Yeah my gear? Kind of put the cart before the horse I guess some of it was to try and hack my limited outings but that didn't happen.
I suppose some of my issues like as mentioned is settings. Before my laptop gave out I did get the guide algorithm set from sep to smart didn't get the chance to try it out. As mentioned I could have plugged the laptop into the power strip (should have done that first thing) but between the fiddling, racing the battery I thought I had another half hour on, being hungry and wanting dinner and starting to get cold, thin high clouds moving through I took it as a sign to just stop for the evening.
Might have another clear night tonight and doing some thinking.
Back spacing is off so that needs adjustment, guessing another mm or two but that's more fiddling.
Unsure about autofocusing. Can take the step size down by half to start with from 500 to 250 and see if it complains. I mean if I need perfect focus to start with then why autofocus? Can do it by hand faster but worried about focuser slipping or temps and potential filter changes if I get that far. Still can try a smaller initial step size. Can also see if I can get a smaller bahtinov mask to get initial focus. I also wonder if it picked a star on the outer edge that where elongated too badly or exposure was still too short to detect.
Balance was another concern, even with a 3.5 pound counterweight under the front of the scope hanging off some, was still a little back heavy. Guessing from the filter wheel.
If I attempt round 2 tonight I'll probably just fight with the Linux laptop. Not sure I want to mess with autofocusing. Also not sure I want to fiddle with trying to get backspacing more correct. Was thinking redcat. I don't have 2" filters for monochrome. Also unsure I can halfway cobble together the black cat autofocus mount for it that's supposed to hold the asiair (counterweight) to balance things out better since my asiair is basically a brick.
Ironically when I first got started back into the hobby I seemed to have better success, seems like I've gotten progressively worse. I was considering a new mount and scope upgrades but why bother when I can't get what I got out enough and when I do it's a battle. As mentioned previously I did wonder if my EQ 6 R pro is borked or needs adjustment. Was thinking of merging the two mounts for either a cem40 or cem70 and swapping the rasa for a hyper newt. But seems like flushing funds now at least until I can prove there is mount issues and if I don't have a computer that works probably or me, probably need to hold up on upgrades.
Forgot to mention I do have the WO handle on it's way in for the AT80EDT instead of the standard at handle maybe that will help mounting options and balance the scope better.
If I do get the rig out (not sure which one yet) plan B would be some EAA if nothing else. Or just pull the dob out for a bit.
Trying not to give up and stay engaged in the hobby.
If you have time, during daylight today, get as much set up as possible inside your house, with a full stomach and a heater. Sort out connectivity while here.
Autofocus: you just need to be within a range. I'm not sure what autofocus is like on that app, but in NINA, it's only going to go out so far left & right of the point in order to find the focus curve. You don't need perfect, you just need to be in the ballpark. Then, once you get there, you really don't ever have to worry about it again, unless you change your setup.
I recommend you stop thinking of swapping or buying things. Chances are, the products aren't defective here, but you're just not putting in the time to learn them. Take out whatever you have as the simplest and least error prone setup and like others have said, learn one thing at a time.
ASIAir: you sure that's a brick? Power it up in the house, even if not attached to anything else, and try it out. If this is a Pro, make sure the SD card is properly seated in there (those can be a source of error) and if you get it going, follow their instructions for creating a backup of your license key.
But most of all, stop moving everything around and changing setup looking for a solution. You have good equipment already. Focus (no pun intended) on one simple setup and get it going. Throwing money at the situation just wastes money. Well, unless buying stuff is your hobby (it is for some folks).
Also, I can't say this enough: get as much working as possible while it's daylight and you're in the house. Then, take it all outside before dark and get it set up and roughly (using a phone, compass, whatever) polar aligned. Let it sit outside with the dust caps on and come to temperature. Then go back out, after supper, and do the focusing and polar alignment. Don't stress about perfect PA, just get it somewhat close. You're not at the optimization point yet. Because you sorted all the wifi and other issues while inside, this should be less stressful. For example, you can figure out your focuser backlash while the scope is sitting on a table or chair in the house. Just use the app to move it a ton in one direction (like 1000 steps), and then move it in small increments (like 5 or 10) in the opposite direction until you see the knob on the other side of the focuser move. It can help to put a bit of tape or a pencil mark on it. Keep track of how many times you moved it and then multiply that by that step size. That's your backlash setting. Mine is 50. I've seen them as high as 100 with the EAF and some rack and pinion focusers.
Autofocus: why resist the values I told you worked for me? Why not give those a shot? Maybe it's not the same for that app, but the EAF is the EAF. If those don't work, then try something larger. OR, just skip autofocus, but have the EAF on. Throw on the bahtinov mask and then use the focus jog controls to get the stars in focus.
And most of all, if you're spending 4 hours trying to get something working, take a step back away from the problem and break it down. We rarely think clearly when tired, hungry, cold, and annoyed.
Balance: this will show up as bad guiding. Don't stress about it for now. Just get it close enough in RA that it's pretty steady so you don't grind the gears. Beyond that, it's optimization.
Back focus distance (not back spacing): As long as you have round stars in the middle of the frame, again, ignore optimization here for now. On my own setup, I have some tilt, so I tell the autofocuser to only use the middle 80% of the frame when figuring out if stars are in focus. Not all products have this option, but again, this becomes optimization. Honestly, you just need to be in focus enough to be able to see something and plate solve. Pinpoint stars will come later.
If you take out the redcat, ignore autofocus and backfocus for today. I used my redcat without a focuser for a while. It's easy enough to twist it into decent focus with the bahtinov mask. Do focus your guide scope as reasonably as you can.
Maybe even just skip filters. Nothing says you can't just take black & white photos for tonight to get going.