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Help requested - PHD2 setup, calibration, and use

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#1 Eddie_42

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 12:04 AM

Allrighty, here we go

 

I finally picked up my guide setup. Astromania 60mm scope, ASI120mm-mini camera. Main mount is a EQ6-R Pro, 6months old.  Last night was my inaugural attempt at using it. It was not without its issues, and I am looking for some guidance (pun) to tweak it.

 

I got every thing assembled, software downloaded/installed, and guide camera focused on the horizon. I have some wind power turbines on the ridge, so i got a nice little video capture using the guide-gear. Once dark came, i aimed the scope at M27, and fired up PHD2. Started the loop, tweaked focus a touch, and then went on to calibration.  The inital settings were all auto set with PHD2, I just input my gear, and left all the other values as they were.  I did set the exposure time to 3seconds, i got a selection of stars that chose one from, and shift+clicked the 3rd icon to calibrate.

 

The first calibration came back as "failed - star didnt move enough".  A quick scan through the documentation and FAQ said to increase the pulse time. I found the setting, and set it to 2000ms, from the initial 900ms.  I fired of the calibration again, and this one completed, but came back with a warning about "orthogonality" and that the calibration was not likely very good.

 

Wanting to get after some images I plowed on through. below is a screen capture mid sequence for my M27. I also attached my logs, there are 2 sets, the 1st was the calibration sequences, then i turned on APT, and accidentally connected the wrong camera. This caused all kinds of fun. Regardless, I restarted software, and thus the main capture sequence is in log 2.  I have the debug logs, but they are too large to attach here.

 

Sample image taken is over here...too large to post in the thread. It is a single 5min sub, not processed in any way.  The stars are all streaked, and decently uniformly. Even near the middle of the image, so i dont think is a FF issue.  I dont think my tracking really turned out all that well. NOTE: the image of my PHD guiding is not from the same time as the image.  I did not have my flattener in the train so there is certainly radial issues around the corners. another topic for another thread.

 

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. I will be traveling with the rig for the first week of July, and will have access to wonderfully dark skies. I was hopeful to have my new gear up and running for the trip.  Some images of the Milky Way near Scorpius, and the North American/pelican nebula complex are high on my list. 

 

Attached File  PHD2_GuideLog_1.txt   32.7KB   5 downloads

Attached File  PHD2_GuideLog_2.txt   199.44KB   3 downloads

phd_pulse.jpg



#2 Jim Waters

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 12:40 AM

Ask for help here.

https://openphdguidi...g/getting-help/

 

FYI

https://groups.googl...pen-phd-guiding


Edited by Jim Waters, 27 June 2019 - 12:40 AM.


#3 scadvice

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 12:45 AM

First try holding down the shift key as you tap the guide icon. This will re-calibrate for you don't need to do it as another step. Are you letting PHD pick the guide star? Also, before you start imaging under tools use the guiding assistant and click on it's suggested changes.

 

This video might help also...

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=Mt0luBLaHDw

 

And I see Jim gave you some homework also. grin...


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#4 Tapio

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 12:45 AM

Do Guiding Assistant.

 

Looking at M27 image I see just FF spacing issue. Center looks good at that size what is avaiable.


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#5 jerahian

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 12:52 AM

Hmm, your setup seems OK.  You've got the correct pixel size and focal length for your guide cam & scope, I see everything as default in PHD2 as you mentioned, but that calibration is whacked.  The RA and Dec axes are definitely not orthogonal in your calibration, by about 30 degrees which is quite a lot.

 

I would check the following:

  1. Make sure you have no taut cables
  2. Make sure your guide camera is not loose within the guide scope - if it's loose, it could be shifting in position during calibration
  3. Make sure your guide camera is not tilted - this could affect orthogonality between the axes

-Ara


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#6 Dynan

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 06:26 AM

Barring any of the hazards mentioned above (flexure, etc), I find that running Guiding Assistant multiple times helps home in on good settings. Dec (and RA, I guess) calibration can be difficult if backlash is a problem. I see that your Dec aggression at 100 indicates some problem there. I know that result only too well...



#7 Eddie_42

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Posted 27 June 2019 - 08:42 AM

Do Guiding Assistant.

 

Looking at M27 image I see just FF spacing issue. Center looks good at that size what is avaiable.

m27_cropped_300s.jpg

here is a cropped version - I was on a different computer last night and didnt have access to Photoshop to get a decent crop. The bigger stars seem ok, but the faint ones in the background all seem to run vertically. No flattener in that image. THIS one was with the flattener, before i bailed on it. Looking like a star war movie - about to go plaid.

 

Hmm, your setup seems OK.  You've got the correct pixel size and focal length for your guide cam & scope, I see everything as default in PHD2 as you mentioned, but that calibration is whacked.  The RA and Dec axes are definitely not orthogonal in your calibration, by about 30 degrees which is quite a lot.

 

I would check the following:

  1. Make sure you have no taut cables
  2. Make sure your guide camera is not loose within the guide scope - if it's loose, it could be shifting in position during calibration
  3. Make sure your guide camera is not tilted - this could affect orthogonality between the axes

-Ara

 

#3 is a certain possibility - I still have my gear assembled, this is how everything was mounted. Its a non-rotating focuser, So i can easily line it up with something and try again.

camera_mounted.jpg
 

My attempts at calibration were via the shift-click method on the green PHD Ring. I did not do the Guide assisant, that sounds like something worth digging into. Thanks

 

As for the settings...I have no clue what is good or bad. I just rolled with the defaults.  I will certainly look through the forums posted and watch the video.


Edited by Eddie_42, 27 June 2019 - 08:49 AM.



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