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Only found out yesterday that PHD2 has been released:  http://openphdguiding.org/  (current release is ver 2.2.0) I did a forum search and couldn't find any comments about it, so thought I'd post it here.  


Please note this is not a review of PHD2, I have no idea if it's any better or worse than the original.  I've not really used PHD2 yet (only downloaded last night) but I have used the built in simulator and finding it quite useful as it allows me to run through the software during the day (or like now whilst I'm at work   :P  ) rather than outside in the dark!


It is NOT a version supported by Craig Stark, but is an off-shoot of his code.  The introduction to the online manual states:


"In order to extend PHD to more platforms and further expand its capabilities, Craig released his program to the open-source community, and PHD2 is the direct result of that generosity"


PHD2 installs and can run alongside the original PHD so you can play with various settings/simulations without messing up your current config for Ver 1. 


There is a list of new/improved features and a number of GUI tweaks, but not having a huge amount of experience in guiding I'm certainly not best qualified to comment on exactly how well they work.   However there do seem to be some that look to be useful.  Stored equipment profiles, a drift alignment tool and a built in 'simulator' mode to name just a few and there are some that I'm sure the more advanced guiders will like


I've only really had a couple of goes with the simulator and whilst  no simulation can be 100% accurate in every detail I am finding it useful. The Calibration process does seem to be quite realistic (including picking up simulated hot pixels!) and they have included things like simulating 'star fading due to clouds' as well as being able to vary the the number of visible stars, hot pixels, noise levels, backlash, drift, PE and seeing conditions.   http://openphdguiding.org/man/Tools.htm#Advanced_Settings_for_the_Simulators


Although Craig's excellent guiding tutorial in this thread Auto Guiding Guide is for Ver 1.12.3 you can run through it using Ver 2 without too much variation.  Certainly worth a look if like me you are fairly new to guiding, you don't even need a mount/scope/camera to run through it with the sim.    I'll be running through it a few more times so that next time I try guiding for real ......... at least I'll have a better idea of what to expect!


PHD2 Online Manual
PHD2 Feature List

PDH2 Simulator Settings



Anybody out there been using this and any thoughts/views on how it compares to Ver 1  ?






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My kit refused to work with PHD2, spent ages trying to work out what was wrong!

Switched back to 1.4 and was guiding within minutes, nuff said!!

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I'll second Rons post. :nonono:

Had all sorts of problems after downloading the latest versions of all my Astro programs.

Took Rons advice and dumped PHD2 went back to original PHD problems sorted  :thumbsup:

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Well 2 x No Votes are good enough for me!


Curiosity will probably mean that I at least give it a try at some point, but won't be wasting any time troubleshooting if things don't work straight straight forward as 'Push Here Dummy'



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