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Heq-5 pro polar aligning

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#1 Rags Jr

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 09:27 PM

When I set up my tripod, I put A bubble level across the top in the direction of each leg. I use the ps align app, and set up just like it displays. When I tighten everything down, I make sure to keep the dot in the proper position. Is there anything else I should be doing to help with accuracy? I saw it mentioned in the instructions that the mount has A way to check your polar alignment accuracy, has anyone tried it? Drift aligning is tough at my location because of the trees, and I’m not sure if the direction you move the mount is effected by using A Newtonian. I can get about 3 min. Subs at 650mm. I was just wondering if I am missing anything in my routine that could help.

 

Rick



#2 terrypaula

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 12:18 AM

I don't use a the bubble level I use a carpenters level acroos the top of the tripod level it then put the EQ head on.  Viola unless you kick it your level.

Terry



#3 Rags Jr

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 01:17 AM

Yeah Terry, my mount actually does not have the bubble level. I take A small level and lay it across the top of the tripod at 3 points - over the top of each leg.



#4 MalVeauX

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 07:01 AM

When I set up my tripod, I put A bubble level across the top in the direction of each leg. I use the ps align app, and set up just like it displays. When I tighten everything down, I make sure to keep the dot in the proper position. Is there anything else I should be doing to help with accuracy? I saw it mentioned in the instructions that the mount has A way to check your polar alignment accuracy, has anyone tried it? Drift aligning is tough at my location because of the trees, and I’m not sure if the direction you move the mount is effected by using A Newtonian. I can get about 3 min. Subs at 650mm. I was just wondering if I am missing anything in my routine that could help.

 

Rick

Hi Rick,

 

Since you're imaging, that opens some options. SharCap has a polar alignment tool that can use your guidescope or other small short focal length scope with any USB CMOS camera basically (not a dSLR though) to plate solve and help you dial in a good polar alignment very easily with a wizard/guide and real time feedback as you adjust alt-az bolts to put it in the correct position. Something to look into!

 

Very best,



#5 Phil Sherman

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 05:52 PM

If you are getting 3 minute exposures without objectionable drift, you have an adequate polar alignment. I assume you are guiding because periodic error would normally show up in that length exposure and you didn't mention it. Guiding will also handle minor polar misalignment.

 

If you have any view of the sky along/near the celestial equator near the meridian and 25-40° above the E or W horizon, you can add drift alignment to your setup. Do it with your camera and it'll only add a few minutes to your setup time. 



#6 Rags Jr

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 10:17 AM

Hello Phil,

 

I am not auto-guiding at this time, I would like to in the future. My thought is to use the Laserta stand alone so I do not have to lug A laptop outside. I enjoy using A DSLR with an intervallometer too, trying to keep the rig as simple as possible. When I image from home, I have no hope of drift aligning, and actually, I am still trying to get proficient at it! When I got this Heq-5 pro mount with belt mod and tripod spreader I went from 30-40 second images to 3 min, but I am at A bit of A crossroads. My images have much more detail, but objects like the crab nebula are tiny. I’m thinking my 130 reflector at F5 is just not enough scope. My un-modded camera is not helping either. Of course, I need to get into image processing as well. I would wager to get my larger images I will need A 6 or 8” RC, which will probably necessitate guiding. No wonder people warn you about the black hole of Astrophotography!

 

Rick



#7 Phil Sherman

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 04:28 PM

If you're happy using your DSLR for imaging, you should take a look at 'ImagesPlus' for image processing. It's not free but it'll do just about anything you need/want from converting a raw image to image enhancement. Don't forget that camera JPEG images are compressed and are restricted to 8 bits of resolution of intensity for each pixel. Raw images have a greater resolution but do need conversion to another format for processing.

 

When I image with my DSLR, I save images in  raw+jpeg. The jpeg image lets me view it immediately and the raw version gets used for full processing.

 

If you're doing prime focus imaging, you could also consider adding a barlow lens or Powermate to the imaging train. Doubling the focal length should help your tiny galaxys but it will slow your rig down to f/10. You'll probably have to shorten your exposures to prevent star drift. Stacking additional images should compensate for the shorter exposures.



#8 Paradoxdb3

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 05:55 PM

For Polar Aligning, precise leveling is unnecessary. As long as Polaris is in the correct position in relation to the NCP, you're good to go, provided you're using the Polar Scope with a well aligned reticle. I don't ever level, and my Polar Alignment is almost always good for hours. Where I have inconsistencies is in getting Polaris exactly where it needs to be. Even when it's slightly off, I can get 45 minutes before any noticeable drift.


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