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PHD2 Problem - Help Needed :(

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#1 Atlas10

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 03:01 AM

Dear All My Masters :),

 

I've recently started this hard hobby and started to take my first images. I've only one problem left and this is about PHD2 or the Mount. 

 

My setup is;

 

Asi1600mm Cool

EFW

W.O. Space Cat

60mm Guide Scope(Focal Lenght: 240mm)

Omegon Velox 178m Mono (Pixel Size: 2.4)

Skywatcher EQM-35 Pro

 

I'm at my home which has Borthel 4, and making my polar align with QHYCCD Pole Master so i assume polar align error is very low.

 

In this case i'm constantly getting star lost error from phd2 and it says it can't make necessary corrections with RA. i couldn't solve the problem, i'm attaching log files below. In log files i changed the focal length from 60 to 250 to solve the problem but problem continued and error was always more than 50 arc minutes especially in RA axis.

 

If you have any idea i can listen. thank you very much in advance.

Attached Files



#2 Stelios

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 03:55 AM

I can see that you fixed the focal length to the correct 240 only near the end of the 7/4 session. 

 

However you never obtained a correct calibration after that (a correct calibration shows RA and DEC axes orthogonal (or nearly so) to each other, both populated adequately with "circles." Without a correct calibration, you will NOT be able to guide correctly--it's pointless to try. 

I did notice that you had some calibrations (earlier) work out while others did not. I am not sure why, but I would check the following: 

 

1) That the clutches on the mount are TIGHT. 

2) That the ST-4 cable has a good connection. I would unplug and reseat it. 

 

It's possible that some erroneous setting is living somewhere in memory. Polar Align. Power off and on. Do the above two steps. Star Align and/or slew to target (away from any clouds). Go to the "brain's" Guide tab and clear mount calibration. Auto-select star. Shift-click to force calibration. If you get a valid calibration, run the guide assistant. Take its recommendations re MinMo's and apply the settings. Start guiding. Let us know if things got any better. (BTW, you only need to upload the Guide log, not the debug log).


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#3 Atlas10

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 04:20 AM

Dear Stelios,

 

Thank you so much for precious help, i will try again and update you later when i find clear sky,

 

Thanks !



#4 johnoelliott

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 05:50 AM

I ran into that problem last night.

No matter what I did, I was getting the same error for both RA and DEC and I had no idea what was going on.

The only change from the previous few nights was that I adjusted my counterweight to be a touch east heavy and my scope to be a touch camera heavy.

I was checking everything in PHD and Ascom and couldn't find anything.

I started going through the HC menus and discovered that the sidereal rate for both had been changed from 50 to 85, no idea how it changed but I switched it back and everything worked again.


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#5 Atlas10

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 06:29 AM

Dear John Thanks for the answer, first thing in my mind was sidereal rate and i checked both of them, mount and phd was 0.50 both.

 

I'm thinking that my mount automatically tracking the object and ignoring phd guide signals (i dont know is it possible or not) even i push stop tracking on hand controller. I will double check the ST4 cable again and try to connect to pc directly.



#6 johnoelliott

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 09:37 AM

How is PHD setup to connect to your mount?

 

If you are using the ST4 cable it should be plugged into the guider port and PHD should be using "On camera" for the mount connection.



#7 Umasscrew39

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 11:06 AM

It's possible that some erroneous setting is living somewhere in memory. Polar Align. Power off and on. 

This is very important to check and may only be resolved by uninstalling and re-installing PHD2.  I happened once to me and it was possible that the malfunctioning of PHD2 was a recent Windows 10 update as others also experienced.  So, if all else fails, try that.  In addition, you can go to the PHD forum where some good advice can also be found.  



#8 asanmax

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 11:22 AM

Troubleshooting PHD2 issues is great, I learned a lot over the time.

First you need to get rid of any backlash in your mount axes. 

Second, you need to decide whether you want to use ST4 guiding or pulse guiding.

ST4 is when you have a cable running from your guide camera to your mount, pulse is when the mount is controlled directly from a computer.

Pulse is a better choice.

 

If you get a message that PHD2 can't make sufficient corrections in one of the axes that is usually a sign of a significant backlash or, if you have a belt-driven worm, then you may want to tighten it up.

Coincidentally, my PHD2 was having some minor issues correcting in Dec and I discovered a couple of days ago that my mount's Dec belt was not tightened properly.

 

I would start from scratch:

1. Balance your mount very well.

2. Create a new profile, making sure all the numbers are correct (pixel size, focal length etc.)

3. Polar align and then run the Drift Align tool in PHD2, it is intimidating but very simple to use. Just follow the on-screen instructions. This is an amazing tool.

4. Start your camera and focus the guide scope well.

5. Try to calibrate on a star near Meridian and look at any message that you will probably see after the calibration is complete.

6. Right after this, PHD2 will start guiding. Run Guiding Assistant. It typically takes 150 seconds to run. This tool will give you some information and suggestion on the settings.

7. Enjoy.



#9 Atlas10

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 03:25 PM

Dear All, i tried this night all of your suggestions but after 1 hour of trying i couldn't make a good guiding. I didn't make any guiding at all. Always got "star lost" from phd2.

 

I'm using polemaster for my star align and Skywatcher EQM35-Pro as a mount. I balanced my mount well. 

 

Do i have a problem with my mount or am i too dumb to use a program which called " Push Here Dummy" frown.gif

 

Here is my today log, i'm open to all your suggestions. (I cant use guiding assistant because i can't start guiding.)

Attached Files


Edited by Atlas10, 12 July 2020 - 03:26 PM.


#10 imtl

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 03:46 PM

Okay. Looking at your log file it is obvious that you are stuck at calibration stage. There is something very wrong here.

Before suggesting things, can you please details step by step what are you doing from start? Detail your balance, PA everything.

 

Eyal



#11 KenS

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 04:26 PM

Across your calibrations you are getting movement in RA but not Dec. That is suggestive of a faulty ST4 cable.

The focus of your guide camera is also suspect. HFD is around 15". Make sure it is focussed properly.



#12 Atlas10

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 02:45 AM

I'm using EQM-35 Pro mount, i'm balancing it first with both RA and Dec with all cables attached. Then i making polar align with qhyccd polemaster, after that i'm slewing to my target with synscan hand controller and start phd 2 starting to calibrate. My finder scope focus is good i think because on the screen i see sharp stars and SNR is mainly around 200.

 

I couldn't figure out what is wrong, i even tried with different ST4 cable but nothing changed.

 

I tried to connect mount directly to my pc for pulse guiding but my pc wont recognize mount even all drivers are installed and mount is on pc direct mode. I'm hearing new device beep but ascom drivers can't see the mount.

Okay. Looking at your log file it is obvious that you are stuck at calibration stage. There is something very wrong here.

Before suggesting things, can you please details step by step what are you doing from start? Detail your balance, PA everything.

 

Eyal



#13 imtl

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 03:11 AM

You need to do 3 star alignment before slewing or guiding or anything like that.

 

The first stage is to understand why your calibration is so consistently bad. Can you post the parameters you set in PHD2?

I do not mean RA and DEC minmo and aggressiveness. I am talking about your initial setup. Camera parameters and all the rest. You can put screenshots of all 4 tabs in the brain.

 

The other thing is I notice you use 1 second exposures. Unless you have an exceptional seeing every night, this is too short exposure. You should do 3 seconds.

 

What is your pulse guide duration?

 

Eyal



#14 Atlas10

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 09:05 AM

I forgot to write, i'm using one star calibration but i will try with 3 star if it helps,

 

here are the detailed information about my phd2;

 

You need to do 3 star alignment before slewing or guiding or anything like that.

 

The first stage is to understand why your calibration is so consistently bad. Can you post the parameters you set in PHD2?

I do not mean RA and DEC minmo and aggressiveness. I am talking about your initial setup. Camera parameters and all the rest. You can put screenshots of all 4 tabs in the brain.

 

The other thing is I notice you use 1 second exposures. Unless you have an exceptional seeing every night, this is too short exposure. You should do 3 seconds.

 

What is your pulse guide duration?

 

Eyal

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • screenshot.1.jpg
  • screenshot.2.jpg

Edited by Atlas10, 13 July 2020 - 02:47 PM.


#15 Atlas10

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 09:06 AM

others

Attached Thumbnails

  • screenshot.3.jpg
  • screenshot.4.jpg


#16 StephenW

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 09:35 AM

Where is your scope pointing when running PHD2 calibration?   

 

As a sanity check, and assuming you are in the Northern hemisphere, you should be pointing south and about 40 degrees above the horizon.  Find a star in that location, run calibration, let guiding run for at least 10+ minutes and post the guide log.

 

Of course, because you are using ST4, you will need to re-run calibration for each new target you image, but while debugging your issues just select a guide star as described above.



#17 Atlas10

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 02:47 PM

I am mainly pointing to my target while trying to calibrate but i will try with this method again. Thanks !

Where is your scope pointing when running PHD2 calibration?   

 

As a sanity check, and assuming you are in the Northern hemisphere, you should be pointing south and about 40 degrees above the horizon.  Find a star in that location, run calibration, let guiding run for at least 10+ minutes and post the guide log.

 

Of course, because you are using ST4, you will need to re-run calibration for each new target you image, but while debugging your issues just select a guide star as described above.



#18 imtl

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 03:25 PM

I agree with Stephen. Do that and post the log.

 

Also, I suggest that you use 3 seconds exposures and not 1 second.

 

The star alignment is not important for guiding. I was just missing out that step when you described your setting up. That's all.



#19 Atlas10

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Posted 18 July 2020 - 02:58 PM

Dear All,

 

Tonight i had a clear night and i tried your recommendations. I fixed backlash on mount and becuse of my south is obstructed i pointed my mount to east somewhere over cyngus. Again i couldn't lock on any star because of calibration fails,

 

Here is the log;

 

 

Attached Files



#20 imtl

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Posted 18 July 2020 - 03:08 PM

You're still have trouble with your DEC.

 

Can you try the following? manually guide using your handcontroller? Just run exposures and select a guide star but then move the star manually. In DEC. What do you see?

 

Try again with PHD2 manually as well. What do you get?

Do you see anything weird? 


Edited by imtl, 18 July 2020 - 03:19 PM.



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