Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

EQ6-R/EQMod - RA not tracking

  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#1 Baskevo

Baskevo

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 172
  • Joined: 07 Sep 2019
  • Loc: Orange County, CA

Posted 13 July 2020 - 02:38 AM

Hi Everyone,

 

So I have just about had it with my EQ6-R Pro... This is my 3rd one, because I had to return the other two due to tracking issues (for example, when I would try to park the mount, the RA would freeze). I had better luck with my AVX Mount.

 

With my new EQ6-R Pro, I am directly connected to my PC (no hand controller), with an ASI1600mm Pro (w/ filter wheel) and a ES ED80 Triplet APO Refractor attached. I use a side-by-side set up with my ZWO 60mm guide scope. It should be well below the weight limit.

 

My issues started happening when I was getting unbearable backlash during dithering, where it would take almost 2 minutes to recover. I never solved that issue before I moved to a new home, and put everything away for the last few months. I noticed then that the axes have more resistance than I would expect for a $1600 mount, but I couldn't confirm that was the problem, and I am not very handy and somewhat new to this stuff.

 

I got it out again, and the first night it worked absolutely incredible, no issues. Everything ran as smooth as possible. 

 

However, last night, while I was trying to plate solve, the mount would not move closer to the object once it got so close. I moved over to PHD2 to look at the live view from my guide camera, and noticed that the mount stopped tracking. I tried again, same thing, and I tried to guide and found it was the RA axis that was not tracking (from the huge dip in guiding). There were no errors on EQMod. It worked randomly throughout the night, and it happened every time I tried to do a plate solve (but I can't be certain that is the only time it does it). 

 

I tried to fix it by disconnecting the mount and restarting, and noticed that when I parked the mount to the home position, the home position would be off by a couple of degrees, sometimes even more.

 

I thought maybe it was a periodic error issue or something, but it started working again like 2 hours after fiddling with it and trying different USB ports, different power sources, etc. When it finally did work, I did only one plate solve, and just hit guide, and it worked fine for the rest of the night. Tonight, I tried again and it was doing the same thing, and I noticed it mostly does it when I try to do a second plate solve.

 

I have been looking everywhere for a solution... Could it be a software issue? In my research, I found you are supposed to have the bits per second rate in the port settings set to 9600, but mine only works at 115200. Could that be causing the issue? Should I reinstall everything? 

 

It really sucks that I invest so much money to have a better mount and less headaches, but I have more... I am going on a camping trip next week, so I am hoping to fix it before then... Any ideas, and I will be forever grateful.



#2 Baskevo

Baskevo

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 172
  • Joined: 07 Sep 2019
  • Loc: Orange County, CA

Posted 14 July 2020 - 03:59 AM

Bump...



#3 Elephant42

Elephant42

    Sputnik

  • -----
  • Posts: 26
  • Joined: 30 Apr 2020
  • Loc: Brisbane, Australia

Posted 14 July 2020 - 05:10 AM

The fact that this is your third mount with issues causes me to suspect that your problems are caused by something external to the mount.

 

I would suggest that you start looking carefully at your controlling PC, your connecting cables and your power supplies.



#4 f300v10

f300v10

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 405
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2018
  • Loc: Marietta, GA

Posted 16 July 2020 - 07:46 AM

Baskevo,

 

Sounds to me like you have the wrong setting for the 'sync' mode set in EQMOD for plate solving to work correctly.  Expand the EQMOD window so you can see all the settings.  Find the alignment/sync settings, and check the 'User Interface' value. You're description of the plate solve failures indicate to me this is likely set to 'append'.  This must be set to 'Dialog Based' and not 'append' for plate solving.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • dialog_based.png


#5 Baskevo

Baskevo

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 172
  • Joined: 07 Sep 2019
  • Loc: Orange County, CA

Posted 16 July 2020 - 05:52 PM

Baskevo,

 

Sounds to me like you have the wrong setting for the 'sync' mode set in EQMOD for plate solving to work correctly.  Expand the EQMOD window so you can see all the settings.  Find the alignment/sync settings, and check the 'User Interface' value. You're description of the plate solve failures indicate to me this is likely set to 'append'.  This must be set to 'Dialog Based' and not 'append' for plate solving.

Wow! You were right about it not being dialog based! I just switched it, and I will give it another go tonight! :) Thank you so much Scott!!!! 



#6 Baskevo

Baskevo

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 172
  • Joined: 07 Sep 2019
  • Loc: Orange County, CA

Posted 17 July 2020 - 02:20 AM

Baskevo,

 

Sounds to me like you have the wrong setting for the 'sync' mode set in EQMOD for plate solving to work correctly.  Expand the EQMOD window so you can see all the settings.  Find the alignment/sync settings, and check the 'User Interface' value. You're description of the plate solve failures indicate to me this is likely set to 'append'.  This must be set to 'Dialog Based' and not 'append' for plate solving.

I tried this, but it did not help :( In fact, tonight was worse than usual. About half way between my shots, the RA would start drifting hard, and it would cut my shots short. It has done that a few times now, and I have to reset everything. One time I reset tonight, I parked the mount and it slewed all the way to the left, with the telescope almost hitting the tripod on the west side...

 

I have switched out the USB cable, the USB powered hub (with an $80 weatherproof one), I've tried switching the AC/DC power converter, the only thing I haven't tried is the power cord, but again this is my third mount giving me issues, so I don't think it's the power cord... It has to be user error. I don't know what to do guys T.T

 

It works randomly throughout the night, but the guiding in RA is not doing as well as it usually does when it does work. I don't know if this is related, but also my guide camera would refuse to connect when switching from sharp cap to PHD2, and I would have to unplug it and plug it back in again (the camera has always had issues like that, for example I can't connect to main main ZWO imaging camera when the ZWO guide camera is plugged into it through the hub on the back of the main camera, which is an ASI1600). 



#7 f300v10

f300v10

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 405
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2018
  • Loc: Marietta, GA

Posted 17 July 2020 - 11:26 AM

Baskevo,

 

The 'dialog based' setting will only impact, and hopefully fix, your plate solving issues, it will not impact your tracking/guiding.

 

About your guiding, double check your ASCOM pulse guide settings in EQMOD.  The rate should be 0.5x as a good default for both RA and DEC.

 

Another question.  Are you re-calibrating PHD2 each night? If you are setting up your equipment each night, recalibrating is a good idea. If you have a permanent setup and don't move the guide scope/camera this isn't needed.  But since you are having issues I would recommend re calibrating even if your setup is permanent.  Also if you do change the pulse guide rates you must recalibrate.

 

I use an ASI290mm guide camera plugged into the USB2 port of my ASI1600MM without issue, so your problems do make me suspect things are not as they should be in terms of your camera connections/USB.  When switching from sharp cap to PHD2, be sure you have disconnected the 120MM from sharp cap before you attempt to start/connect from PHD2.

 

Both PHD2 and EQMOD have active support groups where you can get the best help available and speak with the developers/maintainers of the code:

 

EQMOD: https://groups.io/g/EQMOD

PHD2: https://openphdguidi...g/getting-help/



#8 KTAZ

KTAZ

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 667
  • Joined: 09 Apr 2020
  • Loc: Scottsdale, AZ

Posted 17 July 2020 - 11:45 AM

I found that having several software programs running at once accessing a single controller (Ascom) can confuse things unless you run ALL of them as administrator (this is a Win10 specific issue).

 

So, if you are running Win10, set all of your interacting programs to run as administrator, especially EQMOD. I found that this helped stop programs from crashing when trying to tun concurrently with EQMOD.

 

Just a thought; it could be a communication issue.



#9 Baskevo

Baskevo

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 172
  • Joined: 07 Sep 2019
  • Loc: Orange County, CA

Posted 17 July 2020 - 06:48 PM

So I switched all of the programs to run as adminstrator, and I probably do need to re-calibrate, however, I feel it is an issue with the mount or the EQMod program itself, because it is having issues tracking, I don't think it is a guiding issue... 

 

I may be wrong though. I'll have to try to recalibrate. I forgot to mention, I recently moved about 15 minutes away from where I started doing AP. The elevation increased by about 50m. When I first set everything up in the new place, I didn't touch any settings (including elevation) except for the coordinates, and I didn't even run a new calibration. That was when it ran incredible, for the first time... no issues. When I changed the elevation and tried to re-calibrate with a new profile, that was when I started getting issues. I went back to the old profile, and I still haven't recalibrated because every time I try it starts acting funky...

 

With that said, I will try to rerun the calibration, with the sync controls and the admin running. Hopefully that will make things a little better...



#10 f300v10

f300v10

    Messenger

  • -----
  • Posts: 405
  • Joined: 16 Sep 2018
  • Loc: Marietta, GA

Posted 17 July 2020 - 07:46 PM

Double check the pulse guide rates.  By default EQMOD sets the value to 0.1, which is way too low and will often cause calibration to fail.  Make sure the ASCOM pulse guide rates are 0.5 before you try anything else.

 

EQMOD has been around for many years, if something is wrong it is with the settings.   The EQ6-R is one of if not the top selling mount in its class and I think the odds of getting 3 lemons out of 3 are very low. I assume your mount has the build in USB2 port?  If so the proper baud rate is indeed 115200:

 

"To use the internal USB port set the EQASCOM communications baud rate to 115200bps via the EQASCOM setup screen"

 

Something else you could try as a test would be to remove EQMOD from the equation.  Use the ST4 port to connect the ASI120mm to the mount directly.  Then run PHD2 using the 'on camera' setting in the mount dropdown.  


Edited by f300v10, 17 July 2020 - 08:17 PM.


#11 Baskevo

Baskevo

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 172
  • Joined: 07 Sep 2019
  • Loc: Orange County, CA

Posted 18 July 2020 - 12:32 AM

The pulse guide rates are set to 0.9, as recommended by PHD2 EQMod guide. I don't have the ST4 cable and really don't want to hassle with that... I'd rather get rid of the mount and go with a different brand, lol. 

 

tonight, before recalibrating in PHD2 (or even opening PHD2), while I was in sharpcap polar aligning, I tried to park the mount to restart the polar alignment and I noticed the mount sounded like it was slewing and showed it was slewing to the home position in EQMod, but it took like a second before it actually started moving. When it finally parked, it was off by a few degrees. The scope being a few degrees off in the park position is not a new thing, in fact that is what happens after the mount stops tracking randomly in the RA axis, and cannot guide anymore--when I try to park the mount to reset it, it is a few degrees off from the park position, even though it thinks it is in the parked position.

 

It is somewhat similar to my previous mounts that I returned, which would not respond to west or south commands, or park commands, it would just stop altogether, even though it sounded like the mount was slewing and EQMod thought it was slewing... I have not had that exact issue with this mount, but it seems like it is about to start doing that again. 

 

UPDATE: so I created a new profile, reset all of the settings, re-calibrated PHD2, made sure my OTA was secure, and then I decided to train PPEC. I don't know if I did it right (Details are down below if anyone wants to tell me if I did it correctly), but everything seems to be running smoothly... for now.

 

Here is the PPEC details:

 

1. Polar align

2. calibrated PHD2 facing the celestial equator

3. Auto-guiding on, guide assistant recommendations applied.

4. while guiding was running: In the area on the left of EQMod, just above where you set the track rate, I switched that window to show PEC. It said inactive, and so I hit record. I recorded for 7 capture cycles.* 

5. With PEC+Sidereal running, on the right side of EQMod I selected "record PPEC" and let it run for about 8 minutes. I refreshed and it said "PPEC is off," so I assumed it was done training. 

6. I turned off the Sidereal+PEC by hitting the pause button in the window on the left side of EQMod, and I enabled PPEC on the right side of EQMod.

 

At the end of it, I realized by dust cap on my OTA was still on, which messes up my balance a bit... Will that have an effect on the quality of my PEC curve?

It has been running for about 15 minutes, and so far so good. 

 

Also, I am using the "Predictive PEC" algorithm for RA in PHD2, and that was on from the start when I calibrated PHD2.


Edited by Baskevo, 18 July 2020 - 02:22 AM.


#12 shovelit79

shovelit79

    Lift Off

  • *****
  • Posts: 5
  • Joined: 16 Aug 2018

Posted 19 July 2020 - 05:00 PM

I hope you have this figured out.

One other thing to check is make sure you have the latest versions of EVERYTHING.

Check ASCOM drivers for updates, all of your firmware etc.

 

I just spent this afternoon configuring a new mini PC to manage my sessions and it's time consuming for sure!

 

Good luck!

 

Larry



#13 Kevin Ross

Kevin Ross

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 987
  • Joined: 28 Mar 2018
  • Loc: Traverse City, MI

Posted 19 July 2020 - 05:37 PM

I tried to park the mount to restart the polar alignment and I noticed the mount sounded like it was slewing and showed it was slewing to the home position in EQMod, but it took like a second before it actually started moving. When it finally parked, it was off by a few degrees.

This sounds like a hardware problem. Here's what I'd do. In the daytime, disconnect your computer from the mount and just plug in the hand controller. Try slewing back and forth using the arrow buttons on the hand controller. If you can hear the motors running, but nothing is moving for a second or two, then something is loose. There are a few things it could be.

 

Start by trying to wiggle the RA axis by hand back and forth. If there's more than just a very slight amount of play, then that is almost certainly the cause of the backlash. You would need to tighten up the worm mesh. Or possibly the bearings on the end of the worm shaft, but I've heard the EQ6-R Pro has a different design there compared to previous models. Astro Baby has a guide on tightening up the worm mesh. It's pretty simple, and does not involve taking anything apart. The adjustment screws are on the outside of the mount.

 

If wiggling the RA axis by hand doesn't reveal a lot of play (a teeny tiny amount is normal), then I would take the belt covers off. Those are the two oval covers on the back side of the mount, held on by three screws each. Take the covers off, and look for anything out of the ordinary. Try slewing back and forth, and watch for things that don't look right. For example, maybe the motor is spinning, but the little gear attached to the motor isn't spinning, indicating the set screw is loose. Basically, if you see something wrong, the fix is probably self explanatory.


  • Baskevo likes this

#14 Kevin Ross

Kevin Ross

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 987
  • Joined: 28 Mar 2018
  • Loc: Traverse City, MI

Posted 19 July 2020 - 05:49 PM

Also, one more thing. Is it possible the clutch is slipping? The RA clutch on the EQ6-R Pro is known to be kinda slippery (at least on some of them), meaning you have to tighten it down fairly tight, otherwise it can slip. While you're slewing in RA, try holding the telescope with your other hand, and see if it slips. If you can hold back the telescope with just a single finger, then it's not tight enough. :)



#15 Baskevo

Baskevo

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 172
  • Joined: 07 Sep 2019
  • Loc: Orange County, CA

Posted 19 July 2020 - 05:52 PM

This sounds like a hardware problem. Here's what I'd do. In the daytime, disconnect your computer from the mount and just plug in the hand controller. Try slewing back and forth using the arrow buttons on the hand controller. If you can hear the motors running, but nothing is moving for a second or two, then something is loose. There are a few things it could be.

 

Start by trying to wiggle the RA axis by hand back and forth. If there's more than just a very slight amount of play, then that is almost certainly the cause of the backlash. You would need to tighten up the worm mesh. Or possibly the bearings on the end of the worm shaft, but I've heard the EQ6-R Pro has a different design there compared to previous models. Astro Baby has a guide on tightening up the worm mesh. It's pretty simple, and does not involve taking anything apart. The adjustment screws are on the outside of the mount.

 

If wiggling the RA axis by hand doesn't reveal a lot of play (a teeny tiny amount is normal), then I would take the belt covers off. Those are the two oval covers on the back side of the mount, held on by three screws each. Take the covers off, and look for anything out of the ordinary. Try slewing back and forth, and watch for things that don't look right. For example, maybe the motor is spinning, but the little gear attached to the motor isn't spinning, indicating the set screw is loose. Basically, if you see something wrong, the fix is probably self explanatory.

So I set up last night, with the new cables, new settings, everything tightened up, and with PPEC in both PHD2 and EQMod, and everything ran great again! Except for some dithering issues that happens every once in a while, it seems to be running great. 

 

I'd be really shocked if it is a hardware issue, because it is my third mount giving me issues... I don't get any play when wiggling the RA. I'm scared to take off the covers because the last time I did, it made things 10x worse lol (I'm really bad with that kind of stuff).

 

I will definitely try with the hand controller and I will check If the clutch is slipping! Thank you for the advice Kevin Ross! :)


  • Kevin Ross likes this

#16 Kevin Ross

Kevin Ross

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 987
  • Joined: 28 Mar 2018
  • Loc: Traverse City, MI

Posted 19 July 2020 - 05:56 PM

It might be something as simple as the RA clutch slipping. This would make sense, because the axis is kinda tight, making balance kinda difficult. So with a load a bit off balance, at some point, the RA axis will be trying to push this off balance load up hill, so to speak. But it will depend on where in the sky you are pointing. Which would explain why sometimes it's fine, and sometimes it is behaving as if it's slipping (which it might be). I might be barking up the wrong tree, but it's something easy enough to test during the daytime.


  • Baskevo likes this

#17 Baskevo

Baskevo

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 172
  • Joined: 07 Sep 2019
  • Loc: Orange County, CA

Posted 19 July 2020 - 11:50 PM

It might be something as simple as the RA clutch slipping. This would make sense, because the axis is kinda tight, making balance kinda difficult. So with a load a bit off balance, at some point, the RA axis will be trying to push this off balance load up hill, so to speak. But it will depend on where in the sky you are pointing. Which would explain why sometimes it's fine, and sometimes it is behaving as if it's slipping (which it might be). I might be barking up the wrong tree, but it's something easy enough to test during the daytime.

So I tested this, and there was no issue. I don't know if this tells you anything, but lately, while running guide assistant, the DEC axis goes off the center (0 degree) line by like 4 degrees. It's never done that before. Also, every once in a while after guide assistant, I get the "can't make sufficient corrections in DEC. check for cable snags..." etc.



#18 Baskevo

Baskevo

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 172
  • Joined: 07 Sep 2019
  • Loc: Orange County, CA

Posted 20 July 2020 - 01:13 AM

Its doing it again--drifting in the RA axis. I'm sooo over this mount, and I think I'm going to sell it. WAY too many headaches for the money. Thanks for trying to help though...



#19 Baskevo

Baskevo

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 172
  • Joined: 07 Sep 2019
  • Loc: Orange County, CA

Posted 20 July 2020 - 03:31 AM

LOOK AT THIS!!! I am so infuriated... I don't know what to do T.T I don't want to open the mount, because I can't believe this is the 3rd mount with mechanical issues!

 

Screen Shot 2020-07-20 at 1.28.57 AM.jpg

 

Screen Shot 2020-07-20 at 2.36.21 AM.jpg

 

Seriously its been doing it all night... I found if I just let it recover, it will... but it takes like 5 minutes... I am at a complete loss. 


Edited by Baskevo, 20 July 2020 - 04:40 AM.


#20 cyendrey

cyendrey

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 11
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2020

Posted 21 July 2020 - 10:23 AM

I think there may be more than one issue and I don't think it is hardware related.  New EQ6-R owner and I did have an issue with an error/failure to train in PHD2, but it was because I had some incorrect settings in ASCOM, but primarily in PHD2.  From your descrption, lacking proof of a physical problem in the mount, it sounds more like the guide issues are a configuration issue either in ASCOM or PHD2.  While we all have gotten accustomed to the 'plug n play' process in Windows, the mix of hardware, ASCOM drivers, and different software all trying to use the same resources make this much more similar to configuring devices in the Pre Windows 95 days.

The other issue about not being able to switch cameras sounds like your ASCOM setup may not be completely correct for the cameras/port assignments in Windows/ASCOM.  I found that Windows, when I first was configuring everything, kept changing the port assignments when the various devices would connect.  

The fix seems to be to go into device manager after startup (and before connecting any of the equipment) and open the "Com & LPT" ports twisty to show your connections.  In the view selection at the top of Device Manager, select show Hidden Devices.  You'll likely see a long repeating list of the same devices connecting to different ports.  Delete all of them.  Then connect your laptop/PC to the USB cable connecting to your telescope hub/equipment.  I took the additional step of having all the end devices (mount, focuser, cameras, etc.) disconnected as well.  Once the hub was up, I connected each device and noted the port that appeared and went into its properties to insure the correct setting - especially for the mount since it requires the 115200 baud setting.  Then shutdown, and restart Windows and then connect the USB cable with all the devices connected.  Windows may make some slight adjustments, but I found after I did this Windows stopped creating new ports every time I started up.  That in turn meant I no longer had to go through ASCOM Diagnositics on each startup to confirm the port assignment/connection to the mount, cameras, etc.

In ASCOM, you need to insure that your main imaging camera and your guide camera are discreetly assigned to ASI Camera (1) and ASI Camera (2).  I use (1) for my main and (2) for my guide camera, but I don't think it makes any difference.  Note and always remember which one it connects to; when you "connect" during the ASCOM Diagnostic routine it should bring up the ZWO ASCOM driver and that is where you insure the correct camera is selected.  You have to select and assign each camera separately.

The only time after I did this where I had an issue maintaining connection to guide camera was when I was connected to it via ASCOM in PHD2, then made the mistake of selecting the same camera with the native Windows drivers in SharpCap or NINA.  It would immediately lose connection in PHD2, and not make a reliable connection via the native windows driver in the other software.  The only solution I found was to shutdown all the software and and ASCOM, and start again.  I've had zero connection issues/connection conflicts since working my way through this.

In PHD2, make sure you go through the Advanced settings; I found that the critical setting is the calibration step size.  Make sure your guide scope information is entered correctlly.  Clicking on the  Advanced button next to the calibration step size will take you to a dialog where you enter all your camera/guide scope/ASCOM parameters and PHD2 will automatically calculate the calibration step size and populate it.  If the calibration step size is too small, PHD2 may or may not run calibration successfully.  If it is marginal it may calibrate (but will take some time) and it will be slow to recover from dithering, mount flips, etc. (from what I've been reading in the PHD2 forums).  It seems this would also make itself known in poor guide reliability as well.  For my setup / parameters from mount ASCOM and guide scope/camera specs, the calculated calibration step size was around 2700 - about 200 times the default setting in that dialog when PHD2 was first installed (I had left everything at default initially).  

Once this was done, calibration worked fine and PHD2's Guide Assistant developed some further tweaking/settings that I accepted.  The PHD2 forum(s) where extremely helpful; review of the log files by one of their support folks can be extremely enlightening.  I guided for over 3 hours on 5 minute subs with NO lost frames and all round stars once I had worked my way through the configuration issues that I had created.


Edited by cyendrey, 21 July 2020 - 10:24 AM.


#21 siriusarcher

siriusarcher

    Messenger

  • *****
  • Posts: 406
  • Joined: 25 Feb 2008
  • Loc: Canada

Posted 25 July 2020 - 07:06 PM

On an excursion to New Mexico in February I experienced that EXACT same guide graph showing the guide star drifting away and the guide correction pulses at their limits until PHD indicated the loss of the guide star. I'd have good guiding for several minutes, sometimes for a whole imaging run, but then the mount would slowly begin to drift in RA just like yours is.  It looked like PHD was sending correction pulses, but there was a loss of response by the mount as if the RA drive was responding too slowly or weakly to keep the guide star in position. This was deeply frustrating and many bad words were uttered (but didn't help). So I definitely feel your pain. 

 

To troubleshoot this, my first thought was that the clutch was slipping, something that will produce a guide graph like that.  RA clutch was tight. I then thought maybe my EQDir cable was pooched and not transmitting guide pulses, or that they were only intermittently getting through, so I replaced it. That made no difference. I went through everything else I could think of, checking connections, re-balancing, measuring voltages, switching power supplies, re-doing the polar alignment, and still no improvement. 

 

What eventually got me guiding again was to plug in an ST4 cable and let PHD route the guide corrections through the ST-4 cable with the mount identified as "On Camera" in the PHD connection wizard. EQMOD was still running and giving me parking, slewing, alignment stars, and other functions, just not the guide pulses. The ST-4 cable was a temporary fix but I finished the rest of the trip with great guiding.

 

When I got home I read dozens of CN threads and tested everything more carefully. I eventually discovered what f300v10 suggested above: the EQMOD pulse guide rate was set to 0.1, or 1/10th sidereal rate. Bumping it up to 0.9 restored normal guiding once again, and the problem has never resurfaced.

 

Looking at your guide graph, it shows that you are getting normal (actually excellent) guiding for an initial period but at a certain point the guide star begins slowly drifting and the guide pulses, despite their duration, are not be able to correct for the disturbance in the guide star's position. It is possible the guide rate or aggressiveness may not be sufficient to keep up with whatever is moving your guide scope off its chosen guide star once the disturbance starts. In my experience the usual suspects for this behavior are a slipping clutch, increasing tension in a cable as the mount tracks, or an imbalance in RA or DEC or both. If you have used the same equipment configuration, cable routing, balancing routine, and software settings on each of the 3 EQ6R mounts you have had and seen this guide graph on each one, I'd definitely be looking at those things more carefully. 



#22 AhBok

AhBok

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,685
  • Joined: 02 Dec 2010
  • Loc: Lakeland, TN

Posted 26 July 2020 - 08:37 AM

Have you tried running the mount on a separate USB2 port bypassing your USB3 hub altogether? The only time I’ve ever had similar issues was when I tried connecting my mount to the same USB3 powered hub. I also tried more than one hub and had one of the more expensive hubs. It would work intermittently and drove me nuts until I ran my EQ6R Pro from it’s own port.

#23 Baskevo

Baskevo

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 172
  • Joined: 07 Sep 2019
  • Loc: Orange County, CA

Posted 31 July 2020 - 03:45 PM

Have you tried running the mount on a separate USB2 port bypassing your USB3 hub altogether? The only time I’ve ever had similar issues was when I tried connecting my mount to the same USB3 powered hub. I also tried more than one hub and had one of the more expensive hubs. It would work intermittently and drove me nuts until I ran my EQ6R Pro from it’s own port.

So, my issues happen in the middle of sessions, when everything is connected. I connect to my MacBook (running windows 10 through a disk partition) using a USB-C adapter, and all of my USB plugs are full with a charger, a external hard drive, and my USB hub. So if it would not tell me anything if the mount works when connected to a separate USB port, because it works when I'm connected to the hub, until it stops tracking randomly or tries to dither, or during polar alignment. It's really random and hard to pinpoint where the connection is wrong. I've tried new everything except the power cord...

 

I haven't had a chance yet to see how it does since I reset the drivers. I will let you guys know how it goes.

 

I appreciate all of the advice, you guys are awesome for trying to help me. If it doesn't work after I have reset the drivers, I don't know what else to do but to buy a new mount. 

 

Cheers,

 

James Wainwright


Edited by Baskevo, 31 July 2020 - 03:47 PM.


#24 Kevin Ross

Kevin Ross

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 987
  • Joined: 28 Mar 2018
  • Loc: Traverse City, MI

Posted 31 July 2020 - 05:49 PM

I tried to park the mount to restart the polar alignment and I noticed the mount sounded like it was slewing and showed it was slewing to the home position in EQMod, but it took like a second before it actually started moving.

Is this still occurring?



#25 jkozman

jkozman

    Sputnik

  • *****
  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 05 Jun 2015

Posted 31 July 2020 - 05:53 PM

This is an interesting topic. I'm having a similar issue, but not nearly as bad. For me, I think it is a communication problem between EQMOD and my imaging software, mainly when I use Sharpcap.

 

If I do a plate solve in Sharpcap, EQMOD will turn off tracking after the mount has synced and re-centered the object. Usually I'm doing that with a focus star- it starts to drift across the screen. Was really confused until I noticed the change in EQMOD. I usually have to restart tracking a couple times in EQMOD before it starts again. I also notice that it never completely centers the object when using Sharpcap platesolving.

 

When I platesolve using APT or NINA everything seems to work just fine. I'm using the same platesolver with every program, which leads me to Sharpcap as the issue.

 

Updating all the software didn't seem to solve the issue. Not that big a problem for me because I don't usually need to platesolve in Sharpcap. Only if my main scope is grossly out of focus and I want to find a focus star using my guide camera.

 

Next time I'll check some of the EQMOD settings mentioned above to see if it solves the problem. 

 

I'm very interested to what other suggestions people have. 




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics