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Polar Alignment Options - electronic


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Hi Guys, 

My knees always complain when trying to polar align and my eyesight isn't so great that trying to move the little white dot around the red screen is easy. So i am looking for an electronic solution. to polar alignment. 

I've heard Sharpcap works well, but as I use DSLR I think that is out.?

So what does that leave? Ipolar ? - wrong mount with my HEQ5 Pro and Polemaster seems so expensive i might just as well get an ASIAIR for the functionality at similar (ish) cost.

What do you guys use ? - is there anything I am missing which I should consider ? 

Thanks in advance. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Coriorda said:

Hi Guys, 

My knees always complain when trying to polar align and my eyesight isn't so great that trying to move the little white dot around the red screen is easy. So i am looking for an electronic solution. to polar alignment. 

I've heard Sharpcap works well, but as I use DSLR I think that is out.?

So what does that leave? Ipolar ? - wrong mount with my HEQ5 Pro and Polemaster seems so expensive i might just as well get an ASIAIR for the functionality at similar (ish) cost.

What do you guys use ? - is there anything I am missing which I should consider ? 

Thanks in advance. 

 

A DSLR shouldn't stop you in any way I don't think. I've used my DSLR for polar alignment in Ekos and I think Sharpcap has a similar method. The camera will be clicking a bit to show the update but it's perfectly doable. If you've got a guiding solution you can use that camera too.

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3 minutes ago, Shimonu said:

A DSLR shouldn't stop you in any way I don't think. I've used my DSLR for polar alignment in Ekos and I think Sharpcap has a similar method. The camera will be clicking a bit to show the update but it's perfectly doable. If you've got a guiding solution you can use that camera too.

Everything i read online seems to say Sharpcap doesn't support DSLR, maybe I've missed something - but will check out EKOS _ thank you for that., I don't use guiding at present, so has to be via the dslr or a stick on solution like polemaster i think. 

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2 minutes ago, Coriorda said:

Everything i read online seems to say Sharpcap doesn't support DSLR, maybe I've missed something - but will check out EKOS _ thank you for that., I don't use guiding at present, so has to be via the dslr or a stick on solution like polemaster i think. 

Ah, I haven't looked at it so what you've found is probably true

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8 minutes ago, Coriorda said:

No, I thought that was just for Guiding, I haven't progressed to that just yet : ) 

iirc you can use it to polar align been a few years mind you

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25 minutes ago, Coriorda said:

Polemaster seems so expensive i might just as well get an ASIAIR

I have an ASIair but I still PA with a PoleMaster. The downside is I have to take my laptop out when I first set up but then the upside is I get a very good PA. I've tried the PA routine in ASIair but prefer the PoleMaster. I don't guide either so a good PA is essential and the PoleMaster has proved to be money well spent.

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3 minutes ago, Adreneline said:

I have an ASIair but I still PA with a PoleMaster. The downside is I have to take my laptop out when I first set up but then the upside is I get a very good PA. I've tried the PA routine in ASIair but prefer the PoleMaster. I don't guide either so a good PA is essential and the PoleMaster has proved to be money well spent.

Thanks that really useful to hear, I had assumed with ASIAIR that it would be a "one stop shop", but interesting you prefer the PA routine in Polemaster. - it obviously must work well for you. Thank you 

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15 minutes ago, Budgie1 said:

There the right angled eyepiece from FLO.

But if you're spending money then you may as well go for a guide camera and guide scope as they can work out the same price as something like iPolar, but you can guide and polar align with it. ;)

The right angle will cure my knees, but still left with my dodgy eyesight :) .   Are you saying Guide cam & scope + sharpcap  vs Polemaster or ASIAIR then ? hmmm  what do you use ? 

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2 minutes ago, Coriorda said:

The right angle will cure my knees, but still left with my dodgy eyesight :) .   Are you saying Guide cam & scope + sharpcap  vs Polemaster or ASIAIR then ? hmmm  what do you use ? 

I started with wet knees, same as you. :D 

I then got a ZWO ASI120MM Mini camera which I fitted to a 9x50 finder scope and used that for guiding. I now have a SVBony 60mm guide scope with the ASI120MM Mini attached to a bar mounted on top of the main scope. I use SharpCap Pro to polar align and then switch over to PHD2 for guiding.

If you don't have a spare finder scope then you can get it as a bundle from FLO (when it's all in stock ;) ).

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20 minutes ago, Budgie1 said:

I started with wet knees, same as you. :D 

I then got a ZWO ASI120MM Mini camera which I fitted to a 9x50 finder scope and used that for guiding. I now have a SVBony 60mm guide scope with the ASI120MM Mini attached to a bar mounted on top of the main scope. I use SharpCap Pro to polar align and then switch over to PHD2 for guiding.

If you don't have a spare finder scope then you can get it as a bundle from FLO (when it's all in stock ;) ).

Thank you- how do you find the 120MM? - you use this guiding / platesolving ? - And Sharpcap pro- is this a straightforward as it looks on Youtube. ??

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24 minutes ago, Coriorda said:

I had assumed with ASIAIR that it would be a "one stop shop"

I think it could be but ....

The PA routine in the ASIair assumes the optical axis of the mount and the optical axis of the OTA are in exact alignment - as I understand it the whole idea with PA is to align the mount and not the OTA.

 

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3 minutes ago, Coriorda said:

Thank you- how do you find the 120MM? - you use this guiding / platesolving ? - And Sharpcap pro- is this a straightforward as it looks on Youtube. ??

For the size of the sensor it's quite good. In PHD2 when guiding on a 2 second exposure I can see the core of M31 with it and the same with M81 & M82.

I only use it for PA and guiding. Plate Solving is done through the main camera.

SharpCap is very easy and I'm normally polar aligned in less than 5 minutes and you can get it very accurate. It costs £10 a year for the Pro licence in SharpCap but you get more than just the polar alignment with that.

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30 minutes ago, Adreneline said:

I think it could be but ....

The PA routine in the ASIair assumes the optical axis of the mount and the optical axis of the OTA are in exact alignment - as I understand it the whole idea with PA is to align the mount and not the OTA.

 

Well that's news to me - I thought the step in the PA routine where you swivel the mount in RA, calculates the centre of rotation of the mount irrespective of where the OTA is pointing. Thanks

 

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27 minutes ago, Budgie1 said:

For the size of the sensor it's quite good. In PHD2 when guiding on a 2 second exposure I can see the core of M31 with it and the same with M81 & M82.

I only use it for PA and guiding. Plate Solving is done through the main camera.

SharpCap is very easy and I'm normally polar aligned in less than 5 minutes and you can get it very accurate. It costs £10 a year for the Pro licence in SharpCap but you get more than just the polar alignment with that.

Thanks that's really helpful! Ill focus on the £10/year, and try and forget about the £250 for camera/ guide scope   :)

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