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I have just bought a heq5 pro and I have some questions...
I have watched many astronomy videos and almost all of them uses a small level tool to level out all three legs on the mount. But on many mounts like the heq5 pro there is a built In bubble leveler..
Is it better to use a small level tool than the bubble?
2. Polar align.
I have read and watched many polar align videos but I'm still insecure on how I should do it...
The mount has a RA index scale, and a date circle. What I have understood is that those are for enter date and time to find Polaris, right?
But do I have to use those scales if I use a polar finder app that tells me were to put Polaris in my polar scope? Like the photo below
After this I should do 3 star alignment for more accurate tracking (I only have dslr to align with) right?
3. Home position.
This is needed right? if so, how does it work and how do I do it?
I was asked on a Swedish forum to put an "Astronomical Dictionary" on my homepage. I have made a test page in an easy form. Astronomical related words linked to wikipedia.
It aims to the beginners in astronomy so it should not be too complicated words.
Let me know if it's useful and and I shall add more words.
I am having trouble with the settings of my Orion Intelliscope system. I am supposed to calibrate the intelliscope with 2 stars distant from at least 60 degrees.
Could someone tell me if the 2 stars I am using (Procyon & Aldebaran) are at least 60 degrees apart from eachother? Using the fist/finger way of measuring seems to me that they are just over 60 degrees.
I am having wrap errors of 3.4 so that is quite a lot. Maybe another issue is that my balcony is not totally flat.
Thanks for your confirmation.
Perhaps DIYers will be interested in a low cost guiding setup for EQ2 mounts. I'm not sure if this approach has been tried before, but it's relatively straightforward to implement and is certainly low cost.
In early 2016 I purchased a Meade Polaris 130 scope, complete with EQ2 mount and Economy RA (clockwork) motor drive with the intention of trying out astrophotography at a low entry cost. Very quickly the prime focus problem arose - so the scope was shortened by 40mm. With this mod 30 second exposures very not too difficult, with 60 seconds sometimes successful. Of course the problem was tracking.
Rather than spend time taking lots of 30 second exposures and knowing that longer exposures were really the way forward, I decided to investigate the Economy RA Motor to see if it could be modified in some way for guiding. The answer soon became apparent - yes it could (with very simple mods) but I had no idea how well it would work.
Next steps were to look for a way to guide the motor - an Orion mini guide scope and Microsoft Cinema webcam (modified of course) plus a Raspberry PI with Lin_guider were relatively painless to get going and the results were good. However, DEC drift could still cause star trails, so a bit of thought came up with the idea of using an Economy RA Motor as a DEC motor, again to be controlled by the Raspberry PI.
This evening the setup was given its for test for dual axis guiding (5 min RA guiding had been successful previously). Not the best sky - very bright due to the moon and clouds appearing. Still, taking no time for polar alignment other than to point the scope slightly to one side of the pole star, a guide star was found, guiding started, guiding gain etc adjusted and a couple of images taken before the clouds got in the way.
Results - no doubt as seasoned astrophotographers would expect, DEC guiding just needs a bit of correcting from time to time - the gain of Lin_guider had to be brought down to stop oscillation. RA guiding takes much more frequent corrections, again with a low gain for my setup.
My aim with the mods was to see if such a low cost and basic setup could be made to guide - also at a low cost and with simple equipment/mods. On the face of things it is not too involved and I hope that it will be useful to those who don't want to jump into the expense of more mainstream equipment. It could also be a low cost learning curve into guided astrophotography for those who have already purchased a scope with EQ2 mount.
Next steps for me is to find (hopefully!) some clear skies for a chance at decent imaging. Weight hasn't been added to the mount as yet - this should improve stability although the short 650mm focal length is a help when it comes to stability and guiding errors.
Below is a 5 minute (bright) single image taken this evening with dual axis guiding (at 100 ASA due to the moon). The central star seems reasonably round, though coma affects other stars towards the edge of the image. I've also attached diagrams of the setup and another earlier 5 minute single image taken with RA only guiding.
By Stub Mandrel
This is a thread for those whose subs rarely if ever exceed 2 minutes long, often shorter, with relatively low total exposure time to discuss tips and techniques for image processing.
Whether your an Alt-Az imager battling field rotation, you have issues with polar alignment or you have a relatively small, unguided mount you will often be faced with the challenge of getting the most out of relatively sparse data. The No-EQ Challenge thread has shown that even twenty minutes of sub-minute exposures can give good results.
I think some of the things we could discuss are:
We can't get rid of noise, but how can we keep its effects under control
What are the best tools for short exposure images and what settings are best?
Different types of software and their pros and cons
What percentage of subs should we stack? (e.g. can we use a greater proportion of subs to reduce noise while letting sigma delta keep our stars round?)
Ways of boosting faint background detail
What sort of standard should we be aiming for
And anything else