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Re: [RCX400] Guiding with a separate camera

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  • Kenneth Richmond
    Allan, Are you using Phd Guide from Stark? Ken R. ... From: Allan Overcast To: RCX400@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2008 10:52 PM Subject:
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 1, 2008
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      Allan,  Are you using Phd Guide from Stark?
       
      Ken R.
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2008 10:52 PM
      Subject: [RCX400] Guiding with a separate camera

      I am attempting to guide with an external guider camera with integrated relay control port.  I read through the RCX400 manual and there is no mention as to the procedure to operate in this mode.  Is it best to turn off guiding on Autostar and rely solely on the guide camera when using the second camera?  I tried some long, 5 minute exposures with the guide camera on and the Autostar also on, but still got significant streaking.  I use a Canon Rebel XT for my main camera and a CCD-Labs Q-Guider for the guiding camera.  Any direction is welcome.
       
      Allan in Billings, MT
       


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    • Allan Overcast
      I have Maxim/DL but can use Phd if necessary. For my initial test, because I could not get Maxim/DL to recognize the guider camera I used Phd. Allan in
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 1, 2008
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        I have Maxim/DL but can use Phd if necessary.  For my initial test, because I could not get Maxim/DL to recognize the guider camera I used Phd.
         
        Allan in Billings, MT


         
        ----- Original Message ----
        From: Kenneth Richmond <kennyrichmond@...>
        To: RCX400@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, February 1, 2008 4:28:57 AM
        Subject: Re: [RCX400] Guiding with a separate camera

        Allan,  Are you using Phd Guide from Stark?
         
        Ken R.
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2008 10:52 PM
        Subject: [RCX400] Guiding with a separate camera

        I am attempting to guide with an external guider camera with integrated relay control port.  I read through the RCX400 manual and there is no mention as to the procedure to operate in this mode.  Is it best to turn off guiding on Autostar and rely solely on the guide camera when using the second camera?  I tried some long, 5 minute exposures with the guide camera on and the Autostar also on, but still got significant streaking.  I use a Canon Rebel XT for my main camera and a CCD-Labs Q-Guider for the guiding camera.  Any direction is welcome.
         
        Allan in Billings, MT
         


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      • Kenneth Richmond
        Allan, First. Are you using Vista? MaxIM DL/DSLR does not come with a driver to support your guide camera, but PhD Guider does. Questions: . In PhD
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 1, 2008
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          Allan,
           
          First.  Are you using Vista? 
           
          MaxIM DL/DSLR does not come with a driver to support your guide camera, but PhD Guider does.  Questions:    .  In PhD Guider, what camera are you selecting for guiding?
           
                  What Telescope are you selecting for the "Mount" in PhD guiding?
           
                  What are you connecting the line from your guide scope to?  It does not appear to be ST4 compatible, but we have no access to the instructions or specifications for your camera.  Do they say ST4 compatible?
           
                   Are you saying that PhD Guiding does not connect to your guide camera upon selecting ccd labs Q-guider?  Does it say, "problem connecting?"
           
                   If it does connect, does your guider's image appear in PhD Guiding (Do you seen any stars?)  Have you increased the integration from .2 sec to say 2 seconds or more?
           
                    How are you controlling the DSLR,  with a bulb at the camera or from MaximDSLR and a "Shoestring" adapter?
           
                     When you are using Autosuite, or MaxIM, are you connecting your computer to the mount with a serial or a USB adapter, or a direct USB connection? Some have reported that Serial/USB adapters from various manufacturers does not work with the RCX.
           
                      In both MaxIM and PhD you can select the ASCOM RCX400 as the Mount/Telescope.  If you do, and you are using the remote focusing, you must select "setup" after your scope is recognized in order to bring up the focuser box. For MaxIM DL/DSLR it is important to select "incremental" in both Ajai Seghal's Ascom Focuser box, and the "Setup" box in MaxIM (the telescope selection box).  In my RCX, the selection of "absolute" sends the focuser screaming back and forth to the stops. 
           
          Ken R.
           
                     
           
           
           
           
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Friday, February 01, 2008 10:21 AM
          Subject: Re: [RCX400] Guiding with a separate camera

          I have Maxim/DL but can use Phd if necessary.  For my initial test, because I could not get Maxim/DL to recognize the guider camera I used Phd.
           
          Allan in Billings, MT


           
          ----- Original Message ----
          From: Kenneth Richmond <kennyrichmond@ comcast.net>
          To: RCX400@yahoogroups. com
          Sent: Friday, February 1, 2008 4:28:57 AM
          Subject: Re: [RCX400] Guiding with a separate camera

          Allan,  Are you using Phd Guide from Stark?
           
          Ken R.
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2008 10:52 PM
          Subject: [RCX400] Guiding with a separate camera

          I am attempting to guide with an external guider camera with integrated relay control port.  I read through the RCX400 manual and there is no mention as to the procedure to operate in this mode.  Is it best to turn off guiding on Autostar and rely solely on the guide camera when using the second camera?  I tried some long, 5 minute exposures with the guide camera on and the Autostar also on, but still got significant streaking.  I use a Canon Rebel XT for my main camera and a CCD-Labs Q-Guider for the guiding camera.  Any direction is welcome.
           
          Allan in Billings, MT
           


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        • Allan Overcast
          Allan, First. Are you using Vista? ... MaxIM DL/DSLR does not come with a driver to support your guide camera, but PhD Guider does. Questions: . In PhD
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 2, 2008
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            Allan,
             
            First.  Are you using Vista? 
             
            >>> Yes
             
            MaxIM DL/DSLR does not come with a driver to support your guide camera, but PhD Guider does.  Questions:    .  In PhD Guider, what camera are you selecting for guiding?
             
            >>> I select the Qguider and it see's the camera just fine.  I get the green box around the selected star without much issue
             
                    What Telescope are you selecting for the "Mount" in PhD guiding?
             
            >>> I will have to check the option.  I can't VPN into that computer for some reason to get the setting.  I believe it is the Camera Guide Port option (last in the list)
             
                    What are you connecting the line from your guide scope to?  It does not appear to be ST4 compatible, but we have no access to the instructions or specifications for your camera.  Do they say ST4 compatible?
             
            >>> I believe it is ST4 compatible.  The guider cable that came with the camera is rolled from one end to the other which is an ST4 requirement
             
                     Are you saying that PhD Guiding does not connect to your guide camera upon selecting ccd labs Q-guider?  Does it say, "problem connecting?"
             
            >>> No it connects and I get the green box around the guide star.  My main question is do I set the RCX for terrestrial vs Astronomical to turn the RCX's guiding feature off and rely only on the guider camera
             
                     If it does connect, does your guider's image appear in PhD Guiding (Do you seen any stars?)  Have you increased the integration from .2 sec to say 2 seconds or more?
             
            >>> No problem seeing, just not sure what I needed to do on the RCX to verify it was actually working
             
                      How are you controlling the DSLR,  with a bulb at the camera or from MaximDSLR and a "Shoestring" adapter?
             
            >>> I control the DSLR from Maxim/DL w/DSLR plugin and it works great
             
                       When you are using Autosuite, or MaxIM, are you connecting your computer to the mount with a serial or a USB adapter, or a direct USB connection? Some have reported that Serial/USB adapters from various manufacturers does not work with the RCX.
             
            >>> Not controlling my mount remotly during imaging.  I use the hand controller using high precision and an external video monitor attached to the Canon camera to center before I start longer imaging exposures
             
                        In both MaxIM and PhD you can select the ASCOM RCX400 as the Mount/Telescope.  If you do, and you are using the remote focusing, you must select "setup" after your scope is recognized in order to bring up the focuser box. For MaxIM DL/DSLR it is important to select "incremental" in both Ajai Seghal's Ascom Focuser box, and the "Setup" box in MaxIM (the telescope selection box).  In my RCX, the selection of "absolute" sends the focuser screaming back and forth to the stops. 
             
            >>> I have not installed the ASCOM driver yet, wanted to take this in steps to make sure every piece works.  I can take typically 30 to 45 sec exposures w/o much problems, just wanted to use a guider camera to get longer exposures.  Using ASCOM, I assume I would not guide with the ST4 port, but with the RS232 serial port.  I will keep playing with it to make sure I figure it out.  There is so little Meade generated info on guiding , was hoping there was a document that I missed that explained any RCX required settings inorder for everything to work correctly.
             
            Allan in Billings
            Ken R.
             
                       
             
             
             
             
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Friday, February 01, 2008 10:21 AM
            Subject: Re: [RCX400] Guiding with a separate camera

            I have Maxim/DL but can use Phd if necessary.  For my initial test, because I could not get Maxim/DL to recognize the guider camera I used Phd.
             
            Allan in Billings, MT


             
            ----- Original Message ----
            From: Kenneth Richmond <kennyrichmond@ comcast.net>
            To: RCX400@yahoogroups. com
            Sent: Friday, February 1, 2008 4:28:57 AM
            Subject: Re: [RCX400] Guiding with a separate camera

            Allan,  Are you using Phd Guide from Stark?
             
            Ken R.
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2008 10:52 PM
            Subject: [RCX400] Guiding with a separate camera

            I am attempting to guide with an external guider camera with integrated relay control port.  I read through the RCX400 manual and there is no mention as to the procedure to operate in this mode.  Is it best to turn off guiding on Autostar and rely solely on the guide camera when using the second camera?  I tried some long, 5 minute exposures with the guide camera on and the Autostar also on, but still got significant streaking.  I use a Canon Rebel XT for my main camera and a CCD-Labs Q-Guider for the guiding camera.  Any direction is welcome.
             
            Allan in Billings, MT
             


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          • Stuart Thomson
            ... camera, but PhD Guider does. Questions: . In PhD Guider, what camera are you selecting for guiding? ... the green box around the selected star without
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 2, 2008
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              --- In RCX400@yahoogroups.com, Allan Overcast <allanovercast@...> wrote:
              >
              > Allan,
              >
              > First. Are you using Vista?
              >
              > >>> Yes
              >
              > MaxIM DL/DSLR does not come with a driver to support your guide
              camera, but PhD Guider does. Questions: . In PhD Guider, what
              camera are you selecting for guiding?
              >
              > >>> I select the Qguider and it see's the camera just fine. I get
              the green box around the selected star without much issue
              >
              > What Telescope are you selecting for the "Mount" in PhD guiding?
              >
              > >>> I will have to check the option. I can't VPN into that computer
              for some reason to get the setting. I believe it is the Camera Guide
              Port option (last in the list)
              >
              > What are you connecting the line from your guide scope to?
              It does not appear to be ST4 compatible, but we have no access to the
              instructions or specifications for your camera. Do they say ST4
              compatible?
              >
              > >>> I believe it is ST4 compatible. The guider cable that came with
              the camera is rolled from one end to the other which is an ST4 requirement
              >
              > Are you saying that PhD Guiding does not connect to your
              guide camera upon selecting ccd labs Q-guider? Does it say, "problem
              connecting?"
              >
              > >>> No it connects and I get the green box around the guide star.
              My main question is do I set the RCX for terrestrial vs Astronomical
              to turn the RCX's guiding feature off and rely only on the guider camera
              >

              Setting target to terrestrial will turn off tracking, not guiding,
              which you don't want to do. You seem to have mixed up the definitions
              of tracking and guiding. Tracking drives the RA so as to counteract
              the Earth's rotation, guiding is the rapid correction of the drive in
              both RA and Dec to allow for small inaccuracies in the drive mechanism
              and/or polar alignment.

              Now using PHD you should train you PEC in RA, follow the instructions
              in the Meade manual. You could also do another couple of PEC runs to
              refine it.

              I assume the q-guider is on an external scope. You should calibrate
              the guider every time you image, I can't remember how PHD does this,
              but it will have something to calibrate the drives. The RJ45?
              connection on the back of the PHD should be connected to the
              Autoguider port on the back of the OTA.

              If all this is working, there may be flexure in your external guiding
              setup.

              Cheers
              Stuart
            • autostaretx
              ... A quirk in the LX200gps firmware, which i assume is also true in the RCX400, is that if you have chosen Terrestrial , any guider inputs operate at your
              Message 6 of 8 , Feb 2, 2008
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                --- In RCX400@yahoogroups.com, "Stuart Thomson" <rat156@...> wrote:
                >
                > --- In RCX400@yahoogroups.com, Allan Overcast <allanovercast@> wrote:
                >> My main question is do I set the RCX for terrestrial vs
                >> Astronomical to turn the RCX's guiding feature off and
                >> rely only on the guider camera
                > >
                >
                > Setting target to terrestrial will turn off tracking, not guiding,

                A quirk in the LX200gps firmware, which i assume is also true in
                the RCX400, is that if you have chosen "Terrestrial", any
                guider inputs operate at your currently chosen -slew- speed,
                not the usual less-than-sidereal Guide Speed.
                Since Guide Speed is usually 33% -less- than sidereal,
                choosing "Guide" speed in Terrestrial means that the scope will
                not be able to "keep up" with the sky.

                As Stuart says, you want the scope operating in its usual
                follow-the-sky (Astronomical) mode. Guide inputs are expected
                to perform -minor- adjustments to that fundamental tracking motion.

                When i wish to use guiding, i have my scope already centered on
                the star, and then i activate whatever is providing the guiding
                signals. The Autostar does not have a "guiding on/off" switch.
                If a guiding signal arrives, the scope will act upon it.
                It's the external guiding hardware/software's job to shut up
                when requested to do so.

                have fun
                --dick
              • Allan Overcast
                Thanks for the information. I will wait until it is clear... some day... and try it again to get more information. Allan in Billings, MT www.cloudyskies.org
                Message 7 of 8 , Feb 4, 2008
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                  Thanks for the information.  I will wait until it is clear... some day... and try it again to get more information.

                  Allan in Billings, MT

                  www.cloudyskies.org

                   



                  ----- Original Message ----
                  From: autostaretx <rseymour@...>
                  To: RCX400@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Saturday, February 2, 2008 9:28:43 PM
                  Subject: [RCX400] Re: Guiding with a separate camera

                  --- In RCX400@yahoogroups. com, "Stuart Thomson" <rat156@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > --- In RCX400@yahoogroups. com, Allan Overcast <allanovercast@ > wrote:
                  >> My main question is do I set the RCX for terrestrial vs
                  >> Astronomical to turn the RCX's guiding feature off and
                  >> rely only on the guider camera
                  > >
                  >
                  > Setting target to terrestrial will turn off tracking, not guiding,

                  A quirk in the LX200gps firmware, which i assume is also true in
                  the RCX400, is that if you have chosen "Terrestrial" , any
                  guider inputs operate at your currently chosen -slew- speed,
                  not the usual less-than-sidereal Guide Speed.
                  Since Guide Speed is usually 33% -less- than sidereal,
                  choosing "Guide" speed in Terrestrial means that the scope will
                  not be able to "keep up" with the sky.

                  As Stuart says, you want the scope operating in its usual
                  follow-the-sky (Astronomical) mode. Guide inputs are expected
                  to perform -minor- adjustments to that fundamental tracking motion.

                  When i wish to use guiding, i have my scope already centered on
                  the star, and then i activate whatever is providing the guiding
                  signals. The Autostar does not have a "guiding on/off" switch.
                  If a guiding signal arrives, the scope will act upon it.
                  It's the external guiding hardware/software' s job to shut up
                  when requested to do so.

                  have fun
                  --dick




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