Calibration and Guiding

I could use some help in setting up PHd2 to run on my setup.
Calibration and guiding failed last night.
First equipment setup:
The SkyX camera addon
The SkyX mount
Phd2 Guide
The skyx Planitarium
The skyx imagelink for plate and blind solve
Ascom focuser sesto senso
Voyager focuser

Everything connects fine. When I run a sequence with calibration and guiding checked, at the part of the sequence when it is to do the calibration it throws an error and after a couple of tries end the session.
Here is what is happening, when it attempts to run the calibration a small window on the desktop appears and says do you want to run another copy of the SkyX, I click no, but the window keeps reappearing. It also completely locks up Phd2.
My analysis. With Voyager not running I launched PhD2, connected both the guide camera and mount. When I did this it opened Skyx on the desktop, which is normal.
Now with a completely clean slate, I ran Voyager and connected all . It opened Skyx and Phd2 both guide camera and mount where connected, again which is normal.
I am wondering if when Voyager starts to calibrate for some reason it tries the launch another copy of Skyx which is why I get the message window do I want to run another copy of Skyx. This maybe causing PHd2 to lock up and calibration to fail.
Would it better just to use SkyX autoguiding? I appreciate any help.
Ed Stuckey
Detroit, Mi

Hi Ed, not related at all to your original problem, but might be a solution. What mount are you using? If you use a Paramount I highly recommend you to guide with theskyx, it is very convenient, it calibrates very fast, dithering is super quick and works perfectly with Voyager.



Hi Ed

I deleted my message by mistake.

Because Voyager should be launched in the administrator mode, all other software interfacing with Voyager should be launched in the administrator mode.
Did you launch PHD2 and TSX with ‘run the program as an administrator’ option?


Hi Jose and Donghun,
Thank you so much for the reply. Jose question I have a paramount Myt. If I use TXS autoguiding do I have to calibrate in TSX first. My understanding is the calibration parameters are save from session to session. Close TSX and run Voyager. Does Voyager select the guide star? If you have a workflow I would appreciate it. Still trying to learn Voyager.
Donghun, I only had Voyager running as administrator. If I choose PhD2 as the guider do first calibrate phd2 outside of Voyager. Is it best to use roboguide or native guide selection?
Astrophotography can be very frustrating when things do not go right.
Thanks for your help.

First of all you should run everything in the administrator mode.
I think that will solve your multiple PHD2 and TSX issue.
I tried both native guide selection and roboguide and both worked well.

Thanks will try that. Do I need to calibrate Phd2 outside of Voyager first, before running Voyager? I might be under the mistaken assumption the since you can check the box calibration under sequence or calibrate on the guide widget that Voyager will calibrate Phd2.



Calibration is persistent, so you don’t need to calibrate it every time you run Voyager. However, if you have a paramount it will take less than 10s for Voyager to calibrate the guiding at the beginning of your session. Just point the mount close to the celestial equator and push the calibrate button. You can also do it in Dragscript.

Voyager will select the star for you.



If you use PHD2, you can just calibrate with PHD2 outside Voyager. As Jose said, you should point the scope to near Dec 0 as PHD2 recommends.
That calibration will be good for all night.
If you don’t touch anything (like moving the mount by hand or rotating the guide scope), the calibration should be good forever.
In the guiding tab of the PHD2 brain menu, auto restore calibration should be checked if you want to reuse the calibration.

Once you get familiarized with Voyager, you can also create a DragScript to point the scope to the position you want and initiate a calibration as Jose said. With a push a button, Voyager will point the scope and do the calibration!

Thank you both. Unfortunately celestial equator is blocked by a big tree( south). I use a portable setup in my backyard. Richard Wright says that declination is taken into account so can calibrate anywhere in the sky except around Polaris. I can get to within 30 degrees of the celestial equator.
I appreciate your input really helps.
Regards, Ed

It doesn’t have to be exact 0. Yes PHD2 recommends to avoid too high declination for calibration
For the situation like you, you can see the power of Voyager.
You can create a DragScript for the scope to point to your calibration position (using alt-az coordinates) and then perform the calibration.
you can find DragScripts examples here.
You can refer to the calibrate guider example.

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I forgot on item. In SkyX do I need to check auto reverse x for GEMs, or does Voyager handle this.

Hello Ed, Voyager not manage the auto reverse.
Another things if you want to use TSX like guide system, choose roboguide or star cannot be selected for guide. TSX integration doesn’t have remote command to select guide star.

All the best

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Hello Leonardo,
Thanks. Just to clarify, in SkyX under camera set up, there is a box that can be checked to auto reverse X for GEMs. Do I put a check mark in that box. I believe that after a meridian flip by checking that item guiding can continue.

Thanks for the link. I have been playing with dragscript. Lots to learn.

I found the answer, I enabled auto reverse x in TSX. Thanks for everyone’s help.

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