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 Post subject: Orion mini Autoguider package
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:01 pm 
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Has any one else used this? I've only had chance to try it in the daytime (as suggested) to focus the 50 mm guide scope. I've reduced the camera gain to 5% for daytime and tried less than that but the image is very bright and way out of focus, Just faint shadows on the screen. I've also capped the front of the scope to reduce the aperture to 25 mm.
The guy at SCS Astro says he's heard of this but can't remember what the solution is. The camera is Orion's StarShoot Autoguider. Suggestions welcome Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Orion mini Autoguider package
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:13 pm 
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Bill,
What software are you using to test the camera? Is it PHD guiding? This sets screen brightness automatically and doesn't therefore like daytime. I would try stopping the lens down to 5mm - might be better as 2 x 3mm holes wide apart.
The camera is I believe a QHY5 rebadged - the drivers for these are a pain in proverbial.
David


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 Post subject: Re: Orion mini Autoguider package
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:49 am 
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Yes it's PHD guiding David. No clear night sky to try yet but I've just tried your suggestion and it works as far as focusing goes which is what I was after in the daytime. Similar results from
2 x 3 mm or 1 x 5 mm but a very light grey washed out image. Just good enough to focus however so thanks for that. I wouldn't have arrived at that solution myself. I'll be interested to see what I get after dark. Bill


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 Post subject: Re: QHY5 camera
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:08 pm 
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Last year Gerald kindly loaned me his QHY5 to use as a high-resolution monochrome camera for spectroscopic experiments with our StarAnalyser filter.
I downloaded the QGVideo software from QHY's website http://qhyccd.com/en/top/download/, which controls the camera for imaging - it should be a lot easier to get it set up on your guide-scope with that before trying it with PHDGuiding.
But note that they have four different models of QHY5 - so you may need to work out which one matches your Orion in order to get it working - good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Orion mini Autoguider package
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:24 pm 
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Thanks Ross. I'm pretty sure I've identified the QHY5 that matches the Orion. Ill try the QGVideo next time I connect up.


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 Post subject: Re: Orion mini Autoguider package
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:52 am 
I have the QHY5 LII as a guide cam - As Dave pointed out - it was a traumatic experience to say the least. I found to my eternal embarrassment that the unit was that sensitive, it wouldnt work in anything but the pitch black of night. If you try to use it in dusk/dawn - you'll just end up with a grey screen.
As for the drivers, they are a nightmare - they have to be the right driver version & installed in the correct sequence otherwise the laptop/PC simply wont recognise it & function properly.
I was so frustrated i was going to send it back...


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 Post subject: Re: Orion mini Autoguider package
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:23 pm 
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Is anything ever going to be straight forward Andy. The length of time I've been trying to sort this out!!!. I haven't done the basics yet like drift alignment. Ross suggested using QGVideo for the guide camera but I haven't yet found the QHY5 version which recognizes my camera. There's still another to try.
Your mention of the need for very dark skies makes me wonder whether David's suggestion would help. It certainly helped me with daytime focusing. A cap on the guide scope with a 5 mm hole or 2 x 3mm holes to reduce the light intake. Other than that, the PHD guiding software I'm using suggests reducing the camera gain down from the 95% default setting. I was down to 5% in daylight but still no use without the 5 mm cap. Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Orion mini Autoguider package
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:35 pm 
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Bill,
That gain sounds very high at 95% but don't stop the lens down at night. PHD Guiding needs stars to set the screen brightness - it doesn't understand anything other than a black(ish) sky with bright white dots. If it's daylight or there are no bright stars it gets confused. Next time aim it at Vega and see what happens - it should work then. If it doesn't get an image on Vega then it sounds like the dreaded driver problems.
David


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 Post subject: Re: Orion mini Autoguider package
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:58 pm 
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Sounds ominous this David. Driver problems. Assuming we get a clear sky sometime in the near future, am I using Vega just to test the camera and get the right settings in the software? Being new to guiding & CCD cameras, I'm thinking that the guide star needs to be somewhere in the vicinity of what you are photographing. Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Orion mini Autoguider package
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:24 pm 
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Bill,
You are using Vega to get an image on the screen of PHD Guiding and then focus it properly. Only when focus is perfect will you get an image anywhere else. If focus is slightly off then PHD doesn't see white dots and the screen display fails.
Whilst you have an image of Vega it will be worth running calibration.This will show up any problems - such as backlash - in the mount. You may need to put it out of balance to solve these issues but I guess you have enough problems for now.
It looks hopeful that Sunday may be clear.
David


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