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Review of iPolar hardware and software for polar alignment

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#51 lsintampa


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Posted 30 December 2020 - 03:39 PM

iPolar works for me. 


That said, I "center" the camera each time out. 


Not an expert by any means, but my PHD tracking improved a great deal once I got the iPolar camera and software.

#52 UKalwayscloudy


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Posted 31 December 2020 - 02:43 AM

Unless you’ve badly jolted the mount or your ipolar camera is loose then centering every time might be counterproductive. The XY pair that results does fluctuate and you might get better results by repeating and taking an average and then entering that manually.

Over on FB someone has calibrated their centre to a careful drift align. I haven’t tried that.

#53 plumberb


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Posted 04 January 2021 - 06:36 PM

I have used my IPolar with the SkyGuider Pro mount and a different CF tripod for about the last year. Although I have often been frustrated with my alignment, it does not mirror your concerns. Most of what I have seen is a drift of original good alignment as the RA and manual DEC rotates around. I have found two issues causing this:

1. My WO Star71 and camera pushes 9# of an 11# rated mount. Balance, of course, is key - especially in my case, but often very difficult to accomplish, A good static balance in one DEC position is not necessarily a good balance in a DEC,say, 25degress different.

2. My  tripod and the soft ground I have to set up on where I shoot complicates matters during a long shoot, i.e., alignment drifts. I have alleviated it somewhat by using a rock bag suspended from the tripod legs.


What works for me is to align early and often. I align once I am balanced, again once I have the target locked in, and again about every 20-30 150 second exposures. If I am vigilant, I get good, round stars most of the time - without guiding, but using a f/4.9 scope.  In my experience, the IPolar is a good unit.


But I don't think this is your issue, if you guide well with SharpCap and not with IPolar.  


My thought is to re-install your IPolar - I don't think that voids the IPolar or the SkyGuider Pro warranties - they are two separate units, two different SKU's, etc. a loose screw or a burr on a machined might be causing an issue.


Just my thoughts....

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#54 ChrisGTS


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Posted 13 January 2021 - 09:32 PM

Just to add one more experience here, I have a CEM40EC, purchased in March 2020.  I always align using iPolar and then check/tweak it with SharpCap Pro.  My experience is that the iPolar will give me an alignment about 4 arc-minutes "off," according to SharpCap.  Since I want the alignment to be as perfect as possible, I generally use the iPolar to get "in the neighborhood," and then use SharpCap to get it as close to zero as possible.

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