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No stars in PHD2 screen

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#1 woldsweather

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 03:04 PM

My 4th night trying to get PHD2 to work. I have a black screen with no stars. Altair GPCAM2 for guidecam exposure 4s and gain 95. What else can I try?



#2 bobzeq25

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 03:10 PM

PhD2 is crazy sensitive to focus.  If you're off a surprisingly small amount, no stars.

 

Strategies.  Focus the guider during daytime.  Focus it on the Moon.  Focus it on a really bright star.


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#3 woldsweather

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 03:15 PM

Yes my neighbour said that. I spent 10 mins going in and out of focus with Altair capture and got it the sharpest I've managed yet.



#4 Jim Waters

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 03:16 PM

Focus is critical and if the screen is black adjust the gamma slider.



#5 F.Meiresonne

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 03:16 PM

I focussed mine during daytime too...before i took it under the stars...

 

Took some time to figure it all out, getting an image in daylight, then focus...



#6 Jim Waters

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 03:18 PM

https://www.youtube....ery=phd guide 2



#7 woldsweather

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 03:18 PM

Yes I did that this afternoon then sharpened it up with stars.



#8 woldsweather

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 03:19 PM

Focus is critical and if the screen is black adjust the gamma slider.

Gamma slider is full over to right.

 



#9 woldsweather

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 03:21 PM

Yes I have watched them all several times over. Most just HAVE stars and don't mention how they got them.



#10 Stelios

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 03:35 PM

Gamma slider is full over to right.

That's your problem right there. It should not be so. 


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#11 ram812

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 03:38 PM

That's your problem right there. It should not be so.



#12 ram812

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 03:41 PM

I moved the gamma to the left edge when I tried the same thing and slowly moved it just a fraction of an inch at a time towards the center! Never had to go past that.FWIW
CS, Ralph

#13 woldsweather

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 04:18 PM

 

That's your problem right there. It should not be so.

 

Whats my problem? Where? Before packing away I pointed at Sirius and as well as a huge bright white blob there were 15 sharp pin pricks of stars. I tried to tweak it a bit more and totally lost all focus.



#14 woldsweather

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 04:19 PM

That's your problem right there. It should not be so. 

I tried it all over.



#15 ram812

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 04:34 PM

  What scope are you using to guide through, again? 



#16 Stelios

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 08:49 PM

Whats my problem? Where? Before packing away I pointed at Sirius and as well as a huge bright white blob there were 15 sharp pin pricks of stars. I tried to tweak it a bit more and totally lost all focus.

Problem is the gamma slider. It should not be all the way to the right. 

 

If you are trying to focus, use Sharpcap (the free version) to focus the guide camera. THEN go to PhD2, and *very, very slowly* tweak the gamma till the stars appear (don't touch focus!). And I wouldn't use a field with bright stars like Sirius (although you could use a bright star to focus Sharpcap with a Bahtinov mask, then, while still in focus, move to a simpler star field), as that may well throw off an auto-gamma adjustment in PhD2 (not sure it does or not, but the less you court disaster, the better). 


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#17 woldsweather

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 02:58 AM

I did use SharpCap to focus and it was as sharp as it would go. The slider was over to the right over to the left and everywhere in between but the screen stayed black.



#18 RonaldNC

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 07:56 AM

Hmmm... I guess I'll ask a dumb question.  Are you sure you're connected to your guide camera in PHD2?  If you shine a light in front of the camera, do you see it?  Can you see anything during the daytime?  When you focus in SharpCap, are you sure you're connected to the guide camera?  If SharpCap sees the the stars then so should PHD2... unless PHD2 is not really connected to the camera.

 

You should not have this much trouble seeing stars.  Issue either needs to be physical (focus, obstruction, etc.) or electric (connection, driver, etc.).

 

Good luck!

Ron


Edited by RonaldNC, 28 February 2021 - 07:57 AM.


#19 woldsweather

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 08:11 AM

Yes it detected stars fine in SharpCap. But no I didn't see it in PHD2 when I shone my red light in. When I opened up Altair capture and  pointed it a Sirius, as well as a huge white blob there were around 15 pinpricks of stars sharply focused.



#20 Messierthanwhat

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 08:43 AM

Maybe we're missing something really basic here. The OP seems to be seeing stuff with other programs, but not with PHD2. What's different about PHD2? Unlike most other programs, it doesn't start displaying images just by connecting with the camera. The user has to click the "loop" button also. I apologize if this seems insulting, but I sometimes forget this myself for a few moments after first connecting the mount and the camera.


Edited by Messierthanwhat, 28 February 2021 - 08:49 AM.

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#21 jerahian

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 08:51 AM

Make sure you have the latest ASCOM driver for your camera.  Also, if your camera presents a choice, select the 8-bit format not 16-bit in your guide camera options in PHD2.



#22 woldsweather

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 08:58 AM

Maybe we're missing something really basic here. The OP seems to be seeing stuff with other programs, but not with PHD2. What's different about PHD2? Unlike most other programs, it doesn't start displaying images just by connecting with the camera. The user has to click the "loop" button also. I apologize if this seems insulting, but I sometimes forget this myself for a few moments after first connecting the mount and the camera.

I can get 'looping' but no further.



#23 RonaldNC

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 09:52 AM

Yes it detected stars fine in SharpCap. But no I didn't see it in PHD2 when I shone my red light in. When I opened up Altair capture and  pointed it a Sirius, as well as a huge white blob there were around 15 pinpricks of stars sharply focused.

Then I think you are not connected to the camera properly.  Make sure it confirms that you are connected when you push the "connection" button.  If so, then I suspect that your driver isn't working for some reason... out of date, etc.

 

When you shine a light in the camera lens it should illuminate the entire view.

 

Ron



#24 woldsweather

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 11:25 AM

I have this afternoon  got the guidescope and main scope set up and focused on a distant range of hills 7 miles away in Altair capture.

 

When I go to PHD2 there is no picture whether the slider is fully left or fully right or inbetween. Exp set on 2s.



#25 michael8554

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 12:13 PM

Which driver did you select in SharpCap  and Altair Capture that worked ?

 

Have you selected the same driver in the PHD2 Connect Equipment window ?

 

An exposure of 2 Seconds is a typical exposure for seeing stars, so will be way overexposed during the day, try 0.05 seconds in PHD2.


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