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Thread: PHD graphs I'll show you mine if...

  1. #11
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    Default AlignMaster



    I have E/W correct and AlignMaster had no problem slewing to the chosen star pair, putting both on the chip at 1575mmFL which was acceptable to me before I tried the software. But, like about everybody else I want to eliminate as much inaccuracy as I can.

    Downloaded PemPro trial today and it has a 60 day free period. From the 46 page manual to do polar alignment, I'll need 60 days to figure it out.

    My goal is to align, PEC train and backlash wiggle until every Goto puts the target in the center bulls eye of Phd and the tracking graph is flatlined. I guess it's these desires which lead guys to buy Paramount and Astro Physics mounts. I live a few miles from Astro Physics, but even if I saved the shipping costs for their products, unless I win the lottery, I won't be shopping there any time soon. (Note to self: buy lottery ticket)

    Looks like the weather is going to degrade over the next few days, so I don't expect too much progress or many graphs. My yard could use the rain and I need the sleep after a week of really nice clear skies (Clear for Illinois anyway).

    Dave
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  2. #12
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    Default M17 on a nearly full moon

    Hi,

    Have attached my latest of M17, a stack of 8-2 minute subs, Meade DSI III pro binned 2X2, 10" LX200 .63 FR guided with TV Pronto and DSI IIC.

    Captured in Neb 2 guided with PHD.

    Have attached a portion of the guide graph for these photos as a reference.

    Yes, I should do some pre-processing, but I'm working on the mechanical elements before moving on to the electronic black arts.

    Dave
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  4. #13
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    Default

    Dave there still seems to be a fair amount of horizontal star trailing in your M17 image. I am surprised because your guide graph is quite level with low RMSD. It's hard to tell from a "50" sample but your PHD graph looks generally flatter than mine. But you are still getting trailing on your 2-min subs, while I'm not.
    What is your guide cam exposure time setting? Are you using a wedge and a pier in your observatory?

    You will definitely benefit from dark subtraction. I see hot pixel trails in your image as well as some star trailing. The Meade Envisage software works very well with the DSI series cameras and does real-time dark subtraction and stacking; people dismiss this software package because it's Meade and it's free...but it can work really well.
    Also there's a sharp-edged rectangular shadow on the nebula...is it possible that there's some debris or something blocking the light at the sensor of the DSI ?

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    ETX125AT guiding WO Megrez 90 Apo/CGEM mount w/ polar scope
    WO Multiple Reticle Red Dot finder, Celestron SkyMaster 8x56 binos
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    EQ-1 mount (emergency use only!)

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    Default guide graphs

    Hi,

    This was done with 5 second guiding exposures. I do have some crud on the sensor and have managed to get rid of 90% of it. More work coming on that.

    Bought the DSI IIC I use for a guide camera used and it had so much junk on the sensor it took forever to clean and still needs more. Seems to work OK as an autoguider, but have not tried any images with it yet.

    I agree that there appears to be some drift and I didn't watch the entire exposure series, (Had to package the garbage and put it out.) so I'm not sure how guiding was for all frames.

    Have attached an enlargement of the upper right hand part of the frame, but it's not easy to tell much.

    As I said, the electronic dark arts will come after the mechanical. This is one of my first shots using Nebulosity 2 for anything other than focusing so there are lots of variables I'm working with and trying to slowly figure out. I have done some dark frames in Envision and you're right, big improvements.

    Dave
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    LX200ACF 10" in observatory, TeleVue Pronto, Astro Tech AT65EDQ, ZWO ASI120MC, SBIG 8300M, SBIG FW5 filter wheel, Baader LRGB and 7nm Ha filter.
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    Default

    That thumbnail looks good on the brighter stars, but you can tell by the hot pixel trails and the elongated dimmer stars that the guiding was a bit off, or maybe the scope jiggled horizontally during that frame.
    I've found that sometimes my coma is corrected by my tracking error, if you can get your head around that !!

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    ETX125AT guiding WO Megrez 90 Apo/CGEM mount w/ polar scope
    WO Multiple Reticle Red Dot finder, Celestron SkyMaster 8x56 binos
    26mm SP, 12.4 mm SP, 8.8 mm UWA, 12 mm MA illuminated reticle, 2x Barlow, 3.5mm and 31mm Hyperions, TV 2008
    Meade DSI Pro II monochrome CCD; Meade LPI; Celestron NexImage; Canon EOS RebelXTi
    EQ-1 mount (emergency use only!)

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    Default

    My 2 cents from with several mount and scope combinations (though none were a wedge -all were GEM/EQ's) is the following

    - Setting the SSAG to the guidescope fl is *almost everything. If you are too fast you'll be 'chasing the seeing' and if too slow your guide star will start to what I call 'walk' as the mount isn't keeping up. I try always to get a guidestar in the center 2/3 of what I am using as a guidescope.
    - When watching the mount try to acquire the guidestar and track - look very carefully at the number of exposures and steps it takes to get to 'the magic number' (cant remember what it is) if it times out your motion steps and or aggressiveness are too small - if too large you'll be overcorrecting while guiding, I try to keep it at around 5 or 6 iterations (exposures) and those at 2 seconds or less.
    - Your speed at reaching the magic number in each motion axis is a function of balance and mechanicals. Balance is far more critical on an 'undermounted scope' - and may never be entirely compensated for, as it changes dynamic to orientation.
    - The very best possible initial polar alignment is CRITICAL. Depending on the mount - and especially if you are using a finder, I really like the Kochab Clock - it is amazingly efficient if your finder and scope are reasonably orthogonal. If you start with orthogonal scopes and a great poalr align - whatever your setup, you are asking the least possible of it to track.
    - Orthogonality matters in two places. First is your imaging scope and mount, then also your guidescope and mount. It is very possible to get good images in spite of it, but keep in mind your mount may be aimed at one thing, your imaging scope another, and your guide scope at yet another. Here too, if all are reasonable, you are asking less of the entire system. Some setup's actually many I thing have a figure for 'cone error' in your initial alignment and setup - this is to try and compenste for non-orthagonal scope/mount. I think you have to do a full reset on some to change it?
    - Some mounts have a sync to or realign on function. Be careful with this as you may actually be creating a different guide curve than you think, and the guider may be having to compenstate for an odd path from your mount. This varie's wildly from mount to mount. From my experience if my goto's are off, my PA is bad, if my PA is bad I am going to be pushing it.

    Something I've done with every EQ mount when new, Alt/Az or GEM is to get the best possible balance, then the best PA I can without drifting and then do a goto to a DSO. If the DSO is in the crosshairs of an illuminated ep I just walk away for about 20 minutes. Why? It is a great way to see what your PA and scope mount are capable of. If the DSO is even slightly off from where I started - I go back and try another PA. It is far from time wasted. All the mounts I've owned, though fine for visual to one degree or another, have had 'issues' - with the exception of my current mount which cost mega$ - over twice the cost of the previous one which also cost some substancial astro bucks.

    * the real difficulty is in the worm gear to shaft gear on the motion axis and how well executed and materials used, size and etc for the moment arm of your total imaging weight. Generally speaking, the larger the gear on the motion shaft (diameter) and more powerful the stepper or servo, the less actual work you are asking the mount to do. Many mounts use plastic gears or lower quality materials in the bearings and gears in the drive trane, so you are also trying to overcome inefficient mechanicals in the mount itself - even with a perfect alignment and orthogonality.

    So for all the above reasons - even with two same scopes on same mount, using same guidescopes mounted in same way - there can be very different reasons for variance in guiding curves from setup to setup... this especially true if you are not on some sort of permanent mount and never change everything I didn't mention. brings me back to the start where I mention watching how PHD works when trying to acquire - it is telling you everthing there - just not in any way to make it easy or simple.

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    Default

    Makes a lot of good sense to me. I'm not sure I understand all of it yet, I've only been using phd for a month or so and my proper autoguider hasn't arrived yet...but I'm sure I'll be finding out just what you mean very soon.
    Thanks Jim...
    --Al

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    ETX125AT guiding WO Megrez 90 Apo/CGEM mount w/ polar scope
    WO Multiple Reticle Red Dot finder, Celestron SkyMaster 8x56 binos
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    Default

    Ive attached my PHD graph, but seems its not as tight as some people's here so I have a lot to learn

    I will play a bit more with the settings, and the mount and balance and let you know after PEC what happens.

    HEQ5 PRO with ED 100mm refractor, Orion ST80 Canon 450D and guidecam (QHY5) tracking the Ring Nebula - no PEC




    Here is another graph:



    From what I remember it tracked the ring nebula well for about 5-8 minutes.

    I guess my trick is to have short guide corrections (every half second to 2 seconds max - usually 1 second or less) as I cannot polar align visually - may try software soon when I get more time. I'm not sure if I would call it a trick, as I am using a f/9-10 scope without polar alignment trying to do astrophotography so I think I need faster corrections than most.
    Name: Gus OTAs: ED 100 PRO refractor, Orion ST80 (not the CF), 8" Dob stuck in Canada Mounts:HEQ5PRO Synscan mount, Manfrotto Tripod CAMS: Guidecam Philips SPC900 webcams (4), Canon unmodded-450D DSLR

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    Default

    Good thread this , thanks folk . I hope to add to it soon. Most of my astronomy , of late , has been visual. Waiting on the Obsy to be finished before returning to the Dark Art !

    Once it's ( Obsy ) done and the gear is set up I shall start doing some testing . That will be fun ( NOT ! ).

    Clear Skies

    Pete
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    Default

    Interesting, Gus. My graph is remains flatter than yours, yet the most I can get out of my EQ5P is 3 minutes. You can do over 5. I don't get it.
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