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JBracegirdle

SynScan Alignment using Plate Solver

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I've been reading posts about using plate solving for alignment but haven't really got it to work. I was wondering anyone was using plate solving for alignment with SynScan Pro?

I have been doing a rough polar alignment with the red dot finder on Polaris, then using SharpCap's Polar Alignment method for accurate polar alignment through my imaging camera. I don't have a guide camera. I can get the SharpCap's Polar Alignment to be "Excellent" with patience (although I sometimes settle for "Good").

When the AZ GTe mount is in polar alignment I have been using 2 star alignment and the cross-hairs in the video image of SharpCap to center the star. Sometime the alignment is so far I out I have to use the red-dot finder to see where the star is as it's not in the 60 by 40 arc seconds of my image frame. I was wondering if I can use plate-solving to do alignment?

I have tried solve and sync in SharpCap and it solves but doesn't seem to re-center after the solve. I have ticked the option in the settings and re-started the program. I have tried AstroTortilla's "Capture and Solve" function with the options "sync scope", "re-slew to target", and "repeat until within 0.1 arc minutes" selected. That seems to work after 5 or so plate solving and re-slew cycles, but it doesn't get much closer than 20 arc seconds and takes longer than manual alignment using the image and cross-hairs in SharpCap.

Is there a better way to align when using a video/ZWO camera?

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Not sure how it works with AZ GTe in EQ mode...
But I always use SharpCap to set alignment points for EQMOD and my NEQ6 mount, I find it the best and the fastest way to Start.

SharpCap also has location options, - I have ticked the box, - get location from the Mount (as I remember).

As I do not use handset, my Location alt/long details are entered in the EQMOD and in the Stellarium.

As a platesolver for SharpCap I use All Sky Platesolver.

And yes, sometimes, after mount slews to the target and misses a bit, once I press button "platesolve and sync", - it platesolves, but Not centers on the target... Not sure why.

But even if it not re-centers, - it always updates the Stellarium and shows the exact position of the scope, -

so I simply press CTRL+1 (Slew to target) again in the Stellarium and in 90% of the times, - scopes gets spot on on the target, 10% -  very very close.

If I want to start fast, I do at least 2 syncs on one side of the meridian around the future target and at least 1 on another side, - but the more syncs, the better, EQMOD is able to handle around 1000 or 2000 sync points... do not remember, - never reached even 500. :)
I hope it helps

Edited by RolandKol
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Assuming you use Eqmod I would highly recommend using APT , and get the platesolving set up in it , so PA in sharpcap as normal slew mount to target area ?take a picture , then platesolve using BLINDSOLVE  in APT , sync >then slew to your target it’s very accurate I don’t even use a finder scope anymore , you can still see on carte du ciel where your mounts pointing .

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Thanks for your replies. My mount is connected by WiFi, it's not supported by EQmod and I couldn't find anyone talking about a way to get it to work.

I use the ASCOM SynScanMobile driver. It looks like I'm going to have to stick to manual alignment, it works at least.

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