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Scope Not Targeting Well


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I've always had a problem with my scope not hitting the target, but now I'm using cameras with small sensors, this has become a real problem. I polar align using Polar Finder (or something similar) and do a 2 star align (3 star can be problematic). But the 1st star is always outside the view of my 24mm EP. Quite a way out. So I use my RDF to get it into view, centre it as accurately as poss, then to the next star, which can also be out of view. I centre this and the alignment is successful. I attach my cam on this star which is bright enough to focus on. Then I slew to my target. It's off. Not by much but enough for it to be outside my ATIK or ASI cams' small sensors. My RDF isn't accurate enough to get the object in view. (I've tried a Telrad finder but couldn't get on with it with my varifocal glasses.)

I tried the other night, with my frac and ATIK, to get some nebulae in view, but none of them showed up. The stars that were in view were clear in Artemis. I tried last night to image Jupiter with my 200P, ASI and 3x TAL Barlow. Could I get Jupiter on the sensor?? Nope. Then the fog rolled in after an hour of trying. This is getting beyond a joke.

I was determined to jack it all in last night. It's hard work with not much in the way of results. I like hard work but surely this should be fun as well??  :mad:

Angry Alexxx

Edited by Astrosurf
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You could when doing a 2 star align, when it slews to the first star either undo the clutches and line it up or move the whole mount to line up the star, this will put the mount where it wants to be, your handset does allow for Polar Aligning on any star taken from a list shown on the handset i found this much better than creeping about on hands and knees looking through the Polar Scope, once done mark the point the tripod legs are on the ground so its easier to set-up next time your out....

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Thanks guys. Yep, the reticule is centred.

I could try moving the clutches, but I've been told by several people never to do that. Each to their own I supose. If it works, I'll do it! I rarely image in my garden. I'm mostly out with my astro group so my location is never exactly the same, so I can't mark the ground I'm afraid.

How do I use the handset to polar align??

Edited by Astrosurf
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Aligning with the HC depends on two things. 1, Is you HC a newer version that can be flashed, if not it may not have the Polar Align feature in that version of the firmware. and 2, if it is a flushable HC, make sure you have the firmware version 3.5 or later (I think) to use the Polar Align feature.

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Thanks Simon,

Mine's a few years old and has only been flashed once, but I can't remember what the version is. I'll have to check.

It was flahed by someone on here as I couldn't get it to work on my old laptop. Maybe it'll work on my new W8.1 laptop.

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Thanks Simon,

Mine's a few years old and has only been flashed once, but I can't remember what the version is. I'll have to check.

It was flahed by someone on here as I couldn't get it to work on my old laptop. Maybe it'll work on my new W8.1 laptop.

It should work on a Win8 PC.  Just remember to download both the latest firmware and the latest installer from here

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Alex probably a dumb question but where does a HEQ5 Pro start from ?

On a Meade the start is defined as Level and North, from this assumed position the scope can then slew to the first alignment star simply because it says (100% assumes) it started at L+N so the first alignment star should be at X,Y.

On iOptron the start is something like due South and something so again a defined start position from which movement can be determined.

However in all the talk of Skywatcher there never seems to be a defined start so how does the mount determine the amount of slew required.

Meaning I cannot see how the first star can or will ever be in view.

Edited by ronin
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As some one who has never done star alignments i've never really understood why people still do them. You should just download Astrotortilla and let it plate solve for you, makes things 100% easier!

Callum

OK, if you are connected by PC to the mount, but no good for HC only.

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Alex probably a dumb question but where does a HEQ5 Pro start from ?

On a Meade the start is defined as Level and North, from this assumed position the scope can then slew to the first alignment star simply because it says (100% assumes) it started at L+N so the first alignment star should be at X,Y.

In all the talk of Skywatcher there never seems to be a defined start so how does the mount determine the amount of slew required.

Meaning I cannot see how the first star can or will ever be in view.

The Start (or Home Position) on a SW Mount is counter weights down and scope over counter weights.

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Sounds as I would have expected, there are others I suppose, but no-one ever seems to mention placing the mount/scope in the start position. Added to which earlier systems seemed not to actually have one defined. People used to say you did not start a Skywatcher from a defined position - which always seemed strange.

Alex - check the data. I think there was a bug concerning the timezone.

Someone posted about a problem where the sign got changed by the software.

Logically should not make a difference as you should be 0 and +0 is/should be the same as -0, but I equally seem to recall that the mount likes -0 not +0. The latter is a distant memory and a bit of a vague recall, may have been Alt/Az software not EQ software, but check it.

It is I suspect a good idea to sit down and go through all the data that is present in the handset, write it down and then check each one. Looking at the handset means you can skip through it think those numbers look OK and miss something.

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I spent ages trying all sorts of polar alignment methods, and spent hours faffing about with astrotortilla too, and have come to the conclusion that none of them help, and are, in fact, over complication of what is essentially a simple task. I use PHD and drift align using this. It's dead easy and absolutely accurate. All PHD is used for is a visual record of which way the star is drifting. Yes, you need a PC connected, but if you want to do proper AP you should do that anyway.

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I spent ages trying all sorts of polar alignment methods, and spent hours faffing about with astrotortilla too, and have come to the conclusion that none of them help, and are, in fact, over complication of what is essentially a simple task. I use PHD and drift align using this. It's dead easy and absolutely accurate. All PHD is used for is a visual record of which way the star is drifting. Yes, you need a PC connected, but if you want to do proper AP you should do that anyway.

There are still a lot of people using drift aligning at set up using nothing more than their eyes and experience.  I agree it is still the most accurate way, but I would never be sure which direction I should be moving the mount with the Alt & Az bolts?

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Many thanks all. I had thought about a reticule EP. My judgement of distance is pretty good so I trusted myself to centre the star fairly accurately! But I should really be putting in my 8mm once the star is in view.

I'm looking into Astrotortilla at the mo but still need a lead to connect to the mount, which I can't afford at the mo.

I'll run through the handset's data, but I think an upgrade is in order. I've been managing to image and guide OK, it's just the accuracy of finding the object that needs improving now.

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To run the Handset Polar Align you need to do a 2 star align first then go back into the same menu and the Polar Align option will show up, i normally do 2 runs using different stars this gets me a flat graph in PHD.....only takes a few minutes....

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To run the Handset Polar Align you need to do a 2 star align first then go back into the same menu and the Polar Align option will show up, i normally do 2 runs using different stars this gets me a flat graph in PHD.....only takes a few minutes....

Do you start from home on your second pair of Polar Align stars, or do you just go from one pair to another?  I do the latter and it works well, but was wondering if there was any benefit to going to home before the second pair?

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There are still a lot of people using drift aligning at set up using nothing more than their eyes and experience.  I agree it is still the most accurate way, but I would never be sure which direction I should be moving the mount with the Alt & Az bolts?

Easy....it doesn't matter. All you do is get as close as you can before starting the drift alignment, calibrate PHD on a star, lock onto that star and let it guide, but with the guide output disabled. Watch which way it drifts. Then give whichever bolt corresponding to the axis you're aligning a good crank in any direction. Lock onto a star ( it doesn't need to be the same one, as this will have moved from your FOV, but there will most likely be another) again and see if the rate of drift is better or worse. If better, then you've gone the right way, if worse, the wrong way. Then just fine tune until there's very little drift after a couple of minutes. At this stage, there's no point trying to get zero drift as you will be moving on to the other axis, which will have some effect on the first. Just go between the axes a few times and get a minimal drift rate and you're done. Once you've done this a few times, you can be really accurately aligned in about 25 minutes.

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Easy....it doesn't matter. All you do is get as close as you can before starting the drift alignment, calibrate PHD on a star, lock onto that star and let it guide, but with the guide output disabled. Watch which way it drifts. Then give whichever bolt corresponding to the axis you're aligning a good crank in any direction. Lock onto a star ( it doesn't need to be the same one, as this will have moved from your FOV, but there will most likely be another) again and see if the rate of drift is better or worse. If better, then you've gone the right way, if worse, the wrong way. Then just fine tune until there's very little drift after a couple of minutes. At this stage, there's no point trying to get zero drift as you will be moving on to the other axis, which will have some effect on the first. Just go between the axes a few times and get a minimal drift rate and you're done. Once you've done this a few times, you can be really accurately aligned in about 25 minutes.

Not if I am doing it by eye?

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Not if I am doing it by eye?

It'll work just the same if you're doing it by eye, but if you're doing it by eye, I'm assuming you're observing visually and you don't need the accuracy of alignment that you need for AP. If not, then you must have a camera on the rig, so that's what you should use!!

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As some one who has never done star alignments i've never really understood why people still do them. You should just download Astrotortilla and let it plate solve for you, makes things 100% easier!

Callum

For that to work she should be near the target but by the sound of things, she can't even come close.

A.G

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