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Thread: PHD Frustrations

  1. #11
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    Default Re: PHD Frustrations



    I do not have the rs232-serial cable to control my mount yet so I was trying to just use my SSAG via usb cable to autoguide my mount.
    The answer to your problem is this statement. You cannot use SSAG via usb cable to autoguide. When you plug in the USB cable, you establish a connection between the camera and your PHD software. The PHD screen will show you your image, and it will allow you play with all the functions, but you need a rs232 connection for the commands to be transmitted to the mount. No RS 232 cable,, no commands..no autoguiding.

    Look at the bright side...you now have a lot of experience playing with calibration and the PHD functions...!

    Unless I'm missing something?

    Clear skies,

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  2. #12
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    Default Re: PHD Frustrations

    Update, DaltonSkygazer tells me you waiting for the rs232 cable for pulse-guiding, and that you most probably do have the ST4 cable plugged into the mount?

    Okay, that makes more sense. I had a very similar, almost identical situation with PHD a few weeks back, drove me nuts. One night it just refused to guide...just like your scenario, calibrated fine, got the guiding message and green crosshairs, but about 50-60 seconds into guiding, the RA would drop off the graph.

    So, out in the cold, I downloaded and installed PHD version 1.1.4, and the Orion SSAG V2 drivers and closed and restarted PHD...same thing. I went through several variations of this procedure with no luck except a minor case of frostbite..like you. In frustration, I reached down and unplugged the USB cable from the laptop...thought..better close PHD first..and plugged the cable back in. Got the familiar 'ding' 'ding' as the drivers loaded, and the danged thing worked fine from then on.

    I don't know why, but perhaps the installation process had something to do with it...? I'm just happy it's working again.

    Best,

    Paul
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  3. #13
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    Default Re: PHD Frustrations

    I have the same set-up: SSAG and CG-5GT, and had the same frustration. If you are using the ST4 (cable from SSAG to the autoguiding port of the CG-5), make sure to select 'on camera' for the mount in the menu. I have a jump in and try things out approach (aka never read the instructions first) and failed to make that selection.
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  4. #14
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    Default Re: PHD Frustrations

    10 minutes to do a calibration implies something badly wrong with the PHD settings. If you are using a 300mm camera lens you should set the calibration step size to 2000-3000ms.
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  5. #15
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    Default Re: PHD Frustrations

    Ok I am using the st4 cable and I had on the mount selected in PHD menu, I am wondering if you celestron users had to change anything in the nexstar menu? I poured over the cg5 manual last night but really didn't see anything about changing any functions. I wish there was a way that I could practice autoguiding during the daytime, maybe a sun filter and I could practice on the sun? Oh well there is always tonight if its clear and calm again. I have school tomorrow so I can't pull an all nighter but maybe more luck tonight. My drivers are all up to date and so is my phd software, Im starting to wonder if I would have had better luck with the neximage but I am not one to give up so quickly, just worried that my return window may close before I can return a malfunctioning product, in the worst case scenario.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: PHD Frustrations

    If you are using the ST4 cable you have to select on-camera from the mount menu in PHD.
    This used to be a great place to hang out but now it is not safe here anymore.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: PHD Frustrations

    Quote Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
    If you are using the ST4 cable you have to select on-camera from the mount menu in PHD.
    Yep thats what I have been doing

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    Default Re: PHD Frustrations

    Guiding is all about tweeking precision...

    You have a good cable set. I have found no definative opinion that ST4 vs HC contoller is better. And sometimes I use the HC connection to run the scope from software.. This is useful for things like comets.

    As said use the all start polar alignment to get a good alignment use polaris or a star close to the opposite direction if you can't see polaris.. you can't get guiding / AP close sighting the bore hole.. (luck yes.. regularly right no)

    Then always calibrate each time you make a major move in location.

    And Balance Balance Balance... And it is good to shift the counter weight so that which ever end of the mount (scope or counter weight) is sitting on the eastside is just a bit more heavy so it stays engaged with the motors

    For me taking the time to calibrate made all the difference..
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  9. #19
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    Default Re: PHD Frustrations

    It seems to me that the place to start is with your polar alignment. Eyeballing Polaris through the polar scope hole is a pretty dodgy alignment even for visual observing. You will need something to improve upon that: either a polar scope, or drift aligning, or an all-star alignment.

    When PHD is calibrating, monitor how many steps it takes in each direction. It will abort its calibration if it takes more than 50 steps in any direction. I am happy with mine if it calibrates in under 25 steps, though it varies with the declination of the target area. Some people claim to be able to calibrate in 10 steps, but I think their guide scopes have a much longer focal length than mine.

    While monitoring the number of steps, also monitor the number of pixels it is moving. On mine, about one pixel per step is normal. If I see no pixel movement, I immediately suspect a faulty cable connection.

    My calibration time is about 5 minutes.
    Last edited by KathyNS; 02-17-2013 at 07:01 PM.
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  11. #20
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    Default Re: PHD Frustrations

    Quote Originally Posted by calypsob View Post
    Ok I am using the st4 cable and I had on the mount selected in PHD menu
    Maybe I misunderstood but there is no on the mount selection other than Ascom which requires the RS-232 cable.
    This used to be a great place to hang out but now it is not safe here anymore.

 

 
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