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INDI Library v1.8.5 Released (19 Apr 2020)

April 2020 release of INDI Library v1.8.5 introduces new drivers while providing fixes and improvements to existing devices and core framework.

Newbie question: for guider scope, internal ekos vs PHD2?!!

1 month 2 weeks ago
mhammady
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Newbie question: for guider scope, internal ekos vs PHD2?!! #51718
Hello,

I'm new to ekos and the whole astrography. I wonder if someone can advise me which guider app is better to use with ekos, internal or PHD2?

I'm new to both but I have seen more videos about PHD2 and only one for the internal...

Thank you...

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1 month 2 weeks ago
RugbyRene
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Newbie question: for guider scope, internal ekos vs PHD2?!! #51721
I've been using the internal guider and it works for me. Not sure what PHD2 would offer over ad above the internal guider except for another app to keep an eye on.

Rene

Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ6
Sky-Watcher Black Diamond ED80
Meade 8" LX-90
Sky-Watcher EvoGuide 50 (guide-scope)
ZWO ASI290MC (non-cooled primary camera)
ZWO ASI120MM mini (guiding)
Canon EOS 7D

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1 month 2 weeks ago
Bart
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Newbie question: for guider scope, internal ekos vs PHD2?!! #51740
I've had troubles with the calibration using the internal guider. It may have to do with backlash in the mount, although I think a decent guider should be able to identify those issues and in principle be able to correct for that, especially after a calibration has been done.
Because of the issue, I reverted to PHD2, which works like a charm.
I don't agree with Rene's remark that it's another app to keep an eye on, since it 'just works' and even reports back the error values and the guide star image back to Ekos. Also dither works with out any problem. - only- thing is that you need to start it up, which you could auto-start on raspberry pi startup.

Cheers and have fun!
Bart

15 cm wavefront condensor | Earth rotation undo-er | Few photon discriminator plates | Photons to electrons transmogrifier | Stellarmate

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1 month 2 weeks ago 1 month 2 weeks ago by dmsummers.
dmsummers
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Newbie question: for guider scope, internal ekos vs PHD2?!! #51745
Another opinion to consider: I used the Ekos internal guider for quite a while, and it works simply and sufficiently. If you're not that "into" guiding, then it will probably work great for you. On the other hand, IF you are interested in analyzing your guiding (in hopes to maximize performance), or you would enjoy having additional guiding tools, then PHD2 is likely a good way to go.

I recently switched to PHD2 and I am really glad I did. Slightly more complicated, but IMHO, worth it. I have nothing against the internal guider. It's just not as capable as PHD2. My specific original reason for switching was related to needing a good Polar Align drift align tool (I don't have a direct view of Polaris at my site). PHD2's drift align tool is exceptional. I would use this tool even if I did have a view of Polaris! Next, I wanted to analyze my mount's Periodic Error and fit a curve for upload to the mount. PHD2's log analysis tool for analyzing (post run) guiding is very solid. The tool is available here: adgsoftware.com/phd2utils/

After switching, I found PHD2 has several support tools on their "Tools" and "View" menus worth having. You might find the guide star calibration graph, Guide Assistant, Drift Align, or Guide Star Stats interesting and important. My advice would be to install PHD2, watch a couple of YouTube videos, and then decide for yourself whether you need or want its features over the internal guider. I found the case to switch compelling because I want every arcsec of mount performance improvement I can get! I can't live without the log viewer now! Cheers, Doug

RASA11, Celestron CGX-L, ASI183mc Pro, 60mm guider + ASI290mm mini, ASI EAF focuser, PPB, Rpi4-4Gb+SSD, Powered USB3 hub, hardwire Ethernet.

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1 month 2 weeks ago
mhammady
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Newbie question: for guider scope, internal ekos vs PHD2?!! #51760
Thank you for everyone explaining this to me. I think I need to start with the internal and if I faced issues I will switch to PHD2


Thank you
Mohamed

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1 month 2 weeks ago
Megiddo
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Newbie question: for guider scope, internal ekos vs PHD2?!! #51761
I just assumed since the internal guide software is native to EKOS I thought it would be better. I might give PHD2 a try and see it has. It could be interesting!

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1 month 2 weeks ago
fewayne
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Newbie question: for guider scope, internal ekos vs PHD2?!! #51807
I have also done a lot of happy things with the internal guider, but have switched. PHD2 surfaces more of the knobs and levers, along with good tools for analysis and recommending values for them. The really big advantage to PHD2 is the larger user community. No disrespect to the support here but PHD2 is just a bigger world -- somebody is probably using it with your equipment and has had your problems!
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1 month 2 weeks ago
wvreeven
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Newbie question: for guider scope, internal ekos vs PHD2?!! #51808
I have been using the internal guider with my EQMod HEQ5 mount for over two years and always get guiding RMS-es of 0.5” to 0.8”. With my EQ6-R last night I got 0.4” to 0.6”. My images are sharp and guiding works like a charm. What else is there to want?

I am sorry to read that some Ekos users have problems with the internal guider. I do occasionally as well but have always been able to solve my issues with the help of this forum. As far as I am concerned there really is no need to not use the internal guider.


Wouter

ASI1600MM-Pro Cooled and filter wheel with a SkyWatcher Esprit 80 ED on a SkyWatcher HEQ5-Pro
ASI1600MM-Pro Cooled and filter wheel with an 8" TS Ritchey-Chrétien on a SkyWatcher EQ6-R
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1 month 1 week ago
dmsummers
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Newbie question: for guider scope, internal ekos vs PHD2?!! #51830
@Wouter: "As far as I am concerned there really is no need to not use the internal guider."

In reading your reply to mhammady, I think your advice in this instance is not as good/fair as it should have been. If a mount has no issues (and it appears yours doesn't), great! The issue is that most mounts won't achieve peak performance until guiding is analyzed and adjustments are made. So, does the Ekos internal guider have the tools needed to help users identify under-performance and help analyze / correct? I think we both know the answer is not really. Just asking folks in the forum for advice is nice, but mhammady asked about the rationale for selecting one vs the other tool. Saying there's no need not to use the internal guider is definitely misguiding (pun intended)!

I gave examples earlier. Ekos can't analyze prior guiding (post-mortem log graphing), can't do frequency analysis to support PEC, can't show calibration backlash, has no guide assistant to help users in setting appropriate parameter values, is lacking in more guiding metrics than HFR (SNR, noise), lacks a good drift align tool, etc. etc. Again, there's no disrespect here for the internal guider. The internal guider works fine when there's no issue(s). However, if a user wants peak performance (or just to improve), then PHD2 has the tools to help achieve this. A lot of people worked really hard on that program, and it shows (just as it does for our beloved Kstars/Ekos).

For any new astrophotographer, I think it is very wise advice to pay attention to mount performance via guiding. If you want great narrow field images, you need a well tuned mount and great guiding. Having the right tools is half the battle. PHD2 can absolutely help in this particular area where kstars/ekos isn't quite as mature. As long as folks realize this, they'll be better informed. Cheers, Doug

RASA11, Celestron CGX-L, ASI183mc Pro, 60mm guider + ASI290mm mini, ASI EAF focuser, PPB, Rpi4-4Gb+SSD, Powered USB3 hub, hardwire Ethernet.
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1 month 1 week ago
wvreeven
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Newbie question: for guider scope, internal ekos vs PHD2?!! #51832
Doug, you make fair points and you are absolutely right. However, this thread was turning into a collection of arguments that seemed, at least in the way I interpreted them, to lead to suggest that the internal guider should be avoided. I know that’s not the intention but that’s how it can be interpreted. I wanted to throw in an opposite opinion, that’s all.

The topic poster is new to astrophotography and to guiding, I merely wanted to show that using the internal guider is ok. I honestly think that for a beginner the internal guider is good enough. If one runs into issues then switching to PhD2 could lead to a solution exactly for the reasons you give. But I sometimes feel that unexperienced people may feel overwhelmed by possible issues while they simply are looking for some start up advise.

So, my advise remains: try the internal guider because it can give good enough performance. It it doesn’t then it is comforting to know that there are a lot of experienced people on this forum that can suggest solitions.


Clear skies, Wouter

ASI1600MM-Pro Cooled and filter wheel with a SkyWatcher Esprit 80 ED on a SkyWatcher HEQ5-Pro
ASI1600MM-Pro Cooled and filter wheel with an 8" TS Ritchey-Chrétien on a SkyWatcher EQ6-R
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