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Collimation assist software?

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#1 kingjamez

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 10:10 PM

Is there a software package that will center then keep a star in the exact center of the field of view while collimating? I find it very frustrating to make small movements while dialing in collimation only to have to recenter the star every time.

 

I'd like to use it on defocused stars, and with a tri-Bahtinov mask. 

 

Does anything like that exist?

 

As I think about it, PHD is about as close as I'm aware, but I'm afraid it would loose the star as I monkeyed around with focus or used a mask.

 

-Jim



#2 jdupton

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 10:28 PM

Jim,

 

   Check out MetaGuide. It does exactly what you want and also stacks the collimation star image in real time for better accuracy when dialing in the final tweaks.

 

 

John


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#3 kingjamez

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 10:41 PM

Awesome, thank you. I'll give that a try.

 

-Jim



#4 rgsalinger

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 10:49 PM

You can do it with MaximDL but Metaguide is a vastly superior option. I'm just mentioning the "Center" option in MDL because if you have MDL then you have the ability to center a star. You do have to calibrate the movement as part of the centering dialog but after that it works great. 

Rgrds-Ross



#5 CCDer

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 10:58 PM

Jim,

 

For Hyperstar, I've used what amounts to the airy disk method for years but do it with images where I have an application that allows me to adjust the contrast to make the bright center of a dim star inside it's outer coma obvious. (PixInsight or the built in image contrast adjustments of TheSkyX will do) Then I adjust collimation to center it within the coma. I do always use a star that's approximately at the center of the image but it does not have to be "spot on center" to still achieve an excellent result. The center 1/8th of the image is usually enough. I do still need to do the defocused star method to get an approximate collimation after I've mounted/remounted a camera to get the "airy disk" recognizable. But from then on I always adjust collimation at approximate focus using this method. I also usually monitor the result with CCD Inspector curvature maps (which I also use for focusing) but often I can just take a look at dim stars that still have a bright enough core and can make one adjustment with confidence that it's back to a reasonably precise collimation.

 

 

Mark

 

I should add that I've always used cameras with smaller pixels around 1 arc sec or less for this to work well. 


Edited by CCDer, 22 May 2020 - 11:01 PM.



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