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Old 15-09-2013, 11:14 AM
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Guiding

I've been experimenting with guide settings for the past two weekends having switched to phd2. Analysing the guide log has proved interesting and I thought I'd share some results. The analysis software I've been using is phd lab.

Here are 4 screen shots of phd lab output - two from last weekend where I was using the ED80 and two from this weekend where I was using the 10"newt. All other hardware was the same although my polar alignment was definately better last weekend. The blue plots are RA and the brown are DEC. X axis is time in minutes and Y axis is pixels on the guide camera. The table below the graph on the RA plots shows the peak and RMS errors for each axis. On the DEC plots the table shows the amount of frames with guiding corrections.

I've been experimenting with aggressiveness, hysteresis and dec guiding algorithm. I was surprised to see so much guide activity when the aggressiveness is set quite low (50-55%) and the hysteresis quite high (20%).

Another thing that jumps out is the PE. I've never bothered with PEC before as I thought the guiding would take care of it however I planning to try it next weekend to see if this improves things.

I also tried the Hysteresis dec guide mode this weekend instead of Resist switching (that I've normally used). This has resulted in a lot more dec guiding activity.

What it does show is I'm probably stretching the use of a 250mm guide scope with the Newt due to the difference in pixel scale of the two systems. With the ED80 I'm getting 1.36/0.36 px peak/RMS on the imaging scope however with the Newt I'm getting 2.52/0.81 px.

The overall guiding was also much better when the polar alignment was accurate as you would expect.
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  #2  
Old 15-09-2013, 12:21 PM
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acropolite (Phil)
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Guiding has always been a bit of a black art to me. I've always been a bit confused as to which settings are best everyone seems to have different ideas, I'll be interested to see what you come up with. I assume the PHD2 version is the open source version, where did you download from?
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Old 15-09-2013, 01:20 PM
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Correct Phil. Bret McKee and Andy Galasso are doing a fantastic job adding new features to make PHD more user friendly and add functionality. The new interface provides a lot more information to help understand what is going on during guiding.

I've been using the development version R492 from Andy Galasso's website:

http://adgsoftware.com/phd2/

The official beta release is on Bret McKee's website:

http://www.daddog.com/phd2

There is a Google group worth following:
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!fo...en-phd-guiding
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Old 23-09-2013, 11:04 AM
Nortilus (Josh)
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is it worth the switch?
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Old 23-09-2013, 05:02 PM
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up to you Josh - I'll be sticking with phd2 now.
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Old 23-09-2013, 05:23 PM
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I've read of some bad issues with phd2 on cn (crashing to all sorts of probs), but thats the idea of beta to get the bugs out. Will be great once its out of beta from what i can see. I think some people need to understand what a beta release is because the way some idiots have judge phd2 based on a beta and not a official stable release is just plain wrong.
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Old 24-09-2013, 08:07 PM
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mmm...might have to look into it...
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Old 24-09-2013, 08:11 PM
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I wonder if PHD2 will fix the issues I am having with the modded 900NC with it blinking...
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Old 24-09-2013, 10:20 PM
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I would give it a go, its working great for most users and if it isn't report the issues your having and that way the can address them. Once the official release is out i will be making the switch, just can't afford the down time with the bad weather I've had my way
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Old 25-09-2013, 04:12 PM
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I've had zero down time issues with phd2 since I switched. I've been using the development releases since the official beta release without any issues.
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Old 25-09-2013, 04:25 PM
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Peter, just curious, what OS are you using??
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Old 26-09-2013, 05:03 AM
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win 7 64 bit
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Old 26-09-2013, 06:27 AM
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Ok that's good, I'm going to be using W8 64 so I'm guessing there won't be any issues.
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Old 26-09-2013, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peter_4059 View Post
win 7 64 bit
Got the same on my laptop but I never managed to get it to run. Do you need to install other programs besides PHD?
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Old 26-09-2013, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by multiweb View Post
Got the same on my laptop but I never managed to get it to run. Do you need to install other programs besides PHD?
I didn't - just installed the Beta release of Daddog developments website first:
http://www.daddog.com/phd2

Since then I've been using the development versions on Andy's website - currently using r503.

http://adgsoftware.com/phd2/

I have both PHD and PHD2 installed in separate folders.
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Old 26-09-2013, 01:05 PM
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I tried out r503 last night on Win8 with my QHY5L-IIc (connected using "QHY 5L-II" driver) and my EQ6 (connected using "ASCOM Telescope Chooser"->"EQMOD...") and it all worked fine.
I didn't notice any difference in the quality of the guiding but I think I'll be staying with PHD2 from now on as there were a few things I found nicer than normal PHD.
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Old 26-09-2013, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peter_4059 View Post
I didn't - just installed the Beta release of Daddog developments website first:
http://www.daddog.com/phd2

Since then I've been using the development versions on Andy's website - currently using r503.

http://adgsoftware.com/phd2/

I have both PHD and PHD2 installed in separate folders.
Thanks for the links. I'll try again.
PS: Well it worked this time. I remember earlier that I had to install python and that didn't agree with my system. This one just runs fine. Will test tonight. I like it's got the AO in it. I won't have to use MAXIM DL anymore.

Last edited by multiweb; 26-09-2013 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 26-09-2013, 03:00 PM
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Python was for PHD Lab not PHD 2. I had the same issue I couldn't get PHD lab to work at all.
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Old 26-09-2013, 04:03 PM
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python and phd lab worked fine for me? Did you install the version as per the phd lab instructions?
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Old 30-09-2013, 06:48 PM
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How did you get PHDLabs to work with PHD2 files? John Wainwright has said it doesn't work and will produce an update shortly.
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