PHD refinements

Although the moon and indifferent sky conditions are preventing any serious imaging I continue to use what is available to try and refine some elements of my system. I've tended to leave the settings on the PHD guiding software at the default values mainly because a few preliminary attempts at changing them didn't seem to do anything worthwhile. This was probably because more fundamental problems like balance and flexure were having a greater effect on guiding than any software settings. Now I have improved these elements of the system I decided to have another try at modifying the software settings. One setting that looked worth changing was the length of the pulses applied during the calibration routine. Apparently these need to be longer for shorter focal length instruments. As my main scope is f4.3 I suspected the default settings on PHD were optimised for something slower so perhaps an increase in pulse length was worth trying so I upped it by 250ms with quite dramatic results. Not only did the calibration take far less time to run, the accuracy of the guiding was noticeably better during the short time I was able to test it before a layer of cloud brought a halt to proceedings. Another small step forward I hope.

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