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#51 SHFT

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 04:55 PM

My first session with the SGP was a disaster, I could not find Polaris through the polar scope and while I was fiddling around clouds rolled in and stayed in place for two weeks.

However as of today I should have clear skies 6 days in a row so it was time to get the SGP out again.

I bumped into the same issue, I could not find Polaris in the scope even though I could see it perfectly in the night sky.

Frustrated as I was starting to get I took some test shots and there were startrails everywhere so I was nowhere near, suddenly the fattest hedgehog ever walked in on my session and I was so frustrated I could not even set my camera to the proper settings to photograph the little fatty and of he went.

Anyhow back to the SGP, I just sat in my chair star gazing and thing what the issue could be...and than it hit me, I'm not looking at Ursa Minor, I am looking at Ursa Major!!!

Embarrassed and relieved, I turned the SGP to the proper star and boom, Polaris right in the middle. No star trails and pinpoint sharp stars. I have to get up early in the morning so I packed my gear and I'm going to bed knowing that the days will bring a lot more stars!

Yours sincerely,

The biggest idiot on the forum
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#52 dciobota

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 05:46 PM

Lol, join the club.  I don't know how many times I've done boneheaded stuff like that.  One of the most embarrassing is forgetting to set mounts to tracking, then wondering why all my pics are trailed lol.

 

Glad you got it working. 



#53 dciobota

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 05:48 PM

Hajfimannen, that is a fantastic pic!  What are the details of it?

 

If you managed this before even trying out the mount, I can't wait to see what you can accomplish with it.

 

Great work.


Edited by dciobota, 04 May 2018 - 05:49 PM.

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#54 leveye  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 06:43 PM

My first session with the SGP was a disaster, I could not find Polaris through the polar scope and while I was fiddling around clouds rolled in and stayed in place for two weeks.

However as of today I should have clear skies 6 days in a row so it was time to get the SGP out again.

I bumped into the same issue, I could not find Polaris in the scope even though I could see it perfectly in the night sky.

Frustrated as I was starting to get I took some test shots and there were startrails everywhere so I was nowhere near, suddenly the fattest hedgehog ever walked in on my session and I was so frustrated I could not even set my camera to the proper settings to photograph the little fatty and of he went.

Anyhow back to the SGP, I just sat in my chair star gazing and thing what the issue could be...and than it hit me, I'm not looking at Ursa Minor, I am looking at Ursa Major!!!

Embarrassed and relieved, I turned the SGP to the proper star and boom, Polaris right in the middle. No star trails and pinpoint sharp stars. I have to get up early in the morning so I packed my gear and I'm going to bed knowing that the days will bring a lot more stars!

Yours sincerely,

The biggest idiot on the forum

Set your latitude on the mount first. It will make finding Polaris much easier. What focal length lens are you using? Anything up to say 50mm and you don't even need to finely polar align just a basic pointing to your true North or South will do.


Edited by leveye, 04 May 2018 - 06:44 PM.


#55 George N

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 10:19 PM

My first session with the SGP was a disaster, I could not find Polaris through the polar scope ......
 

 I sometimes have that problem when setting up with my older-model SkyGuider at a very dark location (Cherry Springs - Adirondacks, etc) with mag 7 skies. Sky full of stars - which one is Polaris?

 

I have had success holding a Green Laser Pointer against the SkyGuider to get it close to Polaris.... and then it is always in the polar scope.



#56 leveye  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 10:28 PM

 I sometimes have that problem when setting up with my older-model SkyGuider at a very dark location (Cherry Springs - Adirondacks, etc) with mag 7 skies. Sky full of stars - which one is Polaris?

 

I have had success holding a Green Laser Pointer against the SkyGuider to get it close to Polaris.... and then it is always in the polar scope.

Finding Polaris is easy using the Big Dipper. Brightest star straight out from Dubhe.


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#57 Hajfimannen

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 03:07 AM

Hajfimannen, that is a fantastic pic!  What are the details of it?

 

If you managed this before even trying out the mount, I can't wait to see what you can accomplish with it.

 

Great work.

 

Thanks dciobota. Its a single 15 sec exposure, f2,8 and 3200 iso. Used a 14 mm Sigma 1,8 and a 5D mk4 on a 10 sec self timer as I don't own a remote shutter release. In my hand I hold a small LED flash light wrapped in a sheet of 85C warm filter to get a light "blobb" rather than a beam.



#58 SHFT

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 09:20 AM


Set your latitude on the mount first. It will make finding Polaris much easier. What focal length lens are you using? Anything up to say 50mm and you don't even need to finely polar align just a basic pointing to your true North or South will do.

 

I will be using max 55mm for now...so rough alignment is idd more than enough

 

 I sometimes have that problem when setting up with my older-model SkyGuider at a very dark location (Cherry Springs - Adirondacks, etc) with mag 7 skies. Sky full of stars - which one is Polaris?

 

I have had success holding a Green Laser Pointer against the SkyGuider to get it close to Polaris.... and then it is always in the polar scope.

Bortle 7 in all directions so that will not be an issue for me

 

Finding Polaris is easy using the Big Dipper. Brightest star straight out from Dubhe.

 

It really is once you know the difference between the two bears 😒



#59 George N

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 09:56 AM

Finding Polaris is easy using the Big Dipper. Brightest star straight out from Dubhe.

 

   I certainly can tell which star is Polaris just looking up there.

 

The problem is getting the relatively narrow-field-of-view polar scope in the SkyGuider pointed at the right star. Simply looking up from behind the mount does not work very well because there is no sharp edge on the mount to aim along - making it difficult to be sure exactly what the polar scope is pointed at. With the 'optics/camera' on a ball mount I can't depend on the view thru it since the ball-mount adjustment is not very precise. Just because Polaris is centered in the camera - even with a 200mm tel-lens - does not mean that it is in the polar scope. It helps to polar align in a brighter sky where there are few similar stars in the area. Alas, I often use the SkyGuider at very dark locations and have to set up after full darkness.

 

  Again, one solution I've found to help is to hand-hold a GLP on the side of the SkyGuider to see if it is close to Polaris - and improve the aim if it is not.

 

  Once Polaris is in the polar scope - I use a down-loaded chart which I printed on card stock to get precise alignment by placing Polaris on the correct part of the circle. I often have neither a smart phone or any 'net access or WiFi - or cell service (one of the downsides of living in the back woods).



#60 leveye  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 10:14 AM

   I certainly can tell which star is Polaris just looking up there.

 

The problem is getting the relatively narrow-field-of-view polar scope in the SkyGuider pointed at the right star. Simply looking up from behind the mount does not work very well because there is no sharp edge on the mount to aim along - making it difficult to be sure exactly what the polar scope is pointed at. With the 'optics/camera' on a ball mount I can't depend on the view thru it since the ball-mount adjustment is not very precise. Just because Polaris is centered in the camera - even with a 200mm tel-lens - does not mean that it is in the polar scope. It helps to polar align in a brighter sky where there are few similar stars in the area. Alas, I often use the SkyGuider at very dark locations and have to set up after full darkness.

 

  Again, one solution I've found to help is to hand-hold a GLP on the side of the SkyGuider to see if it is close to Polaris - and improve the aim if it is not.

 

  Once Polaris is in the polar scope - I use a down-loaded chart which I printed on card stock to get precise alignment by placing Polaris on the correct part of the circle. I often have neither a smart phone or any 'net access or WiFi - or cell service (one of the downsides of living in the back woods).

I have no issues using the excellent Polar scope and just eyeballing it. Takes just a few minutes to very accurately Polar align as long as the Polar scope and scope's reticle are collimated properly to the mount's axis. Keep at it it will get easier. Be well.


Edited by leveye, 05 May 2018 - 10:15 AM.


#61 Hajfimannen

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 10:37 AM

I finally got around to open up the much anticipated shipment from iOptron. 

Initially I had an idea to do an unboxing. But the image size limitations of 500 kb in total, makes it impossible as far as I know. 

Anyway, the Skyguider has been fully charged, the inclination has been set to 57 degrees.

 

IMG_8941.jpg

 

IMG_8943.jpg

 

And I have tested the built in illumination, and adjusted the focus. So now I keep fingers crossed for some clear skies. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#62 leveye  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 10:42 AM

I finally got around to open up the much anticipated shipment from iOptron. 

Initially I had an idea to do an unboxing. But the image size limitations of 500 kb in total, makes it impossible as far as I know. 

Anyway, the Skyguider has been fully charged, the inclination has been set to 57 degrees.

 

 

 

And I have tested the built in illumination, and adjusted the focus. So now I keep fingers crossed for some clear skies. 

Congrats! You can test the polar scope's reticle collimation to the RA axis during the day on a far off steady object and rotating the axis to see if it stays aligned in the scope.There have been a few people saying this was not done properly at the factory.


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#63 dciobota

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 08:26 PM

Yup, Chris is right, mine came from the factory misaligned.  My polar scooe actually had other issues too, but hopefully if yours is misaligned, this is how you can adjust it:

http://www.ioptron.u...rScopeAlign.pdf


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#64 Hajfimannen

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 06:16 AM

Congrats! You can test the polar scope's reticle collimation to the RA axis during the day on a far off steady object and rotating the axis to see if it stays aligned in the scope.There have been a few people saying this was not done properly at the factory.

 

Thanks leveye, I just made the suggested test against a flagpole. Twisted the scope 360 degrees with dead center alignment. Phew. 

But last night was a sad start to my star tracker adventure. I slipped on a rock on my way to the site, just a couple of 100 meters from my home. The tripod, with the base mounted got a hit and the L-shaped tightening screw came loose. And this before I had had a chance to take a single picture. Awwwwghhh. 

 

lshape.jpg

 

But no use go get hung up on that. So I set up the Skyguider and tried to align. My oh my was it hard to do that with an inclination of 57 degrees. It was a most uncomfortable position. But I got it finally and took some shots before heading home. This is a 2x4 minute shot with a 20 mm Sigma at f2 and ISO 100. Nothing fancy, just nice to see that it works. 

 

winter.jpg


Edited by Hajfimannen, 06 May 2018 - 06:18 AM.

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#65 leveye  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 10:50 AM

Thanks leveye, I just made the suggested test against a flagpole. Twisted the scope 360 degrees with dead center alignment. Phew. 

But last night was a sad start to my star tracker adventure. I slipped on a rock on my way to the site, just a couple of 100 meters from my home. The tripod, with the base mounted got a hit and the L-shaped tightening screw came loose. And this before I had had a chance to take a single picture. Awwwwghhh. 

 

attachicon.gif lshape.jpg

 

But no use go get hung up on that. So I set up the Skyguider and tried to align. My oh my was it hard to do that with an inclination of 57 degrees. It was a most uncomfortable position. But I got it finally and took some shots before heading home. This is a 2x4 minute shot with a 20 mm Sigma at f2 and ISO 100. Nothing fancy, just nice to see that it works. 

 

attachicon.gif winter.jpg

Great to hear about your polar scope. Sorry to hear of your fall and the damage. JB weld will fix that right up. As for aligning I'll mention it again. With a lens focal length under 50mm you won't even need to use the polar scope. After you have the lateral set for your location just point the tripod/ mount to your true North/South and level it. Start taking pictures. I'm able to do at the very least 2 minute pictures with perfect stars at 50mm.


Edited by leveye, 06 May 2018 - 10:51 AM.


#66 dciobota

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 01:15 PM

Hajfimannen, that is a beautiful pic and a good start.  Chris' advice is spot on, just level the tripod, set your inclination, then align north/south with a compass.  If you have a cell phone, there are many compass apps for it.  Just make sure you're not too close to the metal of the mount.

As far as the knob, mine broke also.  It shouldn't be that fragile.  Contact ioptron and tell them it broke.  They'll want a pic, but they will most likely send a replacement.  They did it for me.



#67 Dave24137

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 10:49 AM

Another good idea when first polar-aligning: Center Polaris and slowly raise and lower the Skyguider via the base. If Polaris follows that central line, the polar-scope is set at "12" precisely. If the star doesn't follow the central line, unlock the clutch and slightly rotate until the star stays along the line. It increases accuracy when using the app to position Polaris thereafter.

 

That being said, I use PS Align Pro rather than iOptron's app. I noticed immediately that the apps are off from each other, and I trust the former far more. I reached out to iOptron regarding the discrepancy, received a neutral response, queried further, and then nothing. Considering the criticality of the app, without which an accurate alignment cannot occur, the indifference was surprising.

 

I just received a Polemaster and slightly amended the CEM25 adapter, and it fits just fine in the DEC attachment. At most focal-lengths it may be overkill, but a) it's nice not having to strain to position Polaris, and b) while the app & scope are very accurate, one is still eyeballing where Polaris goes --- and so optimum accuracy is always out of reach.


Edited by Dave24137, 15 May 2018 - 10:52 AM.

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#68 andrewweeks

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 11:50 AM

I love the SGP and have gotten good results with it at 300mm with no guiding. I hope to get tonight just to fiddle with the guiding while going for M81/M82

 

Here are a couple of captures from my most recent outing:

 

Pinwheel Galaxy:
https://flic.kr/p/25RXphq 

 

40 - 45 second exposures for a total of 30 minutes
Canon 6D @ ISO 6400
Canon 75-300mm lens at 300mm  f/5.6
Tracking with the iOptron SkyGuider Pro
Stacked with Sequator

Leo Triplet
https://flic.kr/p/24dbwGG

20 - 120 second exposures for a total of 40 minutes

Canon 6D @ ISO 1600
Canon 75-300mm lens at 300mm  f/5.6
Tracking with the iOptron SkyGuider Pro
Stacked with Sequator

Attached Thumbnails

  • Leo_triplet_cn_fmt.jpg
  • M101_cn_fmt.jpg

Edited by andrewweeks, 16 May 2018 - 11:54 AM.

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#69 dciobota

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:27 PM

Very nicely done Andrew looks like tracking was spot on.  One question, how did you manage to center the targets?



#70 andrewweeks

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 11:06 PM

Great question Daniel.

 

I'm typing this while doing an imaging run on M81-M82. One advantage to using a zoom lens is you can do a general framing with the low end, in my case at 70mm. Once i get it generally centered, I then zoom in to 300mm.

 

I use Stellarium to do the general sighting.

 

I assume centering get somewhat harder with a fixed focal length lens.

 

Andy



#71 dciobota

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 12:22 PM

Ahh, gotcha.  Yes, that is how I used to center before with my zoom lens.  With a fixed lens it is much harder.



#72 George N

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 06:36 PM

......  One question, how did you manage to center the targets?

 

I use this red-dot finder for DSLRs - it goes into the camera's flash shoe: http://www.scopestuff.com/ss_slrf.htm

 

You do need to center it the first time - use a bright star.


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#73 leveye  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 06:43 PM

I have recently procured a used Ioptron skyguider tripod. Any trick for making the bottom section stop wiggling when fully extended yet still open and retract smooth? I thought they would have fixed this design flaw by now after nearly 5 years.



#74 timmbottoni

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 12:43 PM

I finally got around to open up the much anticipated shipment from iOptron. 

Initially I had an idea to do an unboxing. But the image size limitations of 500 kb in total, makes it impossible as far as I know. 

Anyway, the Skyguider has been fully charged, the inclination has been set to 57 degrees.

 

attachicon.gif IMG_8941.jpg

 

attachicon.gif IMG_8943.jpg

 

And I have tested the built in illumination, and adjusted the focus. So now I keep fingers crossed for some clear skies. 

It appears to have the same high precision reticle as my iEQ45 has.  I was expecting a lower quality polar scope.

 

This is quite encouraging because I am able to get excellent polar alignment on my iEQ45 with just this polar scope and the Android App called PolarFinder. 

 

Timm



#75 leveye  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 01:59 PM

The polar scope on the Skyguider pro is quite good. Very pleased with it.




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