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Guiding with ST4, USB, or both?

Astrophotography Beginner Mount Equipment Imaging
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#1 Olbensen

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 12:24 PM

I just set up my Star Adventurer 2i with an ASIair plus, and a 120mm for guiding. I connected the AsiAP to the mount with the USB-B to USB-Mini as well as the ST4 from the guide camera to theST4 port on the mount. Should I have both or is it one or the other? I’m seeing people in YouTube videos saying they prefer one over the other so I’m confused if I’ve got it correct or not.

-Ben

#2 hyiger

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 12:29 PM

I just set up my Star Adventurer 2i with an ASIair plus, and a 120mm for guiding. I connected the AsiAP to the mount with the USB-B to USB-Mini as well as the ST4 from the guide camera to theST4 port on the mount. Should I have both or is it one or the other? I’m seeing people in YouTube videos saying they prefer one over the other so I’m confused if I’ve got it correct or not.

-Ben

No one (that I know of) uses the ST4 port for guiding anymore. It's better to let the ASIAir handle the guiding and not the camera. So just a USB connection from the guide camera to the ASIAir is enough. 



#3 rgsalinger

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 12:30 PM

The preferred method is to use ASCOM pulse guiding.

 

This is for two reasons. First, then you don't need the ST4 cable. That's one less thing to worry about. Second, you can calibrate the guiding system once and then reuse the calibration as long as you don't change it (the guiding system). I strongly urge you to read the PHD manua before going out with your system. Even though ZWO stole the IP from the PHD guys, the manual is invaluable to starting out imager/guiders.

 

At the same time, if you don't mind the extra cable and the occasional extra calibration step, both methods will yield the same results. Most of the people putting out videos on youtube know even less than I do about guiding. There's no "science" behind the idea that one method is better than the other. 


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#4 pedxing

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 12:31 PM

USB (ASCOM Pulse Guiding) is preferable to ST4, the ST4 cable is redundant if you are using USB.

 

The main advantage to pulse guiding is that the mount tells PHD where it's pointed so you don't have to re-calibrate every time you slew to a new target. You calibrate once on or near the meridian/equator intersection and then it's good to go anywhere in the sky.


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#5 hyiger

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 12:41 PM

At the same time, if you don't mind the extra cable and the occasional extra calibration step, both methods will yield the same results. Most of the people putting out videos on youtube know even less than I do about guiding. There's no "science" behind the idea that one method is better than the other. 

Agree. They both work.  However even though the ASIAir can be switched to "ST4 Mount" you end up hobbling it because then you lose the ability to control the mount with the ASIAir. 


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#6 Andros246

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 12:49 PM

I just set up my Star Adventurer 2i with an ASIair plus, and a 120mm for guiding. I connected the AsiAP to the mount with the USB-B to USB-Mini as well as the ST4 from the guide camera to theST4 port on the mount. Should I have both or is it one or the other? I’m seeing people in YouTube videos saying they prefer one over the other so I’m confused if I’ve got it correct or not.

-Ben

the star adventurer 2i only supports ST4 guiding i believe.



#7 Olbensen

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 01:05 PM

The preferred method is to use ASCOM pulse guiding.

This is for two reasons. First, then you don't need the ST4 cable. That's one less thing to worry about. Second, you can calibrate the guiding system once and then reuse the calibration as long as you don't change it (the guiding system). I strongly urge you to read the PHD manua before going out with your system. Even though ZWO stole the IP from the PHD guys, the manual is invaluable to starting out imager/guiders.

At the same time, if you don't mind the extra cable and the occasional extra calibration step, both methods will yield the same results. Most of the people putting out videos on youtube know even less than I do about guiding. There's no "science" behind the idea that one method is better than the other.


So in theory having both, though it may be redundant, isn’t doing anything detrimental? And that being said I should not select (on camera ST4) on the ASIAIR and just let the software guide the star tracker? I’ll probably just pull the ST4 to have one less cable but I’m curious.
Any specific phd2 guide you’re suggest? I was initially under the impression that phd2 was a separate and specific software unrelated to the ASIAIR’s guiding software. I’ve been attempting to research today prior to making this post and it’s a lot to absorb.

#8 Olbensen

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 01:07 PM

the star adventurer 2i only supports ST4 guiding i believe.


Well that would simply things despite it being the less preferred method. So does that mean the SA2i’s USB-mini port is solely for powering?

#9 hyiger

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 01:28 PM

So in theory having both, though it may be redundant, isn’t doing anything detrimental? And that being said I should not select (on camera ST4) on the ASIAIR and just let the software guide the star tracker? I’ll probably just pull the ST4 to have one less cable but I’m curious.
Any specific phd2 guide you’re suggest? I was initially under the impression that phd2 was a separate and specific software unrelated to the ASIAIR’s guiding software. I’ve been attempting to research today prior to making this post and it’s a lot to absorb.

PHD2 version 2.5 is what the ASIAir uses internally as it's guide software. It's hidden under the ASIAir app interface. It's not the "full" version of PHD2 in that ZWO only exposes a subset of the application features. It's still worth reading the PHD2 manual. 

 

With regard to guiding your mount it appears that it only supports ST4 guiding so you have to use the ST4 cable. In that case, I don't think it's possible to control your mount directly with the ASIAir. I would suggest searching cloudy nights. There are various threads on this topic. Here is one: https://www.cloudyni...-adventurer-2i/



#10 Andros246

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Posted 28 May 2024 - 01:43 PM

Well that would simply things despite it being the less preferred method. So does that mean the SA2i’s USB-mini port is solely for powering?

They must've changed that when I bought my 2i a little over a year ago I had nothing but the ST4 port on mine.

 

I just checked an online photo yeah wow theres a usb port now.... (for the record it never used to support pulse guiding!)

 

Manual says its for power and firmware so I have no idea.

 

 

To try to use pulse guiding just run mount USB to Air and guide camera USB to AIR. If it works great!

 

If it does not you should remove the mount to air usb cable and add the st4 from guide camera to mount cable.

Hope that makes sense.


Edited by Andros246, 28 May 2024 - 01:54 PM.



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