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Thread: CGEM PEC Training With PHD Autoguiding

  1. #21
    fmhill's Avatar
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    Default Re: CGEM PEC Training With PHD Autoguiding



    Quote Originally Posted by CamelHat View Post
    In my case I don't care about that, the tracking is programmed in my Arduino so just the guide signals are what I am looking for. I can use these ST-4 signals to modify the delayMicros() command that control the stepper motor speed.

    That is great news for me. Reading up on the PHD help, I now see that the "Onboard ST-4" option can be used, I suspect it references the SSAG non-explicitly. I think I will order one real quick, probably the package that comes with a guide scope.

    The hardware upgrade that I need to do for my barnbox drive is fairly simple even if I use one Arduino per axis (two). Using one Arduino for both complicates the software because an Arduino is single-threaded so if the stepper motor speed is implemented using delays, controlling one will bite the other. Aside from that I don't know if the Arduino has enough power for two steppers. Not a big deal, two Arduinos it is.

    Thanks!
    With a Barndoor tracker, with only a RA motor, you can ignore the Dec axis control signals, PHD has an option to turn the Dec guiding off therefore I think using it with a single RA axis control will work fine if thats what you have...
    Thanks, Mitch - K1FH
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  2. #22
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    Default Re: CGEM PEC Training With PHD Autoguiding

    Quote Originally Posted by fmhill View Post
    I would think using the ST-4 output of the SSAG as an input to the Arduino would be very easy to do. Somewhere in my documentation I have a description of the ST-4 connection, 4 wires, the signals being TTL level and if my memory is correct, consists of a RA signal, a DEC signal, a direction signal, and common. I have worked with Arduino and the compiler and think this would be a very simple interface to set up...

    Edited to correct: Never trust a 70+ year old memory! ST-4 is 5 wires... Information here:
    Shoestring Astronomy Support • View topic - What is ST-4 Compatible? Is GPUSB Backwards?
    Thanks Mitch! Hey, that 70+ year old memory of yours serves me well. If mine were like yours 15 years from now I would be very happy. Your update reconfirms what I heard from Phil, so I will get on with it right away. Well... at my usual pace, which means it may take a few months before it all works. But if it does work, Dob owners (and there are many) should be interested. I certainly am.
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    ... Henk. Telescopes: 6" Mak-Newt (Comet Hunter), ES ED127CF, ES ED80, Zhumell Z12, Coulter Odyssey 10, AT6RC, Venture RX-7, Celestron Skymaster 20x80, Mounts and tripod: Losmandy G11S, AVX, LXD55, Tiltall, Cameras: Fuji X-a1, Canon SX40, Xt, XSi, T6, ELPH 100HS, DIY: Dob and camera barndoor trackers, afocal adapter, Dob with foldable base and Az/Alt setting circles, Accessories: SSAG, Plossls, Barlows, Telrad, laser collimators (Seben LK1, Z12, Howie Glatter), Cheshire, 2 Orion RACIs 8x50, Software: DSS, ImageMagick, PHD, Nebulosity, Photo Gallery, Gimp, CHDK

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  3. #23
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    Default Re: CGEM PEC Training With PHD Autoguiding

    Quote Originally Posted by ZephanRC View Post
    I normally do NOT have a serial cable (w/USB adapter) connected to the HC. The PHD guiding feedback is via my USB connection the SSAG which in turn sends the corrections to the mount via a ST4 autoguider connection between the SSAG and the mount.

    If I'm running PECTool, then I will have the serial connection to the HC, but the autoguiding feedback/commands are still going to the mount via the SSAG and the ST4 port. My question is, will this work right or do the PHD autoguiding commands have to go via the HC serial conenction and if so, how do I configure PHD to use that route versus going through the SSAG and the ST4 port?
    PECtools is not in the autoguiding loop.
    It records the guiding and corrections done in PHD
    In batch training PECtools averages out the worm cycles peaks and this data is written to the mount via the HC .
    Ken

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  4. #24
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    Default Re: CGEM PEC Training With PHD Autoguiding

    Quote Originally Posted by fmhill View Post
    With a Barndoor tracker, with only a RA motor, you can ignore the Dec axis control signals, PHD has an option to turn the Dec guiding off therefore I think using it with a single RA axis control will work fine if thats what you have...
    Even better. I thought I would have to implement a declination control. The hardware would be a completely detachable 3/4 inch particle board sitting on an upside donw half pipe slightly off-center to minimize the effort that the stepper has to make with the Dob sitting on top of the board that it must control.

    This is doable but... I did some calculations about the effect of polar misalignment. With the accuracy that I have in mind, and the polar alignment accuracy that I believe I can achieve with my alignment plank, it really does not become significant unless the exposures are more than 5 minutes.

    So, I might use it directly in just the RA direction and if need be in declination too but with your update I can even postpone that decision until I can tell I need it.

    Thanks again!

    Henk
    ... Henk. Telescopes: 6" Mak-Newt (Comet Hunter), ES ED127CF, ES ED80, Zhumell Z12, Coulter Odyssey 10, AT6RC, Venture RX-7, Celestron Skymaster 20x80, Mounts and tripod: Losmandy G11S, AVX, LXD55, Tiltall, Cameras: Fuji X-a1, Canon SX40, Xt, XSi, T6, ELPH 100HS, DIY: Dob and camera barndoor trackers, afocal adapter, Dob with foldable base and Az/Alt setting circles, Accessories: SSAG, Plossls, Barlows, Telrad, laser collimators (Seben LK1, Z12, Howie Glatter), Cheshire, 2 Orion RACIs 8x50, Software: DSS, ImageMagick, PHD, Nebulosity, Photo Gallery, Gimp, CHDK

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  5. #25
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    Default Re: CGEM PEC Training With PHD Autoguiding

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Leigh View Post
    ST-4 is in essence merely a set of relays that open close to initiate RA +/- and DEC+/- motor movement within the mount. While an ST-4 relay is closed, the normal sidereal tracking within the mount is disabled.
    I'm not sure that this is true. My understanding is that when the RA +/- signals are pulled low, it is equivalent to pressing the Left/Right (East/West) buttons on the HC. The RA tracking is increased or decreased by the setting in the mount for autoguide rates. If the RA autoguide rate is set to 50% then a "West" command increased the guiding rate to 1.5 sidereal and an "East" command decreases it to .5 sidereal rate. If the ST4 commands "disabled" the normal tracking, how would it ever correct westerly (faster than sidereal rate). Am I thinking incorrectly?

    What I am not completely clear on is that PEC corrections continue during ST4 port autoguiding. My guess is that the PEC corrections may not be added/subracted from the tracking rate while a autoguide command is happening, but that the PEC error corrections are applied while there are no autoguide corrections being applied via the ST4 port.

    By the way, CamelHat, I am a member of the Vandenberg Amateur Astronomical Society (VAAS) in Lompoc/VAFB. I usually (weather permitting) go to Figueroa every new moon and sometimes 1st and 3rd quarter moons.
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    Default Re: CGEM PEC Training With PHD Autoguiding

    Hi Henk, I am definitely interested...
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