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Question on PHD2 installation and first use

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#1 RichNH

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 09:20 AM

Current situation:

I have an old mount, an LXD75, which is my only GEM.  I've got an ASCOM driver installed which allows me to move the mount around using NINA's control panel on the telescope equipment screen and also move the mount using CdC.  However I've noted that the ASCOM driver I have seems VERY basic and it doesn't respond in certain cases to other ASCOM enabled software (such as NINA's Scope Control plugin which was non-responsive after installation when trying to actually move the scope with the arrow buttons although it did seem to install OK as using this control to direct the mount via co-ordinates DID work).  The only other ASCOM driver I've found doesn't work at all for my mount.

I was getting ready to sping for guiding scope and camera to use with PHD2 to help with guiding.  But after installing PHD2, it occurred to me that its corrections to the mount might not work just like the Scope Control plugin didn't fully work.  I was intending to use my primary camera (ASI533MC) and my OTA (AT102ED refracter), through PHD2 to learn about PHD2 and possibly do a better job at polar aligning my setup and most importantly, determine if PHD2 will indeed guide my mount once centered on a guide star (prior to buying a dedicated guide scope/camera).  

However, during the PHD2 installation I saw the initial startup wizard pop up and start asking me to set parameters for the first profile and I became concerned that I might be setting up something that was permanent ( i.e. the first profile), so I bailed out up the initial startup wizard.

Question:  If I restart the initial startup wizard and go through setting up my primary camera and OTA as the guide system to be used by PHD2 to guide the mount, can I later revise that profile to use a dedicated guide scope & camera?  I don't want to set up a different profile (as I think PHD2 calls it) for the dedicated guide scope & camera, I would like for me to be able to re-establish a clean initial profile with a scope/camera dedicated to guiding.  If I can't "reset" these initial parameters after installation, I won't spend the money on a dedicated guide scope/camera at this time but will instead dedicate the money to a more modern heavy duty mount that I know ASCOM will be able to work with. 

Essentially, it will take me at least several months to save up the $$$ for a new mount that I want so I don't want to pick up a guide scope/camera at this time and go through setting up PHD2 only to find out that PHD2 cannot work with my current mount through ASCOM.  I want to find out if PHD2 will work with my current mount now, before I spend the $$$ on a guide scope/camera.  But I also don't want to set up parameters in PHD2 that are irreversable. 

So, can I rerun the initial startup wizard in PHD2 after I've run it the first time?  Common sense says yes, but I've found in the past that common sense sometimes isn't that common.

Clear & steady skies


Edited by RichNH, 08 December 2023 - 09:42 AM.


#2 Phil Sherman

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 09:26 AM

Under PHD2's advanced settings there's a "Reset Configuration" button that erases everything and lets you start over as if it's a new installation.


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#3 RichNH

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Posted 08 December 2023 - 11:13 AM

Outstanding, thank you.



#4 Cliff Hipsher

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Posted 10 December 2023 - 04:52 PM

I have an LXD75.  Back in the day I used AutoStar Suite and Envisage to control the mount and cameras (guide and imaging).  OTA was a Meade 2080 SCT with a .63x  reducer,  Celestron Radial Guider (AKA off axis guider), cameras were a DSI Pro Color to guide and DSI mono for imaging.  LRGB filters in a manual wheel.  Ran it remotely using Windows RDS. At one point I tried using ASCOM. Didn't like it.  Fast forward a few years.   Worked like a charm.  Bought an AT130EDT and an iOptron GEM45, 60mm guide scope, ASI120mm mini guide camera, ASI183M and MC Pro cameras, 5 slot and 8 slot ZWO electronic filter wheels ASi Electronic Auto focus-motor , and an ASI Air Plus.  Before I put the system together I tested the mount using ASCOM.  I got it working with Stellarium, but I really wasn't impressed.   I've been running with Air ever since.  I recently tested the LXD75 with an Air Plus, and it works.  The down-side is you need to get a special USB to serial cable.  The rest is gravy.

 

I have no idea what mount(s) you are looking at, but I love my GEM45.  It's like it and Air were made for each other and you don't need to use the handbox at all.

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#5 RichNH

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Posted 10 December 2023 - 10:17 PM

I have an LXD75.  Back in the day I used AutoStar Suite and Envisage to control the mount and cameras (guide and imaging).  OTA was a Meade 2080 SCT with a .63x  reducer,  Celestron Radial Guider (AKA off axis guider), cameras were a DSI Pro Color to guide and DSI mono for imaging.  LRGB filters in a manual wheel.  Ran it remotely using Windows RDS. At one point I tried using ASCOM. Didn't like it.  Fast forward a few years.   Worked like a charm.  Bought an AT130EDT and an iOptron GEM45, 60mm guide scope, ASI120mm mini guide camera, ASI183M and MC Pro cameras, 5 slot and 8 slot ZWO electronic filter wheels ASi Electronic Auto focus-motor , and an ASI Air Plus.  Before I put the system together I tested the mount using ASCOM.  I got it working with Stellarium, but I really wasn't impressed.   I've been running with Air ever since.  I recently tested the LXD75 with an Air Plus, and it works.  The down-side is you need to get a special USB to serial cable.  The rest is gravy.

 

I have no idea what mount(s) you are looking at, but I love my GEM45.  It's like it and Air were made for each other and you don't need to use the handbox at all.

Thanks for the suggestion.  I tried running PHD2 with the setup I stated in the OP and ran into some calibration issues which I haven't figured out yet due to the weather interfering.  I will eventually pick up a newer and heavier mount in order to also use my Meade 10" Schmidt-Neutonian OTA that came with the LXD75 mount (that OTA was at the top most limit for the mount).  Need to save more $$$ before I go that route though.

I already have the cable you mentioned, that's how I control  the mount via ASCOM now.



#6 michael8554

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Posted 11 December 2023 - 03:58 AM

Each PHD2 Profile can be unique - different guide cameras, focal lengths, mount drivers etc.

 

I'm not sure why you want to start from scratch each time you swap your setup - just select the appropriate Profile.



#7 RichNH

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Posted 11 December 2023 - 09:35 AM

Each PHD2 Profile can be unique - different guide cameras, focal lengths, mount drivers etc.

 

I'm not sure why you want to start from scratch each time you swap your setup - just select the appropriate Profile.

Thanks for the comment.  I'm just starting to learn about PHD2, having just installed it.  I didn't even realize you could delete profiles when I wrote the OP but wanted to insure that I wasn't going to cast in stone some initial settings, like creating profiles that couldn't be modified or deleted.  Now I know that that isn't the case.  (The original profile I was trying to set up was for a Meade DSI I camera, which, since I can't get the Win 11 OS to recognize it, I have deleted.)  I.E. I wrote the OP in ignorance.

Soon (hopefully today), I will be ordering a ZWO guide camera and an appropriate guide scope.

Clear & steady skies!




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