling

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Hello,

Just joined up!

Trying to get my HEQ5 syn scan upgrade to work with QHY5 guide camera. Using PHD software and it seems that the mount doesn't get signals from the laptop. This is when I try manual or control T in PHD. I've tried deleting drivers / programs and re installing but no joy. Beginning to think there is a fault on the mount. Does anyone have any ideas for fault testing etc.

Thanks,

R

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If you suspect that the mount has a problem then you could make up your own RJ12 cable to connect to the ST4 port of the mount and then try shorting any of pins 3 to 6 to pin 2 will result on the mount moving slightly as indicated below. If the mount does move in response to these artificial 'corrections' then the problem must lie elsewhere:-

post-13675-133877368636_thumb.jpg

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Thanks Steve,

I'll try it. I guess pin 2 is earth or ground and what's pin 1 (NC)? Do I just connect up the 12V supply to the mount abd then short them in turn but for how long? Does the mount take a single pulse and then cut out? I'm a bit worried about damaging something.

Regards,

Richard

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Thanks Steve,

I'll try it. I guess pin 2 is earth or ground and what's pin 1 (NC)? Do I just connect up the 12V supply to the mount abd then short them in turn but for how long? Does the mount take a single pulse and then cut out? I'm a bit worried about damaging something.

Regards,

Richard

Hi Richard,

Pin 2 is 'Ground' and pin 1 has No Connection

Set the mount tracking at sidereal rate and the autoguiding rate to 1 X - you will hear it making a slightly 'musical' note as it tracks imperceptibly. Now short one of the pins to ground (pin 2) as suggested and you will hear the 'musical note' change if the guide port is working correctly. If there is no change in the musical note emanating from the mount then you have an ST4 guide port fault.

PLEASE BE SURE THAT YOU HAVE CONNECTED YOUR TEST PATCH LEAD TO THE CORRECT PORT - NAMELY THE ST4 GUIDE PORT.

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Hi Richard,

a warm welcome to SGL, hope you enjoy the forum.

John.

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Welcome to the SGL Forum Richard.

I hope the mount problem is not too serious, I'm sure it won't be.

Let's hope so anyway. Good luck with it.

Ron.:)

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Steve,

Done the test! Set up the speeds as you suggested-sure enough musical / tinkley noise from the mount.

Shorting result:

4 (green) and 5 (yellow) -- noise changed from music / tinkle to a whirring buzz noise.

3 Red - slight perceptible noise change but nothing like 4 and 5 certainly no whirring buzz

6 Blue - no change in noise at all !!

What do you think?

Looking at the colour coding that you posted, it seems like there may be something wrong with the RA possibly explaining why the guide star doesn't move enough according to phd and nothing seems to happen when I try manual inputs on phd....... But nothing happens in DEC as well as RA....and that doesn't quite tie up with the test result.

The Syn Scan upgrade is still under warranty and my supplier is a good bloke. I will tell him about this test and maybe I should send the mount inclusive of upgrade back to him. If I had another mount I could try that. I could go and see my supplier and maybe try another mount (and he is agreeable to this) but it's a 300 mile drive there and back.

Thanks a lot for your help so far...regards, Richard

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This is so difficult to say without being there to hear it. That the pin 6 short does not appear to do much does not greatly surprise me as the motor essentially stops and allows the stars to 'catch up' but the gentle noise continues to be heard because parts of the motor is still 'energised' (at rest, a whining noise can be heard from the mount). That shorting 3 results in a tiny change is indicative that it is working so I am not convinced that the ST4 port has a problem.

I don't use PHD so am not sure of the control that you have over the amount of movement you get per correction but I am assuming that the chosen guide star does actually change position during the calibration process? What guide rate do you select as standard? I would try a calibration with 1 X sidereal set as the guide rate to see if the star really does move rather than just doesn't move enough. Try a Barlow lens to increase the effective focal length of the guide 'scope.

The above are an attempt to save you a 300 mile round trip and determine once and for all whether or not the mount is at fault!

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Steve,

I have two scopes, 200mm f1000mm reflector for imaging and an 80mm f600mm refractor for guiding. I have never achieved calibration with the refractor. When I try the f1000mm scope as a guide scope, then PHD gives me the “Guiding” message. So on the face of it calibration can be achieved with the longer focal length but I am not entirely convinced. The reason is that I have to have the calibration step set very high (8000ms and the limit is only a bit higher --10000ms). At this setting it goes through the west, east, north and south calibration but it takes over 10 minutes may be even as long as 15 minutes before “Guiding” appears on the screen. So I leave it to chug along and then after 3 or 4 minutes I get an error message or a warning message. It’s a while since I tried this in anger and I can’t remember what the message actually said. Also I never actually tried imaging when the “Guiding” message appeared because at the time I thought it was a bit futile. I think the guide star did actually move on the computer screen and from memory I also had the mount set at 1 x sidereal.

From what I have read on other forums / sources, then PHD calibration should only take 2 or 3 minutes with a calibration step of only about 1000ms using an f500/600mm guide scope. Also, again from what I have read, I should be able to detect movement of the mount when I try “manual input” in PHD. When I try manual, I know there is no movement because I see no movement of the image when looking through the eyepiece. This test was done during the day looking at a distant chimney and this is why I thought there was a fault with the mount guider.

As you suggest I will use the Barlow lens with the f600 refractor as guide scope and see if I can get a photo using the f1000. I will try a bright star for starters and I will let you know the result.

After I temporarily gave up with PHD, I tried Guidemaster but Guidemaster doesn’t seem to have any recognition of scope or guide camera. I did download the Ascom platform but I am not at all well versed in these things and so I probably completely messed up.

Regards,

Richard

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Not sure how to help you...

I also have a HEQ5pro with V3.21 Synscan.

I use a short focus ST80 as a guide scope with QHY5 camera connected directly to the ST4 socket on the mount. I've never timed the calibration cycle but I don't think it takes 2 mins...

What version of PHD ( V1.10??)

There's a neat little program which can display a star image on your PC screen and by setting up the mounting and pointing the guide scope at the screen you can quickly do all the testing etc indoors before attempting it in the dark!

SGE Star Guiding Emulator

If the cable appears to "talk" to the mounting, then it must just be the settings..

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Steve,

I have re-tested for mount drive noise as you suggested. Prior to this I "carefully" uninstalled and reinstalled QHY5 drivers according to the camera instructions. I used the Astrosoft website. I also uninstalled and reinstalled PHD (V1.10) ....just to be sure! I then tested using the manual inputs using PHD with the mount guide speed set at 1x sidereal paying attention to the noise of the mount. For the North and South inputs (DEC) I did hear a whirring noise not unlike the noise I heard with the patch test. I have never noticed this before but as I think you suspected I did not really know what to listen for. The noise was not perhaps quite as distinctive and also not immediate as the patch test but I certainly could hear with my ear placed close to the mount. I guess the patch test is immediate because it results from a direct short circuit whereas with PHD there could be a “programme” delay and perhaps because I am physically holding the wires together on the patch test then the input is perhaps longer and stronger with a correspondingly longer and stronger whirring noise from the mount. For the manual west /east inputs for PHD the noise, or lack of it, was also similar to the patch test.

So, as far as the electronics are concerned then it does now seem to be ok. However, as a result of our discussion I have checked out the backlash and I will have to say that it is noticeable in both RA and DEC. So with the clutches tightened I do feel and see movement. Should backlash be undetectable by hand and eye in order to achieve satisfactory calibration? Could it be that the backlash is so significant that I can not see movement through the telescope eyepiece when I manually input with PHD? I think I will try and tighten up the gearing a bit, or maybe a lot, in any case I would appreciate your thoughts.

Regards,

Richard

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