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bokchoy ninja

Unguided exposures with an EQ6-R

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Posted (edited)

Hello,

I'm just starting out with an EQ6-R and an ES 80mm Triplet. After polar-aligning my mount, I'm only getting 30 second exposures before I see significant streaking.

Granted, my polar alignment is a bit rough since I'm rotating my RA axis until I think the polarscope reticle is in a plus-sign orientation (with the counterweight straight down the reticle has a rotation offset). This introduces a small error that might affect the tracking.

I know that an option is to use the syscan polar alignment procedure, but this requires multistar alignment which needs stars near the horizon (and I'm on the patio where my FOV is limited). 

How long of unguided exposures can I expect with this mount/scope when I have perfect polar alignment? 30 seconds seems really short.

 

Edited by bokchoy ninja

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Given that I'm still in my return period for the mount, the biggest thing for me is just making sure I don't have a dud. 

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Have you calibrated/centred the polarscope? When I got mine the reticle was loose! I've never actually used it...

 

With a very good polar align (digital aid via Polemaster or Sharpcap) you should easily get 2/3 minutes unguided as that focal length is forgiving. It's a good mount but still considered "budget". Have you considered guiding? I can easily get 15 minute subs out of my AZEQ6 which is essentially the same internals are the EQ6-R.

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1 minute ago, david_taurus83 said:

Have you calibrated/centred the polarscope? When I got mine the reticle was loose! I've never actually used it...

 

With a very good polar align (digital aid via Polemaster or Sharpcap) you should easily get 2/3 minutes unguided as that focal length is forgiving. It's a good mount but still considered "budget". Have you considered guiding? I can easily get 15 minute subs out of my AZEQ6 which is essentially the same internals are the EQ6-R.

Thanks for the reply. I'm trying to go as far as I can without buying a polemaster or a guiding setup just yet, so just by improving my manual polar alignment technique.

I did align the reticle when I first got it, but perhaps I should check it in case it's been bumped out of alignment.

I'm sure I'm going to thank myself once I get a polemaster.

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With a Polemaster and careful alignment (EQMOD or using SynScan 3-star alignment) I've managed 120s, but touch-and-go on a 1000mm FL. On the ES you should manage much better. Guided should be <0.6-0.7" fairly consistently with good guiding input.

It'd be worth doing PPEC training before you throw it back, and I'd heartily recommend a Polemaster if you're doing semi-frequent alignment.

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11 hours ago, bokchoy ninja said:

Thanks for the reply. I'm trying to go as far as I can without buying a polemaster or a guiding setup just yet, so just by improving my manual polar alignment technique.

I did align the reticle when I first got it, but perhaps I should check it in case it's been bumped out of alignment.

I'm sure I'm going to thank myself once I get a polemaster.

Do a Drift Align by Robert Vice (DARV) using the DSLR. That'll sort out your Polar Alignment error.

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10 minutes ago, astrosathya said:

Do a Drift Align by Robert Vice (DARV) using the DSLR

+1 for the DARV polar alignment

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Polemaster is good but when you move over to a guided setup sharpcap gives exactly the same results for £10. really hard to justify the cost when for the same money you can get a cheap guide setup that is much more useful. 

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Posted (edited)

I normally get around 0.7 rms  while guiding after only using the polar scope of the az-eq6 for alignment, and I'm by no means experienced in this department.  I use an app to tell me where to posistion polaris on the scope.  Not sure what that would translate to for exposures unguided though.

Edited by scitmon
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I can get around 3 mins with EQM-35 pro, which for all intents and purposes is a 'lesser' mount than yours. I use a Skywatcher AP 80 Evostar.

If I am even a little bit careless in the polar alignment, I am lucky to get 1 min. With a lot of practice I am now able to polar align precisely enough for 2½ mins 'precision' within 6 or 7 mins. 

I usualy set up my polar alignment without counterweights or scope. But I always check when I have fitted the scope and counterweights, if I'm still good. Quite a few times I've had to re-adjust after adding weight to the mount. 

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Well, I realized I had the "diagonal" viewing option enabled on my polarfinder app, instead of "telescopic". So the view I was getting had the cross-hair flipped vertically and I had polaris placed wrong by 4 "hours". 

Can't wait until the weather cooperates so I can get out there and see if I can match the multi-minute subs I keep hearing about.

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3 minutes ago, bokchoy ninja said:

Well, I realized I had the "diagonal" viewing option enabled on my polarfinder app, instead of "telescopic". So the view I was getting had the cross-hair flipped vertically and I had polaris placed wrong by 4 "hours". 

Can't wait until the weather cooperates so I can get out there and see if I can match the multi-minute subs I keep hearing about.

Wonderful if you've got it all sorted.

However, if you're anything like me, you are likely to run into many more forehead-slapping mistakes in the future.

Forgot to tighten clutch. Infuriated that the mount wouldn't track properly.

Powercord not insertet properly in powertank, so it would occasionaly lose power but immediately come back on. Rage tantrums could be heard several blocks away.

To name but a few.

"Live and learn" is the creed by which many an amateur astronomer lives by. :)

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6 hours ago, Anthonyexmouth said:

Polemaster is good but when you move over to a guided setup sharpcap gives exactly the same results for £10. really hard to justify the cost when for the same money you can get a cheap guide setup that is much more useful. 

That's fair. My main qualm is that I don't want to have to set up a laptop in the "field" with me, at least for as long as I can hold out. A polemaster would allow me to set up the polar alignment quickly and then pack up the laptop without worrying about powering it or keeping dust out of it.

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31 minutes ago, George Gearless said:

Wonderful if you've got it all sorted.

However, if you're anything like me, you are likely to run into many more forehead-slapping mistakes in the future.

Forgot to tighten clutch. Infuriated that the mount wouldn't track properly.

Powercord not insertet properly in powertank, so it would occasionaly lose power but immediately come back on. Rage tantrums could be heard several blocks away.

To name but a few.

"Live and learn" is the creed by which many an amateur astronomer lives by. :)

Yea I expect you're right. At the moment I just want to make sure I don't have a "lemon" mount and that I can get ~ 2 minute subs unguided. Then I'll relax a bit and focus on technique rather than equipment.

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18 hours ago, bokchoy ninja said:

I'm only getting 30 second exposures before I see significant streaking.

Granted, my polar alignment is a bit rough

You have probably answered your own question 😉

 

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