#1  
Old 07-08-2010, 10:51 PM
taxman (Matt)
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Help a brother out?

I have just spent 5 hours trying to get my new Starlight Xpress remote guide head working to no avail.

Unfortunately I don't know whether it is the mount or the camera as I had the autoguiding port on the mount repaired about a month ago and the camera seems to have only 2/3 active pixels.

So what I am hoping is a Brisbane member might have a QHY5 they can lend me for an hour or so one night. Depending on where you are, I can be there and back in as little as an hour. I just want to check whether PHD works through the guide port.

There'll be a six-pack in it for you...

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  #2  
Old 08-08-2010, 10:02 AM
gbeal
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Matt. A while back I used the same unit, great setup too.
Try this for me please, in the daylight is fine.
Connect it all up, what software are you using.? Ooops, maybe that is the issue, PHD doesn't play with the SX Guide-head as far as I know, as it won't accept two SX cameras at once, IIRC.
Maybe come back to me with the setup you have and are using.
Gary
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:48 AM
taxman (Matt)
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Hello Gary,

The pixel issue was because of using more square pixels in the new chip in the EX series of guide heads, so that's solved.

The issue with autoguiding remains - I had the mount polar aligned so I could take 60sec exposures at 355mm FL with 3.125um pixels without trailing.

I am trying to get it going with the included software, but strange things are happening, either an unhandled exception error (with no message) or find centre failed error. Also, every time I click the "train" button in the autoguiding menu, I either get very low (1 pixel in RA and DEC) or very high (>30 pixels in RA and DEC) values depending on whether I access the autoguiding menu directly or through the main camera menu. I have repeated this a number of times - 4 hours last night - and can't work out why differing menu paths would have such a huge effect.

The unhandled execption error has me thinking it may be an issue with the control board in my mount which I had repaired (under warranty) recently after the autoguiding socket fell out. It came back with a LOT of glue on the socket & contacts and I am concerned there might be a short somewhere.

I played with the software this morning and can see under the "Set Program Defaults" menu that the "Telescope Guiding" box at the top has "none" selected, so I will try that tonight. But I am not hopeful, as if that was the issue, I assume training would not have worked at all.

If I don't hear back from anyone, I might just buy another QHY5 and take a loss when selling it, but I am severely testing my wife's patience ("once I get this widget, I *promise* that's it" etc) so would prefer not to.

Let me know what you think, and thanks for replying. I was going to take this to PM, but thought there is so little info (that I could find) on getting the SXV head going, that this discussion might be useful for someone else.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gbeal View Post
Matt. A while back I used the same unit, great setup too.
Try this for me please, in the daylight is fine.
Connect it all up, what software are you using.? Ooops, maybe that is the issue, PHD doesn't play with the SX Guide-head as far as I know, as it won't accept two SX cameras at once, IIRC.
Maybe come back to me with the setup you have and are using.
Gary
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:00 PM
gbeal
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Matt,
so you are using it with the SX software then?
I know that they work with Maxim, and also I understand AstroArt, but to be honest I haven't tried the SX software.
If you can get it recognised, then wind the speed up on the mount, and use the "Move" command (or "Manual Guide" in PHD, and see/hear the mount move. That should establish that it is all connected satisfactorily.
Gary
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  #5  
Old 08-08-2010, 03:24 PM
Dennis
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Hi Matt

I have an original Orion Deep Space Star Shooter (ODSSS) that works with PHDGuiding. It has Peltier cooling so produces nice, clean images.

It uses 2 cables; x1 USB for the image and a x1 mains power adapter for the cooling.

PM me if you would like to borrow it to try it out with your rig.

Cheers

Dennis
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  #6  
Old 08-08-2010, 09:44 PM
taxman (Matt)
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Yep, the included software. It seems pretty buggy, which is a disappointment. The Atik software was an absolute dream in comparison.

I got it (sort of) functioning tonight, but the lengths I had to go to were pretty unworkable in the long term. I had to uninstall the drivers, plug in the camera only while the SXV software was going and then reinstall the drivers. It was like a really frustrating game of Zork working this out.

I then tried using the pointers as you said and while I did manage to get one direction (East-West) working this evening, no joy with North-South as the buttons in the software would not stay down. I tried multiple clicking but didn't notice much (if any) difference.

Guiding was still hopeless - the star would drift out of the reticle regardless of the settings. I will try the evaluation copy of Astro Art tomorrow (big work day in the morning - need my sleep) and see if I have better luck.

Dennis, thank you for your very kind offer. I will PM you tomorrow to see if Tuesday evening (weather permitting) is suitable if I can't get it going in the meantime.

Getting there...



Quote:
Originally Posted by gbeal View Post
Matt,
so you are using it with the SX software then?
I know that they work with Maxim, and also I understand AstroArt, but to be honest I haven't tried the SX software.
If you can get it recognised, then wind the speed up on the mount, and use the "Move" command (or "Manual Guide" in PHD, and see/hear the mount move. That should establish that it is all connected satisfactorily.
Gary
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  #7  
Old 09-08-2010, 09:18 AM
gbeal
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Matt,
AstroArt as I remember it was great for capture, especially with the SX cameras, but try as I did, I could not get the auto-guiding to go, so don't burst out trying it just for the auto-guiding. As a capture and/or processing package though I liked it. You might luck out though, so try it, for sure.
When I had my SXV Guider (in combo with the main camera) I used Maxim, worked like a dream.
Good luck,
Gary
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:34 PM
taxman (Matt)
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I like the idea of Maxim DL, just the ~$600AUD price tag puts a scurvy pirate like me off...

I also read over on CN that the orientation of the guider is (despite what the documentation says) quite important. I have been running it horizontal, but will try vertical.

The weather is getting a bit cloudy, so I am not sure how I'll go tonight, but I'll let you know how it works out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbeal View Post
Matt,
AstroArt as I remember it was great for capture, especially with the SX cameras, but try as I did, I could not get the auto-guiding to go, so don't burst out trying it just for the auto-guiding. As a capture and/or processing package though I liked it. You might luck out though, so try it, for sure.
When I had my SXV Guider (in combo with the main camera) I used Maxim, worked like a dream.
Good luck,
Gary
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  #9  
Old 12-08-2010, 08:46 PM
taxman (Matt)
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Got autoguiding working under the trial version of Maxim. Still a little work to go with agressiveness settings, but at least I know the mount and camera work.

Turns out that the software for the M8C is way out of date and needs to be recompiled. It certainly explains the exception errors I have been getting. I am in contact with the SX software guy who is getting on to it for me, so I will wait and see what happens when the new software is ready to go.

Thanks Gary and Dennis for your offers of help.

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