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Geoff_L

What's happend to Alignmaster?

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Hi All,

Over the weekend I decided to buy Alignmaster to make PA on my EQ5 a little easier. However, the website (http://www.alignmaster.de/) returns the text "Website offline". Does anyone know whether this is temporary? If not, are there any budget alternatives?

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I don’t know about the Alignmaster website, but I do know that the best quick fix to aid PA is the QHY PoleMaster. Hardly budget, but well worth every penny. There are also new PA tools in PHD2 that would be worth investigating. I haven’t used them, but have read of their existence.

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29 minutes ago, Geoff_L said:

Hi All,

Over the weekend I decided to buy Alignmaster to make PA on my EQ5 a little easier. However, the website (http://www.alignmaster.de/) returns the text "Website offline". Does anyone know whether this is temporary? If not, are there any budget alternatives?

I've just started using the paid version of sharpcap. £10 . you need a or ccd/cmos , wont work with DSLR but its so easy to use. 

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Thanks guys.

Polemaster is outside my budget. However, I'll take a look at sharpcap (I already have the free version) as I have a basic CMOS webcam (Bresser Mikrokular HD) that I'm planning to re-purpose for guiding.

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And another vote for SharpCap pro, I have seen it in action and it works!

So much so I have just upgraded from the free version ready for a trip to dark skies in North Devon.

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If you are using a QHY5 as your guide camera then you have the option of using either SharpCap or indeed Polemaster software (download from the QHY site) for polar alignment. Both are easy to use.

EDIT:

I have just discovered that I have been using very old software/firmware and that QHY have now blocked the use of the QHY5 and Polemaster Software. I can sort of understand why they would do this but it means that the new Go-To solution is SharpCap and any of the basic cameras from other manufacturers as well as QHY.

Edited by BargeGazer
Corrected Information
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Tip......When using Sharp Caps polar align and it asks you to rotate the scope through 90 degrees use the drive and not the release clutch to do this.

 

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I think the same applies to PoleMaster.

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+1 for SharpCap pro, does exactly the same as Polemaster for a tenner!

I have achieved PA accuracy to within 15" with SharpCap pro, not completely necessary but was a fun and satisfying achievement. Imagine trying to achieve that 10 years ago? We are now spoiled these with great technology throughout our great hobby.

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4 minutes ago, primordial atom said:

+1 for SharpCap pro, does exactly the same as Polemaster for a tenner!

It doesn't really.  

I use an OAG so can't use SharpCap Pro as my FL is too long.  You really need to be using a short FL guide scope to use it.  I can swap my Polemaster to any one of my setups in seconds without a thought about focal length or what camera I am using.

They are actually very different things, but if you meet the necessary criteria for SharpCap, it works pretty well.

For imaging, if I can't use or don't have my Polemaster, then I use PHD2 drift align.

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I use it with my main imaging scope at an effective 650 fl so it doesn't need to be a guide scope at all.

I reckon that is probably the limit, anything longer than wouldn't have the fov required

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29 minutes ago, primordial atom said:

I use it with my main imaging scope at an effective 650 fl so it doesn't need to be a guide scope at all.

I reckon that is probably the limit, anything longer than wouldn't have the fov required

If it works for you at that FL (I assume you have a large sensor camera to get the required FOV) then £10 well spent.  It is still very different from the Polemaster which will work on pretty well anything, including SCT's with OAG's, but of course so is the price.

Robin himself recommends a FL of ~200mm if using the QHY5 or ZWO120 etc. (popular guide cams). 

Edited by RayD

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Hi Ray,

I have an AA 115 apo with 0.79x reducer and an ASI1600 giving me 1.2 x 1.6 deg fov.

I discussed this with Robin at IAS last year and said it would be on the limit and to be honest sometimes I need to just change the view slightly before the plate solving will work.

 

We may have digressed slightly from the topic of this thread sorry, I will post my findings about fl etc in a more appropriate thread.

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4 minutes ago, primordial atom said:

Hi Ray,

I have an AA 115 apo with 0.79x reducer and an ASI1600 giving me 1.2 x 1.6 deg fov.

I discussed this with Robin at IAS last year and said it would be on the limit and to be honest sometimes I need to just change the view slightly before the plate solving will work.

 

We may have digressed slightly from the topic of this thread sorry, I will post my findings about fl etc in a more appropriate thread.

No not at all, certainly no apology needed.  It is always good to have everyone's input and experiences.  

I have SharpCap Pro and think it is very good, I just thought it necessary to point out to the OP that you need to meet certain criteria for it to work (properly), which he may not meet as we don't know what he is using.  Polemaster will work on a EQ5 mount whatever he is imaging with which is what makes it so different to SharpCap, but that does come at a price, as noted earlier by someone else.

I think it is important to note that each has a place, and each works.

As you say, you are on the limit at those figures.

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