The last two nights have been clear and that does not happen very often where I live. I may even get a third. That have left me 20 hours to play with SGP. Below are my experience and a description of the problems I encountered. Some of this may be related to settings or lack of understanding from my side of how things should work/be set up.
When it works, it works fine. But all to often it don’t. Most common cause it that it is waiting for the autoguider to settle. It may be waiting for minutes and at the end I have to abort. If the settling criteria is the same as I have set for starting a new frame, this is a bug. Not one single frame over these two nights has been delayed due to the guider not settling. The criteria is quite generous.
In one instance the autufocus routine just kept going taking more and more frames. It made me hungry because in the end the screen were full of donuts. I had to abort.
- After aborting anything, autofocus or anything else, the first frame thereafter is empty. I mean really empty. Not even noise is recorded and all image statistics reads zero. The next frame though is OK. This happened several times over the night. I wrote about this in a post a few days ago regarding my ASI1600. This is a different camera, but symptoms are the same. So I think this is SGP related.
- Camera temperature
While talking about camera, I was not able to set the temperature to -15 deg how much I tried. I tried numerous times, but no matter what, SGP showed that the temperature was set to -11,9 in the docking window. So I imaged at this temperature. But every time I restarted a sequence, the warning window appeared telling me that the temperature was not -15. If I had told SGP to wait, I’d still be waiting.
- Meridian flips
They work fine actually, but centering there after not equally good in my opinion. It does its stuff, but if the PS2 solve is not within the 50 pixels I have specified it stops. I have to manually press Run again to get it into position. It never failed the second time. But if I did not babysit SGP at the time, that would have been the end of that sequence. This may be by design, but I would like the solve to automatically go on for as many attempts as required (user specified?).
- End of sequence
I had checked the Park telescope when sequence completes check box. I went to bed after midnight seeing that everything was running smoothly. I disabled autofocus due to the problems above. Set the alarm to 6 in the morning, but something woke me up after a couple of hours. I found the the scope was parked, but the sequence was incomplete. There was still 49 frames remaining in the last event.
PHD2 reported that the star was lost and the sequence was aborted. (Not blaming SGP for that!) Probably I had not opened the shutter wide enough, what ever. My point being: An aborted sequence is not the same as a completed sequence. The scope should not have been parked in my opinion.
Some might disagree on this and maybe there should have been two check boxes, one for sequence end (for whatever reason) and one for sequence completed.
- Parking the dome
In this version of SGP the dome will not park properly. I overshoots its home position by about 15 deg. This never happend with the production version of SGP and since I have not changed anything else it seem to be SGP related. I will look into this further, but synchronization between mount and dome is close to perfect except for parking. I’m using POTH to sync mount and dome. The dome driver is LesveDomeNet.
This became a lengthy report and it is mostly ment for the SGP progrmmers. But feel free to leave your comments.