Date   

Re: PHD 2 Guiding "Good Enough"

Charles Thompson
 

Well I guess I know what I'm going tonight. Thanks Dean!





Thanks,
Charles

Sent from mobile device.


-------- Original message --------
From: Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...>
Date: 5/2/20 2:25 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PHD 2 Guiding "Good Enough"

On Sat, May 2, 2020 at 12:19 PM, Charles Thompson wrote:
Can you run PEC while guiding with PhD2?
Yes.
 
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/ 
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 


Re: PHD 2 Guiding "Good Enough"

Dean Jacobsen
 

On Sat, May 2, 2020 at 12:19 PM, Charles Thompson wrote:
Can you run PEC while guiding with PhD2?
Yes.
 
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/ 
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 


Re: PHD 2 Guiding "Good Enough"

Charles Thompson
 

I would be happy with your current guiding RMS but I image from the city. My RMS is usually around .5-.8 and that had been fine for any imaging I do.

Can you run PEC while guiding with PhD2? I've read conflicting information on this subject and never really asked. I've always left it turned off since my stars are good. 



Thanks,
Charles

Sent from mobile device.


-------- Original message --------
From: Dean Jacobsen <deanjacobsen@...>
Date: 5/2/20 12:47 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] PHD 2 Guiding "Good Enough"

Yes, one can certainly get sucked down the guiding perfection black hole.  As Brian has said, how do your stars look?  Are you happy with the stacked images?

However, as Roland noted, there is some room for improvement that really doesn't take a lot of time.  Use PEM Pro to evaluate your native periodic error and then have the software create a new solution.  You will be amazed at the difference when you run the PE analysis again in PemPro with the new PE solution running.
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/ 
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 


Re: PHD 2 Guiding "Good Enough"

Dean Jacobsen
 

Yes, one can certainly get sucked down the guiding perfection black hole.  As Brian has said, how do your stars look?  Are you happy with the stacked images?

However, as Roland noted, there is some room for improvement that really doesn't take a lot of time.  Use PEM Pro to evaluate your native periodic error and then have the software create a new solution.  You will be amazed at the difference when you run the PE analysis again in PemPro with the new PE solution running.
--
Dean Jacobsen
http://astrophoto.net/wp/ 
Image Gallery - http://astrophoto.net/wp/image-gallery/
Astrobin - https://www.astrobin.com/users/deanjacobsen/ 


Re: Mach2 Status Update

Karen Christen
 

Hello Sebastien,

 

Since we have exhausted the old Mach1 list from late 2018/early 2019, the second run of Mach2s will be offered beginning with folks who signed up in April 2019.  With the Illinois stay-at-home order recently extended we do not anticipate having our production staff back until the end of May at the earliest.  This makes it very difficult to estimate delivery dates for these mounts, which is why we have not yet notified anyone on the list.  We are hopeful to begin notification late this month with delivery starting in late Summer 2020.  However, this may all change based on Illinois law.  Thank you all for your patience. 

 

Karen

AP

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of Seb@stro
Sent: Friday, May 1, 2020 9:46 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach2 Status Update

 

Hello Karen,

Is the second run you're in the middle of for those who signed up in April 2019 ?  I did sign up back  then but I have not been notified yet. Have you started notifying people on that list ? The website seems a bit outdated as it says we will be notified in mid-march...

Thank you and be safe.

Sébastien


--
Karen Christen
Astro-Physics


Re: PHD 2 Guiding "Good Enough"

Roland Christen
 

It looks like you have a fair amount of PE error which is contributing to that last remaining .5 arc sec of RA back and forth movement. You can determine the periodic error a number of ways, and of course you can use PEMPro to eliminate 90% of it. Have you ever run a simple PE curve to see where you are?

Rolando



-----Original Message-----
From: John Thompson via groups.io <jbtgolfer@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Sat, May 2, 2020 10:30 am
Subject: [ap-gto] PHD 2 Guiding "Good Enough"

I know this is not a PHD 2 forum but I want to set reasonable expectations of my mount when guiding. Guiding can become an obsession and I want to know when to stop. I have a AP 1600 (no encoders) with a TEC 140 f/7 combined with a STF8300 main camera and an off-axis STi guide camera. I plan to install encoders this summer. I attached a screen shot that shows most of the relevant guiding info from PHD 2. My question is should I be happy with a .23 RMS and a +- .5 arc sec oscillation of the RA. The Dec looks stable and below .5 arc sec. The RA oscillation bothers me a little but perhaps it is "seeing" driven however this is a permanent observatory in a fairly dark site ( 21.6 SQM). I am getting reasonably round stars at 1200 second exposures. I have worked the polar alignment and drift pretty hard. Would appreciate hearing your thoughts or suggestions. I am also posting this to a PHD 2 forum.


Re: PHD 2 Guiding "Good Enough"

 

Hi John

cancel that - i calculated it at 1.14 arcsec/px

there's a lot of ways to look at this

your guiding right now is pretty exceptional, and the error results in maybe 1/5th of a pixel of error on your images according to your image scale. if you work really hard on improving it, and you get it down by 50% so it averages .15" rms. now the error is 1/7th of a pixel. would you really see that?

If your stars are tight and round (i assume they are) and you are happy with your images, i'm not sure there's much to b gained for you by obsessing on this particular aspect.



On Sat, May 2, 2020 at 8:30 AM John Thompson via groups.io <jbtgolfer=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I know this is not a PHD 2 forum but I want to set reasonable expectations of my mount when guiding. Guiding can become an obsession and I want to know when to stop. I have a AP 1600 (no encoders) with a TEC 140 f/7 combined with a STF8300 main camera and an off-axis STi guide camera. I plan to install encoders this summer. I attached a screen shot that shows most of the relevant guiding info from PHD 2. My question is should I be happy with a .23 RMS and a +- .5 arc sec oscillation of the RA. The Dec looks stable and below .5 arc sec. The RA oscillation bothers me a little but perhaps it is "seeing" driven however this is a permanent observatory in a fairly dark site ( 21.6 SQM). I am getting reasonably round stars at 1200 second exposures. I have worked the polar alignment and drift pretty hard. Would appreciate hearing your thoughts or suggestions. I am also posting this to a PHD 2 forum.



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: PHD 2 Guiding "Good Enough"

 

What is your imaging resolution?

On Sat, May 2, 2020 at 8:30 AM John Thompson via groups.io <jbtgolfer=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I know this is not a PHD 2 forum but I want to set reasonable expectations of my mount when guiding. Guiding can become an obsession and I want to know when to stop. I have a AP 1600 (no encoders) with a TEC 140 f/7 combined with a STF8300 main camera and an off-axis STi guide camera. I plan to install encoders this summer. I attached a screen shot that shows most of the relevant guiding info from PHD 2. My question is should I be happy with a .23 RMS and a +- .5 arc sec oscillation of the RA. The Dec looks stable and below .5 arc sec. The RA oscillation bothers me a little but perhaps it is "seeing" driven however this is a permanent observatory in a fairly dark site ( 21.6 SQM). I am getting reasonably round stars at 1200 second exposures. I have worked the polar alignment and drift pretty hard. Would appreciate hearing your thoughts or suggestions. I am also posting this to a PHD 2 forum.

--
Brian 



Brian Valente


PHD 2 Guiding "Good Enough"

John Thompson <jbtgolfer@...>
 

I know this is not a PHD 2 forum but I want to set reasonable expectations of my mount when guiding. Guiding can become an obsession and I want to know when to stop. I have a AP 1600 (no encoders) with a TEC 140 f/7 combined with a STF8300 main camera and an off-axis STi guide camera. I plan to install encoders this summer. I attached a screen shot that shows most of the relevant guiding info from PHD 2. My question is should I be happy with a .23 RMS and a +- .5 arc sec oscillation of the RA. The Dec looks stable and below .5 arc sec. The RA oscillation bothers me a little but perhaps it is "seeing" driven however this is a permanent observatory in a fairly dark site ( 21.6 SQM). I am getting reasonably round stars at 1200 second exposures. I have worked the polar alignment and drift pretty hard. Would appreciate hearing your thoughts or suggestions. I am also posting this to a PHD 2 forum.


Re: Mach2 Status Update

Seb@stro
 

Hello Karen,

Is the second run you're in the middle of for those who signed up in April 2019 ?  I did sign up back  then but I have not been notified yet. Have you started notifying people on that list ? The website seems a bit outdated as it says we will be notified in mid-march...

Thank you and be safe.

Sébastien


Re: Understanding AP Power Distribution System, Mach2

zbob53
 

Thanks for the response. I am happy that I posed my question before applying power to the mount!

Peter


Re: Understanding AP Power Distribution System, Mach2

Roland Christen
 


The supplied 24V power adapter apparently is inserted into the 12V power pole connector on the rear of the RA housing. 
NONONONO! The power supply is connected to the CP5. Plug one end into your 120 volt house current. the other end goes into the CP5.

The 12 volt power pole on the back of the RA housing is just a wire that comes out the top on the Dec axis. It allows you to plug stuff into it, such as your dew heater, your CCD camera, and other peripherals. It's just a wire. It does not connect to anything on your mount servo controller, keypad or anything else..

Rolando


-----Original Message-----
From: zbob53 via groups.io <zbob53@...>
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Sent: Fri, May 1, 2020 8:16 pm
Subject: [ap-gto] Understanding AP Power Distribution System, Mach2

I am a new to AstroPhysics hardware and need help sorting out the connectors on the GTOCP5 Micro-Step Servo System.  There is a 2-pin connector on the GTPCP5 marked "12V DC" which I assume is a power input for the controller. The corresponding cable is a cylindrical connector with a two pin locking adapter on one end and a power pole connector on the other. 

The supplied 24V power adapter apparently is inserted into the 12V power pole connector on the rear of the RA housing.  Does this power adapter also supply power to the GTOCP5 through the RA and DEC cables (that go between the RA connector panel and the GTOCP5)?  In other words, does the GTOCP5 need 12V applied to the 2-pin cylindrical connector on the GTOCP5?

Thanks,

Peter


Understanding AP Power Distribution System, Mach2

zbob53
 

I am a new to AstroPhysics hardware and need help sorting out the connectors on the GTOCP5 Micro-Step Servo System.  There is a 2-pin connector on the GTPCP5 marked "12V DC" which I assume is a power input for the controller. The corresponding cable is a cylindrical connector with a two pin locking adapter on one end and a power pole connector on the other. 

The supplied 24V power adapter apparently is inserted into the 12V power pole connector on the rear of the RA housing.  Does this power adapter also supply power to the GTOCP5 through the RA and DEC cables (that go between the RA connector panel and the GTOCP5)?  In other words, does the GTOCP5 need 12V applied to the 2-pin cylindrical connector on the GTOCP5?

Thanks,

Peter


Re: Bad images _Bouncing stars

 

Hi John

i'm a regular contributor in the PHD forums https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!forum/open-phd-guiding 

it's difficult to give meaningful input without looking at the guidelogs. I highly recommend capturing a solid baseline guiding and then posting it in the forums there with any questions you may have.

if you don't have a solid baseline, i put a guide together to create one for the PHD forums, you can follow those steps and produce something that is really good for analysis and feedback:  



On Fri, May 1, 2020 at 4:51 PM John Thompson via groups.io <jbtgolfer=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
This is a follow up to my "Bouncing Stars" post. I imaged the next night (with and without guiding) for 1200 sec exposures. The images were fine (round stars) no zig-zag patterns or elongated stars. I did notice a slight oblong effect in the unguided image. Looking at  PHD2 graphics it appears I have some drift in RA that I must correct. All my RA corrections were on the same side of the graph.I believe that signifies an RA drift ? Looking at my PHD2 log from night one I see a frequent occurrence of "guide star lost" either for low SNR or low Star mass. I assume that losing the guide star for long periods means large sudden corrections and the "bouncing" I described. In any case I am attributing the primary cause of the problem to the guiding software either due to a settings error or poor selection of guide star. I will work on a solution with PHD2. Definitely not a mount problem as proved by last nights test. If anyone has a proven set of PHD2 settings i would appreciate getting them.

Thanks for your responses.   



--
Brian 



Brian Valente


Re: Bad images _Bouncing stars

Mike Shade
 

Good to see feedback.  Not sure what your mount/imaging system is but a good test might be to see what the mount does unguided for a worm cycle...with PEC on and PEC off (you have a good PEC curve right?).  My 1600 it is a 382" period.  Asking a mount to go unguided for 20 minutes (1200 seconds), unless you have a very low resolution system is asking a lot and you will likely get some RA drift, or other errors (mirror flop, component sag, dragging cables, and optical aberrations caused by seeing variations to name a few) and this is not unexpected.  See what it does for a worm cycle.

 

Mike J. Shade

Mike J. Shade Photography:

mshadephotography.com

 

In War: Resolution

In Defeat: Defiance

In Victory: Magnanimity

In Peace: Goodwill

Sir Winston Churchill

Already, in the gathering dusk, a few of the stars are turning on their lights.

Vega, the brightest one, is now dropping towards the west.  Can it be half

a year since I watched her April rising in the east?  Low in the southwest

Antares blinks a sad farwell to fall...

Leslie Peltier, Starlight Nights

 

International Dark Sky Association: www.darksky.org

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io [mailto:main@ap-gto.groups.io] On Behalf Of John Thompson via groups.io
Sent: Friday, May 01, 2020 4:51 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Bad images _Bouncing stars

 

This is a follow up to my "Bouncing Stars" post. I imaged the next night (with and without guiding) for 1200 sec exposures. The images were fine (round stars) no zig-zag patterns or elongated stars. I did notice a slight oblong effect in the unguided image. Looking at  PHD2 graphics it appears I have some drift in RA that I must correct. All my RA corrections were on the same side of the graph.I believe that signifies an RA drift ? Looking at my PHD2 log from night one I see a frequent occurrence of "guide star lost" either for low SNR or low Star mass. I assume that losing the guide star for long periods means large sudden corrections and the "bouncing" I described. In any case I am attributing the primary cause of the problem to the guiding software either due to a settings error or poor selection of guide star. I will work on a solution with PHD2. Definitely not a mount problem as proved by last nights test. If anyone has a proven set of PHD2 settings i would appreciate getting them.

Thanks for your responses.   


Re: Bad images _Bouncing stars

John Thompson <jbtgolfer@...>
 

This is a follow up to my "Bouncing Stars" post. I imaged the next night (with and without guiding) for 1200 sec exposures. The images were fine (round stars) no zig-zag patterns or elongated stars. I did notice a slight oblong effect in the unguided image. Looking at  PHD2 graphics it appears I have some drift in RA that I must correct. All my RA corrections were on the same side of the graph.I believe that signifies an RA drift ? Looking at my PHD2 log from night one I see a frequent occurrence of "guide star lost" either for low SNR or low Star mass. I assume that losing the guide star for long periods means large sudden corrections and the "bouncing" I described. In any case I am attributing the primary cause of the problem to the guiding software either due to a settings error or poor selection of guide star. I will work on a solution with PHD2. Definitely not a mount problem as proved by last nights test. If anyone has a proven set of PHD2 settings i would appreciate getting them.

Thanks for your responses.   


Re: Mach 2 Best Practice with PC #Mach2GTO

Frank Widmann
 

Rick,

I elected to keep the mini PC on the stationary side because I connect it to the GTOCP4 via a serial cable. I also connect other stationary items like the Astromi.ch GPS/Environmental sensor, and a field monitor I keep in the cabinet with a wireless mouse and keypad for at the scope work for work at the scope.

Frank


Re: Mach 2 Best Practice with PC #Mach2GTO

Rick Socarras
 

Wade,

Thankyou.  Great Idea.  Although I'm still surprised by how many cables we need to deal with.  The Mach 2 will need to have 2 power connections...mount at 24V and all else at 12V.  I can't wait to figure out how all this comes together for me.  I just ordered the Rigriunner to help keep things as neat as possible.  Next stop is a case!  Thanks again for sharing.

Rick


Re: Guider exposure times?

Worsel
 

Mike

I almost always use 4 seconds with no delay between guider exposures.  I have tinkered with up to 10 seconds and delays up to 20 seconds, but keep getting the best performance in terms of star quality and low RMS with 4 seconds and zero delay.

OAG, 2500 mm F.L., full frame DSLR

YMMV

Bryan


Re: Mach 2 Best Practice with PC #Mach2GTO

Charles Thompson
 

I really enjoy using the Pocket Power box and the Ultimate Power box V2. However, when I got my Pocket Power box last year it lasted a month before two of the power outputs quit working and my Ultimate V2 that came a few months ago didn't work right it if the box. They were quick to replace them but I've heard many quality control issues from friends that also use them. I had to reflow the solder joints on the Pocket box because the solder joints were cold and loose.  I couldn't fix the UPBv2 because it was the USB3 controller. They sent me a replacement board quickly and it has worked for several months not without issue. 

Honestly, there isn't another all in one solution that I could find so I'm sticking with them! Initially I made all my money back from the purchase by selling 3 of my Moonlite focus motor controllers. 

Hope that helps!



Thanks,
Charles

Sent from mobile device.


-------- Original message --------
From: W Hilmo <y.groups@...>
Date: 5/1/20 10:35 AM (GMT-06:00)
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach 2 Best Practice with PC #Mach2GTO

I like it quite a lot.  It replaces three other pieces of gear:  an Optec FocusLynx, a DewBuster and a USB hub.  I also like that it’s easy to mount to the top rail on the scope.  It allows me to use software to turn the power ports and USB ports on and off from the computer.  It also reports the amount of current that is in use.

 

The one thing that I’ve run into is that it is pretty sensitive to how the cables are routed.  When I first set it up, and had all of the cable nicely bundled together on the side of the OTA.  When I had it all tidied up, the main imaging camera was pretty unstable.  That’s why the cables are all loose in the image.

 

From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Valente
Sent: Friday, May 1, 2020 8:29 AM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach 2 Best Practice with PC #Mach2GTO

 

Wade how do you like that pegasus powerbox?

 

i've been curious about it, but it's a little pricey and i don't need the focus motor controller.

 

On Fri, May 1, 2020 at 6:18 AM W Hilmo <y.groups@...> wrote:

I have a small form factor PC (a Core i5) installed in an Apache case, along
with a RigRunner, an Ethernet hub and a wireless router.  I also have a
Pegasus Astro Ultimate PowerBox V2 mounted to the top dovetail plate on my
OTA.  The Ultimate PowerBox runs the focuser and dew heaters, and provides a
USB hub for the main and guide cameras.  I have one power cable and one USB
3 cable that run through the AP1600.

I have no cable snags because most of the cabling rides on the OTA and I
have just the two cables running through the mount.  For setup and take
down, I have just the above 4 connections to plug in.  And when I want to go
portable, I can take the OTA and Apache case along with my AP1100 and use
the same setup.

When I want to image, I carry the Apache case out to the mount and attach
the two through-the-mount cables to the computer.  I then attach the
Ethernet and power cables from the CP4.  At home, I have the wireless router
configured as a bridge to my how wireless network.  In the field, I have the
wireless router configured to run as a hotspot.   I run the whole thing by
using Remote Desktop to connect to the computer from a laptop, a tablet, or
another PC, depending on whether I am home or in the field. 

This would work great with a Mach2.  The only difference would be that I
would use the Mach2's power and USB routing instead of running my own cables
through the mount.  I was inspired to change my setup to work like above
after looking at the Mach2 at Advanced Imaging Conference.  That was a neat
setup with two refractors mounted side-by-side with an Ultimate PowerBox
between them.  Prior to doing it this way, I mounted the PC, the RigRunner,
the wireless router, etc. on a plywood board.  I strapped the board to the
pier and ran all the cables through the mount.  The way that I'm doing it
now is much cleaner and easier.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@ap-gto.groups.io <main@ap-gto.groups.io> On Behalf Of Frank
Widmann via groups.io
Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2020 8:58 PM
To: main@ap-gto.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ap-gto] Mach 2 Best Practice with PC #Mach2GTO

Rather than put a mini pc on the moving side of my AP 1600. I mount a
Startech 7-port industrial USB and a Rig Runner power distribution and run
two cables through the mount. I house an industrial mini PC and two power
supplies, one for the mount and one for the accessories, in a waterproof
cabinet. I use Belkin Wemo wireless switched outlets to turn power on and
off. I run the mini PC headless from my office using Windows Remote Desktop.


Frank








 

--

Brian 

 

 

 

Brian Valente

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