HEQ5 guiding problems

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HEQ5 guiding problems

Post by Redsky » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:30 pm

Hi can anyone help?
I'm trying to use the ASiAIR to guide with a Skywatcher HEQ5 but not getting anywhere.
I have a 750mm reflector with a DSLR which is not connected to the ASIAIr, I have a 240mm guide scope with a ZWO 120mm mini camera.
The guide camera is connected via it's USB cable to the ASIAir and works fine. I am using a Levono tablet running the latest ASIAir software.
I have connected the Skywatcher HEQ5 synscan pro to the ASIAir using the supplied USB to serial cable connected to the unit's Serial to handset cable and the ASIair recognises it and connects ok. I haven't connected the ST4 cable to the mount (although did previously try this without success).

This setup works well with a PC using ASCOM and PHD and I can guide with no problem. However this is not the case with the ASIair.

The ASIair finds a guides star, calibrates and says it's guiding however the mount then starts to slew for a short time and looses it's guide star. i also get a message at the top of the screen saying "device disconnected" although it doesn't say which device and the guide camera appears to be working ok.

Any ideas?

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Re: HEQ5 guiding problems

Post by TekyTek » Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:03 pm

Hi Redsky,

I have a similar problem with a HEQ5 and the same ZWO 120mm mini guide camera.
Although during calibration the mount will slew and lose track of the star, saying “star lost” and never find it again.
Oddly during the day if I point the guide scope into a mass of trees it can find a small gap of light and track, calibrate and guide the small patch of light without issue.

In the recent update 1.09 I see that there has been a change to the guiding but the logs don’t fully describe the change.

Hopefully someone will reply with some clear instructions on how to setup guiding.

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Re: HEQ5 guiding problems

Post by Redsky » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:07 pm

Some more information, the synscan software is version 03.39.03. I viewed a picture taken during the "guiding" and the mount was moving in a zig zag pattern, down then along, over and over again. It's clearly software as this doesn't happen using a PC.
It's really frustrating as I brought the camera and ASIAir together just so I could guide without using a PC.. I have now had to learn how to use a PC to guide to check it wasn't a problem.. which actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would as there's plenty of support out there, quite unlike the ASIAir which is very poorly documented (the manual is not at all helpful) and this forum is meant to resolve issues... not so far. It could easily be me doing something wrong here, but equally may just be buggy software...

It would be useful if someone from ZWO could reply:-)

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Re: HEQ5 guiding problems

Post by TekyTek » Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:05 pm

I was sold the camera ASIAIR and scope as a very expensive kit from my local dealer and I really don’t think they understand how undocumented this is.
It will do the zig zag a little during calibration, but then should have enough data to keep it on track guiding.

I have had success in getting some answers by emailing, which I may do for this unless I can get it to work in the next few clear nights.

As I said it will work tracking a spot of light in the middle of a dark shaded tree during daylight hours, so I can’t see why it won’t at night on a bright star.
I have the v5 controller but not sure of the firmware version, Ill check when I connect it tonight... I’m in the Southern Sky.

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Re: HEQ5 guiding problems

Post by Ji.zwo » Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:27 am

Hello Redsky and TekyTek,
Sorry about the guiding issues you were facing.
The guiding settings just like in PHD on PC. So, let's begin:
1) Connect devices
As you did - before you connect the Mount, please do 3 stars alignment and
#make sure#
- the firmware is above 03.39.04 and 04.39.04 - so please update the firmware to the latest - https://www.nexstarsite.com/;
- tap [Sync from Phone] button to sync the location info and date to mount if the mount's location info are not right;
- turn on the #Tracking# in Telescope Settings;

2) Do focus
In Focus interface - enter the interface by tap the right-top position and choose Focus;
You can do focus by tap the ZOOM icon which is on the left-top and enter the Focus Aid tool interface, the HFD, brightness and Max graphs will help with focusing;

3) Choose a target
Let's choose a visible object ,
Tap[Telescope Settings]-[Choose Object]-find a target you wanna to image-tap twice on the list row,
then do GoTo, after finished, back to Preview interface and do capture, waiting for the image be downloaded and take a look if there are enough stars on it - at least 20 stars. You can increase the EXP time and main camera gain to get more stars images.

4) Plate Solve and sync location to mount
Let's do plate solve and sync the RA/DEC to mount, tap the plate solve icon and wait for the result, then tap on [Sync & Goto] button. Normally we need to do three times or more to make the target center.

5) Set Guide Params
Tap on the[Guide Settings], set the
[Calibration Step] to 2000ms
[Max DEC Duration] to 1500ms or 2000ms
[Max RA Duration] to 1500ms or 2000ms
Then tap the Guide icon, the float window will show and tap on it to enter the guiding interface.
Tap the Graph icon, make sure the DEC mode is set to Auto or South.

5) Start Guiding
Ok, set the EXP time to 2 seconds, then tap the loop icon on the right-top to begin, when you get the image and find a bright star and tap on it to select it, then tap the calibrate icon - [below the LOOP icon] to start calibrating, after one or two mins, you will get the result. If success, the graph will draw the guiding process.

6) If the RMS is not so good - below 2', please try to adjust the RA Aggr and DEC Aggr then tap the Clear button on the graph and take a look the values.

Hope this help.
ZWO | Tech Support
Location:lon=120.6 lat=31.3
SuZhou China

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Re: HEQ5 guiding problems

Post by Jovax » Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:48 pm

Dear ZWO team

I try everything to guide with asiair, I have a cpc 8 edgeHD + wedge, using PHD 2 on my PC guide is good, using asiair with the same configuration, is a nightmare, I can get 0,60 total on PC on asiair guiding is always more them 2,80 total, my guide camera and guide scope is zwo product, asi120mm mini and the new finder scope 30x120mm, pls fix the problems using phd on asiair on celestron cpc 8 edgeHD + wedge,. I'm using now PC for guiding and asiair just to take the photos, pls fix this problem, I buy asiair to stop using the PC. PS: I can send my PHD 2 PC configuration I use for my Celestron CPC 8 edgeHD and photos if helps

lancer jiang
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Re: HEQ5 guiding problems

Post by lancer jiang » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:37 am

Polar alignment(PA)is necessary before guiding.

lancer jiang
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Re: HEQ5 guiding problems

Post by lancer jiang » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:48 am

Polar alignment(PA)is necessary before guiding.
And ASIAIR supports PA in V_1.2,the test version is released.You can download by the following links:

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Re: HEQ5 guiding problems

Post by Jovax » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:40 pm

Hi Asiair team

I do polar aliment, on PHD2 on PC I guide perfect! with asiair never and I try everything,..... :(. I will try the new update to see if there's any improve, and I don't see any Polar aliment on this beta app,

Celestron cpc 8 edgeHD +Wedge
30x120 zwo guide scope
Celestron motor focuser

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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 3:38 am

Re: HEQ5 guiding problems

Post by W7AY » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:59 pm

Dear jovax,

The Polar Alignment is available in the current 1.2 Beta (at least for iOS TestFlight).

If you are not comfortable Beta testing (potentially lots of bugs), I would recommend waiting for the real v1.2 release. Or use two tablets and two SD cards, so you can still switch back to v1.1).

Select the Main Camera (home screen), which used to have Focus, Preview, Autorun menu items. A PA item has been added to the top of the menu.

While my current RainbowAstro RST-135 mount is not completely supported by ASIAIR yet, I have been able to do a quick polar align with ASIAIR and ran guiding to better than 0.7 RMS arc seconds by using ST-4 for guide pulses (200mm focal length, ASI290MM mini).

The peak tracking error for the mount is +/-20 arc seconds, albeit with periods of over 400 seconds -- but it shows that ASIAIR guiding is working for me, otherwise I would have gotten RMS errors of around 14 arc seconds!

I used a guide speed of 0.5x sidereal. It is probably not a good idea to use a faster guide speed than 1x. If there are wild swings in the guiding, please check the guide speed.


- chen

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