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Old 25-05-2024, 06:01 PM
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Carlz (Carly)
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Is there such a thing?

Hey everyone!

For those following along to my previous post about potentially upgrading my rig, I have now had my baby he's 4 months old now! So I've had a break and ready to get into it!

Now, my question is. I'm hoping something exists. I'm hoping there's a mod, or a mount or something that exists where all I do is plonk my mount wherever, and I turn it on and it automatically aligns. I have absolutely zero view of south. I hate drift aligning. It's the bane of my existence. I hate all the aligning part hahaha.

I'm saving up to purchase a heliofind for my solar scope which if there was something for astro side of things, it would be amazing. So, is there something that exists? Or am I looking for a unicorn

Just in case gear is required, I have an old eq6 pro, and an Ed80 (also have the Orion autoguider and guidescope)
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Old 25-05-2024, 10:37 PM
Startrek (Martin)
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All Skywatcher EQ mounts come with a Synscan handcontroller and the Synscan program in the handcontroller has a great polar alignment routine that only requires 2 stars to use for alignment ( and no view of the south is required )
3 or 4 iterations get you around 1 arc min alignment error which is more than enough for PHD2 to successfully guide.

Been using it for the past 7 years with an EQ5 , HEQ5 , EQ6-R pro and EQ8-R
pro

Unfortunately there no magical automatic way of polar aligning your mount in a minute after plonking your mount down
The above method will take about 10 to 15 minutes

Cheers
Martin
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File Type: pdf Synscan Hand Controller for Equatorial Mounts.pdf (65.3 KB, 9 views)
File Type: pdf Synscan Polar Alignment Routine Skywatcher EQ Mounts Southern Hemisphere.pdf (102.1 KB, 7 views)
File Type: pdf Finding True Celestial North South Line.pdf (300.2 KB, 6 views)
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Old 26-05-2024, 01:18 PM
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Carlz (Carly)
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Hi Martin thanks for your response. I'm not sure how in the world I didn't know there was that function with the skywatcher mounts ill definitely look into it.
I don't mind 15-30 minutes, it's the "hours" of drift aligning that grinds my gears haha.
My biggest issue is not having a view of south, and polar aligning using south is all I've known.
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Old 26-05-2024, 04:47 PM
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Well, there is always compass.. and bubble level. Once those two are adjusted, it takes couple of minutes. I am using that for rough setup (wide field).
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Old 26-05-2024, 05:05 PM
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nightscapeimages.com.au has a tutorial on a simple polar alignment routine. Takes 30 seconds and uses your smart phone, an app and a phone holder.

Greg.
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Old 26-05-2024, 08:28 PM
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Shano592 (Shane)
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Congratulations on the baby! Yay!


I have had this on my radar for a couple of years. I have an LX200 with a wedge, and I hate trying to align that thing.


Not sure if this is what you had in mind... This apparently will align from any direction.


https://staraid.ai/product/staraid-revolution-revb/
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Old 26-05-2024, 09:22 PM
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Drac0 (Mark)
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Hi Carly,

What software are you using & how are you doing your drift align?

As Martin says you have the alignment methods to align with Synscan mounts, but many of the popular capture programs also have built in alignment tools that don't require a view of the pole. Both APT (PAPS) & N.I.N.A. (Three Point PA) have methods of helping or you can use PHD2 for drift aligning if guiding, easier than trying to do it manually.

Nothing totally automatic, but there are ways to speed up the process.

Cheers,
Mark
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Old 27-05-2024, 04:13 AM
MarkInSpace (Mark)
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Asiair

Doesnít ASIAIR support alignment without viewing South Pole?
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Old 27-05-2024, 07:37 AM
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sheeny (Al)
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If you are visual only (not astro photography) there's always the dobsonian scope and argo navis combination. Centre 3 stars and the argo does the rest.


Al.
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Old 27-05-2024, 07:38 AM
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sheeny (Al)
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Of course if you are into AP (or visual) you can't beat an observatory, or at least a fixed mount and pier.


Al.
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Old 27-05-2024, 01:54 PM
By.Jove (Jove)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlz View Post
Hey everyone!
Now, my question is. I'm hoping something exists. I'm hoping there's a mod, or a mount or something that exists where all I do is plonk my mount wherever, and I turn it on and it automatically aligns. I have absolutely zero view of south. I hate drift aligning. It's the bane of my existence. I hate all the aligning part hahaha.
No such thing. Learn to align (one way or another, there are at least 3 methods) or go home (you will if you don't).

Nearest is the Celestron Starsense auto-align gadget, but having seen in action its a bit hit-and-miss and someone who knows what they are doing will align quicker.

Then there is the PiFinder (on Cloudynights) - a little box with a camera that plate-solves, and shows which direction to go for your target.
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Old 27-05-2024, 04:28 PM
Dave882 (David)
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Congrats on the new bub!
It all depends a bit on what Mount you have, but the only thing Iíve used that comes close to what you describe is the starsense on an alt-az mount. Literally you take the scope outside, turn it on, set the time/date and press the align button. Come back in a few min and itís done.

If you have an EQ Mount thereís no getting around polar alignment to some degree of accuracy. In this regard, what ever the method, you need to learn how to do this, and usually once youíve done it a few times itís pretty quick.

I control my EQ Mount with ASIAIR. I do rough alignment of tripod with compass, and run the PA routine in ASIAIR which takes only a few minutes. Once thatís done, ASIAIR will do GOTO and platesolving and very accurately too.

Also- if you have the option to leave some or all of your gear outside under covers you can get going much quicker too.

I guarantee you that the faster and more efficient you get at setting up, the more nights youíll end up spending under the stars!
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