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PoleAlignMax and CG5

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#1 vlad10

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 06:29 AM

HI
Sorry if I'm on the wrong forum , I just couldnt find one closer on the subject than this..
I could use some help if anybody is using PoleAlignMax, I just can't get it to work, it won't solve. I'm using it with Maxim DL 5 and a Meade DSI (original), on the C8 Reflector (f/5). Everything connects fine, but when I try to solve it tells me "check Plate Solve settings" and asks if I am Syncd? I'm not sure I'm doing this right, the tutorial doesnt explain very well in what way I should be "synced", I just sync it with the option in Maxim - though here again, I'm not sure if it syncs or not, it doesnt give me a "sync ok" window, nor does the sync button gray out. The values I fill in the box I take them from Starry Night. I thought perhaps is the catalog, I do a "Test path" in PAM (using GSC 11 catalog) but that too fails, it tells me it cannot find "PAM_test_image.fit"
I'm about to move to a lengthier solution, like WCS or EQAliqn, but it's really frustrating as it seems to work for everybody except me ! :confused:

#2 EricCCD

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 08:24 AM

Hello, and welcome to CN!

First things first: do you have the GSC catalog loaded on your hard drive and the path identified in Maxim (in the Pinpoint dialog)? Also, does Maxim successfully plate solve for you?

Next: make sure you've set your image scale correctly. In Maxim, under either the File or View menu, there should be a "Site and Optics" option. In there, enter your scope's focal length (I guess 1000mm). In the Pinpoint dialog, there should be a setting for "Fits Scale", "Image Scale", or something along those lines. Edit the settings under that. Somewhere in that dialog there should be entries for the chip size (in pixels) as well as the actual pixel dimensions. Enter the values for your DSI in here. This will give Pinpoint an idea of the FOV and image scale for your camera and optics. I'm working from memory here, so please bear with my vague instructions.

I believe PAM also has a dialog somewhere for setting image scale.

I use TheSky6, and I don't know if Starry Night has a similar dialog, but I normally start off by centering a bright star on my chip and issuing a Sync command in TheSky initially before doing any plate solves.

In the Telescope/Focuser dialog, make sure that Maxim is connected to your telescope. I use "The Sky Controlled Telescope"; hopefully you'll have something similar using Starry Night.

Here's my workflow for making sure Pinpoint works:
1. Slew to a known bright star. Sync using TheSky6 (hopefully Starry Night has a similar function). You don't need to center the star, just make sure it's in the FOV. In fact, for testing my Pinpoint solves I don't center the star!
2. Take an image. Run Pinpoint.
3. In the Telescope tab, click on the Sync button. A dialog pops up. Select the "Solved coordinates".
4. Go back to The Sky (or Starry Night). Issue a GOTO the star.
5. Take another image. The star should now be dead center, or at least very close.

If the above works for you, you should then be able to run PAM.

HTH,
Eric

#3 vlad10

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 08:54 AM

Hi
Thank you for answering
GSC catalog is ok (I think), path is right in PAM and in MAXIM DL (under Observatory, Catalog tab, options)
I think I am a bit confused: I thought I was supposed to use the Sky6 with CCD Soft, and PinPoint with Maxim DL. So all the Sync and slweing is done from The Sky6, not from with Maxim?
The other thing is, I can't see any way of simply "running PinPoint" in Maxim DL Pro 5.I think that's at least part of the problem, I can't see any PinPoint dialogue anywhere. This comes with PinPoint Essentials, which is supposed to be enough for PAM -as in fact when I start PAM it finds PinPoint..
So then I need to sync twice then, once from The Sky and again from Maxim DL/Telescope tab?

#4 EricCCD

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 09:37 AM

I think I am a bit confused: I thought I was supposed to use the Sky6 with CCD Soft, and PinPoint with Maxim DL.


That is correct, though you can still use TheSky with Maxim. The workflow I am providing is what I have used and which works for me. There is probably an even simpler way of doing this workflow than what I'm doing, but my workflow does work for me.

So all the Sync and slweing is done from The Sky6, not from with Maxim?


I do so initially. I haven't tried the Slew button in Maxim (under the Telescope tab); to be honest, I've been afraid to try it out. :o

The other thing is, I can't see any way of simply "running PinPoint" in Maxim DL Pro 5.I think that's at least part of the problem, I can't see any PinPoint dialogue anywhere.


I'm working from memory here again, but it is under the "Analyze" menu. There should be a "Pinpoint" or "Plate Solve" option under there. I believe it's the first option listed.

This comes with PinPoint Essentials, which is supposed to be enough for PAM -as in fact when I start PAM it finds PinPoint..


Correct. PAM finds Pinpoint itself.

So then I need to sync twice then, once from The Sky and again from Maxim DL/Telescope tab?


The initial sync in TheSky is just to give Pinpoint a place to start. Pinpoint does not appear to work well if the telescope is aimed far away from the desired target. IOW, you can't be aimed at Vega while TheSky or Starry Night thinks it's aimed at Deneb and plate solve successfully.

After the initial Sync in TheSky, you should be able to Sync in Maxim after a successful plate solve in Pinpoint. As I mentioned, I have not tried the Slew command yet. Maybe I should :shocked:

Eric






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