Reader Comments


by lookipl lookipl lookipl (2018-09-13)

Celestron’s nema 23 stepper motor PEC implementation was possibly not the end of handbook guiding. Naturally, it solely recorded your east-west modifications. Any errors in declination will not be periodic; they are as a result of polar alignment error or maybe seeing, not periodic problem. Too bad I ended up being always rather lazy about polar alignment in the far past. That meant I still had to monitor the guide superstar attentively.

Also, Celestron’s version of PEC left a little to be desired. Mainly when you had to do a brand-new recording every single night. It was a shame you couldn’t help save an especially good PEC observe for future use. Turn off the scope at the conclusion of the evening, along with your PEC recording disappeared into the ozone.

Nevertheless, I used PEC towards the end of the roll film days, and it did improve my photos, no doubt about that. But while electronic cameras and auto-guiding arrived in, I forgot all about PEC. Yes, there was improvements in it—Meade as well as, finally, Celestron had prepared their mounts with PPEC, lasting periodic error correction. With PPEC, your recording ended up being preserved through power cycles. But why worry with PEC as you had a guide camera plus a computer watching that guideline star now?

There was also an existing wives’ tale making the rounds. That PEC and a auto-guider would FIGHT oneself. That the auto guider as well as PEC would conflict, one wanting to correct this much plus the other that much; one wanting to go in this focus, and the other in that ,. Some of those good old wives were pretty distinct, but this particular tale doesn’t really produce a heck of a considerable number of sense when you take into consideration it. Nevertheless, for quite some time it was the typical wisdom astrophotographers embraced. I sort of accepted it—when I contemplated PPEC at all, which was seldom. I was auto-guiding and the always seemed to become enough.
Well, I thought ıt had been enough, anyway. Auto-guiding with my Advanced VX GEM with my personal QHY-5L II camera and PHD2 generated an RMS error all over 2” usually. That was good enough for my most utilised telescopes, cheap stepper motor my 80mm plus 120mm f/7 ED refractors and my DSLRs. There ended up some occasional R. YOUR. spikes, though, and on occasion the error would conquer above 2”.

What could I do upskill on that error physique? One thing I’d prevented doing since buying the VX: spending some period fine-tuning those blasted PHD2 neural settings, the settings while in the program that modify the particular guiding algorithm. I’d virtually left them on their defaults other than just increasing the guide-step size for my fast 50mm guideline scope.

So, I finally buckled lower and took one whole night where I did absolutely nothing but adjust PHD settings. The consequence? My guiding was these days smoother. The spikes ended up gone, and I rarely had an error above 2”; usually ıt had been 1. 5” or just much more. The elimination of the spikes meant I could now do longer exposures and never have to throw out lots of subs.

And then I got to thinking. Why can i stop there? If I could get that error just a little lower, it would help to make imaging with my Advantage 800 (at f/7) simpler. But how to accomplish that? I’d worked hard on those PHD settings, and had also began using Sharpcap’s polar alignment tool in place of the less accurate ASPA polar alignment while in the NexStar HC—that really produced the declination error lower.

What else could WE do, though? Well, stomach muscles PPEC? If it made stepper motor driver it simpler for A-P’s fancy mounts, which complement factory recorded PPEC to help lower their already amazing error figures, why couldn’t them help my plebian (like me) bracketted?

I decided to discover. Luckily, we were undergoing the strangely cloud-free pause while in the usual summer evening thunderstorms. My VX together with my 120mm SkyWatcher E . D . refractor, Hermione, was still setup in the backyard, polar aligned, goto aligned (hibernated), and willing to rock following the night of my Yearly M13. Since the evening didn’t look that good for imaging—haze and even unsteady seeing in advance on the next storm front—why not devote it to PEC? Naturally, I’d spent a full evening getting my PHD2 settings tuned towards the VX.


Re: though

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