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StuartJPP

From Horizon To Horizon (and beyond) With The Avalon M-Zero

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StuartJPP    4,554

I know some people aren't bothered about performing a meridian flip but if you don't need to do it then it is one less thing to worry about, one feature I really like about the Avalon single arm fork mounts.

This is my current setup and although it may look a bit clunky it has been designed in such a way so as to not to require a separate counterweight as the StarGo Controller is acting as a counterweight. The control box is also positioned in such a way that there are no possibility for cable snags which provides a 4 Port USB hub, power for the camera and 2 dew heater controllers.

Only requires is a 12V supply and a single USB port.

All in an effort to reduce the amount of set up time to imaging (circa 30 minutes).

 

 

 

05_Fitted.thumb.jpg.dbc04607d7158f130da287375e8cfbb6.jpg

 

06_Fitted.thumb.jpg.985b283b9ea4bce96a87aab8106bf1c3.jpg

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schmeah    148

Nice video. I agree regarding the Meridian flip. Simple, trouble free imaging is my goal. And the flip is just one additional potential fail. Waking up to an aborted session or having to discard subs is something that no longer happens since obtaining the M Uno.

 

Derek

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AKB    473

I have an M-Uno which has the StarGO box integrated into the mount in about the same place.  I think I'll try and follow your lead with the USB hub.  I do like the way that the wires can be routed through the RA axis – makes it very trouble-free.

 

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StuartJPP    4,554
On 07/06/2017 at 14:31, AKB said:

I have an M-Uno which has the StarGO box integrated into the mount in about the same place.  I think I'll try and follow your lead with the USB hub.  I do like the way that the wires can be routed through the RA axis – makes it very trouble-free.

 

I was trying to emulate where the M-Uno has it's StarGo controller. If the StarGo had a USB hub built in to it along with some power ports that would be great.

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Mr Spock    5,071

Nice, neat setup.

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The Admiral    1,330

Just a thought, Stuart, is it possible to set up the M-ZERO without sight of Polaris? I understand that it doesn't have the ability to do a multi-star alignment, is that a problem?

Ian

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ollypenrice    17,372

I don't have an optical setup appropriate for one of these mounts but, if I did, I'd be right in there!

Olly

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StuartJPP    4,554
1 hour ago, The Admiral said:

Just a thought, Stuart, is it possible to set up the M-ZERO without sight of Polaris? I understand that it doesn't have the ability to do a multi-star alignment, is that a problem?

Ian

Ian, I am not too sure as I always make sure I have a clear view of Polaris. With a clear view of Polaris I either use SharpCap's polar alignment functionality or PoleMaster with my QHY5L-II-M with a 25mm lens.

Without a clear view I can of course do drift alignment with PHD2 or alternatively I can use the Avalon X-Solver polar alignment tool which I haven't used before. Both would require a PC of course.

Would be nice to be able to polar align properly and quickly with no clear view of the poles.

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AKB    473

Actually, the latest versions of the StarGO software allow you to build up to a 24-star model of the sky. This is not the same, of course, as the polar alignment issue, but the you could always start with a best-guess and do drift alignment.

Plate solving can run either off-line with a local database or on-line using Astrometry.net.  You do, indeed, need a PC!

Latest manual download here: http://www.avalon-instruments.com/images/download/StarGO__User_Manual_Rev2.2.0.pdf

 

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StuartJPP    4,554

Theres a newer version 2.2.1.

http://www.avalon-instruments.com/images/download/StarGO User Manual Rev2.2.1-.pdf

I can't find it now, but the latest version of X-Solver also has a polar alignment function (P.ALIGN).There was a table indicating how many arc-minutes per turn each of the alt/azi bolts make for the different Avalon mounts. Not sure how well or quick it works though. Looks similar to how Astrotortilla does polar alignment. Unlike the PoleMaster or SharpCap it isn't realtime...hence the reason I always try to get a clear view of the NCP.

 

Hi all StarGo 5.2.3 version Installer has been released What's new! - New X-Solver Polar Alignment tool

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AKB    473
1 hour ago, AKB said:

You do, indeed, need a PC!

Actually, I'm wrong here too!

With the Bluetooth StarGO hardware you can run it from SkySafari on an Android phone, with the WiFi version you can do the same with an iPhone/iPad.

 

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StuartJPP    4,554
22 hours ago, AKB said:

Actually, I'm wrong here too!

With the Bluetooth StarGO hardware you can run it from SkySafari on an Android phone, with the WiFi version you can do the same with an iPhone/iPad.

 

I have used SkySafari over Bluetooth from my Android phone ro the StarGo controller and it works well for GOTO but I'd say that it is more useful in the ALT/AZI mode or for visual.

My netbook is only an 11" one so really isn't an issue and it gives you everything you need for an entire night's imaging.

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The Admiral    1,330
15 hours ago, StuartJPP said:

I have used SkySafari over Bluetooth from my Android phone ro the StarGo controller and it works well for GOTO but I'd say that it is more useful in the ALT/AZI mode or for visual.

My netbook is only an 11" one so really isn't an issue and it gives you everything you need for an entire night's imaging.

Forgive the beginner's question, but if you use a computer to target an object, does the computer have to remain in communication with the mount in order for it to track? In other words, does the mount  need to continue to receive positional information, or does it work it out for itself once it has been sent to a target? Also, I don't quite understand why it is better for Alt-Az than EQ.

Ian

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StuartJPP    4,554
4 hours ago, The Admiral said:

Forgive the beginner's question, but if you use a computer to target an object, does the computer have to remain in communication with the mount in order for it to track? In other words, does the mount  need to continue to receive positional information, or does it work it out for itself once it has been sent to a target? Also, I don't quite understand why it is better for Alt-Az than EQ.

Ian

On the M-Zero, the unit powers up not tracking (for some reason) but as soon as you push a button on the hand controller or perform a slew or anything similar, the RA motor will continue to track at Sidereal (or lunar/solar etc.) rates in EQ mode at which point you could disconnect everything barring the power and it will continue to track.

In ALT/AZI mode basically the same thing happens but I think you have to perform a few goto/sync operations so that it knows where it is pointing. After that I assume both RA and DEC will run at the required rates to keep the object in the eyepiece however I haven't use the mount in ALT/AZI mode at all (and possibly never will). Android or a PC would be required to goto different objects in this mode.

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Beeko    12

Don't forget you can connect a laptop via wifi to reduce cables!

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The Admiral    1,330
On 2017-6-16 at 18:56, StuartJPP said:

Theres a newer version 2.2.1.

http://www.avalon-instruments.com/images/download/StarGO User Manual Rev2.2.1-.pdf

I can't find it now, but the latest version of X-Solver also has a polar alignment function (P.ALIGN).There was a table indicating how many arc-minutes per turn each of the alt/azi bolts make for the different Avalon mounts. Not sure how well or quick it works though. Looks similar to how Astrotortilla does polar alignment. Unlike the PoleMaster or SharpCap it isn't realtime...hence the reason I always try to get a clear view of the NCP.

 

Hi all StarGo 5.2.3 version Installer has been released What's new! - New X-Solver Polar Alignment tool

A bit late in replying I know, but having now got my head around it I see this won't help if you are a DSLR user.

What is needed is a version of ASPA I guess. May be Alignmaster would do the job?

Ian

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MattJenko    2,256

Looks like you could choose a target and just continuously image for weeks on end and just discard the subs taken through the Earth!

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