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Jammy

NEQ6 Synscan 'polar align' feature

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I've had my NEQ6 a few years now and have always aligned using the 3 star alignment for visual, and then using the 'polar align' feature if I want to use a camera.

Recently I've discovered drift alignment (still getting my north/south east/west mixed up).  I've managed to get really good alignment this way a few times now, although I do find the time it takes frustrating.

I've used the synscan 'polar align' where you use the position of a star to correctly align the az and dec, and then followed this with drift alignment to see how accurate the 'polar align' feature is.  I've tried this a few times now, and have to say it is poor in comparison to drift aligning.

I'm wondering if it's just my mount that has inaccurate software, or are they all like it?  If I hadn't tried drift aligning, I'd never have known!

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Drift aligning tends to provide the most accurate because it is working with the actual movement of your mount, in your location, and set up the way you set it up that night. I tend to find that other methods like synscan or polar scopes are approximates that get you close. I use Sharpcap's polar align feature which, again, gets me close but not as good as drift align. That said, I guide using PHD rather than mount driven guiding so 'close' is good enough for PHD to make corrections

Edited by UKJay1971
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I wonder how well you would do with a Polemaster? Supposed to be very accurate and much quicker than drift aligning.

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I use an Neq6 with polemaster and have managed 30 min subs without any field rotation to speak of.

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I have recently been polar aligning using an Altair Astro GPCAM and Sharpcap with very good results. It is very easy and quick but you need a decent astro cam, a finder/guide scope and a laptop.

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1 hour ago, geordie85 said:

I use an Neq6 with polemaster and have managed 30 min subs without any field rotation to speak of.

Does it take long to set up polemaster?

I've seen the polemaster mentioned elsewhere and assumed it works the same way as the synscan polar align.

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1 hour ago, D Wright said:

I have recently been polar aligning using an Altair Astro GPCAM and Sharpcap with very good results. It is very easy and quick but you need a decent astro cam, a finder/guide scope and a laptop.

I didn't know that Sharpcap could be used for aligning?

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I do use PHD2 but unless I drift align first it warns that alignment is poor after just using the Synscan.

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21 minutes ago, Jammy said:

Does it take long to set up polemaster?

I've seen the polemaster mentioned elsewhere and assumed it works the same way as the synscan polar align.

I've never used the synscan polar align. It really is as simple as clicking a few stars and rotating your mount. Once that's done, a couple of mount adjustments and your done. Takes between 5 and 10 mins from plugging in to being done.

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Polemaser is £200+ ,Sharpcap Polar align using your existing PHD Camera is free and just as accurate -  SharpCap vs Polemaster by StuartJPP - no contest !!! 

 

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13 hours ago, stash_old said:

Polemaser is £200+ ,Sharpcap Polar align using your existing PHD Camera is free and just as accurate -  SharpCap vs Polemaster by StuartJPP - no contest !!! 

 

Precisely - no difference in outcomes (apart from money). I use an ST80 with an Altair GPCam 2 mono and a 0.5x reducer so the guidescope becomes F/2.5 which is plenty fast enough for alignment. 

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Yet to try the Sharpcap polar align.  Last night I managed to have a try with PHD2 drift alignment feature.

I bit awkward to use as it dosn't give definitive movements.  As the software knows how far away the star is from where it should be in your image it could tell where to move it to in the image, or am I being too simplistic?

I'll give Sharpcap a try next.

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