Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Trouble Aligning with software mount control and viewing thru eyepiece

  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 Jeddymo51

Jeddymo51

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 16
  • Joined: 14 Mar 2016
  • Loc: St Louis Missouri

Posted 13 July 2020 - 03:37 PM

First, sorry for this post as it feels so basic.  But it is ruining my journey to learning how to use software such as Backyard EOS, CPWI and Sharpcap for aligning, focusing and polar alignment.

 

My setup is an AVX mount with an 8 inch Orion reflector.  I have progressed to the point where I am able to slew the scope with CPWI or SC using the laptop, based on the camera used (DSLR or ZWO).  But my problem comes when trying to get these software to align the scope. etc.

 

With my DSLR for example; I am using the CPWI software, which connects directly to the hand control for slewing purposes, forcing you to use the slew controls in the software on the laptop.  I do not have a wifi setup.  

 

I have trouble slewing the scope via the laptop to get the first alignment star in an image view with EOS/SC.  Or to adequately center the star just using the software slew controls.  I was able to get a good alignment last night with my DSLR, but only because it has such a wide field of view.  I used the laser pointer on my scope to get in the field of view on the laptop, and finally got good alignment.  Still going back and forth from the laptop to the finder scope to see if I was slewing closer to the star.  Not a good work flow.  And I'm sure it will be near impossible with the small FOV with my ASI224.  

 

Is there a better way?  

 

I have decided to spend more money getting  a Polemaster which will solve the polar alignment. And perhaps this will improve slewing to my first alignment star.  



#2 scopewizard

scopewizard

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 241
  • Joined: 04 Oct 2010
  • Loc: Alberta, Canada

Posted 13 July 2020 - 04:35 PM

If you have SharpCap pro, the polar alignment is very easy using a guidescope and camera. Using CPWI, after polar alignment with SharpCap, you only need to do a manual alignment of a couple of stars. My procedure was initially to do a dozen stars and save these to a point model. With the model,  the next time I setup, I did the polar alignment with SharpCap followed by CPWI using point model which will only required one star. I have 5 of these point models for different scopes and locations. It takes me 5 minutes to polar aligned and 2 minutes to setup the CPWI alignment.

 

Here is some clarity, the telescope on a mount is not always perfectly perpendicular to the RA and horizontal to the Dec shafts. As the scope rotates these errors will introduce a position error. Using CPWI pointing model will adjust to these errors. The more points, taken in every areas of your sky, will improved accuracy. I have one model with 35 points giving me almost perfect object position. You must do a model for every scopes and locations.

 

It is a lot cheaper to purchase a guiding camera (50 or 60mm), guidescope (ASI224 is fine for this) and SharpCap pro than paying for Polemaster. You can not use Polemaster as in a or as a guidecope.

You only need the camera and guide scope for polar alignment, no power to the mount needed for that phase. Aim scope mount visually to the pole, plug USB into camera, select polar alignment in SharpCap and follow direction and mechanical adjustments. CPWI alignment can be done visually with finder scope and eyepiece by adjusting and centering the star position with hand controller.



#3 kisstek

kisstek

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 575
  • Joined: 25 Jul 2018

Posted 13 July 2020 - 04:44 PM

I had initial alignment problems when I first started out with my C6 SCT on the AVX too. I could never get the finder scope, my main scope, and the AVX to all align close enough to use. I eventually gave up on the traditional way and went for the fast, workable method: plate solving. My finder scope isn't even attached to my rig anymore. It's sitting on a shelf collecting dust. And my Telrad finder never got mounted in the first place.

 

Plate solving is easy to use (and pretty easy to set up too!) if use some app that has built in support. I don't know if BYE does or not. I switched away from it to APT early on because I got a ASI1600 cooled camera to use instead of my overheating Canon SL1. NINA is free and it supports plate solving. APT, SGP, and Voyager are commercial apps that I know support plate solving. Heck, SharpCap might too. Check the manual.

 

Anyway, pick one, install ASTAP for the plate solver, configure your chosen app with the correct focal length of your Orion, then use the app's plate solver to center the object of your desire in the FoV.

 

When I had an AVX, I'd turn it on, enter the current date and time. Use "Last Alignment". Yup, we don't care what the last alignment was. I just want to get the AVX up and running as quickly as possible. Start up my app (was APT at the time. I now use APT or NINA (free)). I used the "ASCOM Celestron Telescope Driver" for connecting to the AVX directly. (This was before CPWI came out. I prefer as little Celestron SW in my setup as I can get away with so I'd still use the ASCOM driver today if I still had the AVX.) Then use my app to slew, image, plate solve, sync correct RA/Dec, reslew, image, plate solve, sync, ... until the target was within pixels of center. All of that "slew, image, plate solve, sync, ..." stuff is automated by a decent app.



#4 goldtr8

goldtr8

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 238
  • Joined: 29 Apr 2018

Posted 13 July 2020 - 05:38 PM

Sharpcap has integrated plate solving.    I slew to a location then push the plate solve button in Sharpcap and it solves and then centers the object in the center of the field of view.   It's amazingly easy once it's installed.



#5 Jeddymo51

Jeddymo51

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 16
  • Joined: 14 Mar 2016
  • Loc: St Louis Missouri

Posted 14 July 2020 - 03:12 PM

I saw a tutorial today and the guy used APT and plate solving.  Then the replies echo that.  Looks like I have a new project.  Thanks everyone.




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics