Could SQP have a warning when autofocus is failing due to badly out of focus?

Just wondering as I start imaging again after a year off.

My autofocus routines were failing badly - the flat line walk instead of the usual U shape - but in HFR mode it was reporting stars wandering between 5 and 7 but with a random walk of a near flat line despite 12+ sample points taken at 50 steps between them.

I finally decided not to trust them and thought a few very faint blobs might be badly out of focus stars - and yep I was right. I kept taking 2 second lights and altering focus by 50 steps until about 20 shots later the blobs became smaller blobs then fat stars and then near pin point.

I ran autofocs again and this time it nailed it - and every time afterwards.

So the ask is - is there any way SGP could sense a sub is really out of focus - rather than giving false HFR radius results on I don’t know what!

Many thanks, Matthew

I don’t think this is possible. Badly out of focusm to SGPro doesn’t look any different than any other kind of failure. That said, SGPro will certainly send you notifications that AutoFocus is what’s failing.

Wierdly it happened again last night.

I couldn’t get auto focus to work - saw what looked like a footbal sized star and then realised although it thought the Moonlite focuser was at its normal 2,500 position - it was racked way in.

So I manually (well push button) controlled the Moonlite focuser to rack all the way in - setting the new zero focus position - then I had to rack it out to 5,550 to get a decent rough focus at which point Auto focus runs smoothly again.

I am wondering if this is a side behaviour of start of night (16 celcius) end of night (9 celcius) change of focus position - somehow accumulating over a week or two - in a way that driving the absolute focus position down towards zero when it is actually in my case 5,500 +/- 200 steps depending on temperature. I had thought of manually racking the focuser all the way to zero - before connecting to teh focuser in SGP - then telling it to go to 5,500. My sense is the absolute focus position reported at each start of night may not be correct - it may be creeping in. An Moonlites ASCOM DRO driver doesn’t let a focuser go below position zero - so if its off you have to manually reset it.

Was doing a lot of work in the astro lab on the dome rotation track - but I don’t think I touched the OTA focusers at all.

So wierd…