I tried the SharpCap Polar Alignment feature for the first time tonight.
I was using a QHY5II-L on an AT-60 guidescope. Can't remember the FOV offhand.
I hadn't read the instructions, just selected it from the TOOLS menu.
It instructed me to slew to near Polaris. Once there it spend about 30s finding and identifying stars. Then it told me to slew about 90 degrees in RA, which I did.
It sat and thought for a few seconds as it identified more stars. Then it had me move to a third screen.
This is a very cool screen! It shows the NCP, polaris, and your current errors in ALT and AZ. All you have to do is adjust ALT and AZ and you get real-time feedback and can see a highlighted star move to where it should be.
I was using 2s images, so it was more like: make an adjustment, wait 5-6 seconds for a new frame and the software to catch up - but that is real, real close to real-time in my book.
So far I had spend about 15 minutes at it. Mainly reading the directions at each step.
I was running short on time and high on clouds, so I stopped when I got the total error to under 3am. I tried to go over to Phd2 to verify the accuracy using drift guiding, but Phd2 started giving me problems. Probably due to the clouds. Anyway I had been shooting 45 second guided subs all night long so I thought I would try a few unguidedd ones with my now (hopefully) improved PA. On initial inspection, they look great - probably at least as good as my guided ones. (I'll inspect them more tomorrow)
So, my initial conclusion, based on a brief experience, is that this has the potential to be really, really cool. A free, real-time polar alignment tool.
As an added benefit, it should work as soon as the camera can see the stars. With my QHY this is often significantly before I can.
On the downside, I think it works best with a guidescope and camera with a fairly narrow field of view. I think they mention that in the docs.
I hope everybody will give it a shot - and report back their experiences and knowledge gained.