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Interstellarshaw88

HEQ5 help...

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Hi all I'm hoping I could get some help with my heq5 mount with regards to polar aligning, how important is this to be 100 percent accurate with regards to imaging ? 

At the moment I've been using my phones comppass to align it with Polaris and then using ascom to align it up. But my question is how long exposures should I be able to manage without the stars starting to drift.... I've actually only had it out a few times with regards to the silly uk weather and managed to get some half decent pics of m42 as I thought I would have ago at a easyish target to start out on I'm managing roughly between 100-140 seconds without the stars becoming unable to use realistically pin point stars about 80 seconds but I've been told I should be able to get up to about 300 seconds before anything is this true ??

 

also with the polar scope reticule how's best to test this is bang in the centre as I'm sure it seems slightly out and that I'm thinking could throw my stars out but why after such a period ?

 

ive never really used the setting clocks as I've been using ascom so not really needed too,

 

also one more final point I'm a little worried that all my gear and when I add guiding my mount not be able to take all the weight what is the maximum weight for this scope for imaging ??

as I've been thinking of seeing if I could px with somebody for a neq6 but unsure of that at mo 

Also I've attached a image of said m42 that is 16 subs at 120seconds and 10 darks 120 Seconds 

thanks Darren 

 

 

image.jpeg

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300 seconds should be achievable with autoguiding. You want your polar alignment to be close, say around  an arc-minute or so but it need not be perfect. Some say it is best to be off a bit so you can set your autoguider to correct in one direction only on declination.

After you sort out your polar alignment, which minimises your declination drift, periodic error, which affects RA, is your next enemy and autoguiding should fix that.

What do you mean when you say you used ASCOM to align it up? Did it involve adjusting the altitude and azimuth bolts on the mount?

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Exposure length, before which effects start showing up, depends on your image scale, accuracy of polar alignment and target position.

In my case PE kicks in long before any drift related to polar alignment starts showing.

In order to make any measure of exposure length vs visible drift due to polar alignment you need some guiding equipment (at least guider/planetary camera, even modded webcam, no need for whole setup).

There is good little app that can help with precise polar alignment (drift method) and give you figures to use in order to calculate max exposure time. It can be used with guider/planetary/web camera mounted at prime focus (at setup stage before mounting your shooting cam).

EQAlign is the name of the app. You can do drift alignment with any kind of guiding app that has ability to track star and produce logs/trends. There is tutorial for PHD2 for doing this on youtube.

If autoguiding polar alignment is not critical (I don't drift align in that case for my exposure lengths), and even some people prefer to have slight misalignment in order to have dec drift only in one direction (avoids backlash). Only thing to worry about in this case is field rotation (it will happen over very long exposure, for shorter exposures it is not an issue since stacking software will correct rotation between frames)

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5 hours ago, Interstellarshaw88 said:

also one more final point I'm a little worried that all my gear and when I add guiding my mount not be able to take all the weight what is the maximum weight for this scope for imaging ??

as I've been thinking of seeing if I could px with somebody for a neq6 but unsure of that at mo 

Also I've attached a image of said m42 that is 16 subs at 120seconds and 10 darks 120 Seconds 

thanks Darren 

Hi
It might help if you could mention what all the kit is that you are intending to put on it, you don't mention what your telescope is, your camera or what your using for guiding, etc

The Heq5 pro has I think a recommended weight capacity of 15kgs, however you don't really want to be loading it up to it's max if imaging, you would probably be ok around 12kg (but I do stand to be corrected if need be):icon_biggrin:

Regards
James

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Hi all sorry for the late reply not had access to the Internet for a few days.... About blumming killed me haha anyway....

my scope is a 102 Altair triplet pro and as I've said I've got a heq5 I'm imaging with a canon 500d modded, if I'm honest I have no idea when it comes to arc pixels ect.

as for what I was thinking of adding for guiding is a skywatcher st80 scope and a qhy5 ll it's all being run of a laptop.

 

what is the best method of setting everything up ? I seem to be doing it different each time I take it out and I don't seem to be getting any quicker and taking me a very long time to get everything sorted is this normal ?

 

sorry for all the newbie questions 

 

 

Darren 

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5 minutes ago, Interstellarshaw88 said:

as for what I was thinking of adding for guiding is a skywatcher st80 scope and a qhy5 ll it's all being run of a laptop.

If you haven't already purchased the guiding gear, have a think about attaching a QHY5 camera to a finderscope. Plenty of people here have done it (me included) and it'll keep the weight down on your HEQ5. I use a QHY5LII mono camera attached to a Skywatcher 9x50mm finder scope. Have a search for 'finder guiders' on internet.

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10 minutes ago, Interstellarshaw88 said:

what is the best method of setting everything up ? I seem to be doing it different each time I take it out and I don't seem to be getting any quicker and taking me a very long time to get everything sorted is this normal ?

Set up is a bit of a beast to get consistently right without troubles. Write each step you do in order and be detailed i.e plug the same usb into the same usb port everytime. Start software in the same order every time.

My set up workflow is...

1. Use spirit level to level mount and roughly point North
2. When Polaris is visible, align mount so Polaris is in center of cross hairs and there is equal range of movement on Az bolts
3. Attach telescope, weights, camera, finder scope. Ensuring telescope is correctly pointing up at home position. (Have saddle bolts facing up and telescope pointing right (East))
4. Balance scope
5. Focus camera
6. Attach cables
7. Secure cables
8. Plug cables into PC in order and position as before
9. Power on mount
10. Start EQASCOM_RUN 
11. Polar align using EQMOD routine using ‘procedure 2 – semi automatic’
12. Stop / Restart EQMOD_Run 
13. Start APT and connect camera 
14. Open up CdC
15. Open Astrotortilla
16. Open PHD2

If you follow the same steps to set up each time you'll soon have it down to a fine and 'quicker' art. :happy6:

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