Author Topic: Guiding  (Read 5338 times)

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Carole

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Guiding
« on: Jan 03, 2010, 20:37:42 »
Well I finally managed to get the guide scope to focus on some stars, so I plugged in all the cables.  The Guide cable goes directly into a USB 2 port, although other items have had to use the hub such as one of the cables from the guide camera, plus the cable from the DSLR which seems to work OK with that.  Hub is powered.

I am using WXAstrocapture for guiding, and although it latched onto a star (N.B. it only seems to like bright ones), it hung onto the star but did not seem to me to guide the mount.  I have bought all the right cables, so I am wondering why it is not working.  I checked the port in device manager.  In WXAstrocapture it puts a box around the star, but after a bit there was a line trailing from the star to the original position that the star was in. 

I would have thought if it was tracking, that the star and everything else on guide screen should have stayed in the same position. 

Am I wrong?
I still have it all set up outside, had not managed to get focus before the clouds rolled in. So if any-one can give me a quick answer before i put it all away I would be grateful.

i.e. would you say it sounds as if it is working?
It doesn't sound right to me.

Carole

JohnP

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Re: Guiding
« Reply #1 on: Jan 03, 2010, 21:16:40 »
Carole - Most guide progs have buttons that you can press to send guide signals NESW to check that mount moves.. have you tried this - it will at least confirm all cables are correct etc. & guide pulses are getting to mount.

John
« Last Edit: Jan 03, 2010, 21:45:34 by JohnP »

Carole

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Re: Guiding
« Reply #2 on: Jan 03, 2010, 21:27:59 »
No I haven't John.  I don't remember seeing anything like that in the programme, but I'll have a look and see.

Thanks
Carole

Carole

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Re: Guiding
« Reply #3 on: Jan 03, 2010, 22:28:30 »
No couldn't find anything that was like that.  I'll see if Duncan can help as he uses WXA for guiding.

I did check all the various drop down menus to make sure everything that needed selecting was selected.

Given up now as the clouds have really rolled in.

Carole

Simon E

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Re: Guiding
« Reply #4 on: Jan 04, 2010, 09:43:42 »
You must love the cold temps, god girl you are keen. Me I have been sitting in the warm the last couple of weeks, although i am waiting for the mounting bar to turn up to mount the second scope.

si
SW 130DPS reflector main imaging scope, SWST80 refractor Guide scope, HEQ5 Mount with syncscan
ZWO ASI 120MC 1/3" colour camera Guide camera, Nikon D5100 + D3100 Imaging cameras

JohnP

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Re: Guiding
« Reply #5 on: Jan 04, 2010, 09:51:48 »
Carole buttons might be labelled DE+ and DE- for North and South and RA+ and RA- for East and West. Looks like there is also a Yahoo Group http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/wxAstroCapture/ I am sure that there are many experts on this prog on there so it is probably worth your while joining.

John

Rocket Pooch

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Re: Guiding
« Reply #6 on: Jan 04, 2010, 09:55:43 »
Hi,

I'd join the yahoo group http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/wxAstroCapture/

You should get some info from there, but it seems to need ascom installed and running well.

Chris

Carole

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Re: Guiding
« Reply #7 on: Jan 04, 2010, 10:28:57 »
Thanks John and Chris, I've signed up but waiting for approval.

Do you recommend any other free or cheap guiding software that I could try as well?

Carole

RobertM

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Re: Guiding
« Reply #8 on: Jan 04, 2010, 10:38:39 »
Have you tried - Push Here Dummy (PHD) ?

JohnP

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Re: Guiding
« Reply #9 on: Jan 04, 2010, 10:39:54 »
I could say K3 but you might throw your PC at me....... :-)

What about these:

http://www.stark-labs.com/phdguiding.html
http://www.barkosoftware.com/GuideDog/index.html

John

Carole

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Re: Guiding
« Reply #10 on: Jan 04, 2010, 11:00:03 »
Thanks guys, PHD seems to have a good write up and I wondered about Guidedog.
Either way, I think I might be missing a driver as Chris suggested (it did cross my mind) and have E Mailed Celestron to ask them what driver I need.

I assume I will need a driver for whatever version of Guiding software I will be using.

When I was plugging in the set up last night the laptop told me it had installed something successfully but didn't tell me what it was, and as I had several things plugged in, SC3, Hub, DSLR, Guide cables and all have been plugged in before, I have no idea what it had installed.  

Quote
I could say K3 but you might throw your PC at me.......
:lol:

Quote
You must love the cold temps, god girl you are keen.
Hi Simon, no I don't enjoy freezing, but really went out to try to sort out focus on the guide scope and see if I could get guiding working OK (which I obviously didn't).  Didn't want to let the clear sky go to waste.  However I am now sitting in my conservatory once I've set it all up and operating the laptop with long cables passing through the slightly open window, with my big fur coat on.  Makes it difficult for focussing when the laptop is indoors and the focus knob is outside.  

Chris, you do this from a distance, can I operate the focus remotely and if so how?

Carole

« Last Edit: Jan 04, 2010, 11:06:45 by Carolepope »

Carole

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Re: Guiding
« Reply #11 on: Jan 04, 2010, 11:09:07 »
Quote
buttons might be labelled DE+ and DE- for North and South and RA+ and RA-
  John, there was a box with RA and Dec on it (no + or - signs though).  Was not sure what it was for.  So if I enter the RA and DEC of a known object, am I right in assuming if the cables are working the Mount should slew to that co-ordinate?

Carole

MarkS

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Re: Guiding
« Reply #12 on: Jan 04, 2010, 20:11:23 »

Wow, you were certainly lucky the guide cam didn't hit the floor!
 
I don't know anything about  WXAstroCapture.  I use PhD but WXAC may well work the same way - I have to select GPUSB (not ASCOM nor GPINT) for driving the mount.  No drivers are required when using GPUSB but they needed if you try to use ASCOM.  In PhD this is all failsafe - it tells you immediately if it is successfully communicating with the mount or it tells you it can't connect.  After that, it can't fail to work.  It certainly works fine with my CG5 mount.

Mark

Carole

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Re: Guiding
« Reply #13 on: Jan 04, 2010, 21:28:16 »
Quote
Wow, you were certainly lucky the guide cam didn't hit the floor!
I'd better explain this as I put it in an E mail to Mark but not in this thread.  I had E mailed Mark as he has the same mount as me, and the same guide cables.

Last night I was looking at Pleiades which was around the Zenith, and as some of you may know I bought a guide scope off Mark which is a really a camera lens and has no screw where the eyepiece/camera would go to hold it in, and I made (the same as Mark) a gasket from a piece of milk bottle to hold in the camera.  Whilst this works OK when the Guide scope is faily level I took the extra precaution of tying the Guide camera to the guide rings.  Lucky I did because when I went to untie the guide camera it fell out, luckily into my hands!!!

Carole

Carole

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Re: Guiding
« Reply #14 on: Jan 05, 2010, 01:00:29 »
I HATE VISTA

I spent most of this evening trying to download PHD guiding.  It's supposed to be a push here dummy software, and I thought I was a proper dummy as I could not get it to download at all, it kept downloading as a Windows Media file and then my Laptop kept saying it did not support the WM file.  I was getting no-where.  Exasperated I cranked up my old laptop, which is windows XP and it downloaded no problem at all!!!!

GRRRRRRR!!!

I think I have finally got to the point where I feel like replacing the Vista with Windows XP but do not have a clue how to do it, and will this mean I will have to back up my files and re-download any software I currently have installed?  Will I need a Windows XP disk as I don't have one.  My existing PCs came with it ready loaded.

Anyway, having looked at PHD now I've downloaded it, it does look like a user friendly system, but how to get it onto my new laptop.  Either I'll have to run two laptops and hope the old one is up to the job, or put XP on my Vista.  I am hoping one of you clever IT chappies might help me out with this.

Gosh I am owing quite a few people drinks. 

Carole