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QHY Polemaster VS Ioptron Ipolar?

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#1 TheDoctorIsIn

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 10:16 AM

Hi folks, any opinions regarding the differences between these two electronic polar scopes? I have an Ipolar installed in my Skyguider Pro and it's honestly hit or miss sometimes. I'm planning on getting an Ioptron IEQ30 Pro at some point in the future and wanted to get an EPS to mount in it right away and just wondering if anyone has had experiences with both or either of these little scopes. Thanks!



#2 Ed Wiley

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 10:32 AM

I have always had excellent polar alignment with the Polemaster whether fitted with an adapter on a mount or simply placed on top of the scope on the upper rail.. It is a proven product with several years of use. I have never used the Ipolar unit, so no help there.

 

Ed


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#3 mewmartigan

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 12:04 PM

I have never used the Polemaster but the iPolar is great. You only need to calibrate it once (unless you remove and reinstall it) and after that you just boot it up and adjust your knobs until the crosshair is in the red dot.

 

If you go here, to the "support documents" tab, you can read the iPolar operation manual.

 

https://www.ioptron....duct-p/3339.htm


Edited by mewmartigan, 17 September 2019 - 12:05 PM.

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#4 OldManSky

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 03:30 PM

Been hearing reports about problems with the PoleMaster driver and newer Windows versions...I don't have one, but they seem to be more frequent now than in the recent past.  QHY regularly has issues with their drivers, it's a shame because their hardware is quite good.

 

Just out of curiosity...what's "hit or miss" about the iPolar you currently have?  That was a bit vague...:)



#5 Umasscrew39

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 03:38 PM

I've been using PoleMaster on my C11" for about 3 years with Windows 10 and a Mac.  I prefer the Mac view as the PM seems to operate more smoothly to me and gives a bit of a clearer image but the resulting PA is excellent with either platform.  



#6 ssa2294

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 07:48 PM

With the Ioptron IEQ30 are you planning to do guiding as well with PHD? In that case I might recommend to consider avoiding both iPolar & Polemaster and instead try out Sharpcap. At very least after you get a guide scope and cam give Sharpcap a try using the trial period before deciding. I had the same advice given to me before I bought a mount, scope, etc. and it was one decision I have been very pleased with. 


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#7 RandallK

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:53 PM

I still have PoleMaster on my HEQ5 mount....great kit. But I have since acquired an iOptron CEM40 mount (non EC) with built-in iPolar. I thought PoleMaster was the ultimate. But iPolar takes less than a minute to set-up once 4 stars appear on your laptop screen. There is no rotation of the mount required, just a tweak of the alt/az bolts, RA & dec and your done. 

 

I tried to get the PoleMaster camera to be less sensitive to twilight but couldn't do it. It has to be close to dark before I can start my polar alignment.

 

The camera on the iPolar will get me going about 1/2 hour earlier than the PoleMaster. That gives me 1/2 hour or more imaging time!

 

I thought polar alignment couldn't be better having the PoleMaster, but iPolar is sooo much quicker and easier.

 

PS: I might be corrected on this but I have heard that PoleMaster was a hand-me down from iOptron and QHY took it over after iOptron came out with their new iPolar.


Edited by RandallK, 18 September 2019 - 01:16 PM.

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#8 AnakChan

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 04:46 AM

Looking at AstroBackyard videos the iPolar does seem much easier to polar align, however that got me thinking that it's primarily the software rather than just the actual hardware itself.

 

Theoretically speaking, QHY could rewrite their software to have a similar workflow to iPolar too, no?



#9 rbtparrish55

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Posted 30 October 2019 - 02:35 PM

Would it be possible to utilize the iPolar not only for polar alignment, but also for PHD guiding?



#10 RandallK

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Posted 01 November 2019 - 03:58 PM

NO


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#11 Chris W

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 06:19 AM

I already have a PoleMaster and was considering a CEM40 with/without the iPolar... and found this thread.

 

With the PoleMaster you have to go through the extra steps of rotating the device to ascertain the center of rotation. In doing so, it removes any cone-angle error that may have occurred with its installation.

 

I'm wondering - with the iPolar, it is not necessary to rotate it and I'm assuming it uses plate solving to establish the center. Does that mean that the centering of the device is crucial, or is there some additional centering calibration?



#12 OhmEye

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 08:26 AM

With the PoleMaster you have to go through the extra steps of rotating the device to ascertain the center of rotation. In doing so, it removes any cone-angle error that may have occurred with its installation.

My Polemaster is mounted to my EQ6-R Pro's PA scope opening so that it's aligned with the RA axis, so I don't need to do the extra steps to ascertain the center of rotation. Those extra steps were only needed the first time I ran the software. If the PM camera is mounted in a way that allows it's alignment to the RA axis to change since your last PA, then the extra steps are needed to re-align in software.

I haven't used an iPolar, but for me the process to PA using the Polemaster takes less than a minute... get Polaris in the frame (admittedly easy since I generally put my tripod feet at the same positions every time) then double-click Polaris on the screen, use an arrow key to rotate the target circles to match the stars, click to accept the previous saved alignment, then adjust the alt/az bolts to center Polaris in the target reticle.

 

I may just be lucky but I don't have any issue with how early I can do my PA, in my bortle 3/4 sky I can see Polaris on the screen generally 20-30 minutes before it's dark enough for my taste to start imaging. I have no doubt the iPolar does a nice job too, but I haven't heard about anything different enough to make me wonder if I'd prefer it.


Edited by OhmEye, 05 December 2019 - 08:27 AM.


#13 ajaxuk

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 07:48 AM

I already have a PoleMaster and was considering a CEM40 with/without the iPolar... and found this thread.

 

With the PoleMaster you have to go through the extra steps of rotating the device to ascertain the center of rotation. In doing so, it removes any cone-angle error that may have occurred with its installation.

 

I'm wondering - with the iPolar, it is not necessary to rotate it and I'm assuming it uses plate solving to establish the center. Does that mean that the centering of the device is crucial, or is there some additional centering calibration?

When you run the iPolar software the first time you have a short calibration routine where you rotate around the axis. You don't need to do this again unless, as mewmartigan states above, you remove the unit and reinstall it.

 

I find the whole process, including initial calibration, extremely easy and very quick to get aligned. As long as the mount is initially pointed in the general vicinty the plate solving is very fast and consistent.



#14 rickelsch

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Posted 28 December 2019 - 03:53 PM

I understand that the iPolar works even if Polaris is not visible from one's observing site (which is my problem at home), while the PM requires Polaris to be accessible. I don't own either one, although I'm leaning towards buying the iPolar for that reason. That may or may not be a consideration for others.

 

Rick Kelsch


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#15 arrowspace90

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 10:17 AM

With the Ioptron IEQ30 are you planning to do guiding as well with PHD? In that case I might recommend to consider avoiding both iPolar & Polemaster and instead try out Sharpcap. At very least after you get a guide scope and cam give Sharpcap a try using the trial period before deciding. I had the same advice given to me before I bought a mount, scope, etc. and it was one decision I have been very pleased with. 

This newbie is trying this approach.  If using the cheapo phone app PS Align Pro, I can get within 5 degrees of Polaris, Sharpcap will hopefully be able to help me zero in.  If I have too much trouble doing this, then I will rethink it.

It's certainly worth a try, right?  The Polemaster and the iPolar are both EXPENSIVE!


Edited by arrowspace90, 02 January 2020 - 10:24 AM.


#16 Peregrinatum

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 01:36 PM

The Polemaster is nails, great and fast PA every time.  Worth $300 over a lifetime in this hobby.

 

If you setup in the same spot every time, you can do PA in about 2' once you get Polemaster dialed in for your spot (which took me about 30')

 

Great product, satisfied customer.


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#17 OhmEye

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 01:54 PM

Sharpcap works great too, but the key for me is having a dedicated camera for PA that I can align to the mount once and never need to do again. Since I have the PM and don't already use Sharpcap for anything else I just use the PM software. If I had to align a camera to the mount each time it might be different. Sometimes I don't even need to adjust my alt/az bolts since I place my mount's feet in the same holes in the yard, lol. Boy am I lazy! :)



#18 terry59

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 02:02 PM

This newbie is trying this approach.  If using the cheapo phone app PS Align Pro, I can get within 5 degrees of Polaris, Sharpcap will hopefully be able to help me zero in.  If I have too much trouble doing this, then I will rethink it.

It's certainly worth a try, right?  The Polemaster and the iPolar are both EXPENSIVE!

Much is expensive in this hobby. Getting a good polar alignment quickly and easily makes the pain of the cost diminish. I set up each time and with the Polemaster I'm aligned before it is dark enough to start collecting data. The faster the polar alignment, mount alignment and focusing are accomplished the more time you can spend collecting data


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#19 SteveInNZ

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 02:40 PM

Looking at AstroBackyard videos the iPolar does seem much easier to polar align, however that got me thinking that it's primarily the software rather than just the actual hardware itself.

 

Theoretically speaking, QHY could rewrite their software to have a similar workflow to iPolar too, no?

If you already have one, you can use the Polemaster camera with SharpCap which is superior to the Polemaster software, especially if you are in the southern hemisphere.

 

Steve.



#20 richorn

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 02:42 PM

I recently got a new mount with iPolar built in.  I was using SharpCap previously.

 

The biggest change for me is that iPolar allows me to polar align at LEAST 30 minutes earlier in the evening, long before it is dark enough to image.

 

This allows me to actually shoot all my flats and dark flats before any target has yet to clear the trees, giving me an extra hour per night of imaging time.


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#21 terry59

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 07:56 AM

I recently got a new mount with iPolar built in.  I was using SharpCap previously.

 

The biggest change for me is that iPolar allows me to polar align at LEAST 30 minutes earlier in the evening, long before it is dark enough to image.

 

This allows me to actually shoot all my flats and dark flats before any target has yet to clear the trees, giving me an extra hour per night of imaging time.

I'm gonna ask...as a PM user getting polar aligned before it is dark enough to start collecting data is my experience also. Are you saying that Sharpcap can't do this?

 

BTW, I set up each session and my entire routine is finished before it is dark enough to start collecting data


Edited by terry59, 03 January 2020 - 07:56 AM.

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#22 richorn

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 11:17 AM

Yes, using sharpcap I had to wait at least 30 minutes longer for the first plate solve to “see” enough starts.

iPolar finishes before I can actually see the stars myself. Not a clue how it does it. Lol!

#23 terry59

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 11:39 AM

Yes, using sharpcap I had to wait at least 30 minutes longer for the first plate solve to “see” enough starts.

iPolar finishes before I can actually see the stars myself. Not a clue how it does it. Lol!

ok thanks....a not insignificant difference. I'll keep the PM

 

waytogo.gif 


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#24 OhmEye

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 01:30 PM

This difference is with the same camera and gain? I wouldn't expect such a difference with the same image quality to solve.



#25 Chris W

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 11:11 AM

This difference is with the same camera and gain? I wouldn't expect such a difference with the same image quality to solve.

I would imagine the reason is that the PM uses customer eyes to see the stars. When you use a computer, it can stretch the image and detect stars that we cannot 'see'.


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