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Sharpcap, DSLR and main scope polar alignment

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No questions but thought my experience with PA using Sharpcap and a Canon 800D might be of help to some.

Although I thought I was nailing Polar Alignment with a polar scope on my Fornax Lightrack, I could not get longer subs than 150secs.  I considered buying a Polemaster but I thought was a bit pricey, so looked at a small guide scope and a webcam solution with Sharpcap which was a good bit cheaper.  

Researching Sharpcap and DSLRs, I read that PA might be possible with my WO ZS73 (430mm) main scope.  I needed to install the ASCOM platform and then the DSLR Camera Setup for Ascom and, of course, Sharpcap.  Sharpcap recognised my 800D camera and I completed an "Excellent" PA within minutes.  On the first night I managed 180sec subs and experimented with 240sec - all nice round stars.  How far can I go?  I had done a manual PA first which was a fair bit off from the Sharpcap PA, so not as nailed on as I thought!

I'd rather not be using a laptop but I can't argue against the results.

I hope that might be useful for some.


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Just to add to this.  I've discovered ASCOM is not required (my Antivirus didn't like the DSLR Camera Setup driver which is a 3rd Party offering and not provided by ASCOM). 

Instead, take images using EOSUtility and save to a suitable folder on your PC.  Nominate that folder in Sharpcap under Camera>Folder Monitor Camera.  It seems to only work with jpgs, not RAW, but that is OK for a PA.

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21 hours ago, Albastars said:

Just to add to this.  I've discovered ASCOM is not required (my Antivirus didn't like the DSLR Camera Setup driver which is a 3rd Party offering and not provided by ASCOM). 

Instead, take images using EOSUtility and save to a suitable folder on your PC.  Nominate that folder in Sharpcap under Camera>Folder Monitor Camera.  It seems to only work with jpgs, not RAW, but that is OK for a PA.

This is really interesting to me as i'd like to use sharpcap to refine PA on my Star adventurer but could not get the Ascom Driver for DSLR to work.

I use sharpcap all the time to PA on my NEQ6 and my Wedged LX200 so I know the procedure - But i'm not sure how you would do that using images captured in EOS uitility could you detail your work flow to PA in that way.


Thanks - you may just have saved me from investing in brackets etc to attache a guide scope.

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Sorry for taking a while to get back to you.  I've yet to use EOSUtility for an actual PA yet - clouds🙄  But, inside I've tested it as far as Sharpcap recognising and trying to solve the first image.  

I came across this thread on CN.  A workflow is described there in the first post - didn't seem much point in me writing it out again.  In that same post there is a link to setting up and troubleshooting the ASCOM Driver for DSLR which I found useful.

I'll test it asap, hopefully this week.  Hope it works for you.  Let us know how you get on.

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