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Three star alignment without liveview

astrophotography beginner CMOS
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#1 Ziggy Stardust

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 10:58 AM

Hi all,

 

I was just wondering how people get around not having live view while doing three star alignment. So far I have resorted to switching from my Canon to my ZWO after alignment.

 

Any recommendations?

 

Thanks.



#2 Jeff Struve

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 11:01 AM

I just used a reticle eyepiece and then when done, installed the camera


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#3 Ziggy Stardust

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 11:07 AM

I just used a reticle eyepiece and then when done, installed the camera

I guess it's as simple as using what's available!


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#4 Jeff Struve

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 11:10 AM

Things like a nice eyepiece/camera nosepiece self centering mechanism like a Baader Clicklock help... accurately aligning your reticle finderscope with the OTA via a reticle eyepiece helps... being accurate with aligning the stars with the reticle eyepiece helps... and plate solving helps... 


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#5 StarBurger

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 11:12 AM

I  went for a flip mirror option. Makes it so much easier just to flip between eyepiece view and diverting to camera.

They aren't cheap but well worth it.


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#6 deanblack2000

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 11:37 AM

In the past I would use a reticle then switch to the camera. Now I just attach the camera and then go through the motions of a three star alignment without looking at anything nor making any adjustments. The mount thinks it is aligned and then I use solve and sync from SGP. Once I use the solve and sync method, my gotos are always spot on and I save a lot of time and effort, time that can be spent on imaging. I have to go through the motions of doing a 3 star alignment so the mount software thinks it is aligned. 


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#7 tomwall

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 01:19 PM

In some cases, an even less expensive and lower tech solution could work:

 

I have a couple of scopes and mounts of various accuracies. For most of them I can align using my ZWO ASI224 camera.

 

-I first get a wide and fuzzy focus on any bright star. This wider visual camera 'footprint' makes my alignment stars easier to find when my GOTOs are not accurate enough to precisely locate the alignment stars.

 

-I next, do my normal alignment (2, 3, or 2+4). It's important that your finder is very well aligned (red dot and Telrad, in my case).

 

-If you're lucky, the alignment star you want will be in the camera's field of view. If not, search around a bit.

 

This works for me on most nights and doesn't break the bank.

 

Good Luck.


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#8 StarBurger

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 02:33 PM

Ziggy, a few shots of my flip mirror setup.

The camera is first focused and then the eyepiece adjusted to the same focus and it stays set that way.

There is no substitute for camera focusing using a Bahtinov mask.

I had to tweak the flip mirror stop screw at the bottom to ensure the centering in both views was identical.

Only hazard is FORGETTING TO MOVE THE MIRROR TO THE STRAIGHT THROUGH POSITION FOR IMAGING !

Hence the white patch on the mirror flip lever.

There is a 2 inch UV/IR cut filter screwed into the scope end adapter.

 

The scope rings mount my 600 mm f 7.5 guide scope, same as the ED 80 mm.

 

It's a joy to use. It also solved any vignetting  to use 2 inch fittings throughout.

 

 

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#9 Kaydubbed

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 02:37 PM

Try a telrad! Easy as onetwothree.


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#10 Ziggy Stardust

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 03:02 PM

Ziggy, a few shots of my flip mirror setup.

The camera is first focused and then the eyepiece adjusted to the same focus and it stays set that way.

There is no substitute for camera focusing using a Bahtinov mask.

I had to tweak the flip mirror stop screw at the bottom to ensure the centering in both views was identical.

Only hazard is FORGETTING TO MOVE THE MIRROR TO THE STRAIGHT THROUGH POSITION FOR IMAGING !

Hence the white patch on the mirror flip lever.

There is a 2 inch UV/IR cut filter screwed into the scope end adapter.

 

The scope rings mount my 600 mm f 7.5 guide scope, same as the ED 80 mm.

 

It's a joy to use. It also solved any vignetting  to use 2 inch fittings throughout.

Thanks for the help and for showing me!

 

Looks like a very nice setup you have there.



#11 Alex McConahay

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 09:04 PM

In the past I would use a reticle then switch to the camera. Now I just attach the camera and then go through the motions of a three star alignment without looking at anything nor making any adjustments. The mount thinks it is aligned and then I use solve and sync from SGP. Once I use the solve and sync method, my gotos are always spot on and I save a lot of time and effort, time that can be spent on imaging. I have to go through the motions of doing a 3 star alignment so the mount software thinks it is aligned. 

THen why do you need to go through an alignment at all? Is it required by the mount?

 

Alex



#12 deanblack2000

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 10:08 PM

THen why do you need to go through an alignment at all? Is it required by the mount?

 

Alex

Yes



#13 mike8888

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Posted 22 February 2019 - 01:05 AM

I use SharpCap for my alignment and calibration routine when imaging with my ASI1600. I believe there's a small fee for the software now but it provides a live view image for CMOS cameras.



#14 cfosterstars

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Posted 22 February 2019 - 06:22 PM

I never do any sort of alignment with my hand controller. I have not used it in years and also have not used an eye piece in years. I use CdC to pic a star and slew. I use a reasonably aligned telrad to check if I am way off. I then do a plate solve to sync to mount. I then pick another target on the other side of the pier and  slew. Then do a plate solve and then I am done. This works very well as long as I have good PA and only since I have eliminate my cone error. Once I do the two plate solves, my gotos are very close to the center of the camera.  Most of the time I dont even have to go to the scope and do it remotely from inside my house.


Edited by cfosterstars, 22 February 2019 - 06:22 PM.

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#15 classpath

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 02:13 AM

If your mount has quick alignment which only needs date time and coordination, do it rather than three star alignment. Then slew any target. Next thing to do is plat solving and sync (or recal). Then you are ready to go. If you use SGP, this would not be difficult.

I use this method for my Celestron AVX. Actually, it was inspired by how to initialize Mach1GTO. :)


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