Date   

Re: PHD 2 Guiding "Good Enough"

John Thompson <jbtgolfer@...>
 

Thank you for the responses to my "Guiding-Good enough" post. Yes. I have run PEMPro, loaded the "model" to the CP4 controller and Enabled PEC on the mount. However, it has been a while (>1 yr) so a new run at it would probably be beneficial. I will make that my first priority. I would like to reduce the RA error.

I have two AP mounts in the observatory , an AP 1100 and an AP 1600. The AP 1100 has encoders. I plan to add encoders to the AP 1600 this summer. I agree that it is easy to get drawn into "perfection" on this topic. However, when you ( all of us) make a big investment in the best equipment ( Astro Physics) you like to get full value. That's my excuse and I am sticking to it.


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

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