February 2018
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First Night Autoguiding

Well my guidescope project is done! I recently installed windows xp sp2 on my new macbook pro. Only reason for doing this is the desire to run certain astronomy applications that do not run under Mac OS (I hope these companies realize the superiority of mac’s and develop mac os versions). I am running PHD with the meade DSI pro as a camera on the lxd75 mount. Setting everything up was simple. First I polar aligned, then did a 2 star alignment for the autostar computer, slewed to Vega to focus the canon xs, and the DSI.

I had no idea what to expect using the PHD program.  I didn’t look at any instructions, I just hit buttons with what made logical sense.  The title of the program “Push Here Dummy” is pretty self explanatory.  On the provided graph, I noticed that the DEC was going way south.  I changed the exposure time from 1sec to 0.5sec on the camera, thinking that would solve the problem; it did not.  I pressed the little brain button and changed the Max Dec Duration from 150ms to 210ms.  This fixed my problem and the DEC/RA was running pretty stable.  Before packing it in I did a 6min exposure of NGC 6997, a mag 10 open cluster in the middle of the North American Nebula (NGC 7000).

I was looking at The Sky software and found that there are mag 14 stars in this image of NGC6997.  I am very happy considering I took these from my home, 25 miles outside NYC.

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