View Full Version here: : PHD, Pulse-Guiding and EQMOD
12-01-2012, 04:26 PM
This is not much a thread to talk about problems or assistance but a huge success.
I have never really been able to capture images greater than 60 seconds mostly because it is difficult to polar align in my backyard. Next door house blocks the celestial pole. Using Alignmaster helped a bit and was able to get approx 120 seconds, then the mount errors would prevent this from getting further.
I recently made a cheap guider (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=85445) and was ready to create a low cost ST4 guide controller when I found EQMOD uses pulse-guiding method. So I downloaded PHD and spent 15 minute watching a video and lo-and-behold I can guide quite well. I didn't need to create the ST4 controller (I will eventually).
Below are some images before and after shots:
1 - 1st image unguided 60 seconds
2 - 2nd image guided 90 seconds
3 - 3rd image guided 240 seconds
4 - 4th image guided 480 seconds
The 95% waning moon does not do justice the images and further to that at longer exposures I reduced the ISO.
The stars are a bit square though and I believe this would be related to accurate polar alignment. The beauty of a good low light webcam is the ability to real-time capture stars instead of long exposure. This should hopefully reduce the updates needed and keep the stars more round.
Still have plenty of mucking around to get the best shot but so far I could not be happier. :cool: :party:
13-01-2012, 08:19 PM
Good to see you got the guiding working without much trouble.
Thanks for posting this I was about to do the same with questions.
I,m at the same stage with my new EQ6 mount, now while I do have the PHD ST4 setup working, well in the lounge in testing mode anyway I am still making my cheap webcam to 35mm lens guide scope.
I am interested in running EQMOD pulse guiding though and was wondering what video you were looking at to help you setup?
Most I've read tells me that pulse guiding with EQMOD is better than running an ST4 guider as well as EQMOD. As I'm new to guiding if anyone else would like to throw in their 2 pennies worth on this matter or point us out to some good reading on the matter I know I'd be happy.
14-01-2012, 02:43 AM
I dunno if pulse guiding is better than ST4, I still not convinced ascom sends both RA and DEC corrections at the same time. However, I haven't used an ST4 cable in my mounts for a couple of years.
Here's the eqmod guiding doc. (http://eq-mod.sourceforge.net/docs/EQASCOM_Guiding.pdf)
14-01-2012, 03:02 PM
I must admit it was difficult to directly locate EQMod video but Chris the developer has a Youtube site which I scrolled through - http://www.youtube.com/user/chrisshillito?feature=watch
Load of video tutorials on EQMod and the Yahoo Group for EQmod is great to get advice on problems as well.
14-01-2012, 03:03 PM
The video is labelled Autoguiding - http://www.youtube.com/user/chrisshillito?feature=watch#p/c/BB117AE85EB6BF04/16/WX2uXMu0crw
14-01-2012, 06:27 PM
I found the opposite. The pulse guiding was much too jerky and I couldn't control it. The guider port on the mount with my QHY5 guider using either guide master or PHD was accurate and very easy to set up.
14-01-2012, 06:47 PM
I am not sure how you used pulse-guiding with EQMOD, but I use PHD with EQMOD, is this similar to what you tried.
If you are already using ST4 you really do not need to convert to pulse-guiding anyway.
I suppose the full use of Pulse Guiding in EQMOD is different for every user. I must admit when it comes down to it I prefer ST4 guiding but the main reason is I can't afford a proper ST4 guide scope. On the second front I have multiple project under-way that require my attention prior to starting UNI. I was going to make a simple ST4 guide from USB to ST4 but As I have managed to get the pulse guide to work along with the cheap guide scope I at least do not need to do this project until I have completed the rest.
I imagine that I will get to a point where my webcam is not going to lock onto a star but that will show in time and will be AP that I will not take.
One issue that is concerning but not major is that I cannot utilise planetary software at the same time as ASCOM cannot run 2 instances, but a quick fix of locating using the planetary software then disconnecting then letting PHD connect is just as good.
14-01-2012, 08:05 PM
Malcolm, not sure if this is what you mean but I questioned this here (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=85358).
14-01-2012, 11:19 PM
Hey Malcolm what cable connection are you using to connect your computer to your mount?
Are you hooking up through the SynScan hand controller or directly to the mount with a USB2EQ6 cable?
I'm having trouble connecting Stellarium though EQMOD using the direct cable. :question:
I can drive the mount with EQMOD using that direct cable but Stellarium will not connect through it. :thumbsup:
I can get Stellarium to drive the mount when I connect using the cable that connects to the SynScan hand controller though. :)
Anyone got any Ideas on this and what the settings in Stellarium are that will allow it to connect?? :question:, the com4 port is obviously ok as EQMOD connects, it's just not talking to Stellarium.
15-01-2012, 12:57 AM
Have you got Stellarium Scope (http://www.welshdragoncomputing.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=31&Itemid=39) in the mix?
15-01-2012, 04:24 AM
That is interesting Dave, saw thread about 4 programs connecting together so I will re-visit this issue next time round.
Hi Nico, I am using a Bluetooth connection no cables. Ultimately I want everything to be wireless but not important again. I don't or more accurately can't use Stellarium or Worldwide Telescope as I am trying to run all my stuff on a Netbook and the above 2 program are too memory intensive, so I can't really assist too much with your query regarding Stellarium. I hope to use it if and when I make an observatory.
As mention above, my Netbook can't handle Stellarium or Worldwide Telescope so I use CDC instead. So far I target the Deep Sky Object using CDC then I disconnect EQASCOM when it has reached the destination. I then switch on PHD and connect PulseGuide feature. I don't need CDC while guiding so it is not important. When I finish imaging I disconnect PHD then re-connect CDC
Hope some of this helped.
15-01-2012, 04:33 AM
Realised a typo error -Planetarium software (CDC) not Planetary software:P. Still the same answer though will look at multiple connects on the next run.
15-01-2012, 04:40 AM
Thinking more about this statement, I believe what your problem is is the data levels. Synscan handset uses RS232C while the mount uses RS232TTL. Both of these are not compatible with each other.
Before running Bluetooth I use a USB to RS232TTL connected directly to the mount. I had no intention of connecting to the Syscan so I never create a RS232C interface. My current Bluetooth unit is also RS232TTL.
In the picture - https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/109920401953767744541/albums/5696600960667427185/5696600681250466114 - see the little white box on the side of the mount. This is the Bluetooth box with an Ethernet cable connected to the mount. The Bluetooth unit draws it's power from the mount via a small regulator.
16-01-2012, 10:31 AM
Spot the obvious mistake :eyepop:.
Thanks Dave, will have to install that and give it another go tonight, weather looks good down here for a couple of nights yet so more time to play.
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