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Alignmaster Works Great

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#1 JMW

JMW

    Apollo

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:42 AM

I got my dream mount last week. It is an Astro-Physics 900GTO. I have it mounted on a 12 inch concrete pier in my backyard. Tonight was my first chance to work on polar alignment. I used Alignmaster and did the first iteration using Caster and Mizar as alignment stars. The software will read a usb attached GPS and get the correct time and location. It uses Ascom to connect to the mount. It slews to the first star (Caster), and I centered it in the cross hair. I find using Phd's bullseye with my guide camera is more precise than a cross hair eyepiece. It then slews to Mizar and I center it again. It told me the error in Azimuth and Altitude. It then slews Mizar away from the center by exactly the error in azimuth. I used the azimuth adjustment knobs on the 900GTO to recenter the star on the bullseye. It then does the same for Altitude. I then repeated the process to verify the alignment. I had made no adjustments on the 2nd iteration. The software said the mount was 7 arc seconds within azimuth and 6 arc seconds within altitude of perfect polar alignment.

I did a 10 minute unguided image of the eskimo nebula and was amazed that all the stars where perfectly round without any sign of drift. Alignmaster allowed me to get dead on polar alignment within about 10 minutes of launching the program. This software will be great when I take my mount off my concrete pier and go out to dark sites for a night of imaging. I am confident I will be able to quickly align the mount for 1 night sessions.

#2 lilmsmaggie

lilmsmaggie

    Explorer 1

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 01:58 PM

I just stumbled across this software while executing a Google search on polar alignment and this thread also came up in the search results.

Doesn't seem to be a lot of recent discussion even with their forum (which happens to be in German).

Considering how many people seem to have issues attaining good polar alignment that there should be more chatter.

For $18-19, you would think people would be snapping it up, and its praises sung to the high heavens.

Or, maybe Alignmaster is not all that :question:

#3 Gargoyle

Gargoyle

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 02:34 PM

Works for me. Surprisingly simple.

The only difficulty I encountered (user error) was that Alignmaster wants to initiate the goto for the next alignment slew. I was trying to force that through Gemini.net Things got a little mixed up after that. Once I figured that out Alignmaster was good to go.

Jerry






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