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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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ahopp
sage


Reged: 05/24/12

Re: Mount with easiest polar alignment routine? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5716413 - 03/06/13 01:35 PM

Also, using a DSLR, you can polar align a mount in about 10-15 minutes. It is quite easy to do, and you do not need a computer or a fancy mount...

Tony


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psu_13
sage


Reged: 05/30/10

Re: Mount with easiest polar alignment routine? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5716537 - 03/06/13 02:26 PM

Quote:

the reason I don't use the QCD is because you need to orthogonal-ize your finder scope, and I can't wrap my brain around that concept...




This is not too bad. The trick is to first make sure that the reticle in your finder is align N-S one way and E-W the other. Then you put the zenith star in the finder and center it. Then flip the mount. The star will have some E-W error and some N-S error. The N-S error is related to altitude mis-alignment in the mount. The E-W error is orthogonality of the finder. Adjust out half of the E-W error using the little screws in the finder mount and then the rest with the hand controller. Flip over again and repeat until the error is gone. After that you don't have to worry too much about it.


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Footbag
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: Mount with easiest polar alignment routine? new [Re: psu_13]
      #5716989 - 03/06/13 06:16 PM

Quote:

I had a CG-5 before I got my Mach-1. The 4+2+polar used to take me about 10-15min. The AP quick drift takes about the same amount of time. but the AP scheme is a bit easier because you only need 2 stars. And you can do it with your finder scope rather than the main optics. And you didn't have to worry about things like remembering to always finish centering the stars from the same direction, etc.




I had a wedge mounted cpc-800 and ASPA would be done in 5m, but it wasn't good enough for long exposures at f10. I finished with a phd drift alignment. This would take 15m.

With the Mach 1, I'm thinking the quickest may just be to use the polar scope and finish with a PHD drift alignment.

I haven't bern crazy about the meridian flip method. If orthogonality want a concern, and I didn't have to touch the finder, it would be great. But, aligning, adjusting and readjusting the finder just get tooconfusing and time consuming. At least for me.


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Peter in Reno
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Mount with easiest polar alignment routine? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5717178 - 03/06/13 08:07 PM

Quote:

the reason I don't use the QCD is because you need to orthogonal-ize your finder scope, and I can't wrap my brain around that concept...




You never know until you try it. When I first read the A-P QDA instructions I was intimidated at first but the more I read it the more it became so much easier. I could not believe how simple and dead accurate QDA polar alignment is. The orthogonality is about getting the finderscope orthogonal with the mount which greatly aids polar alignment. It's so easy. So when you flip the mount back and forth until the star is dead center, this tells you the finderscope is well orthogonal with the mount. Plus it's super fast. A-P Meridian Delay feature is so cool and simple. Do not get intimidated and give it a try. The only drawback is you need a right angle finderscope for altitude adjustment since the scope points to near Zenith. If your neck and back flex like a rubber band, then don't bother getting RA finderscope.

I find A-P QDA much quicker and more accurate than my previous Celestron NexStar star alignments PLUS ASPA. I have imaged as long as 30 minutes per sub at 2000mm focal length using A-P QDA polar alignment.

Peter


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helgeras
journeyman


Reged: 03/22/12

Re: Mount with easiest polar alignment routine? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5717698 - 03/07/13 03:25 AM

Regarding the amount of stars in alignmaster:
You can add more stars by editing the file "Sterne.txt"

My file looks like this:

RA: 01h 37m 42.8s Dek: -57 14 13 Achernar
RA: 12h 26m 35.9s Dek: -63 05 57 Acrux
RA: 19h 30m 45.4s Dek: +27 57 55 Albireo
RA: 21h 28m 39.6s Dek: +70 33 39 Alfirk
RA: 14h 03m 49.4s Dek: -60 22 10 Agena,Hadar
RA: 04h 35m 55.2s Dek: +16 30 33 Aldebaran
RA: 21h 18m 34.9s Dek: +62 35 09 Alderamin
RA: 00h 13m 14.2s Dek: +15 11 01 Algenib
RA: 10h 19m 58.2s Dek: +19 50 31 Algieba
RA: 06h 37m 42.7s Dek: +16 23 56 Alhena
RA: 12h 54m 01.9s Dek: +55 57 35 Alioth
RA: 13h 47m 32.2s Dek: +49 18 48 Alkaid
RA: 02h 03m 54.1s Dek: +42 19 46 Almach
RA: 05h 40m 46.0s Dek: -01 56 33 Alnitak
RA: 09h 27m 35.2s Dek: -08 39 31 Alphard
RA: 15h 34m 41.2s Dek: +26 42 54 Alphekka
RA: 00h 08m 23.2s Dek: +29 05 27 Alpheratz
RA: 03h 08m 10.1s Dek: +40 57 20 Algol
RA: 19h 50m 47.0s Dek: +08 52 06 Altair
RA: 16h 29m 24.3s Dek: -26 25 55 Antares
RA: 14h 15m 39.7s Dek: +19 10 56 Arcturus
RA: 05h 25m 08.0s Dek: +06 20 59 Bellatrix
RA: 05h 55m 10.3s Dek: +07 24 25 Betelgeuse
RA: 01h 09m 43.9s Dek: +35 37 14 Beta_And (Mirach)
RA: 06h 23m 57.1s Dek: -52 41 44 Canopus
RA: 05h 16m 41.3s Dek: +45 59 53 Capella
RA: 00h 09m 10.7s Dek: +59 08 59 Caph
RA: 07h 34m 35.9s Dek: +31 53 18 Castor
Ra: 11h 14m 14.4s Dek: +15 25 45 Chort
RA: 11h 49m 03.6s Dek: +14 34 19 Denebola
RA: 20h 41m 25.9s Dek: +45 16 49 Deneb
RA: 00h 43m 35.2s Dek: -17 59 12 Diphda
RA: 11h 03m 43.7s Dek: +61 45 03 Dubhe
RA: 22h 57m 39.1s Dek: -29 37 20 Fomalhaut
RA: 02h 07m 10.4s Dek: +23 27 44 Hamal(El Nath)
RA: 14h 44m 59.2s Dek: +27 04 27 Izar
RA: 23h 04m 45.7s Dek: +15 12 19 Markab
RA: 12h 15m 25.7s Dek: +57 01 58 Megrez
RA: 11h 01m 50.6s Dek: +56 22 57 Merak
RA: 12h 47m 43.2s Dek: -59 41 19 Mimosa
RA: 02h 19m 20.7s Dek: -02 58 40 Mira
RA: 03h 24m 19.4s Dek: +49 51 40 Mirfak
RA: 13h 23m 55.5s Dek: +54 55 31 Mizar
RA: 06h 43m 55.9s Dek: +25 07 52 Mebsuta
RA: 15h 01m 56.7s Dek: +40 23 26 Nekkar
RA: 00h 56m 42.5s Dek: +60 43 00 Gamma Cas
RA: 17h 53m 31.8s Dek: +56 52 22 Grumium
RA: 20h 25m 38.9s Dek: -56 44 06 Peacock
RA: 07h 45m 19.4s Dek: +28 01 35 Pollux
RA: 07h 39m 18.1s Dek: +05 13 29 Procyon
RA: 17h 34m 56.1s Dek: +12 33 36 Rasalhague
RA: 10h 08m 22.3s Dek: +11 58 02 Regulus
RA: 05h 14m 32.3s Dek: -08 12 06 Rigel
RA: 14h 39m 36.5s Dek: -60 50 02 Rigel Kentaurus
RA: 08h 09m 32.0s Dek: -47 20 12 Regor
RA: 17h 30m 25.9s Dek: +52 18 05 Rastaban
RA: 20h 09m 13.7s Dek: +40 15 24 Sadr
RA: 23h 03m 46.5s Dek: +28 04 58 Scheat
RA: 00h 40m 30.5s Dek: +56 32 15 Schedar
RA: 14h 32m 04.6s Dek: +38 18 32 Seginus
RA: 06h 45m 08.9s Dek: -16 42 58 Sirius
RA: 09h 07m 59.8s Dek: -43 25 57 Suhail
RA: 13h 25m 11.6s Dek: -11 09 41 Spica
RA: 19h 46m 15.6s Dek: +10 36 48 Tarazed
RA: 14h 04m 23.2s Dek: +64 22 33 Thuban
RA: 18h 36m 56.3s Dek: +38 47 05 Vega
RA: 07h 20m 07.4s Dek: +21 58 56 Wasat
RA: 11h 14m 06.6s Dek: +20 31 24 Zosma


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johnnyha
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 11/12/06

Loc: Sherman Oaks, CA
Re: Mount with easiest polar alignment routine? new [Re: helgeras]
      #5717736 - 03/07/13 05:10 AM

I have a Tak EM200 and the initial polar alignment is so good that I cannot tell when my Mallincam updates, there is literally no movement whatsoever between 56 second iterations. That's just phenomenal.

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Footbag
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: Mount with easiest polar alignment routine? new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5717922 - 03/07/13 08:43 AM

I think a bad back and a *BLEEP* finder contribute to my lack of success with the QDA method. I can upgrade the finder. But between an option that I can sit in my seat performing and one that requires me to twist and turn over the scope, I'd prefer the former.

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SMigol
sage


Reged: 07/30/10

Loc: California, USA
Re: Mount with easiest polar alignment routine? new [Re: helgeras]
      #5718363 - 03/07/13 12:45 PM

helgeras:

That's a great tip for alignmaster! I'll be sure to sync this with the Gemini bright star list and make an update for my setup.

When I use alignmaster with my Losmandy G11 with Gemini 2, I can get within 2 arc minutes on the first pass and under 1 arc minute on the second pass. The rest is gravy as the threads on the adjustment screws are too coarse to get better on a temporary setup.


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orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Mount with easiest polar alignment routine? new [Re: SMigol]
      #5718495 - 03/07/13 01:55 PM

i signed up for a trial of alignmaster but still haven't gotten my key...

it's nice that the star list can be edited, because my list of candidate stars from my balcony is alarmingly small.


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Per Frejvall
sage


Reged: 09/28/12

Loc: Saltsjöbaden, Sweden
Re: Mount with easiest polar alignment routine? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5719774 - 03/08/13 01:46 AM

10Micron GM1000HPS would be my recommendation. The polar alignment is dirt simple and you do not need (nor is there) a polar scope.

It is, at least in my world, very portable and delivers unguided performance that is excellent.

I have an unboxing review on SGL (http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/177893-gm1000hps-unboxing/)

/per


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orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Mount with easiest polar alignment routine? new [Re: Per Frejvall]
      #5719776 - 03/08/13 01:51 AM

7500 USD without MwST, plus shipping (10 Micron). 35kg capacity (about 75lb). So almost the same as the PMX with the disadvantage of non-US support. Of course if you're in Europe where a Mach1 costs $10K (!!!!!) definitely I'd go for a 10Micron.

but the OP is in the US, so..


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FaronD
sage


Reged: 03/25/10

Loc: Richmond Hill, Ontario
Re: Mount with easiest polar alignment routine? new [Re: Domerman]
      #5720292 - 03/08/13 11:04 AM

Quote:

I'm looking for a high end mount in the future around 5k used or new. Portability will be a major concern, as I will be setting up and tearing down every time I use the mount. I will mainly use the mount for AP, thus accurate polar alignment is paramount for me. Which mount in this class offers the easiest and most accurate alignment procedure? I really want to avoid drift align as much as possible. I understand the Taks have awesome polar alignment scopes, but the Mach1GTO appeals to me greatly since it can handle a bit more capacity than the EM-200 and handles cold better...however, my understanding is that the polar alignment routine with Mach1GTO stinks in comparison.




I have a Mach 1 and I'm using Alignmaster as well. This seems to work very well. I usually do two iterations and there very is little left to correct, for guided imaging anyway. Like others have mentioned, the given selection of stars may not visible from a location, many are blocked by the large trees in my yard...nice it can be edited.
The important thing here is the OP isn't going to find a Mach 1 complete with tripod and accessories for 5k used.

Faron


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orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Mount with easiest polar alignment routine? new [Re: FaronD]
      #5720500 - 03/08/13 01:06 PM

So much about Alignmaster!!! I still don't have my trial. Maybe because I signed up for a trial in 2011 and never used it?

I was tempted to just pay for it sight unseen, but I have no idea if I'll instantly get a key when I do that. I think the author manually generates the keys or something...

That said, you can get a Mach1 used with tripod and accessories for close to 5k (maybe 6k total) so long as it's not one of the pricey AP tripods (AWT00 or Eagle).


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buddyjesus
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/07/10

Loc: Davison, Michigan
Re: Mount with easiest polar alignment routine? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5721260 - 03/08/13 09:31 PM

any gem on a tripod is equally easy with this simple jig. mine works like a charm and is made from 1x2 poplar.

http://www.iceinspace.com.au/63-499-0-0-1-0.html


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Footbag
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: Mount with easiest polar alignment routine? new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #5723945 - 03/10/13 01:46 PM

I thought I'd chime back in here. I did my first successful revised quick drift align and finished in about 10m. I think I like this method. If I get the same results next time, i have a new pa routine.

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andysea
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Mount with easiest polar alignment routine? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5725664 - 03/11/13 11:45 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I have not used the new right angle polar scope and I will not for two reasons: 1) The mount needs to be perfectly level in order to polar align.




This is not correct. N-S leveling has no effect on the polar scope, and E-W leveling would have to be "really really off to make much of a difference" per Roland in a recent thread on the subject on ap-gto.




Ok Paul you convinced me! RAPAS on order! I actually spoke with two people who use it and they both gave stellar reviews.


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