I'd really appreciate some help tracking down how to fix a new DEC problem when autoguiding with PHD2.
I'm using a Meade LXD75 mount, Meade DSI camera for guiding on a second OTA, and PHD2 on a Windows laptop for guiding using ASCOM to both the DSI guide camera, and with ASCOM via the handbox controller with a USB to Serial dongle and the additional 4 pin cable into the AutoStar #497 hand controller to control the LXD75 mount, and the traditional 8 pin cable from the AutoStar back to the mount.
It seemed to be working fine June 30th, I ran the PHD2 Calibration routine, and successfully guided for over an hour. However my next two attempts on 7/1 and 7/6 failed during calibration with:
"DEC Calibration Failed: star did not move enough"
I also tried PHD2's Star-Cross test with a long exposure on the camera. This is supposed to move the mount during the exposure so that each star draws a cross. I only got a straight line with a blob in the middle. So it went back and forth in one axis, RA presumably, and then failed to do anything in DEC. Could I have accidentally disabled DEC guiding? I don't see how, and fear this to be hardware issue, but anything's possible.
The mount slews in RA and DEC using the four arrow controls on the hand box, and the goto function during the 3-star alignment routine does the same job, as it used to, of getting fairly close to the targets. I also tried going back to the Meade Autostar Envisage guiding software, that seemed to calibrate, but then when I took several 120 second images for over an hour my target progressively moved in one direction out of the field of view. So the guiding did a horrible job, perhaps only stabilizing RA with DEC presumably still broken.
Given the mount, motors, and handbox's four-way arrows still work, how can I troubleshoot this? My 8 wire cable from the handbox to the controller looks to have aged badly with the rubber on the plugs looking torn and could be a source of problems. Are different wires used for guiding corrections versus slewing? Could it simply be that my 8 wire cable has one broken wire? I tested all 8 wires inside and they showed connectivity, but it's possible that when the cable is being stretched and the plugs bent in the mount outside that the cable fails in a manner that testing it inside doesn't show the failure. Or could the problem be something else?
I've attached the PHD2 logs from all three nights so you can see how the calibration routine worked on 6/30, but failed on 7/1 and 7/6.
Thanks so much!