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Hi guys

always striving for better polar alignment I was wondering whether anyone had used the polar alignment feature on Shapcap Pro.

I realise it is only about £10 per annum to get the pro version .

How easy and accurate is it to use?

thanks

Will

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Find it very easy to use appears to be very accurate, the "point" moves if I stand on the paving slab which one of the tripod legs sits on.

Chris

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Best £10 I have spent in the hobby yet.

You will not regret it.

Super simple, let it plate solve, rotate the scope 90 degrees, click next and then make the adjustments it tells you to. All the time its resolving and updating.

Edited by upahill

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You could of course spend 250GBP on another product that does the same thing and is not any more precise ? 

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Another BIG + for Sharpcap Pro and Polar alignment.  It just works so quickly and you don't even have to have your mount powered on. You can be in excellent alignment in less than 4 minutes. Best £10 I spent on astro software.  If you are quick you can download the current Beta and try out the Polar Alignment tool for free.  I think it times out the end of October after that its back to paying for it.

In fact I have just this week renewed my pro licence for a second year and got 2 extra months free.

Edited by wornish
  • Thanks 1

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I use it as I can't see Polaris through my polar-scope over my roof, so have to have my scope 45 degs east or west, then swing it 90 degs, it works perfectly most times, I may have to tweak the settings a bit for it to recognise enough stars. As others have said it's great for PA and with all the additional features being added it's getting better all the time. Well worth £10 a year.

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Another +1 for Sharpcap pro. So easy to use and accurate. I have had polar alignment of 1-2 arc seconds and consequently got subs of 5 minutes unguided.

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Ideally yes , you need to be within 5 arc minutes  I think it is , once you are then the image will solve and you will see the yellow circles then you know your on the right path 

Edited by bottletopburly

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22 hours ago, stash_old said:

You could of course spend 250GBP on another product that does the same thing and is not any more precise ? 

I have the Polemaster but ironically I use it just for Sharpcaps polar align as it's more accurate! I get sub arc second guiding this way. Have yet to test it's accuracy when used via the guudescope.

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7 hours ago, William Jones said:

Does the first image taken using SharpCap Pro need to have the pole star in it?

Ideally yes as already said but it works just as well if its out of the frame..

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Tried the polar alignment feature on SharpCap Pro.

Failed miserably.

I even had Polaris in the fov 

Would not detect enough stars to plate solve. I tried it for about 90 mins in total but it would not get to the plate solve.

what am I doing wrong?

I tried exposures from 2secs up to 6secs.

Adjusted the gain, but all to no avail.

Totally frustrated.

Any help would be very much appreciated 

Will

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Check out the troubleshooting guide

https://www.sharpcap.co.uk/sharpcap/features/polar-alignment/polar-alignment-troubleshooting

If that doesn't help then capture a couple of images by using the 'snapshot' button and share them with me and I will have a look to see if I can work out why they are not working.

cheers,

Robin

PS. At the IAS show this weekend, so may be able to look in detail until after the weekend.

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Im using the GPCAM too, it took me some tweaking to get the images to solve the first time.
If you are getting clear stars in the preview then maybe try tweaking the star detection settings in the polar alignment screen. Off the top of my head thats where I got hung up.
Also a dark library if you havent already done it really helps. Cant look up my settings at the moment as the astropc is in the car :(

First time I tried it I was so out of focus I didn't realise I was trying to plate solve hot pixels ?

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Same here, I use the the colour GPCAM too. That model is not that sensitive so I use maximum gain and 4 second exposures. As mentioned above darks are important. Sharpcap has a function for capturing and averaging darks so if you capture say 10 and then apply that'll only take less than a minute, and your frames will have no hot pixels to confuse the polar alignment plate solver. I'll have a look for my settings as well when I get back tomorrow, but you do have to tweak them sometimes according to sky conditions.

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Here's the settings I used last night. AR030C GPCAM, Skywatcher Finderscope, 4sec exposures, maximum gain:

7399090_PolarAlign.thumb.jpg.a6979e59b208f0e00f7c3b46a6be970c.jpg

Hope that helps.

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Thats a great bit of info,many thanks for that.

Do you happen to know with your setup using the Skywatcher findersope and  AR030C GPCAM what the FOV is at all ?

Will

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