Problem with PHD2 when also connected to Mach1 mount using Stellarium's Telescope Control plugin


John Davis
 

Hello,
   I have been seeing this problem for several months now, and I would like some input as to what the nature of the problem might be.

**NOTE: I have also sent this same post to the PHD2 support group **  
Just thought I'd send it to the AP list too - in case someone here had experienced and solved the problem.

   To summarize, I am seeing problems with PHD2 guiding - most often the RA tracking - when I am running a guiding session in PHD2 and have the mount also communicating with Stellarium via the Telescope Control plug-in.
 
What I am seeing is that after I run a full calibration in PHD2, then let the guiding assistant run for 3-4 minutes - apply the suggested parameters, then PHD2 will begin to guide, but after period of time (it varies) - the RA tracking seems to stop and the graph tracks totally off the scale (even set to +- 16").  I stop and re-start, the same thing happens.  
 
I'm using 
PHD2 version 2.6.10
Stellarium version 0.21.2 with version 0.4.2 of the Telescope Control plug-in.
Mach1 ASCOM Driver 5.30.10
 
I have used the combination of PHD2/Stellairum and Mach1 for over a year - originally was using the Stellarium Scope software to communicate between the ASCOM driver and Stelliarum - but switched to the Telescope Control plug-in when I upgraded to a new version of Stellarium.  I don't think that the problem exactly coincides with starting to use the Telescope Control plug-in.  It seems to roughly coincide with when I upgraded to PHD2 2.6.10 with the multi-star guiding feature.
 
Further detail on my observations:  Tonight I:
1). started up SGP, connected to all the hardware (camera, filter wheel, focuser, mount) and tested the imaging camera. 
2). started PHD2 and connected to the mount and guide camera (ASI120mm) to verify that connection.  
3). started Stellarium and connected to the mount.  Using Stellarium I selected a star near the Meridian and Celestial Equator - then had the mount slew to that location using the Telescope Control Interface
4). Had PHD2 autoselect main and other guide stars - and do a calibration run. Everything went fine.
5). After calibration - let it guide for about 30 seconds (guided ok) - then invoked the Guiding assistant.  Let it run for about 4 minutes and then stopped - after the backlash calibration - I accepted the reccomendations and let PHD2 begin guiding.
6). After about 2 minutes - the RA started tracking off of the graph (I see "MountGuidingEnabled = false and MultiStar = false on the Log viewer).  
7). I stopped guiding and re-selected stars - started again - guiding ran a few seconds and the same thing happened again.
8). I started a 3rd time and this time - there were wild swings in the RA guiding and a little in DEC.  I stopped again.
9). I re-ran Calibratoin - it ran fine
10). started guiding again - again the wild fluctuations in RA.
 
11). I disconnected Stellarium from the mount and shut it down.
12). I disconnected PHD2 from the camera and mount and shut it down
13). I shutdown SGP after disconnecting to all devices
14). I powered down the Mach1 mount and started it back up
 
15). Restarted SGP and reconnected to all devices.
16). Restarted PHD2 and connected to the guide camera and mount
 
17). Manually slewed to a location near the meridian and equator... had PHD2 autoselect star and calibrate.
18).  monitored guiding for  90 seconds - no problems - stopped guiding
19). slewed to imaging object - had SGP platesolve and run a sequence.
20). PHD2 guided FINE for 1h 36m until clouds ended the session.
 
SO - I'm almost positive that there is some problem - conflict - something between PHD2 and Stellarium.  Question is - where is the problem?
 
NOTE:  I have (in prior sessions with this same problem) - just tried disconnecting the Telescope Control plugin in Stellarium, and also exiting Stellarium.  This does NOT seem to fix the problem.  It requires at least a restart of PHD2 - and maybe also the Mach1 mount software).
 
If this is a known problem - sorry for the long post.  I attempted to search for this problem in prior posts - but I couldn't find this particular issue.
 
I really like being able to monitor the mount position with Stellarium during a session - so I would really like to get this problem fixed.  Help would be greatly appreciated.
 
Thanks!
John D.
 

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