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About STEVE333

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    Advanced Member

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  • Location
    Santa Cruz, CA USA
  • Interests
    Being married, Astrophotography, Sudoku, British mysteries

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  1. STEVE333


    Hi Oright - You are most welcome. Glad you found this post. I've been using this successfully now for several months. It only takes 5 or 10 minutes, and, has been accurate every time! My FOV is about 1.5 deg x 2 deg and it works perfectly. If you have a smaller FOV it might be difficult to keep Polaris in the FOV. A wider FOV wouldn't be a problem. Hopefully this will work for you too. It's been very nice to just run through the QPPA2 alignment (to get the Polar Alignment) then do a 1-star alignment to correct for any remaining RA offset. That's it! Just slew to your target and start imaging. Best of success. Steve King
  2. Hi all - I wanted to complete this thread. Last night I tried something similar to s3igell's approach mentioned above. I purposely misaligned the PA a little (a few arc minutes) to cause Dec drift. I chose the RA only dither setting in PHD2 (Global tab). I performed a PHD2 calibration and started guiding, but, with the Dec guiding OFF. I checked to see which way the Dec was drifting (North or South). Since the Dec drift was to the North, I set the Dec guide mode to South. I selected the Lowpass Dec algorithm. I reduced the Max Dec duration to 1000 to prevent any large "over corrections". I reset the BYEOS Settle dither at parameter to the more reasonable value of 0.30. This combination of settings provided excellent guiding, and, the time between images was only about 30 sec. Thanks all for your suggestions and help. I now have a good means of guiding even with my horrible Dec backlash, and, the time to do the dithering is only about 30 sec. Steve
  3. STEVE333


    Thanks for the update Melvin. Sorry to hear about the continuing cloud problems. We're having plenty here (Santa Cruz, CA USA) too. Glad to hear that the QPPA2 polar alignment seems to be working for you. I'm continuing to use it for my few opportunities, and, so far it's working well for me too. Best of success in the future. Steve
  4. Good point Guylain - I'll make sure to reduce the settle at parameter to a more reasonable value (maybe 0.25) when I start using the Dec guiding.
  5. Good point Guylain - I'll make sure to set the settle dither at parameter to a more reasonable value (0.5 or less) for my next attempts. Steve
  6. Thanks Guylain - I actually increased this value to its max of 1.00, but, the problem persisted. I think part of the problem is that I'm imaging targets that are very low in the South. Last nights target started at only 10 deg above the horizon! Atmospheric refraction may be playing some role in the apparent Dec drift. However, I need a few targets as low as this in order to be able to capture 40 targets that are primarily Southern Hemisphere targets. Steve
  7. Thanks astroman - good to know. Thank you s3igell - I will give it a try. I actually prefer to dither in both axes as it provides better noise rejection. My stars are a little "eggy" in the Dec direction, so, maybe it will kill two birds with one stone. I'll try to remember to finish up this thread with the results of applying your suggestion. Steve
  8. Hi all - I've been using BYEOS very successfully now for a few years. However, my mount has recently developed some very bad Declination backlash that, so far, I've not been able to correct. My solution has to been to guide in RA only while turning of the Dec guiding. My polar alignment is quite good, so, the Dec drift is still acceptable even for my 5 min exposures. Now the problem: In PHD2 I've checked the Dither RA only and Random options. In PHD2 I've set the Dec guide mode to Off. Because I'm not guiding in Dec, the Dec error slowly grows over time. In BYEOS I've set the Dither Calm down period to 25 sec. The problem is that it takes BYEOS about 3 minutes every time to start the next image. This is a big waste of time. The RA guiding is ready to start guiding again in a short period of time, but, apparently because of the large Dec error, BYEOS is waiting a long period of time before finally starting the next image. Is there some way to prevent the dither from wasting so much time? Am I missing something? NOTE: Before my Dec backlash problems I used to guide and dither in both RA and Dec, and, the time between images was typically about one minute. Steve
  9. STEVE333


    Thanks for the suggestion astroman, I'll pass it along to my son who is the one who might fully understand it. I do the math and he does the rest. Thanks for the confirmation. I'll pass that along to my son. Steve
  10. STEVE333


    Melvin - Congratulations on your persistence and success. You have certainly had to get past many hurdles to get QPPA2 downloaded! After all your struggles, using QPPA2 should be the easiest part of this journey. Well done. Steve s3igell - Thank you for taking the time to clearly explain how Melvin can get around the problems he has been encountering. Some of these same issues may be "run into" by other users. Your kindness is much appreciated. Steve
  11. STEVE333


    Hey Melvin, I'm a pensioner too. Welcome to the club. Looks like 3Sigell has the answer for you and it won't cost you anything! Steve
  12. STEVE333


    Thanks for the help. I'm using Windows 10, so, I never saw any request for WinZip when downloading the program. I have used 7-Zip in the past and it worked well. Steve
  13. STEVE333


    You're welcome Melvin. One tip: Make sure to click on START ALIGNMENT PROCEDURE before opening the first Preview image. This will ensure that the cursor window is visible once the image opens full frame. Clear skies, Steve Sorry. Like PoleMaster, this program relies on seeing the NCP area. Steve
  14. STEVE333


    Thanks for the clarifications Rick. Steve
  15. STEVE333


    Exactly right Guylain. Thanks for the kind words. Steve
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