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Are Alignmaster and ASPA the same?

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#1 Stelios

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 01:07 AM

In principle, I mean. I know that one is a Celestron mount feature and the other is a commercial software solution via ASCOM. But is one better than the other? Or are both subject to the mount's mechanical tolerances?

Frankly, having tried drift alignment and found it very time consuming, I'm trying to find shortcuts. This is for AP of course. I use an ED80 on a CG-5, guided with Orion's awesome mini :). My goal is to reach 3-5 min subs. Full disclosure: I'm a complete (but enthusiastic) AP noob.

#2 orlyandico

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 01:21 AM

They use similar principles.

AstroTortilla also has a polar alignment procedure which I think may be faster.

But then PEMPro almost fully automates drift aligning...

#3 Starhawk

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 09:05 AM

I read the title and opened this thread wondering if the right response was, "Who are you, and what have you done with Stelios?"

I would suggest the difference I see is portability to other platforms- if you wand to get an algorithm working and not have to go I to a voyage discovery if you migrate to another mount. I'm on my fifth major protocol change and I can say it is starting to matter less to me now whether they work or not compared to whether what I learn on one works with others, or actively causes problems (I'm looking at you, Mach 1). Just an open statement for any mount maker. On cars we had to establish a law to cause the levers and pedals to have similar functions between makes.

-Rich

#4 Stelios

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 03:48 PM

PEMPro doesn't work with my mount. Mount won't be upgraded for at least one more year, possibly longer :(

Basically, if ASPA does what Alignmaster does (more-or-less) then there's no point on introducing more software. I guess not too many here use Alignmaster (whether because they drift align, don't align, or use some other method).

#5 tjugo

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 05:14 PM

Stelios,

I've used both methods, ASPA and Alignmaster and I have measured the accuracy with PEMPro.

On my old CGE mount, both methods were equally accurate. After performing ASPA (2 iterations) or Aligmaster (4 iterations), both SW reported a very small PA error. However the error reported by PEMpro was always within 3 arc minutes. Good enough for my needs.

I performed my polar alignment with my camera, this was way more accurate than with an eyepiece, I think that switching back and forth camera for eyepiece shift the mount a little bit.

I learned how to use Alignmaster along with MaximDL, Maxim has the ability to center the camera to any part of the image, this made super easy and hassle free using Alignmaster.

Cheers,

Jose

#6 Stelios

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 05:52 PM

Interesting part about the EP/camera switch jostling the mount. I can well believe that.

I'll try to do ASPA using BackyardEOS's frame-and-focus for doing the eyepiece alignment part. I may need to get a right-angle finderscope so I don't hit the camera with my face when looking through it (although I may not need the finderscope as the star should be in the camera field).

The only problem is that I need to turn the mount off and move back to index marks after ASPA to do the 2nd iteration, and that might provide the shake I do not want...

#7 blave

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 02:16 PM

Wow, I didn't know AT has a PA routine! How did I miss that?

I've been using Alignmaster with my iEQ45, which doesn't have any equivalent to ASPA. I like it quite a lot, but will have to give the AT PA routine a try! Thanks for mentioning it.

Dave B.

#8 nodalpoint

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 02:28 PM

The only problem is that I need to turn the mount off and move back to index marks after ASPA to do the 2nd iteration, and that might provide the shake I do not want...


You might not need to. I've found goto is still accurate after ASPA (especially if you do a rough polar align when first setting up by aiming the mount at Polaris and taking a quick look through where the polar scope would go) and haven't needed to realign.






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