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Guiding with Maxim DL - ARRGGH


Darth_Muppet
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I have an Orion Starshoot Autoguider mounted on a WO 70 as my guider.

All connected via Maxim DL Pro (latest Version )

No matter what I do, I cannot get it to guide at all.

I get the Guide cam pic up but when I try to calibrate I get the " Star has moved <5 Pixels in X " message.

I can see the frame is moving each time as the stars are moving with each frame taken. I get no RED L and despite the frames showing the scope is being moved about, the X and Y positions/values that are displayed always remain the same values.

I've tried turning up the settings from 10 all the way through the range to 60 for the X and Y cal axis settings.

Dont know what the problem could be.

Any help at all? I cant do any imaging till this is solved...

Edited by Darth_Muppet
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I have v4 of MaxIm so things may have changed. It has worked perfectly for me except when I try a video camera to guide with. As you don’t mention it did you set up the way MaxIm communicates with the mount? It has a range of settings ASCOM, via the camera relays, shoestring etc? I think it’s under options on the guide tab.

Andrew

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Sounds like it's not communicating with the mount properly. Is the movement your seeing in different directions, or is it just the drift of the mount? I'd suggest playing with the settings that AndrewS mentions (I think they're in the same place in v5, though I can't fire up Maxim just now).

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AutoGuide Output - control via guider relays

I found that the best way to calibrate the SSAG with Maxim was to use a mag 2 or brighter star and a short exposure. If you try to calibtrate in a rich starfield Maxim often struggles to recognise the original star after a calibration move. With a 70mm guidescope and say a 2 sec exposure you will typically have a calibration image literally packed with stars (and possibly hot pixels too). Choosing a bright star lets you achieve a good SNR with a short exposure and the fainter stars fade into the background noise.

HTH

Derrick

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Well PHD didnt work too well for me, looks like a clear night tonight so I will retry again.

I'll also see if I have a spare cable and swap that over.

I do tend to select a bright star manually rather than let Maxim select the guide star for me, but this still didnt work.

I dunno what was up with PHD, it locked onto a star and was calibrating but after 30 mins it was still calibrating.

My setup is possessed! lol

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When I last had guide problems I tested each bit of equipment individually so if all else fails try this.

Firstly I checked the continuity of the guider to mount cable using a multimeter.

Next (after carefully checking the pin layout of the mount and guider) I used a shorting wire to manually connect the pins on the mount guider port , via the cable plugged into the mount, one direction at a time to see if the telescope moved ( I use the Sky and on max zoom I could see the motion, I could also hear the motors change pitch - well it was day time.)

Lastly I used a diode and resistor in series, set to give 30mA at 5V, to see if the software + camera were asking the relays to close (using the move command from MaxIm to activate the relays, one direction at a time and linking the right pins on the cable, plugged into the guider this time, with the diode/resistor across the pins in turn).

All these worked so I changed the lead and it worked.

This may help you track down the issues.

Good luck tonight

Andrew

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i had a similar episode last week with this <5 pixel message with MaximDL even after swoping out cables etc; i moved stright to PHD and control using Eqmod pulse guiding through the serial port rather than the ST4 lead, and voila, off we go - it wasn't perfect but i am glad i persevered as in the end i could get near round stars with 2min test pics. Have since obtained a gpusb (thanks Steve) to try an alternate route of control but tbh, if Eqmod keeps working as well as it has for me, there is little incentive to change; if you can't find a solution, would an option like this be worth a try for you?

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I dunno what was up with PHD, it locked onto a star and was calibrating but after 30 mins it was still calibrating.

My setup is possessed! lol

In PHD click the brain icon and increase the step size setting to 1000 ish(or more)

post-16950-133877529061_thumb.jpg

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Well I tried all that.

Pin checked the cable, thats fine.

Tried again with Maxim and on the first Cal it did draw a small red line, then went back to the same problem again.

Tried again and again, nothing.

Tried PHD, Was still calibrating West and up to 58, was taking ages. Increased the value as suggested to 1000, still the same.

I even uninstalled and reinstalled Maxim but to no effect. Is there a place where the configs/settings are stored? I want to physically delete them all and restart.

The only other thing I havent done yet is to uninstall and reinstall the EQMOD Software......

Here's a pic showing the failed Calibration as I was going to image M63 tonight...

post-14789-133877529141_thumb.jpg

Edited by Darth_Muppet
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OK - Update.

Disconnected the EQMOD and put the Handset back onto the mount.

Run the mount up and selected a star ( no point aligning as I only wanted to test the Autoguider )

Autoguide, expose and ran calibration again. Same problem. Same values, Star moved < 5 pixels error message.

At least that has ruled out the EQMOD.

I'll see if I can get the StarShoot Swapped tomorrow for another camera.

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Just something else to try .....

If the EQ6 guide speed is set quite low, say 0.25x, try increasing it (temporarily) to 0.75x or even 1.0x. Not a good setting for guiding of course, but it would give you bigger displacements in x-y directions during calibration. Might reveal something.

Adrian

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