Event Non Start due to Guider Settling Issues


#1

Yesterday afternoon while trouble shooting, I ran an Event/Sequence of 10 images at 60s each. I had PHD2 on, but since it was daylight there was no guiding. SGP commented about this and ask if I wanted to proceed anyway, and I gave it a yes. The event ran 9 out of the 10 images scheduled and then posted that the sequence was complete. It did leave a note that the guider had failed to settle. The second time it ran 4 of 10 before doing the same thing.

Last night I tried to capture 600s subs of M27. I started the sequence and returned an hour later for refocus. I found the sequence had failed to start and it had left the note about settling (see attachment). I made two more attempts to image but each time the process failed after about 1 minute. Before my initial start, PHD2 had been guiding for at least 10 minutes with nothing unusual on its graph.

It’s noteworthy that two nights ago I successfully captured M27 with everything in SGP being the same.

I welcome any suggestions as to the cause and fix of this problem.

Mark
http://astrob.in/109506/0/


#2

Please post your logs for PHD2 and SGP. We can’t help if you don’t give us the info.


#3

Thanks mads,

Being new at SGP, I’m not familiar with how to execute or capture its log.

Mark


#4

Hi Mark,
2 Things:

  1. You can find your log file by going to the help menu in SGP and then “Open Log Folder”. Please post the log file with dropbox or some other file sharing service. Dropbox is excellent, by the way. You then give us a link (from dropbox) to download the log file.
  2. In the astrobin image of SGP settings that you posted, there is no telescope selected. Unless I’m missing something, PHD can’t be moving the mount (guiding) if there is no telescope selected and active.

#5

Also I just noticed that your settle at value is quite low (0.2 pixels). I have mine set at 0.7 pixels, for example. Unless your mount is very accurate PHD would have a hard time settling at that small value.


#6

Thanks Joel,

I found the “view log” feature in help right after I responded to mads.
I had recently changed over to PHD2 from “1” and had neglected to enable the logging. But I’ll have all running tonight.
It’s interesting what you say about PHD and the scope selection. This gave me pause, but I do not think this is true. Best I can tell, PHD operates outside of SGP. I suspect the “scope” selection is for moving the scope through SGP. But we’ll give it a try and see.
The M27 images (6 at 600s) that ran the other night definitely did not dither. Consequently I am watching that selection closely for when I run tonight.
Thanks for the suggestion on the settle value. I’ll raise that for tonight’s session. I also came across a post by Terry in May where Ken suggests applying “recovery mode”. Not sure if this is relevant to what I’m seeing, but might be worth a try.

I just got through running the sequencer with cameras and filter wheel on at short durations (30s). I started with PHD2 on (just not guiding), and then later turned PHD off. This is all showing up in the SGP log. While running the event multiple times, and changing parameters in between, I am not having the problems I described today. All looks good. Just for grins, I started my 600s sequence and plan to let it run for a while. Currently PHD2 is off.

I’m beginning to wonder if simply posting on this forum doesn’t correct the problems. Seems like it so far. We’ll see.

Mark


#7

Mark,
You may be right about the scope connection and PHD being independent of SGP. Now that I think about it you are probably right. In any event, I think that raising your settle at value will help.

BTW, It would be helpful to know what equipment you are using. We suggest filling out the “About Me” section of your profile and briefly listing the equipment you are using. That way when someone clicks on your avatar we can quickly see what equipment you are using.


#8

You may already have the recovery mode selected. In your astrobin screen shot the message says “attempting recovery”.


#9

This is relevant. Everyone loses the guide star from time to time.
Recovery will attempt to restart guiding.


#10

Thanks Ken,

The software was not in recovery mode during last night’s bust. However, this was also true for the previous night’s success in imaging. So I don’t think that was my problem.

However, as a general rule you would advise that we turn it on and leave it on?

Mark


#11

I can’t advise that anyone keep recovery mode on in its current state
(which is why we turn it off by default). Recovery mode will honor target
end times, but during its attempt to recover the sequence, your mount will
continue to track for up to 90 min on the side in which the failure
occurred. If you feel comfortable with that or have your equipment
protected with software external to SGPro (ie your ascom driver), then, by
all means, go ahead and use it.


#12

As a follow-up, I ran 14 subs last night at 600s each. No problems – the software operated as it should and as I had expected it would. The only explanation for the problems described from a couple of days back is that I had been stumbling around in the system and had mucked things up. I was careful last night to use the tools properly and success was the result.
I like the ability to “pause” during an event in order to re-focus. The modules are also a nice touch, quick access to info.
The images from last night were definitely dithered.
Joel’s suggestion of increasing the “settle” pixel to 0.7 served me well. The display at the bottom of the screen provided updates as the guiding settled and once it hit the magic number the next image would begin.
While most of the operational log is currently Greek to me, it is nice to access that info at any time.
I ran with “recovery” on last night. It had been off the first night when I successfully captured images. So I’ll turn it off for tonight’s session and see how it goes.
Next up is the Starizona MicroTouch autofocus. That is the primary reason I’m looking at SGP.
Mark


#13

Hi Mark,
I’m glad you got the settle time sorted out! That’s good news. When you
get autofocus running properly it will be another step up in your
imaging routine. You’re going to love autofocus!


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