I'll reply here just for the sake of saying that I've experienced this type of issue as well, although it hasn't happened during meridian flips but just during normal calibration in the beginning of a session.

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Simon replied to the topic 'Guide calibration fails' in the forum. 1 month ago

I don't feel like this could be a mechanical problem since I could have a problematic calibration one moment but if I just run it again it would be successful, I don't believe mechanical problems behave that way. In my experience that sounds more like a software or electrical issue. Now that Max mentioned it I noticed in the screenshot I posted that the calibration was indeed going in the opposite direction to when it was successful. When it worked correctly it would start going up to the right but in the failing instance it went down to the left. Could I be having the guide camera in some particularly bad angle where its just on a 90 or 180 degree rotation and wants to flip directions?
I'll see if I can try PHD2 but I'm not sure if it was connecting with my guide cam correctly and I just wanted to avoid it.

Regarding re-calibration I've found that the guiding won't be working quite right if I calibrate to the north and then perhaps slew to the south. I'll redo the calibration and the guiding is great. But I'm still playing around with this. I should mention I always go away somewhere to shoot, I don't have great conditions from my apartment.

 

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Simon replied to the topic 'Guide calibration fails' in the forum. 1 month ago

Alright, had another go with 3.5.4 stable. I was only able to reproduce it once and got a screenshot of it with my calibration settings. It was the first calibration and any attempt after that seemed to work correctly.
I'll attach a log from when I was running the 3.5.5 beta and then the 3.5.4 stable used after that.

The conditions haven't been excellent here I should say, quite cloudy and on a somewhat unstable floor on my balcony.

Alright, had another go with 3.5.4 stable. I was only able to reproduce it once and got a screenshot of it with my calibration settings. It was the first calibration and any attempt after that seemed to work correctly.
I'll attach a log from when I was running the 3.5.5 beta and then the 3.5.4 stable used after that.

The conditions haven't been excellent here I should say, quite cloudy and on a somewhat unstable floor on my balcony.

  

File Attachment:

File Name: log_20-36-59.txt
File Size: 897 KB

File Attachment:

File Name: log_22-04-57.txt
File Size: 2,922 KB


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Simon replied to the topic 'Guide calibration fails' in the forum. 1 month ago

I tried uninstalling kstars and everything tonight and installing the nightly version just to see if there was any difference and there certainly was. Now I can't speak to if this was just from "reinstalling" kstars or if there was something in the nightly version that worked better for me but I got through the calibration no problem even though there was a light layer of clouds. So I'm once again confident that the mount is in good condition.

I was previously running 2.5.4 I believe with a build from the 8th of July. I'll reinstall the stable version and see if I still have any issues and post logs.

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Simon replied to the topic 'Guide calibration fails' in the forum. 1 month ago

I made another attempt tonight, made sure it wasn't binding, I have a little bit of RA backlash but not a lot. I made sure it was well balanced and tried increasing the pulse duration but nothing really seems to help..

I'm not sure I understand what's happening. Is the RA motor trying to drive in reverse but not able to due to resistance? But wouldn't I hear the motor skipping/stalling if that's the case? I don't feel like backlash is a possible cause here. I did some testing with the hand controller before going out and when setting rate to 2 I can change direction more or less instantly. And it worked before when the backlash was a lot worse.

I was planning to see if I can run PHD2 standalone or some other software to see if I have any similar issue.

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Simon replied to the topic 'Guide calibration fails' in the forum. 1 month ago

I usually have it pretty balanced, with just an indication of wanting to fall in one direction. But I could certainly try again with balance as good as I can get it and with longer pulses as well. 

I'll give the simulator another try in another direction, you're right I was pointing at the pole. This is not what I was doing with the mount though, I've done several attempts in different areas of the sky.

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Simon replied to the topic 'Guide calibration fails' in the forum. 1 month ago

I can add that I tried doing a calibration using the simulator and I appear to get the same error, it won't do any movement in RA.

I did an update of kstars and my indiserver/drivers not that long ago, maybe a month ago, so I'm wondering if this could be something in the latest software. My kstars stable build is from 2021-07-08.

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I believe they're asking about how the guide camera is oriented in the guide scope and if it matters in general or in relation to the imaging camera.

The guide calibration will determine the camera orientation so it doesn't really matter. Just keep in mind that if you're setting up the equipment each night then you need to redo the calibration.

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Simon created a new topic ' Guide calibration fails' in the forum. 2 months ago

Some background. I've previously had trouble with my mount not guiding correctly but about a month ago after taking it apart I noticed the RA axis worm drive was tightened too much. I cleaned, re-greased and made sure everything was tightened correctly. Put it all together and removed any backlash in DEC but didn't bother much with RA as I've heard it's not as important. It worked great after that, I could get around 1"-1.3" RMS guiding pretty consistently. I would have trouble with the calibration failing from time to time as it couldn't move the RA enough but if I retried it would usually work and guiding would be great.

Last night the calibration wouldn't work at all, it would always fail on RA. So I figured the backlash has finally caught up with me and I need to tighten it, which I did. I can barely feel any backlash now, it sounds better and I figured the calibration would be no problem. But it's still causing me problems. I tried again tonight hoping it would be a fluke but it just doesn't work. I was  keeping an eye on the calibration graph tonight and it seemed to me like it would calibrate out but when it came time to calibrate in it would keep going out or perhaps jump around where it was turning around.

I'll give a log from the other night where I did several attempts. I'd love to understand how this is supposed to work, because I would expect that it's trying to move a certain distance out and then in but it'll keep doing moves even if it has seemingly gone far enough out. Keep in mind that sometimes I would touch the mount to see if I could force a movement and get further along in the process but then it could fail on DEC which I never had trouble with.

I would love some help. This feels very discouraging as I'm really looking forward to this season.
It's a Skywatcher NEQ6, rather old but I would say it appears to be in decent condition.
I'm using an Omegon 50/200 guidescope which produces some coma on the stars but I don't think this should be causing trouble.
Then I have the ZWO ASI 120MM-S.

 

File Attachment:

File Name: guide_log-2021-09-03T22-09-32.txt
File Size: 27 KB



 

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Alright, I got the mount into pieces and found that the RA worm shaft was likely over-tightened and couldn't move smoothly. I've loosened it, cleaned and regreased a bunch of stuff. I've tried to adjust everything and I'm pretty much waiting for a clear night to test it now.

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Hy, yes I've started taking the mount apart and I'll go through the mechanical details to see that it's cleaned and lubricated as well as in general good condition. I'll make sure it's tightened correctly too.
The mount is quite an old NEQ-6 and I'm using a William Optics Z73 with a mono setup and a 50 mm guide scope. I'm really not very worried about too much weight as I haven't had to use more than one counterweight at just over halfway up the bar.

Alfred, I'm running a remote indi server which is running quite new software from just a month ago and I checked on the laptop it's running kstars 3.5.3 Stable and it says the build is from 2021-05-06 so it shouldn't be too old I think.

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