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Using ZWO's ASI Air with guide scope....Alignment question...

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#1 Ryan1776

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 10:28 AM

Hey everyone! 

I ordered the ASI Air complete kit with their guide scope and guide cam. 

 

I don't have a guide-able mount yet, and am waiting for either an Orion Atlas, Sky-watcher HEQ5 or EQ6 to pop up used. 

 

I know I'll still have to polar align the mount either with the polar scope or Sharp Cap. 

 

After that, do you still run the 2 star or 3 star alignment process as usual on the hand controller?

I'm assuming yes, but with the plate solving capabilities of the ASI air and the guiding capabilities of those mounts, I'm just wondering. 

 

Thank you! 

Ryan



#2 Panotaker

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 12:24 AM

I just got the AsiAir last week, so I'm no expert, but here is the way I do it. I have a Cem25P with a Televue 85. My main camera is a ASI1600mm. My guide camera is a ASI120MM with a 50mm guide scope. I also have a Ipolar mounted in the CEM25P. I first do a polar alignment with the Ipolar on my laptop. I then put up the laptop since I only needed it for the polar alignment. I then use the CEM25P hand controller to do a one star alignment. Once I have that centered and aligned, I use the ASIAIR to do a goto and a Platesolve and sync. That puts the object dead center on the chip. I then calibrate the autoguider and it's ready to start imaging. As I learn the ASIAIR, i'll figure out if I can do it faster, but right now it takes me about 30 minutes to do what I just described. For power, I use a Yeti Goal Zero 400, which is probably an overkill, but it has a 120 volt inverter, incase I need it to use my laptop. It also has USB output incase my iPad batteries need to be charged up, but the iPad can run all night with the built in battery. The Goal Zero can probably run everything for a few days. The ASIAIR is a pretty cool device.


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#3 Ryan1776

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 07:36 AM

I just got the AsiAir last week, so I'm no expert, but here is the way I do it. I have a Cem25P with a Televue 85. My main camera is a ASI1600mm. My guide camera is a ASI120MM with a 50mm guide scope. I also have a Ipolar mounted in the CEM25P. I first do a polar alignment with the Ipolar on my laptop. I then put up the laptop since I only needed it for the polar alignment. I then use the CEM25P hand controller to do a one star alignment. Once I have that centered and aligned, I use the ASIAIR to do a goto and a Platesolve and sync. That puts the object dead center on the chip. I then calibrate the autoguider and it's ready to start imaging. As I learn the ASIAIR, i'll figure out if I can do it faster, but right now it takes me about 30 minutes to do what I just described. For power, I use a Yeti Goal Zero 400, which is probably an overkill, but it has a 120 volt inverter, incase I need it to use my laptop. It also has USB output incase my iPad batteries need to be charged up, but the iPad can run all night with the built in battery. The Goal Zero can probably run everything for a few days. The ASIAIR is a pretty cool device.

Thank you for this! 

I'm really excited to get it. I first saw  it on AstroBackyards youtube page. I thought it was really like. And after doing plate-solving using an online solver, that sold it for me. I was going to get one anyway, but that just pushed me over the edge. 



#4 jerahian

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 08:32 AM

I just got the AsiAir last week, so I'm no expert, but here is the way I do it. I have a Cem25P with a Televue 85. My main camera is a ASI1600mm. My guide camera is a ASI120MM with a 50mm guide scope. I also have a Ipolar mounted in the CEM25P. I first do a polar alignment with the Ipolar on my laptop. I then put up the laptop since I only needed it for the polar alignment. I then use the CEM25P hand controller to do a one star alignment. Once I have that centered and aligned, I use the ASIAIR to do a goto and a Platesolve and sync. That puts the object dead center on the chip. I then calibrate the autoguider and it's ready to start imaging. As I learn the ASIAIR, i'll figure out if I can do it faster, but right now it takes me about 30 minutes to do what I just described. For power, I use a Yeti Goal Zero 400, which is probably an overkill, but it has a 120 volt inverter, incase I need it to use my laptop. It also has USB output incase my iPad batteries need to be charged up, but the iPad can run all night with the built in battery. The Goal Zero can probably run everything for a few days. The ASIAIR is a pretty cool device.


May I ask why you need to do the manual one star alignment if, immediately after, you are doing a goto with a plate-solve and sync? Won’t the plate-solve and sync take care of the star alignment for you, or is this a limitation of the ASIAir?

#5 Ryan1776

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 08:41 AM

May I ask why you need to do the manual one star alignment if, immediately after, you are doing a goto with a plate-solve and sync? Won’t the plate-solve and sync take care of the star alignment for you, or is this a limitation of the ASIAir?

Excellent question, and I guess that was/is the cusp of my query to begin with. 

Perhaps his comment on "only having it a week and am still learning" covers that! :D 



#6 Fibble

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 09:44 AM

For my Losmandy G811G mount, I just do a polar alignment with sharpcap on my headless NUC accessed through remote desktop on my ipad..  Then I shut-down my pc, and switch my ipad over to the ASIAir 5g network and I fire up the mount.  I don't touch the mount after turning on the switch., and everything is done from the ASIAir app on my ipad from this point on.  When everything is connected, I set my camera temp, do a goto, platesolve, sync mount, and repeat until my target is in the center of my frame.  I then get guiding going, and focus using my first filter of the night, and I'm ready to start collecting data.

 

I really like the simplicity/integration of the system, but I might move on as I would sometimes like to switch to a different target overnight. or maybe add an auto-focus routine every few hours or with a filter change.

 

Hope this is useful information for anyone just starting with ASIAir

Joe


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#7 Panotaker

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 04:59 PM

Excellent question, and I guess that was/is the cusp of my query to begin with. 

Perhaps his comment on "only having it a week and am still learning" covers that! laugh.gif

That is pretty much it. I only had it a week, and I am still learning how to use it. The ASIAIR also does polar alignment, but I haven't tried that either. So I might not even need the Ipolar and laptop. I also just got the CEM25P too. So I'm trying to learn a bunch of things all at once. I'm just glad to see that every time I try something, it actually works like advertised.



#8 dfisherows

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 04:49 PM

You must do at least a one star calibration.



#9 OldManSky

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 08:32 PM

You must do at least a one star calibration.

Um...no you don’t.

As mentioned above, polar align then turn on the mount with it in zero position. Do a goto from the software/asiair, plate solve and sync. Done.

I haven’t done any star alignment, one or more stars, in six months.


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#10 Ryan1776

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 06:57 AM

Um...no you don’t.

As mentioned above, polar align then turn on the mount with it in zero position. Do a goto from the software/asiair, plate solve and sync. Done.

I haven’t done any star alignment, one or more stars, in six months.

That is AWESOME! 

OK I've seen this a few times. I know I don't have a good mount yet, but when you say "sync" what exactly is that? 

Is that like "linking" the guide scope to the mount control at that point? 



#11 jerahian

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 07:03 AM

That is AWESOME!
OK I've seen this a few times. I know I don't have a good mount yet, but when you say "sync" what exactly is that?
Is that like "linking" the guide scope to the mount control at that point?


That is the computer sync’ing the plate-solved coordinates of the picture it just took back to the mount. Basically, an easier computer driven way to star align your mount.

Please note, this has nothing to do with POLAR alignment, which is a physical positioning of your mounts RA axis to the celestial pole.

#12 Ryan1776

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 07:04 AM

That is the computer sync’ing the plate-solved coordinates of the picture it just took back to the mount. Basically, an easier computer driven way to star align your mount.

Please note, this has nothing to do with POLAR alignment, which is a physical positioning of your mounts RA axis to the celestial pole.

Ah got it! 

And yes, totally understand the Polar alignment still needs to be done. 


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#13 OldManSky

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 01:52 PM

jerahian explained it.  I'll compare to a one-star alignment:

In that case, you tell the mount to slew to a star.  It goes to where it thinks the star is.  You then move the scope (using the direction buttons on the hand controller so the mount can "count" how far you move in RA and DEC) until the star is centered, click "OK," which basically tells the mount "Now you're actually pointing where you thought you were pointing."  So now it knows where it's pointing.

 

With plate-solve and sync:  you tell the mount to slew to a star.  It goes to where it thinks the star is.  You then plate solve, which tells you where it ACTUALLY is pointing (whether that's at the star it went to or not).  Then the sync tells the mount, "Here's where you're actually pointing right now," by sending it the actual coordinates of the plate solve.  So now it knows where it's pointing.

 

Since they both tell the mount where it's pointing, you can do either one.  You don't have to do both. :)


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#14 Ryan1776

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Posted 26 September 2019 - 02:02 PM

jerahian explained it.  I'll compare to a one-star alignment:

In that case, you tell the mount to slew to a star.  It goes to where it thinks the star is.  You then move the scope (using the direction buttons on the hand controller so the mount can "count" how far you move in RA and DEC) until the star is centered, click "OK," which basically tells the mount "Now you're actually pointing where you thought you were pointing."  So now it knows where it's pointing.

 

With plate-solve and sync:  you tell the mount to slew to a star.  It goes to where it thinks the star is.  You then plate solve, which tells you where it ACTUALLY is pointing (whether that's at the star it went to or not).  Then the sync tells the mount, "Here's where you're actually pointing right now," by sending it the actual coordinates of the plate solve.  So now it knows where it's pointing.

 

Since they both tell the mount where it's pointing, you can do either one.  You don't have to do both. smile.gif

I freakin love technology!!! grin.gif grin.gif

"Look wifey! someone was throwing out this perfectly good EQ6 mount! Can you believe it?!?!"

 

With my ham radio hobby, I have so much stuff, it all blends in to her, I have one scope and one mount, she'll wanna know why I NEEDED it! lol.gif




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