your country: Czech Republic
your mobile device: iPhone 6S (iOS 12.1)
your mount: Sky-Watcher AZEQ6
your camera: ASI071MC, ASI120MM-Mini
your EFW: ZWO EFW
Yesterday I had a chance to briefly test the ASIAir 1.0.7 (before the arrival of the mist). New features look good but I have noticed several problems described below. Please note that I am not sure that the mount's firmware has been updated to the latest version so part of the problems might be caused by that. I will try to update the firmware tonight but I am not sure when the weather will allow me to perform the next test.
- The mount (using selection SkyWatcher SynScan) is not found until I perform its alignment using the hand-control. This is not a big deal as there is a warning to make the alignment first anyway but I am not sure this is intended. In addtion, if the mount was just parked in an aligned state, alignment might not be necessary which would streamline the preparation for the night.
- Even after alignment performed, I had to try to switch on the mount in ASIAir several times until it found it (it twice responded 'failed', connected for the third time). Compared to the previous version of ASIAir, the mount needed not to be in the Utilities > PC Direct mode. Communication to SkySafari works without problems and the epoch problem has been corrected (Sky Safari should be set to current epoch now).
- In the mount settings screen (compare to the ASIAir manual, ver. 1.1, page 18) I do not have the guiding rate setting, the tracking switch and the GoTo Zero Position button. All three controls I severely miss as at some occasions I am unsure whether the mount is indeed tracking as well as there are big problems with guiding (see below) and to have information about how guiding speed is set would be very useful.
- It is for the first time that I tried to use guiding with ASIAir as my ASI120MM Mini arrived only in the last week so I cannot say whether the below described problems appeared in the previous version as well or whether they result from my ignorance:
- The guiding camera is found well and works correctly. I find it not so easy to focus it precisely (using 80/400 mm guiding scope) as the FWHD value jumps around due to obvious undersampling of the curve even though there seems to be enough pixels across the star image (using motofocus, so hand vibrations are not an issue). I had to increase the gain substantially however to find a suitable star, however.
- When I start calibration, the mount asks to change the mount movement speed to rate 1x which I confirmed. I would prefer, however, to guide at 0.5 of the sidereal rate as I always did in PHD2 but there is not such a choice neither in the mount settings nor in the guiding settings. This is strange
- The mount then performs west-east calibration but does not return to the origin probably due to backlash. The backlash compensation process however does not work - the mount does not move in the backlash compensation procedure (looks likes it is only tracking). It tries 60 steps and then ends in error or (if accidently close enough to the origin) it continues with DEC (north-south) calibration. I have never seen such behaviour with PHD2.
- Since the DEC calibration does not start in the origin, it is performed parallel to the crosshair line at a distance which results in strange angles warning after successful finish. The nudge procedure at the end of the DEC calibration however works correctly unlike the backlash compensation in the west-east axis.
- As a result, the calibration usually fails for me. If it succeeds (rarely), it works correctly though it uses very often corrections as if my polar alignment was off substantially which I believe it is not (checked with polar finder). In addition, it seems that the guiding in one of the axes is stabilized at +2" position of the plot which I find strange but it might have been an intention to better see the curves (compare the figure at page 20 of the ASIAir manual).
- I had connection prolems with my main camera, ASI071MCPro. The camera got lost at some stage and I had to power-off and restart ASIAir. Unplug and replug the camera from ASIAir did not help. Even though lost (the field with the camera type in the main camera settings screen is empty, the switch is off and cannot be switched on) the camera works (takes images) but its settings cannot be changed. Since the EFW wheel and guide camera are connected to the main camera hub, their settings are not accessible as well. This is a problem as when it happens during the sequence it requires going back to telescope and restart the ASIAir there. In addition, the intended filter change during the sequence has not been performed.
- There is a new switch in the main camera settings allowing to cycle taking images in the preview mode. This is a very useful feature when fine-tuning the image composition but I could not to switch it off when I wished to (the switvh appeared off buth the camera cycled anyway). I had to restart the ASIAir unit.
So, a bunch of problems that I would like to see solved as in the current state I find the new version (1.0.7) hard to use with my hardware. If the weather allows me, I will try to make sure that my mount's firmware is up-to-date and I will also try to return to the previous version to check that the guiding problems appeared in the new version only.