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Solved Confused on how to get SGP (and Cartes du Ciel) working with StarGO

  • danielh21
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10 Jun 2020 14:13 - 25 Jun 2020 13:54 #318 by danielh21
I had another chance to test out the M-Zero last night and I just cannot seem to get SGP working with it. I have solely been using the ASCOM driver, not the Wifi. There are a number of issues:

First: I can open SGP and connect to the StarGO driver if I am not already connected to the driver through the StarGO control app. If I'm already connected to the StarGO app, SGP hangs and then says it can't connect to the COM port. If I connect to SGP first, however, I can't connect through the StarGO app because it says "ASCOM driver already running" or "client already active" (I got both these messages different times). So it seems SGP and the StarGO control app can't be running concurrently on the same COM port.

Second: If I sync the mount in Cartes du Ciel, the mount doesn't actually seem to sync. In other words, the coordinates often do not actually change to the ones that I've synced to. Do I have to align the mount in the StarGO control software every time I want to perform a sync? With my CGEM I was able to just do a "Quick Align" in the hand controller, sync in CDC, and then it would be synced to the correct coordinates.

Third: Plate solving in SGP was not working. Even if I was able to sync the mount, it would solve the first frame, slew to what looked like the correct location, solve the second frame, slew slightly, but then it was just taking forever to solve the second frame. It should not have been taking that long if the previous frame solved quickly and the slew was very slight. I had this problem occasionally with my CGEM so I wonder if it is some weird SGP issue.

I also tried to use SGP's "blind solve and sync" function, which did seem to sync the mount, but then when I ran center & solve routine on my target, the first frame would not solve. Again, I recall this problem with my CGEM, so it is possibly an SGP error.


So, does anyone who uses SGP with an Avalon mount know what's going on here? This is all just a mystery to me. I can only imagine that:
1. I have to use something other than SGP to plate solve and capture.
2. There is an issue with my Avalon firmware or drivers.
3. I'm not understanding something in the StarGO setup workflow.
4. I should be connecting to the StarGO app through wifi rather than the COM port.

EDIT: I just tried again during the daytime and connecting in Cartes du Ciel has the same problem: I start StarGO, open settings, connect to the COM port, sync, and then open CDC. CDC asks me to select the COM port, I select it and press OK, then I click Connect in CDC and nothing happens, or CDC simply closes the "Connect Telescope" dialog box. So it seems that as long as StarGO is open and connected to the mount, no other program can connect to it.
EDIT2: Ok, I figured out why I couldn't connect in CDC and SGP while connected in StarGO: it was because CDC and SGP were not being run in Administrator Mode (but CDC says "Do not run CDC in administrator mode - weird).

However, it still appears that I can't sync through CDC. So, I do "Sync to home" in StarGO which tells the ASCOM driver I'm pointed at the coordinates of Polaris (I'm actually not - the mount is just set up in my garage pointed in a random direction). At this point CDC agrees that I'm pointed at Polaris, which I can verify by clicking "track telescope." But, if I try to "Sync" on something else through CDC, it does not appear to do anything. Should this be the case? I thought you could simply tell your mount where you want it to think it's pointed, and it would agree that it's pointed there, even if it is completely inaccurate. The reason I'm concerned about this is because to solve & center in SGP, it needs to start with accurate "hint" information which means, at least in my experience, manually slewing to the region of my target, syncing, and then beginning the solve and center routine. This gives PlateSolve2 the hint information it needs and then solves the first frame fairly quickly.
Last edit: 25 Jun 2020 13:54 by Stefano82.

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11 Jun 2020 09:29 #320 by Michel
Hi Daniel,
I am using SGP and it seems to work fine. Make sure both stargo, sgp and phd2 are all ran as administrator.

Here's my usual flow. Launch stargo, sync home position, launch sgp, connect to ascom driver. That's it, the rest is the same as I used to do with my CGEM DX.

As for the platesolving, I make sure I am well focused, and it sometimes take 2 runs to center and sometimes 4. Make sure you have the correct camera details (especially pixel scale) and telescope (aperture, focal length) under control panel in SGP.

Good luck and clear skies,
Michel

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  • danielh21
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11 Jun 2020 14:44 #321 by danielh21

Michel wrote: Hi Daniel,
I am using SGP and it seems to work fine. Make sure both stargo, sgp and phd2 are all ran as administrator.

Here's my usual flow. Launch stargo, sync home position, launch sgp, connect to ascom driver. That's it, the rest is the same as I used to do with my CGEM DX.

As for the platesolving, I make sure I am well focused, and it sometimes take 2 runs to center and sometimes 4. Make sure you have the correct camera details (especially pixel scale) and telescope (aperture, focal length) under control panel in SGP.

Good luck and clear skies,
Michel


Hi Michel, thank you for your response. Yes, I think a large source of my issues was that I was not running SGP, PHD, or CDC in admin mode. Hopefully we get a break in the clouds here so I can figure out what was going wrong with plate solving.

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12 Jun 2020 08:30 #322 by Michel
I have a small problem with SGP and platesolving, which might be the driver's fault but I am not sure. Sometimes SGP starts taking an exposure to platesolve while the mount is still slewing, so keep an eye on the outcome of the platesolve image. In that case I usually abort and recenter. Let me know if you face the same issue

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13 Jun 2020 13:55 #323 by danielh21
This is resolved thankfully. I believe the plate solving issue was because DEC was set to reverse in StarGO. I think my confusion about syncing was just because I was so used to the CGEM's inability to do an accurate slew without a multi-star alignment. But with the M-Zero I'm able to just do the initial sync on Polaris, then slew to my target in CDC, adjust the position slightly, sync, and then proceed with plate solving. I'm amazed at how precisely this mount is able to solve & center in with SGP/PS2! Definitely going to get some good mosaics with this.

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