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Old 05-03-2012, 05:49 AM
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ZeroID (Brent)
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PHD Guiding...

So how do I know when it is working ?
After our weather bomb Saturday Sunday turned into an absolute stunner of a day with promise of a similar night.
I set up Skeletope with the 80 on top and hooked up the laptop, GPUSB and the Neximage and when it got dark started to play around. Very frustrating !!

Even with a focal reducer the FOV for guiding is quite small. I may build a new wider field guide scope from some parts I have. (Also the 80 on top really upsets the weight balance.)
Nonetheless I finally got it all going, star on screen, green boxed and counting and it seemed to really lock on and hold position.

But, there was no indication of that anywhere. The only possible thing was the frame counter in the lower status bar, at 2 secs it was running up to 62-63 frames. Does this indicate that all is working correctly ?
It seemed to be holding position extremely well and I had a short watch after the session with PHD all turned off and I think it showed some slight drift but I think I got the SCP alignment so dang good in the first place that there was little movement.

I also found out that Skeletope is still too long for the DSLR to make focus. Miscalculated some thing there obviously. Better get the hacksaw out again. Might try lifting the mirror first, nice thing about open trussed scopes is that access to everything is easy !!

The weather is still looking good for this evening so might be out there again tonight.

Oh, ..... and I looked at some stars as well ....
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  #2  
Old 05-03-2012, 06:50 AM
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Rigel003 (Graeme)
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After the calibration process it says "Guiding" as it locks on to the guide star. Also you can go to the Tools menu and Enable Graph and it will show you the corrections it's making in real time.
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:23 PM
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ZeroID (Brent)
Lost in Space ....

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That's what I thought but I never saw that happen then.... Where does it say guiding ? Same Status bar down the bottom ?
Weather is still looking good for tonight so hopefully will have another go ( touches wood ).
I'll get onto the graphs bit as well.
Thanks Graeme
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:52 PM
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mswhin63 (Malcolm)
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It shows guiding at the bottom as you mentioned but only for a short period of time. The same area is also used for other text messages as well.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:55 PM
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Marke (Mark)
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Just bring up the real time graph and see what its doing , its a good idea to have it running anyway to watch for problems .
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:57 PM
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mithrandir (Andrew)
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Brent, if it gets to 60ish steps doing calibration your step size is too small. PHD will give up if it takes too many. You want to aim for something around 15 - 20 steps.

I have an ST80 and in the Brain set "Calibration step (ms)" to 2000 which usually gives about 15 steps.

On the other hand if it was less than 15 you'd need to reduce the step size. A longer focal length guider needs shorter steps.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:09 AM
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ZeroID (Brent)
Lost in Space ....

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Aha ! Thanks guys, the info I needed. There are just so many drop down controls in that thing its a cryptic mess to play with.

I've also now moved the mirror up about 10mm and built another lightweight guide scope from a 50mm Bino objective and a few other bits. Still need to make an adjustable mount for the guider but plenty of time, the clouds haven't gone away.
I'll test DSLR focussing tonight I hope and with a wee bit of luck the weather might be kind towards the weekend.
If you make stuff instead of buying stuff do the clouds still know ...
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