Last two nights I was trying hard to get going with the internal guider, but no success. My set up involves the AZ-EQ5 and the ASI120MM as guide cam (btw: can anyone share the "ideal settings" for gain and offset?).
I tried different settings for the minimum pulse, starting from 200 up to 2000 - not sure which other parameters I could manipulate. Tried also backlash setting for the EqMod drivers, but I have no clou which values would make sense in my case.
When minimum pulse is set rather low values, the selected star moves out of the box, or is lost when reaching autoguiding stage. However I rarely manage to get to that stage, most attempts end up with aborting after 35 iterations.
Alternatively, I tried autoguiding with PHD2, which apparently works, not sure "how well" it does, but I can take images with 3 min exposure which look ok.
I put my asi120mm to gain of 50% unless theres a problem. I never changed the offset so I imagine its 0 or whatever the default is. Lowering the gain means you'll guide on brighter stars which have higher SNR.
I can hardly get the internal guider up and running all the times. Until I found out PHD2 is the right choice for my mount, also AZ-EQ5GT.
In internal guider, i always get unstable and high RMS. But in PHD2, I always get beautiful RMS with less than 0.5 for my mount. Really can see the differences.
Skywatcher AZEQ5GT using EQMod
Pentax 100 SDUFII for the light
QHY168C mains with ASI120MC on guidescope
SX filter wheel
Robofocus focusers with DIY Moonlite compatible controller
RPI 4B, Stellarmate & Astroberry
There appears to be delay in stopping the guide pulses in the driver. I emailed Jean-Luc to take a look at it. I'm wondering the the logging itself is the cause of some of that delay.
However, I never had issues myself guiding with EQMod using either ASI120 on a 50x300 guide scope or directly via the QSI583 OAG. Subframing shouldn't be used, binning 2x2 or higher, exposure time 1-2 seconds. Been getting less than 0.5 RMS on my EQ8.
I looked at the log and considered a guide pulse (line 38858) 1000ms@0,5x):
- it starts at 22:20:50:556, and the actual track speed modification occurs at 22:20:50:656. There is a 47ms delay between the two first log messages, 0ms between all the others, but the last, with a 53ms delay which may be due to the real serial comm occuring here.
- the end of the pulse occurs at 22:20:51:715 (line 38897) after the end of a mount probe started at 22:20:51:372, The actual speed modification occurs at 22:20:51:832.
I have thought serial comm could be the problem but in the first part, a ':f1' serial command gets its response in the same millisecond, but the same command in the second part took 50ms. I believe the timestamps in log messages are added by the indi framework and thus we see when they have been processed, not when they have been queued. Furthermore the indi-eqmod driver uses the timer callback mechanism of the indi framework too, that explains why they may be delayed by the normal mount probe processing. I think we have to look at the eventloop of the indi framework as the timer callbacks are managed with select timeouts. Anyway a first idea would be to delay the ReadscopeStatus callback while pulse guiding.
Now none of this happens when you use ST4 guiding, you could do that with your ASI120MM and your AZ-EQ5.
Many thanks for dealing with the problem - now I am wondering, and apologize my ignorance, what do you mean by ST4 guiding? The ASI120 ism connected to the AZ-EQ5 via a ST4 cable, or is there a specific setting required in EKOS or the guide module?
Thanks also for advise on binning and exposure (up to 2 seconds). Do you also set gain to 50% and offset to zero? Any views on possibly different settings for the OAG or difference in focal length, like 500mm in my case? Just wanted to prepare as good as possible for the next occasion...
I think you did not select your ASI120MM as guiding interface, but EQMod Mount. If you use a ST4 cable between your ASI and the mount, guiding commands should be sent to the ASI camera, so select your camera as guiding interface in Ekos. I don't have it under the hand so can't precisely say how, but this is set in your Ekos profile before starting.
Actually now that I think about it, the logs are from KStars. So IDMessage(...) is being sent to KStars and then it is logged, this is not done inside INDI directly, so the timestamps could be off, but the delays appear consistent nevertheless.
Did some "extensive" testings yesterday, but did not succeed calibrating. Tried different settings for the minimum pulse lengths and backlash (backlash settings in the eqmod driver, but have to admit that I have no clou which values would makes sense). I tried also both available choices in the pop down menu for "via" (either picked ASI120 or EqMod), but results were the same. There was no selection of "ST4" or anything else available. I think I chose stars around the stars Pollux or Castor as calibration target.
Attached my log file. Would be great if problem can be resolved. If issue is on my side (e.g. mount), would be curious to know as well - if for instance "backlash" was an issue, I would not know what to do.
Thanks a lot as always for the terrific support! Helge