Hello Astro Community,
i am new to this forum and i have made this account because i hope to get an answert or a solution-hint to my "strange" autoguiding problem with phd2 / telescope setup. At first i want to mention that i am a beginner regarding to autoguiding but i have read and watched many tutorials online about it so i would claim that i am familiar with the basics.
Before i start to explain the Problem i want to inform you about my setup:
- Mount: Skywatcher AZEQ6
- Telescope: Skywatcher ESPRIT 80 ED
- GuideScope: GuideScope50 180mm
- GuidingCam: ZWO ASI 120 Mini
- Laptop for PHD: DELL Latitude 7490 Windows 10
- PHD Version: 2.6.9
- The guide-cam is connected from the ST4-Port to the guide port of my azeq6 (currently i use "on-camera" and not the ascom eqmod cable)
My approach for Autoguiding:
- Balance the Esprit 80 ED with the counterweights on the AZEQ6 mount (For now i always tried to balance it as best as i can but because of the GuideScope50 there is an asymmetry, so the telescope is slightly unbalanced at any time)
- Polar-Align the mount (as precise as possible - I was told that an polar error of under 5' seconds should be okay for autoguiding but i try to bring it always to nearly zero)
- 3-Star Alignment with the GoTo-SynScanHand-Control
- If Polar-Alignment-Error is to big, i use the Polar-Alignment Function of the SynScanHand-Control to reduced it to the minimum (Look at the Picture from my hand Control - polaralignment-error.jpeg)
- Slew Telescope to a bright star (last time i used the star vega)
- Go Through the profile wizard, for the camera i get the pixel size automatically cause the camera is also connected with a cable to the computer. As my Cam i choose ASI ZWO and as mount setting: "on-camera" - 180mm focal lenght of the guide scope - off-axis: no - and i also create a dark-frame library, so auto star selection should work without hot-pixels!
- I start looping 3seconds exposures and try to focus my guide scope cam with the star-profile window -> last time i remebered a value of somwhere in between 3 and 5 HFD. (Is this to big ? - It wasn't possible for me to make the HFD smaller) - I have read that it is better to focus the guide cam in sharpCap but i always tried it in phd with the HFD value.
- Than i let phd auto select a star and start the calibration.
- Up to this point of time i dont get any warning or error message from PHD!
- The Guiding starts and works for some few seconds but than i see how the DEC Axis in the phd2 graph climbs up. After that i get the error Message: "PHD2 is not able to make sufficient corrections in DEC Check fo cable snags try re doing your calibration and make sure the st4 cable is working properly (Look at the picture i have added to this post - phd2-graph-1.png & phd2-graph-2.jpeg). When i start the guiding again (no matter wich star and also with new calibration) the same thing happens over and over again. Sometimes fater 2 seconds sometimes after 6 seconds..
What i also want to say is that i have tried to redo the whole setup from scratch once again again on an completly other night, but i run into the exact same behavior as descibed above!
I have added the PHD2 Log files of the night 12.07.2020 (german date format), i really don't know what i am doing wrong, does someone of you guys has an idea what i am doing wrong?
I would be extremly grateful for tips or hints what i can try on my next observing night session!