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Old 20-10-2019, 08:44 PM
Swagman105 (Geoff)

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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Daisy Hill, Victoria, Australia.
Posts: 17
polar alignment assist devices

I have a ZEQ25 mount which I want to use more portably to access better skies for astrophotography. I find it very difficult to polar align using a polarscope and am aware of the QHY Polemaster and the Ioptron Ipolar devices which can assist with this. I would appreciate if anyone who has had experience with either or preferably both of these devices would be able to offer any comments as to their effectiveness and ease of use to assist me in making a decision.
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Old 20-10-2019, 10:31 PM
kens (Ken)
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 290
for visual, manual polar alignement with a compass is adequate. For astrophotography with a DSLR you could use the DARV method https://www.cloudynights.com/article...ert-vice-r2760
With an astro camera (including a guide camera) there are numerous methods for polar alignment including: PHD2 drift alignment, polar drift and static PA and Sharpcap's plate solving method.
All the above have the advantage of not needing to purchase a camera dedicated to polar alignment. In the southern hemisphere especially, the disadvantage of not having a bright human eye visible pole star is countered by the presence of a bright, camera visible polar asterism. So whilst its hard to polar align with a polarscope, it is relatively easy with a camera.
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:55 AM
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peeb61 (Paul)
Always looking up

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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Wollongong
Posts: 699
Geoff, I use Polemaster, cost a bit but I was Polar Aligned in under 7 minutes for the first time use.
So easy to use but as I said a bit on the costly side but as a portable user money maybe well spent...Christmas is coming..ask Santa!
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:16 AM
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Retrograde (Pete)
a.k.a. @AstroscapePete

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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Sydney
Posts: 1,016
I find Sharpcap PA works really well. A Sharpcap pro licence is pretty cheap (around $20 I think) and you don't need any proprietary hardware - just a guide camera and a small guidescope.
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:42 PM
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byronpaul (Paul)
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Greenvale, Victoria, Australia
Posts: 361
I vote Sharpcap


I tried everything as I was polar alignment inadequate

I thought Polemaster was the best, but Sharpcap is even better. I now religiously use Sharpcap software with my Polemaster camera and Iím polar aligned within minutes.

Sharpcap licence is very cheap, although I think you need to annually renew to use the Polar Alignment feature, and it will work with almost all astro cameras.

Lots of choices out there, so good luck sort through all the advise.

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