Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green GuÖ uh, User

Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | (show all)
pjensen
super member


Reged: 04/08/12

Loc: Highland Village, Tx
Re: Can't get properly aligned with VX mount new [Re: will1384]
      #5817934 - 04/23/13 04:36 PM

Quote:

Quote:


The answer is real simple: Find a different place to do your observing.

I know it a PITA, but at this point you are sweeping against the tide. Your current location is not conducive to being successful, and to be brutally honest, trying to get your gear setup and actually use it where you are is a waste of your time.




Were I live there is no were else to setup my telescope, none of my neighbours know me, nor do they have a yard with a good view, trees everywhere,




Can you cut down some trees - or at least trim them? Go to Home Depot and get this tree branch pruner. Get after it!

How bad do you want to use that scope?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
will1384
member


Reged: 02/22/13

Re: Can't get properly aligned with VX mount new [Re: pjensen]
      #5818545 - 04/23/13 07:59 PM

I am going to have to get a 25 foot long, or longer, Pole Saw with aluminum poles as the fibreglass poles break and are wobbly, I am also getting a 8000lb Winch and some extra line, so I can run a line up near the top of some of the leaning trees, and winch them in the direction I want them to fall, the Winch will be attached to ether a large truck, or another tree, and my dad would operate the Winch when I use the chainsaw, I use a slingshot and a weight attached to some fishing line, shoot that up into the tree, then attach some light rope to the fishing line, pull the light rope up with the fishing line, then use the light rope to pull up something heaver, I have done this before without the use of a Winch, with just rope and someone pulling, but some of the trees could fall on stuff so I would rather use a powerful Winch.

Even with cutting the few trees I can, its not going to give me much more, I am still going to have to gain a little height to help view over the neighbours trees.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Can't get properly aligned with VX mount new [Re: will1384]
      #5819099 - 04/24/13 03:16 AM

I don't think that any amount of tree felling will help.

From your description much of what you are seeing is periodic error, not polar aligning error. It's side by side and I assume that's in the Ra direction. The amount seems to be fairly small, less than an arc minute, and goes in both directions. Polar alignment error does not do this.

No amount of heroics with trees and polar aligning will prevent this. Training the PEC and applying it will. So will guiding.

If you really want to get - or check - the polar alignment do a drift align. If you can see enough stars to align you can see enough to drift align. ASPA will at least give you a good enough start position to help with drift aligning.

Chris


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: Can't get properly aligned with VX mount new [Re: will1384]
      #5819638 - 04/24/13 12:08 PM

Quote:

I am having trouble getting my VX mount properly aligned, I am unable to even take a 30 second exposure without getting star trails, this is what I am doing.




I have a very similar setup to yours. However, I can see Polaris from my backyard and I use the Panasonic GH3 instead of the G3.

First off, Donít use the eyepiece to align. Use the excellent manual focus crop mode of the G3 to accurately align the stars. That way you never have to switch from an eyepiece to a camera. Any change you do will require you to refocus and will affect your alignment.

You should be able to do at least 2 minutes at that focal length before the periodic error shows up if your polar alignment is good. I suspect that your Polar Alignment is not right. The All-star alignment works well but you really need to be able to see a star that is in the right place. If you try it with a star that is in the wrong place it will not work at all.

Basically you really need to find somewhere to observe that doesnít have so many trees. I would take a little light pollution over a lot of trees any day.

Here is a remote that works much better for triggering the Panasonic cameras than the built-in timer does. Make sure this one is compatible with the G3 first though. It works on my GF1, GH2, and GH3 but I don't know if the G3 was different or not.

http://www.amazon.com/RainbowImaging-Panasonic-DMC-FZ50K-DMC-FZ30S-DMC-FZ30K/...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
will1384
member


Reged: 02/22/13

Re: Can't get properly aligned with VX mount new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5821148 - 04/25/13 12:32 AM

I tried using my camera as a Reticle tonight, the Panasonic G3 will output live video out, but only threw RCA plugs, so I used an old Kworld KW-USB2800D USB video capture dongle and a program called SharpCap, what I would do is press the rear gray dial for manual focus zoom, and the way my camera is setup pressing the rear gray dial will zoom into the exact center of the image, and then I centered the Reticle cross hairs in SharpCap by using the four yellow arrows displayed in the video coming from the Panasonic G3 as a guide for placing the Reticle cross hairs.

This worked well, but there was still a slight amount of star trail, but it was so cold I could not stay out very long, so I only did a two star aliment with two calibration stars, then Polar Align, and Undo Sync, and took about four images, all 60 second exposures, and they were so close to perfect.

I did get the polar scope in, but have not used it yet, and I did have some problems aligning during the day as one of the tiny screws fell out and got lost, but I found an easier way to align without using the screws, by using rubber O-Rings, Link: Permanent Polar scope Reticle Centring

With this setup the way it is now would an autoguider fix the alignment problem, or am I going to have to keep refining my aliment?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Can't get properly aligned with VX mount new [Re: will1384]
      #5821843 - 04/25/13 11:30 AM

Honestly, trying to do unguided astrophotography with mounts at this level is simply an exercise in frustration. Do yourself a favor and start guiding. You can align the mount forever, but the error of the gears in this level of mount will always result in stars that are not round.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: Can't get properly aligned with VX mount new [Re: EFT]
      #5821863 - 04/25/13 11:39 AM

Quote:

Honestly, trying to do unguided astrophotography with mounts at this level is simply an exercise in frustration. Do yourself a favor and start guiding. You can align the mount forever, but the error of the gears in this level of mount will always result in stars that are not round.




I have to reluctantly agree with statement. I have been able to get acceptable results without guiding and a similar mount and camera. However, it requires so much precision in setting everything up that the average person would give up long before they get even the mediocre results I am getting.

I have decided to switch to guiding. However, I am going to guide with my spare micro four thirds camera and a telephoto lens. I really donít want to add much more cost or weight to my setup so I am going to try to make it work with what I have already.

I will probably end up buying a proper guiding setup. However, I want to give this a go first.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: Can't get properly aligned with VX mount new [Re: will1384]
      #5821871 - 04/25/13 11:42 AM

Quote:

I tried using my camera as a Reticle tonight, the Panasonic G3 will output live video out, but only threw RCA plugs, so I used an old Kworld KW-USB2800D USB video capture dongle and a program called SharpCap, what I would do is press the rear gray dial for manual focus zoom, and the way my camera is setup pressing the rear gray dial will zoom into the exact center of the image, and then I centered the Reticle cross hairs in SharpCap by using the four yellow arrows displayed in the video coming from the Panasonic G3 as a guide for placing the Reticle cross hairs.

This worked well, but there was still a slight amount of star trail, but it was so cold I could not stay out very long, so I only did a two star aliment with two calibration stars, then Polar Align, and Undo Sync, and took about four images, all 60 second exposures, and they were so close to perfect.

I did get the polar scope in, but have not used it yet, and I did have some problems aligning during the day as one of the tiny screws fell out and got lost, but I found an easier way to align without using the screws, by using rubber O-Rings, Link: Permanent Polar scope Reticle Centring

With this setup the way it is now would an autoguider fix the alignment problem, or am I going to have to keep refining my aliment?




You should not try to output the video from the camera for this. Just use the LCD screen on the back of the camera. It is really good for this type of thing. Actually besides cables for guiding you shouldn't need any cables with a Micro Four Thirds camera. Basically everything you do in a program like Backyard EOS for alliging and focusing is done in camera with Micro Four Thirds.

Try it. You will like it.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Cliff Hipsher
Pooh-Bah
***

Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: North Chesterfield, VA
Re: Can't get properly aligned with VX mount new [Re: EFT]
      #5821888 - 04/25/13 11:51 AM

Quote:

Honestly, trying to do unguided astrophotography with mounts at this level is simply an exercise in frustration. Do yourself a favor and start guiding. You can align the mount forever, but the error of the gears in this level of mount will always result in stars that are not round.




I must be special then. I imaged M42 with an unguided Meade LXD75 carrying a 2080 SCT/DSI Color and got round stars....


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Can't get properly aligned with VX mount new [Re: Cliff Hipsher]
      #5821965 - 04/25/13 12:33 PM

Quote:

I must be special then. I imaged M42 with an unguided Meade LXD75 carrying a 2080 SCT/DSI Color and got round stars....




Perhaps you are, or are just very lucky. Most of us are not. In addition, you may have had stars that looked round but were not (i.e., the PE resulted in the star moving in a complete circle during imaging). Nothing is impossible in this hobby, but the outliers of running a overly heavy scope on a marginal mount are the exception and not the rule. Most people do not have the skill or patience to be in the exception category, but if that is your bag, then go for it. In the mean time, most mere mortals can guide for good results.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Kraus
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 03/10/12

Loc: Georgia.
Re: Can't get properly aligned with VX mount new [Re: will1384]
      #5822048 - 04/25/13 12:58 PM


Star trails occur when the telescope's polar axis is not parallel to the Earth's rotational axis.

Two-star alignment does not correct for the difference. Star drift alignment does.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: Can't get properly aligned with VX mount new [Re: Kraus]
      #5822247 - 04/25/13 01:53 PM

Quote:


Star trails occur when the telescope's polar axis is not parallel to the Earth's rotational axis.

Two-star alignment does not correct for the difference. Star drift alignment does.




You should have said "Star trails occur when the telescope's polar axis is not parallel to the Earth's rotational axis or when the Periodic Error is significant enough, or when the wind blows too hard, or.....etc". There are many many factors to causing star trails. You can eliminate some of them fairly easily but eliminating most or all of them without guiding is VERY difficult.

You can get fairly round stars with a good polar alignment and short exposures at shorter focal lengths. You will never truly get round stars without guiding though. Even a drift alignment won't get rid of periodic error.

All of that being said. You can get decent results without guiding. It just takes a lot more work than most people are willing to do.

Edited by mpgxsvcd (04/25/13 01:54 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Can't get properly aligned with VX mount new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5822463 - 04/25/13 03:58 PM

Quote:

You can get decent results without guiding. It just takes a lot more work than most people are willing to do.





They way I look at it, most people who come looking for help are looking to get results, not a bunch more work to get those results. That's why I recommend guiding. It's not an absolute requirement, but it gets most people to the end result they are looking for a lot faster.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
R L Harris
member


Reged: 01/31/13

Loc: Independence,MO
Re: Can't get properly aligned with VX mount new [Re: EFT]
      #5822535 - 04/25/13 04:32 PM

EFT he guy that wants to sledge hammer square peg into
the round hole because he doesn't want to buy a round
peg!!!!!!LOL


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: Can't get properly aligned with VX mount new [Re: EFT]
      #5822575 - 04/25/13 04:50 PM

Quote:

Quote:

You can get decent results without guiding. It just takes a lot more work than most people are willing to do.





They way I look at it, most people who come looking for help are looking to get results, not a bunch more work to get those results. That's why I recommend guiding. It's not an absolute requirement, but it gets most people to the end result they are looking for a lot faster.




I agree.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Cliff Hipsher
Pooh-Bah
***

Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: North Chesterfield, VA
Re: Can't get properly aligned with VX mount new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5823786 - 04/26/13 08:41 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

You can get decent results without guiding. It just takes a lot more work than most people are willing to do.





They way I look at it, most people who come looking for help are looking to get results, not a bunch more work to get those results. That's why I recommend guiding. It's not an absolute requirement, but it gets most people to the end result they are looking for a lot faster.




I agree.




And the most cost effective way to "solve" the original problem is to move the scope to a location that has a better view of the sky and do a drift alignment. As I said earlier, doing anything else is a waste of time and possibly money.

But, its your gear, your time, and your money....


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Can't get properly aligned with VX mount new [Re: Cliff Hipsher]
      #5824320 - 04/26/13 12:41 PM

I have the CG-5 and so maybe this mount is better. But at least on the CG-5, periodic error is going to kill round stars even at this focal length with exposures of more than 1 minute, even with dead accurate alignment.

I highly suggest doing drift alignment. I find is much better than the Polar Align option on the handset. The polar alignment option IS great for visual if you are going to come back without taking the equipment down as it will help make sure those initial stars for an alignment are in your finders field of view. But I have found it unacceptable for photography without guiding.

I highly suggest guiding unless you are willing to stack lots and lots and lots of frames, deal with the space that takes up, and deal with the read noise from short exposures.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/21/11

Loc: Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: Can't get properly aligned with VX mount new [Re: Madratter]
      #5824340 - 04/26/13 12:54 PM

Quote:

I have the CG-5 and so maybe this mount is better. But at least on the CG-5, periodic error is going to kill round stars even at this focal length with exposures of more than 1 minute, even with dead accurate alignment.

I highly suggest doing drift alignment. I find is much better than the Polar Align option on the handset. The polar alignment option IS great for visual if you are going to come back without taking the equipment down as it will help make sure those initial stars for an alignment are in your finders field of view. But I have found it unacceptable for photography without guiding.

I highly suggest guiding unless you are willing to stack lots and lots and lots of frames, deal with the space that takes up, and deal with the read noise from short exposures.




If Periodic error kills the image at 1 minute doesn't it also kill the drift alignment at 1 minute? Something doesn't add up there.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Can't get properly aligned with VX mount new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5824379 - 04/26/13 01:06 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I have the CG-5 and so maybe this mount is better. But at least on the CG-5, periodic error is going to kill round stars even at this focal length with exposures of more than 1 minute, even with dead accurate alignment.

I highly suggest doing drift alignment. I find is much better than the Polar Align option on the handset. The polar alignment option IS great for visual if you are going to come back without taking the equipment down as it will help make sure those initial stars for an alignment are in your finders field of view. But I have found it unacceptable for photography without guiding.

I highly suggest guiding unless you are willing to stack lots and lots and lots of frames, deal with the space that takes up, and deal with the read noise from short exposures.




If Periodic error kills the image at 1 minute doesn't it also kill the drift alignment at 1 minute? Something doesn't add up there.




Yes it does. Which is why with this class mount, you are stuck with either short subs or guiding. I guide.

But even if you do guide, a more accurate alignment is a good thing.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
will1384
member


Reged: 02/22/13

Re: Can't get properly aligned with VX mount new [Re: will1384]
      #5824546 - 04/26/13 02:27 PM

I have still got the Polar scope to try, and AlignMaster, then I guess I will try auto guiding, I will try the Panasonic G3 live video out as a auto guiding camera, and I also have a 50mm guide scope, a Firefly MV Mono camera, and Celestron NexImage 5, to try as a guide camera, if all that fails I will try drift alignment.

When I get good weather I will try again.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | (show all)


Extra information
19 registered and 31 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  Dave M, richard7, bilgebay 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 3885

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics