Topics

Auotguiding no longer working


Chris Tardif
 

For some reason my auto-guiding suddenly stopped working and I can't figure out why.  Can someone confirm the values that are supposed to be in this dialogue box?

Chris


Wes Mcdonald
 

Chris

All looks right to me.
Wes

--
Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired


 

Chris,
 
Can you put a bit more flesh on that problem statement?  What does "stopped working" look like to you?  
 
PHD2 won't start?  Won't connect devices?  Will connect, but performs terribly?  Something else?  
 
And...Do you know if ASCOM is working ok?....    
 
- Bob
 
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64


Chris Tardif
 

Yes, I suppose my question lacked as you say "meat on the bone".  I set up PHD through ASCOM months ago and it was working well.  I put anew scope on the mount last week and even as a write this I realize the absurdity.  It is a 102mm Explore Scientific FCD-100.  I think I am right at the weight limit.  It slews well, polar aligns, star aligns and seems quite solid.

If I am simply tracking on a star the mount tracks and produces acceptable 20 second images....as I would expect.

When I start PHD it runs  then about 20 seoncds into autoguidng PHD throws and error about being unable to....and this is where it gets fuzzy....i can't remember the error message but it was something about not being able to affect RA or DEC and i should look for tangled cables. 

i was thinking it was either

1) too heavy a scope....I dont think this is it because it slews, aligns and tracks as well as it did before. 
2) maybe my guide scope isn't up to the longer FL of the ES scope.  I don't think this is it either since I had a 400mm lens before and now have the 714 of the ES-102m
3) some kind of software config that i don't know how to troubleshoot.  My money is on this so i was starting with the pulse guiding dialogue box from the PMC-8 driver.  I thought it might be this because for some reason the driver lost my other settings somewhere recently.  I had to reset the location, elevation and COM port so I thought it might have lost something else I missed.

thanks
chris

Chris Tardif
Microsoft
416-459-9464


From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Robert Hoskin <devonshire@...>
Sent: Monday, July 1, 2019 11:44:55 AM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] Auotguiding no longer working
 
Chris,
 
Can you put a bit more flesh on that problem statement?  What does "stopped working" look like to you?  
 
PHD2 won't start?  Won't connect devices?  Will connect, but performs terribly?  Something else?  
 
And...Do you know if ASCOM is working ok?....    
 
- Bob
 
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64


 

Chris,
 
PHD2 will have created both a Guide log and a Debug log for the session you had trouble with.  They should have captured what was going on.  Suggest you look for them in My Documents\PHD2, zip both up, and post them.  If you were in and out of PHD2 during the night and there's more than one pair, post 'em all.
 
Your 400mm lens would be easier to guide than your new 714mm scope [ie: 714mm will be less forgiving of tracking errors than 400mm].  PHD2, however will not care about that, as it has no idea whether your imaging is producing round stars at a given exposure length, or not.  
 
PHD2 may have trouble, if the extra weight or length is creating a mechanical issue, or your gear is wobbling somewhere rather than being held rigidly, but that's a different problem.  

Also - can you please update your .sig with your gear and software?

- Bob
 
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64


Chris Tardif
 

Thanks Bob...Attached is the PHD log.

 

 

Chris

 

Mount: Explore Scientific: IEXOS-100

Scopes: Explore Scientific 102mm FCD-100, Canon 400mm lens

Cameras:  Canon T3i(mod), T5i (stock), Altair GPCAM2-130-mono

Software: ASCOM, PHD, ATP, Starrynight, Stellarium, OneDrive, SharpCap
Computer:  Intel NUC and an ugly thing I built myself.

 

 

 


From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Robert Hoskin <devonshire@...>
Sent: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 10:53:40 AM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] Auotguiding no longer working
 
Chris,
 
PHD2 will have created both a Guide log and a Debug log for the session you had trouble with.  They should have captured what was going on.  Suggest you look for them in My Documents\PHD2, zip both up, and post them.  If you were in and out of PHD2 during the night and there's more than one pair, post 'em all.
 
Your 400mm lens would be easier to guide than your new 714mm scope [ie: 714mm will be less forgiving of tracking errors than 400mm].  PHD2, however will not care about that, as it has no idea whether your imaging is producing round stars at a given exposure length, or not.  
 
PHD2 may have trouble, if the extra weight or length is creating a mechanical issue, or your gear is wobbling somewhere rather than being held rigidly, but that's a different problem.  

Also - can you please update your .sig with your gear and software?

- Bob
 
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64


 

Chris,

That was the Debug log - there should have been a Guide log alongside it - can you send that along as well, please?
The Debug log does have several "not able to make sufficient corrections" errors, for both RA and DEC.

Thx for the .sig update!

- Bob
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64


Chris Tardif
 

There you are....thanks for your help Bob.

 

Chris

 

Mount: Explore Scientific: IEXOS-100

Scopes: Explore Scientific 102mm FCD-100, Canon 400mm lens

Cameras:  Canon T3i(mod), T5i (stock), Altair GPCAM2-130-mono

Software: ASCOM, PHD, ATP, Starrynight, Stellarium, OneDrive, SharpCap
Computer:  Intel NUC and an ugly thing I built myself.

 

 

 

 


From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Robert Hoskin <devonshire@...>
Sent: Tuesday, July 2, 2019 3:29:42 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] Auotguiding no longer working
 
Chris,

That was the Debug log - there should have been a Guide log alongside it - can you send that along as well, please?
The Debug log does have several "not able to make sufficient corrections" errors, for both RA and DEC.

Thx for the .sig update!

- Bob
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64


 

Chris,
 
Wow...
 
When I was getting my mount (and to be fair, my technique) sorted out, I realized partway in that multiple issues were interacting, and about all I could do was fix the problem I could see before me, and then test to see what was left.  Eventually, I had enough 'layers peeled from the onion' that things settled down and actually worked pretty well.
 
Which is a long way 'round of saying that you probably have more than one thing going on here and you may need to do the same.
 
Logs first:  
-> If you've given me all the logs from your session, then you did not run PHD2 calibration before guiding.  You should do that before you start guiding.  Just before you calibrate, go PHD2>Advanced/Brain>Guiding>Calibration section, click the [Advanced] button, and let PHD2 check your calibration step size.  
-> Your parameters look generally reasonable to me.  Some of mine are different, but different mount, and not everybody ends up getting good results from the same thing.  Apart from maybe running guiding assistant, I'm not seeing anything that needs more than a tweak, AFTER you get things running.  Same with dithering - suggest you not try that until your guiding is stable.
-> Did you crash at the end?  The logs don't end with a clean close.
-> Your Debug log has several "not able to make sufficient corrections" errors for both DEC and RA.  Googling up those errors, it's basically saying that PHD2 knows that it has large and uncorrected guiding errors, and since you max-duration times are reasonable, it's speculating that you must have a mechanical issue like a snagged cable.  Trying to be helpful, and it really doesn't know, but it thinks you should look for a mechanical problem.
 
Mechanical issues:
-> ES just recently updated the weight capacity on the product page for the iEXOS-100, after a published ad highlighted some interpretation problems.  
https://explorescientificusa.com/collections/pmc-eight/products/es-iexos-100  (see the specs tab)
The thread about this was just a few days ago.  
Anyway... My reading of the new spec is that your new scope (at 12lbs spec) puts you well over your weight budget (at 9lbs spec), assuming another 3-4lbs for guide gear, camera, cables, etc., you end up probably north of 15lbs payload.  And it's longish, so more moment arm.  
Doesn't mean it can't work, but you're probably on thin ice.  Suggest you put great care into balancing, collapse your tripod down as low as it can go, and make sure that spreader is snug. 
-> How securely is your guidescope and camera attached?  Opportunity for the guidescope base to wobble on its foot?  The guidescope in its rings?  Opportunity for its camera to wobble in its focuser? Check that the whole assembly, from the new FCD100's Vixen shoe on up, is rigidly attached.  No movement.  
 
Unsolicited advice: The same scope in 80mm would probably have been a better fit for the mount - and at 480mm FL vs. 714mm, easier to guide. 
 
Summary:
Try this and see where you are... 
-> Check for unwanted mechanical movement from the Vixen shoe on up. 
-> Calibrate before guiding (don't be surprised if you have a bit of trouble getting through that), balance with great care, and then just a bit East-heavy, camera-heavy.
-> Make sure that your tripod is low and rigid.  
 
Hope this helps!
 
Anyone else want to weigh in?
 
- Bob
 
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64


Chris Tardif
 

Thanks Bob.  I just weighed all the bits and pieces....you don’t want to know.... but you seem to be good at simple math. 😉

 

Tripod is low.

I re-ran calibration, now I’m just waiting for a clear night.

I got this scope in anticipation of a new mount...I was hoping to eek out the summer on the IEXOS-100 while I decided which mount to add to my collection.  Once that happens I will return to cameras and lenses on this one.

Everything is quite solid and it slews and points very well with no sign of strain.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcHsxE5gA6XjPsWF2FDWOrg?view_as=subscriber

 

Yes, I believe PHD did crash.

 

Thanks!

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 


From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Robert Hoskin <devonshire@...>
Sent: Wednesday, July 3, 2019 1:21:43 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] Auotguiding no longer working
 
Chris,
 
Wow...
 
When I was getting my mount (and to be fair, my technique) sorted out, I realized partway in that multiple issues were interacting, and about all I could do was fix the problem I could see before me, and then test to see what was left.  Eventually, I had enough 'layers peeled from the onion' that things settled down and actually worked pretty well.
 
Which is a long way 'round of saying that you probably have more than one thing going on here and you may need to do the same.
 
Logs first:  
-> If you've given me all the logs from your session, then you did not run PHD2 calibration before guiding.  You should do that before you start guiding.  Just before you calibrate, go PHD2>Advanced/Brain>Guiding>Calibration section, click the [Advanced] button, and let PHD2 check your calibration step size.  
-> Your parameters look generally reasonable to me.  Some of mine are different, but different mount, and not everybody ends up getting good results from the same thing.  Apart from maybe running guiding assistant, I'm not seeing anything that needs more than a tweak, AFTER you get things running.  Same with dithering - suggest you not try that until your guiding is stable.
-> Did you crash at the end?  The logs don't end with a clean close.
-> Your Debug log has several "not able to make sufficient corrections" errors for both DEC and RA.  Googling up those errors, it's basically saying that PHD2 knows that it has large and uncorrected guiding errors, and since you max-duration times are reasonable, it's speculating that you must have a mechanical issue like a snagged cable.  Trying to be helpful, and it really doesn't know, but it thinks you should look for a mechanical problem.
 
Mechanical issues:
-> ES just recently updated the weight capacity on the product page for the iEXOS-100, after a published ad highlighted some interpretation problems.  
https://explorescientificusa.com/collections/pmc-eight/products/es-iexos-100  (see the specs tab)
The thread about this was just a few days ago.  
Anyway... My reading of the new spec is that your new scope (at 12lbs spec) puts you well over your weight budget (at 9lbs spec), assuming another 3-4lbs for guide gear, camera, cables, etc., you end up probably north of 15lbs payload.  And it's longish, so more moment arm.  
Doesn't mean it can't work, but you're probably on thin ice.  Suggest you put great care into balancing, collapse your tripod down as low as it can go, and make sure that spreader is snug. 
-> How securely is your guidescope and camera attached?  Opportunity for the guidescope base to wobble on its foot?  The guidescope in its rings?  Opportunity for its camera to wobble in its focuser? Check that the whole assembly, from the new FCD100's Vixen shoe on up, is rigidly attached.  No movement.  
 
Unsolicited advice: The same scope in 80mm would probably have been a better fit for the mount - and at 480mm FL vs. 714mm, easier to guide. 
 
Summary:
Try this and see where you are... 
-> Check for unwanted mechanical movement from the Vixen shoe on up. 
-> Calibrate before guiding (don't be surprised if you have a bit of trouble getting through that), balance with great care, and then just a bit East-heavy, camera-heavy.
-> Make sure that your tripod is low and rigid.  
 
Hope this helps!
 
Anyone else want to weigh in?
 
- Bob
 
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64


Wes Mcdonald
 

Chris

Bob I think you hit it all pretty good.  Regarding weight limit my memory on that thread is that the 9 pound limit is very conservative.  Jerry also made the point to get the tripod down.   He also noted the motor current and motors and drive train are all the same as the exos2.  

I'm guessing you we messed up by not calibrating.

Wes

--
Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Wes Mcdonald
 

Chris

How did you run calibration?  You need to calibrate PhD on a star near meridian and 0 Dec?

Wes

--
Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Chris Tardif
 

Until reading your email I thought calibration meant just setting the correct values.  Turns out that was wrong.  I must have just got lucky before...I learned a lot about PHD that I was doing wrong.  I think all my issues were not mount related...stay tuned...

 

Chris

 

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 


From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io <MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io> on behalf of Wes Mcdonald <wesmcd6@...>
Sent: Wednesday, July 3, 2019 4:50:44 PM
To: MAIN@espmc-eight.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] Auotguiding no longer working
 
Chris

How did you run calibration?  You need to calibrate PhD on a star near meridian and 0 Dec?

Wes

--
Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired


 

Nice picture on the other thread - tracking looks good!  Punching above its weight, indeed :-)

--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT, ZWO 60/280 Guide
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2
Computer:  Thinkpad x230, Win7Pro/64


Wes Mcdonald
 

So Chris...I presume your issues are resolved?  81 exposures of 3 minutes?  Really? Wow.

Wes

--
Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired