AstroGuider 4.1 Calibration Steps

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BenBrown197
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2021 5:09 am

AstroGuider 4.1 Calibration Steps

Post by BenBrown197 »

I'm having some issues setting up the calibration with AstroGuider 4.1. When i've got my SyncScan mount tracking to a target through AstroTelescope and I try to run a calibration, I get the "drift too slow" error that I've seen mentioned on other threads. Even when I increase the steps up to 35, I can't clear the standard 3 px for backlash. I've tried to decrease that px threshold, but the resulting guiding was worse than just tracking after a drift alignment on the mount. I'm trying to figure out what setting(s) to manipulate to get over this error.
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Peter Polakovic
Posts: 2690
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:38 am

Re: AstroGuider 4.1 Calibration Steps

Post by Peter Polakovic »

I suspect the problem is, that the calibration step is set to 2s, but max pulse is limited to 1s. Nevertheless, 2s is too much anyway, a good starting value should be something like 0.2s. The graph looks like the mount is not tracking. To make sure, don't try to calibrate, just start preview in AstroGuider and watch, if you will get the same drift.

Do you use INDIGO Sky (unfortunately it is not clear from the screenshot)? Because your screenshot looks like you use AstroGuider in "INDI legacy mode" (a local agent with remote drivers). It is definitely better to use guider and mount agents on INDIGO Sky with "local" devices.
BenBrown197
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2021 5:09 am

Re: AstroGuider 4.1 Calibration Steps

Post by BenBrown197 »

I didn't do a great job of documenting my troubleshooting, but I believe the 2s is a carryover from from the automated calibration increases. 0.2s was my starting point at one point in the night. The mount was actively tracking to a target selected in AstroTelescope when I was running this calibration. I'd polar aligned with a polar scope and done a drift alignment already, so the drift was pretty low. After about 30 minutes there was some drift, but it was minimal.

As for the agents I'm currently plugging my laptop directly into my SyncScan mount and ZWO camera. No INDIGO Sky, yet.
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Peter Polakovic
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Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:38 am

Re: AstroGuider 4.1 Calibration Steps

Post by Peter Polakovic »

OK, I understand... on the screenshot I see "@..." suffix in the device names, but it is not correct.

If you don't use remote server, you have to use "ZWO ASI120MM Mini" (without "@ something" suffix) as the camera and "Mount SynScan (guider) @ AstroTelescope" as the guider if you want to use USB guiding (because the mount as a serial device can't be opened by two applications and you have to keep it opened in AstroTelescope). Nevertheless, I always recommend to use ST4 cable instead and in such case you have to use "ZWO ASI120MM Mini (guider)" as the guider. You need additional cable, but it is much more reliable and what is even more important, guiding and mount control is independent.
BenBrown197
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2021 5:09 am

Re: AstroGuider 4.1 Calibration Steps

Post by BenBrown197 »

I'm hoping for some clear skies later this week, I'll make sure the camera and guider are set correctly to see if that does the trick.

Another point I'm not clear on is if it's correct for me to be tracking my target in AstroTelescope while I'm doing the calibration routine (or if it matters). Per your last point about mount control, if the mount is being controlled by the mount agent will the guider agent override the tracking?
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Peter Polakovic
Posts: 2690
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:38 am

Re: AstroGuider 4.1 Calibration Steps

Post by Peter Polakovic »

Guiding in RA with SynScan driver technically means that you make tracking faster or slower. So you guiding will not work (doesn't matter if it is in calibration or guiding phase) while the mount is not tracking.
BenBrown197
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2021 5:09 am

Re: AstroGuider 4.1 Calibration Steps

Post by BenBrown197 »

Looks like I'm all set up now. Setting up the agent properly as well as windowing down the guider image to only select a few stars seems to have solved my problem.
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