First Light ... Guiding problem

I ran Voyager under the stars for the first time last weekend.

I have 2 plate solvers working, VCurve First Light Wizard (on Lum filter) was successsful, and LocalField autofocus seemed OK on my Ha filter.

I was unable to capture any ligjht frames because of Voyager’s interaction with PHD2. Voyager forced PHD2 to calibrate (even though I had previously calibrated), and then requested it to start guiding. PHD was happy to comply, but Voyager immediately stopped guiding, indicating that the guider was not calibrated.

I looked through guider setup and sequence guider options, but could not resolve this issue.

I am running Voyager v2.0.14, PHD2 v2.6.5dev6 on Windows 10 Pro 1803.

I am sure I have overlooked something simple.

Other equipment/drivers

  • ASCOM v6.4sp1
  • AP1100gto with AstroPhysics V2 ASCOM Driver v5.20.08
  • QSI683wsg
  • Lodestar X2
  • Optec FocusLynx controller

Any help would be appreciated.


Hello Tom,

sorry to hear about … two info about your ask.

First Ha and LocalField isn’t a good match. Depends on your setup and how fast is your camera! Ha need much more time exposure like narrow band filter. Its better to evaluate if RoboStar focus is more faster than LocalField mode.

Second, Voyager is a systems integrator and does not work like other automation programs. This is for various reasons, technical and philosophical. Most automation and guiding problems lie in the calibration management. Voyager does not reuse calibrations already made and wants the calibration to be done through him. Many guiding programs do not give information about the calibration status and can not import and manage calibrations already made and manage the meridian flip correctly… The same PHD2 begins to do so in an acceptable way by the dev6 that you use (which is not a stable version). In any case, the philosophy of Voyager is to calibrate by sequence, do this at start and change of the meridian. If you remove the calibration check you have to make sure you have calibrated PHD2 via voyager and that if you run the meridian flip, the mount is also connected to phd2 and you have correctly managed the flip flags in PHD2. For someone it is simple for others it is impossible. For voyager it is not acceptable … all users must be able to work in peace

Voyager is not born to do the racing and astrophotography races do not lead to anything good. Investing 2/3 minutes in a calibration dedicated to the target is not a tragedy and keeps away from many problems related to the fact of calibrating only in a point of the sky and then scale the data as if you were in a perfect environment … without taking account for a whole host of other factors.

If you have really a guiding problem you have license and you can ask for a remote session to fix it.
Contact me in private and we arrange a remote session.

All the best

Do you have a log file excerpt from when this happened? It might help to see the exact messages in the Voyager log as it may help us see why Voyager thought PHD2 was not calibrated. Did you happen to be watching PHD2 when it finished calibration? Sometimes I’ve seen it finish, but then there is a warning that calibration results were not good, e.g. the angles were not orthogonal because polar alignment was off.


If voyager doesn’t calibrate guiding system the sequence fail.

All the best

Hi Leonardo, Rowland,

I understand that PHD2 v2.6.5dev6 may not be stable, but I have captured 7 images for a total of more than 67 hours integration using this version with SGP without a problem.

What version of PHD2 would you recommend?

Are there any recommended or required setting in PHD2 that may be different from those I am currently using?

The log file captured last Sunday morning can be found here:

To my uneducated eye, there appears to be a fair bit of undecoded JSON associated with Voyager’s attempts to calibrate the guider, and several indications that the guider calibration failed with =>Reason=Calibration manually stopped. I assume PHD considers a request to stop calibrating from Voyager as “manually stopped” since I never interupted any calibration run.

Thank you for the offer to provide remote assistance to help with my guiding problem. I have my observatory PC at home, but my imaging equipment remains at it’s remote dark sky site. I am trying to get this issue resolved in time for the next new moon.

I appreciate your assistance,


I’ll be very clear with you Tom:

Voyager is not SGP and I do not care if SGP works. If you think that SGP works better, you are free to use it.
Voyager was the first to connect to PHD2, part of the protocol was developed on some requests that I had made and others were not accepted and lately everything has been modified to go after the program that you mention. If the question was the calibration I explained to you that it should calibrate Voyager otherwise it will not work. If Voyager can not calibrate because they changed the protocol in your version of PHD2 that is development and not the official one I can look inside but I have to have the logs and I’m not a guesser anyway.

Download the logs and watch.
Thank you

I downloaded and test the version you use (PHD2 v2.6.5dev6) and work perfectly.
What i see there’s a new calibrationstep message that is not useful that i can get with no problem … but not connected to your problems. I attach for you and others users the video about test:

When i’m unders the sky i test it again … probably others users can test or already test it.
If you want and allow i can help you to chek if something is wrong with your PHD2 setup.

All the best

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I want to point out that the latest PHD2 v2.6.5dev6 is very stable and I highly recommend to use this version.


I’m just testing now …

Hallo Northern Sky setup info added to the Wiki. I think this is the only part of 2.14b that is visible to the user and needs documentation?

The PDF manual will update automatically within an hour.



Thank you so much Rowland … you are right no others changes need to be reported in wiki