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Sharpcap PA with guide scope?

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9 replies to this topic

#1 okietwisterdan

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Posted 15 December 2019 - 04:53 PM

Just got all the equipment I need to start auto guiding. I will be using a ZWO asi224mc for guide camera with an at72ed as a guide scope mounted on an at115edt for imaging. I am using a DSLR for main imaging cam and an eq6-r pro mount.

 

I've never used Sharpcap polar alignment, and never done olate solving. Can I use the guide cam and guide scope for PA? Can I use that for plate sloving as well? Or should those only be done through the main imaging cam and main scope?

 

I understand that the DSLR won't work with Sharpcap.

Thanks



#2 mikefulb

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Posted 15 December 2019 - 05:08 PM

I polar align with my guide scope all the time.


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#3 AZ Maverick

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Posted 15 December 2019 - 05:21 PM

Yes, the guide camera will work fine for Polar alignment with SharpCap.

I use my 60mm 240mm focal length guide scope with ASI120MM-S guide camera with SharpCap to Polar align all the time.

SharpCap has its own plate solver for polar alignment that works well.

For plate solving an actual image, you will need to plate solve with the actual image taken by your DSLR and not whatever the guide scope is looking at using whatever plate solving program you choose.


Edited by AZ Maverick, 15 December 2019 - 05:22 PM.

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#4 wrnchhead

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Posted 15 December 2019 - 06:19 PM

I just started plate solving myself and yeah you use the imaging camera because the plate solving is to properly frame your object. I use Astrotortilla and you will have to do some reading about it because to get it to work efficiently you have to do some set up such as knowing the size of sky your imaging train occupies. But it’s not that complicated

#5 DuncanM

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Posted 15 December 2019 - 06:26 PM

Just got all the equipment I need to start auto guiding. I will be using a ZWO asi224mc for guide camera with an at72ed as a guide scope mounted on an at115edt for imaging. I am using a DSLR for main imaging cam and an eq6-r pro mount.

 

I've never used Sharpcap polar alignment, and never done olate solving. Can I use the guide cam and guide scope for PA? Can I use that for plate sloving as well? Or should those only be done through the main imaging cam and main scope?

 

I understand that the DSLR won't work with Sharpcap.

Thanks

You can use the guidecam for plate solving but you need to ensure that the guide camera and imaging camera are precisely aligned so, that the centre of each camera's frame points at the same point in the sky. Ideally, both cameras would have the same rotation. 


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#6 Stelios

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Posted 15 December 2019 - 06:30 PM

You *should* use the guidescope for Sharpcap. The larger field of view will be a big help, and lack of alignment (if any) with the main scope is immaterial.

 

You *should* use the main camera for plate-solving. It may be possible to do it with the guide camera if you go to a lot of precise alignment hassles, but it really is completely pointless--for acquisition with a DSLR, you can't use Sharpcap anyway, and both SGP and N.I.N.A. (also other programs) will support platesolving with the main camera.


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#7 okietwisterdan

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Posted 15 December 2019 - 08:30 PM

Thanks for your help everyone!



#8 t2krookie

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Posted 11 June 2020 - 07:09 PM

You *should* use the guidescope for Sharpcap. The larger field of view will be a big help, and lack of alignment (if any) with the main scope is immaterial.

 

You *should* use the main camera for plate-solving. It may be possible to do it with the guide camera if you go to a lot of precise alignment hassles, but it really is completely pointless--for acquisition with a DSLR, you can't use Sharpcap anyway, and both SGP and N.I.N.A. (also other programs) will support platesolving with the main camera.

Actually that is out of date info. Lots of DSLR's output via USB just fine and can provide SharpCap the required image. That being said, dependent on the Focal Length, one might need to pull back a bit but that's a common thing with DSLR imaging anyways.

As for it being necessary to use the Cam versus the finder for Plate solving? We are talking about most DSOs resolve just fine 1-10 arc minutes off and the 30 to 60 ARC Seconds accuracy achievable with the guidescope / cam combo is MORE than sufficient for anything but the most challenging long focal length targets. My most recent questions involve getting more accurate specs on the cameras that sharpcap states it works with, and come up with the best solution price/performance, to share with others.

 

Like myself, we often already have all the equipment required and just need to add SharpCap to our collection. Whole lot cheaper than the dedicated one trick ponies out there.



#9 t2krookie

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Posted 11 June 2020 - 07:21 PM

You can use the guidecam for plate solving but you need to ensure that the guide camera and imaging camera are precisely aligned so, that the centre of each camera's frame points at the same point in the sky. Ideally, both cameras would have the same rotation. 

Hehe, cant stop myself today I guess.

 

This statement I do not agree with either. As long as you plate solve a pattern chosen by SharpCap, and the cam mount used to obtain that image is rigid and generally pointed at Polaris (I heard one guy actually intentionally did a 4.5 degree askew), as long as that target is in your retical in the beginning, it will be there at the end of the imaging.

Just as someone before was mentioning plate solving an image, same thing. The rotation detected by sharpcap will result in you polar aligning your scope correctly.

 

As mentioned before, with sharpcap, you don't even need Polaris, but you do need to image a few stars a couple of times so that the program can determin the center of any rotation and guide your adjustments accordingly. 



#10 TelescopeGreg

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 12:12 AM

I use my guide camera for plate solving, since my DSLR isn't well supported over USB.  Aligning the two scopes was very easy.  Get it close during the day, then make the final adjustment with a bright star at night.  It was surprisingly easy.

 

Details of what I use are in my .signature, below.




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