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PoleMaster Question

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#1 Rockinrod

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 09:59 AM

I've has a PoleMaster now for about 5 months...Instructions are very simple to follow one step a time...When I was doing my PHD2 guiding last night last, I ran the guide Assistant...The evaluation of the Guide Assistant showed that my Polar alignment was off by 25 arc min...Hmmm I said...

 

Anyway, I am looking at a couple of you tube videos on the PM set up procedures...When you start the process you have to select the same star twice, and rotate the scope 30 degrees in the direction  (------>)  CW, of the arrow on the screen...Note: (Arrow points in the clockwise direction)!

 

In two videos that I watched these guys went in the opposite direction of the arrow, counter clockwise... ---------->

https://youtu.be/hsVGXfz0BJs

 

Is there anyone else here using PM that can tell me if I'm doing this correctly? I rotate my scope clockwise, and all the stars are lining up perfectly, yet I get a 25 arc-min error reading in PHD2...

 

Sort of baffled...My GOTO is right on the money as well, but I have to do a 2-3 star OTA alignment after the Polar alignment.

 

Thanks,

 

Rodney



#2 RandallK

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 12:33 PM

Much like you, I pick a star, move it 30° +/- clockwise, then the same star again same amount, then return to the Home position. Then adjust the alt/az bolts for a coarse alignment and then another tweak for a fine alignment....then you should be done.

 

The PoleMaster is mounted on my HEQ5 Pro and I can get guiding between 1 & 2 arc seconds.. If I can remember correctly, PoleMaster states you only need to do a 1 star alignment afterwards.

 

(I just got an iOptron CEM40 with built in iPolar....would you believe less than a minute to Polar align!)



#3 Rockinrod

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 02:21 PM

Since my post I have found the PoleMaster PDF manual...Something here I never knew...Seems I had the camera in the wrong position on the mount when I installed it...Read this below:  

 

"With your mount in the park position (weights down, telescope pointing up), stand to the north of the mount facing south. Insert the quick install plate into the base mount adapter ensuring that the USB socket faces to the left (east). This position aligns the PoleMaster’s sensor correctly and makes azimuth and altitude adjustments during polar alignment more intuitive as the up/down directions on the image will be the mount's elevation angle directions and the left/right directions will the azimuth angle directions without there being too much adverse interaction between the two. Furthermore, when carrying out the atmospheric refraction calibration, which is required for locations with a latitude of below 40 degrees, this orientation is vital."

 

 

Much like you, I pick a star, move it 30° +/- clockwise, then the same star again same amount, then return to the Home position. Then adjust the alt/az bolts for a coarse alignment and then another tweak for a fine alignment....then you should be done.

 

The PoleMaster is mounted on my HEQ5 Pro and I can get guiding between 1 & 2 arc seconds.. If I can remember correctly, PoleMaster states you only need to do a 1 star alignment afterwards.

 

(I just got an iOptron CEM40 with built in iPolar....would you believe less than a minute to Polar align!)


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#4 Rockinrod

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 02:29 PM

Obviously I have not been doing this that long, so I'm in the learning curve. But I will say that when you purchase many of these astronomical devices, there are NO manuals with it...They don't include these little hidden details which can mess a person up...

 

I've owned telescopes for 25+ years, but never had imaged until recently...Mostly just viewing. One of my first efforts...

 

Thanks!

 

Rodney

 

https://www.flickr.c...N08/48727856352



#5 Muppo1

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 04:50 PM

In the Southern Hemisphere the USB socket faces to the right, which is east down here.

#6 Rockinrod

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 04:53 PM

In the Southern Hemisphere the USB socket faces to the right, which is east down here.

Yes, facing your scope it points right...I had mine to the right I'm at N 30 degrees Lat...I had no idea about this!! Little thing like that knocked my PA off over 25 Arc-Minutes. almost a full moon.

 

Another 10 degrees to the north I'd have to flop it over to the west...


Edited by Rockinrod, 18 September 2019 - 04:54 PM.


#7 t-ara-fan

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 05:06 PM

The rotational orientation of the Polemaster has no effect on the accuracy of alignment. It just makes up/down and left/right on your laptop screen correspond with ALT and AZ bolts on your mount.  As long as the Polemaster rotates when your RA rotates it is good.

 

OP since you are guiding, I recommend you use SharpCap Pro to do PA.  It uses your guide scope (no doubt 160mm+ FL) instead of the PoleMaster (25mm FL) and is therefore more accurate.  I typically get a stated PA error of 0°00'05" which is just basically perfect plus seeing and refraction errors.

 

PA with Sharpcap takes fewer steps than Polemaster and is definitely faster.

 

The Polemaster was "the best tool ever" (my words) when it came out. But now, its only advantage is that you can leave the app running all night, and check if you bumped the scope and messed up your alignment.


Edited by t-ara-fan, 18 September 2019 - 05:26 PM.

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#8 Rockinrod

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 06:34 PM

The rotational orientation of the Polemaster has no effect on the accuracy of alignment. It just makes up/down and left/right on your laptop screen correspond with ALT and AZ bolts on your mount.  As long as the Polemaster rotates when your RA rotates it is good.

 

OP since you are guiding, I recommend you use SharpCap Pro to do PA.  It uses your guide scope (no doubt 160mm+ FL) instead of the PoleMaster (25mm FL) and is therefore more accurate.  I typically get a stated PA error of 0°00'05" which is just basically perfect plus seeing and refraction errors.

 

PA with Sharpcap takes fewer steps than Polemaster and is definitely faster.

 

The Polemaster was "the best tool ever" (my words) when it came out. But now, its only advantage is that you can leave the app running all night, and check if you bumped the scope and messed up your alignment.

That statement in the PDF is very misleading then if that's the case. I am new at all of this so I really would like to learn what I have before jumping all around to different software applications, if you know what I mean. 

 

I do use SharpCap for my planetary stuff, so I will look into that. Hopefully it will give detailed step by step instructions if I try it. Or I'll just be more baffled and confused. This all sounds great coming from an experienced astronomer, but in reality for me, can be a challenge. hope you understand what I am trying to say.

 

Thanks for the info though. If I try it I will let you know how it went.

 

Oh I forgot to add, I will do the Polar Drift alignment in PHD2 next time if I get that big error in my polar alignment again, maybe that would correct it...

 

Thanks,

 

Rodney


Edited by Rockinrod, 18 September 2019 - 06:35 PM.


#9 cytan299

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 07:36 PM

Hi Rodney,

  I use both Polemaster (PM) and Sharpcap (SC) for PA. And like a person wearing two watches, it is seldom that both will agree :)

 

  My work flow is to use PM for the initial PA, then use SC with the PM camera to refine. Then during Phd2 calibration to look at the PA error. Sometimes according to PHD2, the PA error can be 5 arc min or more even with my method. Then it’s back to PM/SC again until PHD2 gives < 1 arc min PA error. My suspicion is that my portable pier is settling during the PA process with all those telescope swings.

 

It takes me about 10 to 15 min to get my PA right most of the time, without repeats.

 

YMMV

 cytan


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#10 Rockinrod

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 07:56 PM

Thanks to you all for offering your opinions and advice. I appreciate it!

 

Rodney



#11 cytan299

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 08:48 PM

Thanks to you all for offering your opinions and advice. I appreciate it!

 

Rodney

FYI, if you plan to use PM with Sharpcap, there is a bug that QHY has introduced in their latest SDK.

 

See https://forums.sharp....php?f=5&t=1807

 

You'll need to copy over an older copy of qhyccd.dll over the latest version that comes with SC and everything works. QHY is aware of the issue and will fix it in their next SDK release.

 

cytan


Edited by cytan299, 18 September 2019 - 08:48 PM.

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#12 Rockinrod

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 10:35 AM

I just purchased SC Pro...I'll use this for my PA next time out...!  v3.2.6101


Edited by Rockinrod, 19 September 2019 - 10:36 AM.


#13 cytan299

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 11:42 AM

I’d suggest running PM (cap on) with SC indoors to make sure that it is not suffering from the saturation bug before taking it outdoors.

 

cytan



#14 t-ara-fan

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 11:44 AM

I just purchased SC Pro...I'll use this for my PA next time out...!  v3.2.6101

You will love it.

 

I mentioned you use your guide scope for PA.   It is better than that. 

  • I tried it once with my 80mm f/6 refractor and main camera. It worked fine. 
  • The day I put my OAG on my EdgeHD-8 with 0.7x reducer, I realized D'oh I don't HAVE a guide scope.  I was able to do Sharpcap PA through my ASI071MC camera and 1422mm focal length scope. Now THAT is image scale!


#15 Bob Aidun

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 06:06 PM

I have a beginner question about using the Polemaster. I don’t have one yet, but I’m considering buying one. My mount is an NexSXD (Vixen equatorial mount) on a Vixen HAL Tripod. Telescope is the Vixen ED115.

 

Reading the instructions and watching videos, it seems easy to do, but instructions mention moving the altitude and azimuth screws. My mount only has one screw for altitude (to set the latitude). Other than that it has RA and DEC that have tightening screws only. So when instructions mention to turn the alt and az screws to center polaris, what exactly do I use to do that?

 

Sorry if this is obvious to most, I am new to astronomy but highly curious.

 

regards



#16 GolfSierra

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 10:10 PM

I do not have experience with your specific mount but it appears there are two adjustment knobs on the front side base under the counter weight shaft that should allow you adjust the azimuth.You loosen one and adjust the other to center Polaris in azimuth then tighten the opposite knob against the post. I just looked up a few images of your specific mount and it is a common design with many equatorial mounts.

 

I have a beginner question about using the Polemaster. I don’t have one yet, but I’m considering buying one. My mount is an NexSXD (Vixen equatorial mount) on a Vixen HAL Tripod. Telescope is the Vixen ED115.

 

Reading the instructions and watching videos, it seems easy to do, but instructions mention moving the altitude and azimuth screws. My mount only has one screw for altitude (to set the latitude). Other than that it has RA and DEC that have tightening screws only. So when instructions mention to turn the alt and az screws to center polaris, what exactly do I use to do that?

 

Sorry if this is obvious to most, I am new to astronomy but highly curious.

 

regards




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