The last few weekends I was blessed with clear skies and finally got to test my new William Optics SpaceCat 51 APO 250mm f/4,9 together with the iOptron Skyguider. After a few nights out some questions came up. The first is related to the Telescope itself. When it arrived I put everything together and took a few test shoots and then put everything away. About a week later I used it again and while focusing, I could feel a "bump" everytime I'd arrive at my desired focus position. When I first got it and tried it out, I forgot to loosen the clutch on the focuser, maybe that's what caused this "dent"? Though I'd think that there's some sort of mechanism to tighten the Focus which is not putting pressure on a single point right?
The other question is related to Astrophotography in general. When balancing a mount which is only equipped with an RA-Axis (or at least only the RA-Axis is motor driven), do you guys set proper balance when the camera is aiming parallel to the axis or for the desired shooting position. In every video that I watched, the camera was looking parallel to the axis, but when I do it like that, the balance will only be good in that situation and as soon as I set it up for my target I can feel a lot of weight pushing against it. That question stuck with me since the beginning and since I got pretty bad tracking results in the last few nights I started wondering if that might be the cause?
And then my final question is related to the process of taking Flat Frames. It is said that Flat Frames should be taken in the same position as the imaging position. But which imaging position do I choose if I have a session that is 5/6 hours long, the mount travels quite a lot and changes the position. Until now I used to take them after imaging with the T-shirt method and in the dark. Since I'm using my Smartphone screen as Light source and I feel like this might not be enough, I would prefer to take them at the beginning of an imaging session, when it's still bright outside. So my question is, would a rough positioning of the telescope be enough for Flat Frames?
Thanks in advance and clear skies to you all!