Re missing parameters: I assume you mean at least aggressiveness and min/max move for RA and DEC. In the version of KStars that you're using, those parameters can b found by looking on the main guider page, there are some tabs on the right side of the page and one is called control, click that. In version 3.5.5 that tab was moved to the same menu that you were looking at.
Re making a plot of mount movement without any guiding: the way to do that in Ekos is to "guide" but disable the guide pulses for both RA and DEC. That's on the main guiding page--the line on the left that says "Directions"--just uncheck both RA and DEC. Remember to re-check them when you're done.
To force a calibration: you can click on the garbage can to the right of the guide button which will clear the calibration. Then, after you press Guide it should calibrate before guiding. Depending on your settings, Ekos may try and reuse calibrations, or it may re-calibrate after each mount slew, so this garbage can press might not be needed.
Thanks for your reply. I'll try these out and see if it can show me if my issues are hardware related. I just got this CEM26, and so far only had 3 outings with it, and the plots have been like this. Although the mount was on concrete, itself on bedrock, there was significant traffic nearby, and I'm wondering if that was an external contributor. I will set the mount up somewhere more isolated for further tests, and I'll turn these functions off and on and see what kind of results I get.
That's correct. Unlike many other mount brands, iOptron PEC handling fiercely fights with mount guide inputs. I've tried it a dozen times on three different mounts with the internal guider and PHD2 and the result was clear each time: if you're guiding an iOptron mount, do not use mount-based PEC. My results were always noticeably worse, and often were disastrous.
The thing is, none of my iOptron mounts have anything but smooth PE... and smooth PE is easy to guide out.
Predictive PEC in PHD2 or GPG RA Guiding in KStars work great, though. Just find the worm period of your mount and specify it in the software vs letting the software "guess" at your worm period.
Thanks for that info. On my CEM26, the worm period is listed at 600 seconds. Strangely, that data was only listed online and not in my CEM26 manual. However another strange spec listed is "Permanent PEC". I'm not sure what this means or if I have to be concerned about it. I just hope the mount isn't going it's own way with PEC all the time. The hand controller only lists 3 options for PEC, Record, Playback, and Data Integrity. I have not used this function, and I'm going to assume that "Playback" means activating PEC in the mount. Seems a rather clumsy approach to this.
So I'm just going to assume there is no active PEC going on in the mount and I'll enter 600 seconds in the GPG RA Guider Major Period box and deactivate the Estimate Period checkbox, correct?
Permanent means that the correction curve is stored in the mount and you can use it without PC connected. For this to work, you need to record this curve into the mount. This can be done manually doing corrections while looking into eyepiece (old fashioned way), or you can let a software, like PHD2, do the corrections while the mount is recording them. Once there is a curve recorded in the mount, you can enable the PPEC (PEC playback in the menu). But there is one major problem: while a mount is playing a PEC curve back, the guiding pulses will be mostly canceled by the corrections done by mount's internal electronics. In this case the guiding pulses are fighting against corrections done by the mount.
The best way how to use PEC is with GPG RA algorithm, as it was said earlier. The PEC curve will not be stored in the mount or in the Ekos, it will be freshly recorded once the algorithm is used.
So, also discussing this elsewhere, if I have this correctly, I have to turn the PEC Playback OFF in the mount settings in Ekos, and activate the GPG RA Guider, enter my 600 second worm period in the Major Period box and deactivate the Estimate Period checkbox, correct?
Well I'm just going by the listed spec for a 600 second worm period, should I let it try to see if it's something else? I guess I would have to let it roll for the estimated 600 seconds, and then some in that case, right?
Stick with what the specs from iOptron say. 600 seconds is correct.
And yes, your steps above are correct. Good luck! And some advice, do not obsess over the Total RMS in arcsec numbers compared to what other people see. It depends on so many different factors. If your mount is tracking to within a fraction of a pixel, you will never notice it.
Yeah well, if you took a look at my plot above, you can see why I'm trying to understand the parameters and how to apply them as best I can. I simply don't know what to think about that data. Someone on another site mentioned their GEM28 (very similar to myCEM26) was vastly improved with the latest firmware update. I also just updated the firmware on my CEM26, but have yet to get a clear night to test it out. In the meantime I'm trying to sort out understanding these parameters, as that plot was created using the default Ekos guider settings.