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Old 31-03-2016, 10:40 AM
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PRejto (Peter)
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PHD2 and SX-AO

Anyone here using this combination? I'm about to try this for the first time tonight and naturally I expect to have problems as instructions seem scant. I can connect to the AO via PHD2 but receive a warning that I should revert the firmware to an earlier version (that no longer seems to be on the SX website). I'm hoping this isn't necessary.

Also, the only thing I can see in the PHD2 instructions mention 2 calibrations: one for the AO, one for the mount. Are these automatically done by PHD2?

Any other advice would be greatly appreciated and might save a rare clear night from going up in smoke.

Thanks!

Peter
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Old 31-03-2016, 02:10 PM
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Shiraz (Ray)
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it is all automatic - tell PHD2 that there is an AO and away it goes. You will probably need to fine tune the settings, but it will work OK without any input at all. Not sure re version warning - I only used an older AO device - the warning doesn't say categorically that it will not work though. SX has an amazing turnaround time on queries.

Last edited by Shiraz; 02-04-2016 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:52 PM
Ken
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Hi just learning how to use the usb aolf myself had lots of problems but Terry Platt at SX is very helpful. The warning message can be ignored, if you have that then you are connected to the right com port. I managed to scramble the firmware when I powered up the mount through the guide cable. Also if you have downloaded the utility software dont have it open in the background as the ao will not connect to phd.
Hope this helps Ken.
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:02 AM
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PRejto (Peter)
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Thanks Ray and Ken,

I finally managed to get it to calibrate with PHD2 thanks to a lot of help from Terry. The thing that helped the most was his suggestion to "run in" the AO by using the utility and calibrating it 50x. Prior to that I had to free the motors using a small screwdriver - easy to do once you realize what you are doing!

Results with PHD2 were impressive on the first imaging attempt. But, I have some sort of star aspect distortion in my images now. The AO is mounted in front of an ONAG. Everything is threaded though the AO has one dovetail connection. Perhaps it's that. I will remove the AO first to make sure it's not in the ONAG/camera part of the image train.

The other "big" issue I'm attempting to solve, and the primary reason I got the AO, has to do with trying to use the AO to eliminate DF between my two imaging scopes (on same mount). I hope to guide the mount with scope 1 via TSX, and use the AO (without mount corrections!!) on scope 2. So far experiments are quite poor. Guiding with scope 1 is causing huge errors to register in PHD2 and the AO. The resulting image is unusable. When I turn off guiding in TSX the AO works great. I have tried reducing the number of corrections sent to the mount by TSX by increasing the guide exposure or delay. This helps some but there is a limit. What I'm unsure about is whether I should be upping the AO rate or actually really reducing it quite a lot. Without the AO my scopes can go 5 min+ without DF showing so by that reasoning maybe I only need an AO correction every minute or so. Any ideas?

Thanks,

Peter
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