Pinpoint LE Questions
Posted 12 November 2010 - 07:57 PM
Also, if anyone has any tips on using PinpPoint LE to autocenter an object in Maxim DL, I'd really like to hear from you. My first attempts were unsuccesful. My plate solve worked fine, but I think that I messed up the calibration step somehow. Thanks!
Posted 12 November 2010 - 08:25 PM
Posted 12 November 2010 - 08:37 PM
Posted 12 November 2010 - 09:13 PM
Justin, I have been looking into PolarAlignMax, and I'm planning to give it a try. I've read about the J2000 issue and found some info here regarding the correction factors. I've used FocusMax (by the same authors) with great results, so I'm hoping that PoleAlignMax will be as helpful.
Mike, sorry if this is a dumb question, but here goes. If I understand correctly, I would use my mount and perform my normal alignment. Then I would use Maxim DL/Pinpoint LE to do a plate solve. I would then synch the scope using MaxIm at that point and then use MaxIm for all scope control (not my mount's hand controller). Am I on the right track? Thanks.
Posted 14 November 2010 - 11:50 PM
Sorry this is off topic ...but re: automaging...
I have had good luck with CCD Commander and MaximDL/Pinpoint LE. If the scope is a few degrees off, the plate solve function in this program automatically centers the target by moving the mount the required distance. I am using a Gemini, too. CCDC has a 30 day trial.
For those using an auto focuser, Focusmax, a free Windows program, works with the above mentioned software to automatically find an appropriate focus star (i.e. ones in the 3rd or 4th magnitude, I believe), but unfortunately you have to buy the full featured Pinpoint to use that.
Posted 15 November 2010 - 12:06 AM
Pick a target, let's say M45.
(Take 10 second picture)
The scope is near the target but not perfect.
<Plate solve the picture>
Sync the mount to the position of the plate solve.
(Maxim will present the option "Sync to - solved position")
GOTO M45 (again)
M45 is dead center perfect.
Also objects nearby to M45 will be perfect too, so when I slew to a focus star up to a couple degrees away, it is right on ready.
Does the G11 / Gemini modeling make every GOTO near perfect anyway? I have no experience with it, only AP, which does not do pointing modeling. (Coming soon with the AP Control Center though.)
Posted 15 November 2010 - 02:33 PM
I've been doing some reading about CCD Commander. Looks like a great program. I do use FocusMax and it would be great to be able to automate some of the setup that goes on before you actually start imaging. Unfortunately, I live in the suburbs of San Diego, and for each imaging trip I probably drive 75 to 100 miles to get to a nice dark sky site in the mountains or desert. Because I have to set up and tear down for each session, it just hasn't seemed worthwhile for me to try to automate anything beyond focusing and autocentering my target object (which is my current pursuit).
Posted 15 November 2010 - 02:44 PM
The other feature that I can't wait to figure out is plate solve assisted autocentering of an object (click on the object in an image and tell the mount to center it). The last time I tried it my slew would take the object off-chip. I must have something set incorrectly or I'm not quite following the instructions properly somehow. Thanks again for your help.
Posted 15 November 2010 - 03:26 PM
> me 10 to 15 minutes after going through a few nudge
> and shoot iterations
Been there, suffered that.
GOTO -> Take Pic -> Solve -> Sync -> GOTO Again
You'll spend maybe a minute maximum next time : )
PLUSSSS now... many times I don't want the object centered by the catalog RA/DEC. (Imagine you want to get NGC7331 and the Quintet in the same photograph.) I will still GOTO NGC7331, plate solve it, sync the mount. But then I grab the exact desired RA/DEC center from "Googly Sky", right between 7331 and the Quintet.
With the pointing perfection from doing the plate solve/sync, my desired framing is usually within one arcminute on the X/Y borders!