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PHD2 Need help please


Graham Fletcher
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Hi guys

i tried this morning to have a play with PHD2.

I connected my Altair guide camera to my 50mm guide scope, connected the guide camera to my laptop, opened PHD2 .

Worked my way through the wizard.

I then clicked on the USB icon on PHD2 and my Altair camera and also selected on-camera. The red light on the back of the Altair camera started flashing so it seems okay.

when I click on “Loop” all I saw was a very grainy screen with vertical lines on it . After 2 secs it says no star found.

I tried putting the end cap on the guide scope so that no light enters the camera at all expecting the view to go black. It didn’t ,it stayed as a grainy view with vertical lines.

when I removed the end cap and held the guide scope up to clear bright skies it had no effect at all on the grainy image.

what is going wrong?

your help would be very much appreciated

Graham

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Does phd2 say connected to camera when you click the connect button and did you press the loop button graham ? and does camera unconnect when you press stop button ,connect during the day and point and focus guide scope on a distant house or tree to test camera working ok .

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Yes . The camera is connected and “on camera” is connected. When I press the loop button what settings of exposure and gain should I use to get a view of a distant object in my guidescope

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33 minutes ago, Graham Fletcher said:

Yes . The camera is connected and “on camera” is connected. When I press the loop button what settings of exposure and gain should I use to get a view of a distant object in my guidescope

You’ll need to experiment with settings graham for daytime try a low exposure setting first then tweak to suit try gain of 40

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I use the 120MM for guiding but don't remember ever having to adjust the camera gain in PHD2 (can you?). I set the focus using a distance object during daylight using the Altair Capture software supplied with the camera. It was then easy to achieve focus on a star in PHD2. Having set it 2 1/2 years ago, I've never had the need to refocus.

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1 hour ago, Graham Fletcher said:

Thanks David .

where do you adjust the gain?

Click on the brain > camera tab 

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I have it recognising the camera as it goes light on the screen when pointed at the sky and goes black with the guidescope end cap on. I cannot get it to show any distant object that I point the scope at though, it is just a white screen

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34 minutes ago, Graham Fletcher said:

... I cannot get it to show any distant object that I point the scope at though, it is just a white screen

Probably it's way out of focus. That's why I used the Altair capture software. It can adjust the exposure automatically and I literally moved the camera in my hand until something appeared. I remember how surprised I was as to how far the camera had to be set back to achieve focus. In the end I had to add the supplied extension tube and rack the guide scope focuser right out to achieve focus.

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It is in perfect focus using Altair Astro Capture. It must need a particular setting in PHD2  as it is totally white when pointed towards a distant object

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17 minutes ago, Graham Fletcher said:

It is in perfect focus using Altair Astro Capture. It must need a particular setting in PHD2  as it is totally white when pointed towards a distant object

 Probably the gain setting in phd2 is too high  what is it currently set at in phd2 

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Just remember that PHD2 is expecting a star at nightime, not a tv aerial in daylight!  If you've got it focused then (unfortunately) I guess you need to be patient until a clear night. I can't remember what the default exposure setting in PHD2 is. I'm sure 2 sec is recommended to avoid atmospheric seeing chasing so it will be around that value. Take a 2 sec exposure with a DSLR in daylight, it will just come out white.

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You can adjust the exposure time in PHD2 but again I'm not sure what the minimum value is, possibly 1ms? To be honest, I wouldn't adjust the default camera gain unless everything else fails.

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