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Found 27 results

  1. I have had an issue with the mount of my CPC800. I have noted that sometimes when slewing through a large angle in azimuth the note of the gear noise changes. Also once or twice the target image has taken off to the left while I was preparing to image and even motor speed 3 would not hold it on screen. Also I have once or twice left it unattended for several minutes and returned to discover that I needed to use the optical finder to recover the target. This makes me wonder if something is binding. It still works far better than the 6/8 SE mount, so I am reluctant to send it for repair or open it up without a clear pointer to the nature of the problem and likely fix. It would be a more serious issue for long exposures/deep space imaging.
  2. I have an EQ5 telescope mount which i use for astrophotography. I have modified it with a motorised RA axis using a bipolar stepper motor - my thread for the build is here . I want to expand the mount's tracking ability by motorising the DEC axis and using a guide scope/camera. I generally use the mount in fairly remote locations so would like to use a raspberry Pi for portability. I understand that I'll need to use a Raspberry Pi Camera Module for the guide camera. The capability I want is: 1. guide the mount along RA and DEC axes using a guide star as feedback 2. track the mount using the RA axis only, and if possible continuously take 20-30 second exposures on the guide camera (this functionality is optional, but would assist in polar alignment of the mount) I don't want any GOTO capability. I am very new to RPi and need some help: - do I need to write code for this, or is there existing programming available for what I want to do? - is it possible to avoid the use of screens (in the field)? My preferred option would be to flick a switch to start and stop the guiding, with another switch for alignment mode (or something simple like this). - do I need to use any particular stepper motors/drivers for raspberry Pi? I'm using a bipolar stepper motor running quarter steps, with an A4988 stepper driver - is the RPi 3 Model B+ the unit I should buy? Thanks
  3. Last night I finally managed to get out and have a go at tracking for the first time with the SW SA. DEFINITELY need a ball head... Once I figured out that I should be leaving the latitude adjustment alone (yes I'm THAT much of a noob at tracking and polar alignment), about the only target in my FOV was M31, and even that was about to vanish behind a roof! But I did manage a few 30 second subs before it disappeared. Could've probably gotten longer exposures but the intervalometer wasn't setup and I was out of time. But I'm happy enough for a first time out. The attached is just the test image from last night. About half a dozen subs, Canon 550D, ISO 3200, F/4, cropped down from 55mm Oh, I did notice that whatever way up I put my PA scope, it was upside down...any ideas?
  4. Hi In my quest to identify a mount, I would like advice on the Losmandy G8 - the basic unit without add ones is $1500 +tax and shipping, and this is somewhat beyond my budget. However, the reviews I have read seem to suggest that it is a far superior mount than the usual Celestron, Orion, Sirius, atlas etc. Is that true that Losmandy G8 is a better mount. I will be using the mount for AP (upto three minutes), is it a feasible with a basic G8 unit without the Gemini unit. Telescope is 5" MAK (8 lb) thanks Rajeev
  5. So i have had my fair share of visual astronomy with my 10 inch dob, But i am no looking forward into the realm of astrophotography. And i don't want to have into the jump into the deep end and by a $1,500 eq mount(yet) i was planning on getting a ed80 refactor and the camera i can get figured out. Is there any (good) budget mounts for dso? I was hoping to find a good mount for around $900. Even though i want Budget mount(or a budget mount compared to a $1500 mount) i do not want to get rid of feature that would keep me from pulling my hair out. Would it even be worth it? Thanks in advanced! I was referring to the http://www.telescope.com/Mounts-Tripods/Equatorial-Mounts-Tripods/Orion-Atlas-EQ-G-Computerized-GoTo-Telescope-Mount/pc/-1/c/2/sc/34/p/116277.uts Looking forward to be able to see nebulae in color(of course after i process it and such)
  6. Hi all, Tonight I was attempting to image Saturn, but eventually Saturn faded away sidewise and I was unable to follow the planet in the RA axis. I then noticed that the box of the DEC motor was hitting the RA knob and wouldn't let it move any further! This basically ruined my image session (the seeing was the best ever, so crispy and detailed regardless of the moon, the roofs and the LP!) but I was stuck in a pretty narrow balcony and wasn't easy to try anything else. Is throwing away the DEC drive a good work around? I really hope to get another clear night to image Saturn before she sinks in the horizon for a good while! Thanks in advance for any tip! Clear Skies Riky
  7. Pardon my ignorance in the matter, but I was wondering if I could get some tips as to what I would need if I were to buy either HEQ5 SynTrek or similar mounts. Not sure if I would upgrade my 6" very soon, maybe to an 8" in the future.. Maybe I'd go for a NEQ6. But anyway.. Lets leave guiding out of the equation for now, what would I need to be able to track? Do I need some sort of USB > ST4 cable and a laptop? Or is the SynGuider a better option? If I'm leaving stuff out, please let me know, cause I have no clue as of yet. Oh, and I probably need some heavy batteries as well. How do you hook that up by the way? Lots of question, hoping for lots of good answers. Which I know I'll get from you magificent people Cheers. - Ken B.
  8. I'm a complete noob with imaging but am really methodical in approaching any hobby I pick up so I'm hoping that with a little practice I can someday take some amazing images for my own enjoyment. Currently I'm having no end of trouble with my scope setup and was hoping someone could shed some light on what MIGHT be going on here. I have a Nexstar 6se which uses spur gears I realize, but it's what I have. I'm using a celestron 6/8se wedge on a cpc 1100 tripod which makes for a rock solid platform for this modest scope. Movement calms down with this setup in under a second so I'm confident it's not the mount. The problem though, when I get my camera on the scope, get things focused as well as I can without a mask (i'm working on getting one 3d printed), I'm getting trails no matter what I do! I'm polar aligned, making very sure to use a high power eyepiece and really spend the time to line up my mount. Any image longer than about 20 seconds however exhibit trails! I've adjusted the backlash controls from 0 to 50 in 5 unit increments with no discernible results. I've used A/C power as well as a 12 volt 20amp/hr battery so I don't believe it to be power related. This setup, with the heavy tripod, the wedge, a decent computerized mount should allow me to image for a couple of minutes at least in my mind, but I cannot get it to work properly for even super short exposures! I'm wondering if this is something that can be adjusted with the mounts clutch or some other trick to get things working how they should. The images I've attached show an extreme amount of error in tracking and I'm beginning to wonder if my particular mount is just not going to work no matter what! The "trailing 3" image is of Albireo and you can see that the stars below this double are doubled themselves, meaning to me that the mount is skipping or jumping partway through the exposure (45 seconds in this case) Any help would be awesome.
  9. Hi guys, This is my first post in here and apologies if someone has asked this question already but I have searched the forum for this answer and couldn't find one. So the problem I have with my mount is that there is a few seconds lag (1-2 seconds) to control input on both RA and DEC axis when I switch the control input to the opposite direction. It happens when I use both the Skywatcher Dual Axis Motor drive kit or even the manual precise controls. There is a slight "give" in the mount when I move it by hand from side to side. It just seems sloppy, like there's too much room between the moving parts inside the mount itself. My questions: Is this "give" normal? Can I fix it? Thanks for reading
  10. I bought a new CEM25P and just spend two nights trying to get it to track. I've had many GEM mounts over the last 30 years, so I thought this would easy. But it seems that either I have a problem with the mount, or I am getting old. I leveled, balanced, and polar aligned the mount well. Then I attached a guide scope. I did NOT attach the cable from the guidescope to mount. I also did not attach the mount to my computer. This way I could watch stars drift and get an idea of was going on with just the mount. I checked the CEM25's tracking rate, and it is set to sidereal. LAT/LONG and perfect. Time accurate. Next, I watched stars drift on my laptop using PHD. When the mount is turned on, and tracking turned ON - the stars move somewhat quickly in RA. Like they are slewing slowly. When I turn OFF the tracking (zero key) they still drift, but a little slower. When I turn off the power to the mount, of course the stars drift, but at slower rate still - normal sidereal rate. When I turn the power back on the stars drift a little faster. Turn the tracking back on, and they drift faster still. But when I set the slew speed to 2x, and press and hold down the left arrow key, and the stars STOP drifting. Perfect tracking. Thanks for any advice! CF
  11. Hi all! Yesterday I was out taking a few pics of M56 and M71 (no nebulas or galaxies, because the moon is still quite full). This was the first time I tried my new coma corrector, which I think works fine. One RAW sub: A few problems, though. As you can see from the above RAW example, there is no coma anymore, but all stars are kind of triangular in shape. Is this due to collimation error, ie warping the primary by tightening too much? I tracked (unguided) using also PEC... Second problem. On RAW sub that wasn't so good...: These subs are frequent, one in every 4, on average... I'm guessing my HEQ5 is old and not too precise anymore... Or could it be something else still? Here is the stack of the good subs (no post production), to show the beneficial effect of the coma corrector again: Ideas? Gerhard.
  12. Hello all !! I have owned a C5 in the past but the 5 inch set up on a Nexstar se mount is very attractive. The C5 can be adapted to be a f/10 scope or a f/6.3 with proper adapter, great for wider field viewing and photo work or you can just use it at f/10 for planets , and double stars.a good multipurpse scope. With a wedge I can do astro photo work as well very cool. I think I want the Nexstar SE mount cause you can change optical tubes. I if I want extreme low power wide field views I can buy a 3 ich APO at f5.0 , or I can use the C5 at f/10 to f/6.3 two scopes in one, or if I want more light grasp I can buy a C8 to look at galaxies and nebula in brighter and more detial the planets look better as well. Had a cousin who had a C8 still remember Saturn in this scope like it was yesterday. The C8 also does the magic trick of f/10 or f/6.3. very cool. With certian C8's and I think C5's you can do Fastar a really cool trick as well you can do astro photo work at f/2 thats very atteactive for future endevors. 30 second photos vs 45 min photos. What do you think I should do in the future of my needs. I dont need to hear about 2000.00 APO scopes , I hate equetorial mounts completely .Id rather buy the SE mount and then buy a wedge for it to do my basic astro photo work. Besides if I love astro photo work I will probably buy a mount thats legendary for astro photo work later. So I dont need to be inundated with stuff about equetorial mounts that are way out of my price range any ways my price range is 400.00 to 1200.00 . If you have information on other GOTO alt/az mounts I would love to know about them thats the way I m gona go. Its really an open book right now Im not gona buy the scope for a year . So My opinion as to what I want is probably gona change as time goes on . Right now I am engrossed in binocular astronomy learning the craft of star hopping and reaquanting myself with the night sky. I want to go to a semi local astronomy club to see if anyone has this scope and look at it in person to see what I really want . If storage and transportaion and accsess to a good site was not an issue, Id buy a computerized push to dob probably 10 or 12 inch , but then again I could not do any photo work with a dob other than video planet/moon work . SO I thnk the nexstar SE is the system for me versitility, light weight , compact for transport and storage, good optical tubes and a really good wifi app with another adaption. There seems to be alot one can do with the Nexstar system . I think its the way to go for me . What do you think .Thanks happy hunting the Evolution system is out it costs too much for my basic astronomy ambitions. Basic visual and basic astro photo work really its pretty simple the more basic and easier to use the better lets keep this from getting complicated.
  13. Guys and Gals - Really hoping for some help from the imaging gurus and mount doctors here. Lucas has been helping me with my Mesu 200, which arrived with what I believe was an out of spec RA servo/encoder. It's one of the latest versions with magnetic motor encoders rather than optical. Historically, mag encoders have never been as accurate as optical (although they are normally more reliable), and typically they're not well suited to being on the end of an electromagnetic servomotor, but he re-assured me that no-one else had reported problems. My initial tracking graphs (PHD into PECPrep, 400mm ST80 into QHY5) revealed a 'fast' periodic error, going from around +2 to -2 arcsecs every 21 seconds (this is twice the fundamental motor rotation period). Not what I hoped for. Here it is again with a little Low Pass filtering: Now Lucas sent me one of the original optical encoders, which I have fitted and I believe it has resolved this fault. Here is the new raw tracking plot: I do still see a repeating PE, but it now has a 42s period, which makes more sense. It is also pretty small, in the region of 0.7 arc seconds pk-pk, but it is definitely a repetitive mechanical product. Here it is again with the same Low Pass filtering: Most of you will probably say, "Well, the seeing will be worse than that, so why worry". And I agree to a point, but I would sooner just suffer the seeing, if possible, than the seeing combined with a PE which repeats every 42s. I will be guiding anyway of course. Also, everyone who reviews the Mesu mentions that it only has a very small and very slow tracking error, with it going gently from -2 to +2 in around 300+ seconds. Even the tracking curve on the Mesu website shows this: If my mount is the 'norm', why doesn't the Mesu PE plot show a 0.7 arc second ripple superimposed on the curve? When Bisque and AP quote PE's of 7 arcsec or 3 arcsec, do they also have this faster ripple superimposed on top (I mean faster PE components - I know any real world test using star to track will show random seeing noise too)? Does anyone's Mesu 200 produce a PE curve which, without massive low pass filtering, looks like their graph on the website? If Olly or Yves see this - does your mount do this? Does it produce those fantastic images anyway? Can anyone tell me if I'm going mad? Not many folk seem to post raw PE curves, some have a huge amount of filtering applied, which makes it hard to know what to expect. Or tolerate. I know Lucas will replace my mount if I ask him - he has been great throughout, but he gives me the impression that they will all have some level of this 42-second Periodic Error. On a mechanical level, this makes sense, but I did a huge amount of research before I bought this mount, and no-one mentioned a 42s PE. If you made it this far - thanks for reading! Any advice appreciated. Jack
  14. I just purchased dual axis motors to fit to my EQ5 mount and while that all went OK I something is either too stiff or the motors don't have the required grunt as they are barely capable of moving the mount at all. If I press the control for any given direction the motors might move a little before giving up with little clicky noises or I can give the knob or gear a little nudge with my finger and they will move again for a while, it's like either the motors are not getting enough power or they simply don't have enough grunt to move the equipment and there is only a 150pds on the mount. Anyone else use these motors and if so could you give me any pointers.
  15. jimao22

    IC 63

    Hi, Last night I made 22 exposures 10 min each to Ghost Nebula (IC 63) using Ha filter (Baader 7nm). The weather was perfect and the mount worked as a dream, best tracking i had ever. Acquisition, guiding, stacking, calibrating in MaximDL, focusing in FocusMax and final processing (levels, curves, unsharp mask, reduce noise) with Photoshop PS2. Set-up used - MN190 on EQ6/EQMOD, ATIK 314L+ mono plus True-Tech filter wheel, guided by finder-guider with SSAG, motofocuser controlled by SELETEK.
  16. Hi all, I bought a Astromaster 130EQ two years ago and bought separately a celestron xcell barlow 2x and a Xcell LX 25mm. I now use my iphone to take photo's with a adapter. However, I have trouble finding and specially tracking objects. Will an Goto system make this much easier? The next question is, should i stay with my astromaster 130 mm newt. telescope and invest in a goto mount like the skywatcher eq5 with synscan or can i better take an Nexstar 5SE? I am open for other suggestions I want to make planetary pictures with my cannon camera (moon / mars / jupiter) if possible deep sky. However there is severe light pollution in my area. Thanks in advance
  17. Hi After selling all my equipment some time ago I have now started the hobby again with a C925 on an AVX mount. Last night was my first chance to try out the Starsense Accessory, which seemed to work quite well. However I was a bit concerned that when doing the calibration for the SSA camera position and during the Polar Alignment routine the tracking seemed very jerky at higher magnifications. The video I took of Jupiter after alignment did not seem to show this (although poor in all other ways) so I don't know if the jerkiness is something to do with tracking mode used by the SSA handset during alignment. It could also be a mount fault or poor balance but I would expect that to show in the video? Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks Barry
  18. I've just about got used to operating my EQ3-2 by its flexible manual control knobs but I'm increasingly aware of the wobble I introduce each time I adjust them them. So I would seem to be a natural candidate for a set of SW motors. However I don't want to spend £90+ for some 6 volt motors which have a reputation for blowing up hand controls and eating up batteries. I have read the AstroEQ (excellent piece of work by Tom Carpenter!) thread in this DIY section which offers a very attractive pathway towards full control and go-to tracking of the mount. I am therefore particularly interested in avoiding the SW motor drives and making use of some stepper motors with home constructed brackets as a first stage modification. But is there any way I could do this and control the motors in a semi-manual way without needing always to use a laptop running EQMOD etc? In other words, for instance, could a version of AstroEQ be interfaced with a manual control box (especially IR linked) driving stepper motors and offering simple object tracking? I started this as a new topic because I have some difficulty navigating within the AstroEQ 20+ page thread and don't want to distract.
  19. Aenima

    ngc7000red ha -

    From the album: CCD venture

    A h-alpha shot of the Wall section of NGC7000 aka north america nebula. ED80 - ATK16HR - Ha clip filter - EQ6 - finderguider 9x50mm PhD2 - photoshop - DSS.

    © 2016JayBird

  20. Hi all here's my odd thought,balance now I balance the sct with the weights facing east and the scope on the left facing west But when I image the moon or Jupiter the position of the weights is over to the west and the tube is on the right facing east , So should I balance the scope with the weighs to the west ,has that's the side they will be on when I do image with a dnk21 camera tracking and PA are very good ,align master, Pat
  21. Hi all have picked out a scope and mount I'm interested in buying. The scope is the skywatcher ed80 pro and I will be using it with my canon 5d mark 1 for astrophotography. It's the mount that I'm having trouble deciding on. Have been reading loads on the net but when I find something I think will be ok I search for reviews of it and looks and behold for everyone who says this is a great choice there is someone else who says don't buy this. Anyway I liked the skywatcher heq5 mount so does anyone on here think this would be a good choice also if I bought a goto mount would this also track or would I need a motorized mount. Also does anyone have a smaller or different mouth sergestion as to what mount I should get, obviously it will have to be tracking. Cheers in advance for your reply so. Russell.
  22. This is more of a story about last nights efforts than a cry for help. I went out at ten to focus the OAG on the scope fitted with a lodestar and align the guiding axis to the telescope. The ultimate aim was to calibrate the PEC on the SS2K to start to take decent pictures with the mount. It was a glorious night. But my lodestar seems to have grown duff bright pixels by the dozen over summer. Even using full autocalibration in Maxim didn't seem to remove them. So I created a bad pixel map and applied it to my auto calibration groups but still with no effect. Meanwhile I soldiered on, using a brighter star in the OAG to focus and align axiis on. That done, I discovered there seemed to be a reflection from the bright star that Maxim insisted trying to guide on. It turned up on the row of the first bright star image and even after subsequent images when the star clearly moved according to movement calibration requests, the false star remained fixed and caused maxim to fail the tracking calibration. An hour and a half of this I tried, with various combinations of bin ratios, exposure times, star in different quadrants of the CCD and all with no success until I put the star in the top left quadrant and then calibration success! You might think that was it, I was motoring, since Maxim was now seeing the star. But no. Maxim could calibrate on the star but reported 'star faded' when trying to use it a guide star, consistently and persistently. Apparently it needs a different type of star to guide on. There were no others. So half an hour later I gave up with that and went to PhD2. It had support for the Lodestar and for the ZWI so I persevered with the Lodestar. It could even see the star Maxim refused to guide on and I could use it to calibrate the movement of the scope for Phd to guide with. I did get a 'ratio difference alert since my motion was very assymetric 'L' shaped but it did calibrate so on I went. Now I could calibrate my PEC!. Several times I achieved this, repeating it starting at different times on the worm since the ss2K will even out the measured with the already recorded. And then Puff! the star had gone - nothing to guide on and the duff pixels were there polluting the image as before. Where did it go ? The sky was still clear and the dome slot was right there where the scope needed it to be. Now I tried a few exposures at 3mins just to get a feel on what quality had resulted from all my efforts. Its an 8" 1800mm so its was optimistic but the evening conspired further - the camera intervalometer battery was flat. Not to be deterred I dug out the spare. That'll teach it. But that one has a duff lead that causes the camera to turn off occasionally and it wanted to play. It was now 1.30, I was freezing and not thinking about swapping batteries so it was time to hit the sack. Only up at 6 for work. I love these succesful evenings. Gotta have more of them. Better luck to every one else, and if you have a solution to the Maxim problem I'm interested. Mike
  23. Hi! Last week I received my Star Adventurer, and I'm learning how to use it. I had no issues aroud 0 - 80mm, but yesterday I was out trying to take pictures with my 200mm Takumar (300mm on my DX body), and I was struggling to point it towards my target (Andromeda). I know where it is, I could see it with my own eyes, yet, I wasn't able to point my lens towards, only after like 40 minutes... :/ I don't know how others do it, so any advice would be appreciated! What I was thinking about: 1. hot shoe adapter + phone holder + phone / tablet with stellarium, so I would see in the app where my lens pointing (adds weight) 2. some kind of hot shoe adapter + a reflex sight 3. some kind of hot shoe adapter + a green laser pointer 4. a small scope, maybe a finder scope attached to the other end of the declination unit 5. maybe it's overkill, but is it possible to make the Star Adventurer GoTo somehow? Thanks in advance!
  24. Messier 31 Andromeda Galaxy Distance from Earth - approx 2.5 million light years After spending ages getting a decent polar alignment, the clouds were on their way in so I only had a small window of opportunity remaining. This was my first real run with the new setup (minus the ST80 and ZWO ASI120 as i was having issues there) and I almost gave up. SO glad I didn't!! Focus was off a bit though I think and I've definitely over-processed EXIF: Nikon D5300 270mm f / 5.6 @ ISO 800 21 x 30 second subs Bortle 5 Stacked in Sequator. Very quick minor crop and global edits in LightRoom. No darks/flats/offsets
  25. New Celestron 8SE owner and not impressed. Alignment is a bitch. I finally "succeeded" with the three-star align and then the scope would only take me sort of close to where I wanted to go. Had to adjust manually. How spot on is alignment supposed to be? Tracking? I can't tell from the inadequate instruction manual how to engage tracking once I'm on an object. The whole exercise was supposed to allow me to do some astrophotography with my Canon 5D and related camera-to-scope attachments. Finally, I was surprised to learn (I think) that one needs to go through the alignment process for each session. The "computer" apparently doesn't hold the alignment. That right? Again, I can't find any reference in the instruction manual! If this is the case, it's certainly inconvenient. Any help or advice will be appreciated.
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