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Old 14-03-2021, 10:42 AM
evltoy (Wayne)
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SharpCap Pro Polar Alignment

Hey All,

I'm considering using sharpcap Pro to do my Polar Alignment on my NEQ6 Pro mount.

Before pulling the pin on this I want to know if someone can answer my questions?

1) When doing the Polar Alignment do I use the camera on the main scope or can I get away with the one on my guide scope?

2) I have an SVBony 206 (SONY IMX179) sitting around doing nothing. Would it be ok to use this for doing the Polar Alignment in SharpCap?

Cheers
Wayne
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Old 14-03-2021, 11:47 AM
appiice (Ed)
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Hello Wayne

You use the camera that is on your main scope, Sharpcap " sees " it. SharpCap does support SVBony cameras - as per their web site.

I'm using Sharpcap with a ZWO ASI 2600 camera and it is painless, simple, quick and accurate.

Ed
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Old 14-03-2021, 12:09 PM
evltoy (Wayne)
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Thanks Ed for clearing that up for me.

My plan was to use the SVBony on the main scope, polar align with Sharpcap then once done remove the SVBony camera and replace it with my DSLR. While leaving my guide scope with the asi462 alone
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Old 15-03-2021, 01:13 PM
Wilsil (Wilco)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evltoy View Post
Thanks Ed for clearing that up for me.

My plan was to use the SVBony on the main scope, polar align with Sharpcap then once done remove the SVBony camera and replace it with my DSLR. While leaving my guide scope with the asi462 alone
You can do PA with a DSLR in SharpCap, I am doing it with my Canon and it works perfectly.
How you propose to do it can create problems as you are handling the mount again after you have polar aligned it. Best to leave it alone after you have finish PA.
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Old 15-03-2021, 02:26 PM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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Wayne,
The SharpCap V2.9 (freeware) also does the PA routine.
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Old 15-03-2021, 04:08 PM
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Karlz (Karl)
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I use my main camera on the scope to PA with Sharpcap, both my cameras guide and imaging are ZWO though. I'd say try Ken's link and go from there.
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Old 15-03-2021, 04:17 PM
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Merlin66 (Ken)
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I've had success using the 60mm eFinder (with the ol' DMK51) to do the PA on the NEQ6pro.
(There's no "main imaging" camera to use with a spectrograph)
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Old 15-03-2021, 10:27 PM
evltoy (Wayne)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilsil View Post
You can do PA with a DSLR in SharpCap, I am doing it with my Canon and it works perfectly.
How you propose to do it can create problems as you are handling the mount again after you have polar aligned it. Best to leave it alone after you have finish PA.
Unfortunately my Nikon D80 DSLR is very old (2007) and cant do video, live view or run through ATP etc but thats ok for now as I will get a dedicated cooled astro camera to replace the D80... one day... for now I'm having fun with my D80. With changing between a webcam and DSLR, my connection are pretty simple and dont require yanking etc on the scope to remove or install... I'll just have to see how it goes


Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin66 View Post
Wayne,
The SharpCap V2.9 (freeware) also does the PA routine.
I tried looking for it but they only have v3 versions available for download. I currently have 3.2 and from 2.9 to 3.2 there is a lot of improvements... I'll just get the pro version and pay the annual subscription
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Old 16-03-2021, 08:58 AM
bluesilver (Peter)
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I could be incorrect here as i am fairly new to this,
But I don't use the main scope for polar aligning
I have just been using my guide scope and guide camera to polar align with SharpCap and so far it all appears to work fine for myself.
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Old 16-03-2021, 09:19 AM
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Tinderboxsky (Steve)
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As you have found, the SharpCap polar alignment routine works accurately using you guide scope, or for that matter, any other scope attached to your main scope.

The guide scope does not need to be accurately aligned with your main scope, nor does it need to be accurately aligned with the RA axis for accurate results. The second stage of the alignment routine, where you rotate the RA axis by approx 90 degrees adjusts out any of these misalignments to ensure an accurate polar alignment outcome.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesilver View Post
I could be incorrect here as i am fairly new to this,
But I don't use the main scope for polar aligning
I have just been using my guide scope and guide camera to polar align with SharpCap and so far it all appears to work fine for myself.
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Old 16-03-2021, 01:36 PM
chromus (Phil)
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Sharpcap doesnt care what camera you use or what scope as long as it rotates around the mounts RA axis.

You can even use the QHY Polemaster (replacing that crappy QHY software).

Version 4 of Sharpcap is in Beta and will likely push a few competitors out of the market as it will have not only the polar align, but full sequencing support. On top of its live stack and EEO fucntionality.
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Old 16-03-2021, 01:50 PM
AdamJL
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Originally Posted by chromus View Post
You can even use the QHY Polemaster (replacing that crappy QHY software).

I've seen this comment a few times and I just don't get it.
The last three times I've been out shooting, I've been polar-aligned in about 3 mins tops.
It's so easy to use.
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Old 16-03-2021, 02:16 PM
chromus (Phil)
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Once you try it you will see the difference.
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Old 16-03-2021, 09:38 PM
evltoy (Wayne)
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This is very good to know that I can use my guide scope and camera attached to it. This will now save me from having to remove any components after an alignment.

I have been lucky the last few days where I have been able to leave my rig outside under cover. I managed to do a synscan PL and get 4-5min subs on Sunday. Took it out of park 1hr ago and was shooting in 20mins once guiding was setup.

I wish I could find a cheap portable cover where I can trust it will be ok if I get heavy rain
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Old 16-03-2021, 09:53 PM
AdamJL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chromus View Post
Once you try it you will see the difference.
doesn't really answer the question.
You said crappy. That's not a relative term, so I'm trying to figure out why it's crappy? It hasn't crashed on me ever either.
3 mins to polar align sounds like a pretty efficient system to me.
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Old 17-03-2021, 10:31 AM
kalon (Kevin)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamJL View Post
3 mins to polar align sounds like a pretty efficient system to me.
Pardon my ignorance, but aren't Polar Alignment and Star Alignment slightly different? Polar alignment is to get your mount precisely aligned so that tracking is more accurate, whereas Star Alignment figures out where your scope is pointing so that it slews more accurately to the correct spot in the sky.

Because I can't Polar align using my main scope (too long focal length, not enough of a FoV), I use my former guide cam (30mm f/4 micro scope in to a ZWO 120MM mini) to Polar Align, then unplug and plug in to my OAG for guiding whilst imaging.

I don't bother to Star Align, because I plate solve to ensure I am pointed VERY precisely at the target due to 1624mm FL.

If you're polar aligning through connecting to a PC, you should be guiding through that PC - unguided tracking just doesn't make sense.
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Old 17-03-2021, 12:37 PM
AdamJL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalon View Post
Pardon my ignorance, but aren't Polar Alignment and Star Alignment slightly different? Polar alignment is to get your mount precisely aligned so that tracking is more accurate, whereas Star Alignment figures out where your scope is pointing so that it slews more accurately to the correct spot in the sky.

Because I can't Polar align using my main scope (too long focal length, not enough of a FoV), I use my former guide cam (30mm f/4 micro scope in to a ZWO 120MM mini) to Polar Align, then unplug and plug in to my OAG for guiding whilst imaging.

I don't bother to Star Align, because I plate solve to ensure I am pointed VERY precisely at the target due to 1624mm FL.

If you're polar aligning through connecting to a PC, you should be guiding through that PC - unguided tracking just doesn't make sense.
Hi Kevin.
Yes they are different. I'm talking about Polar Aligning as well (I didn't mention star aligning?). PoleMaster does just that.

In some ways it's good to use your main or guide scope to polar align, because then you know that it's pointing dead south. When you align the mount (as you do with PoleMaster), then your cameras could be off slightly.
but plate solving before taking an image sorts that out, and using ASTAP, plate solving takes about 5 seconds at most.

Sharpcap is a terrific option as well; I just don't see what's "crap" about PoleMaster software, so would like to hear what others think on that.
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Old 17-03-2021, 01:40 PM
evltoy (Wayne)
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I have no preference as I'm not using any of them (PoleMaster or SharpCap) currently.

Saying that, I did watch some youtube vids on both solutions and for me (personal preference) I find that I understand the logic/process better with SharpCap.

This is not to say that one with better then the other or one is crappy.
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Old 17-03-2021, 03:01 PM
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Karlz (Karl)
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Ive used both Polemaster and Sharpcap, I got rid of my polemaster only recently as it was used for about 10 minutes then stored till next time I was out. At the time using Sharpcap with a dslr would send the sensor temp through the roof, I run a OAG so that is counted out, I have a converted finder scope that I used on another scope.
The only crap thing about polemaster is putting the stars needed into view to begin with, Sharpcap on the other hand is point in the general direction and it figures the rest out and that I have a cooled camera I run the polar align through it.
A lot quicker and easier I my opinion.
My star align is only platesolve a couple of images and it all syncs together.

Last edited by Karlz; 18-03-2021 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 17-03-2021, 04:21 PM
AdamJL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karlz View Post
The only crop thing about polemaster is putting the stars needed into view to begin with
Definitely agree with that! In the beginning, it took me FOREVER to get this to work because I had no knowledge of the night sky (and that dim patch where Sigma Octantis lives).
Fast forward a month or two, now I know where to point my tripod at any of the 3 locations I shoot. Every time I've fired up the camera, Sigma Octantis has been in frame, meaning a very fast PA.
But you're right, you need to get it in frame first. I found having Stellarium running with the Polemaster set up in the Oculars made things quicker for me to learn.
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