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Old 06-09-2019, 06:48 AM
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skullmurphy
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Polar Alignment Query

Hi there,

Have a delivery shortly of a CGX Equatorial mount along with a RASA 8 and C8 EdgeHD which will be my first use of an equatorial in many years after using the Orion Dob.

My question is which software is best for polar alignment for astrophotography rather than going for the expense of a Polemaster.

Celestron appear to have a collaborative software with Planewave called CPWI which has plate solving and Polar Alignment, Sharpcap seems to have Polar Alignment at least in its paid version (I may be wrong) and ZWO may have it in their ASI Air software.

Any ideas would be appreciated

Thanks Scott
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:14 AM
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doppler (Rick)
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I find drift alignment with a camera, fast, cheap and easy.
http://www.cwjames.info/astro/howto/...gnment_ccd.htm
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:20 AM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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If you can access the polar region then SharpCapture does a good job.
You can still get this polar alignment feature in the free pre V3 release. (ie V2.9)
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:22 PM
Xeteth (David)
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I'm pretty new to it all but I'm currently using Sharpcap. Using my guidescope and cam I can usually achieve alignment in just a few minutes, is super simple to do!

Note that you must be able to actually view the Celestial Pole from wherever you are though.
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Old 06-09-2019, 01:52 PM
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Nikolas (Nik)
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Sharpcap or fork out a little for a polemaster which I find super effective, the issue with drift aligning is it takes ages to do as opposed to sharpcap/polemaster which can have you pole aligned in under 8 minutes.
You must have line of sight of the poles however otherwise you are stuck with drift aligning
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Old 06-09-2019, 03:26 PM
Hemi
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I use the polar alignment routine on the mount/hand-controller. I then use PEM pro. Works well for me, as I can't see the pole.

Hemi
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:27 PM
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If you line up something with your polar scope during the day and make sure that your scope lines up also then at night with the mount in home position and not running you can take a long exposure which shows starcircles (actually just arcs) and adjust the mount so the center of those circles is the center of frame and that will get you very close. Choose a low I so and go for about 10 minutes..if nothing else you will have a nice star trail photo.
I use pole master and like it but I often do the above just to get close so I can use pole master.. often I find the first step gets very close and the other night it was almost spot on as I did very little adjustment with pole master.
Alex
Alex
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Old 07-09-2019, 02:37 PM
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Thanks for all your help and advice I might give Sharpcap a go when the gear arrives hopefully late next week and see where I go from there
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:59 AM
Kuz (Kuz)
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Polar alignment with asi air

I use the zwo asi air for polar alignment. Takes about 5 minutes to do polar alignment. I am only new to astro photography myself . Just point mount facing south and let the air do it's work.
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Old 11-09-2019, 05:35 PM
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The celestron hand controllers have a nice polar align routine - ASPA. Surely this is on the CGX? But as mentioned the sharpcap polar align is really nice if you have a guidescope
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Old 18-09-2019, 08:29 PM
srmnm (Will)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisV View Post
The celestron hand controllers have a nice polar align routine - ASPA. Surely this is on the CGX? But as mentioned the sharpcap polar align is really nice if you have a guidescope
I've recently invested in the CGX and had it out 2 weeks ago and performed a great All Star Polar Align. I've found that the more accurate the initial rough polar alignment, the easier it is when manually adjusting the alt-az knobs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuz View Post
I use the zwo asi air for polar alignment. Takes about 5 minutes to do polar alignment. I am only new to astro photography myself . Just point mount facing south and let the air do it's work.
Going to have to try this method!!
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Old 19-09-2019, 08:34 AM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisV View Post
The celestron hand controllers have a nice polar align routine - ASPA. Surely this is on the CGX? But as mentioned the sharpcap polar align is really nice if you have a guidescope
Agree Chris, I have an older CG5 Adv. GT that has the polar alignment routine. It's simple & it works, I've got down to around 2 - 4 arc sec after only two iterations & without having to go through a second initial alignment. Hardest thing is ensuring the mount is properly south aligned at setup...
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Old 23-09-2019, 01:12 PM
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The_bluester (Paul)
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I know they are costly, but I am very much a Polemaster convert. I wanted to test last something last night and it looked like I would get a few clear patches (Wrong) so I set up. I was clouded out to the south so I decided to drift align (C925 with a reducer for about 1350mmFL and an off axis guider)

I spent probably 15 minutes refining it (I have put my tripod down in the same spot so often recently that there are visible holes to plonk the feet into) before having a crack at my test. The area around the pole cleared up after that so I had a shot with the Polemaster and both axes were off the mark.
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Old 30-09-2019, 08:05 PM
Sunfish (Ray)
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+1 for drift alignment using the eyeball and reticle. The camera technique looks interesting and the Sharpcap drift align works to the limit of your mount errors I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doppler View Post
I find drift alignment with a camera, fast, cheap and easy.
http://www.cwjames.info/astro/howto/...gnment_ccd.htm
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Old 30-09-2019, 09:12 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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I tried Drift for a while but gave up on it as it took to long plus you need a reasonably bright star near the north meridian/ equator for Alt and one low in the east for Az for good alignment
I have no view of the SCP so have been using the Skywatcher Synscan version 4 polar alignment routine with the handcontroller for nearly 2 years through my imaging camera and BYEOS.Usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes and I can get down below 1 arc minute after 3 or 4 iterations
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:12 AM
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doppler (Rick)
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I use the "Darv" method, where you use your camera, set for a 60 sec exposure, set the handset speed to 1 and slew for 30 secs (RA axis) in one direction then slew in the other for 30 secs. You adjust the mount till you get a straight line in both directions.

https://www.cloudynights.com/article...ert-vice-r2760
Rick
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