Using Sharpcap to guide with your Imaging Scope/Camera in PHD2

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mAnKiNd
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Using Sharpcap to guide with your Imaging Scope/Camera in PHD2

Post by mAnKiNd » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:53 am

So I think I've just come up with a new way (correct me if I'm wrong) to guide when acquiring high-speed high-gain exposures...with your imaging scope and camera!..I've been thinking about this for a while now but just had some time to test it (indoors) and I think it works ok.

I'll try to explain it as best as I can:

1) Setup your imaging camera (QHY183C for me) on your imaging scope (Esprit80 for me) and start Sharpcap.

2) If your doing a high speed (say 1-5s), high gain live stack like I sometimes do, then set your Sharpcap settings accordingly and then turn on "Enable Live Broadcast". Guiding usually requires this temporal range of exposures anyway.

3) Start PHD2 and select "Windows WDM-style webcam camera" and then select your camera (again, QHY183C for me) from the next drop-down menu. You have now connected PHD2 to you imaging camera running in Sharpcap.

4) In PHD2, set the exposure time to the same value as what you set in Sharpcap.

5) Voila! You can now start guiding with only your imaging scope and imaging camera!

Now. Why someone would be crazy enough to adopt such a daft approach to guiding out 1-5s exposures, which don't need guiding, I'm not sure lol...I'm just saying it is theoretically possible...I've tested this indoors and the two programs seem to be communicating and working things out just fine!

Here are some thoughts as to why one would wish to do this (me basically..maybe :?):

- No flexure from separate guidescope and less weight, better mount balance.

- No hassle setting up an off-axis prism. Never used one, but read/heard they can be tricky.

- No hassle with extra cables, extra usb port and extra workflow from a separate guiding setup.

- One wishes to avoid image drift from an imperfect polar alignment over time, which however, drift can actually serve as an unguided dither over longer acquisitions..so a kind of compromise here..

and.....drumroll please...

- If one uses the PHD dither timer app - https://openphdguiding.org/phd2-dither-app/ - ONE CAN PROGRAM TIMED DITHERS FOR THEIR LIVE STACK!! :) :) :) without the guiding hardware!

Just sharing some thoughts..albeit crazy ones :shock:

Cheers
Minos

p.s. no idea yet how well this would work out in the field..how's that 'God-Mode' cloud-removing feature coming along Robin?

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admin
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Re: Using Sharpcap to guide with your Imaging Scope/Camera in PHD2

Post by admin » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:25 am

That's a sneaky use of the QHY broadcast feature - sounds like it ought to work and would be useful for dithering... Do let us know once you've had a chance to test for real!

cheers

Robin

Danoglide64
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Re: Using Sharpcap to guide with your Imaging Scope/Camera in PHD2

Post by Danoglide64 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:18 pm

OMG!
I was just thinking the same thing! Did it work?

Tell me all about it!
Dano

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