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I asked N.I.N.A out for a date last night. I got stood up.

Astrophotography Beginner Imaging Software
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#26 rgsalinger

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 10:41 AM

The plug in sounds very nice. Has anyone measured by doing a drift later on how accurate it is, particularly when using an SCT that might have considerable cone error? I used something similar "polealignmentmax" a long time ago. It sounded good but was not very accurate unless you have a really rigid system. I've been playing around with NINA for a number of reasons and the system I'm using as the sand box has no view of Polaris. 

 

Rgrds-Ross



#27 acrh2

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 10:52 AM

My iPolar camera in my CEM70EC decided to stop working; 84 days after purchase.  Support from iOptron has been spotty and inconsistent.  I have gotten separate emails from the two different techs, but they are giving different recommendations.  It's all very confusing.  Don't want to derail this thread, so I'll just say I had to revert back to Sharpcap for my PA using my imaging camera rather than the iPolar camera and iPolar software.

 

Please derail this thread just a little bit. I'm worried about my iPolar because last time, I had to press the connect button 3 times. What did the techs say? Is it a crappy cable? Is the micro USB connector on the camera crappy? 



#28 Blackhawk163

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 12:08 PM

Please derail this thread just a little bit. I'm worried about my iPolar because last time, I had to press the connect button 3 times. What did the techs say? Is it a crappy cable? Is the micro USB connector on the camera crappy?


It is not derail, I included it as anissue why I don’t use the supplied software for the polar camera. It really is that bad. I should’ve shot YouTube videos to Yakety sax playing in the background, of me pressing the connect button to no avail, and this is after having had a previous working connection to the camera.

And here I am lamenting whether or not I should get their guide camara setup, so that when I get my hyperstar later this week I can do some guiding. Then again I don't have to use their camera to do that.
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#29 Blackhawk163

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 12:12 PM

Also great suggestions about using the new pa feature on Nina. I'll give it a go once I can figure out the connection issues I'm having. I'm tempted just to give the mini pc a complete wipe and restart as well. I mean it's only purpose is to image, and all my files have been backed up.

#30 dcm_guitar

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 07:29 PM

Please derail this thread just a little bit. I'm worried about my iPolar because last time, I had to press the connect button 3 times. What did the techs say? Is it a crappy cable? Is the micro USB connector on the camera crappy? 

 

 

It is not derail, I included it as anissue why I don’t use the supplied software for the polar camera. It really is that bad. I should’ve shot YouTube videos to Yakety sax playing in the background, of me pressing the connect button to no avail, and this is after having had a previous working connection to the camera.

And here I am lamenting whether or not I should get their guide camara setup, so that when I get my hyperstar later this week I can do some guiding. Then again I don't have to use their camera to do that.

 

Because you both asked, I will describe my issues and interaction with iOptron.  If we want to discuss this in more detail, perhaps a new thread would make sense....

 

 

My iPolar issue is with the camera not being recognized.  While I HAVE had a few occurrences where I had to press the connect button multiple times, that's not the main issue.  My issue is the iPolar camera not being recognized by the computer.  The iPolar software throws an error saying the camera can't be found and the iPolar camera is NOT listed in the Windows Device Manager.  

 

For me, the issue got slowly worse.  It started with the camera not connecting.  When plugging into the iPolar USB plug on the back of the mount, I WOULD get the "bong" sound from my computer meaning the computer is recognizing a USB connection.  However, the iPolar camera was not connected.  Initially, if I removed the back, circular plate plate from the mount (where the iPolar USB plug is) the camera would be recognized.  "Jiggling" these wires worked for about a month.  Then, no amount of wire "jiggling" would connect the camera.  One afternoon, I pulled the circular back plate off the mount, disconnected the USB plug from the PCB and cleaned everything with CRC quick dry electrical cleaner and a q-tip.  When I re-assembled everything the iPolar camera worked.  However, this only lasted a day.  After this "fix" failed, the camera would not be recognized at all; no matter how much wire "jiggling" or contact cleaning I tried.  Additionally, I tried multiple cables of various lengths, but none of the cable swaps made any difference.

 

I emailed iOptron, but did not receive a reply for about a week.  After a week, I received a reply saying they were going to mail me some parts.  This email with the promise of new parts came on 7/13 (13 days ago).  I have received no parts from iOptron as of 7/26.

 

Three days ago I received an email from a different iOptron tech.  This email included a .pdf with instructions on how to remove the iPolar camera.  This email did not mention any parts or any of the previous correspondence I've had with iOptron on this issue.  Here's my reply to this second email:

 

[reply email I sent to iOptron]

 

 

Kevin,

Thanks for the .pdf.

I removed the iPolar camera per the .pdf instructions and checked the connection at the back of the iPolar camera.  It looked fine.  I unhooked it, cleaned it with CRC fast drying electric cleaner and a q-tip and then re-attached the iPolar camera.  This did not help.  The camera was still not recognized by my computer.

BUT....

I figured "in for a penny, in for a pound".  So, I removed the saddle at the top of the mount.  At the back of the saddle, I removed the two hex screws holding the USB hub to the saddle.  Looking at the USB hub, I "jiggled" the wires that connect the iPolar camera to the printed circuit board on the USB hub labeled 'iPolar".  After I "jiggled" these wires, I connected the iPolar camera to my computer using the USB plug at the back of the mount and the iPolar camera was immediately recognized.  I re-attached the USB hub cover.  I re-attached the saddle.  I re-seated the iPolar camera.  After re-assembly I again plugged my computer into the iPolar USB at the back of the mount and the iPolar camera was immediately recognized.

Given that "jiggling" the wires both at the USB plug on the back of the mount as well as at the connection to the USB hub in the saddle has restored communication to the camera, I suspect that one of the wires in the wiring harness has a short.  The PCB connections seem okay, but wire "jiggling" will restore the connection.

In the past wire "jiggling" was a temporary fix.  I'm concerned that this fix will also be temporary.

Is it possible to get a new wire harness that connects from the iPolar camera to the USB hub on the saddle, and a new wire harness from the USB hub on the saddle to the USB plug in the back of the mount?  I suspect one of these harnesses has a short somewhere.

Thoughts?

 

 

Finally, I received an email last week from John saying he was going to send me some parts.  He verified my mailing address.  He had the wrong mailing address, and I sent him an email with my correct mailing address.  I have not received the parts yet.  For the record, my mailing address is:

David Moore
address line 1

City, State Zip

If it's easier for you to have a quick phone call, please feel free to contact me on my cell:

xxx-xxx-xxxx

Thanks!!

 

[end of email reply to iOptron]

 

 

I sent the above email on 7/23.  I have not heard back yet.

 

 

So, I've been able to get the iPolar camera to connect after wire "jiggling", but this has been a sporadic and temporary fix (after two weeks of not being able to connect).  As of Saturday, my iPolar camera would connect, but I haven't tried in the last couple of days due to clouds.

 

When my iPolar camera decided to stop working, I switched to Sharpcap for PA.  According to Sharpcap you need at least 1 degree of FOV to polar align.  My FOV with my EdgeHD 9.25 is ~50 minutes, but I am still able to get Sharpcap to successfully PA.  I have had to restart the process a couple of times, but (so far) I've always been able to get a successful PA from Sharpcap.  During the time using Sharpcap PA (rather than iPolar) I've noticed a substantial improvement in my PA statistics in PHD2 (reported as PA error in the Guising Assistant.  I run GA for ~ 7 minutes prior to each imaging session).

 

I have not used the PA process in NINA yet, but I plan to give it a try soon.  It would be easier to do everything in NINA.  Right now I PA using Sharpcap or iPolar.  After I PA I turn off the PA software and start NINA.  Having just NINA would make things easier.

 

 

Edited to add.....

 

I just got an email from iOptron.  I haven't received my parts yet because I had not yet paid the S&H to receive the parts.  That oversight was my mistake!


Edited by dcm_guitar, 27 July 2021 - 10:10 AM.


#31 dswtan

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 09:44 PM

This sounds like a very useful tool for people who got plenty of view to the Southern half of the sky, but lacks a view to Polaris? 

+1! This might swing me over to the NINA nightlies, finally! I’ve never needed the fancy-schmancy new sequencer, but this sounds gold! 



#32 rgsalinger

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 09:59 PM

@dcem__guitar --- Sounds like the CEM70EC needs to be serviced. I'd be asking for an RMA. 

 

Having said that, I do note that the USB port for the iPolar is unpowered. That means that the port on your PC has to supply power to the ipolar. Many PC's cannot supply full USB power to multiple devices. So, That's a recipe for the types of problems you have described. I think that I would connect the iPolar directly to my PC with a short cable to check that it's not a device problem and also to get a handle on whether it could be fixed with shorter cables. 

 

When you get one of these mounts your best friend is the dealer. If it doesn't work in the first 30 days, just get rid of it. I suspect that you're beyond that now. 

 

Rgrds-Ross



#33 Blackhawk163

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Posted 26 July 2021 - 11:07 PM

Update, and what a doosey. 

 

I'm an idiot. End thread. 

 

lol

 

Okay maybe I'm being a bit harsh on myself but here it goes.

 

Back when I received the mount I didn't really read the manual. I booted it up but noticed that there wasn't a way for me to supply power to the mount and the iPolar at the same time. It didn't make sense to me that there would be two power ports and only one power adapter. So I sought a workaround. I put an lx200 power adapter into the ipolar port, then the mount power supply input to the hub output, this powered the hub as the ipolar powered everything else. Now this all worked for a little while, occasionally I would get a disconnect here and there in Phd2, but everything was working right in APT. What happened next was all a series of unfortunate events.

We had the really bad spell of storms here in NJ with about 3 hours of electrical storms, and during that time my 15 year old lx200 12v power adapter must have been dying. And so it did. I then used the supplied power adapter that came with the mount, and coincidently decided to try and use NINA as well. So on my CEM70 setup on the hub itself I was

 

  1. powering the 5a mount
  2. powering two dewnot heaters with no controller so they operate at 100%
  3. asi294mc pro and 178mm and the 5v asi EAF
  4. the ipolar cam

I'm sensing a disturbance in the force here. So today I rerouted everything correctly. I could do without the ipolar camera, and decided to use SC with the 294mc pro. GA in PHD2 reports a 1.5arc min error with my edge 925, and today I finally get to use NINA with that setup. Both setups actually, and they are working right now taking various subs of the western Veil. 

 

I don't know what happened with the EQ6r pro setup that lead to it having the same issues with NINA, but I suspect that it was me having too many programs vying for the same equipment, just as the CEM70 setup was failing. This coincidence lead me to believe it was 100% NINA and not the other things described above.

 

I love a good problem solve, pity that I was looking at the wrong things. I should have just looked into the mirror. But once again thanks for all the help here. I'm very grateful for this community here, and heck, if it weren't for this thread, I wouldn't have learned about all the newer features on NINA, so there's that as well. 

 

As for the iPolar cam, I think mine is dead. It's recognized in windows, but will not connect at all. 

 

Sometimes I marvel at the fact that I was allowed to work on Helicopters, which required you to read the manual 100% of the time (at least I would) and here at home I couldn't be bothered.bangbang.gif


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#34 dcm_guitar

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 12:08 AM

@dcem__guitar --- Sounds like the CEM70EC needs to be serviced. I'd be asking for an RMA. 

 

Having said that, I do note that the USB port for the iPolar is unpowered. That means that the port on your PC has to supply power to the ipolar. Many PC's cannot supply full USB power to multiple devices. So, That's a recipe for the types of problems you have described. I think that I would connect the iPolar directly to my PC with a short cable to check that it's not a device problem and also to get a handle on whether it could be fixed with shorter cables. 

 

When you get one of these mounts your best friend is the dealer. If it doesn't work in the first 30 days, just get rid of it. I suspect that you're beyond that now. 

 

Rgrds-Ross

Ross,

 

Thanks for the info.  I’ve tried approximately a dozen different USB cables from 6” to 36”.  The cable length makes no difference.

 

My dealer for this purchase is iOptron.  I bought direct.

 

The mount guides very well, and given the inconsistency of iOptron mounts I don’t want to give this one up.   On nights with good seeing, I routinely guide at <0.7” TMS from 30 degrees to 40 degrees of elevation.  At over 50 degrees of elevation I routinely guide at 0.4” RMS.  My RA error is generally a little better than my DEC error and I get nice, tight, round stars even at >2,000mm of focal length.  The guiding is too good to give up the mount.  The iPolar performance is an irritant, but the mount performance has been quite good.



#35 Wilsil

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 01:50 AM

Happy endings are always good. smile.gif



#36 acrh2

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 02:35 AM

As for the iPolar cam, I think mine is dead. It's recognized in windows, but will not connect at all. 

 

 

You can try the older version of software. It has gain settings. Lots of people use it for that reason, as do I.

https://www.ioptron....n_iPolar221.exe

 

Also, if it is recognized in windows, perhaps you can try and use Sharpcap with it. There's no chance of flexure when it is mounted in the mount, so SC polar alignment with it should be fairly accurate.



#37 jonnybravo0311

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 09:07 AM

Update, and what a doosey. 

 

I'm an idiot. End thread. 

 

lol

 

Okay maybe I'm being a bit harsh on myself but here it goes.

 

Back when I received the mount I didn't really read the manual. I booted it up but noticed that there wasn't a way for me to supply power to the mount and the iPolar at the same time. It didn't make sense to me that there would be two power ports and only one power adapter. So I sought a workaround. I put an lx200 power adapter into the ipolar port, then the mount power supply input to the hub output, this powered the hub as the ipolar powered everything else. Now this all worked for a little while, occasionally I would get a disconnect here and there in Phd2, but everything was working right in APT. What happened next was all a series of unfortunate events.

We had the really bad spell of storms here in NJ with about 3 hours of electrical storms, and during that time my 15 year old lx200 12v power adapter must have been dying. And so it did. I then used the supplied power adapter that came with the mount, and coincidently decided to try and use NINA as well. So on my CEM70 setup on the hub itself I was

 

  1. powering the 5a mount
  2. powering two dewnot heaters with no controller so they operate at 100%
  3. asi294mc pro and 178mm and the 5v asi EAF
  4. the ipolar cam

I'm sensing a disturbance in the force here. So today I rerouted everything correctly. I could do without the ipolar camera, and decided to use SC with the 294mc pro. GA in PHD2 reports a 1.5arc min error with my edge 925, and today I finally get to use NINA with that setup. Both setups actually, and they are working right now taking various subs of the western Veil. 

 

I don't know what happened with the EQ6r pro setup that lead to it having the same issues with NINA, but I suspect that it was me having too many programs vying for the same equipment, just as the CEM70 setup was failing. This coincidence lead me to believe it was 100% NINA and not the other things described above.

 

I love a good problem solve, pity that I was looking at the wrong things. I should have just looked into the mirror. But once again thanks for all the help here. I'm very grateful for this community here, and heck, if it weren't for this thread, I wouldn't have learned about all the newer features on NINA, so there's that as well. 

 

As for the iPolar cam, I think mine is dead. It's recognized in windows, but will not connect at all. 

 

Sometimes I marvel at the fact that I was allowed to work on Helicopters, which required you to read the manual 100% of the time (at least I would) and here at home I couldn't be bothered.bangbang.gif

Ahh... the old "error exists between the keyboard and chair" finding lol.gif . Glad you got everything working! Now, I understand your choice of user name, too.



#38 Blackhawk163

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 01:27 PM

Happy endings are always good. smile.gif

Well happy kinda. How to get this mount to meridian flip? Because it failed last night in NINA (and never worked in APT for that matter)

Ahh... the old "error exists between the keyboard and chair" finding lol.gif . Glad you got everything working! Now, I understand your choice of user name, too.

Yup the very first Helo that I ever worked and flew in.

 

You can try the older version of software. It has gain settings. Lots of people use it for that reason, as do I.

https://www.ioptron....n_iPolar221.exe

 

Also, if it is recognized in windows, perhaps you can try and use Sharpcap with it. There's no chance of flexure when it is mounted in the mount, so SC polar alignment with it should be fairly accurate.

It fails in SC as well. I'm going to contact iOptron

 

@dcem__guitar --- Sounds like the CEM70EC needs to be serviced. I'd be asking for an RMA. 

 

Having said that, I do note that the USB port for the iPolar is unpowered. That means that the port on your PC has to supply power to the ipolar. Many PC's cannot supply full USB power to multiple devices. So, That's a recipe for the types of problems you have described. I think that I would connect the iPolar directly to my PC with a short cable to check that it's not a device problem and also to get a handle on whether it could be fixed with shorter cables. 

 

When you get one of these mounts your best friend is the dealer. If it doesn't work in the first 30 days, just get rid of it. I suspect that you're beyond that now. 

 

Rgrds-Ross

Ross, I thought that the camera's needed their own power supply hence why there is a power port on the RA axis as well as the usb port? That's how mine is powered. Is the powered usb for iPolar just on the usb 3+ models?



#39 Wilsil

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 08:56 PM

Was the checkbox checked in NINA for doing the flip?

I was anxious the first time, but now it goes well every time it needs to do the flip.



#40 rgsalinger

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 10:47 PM

When I last looked at the manual for the "non G" models, it appeared to me that the ipolar USB connection was made to an unpowered port. So, check the manual and see if you agree. The G models apparenlty have USB3 where the others have USB 2. From what I read there are 3 USB 2 ports but only two are powered. I don't mind being wrong, of course, but when I saw that in the manual your issues all made sense to me. 

Rgrds-Ross



#41 limeyx

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 11:27 PM

When I last looked at the manual for the "non G" models, it appeared to me that the ipolar USB connection was made to an unpowered port. So, check the manual and see if you agree. The G models apparenlty have USB3 where the others have USB 2. From what I read there are 3 USB 2 ports but only two are powered. I don't mind being wrong, of course, but when I saw that in the manual your issues all made sense to me. 

Rgrds-Ross

I am not sure (on the non-G version)

 

The manual for the regular 70 says this (for the RA Axis)

DC input (2.5mmX5.5mm) to power 5521 (2.1mmX5.5mm) DC output sockets located next
to iPort on the dovetail saddle
 iPolar/USB port: This port is for iPolar connection to computer, and 3XUSB2.0 hub on
dovetail saddle connection

 

So it's clear the power on the RA port powers the left-most DC output on the saddle.

 

The USB input also powers the two USB ports on the right of the saddle, so clearly it is expecting a powered input

 

The manual says the power on the base "powers the mount" but doesn't mention iPolar specifically !

 

I dont need USB power on the saddle since I have a hub powered from the left-most DC port, and I plan on having a 12V 2.5A input to the mount from my battery and 12V 10A to the RA axis from my battery

 

Then two USB cables to my Mini PC (irritating that I need two) - not sure how much power these actually deliver but I am not really using it



#42 rgsalinger

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Posted 27 July 2021 - 11:52 PM

I think (?) that you are confusing 12 volt power with power supplied to the USB ports ports on the saddle.

 

The manual says for non "G" mounts ---- "

 

USB2.0 port: 2X powered USB2.0 port and 1X unpowered USB 2.0 ports. It is connected to

the iPolar/USB input on the rear end of RA axis (Figure 8Figure 2)"

 

My guess is that they don't want the built in hub to steal too much power from the 5 amp input for the mount. Remember that each USB port can draw as much as 500 ma. Powering all three might be a problem when you are starting with only a 5 amp supply. 

 

So, in the end, if I had an iPolar I would connect it to one of the powered ports. 

 

Note that there are two USB cables in this design that need to go to your PC. One is for the mount and the other is for that hub. 

 

Rgrds-Ross



#43 limeyx

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 12:26 AM

I think (?) that you are confusing 12 volt power with power supplied to the USB ports ports on the saddle.

The manual says for non "G" mounts ---- "

USB2.0 port: 2X powered USB2.0 port and 1X unpowered USB 2.0 ports. It is connected to
the iPolar/USB input on the rear end of RA axis (Figure 8Figure 2)"

My guess is that they don't want the built in hub to steal too much power from the 5 amp input for the mount. Remember that each USB port can draw as much as 500 ma. Powering all three might be a problem when you are starting with only a 5 amp supply.

So, in the end, if I had an iPolar I would connect it to one of the powered ports.

Note that there are two USB cables in this design that need to go to your PC. One is for the mount and the other is for that hub.

Rgrds-Ross


I think we see saying the same thing.

Power for the two powered USB ports comes from whatever power the iPolar USB gets. And the signal obviously goes there too so yes you need two USB cables to your PC

I think power to the iPolar camera comes from that USB input?

Then two DC connections. One for the mount and two 12V DC

And the DC input on the RA axis powers the other DC power out on the saddle

I don’t need powered USB on the saddle so I just need enough to run the iPolar camera (which seemed to work fine )

#44 rgsalinger

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 11:30 AM

Well,  if it works then that's fine. I was just wondering if the fact that one of the USB ports is unpowered might be why people have trouble with the iPolar (as well as some other USB devices). I don't know enough about the USB protocol to understand how they can even wire up a power hub and an unpowered port to a single output but that seems to be what they did.

 

Rgrds-Ross


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#45 Blackhawk163

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 12:53 PM

Was the checkbox checked in NINA for doing the flip?

I was anxious the first time, but now it goes well every time it needs to do the flip.

yup first thing I did before I started imaging.


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#46 unimatrix0

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 02:03 PM

BTW, CN has its own review of the iPolar setup.  It's from Dec. 2020, I think it was the first thing I have read on this site: 
https://www.cloudyni...alignment-r3273



#47 acrh2

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 03:34 PM

BTW, CN has its own review of the iPolar setup.  It's from Dec. 2020, I think it was the first thing I have read on this site: 
https://www.cloudyni...alignment-r3273

I read that review and concluded that the author didn't know what he was talking about.



#48 rgsalinger

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 04:08 PM

I reached exactly the same conclusion. This is not a "CN review". It's a review by a CN member. I was amazed when I read it. At the same time I'm dubious about anything alignment mechanism that relies on a low resolution camera to achive the numbers that people report. Fortunately, for most of us just getting to within a couple of arc minutes is sufficient. 

Rgrds-Ross



#49 Blackhawk163

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Posted 28 July 2021 - 06:58 PM

Meh I gave up on using ipolar for anything but a rough pa while I'm waiting for the scope to cool down. For now I just use my edge hd 9.25 @f/6.3 which give me more than enough consistency than using that camera ever did. In SC using the ipolar camera had the values jumping all over the place often times, for example, it would tell me I was had to move .4 degrees to the left, only for that value to jump to say 20 degrees before I ever touched anything, and then back down to 2 deg etc...
Using the main scope as my PA tool the numbers stay solid, and I was able to get PA within 30 sec. of starting.


IPolar works for some, I love its simplicity, but it's simply not working for me atm


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Astrophotography, Beginner, Imaging, Software



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