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  1. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Mesa, AZ


    Excellent and thank you for the first class post, attached logs, and inline images included! You're gettin' it! OK:

    1. In the initial focus run, the first exposure is 30 sec. I am more used to a short exposure to determine the bright star.
    Are you referring to this?:

    04:33:16 Doing auto-center...
    04:33:16 (taking 30 sec. exposure, L filter, binning = 3)

    If so, this is the exposure ACP is taking for the pointing update to center the scope on the selected focus star before starting FocusMax. I agree it's long for your setup. We talked about it and decided to leave it till we saw what the results were:

    04:33:53 4684 image stars found
    04:33:53 674 catalog stars found
    04:33:54 Solved! 183 stars matched.

    Yeah, 30 sec is more than long enough! Change it to 10 for starters. ACP Preferences > PinPoint & All Sky > Pointing Updates section > Exp Interval -> 10.

    2. In the initial GoTo, the rotator is adjusted to the position in the script. When is focuses after that, the rotator is moving again. I have not seen that before.
    04:33:16 Doing auto-center...
    04:33:54 Solved! 183 stars matched.
    04:33:54 PA error of 177.4 deg. detected. Correcting...
    04:33:54 Start rotate to PA 255.0 deg (raw rotator angle 186.9)
    04:33:54 (wait for rotator)
    04:35:51 (rotation complete)

    This is ACP determining that your camera is mounted at a 177 deg offset from the angle being reported by the rotator, then correcting the rotation to achieve your requested Sky Position Angle of 255. Basically the camera is more or less upside down in the rotator. No big deal, ACP will just deal with it from now on. But I see an issue:

    04:38:31 Imager sky position angle is 260.2 deg.
    04:38:31 Rotator mech. position angle is 186.9 deg.
    04:38:31 Within max error tolerance, no re-slew needed.
    04:38:31 [high]PA error of 5.2 deg. detected. Correcting...
    04:38:31 Start rotate to PA 255.0 deg (raw rotator angle 181.7)
    04:38:31 (wait for rotator)
    04:38:35 (rotation complete)

    You should not see any more "PA Error..." messages in the log. But there is another 5 degrees error after the last correction. It is 100% certain that the rotator is not working quite right. You'll need to check for rotator looseness, insufficient power (cogging), or cable snags. Until it always rotates to the requested angle (it missed by 5 degrees this time) you'll go crazy trying to "get" a guide star. This is a new installation, so I will make a bet on it being loose, and this is hazardous for your camera!

    3. I can't get the guider to work properly. I ran the guider adjustment script, but it will not guide as expected. So this run was done unguided.
    Is it possible that the rotator missed and there wasn't a good guide star in the field? If that's not it, and there was a good solid guide star in the field, then Something in the bumping isn't set right. Before I log in at night to solve this, let's try some things. Assuming the CalibrateGuider script ran OK, and you haven't made any changes manually to the guider scales and angle, I'm going to guess that the guide sensor angle is OK. If your rotator only missed by a little bit, it will still probably be "close enough". However if your rotator missed by a lot, then that guide sensor angle would be measured so far off that it would affect guiding. You don't have a GEM so several other sources of error are not present (yay!). If I could see a log of an attempted run with guiding I might be able to make sense. At a minimum, see if you can get the rotator to be consistent, then re-do the guider calibration. Keep in mind that this is a one-time process until you disassemble the system. Well until you get it to work heh heh.

    4. The most puzzling thing is that when the script calls for another focus, the guider once again rotates to some position or another. That means that every 90 minutes I get a new field rotation, not the one called for in the script. The result is that I have three different rotation angles in my subs. I have uploaded an example of each.
    Yeah, this is what I mean. Job #1 is to get that rotator to behave. That's going to affect everything. Use a test plan of 8 targets at 8 angles without trying to guide. Just take 30 sec images at 10 angles. For example (19H RA near meridian at 10PM at night there):

    ; Plan to check rotator accuracy and repeatability
    #interval 30
    #binning 2  ; just to save time
    #filter V
    #posang 0
    #posang 180
    #posang 90
    #posang 270
    #posang 45
    #posang 225
    #posang 135
    #posang 325
    I have attached this plan as a file ready to run under AcquireImages... Thank you forever for the logs. The ACP run log provided the key to some or all of the problems
    Attached Files Attached Files
    -- Bob



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