Author Topic: Polemaster  (Read 306 times)

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Carole

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Polemaster
« on: Oct 06, 2017, 12:10:37 »
Due to my injured knee I acquired a right angled finder which worked well the first two times I used it but wouldn't stay in place at Kelling, I decided to get Polemaster.

What a brilliant piece of kit that is, I used it last night for the first time and could not believe how simple it is.  (Used the HEQ5 on the lawn).

Normal PA is fine for those without neck, back or knee problems and those young and fit, but no thought has gone into improving this task that many people find a real chore, by Skywatcher, thank goodness for QHY.

Roger and Roy are also using it and having seen them demonstrate and me having problems at Kelling made me press the button.  Could not believe it was so easy.

Carole





The Thing

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #1 on: Oct 06, 2017, 16:52:25 »
Dont want to be a party pooper but you can do the same for free with Sharpcap 2.9 and now PHD2 has an even better tool both using your existing guiding setup.
Life is like a box of chocolates, scoff it while it's in front of you.

Apophis

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #2 on: Oct 06, 2017, 20:05:25 »
Just wondered how they can be as accurate when they are not positioned on rotational axis of scope , would your first alignment star ever be near centre of FOV, to me that shows how close to perfect PA is, thats what i find with mine.
Roger
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The Thing

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #3 on: Oct 06, 2017, 20:20:47 »
Irrelevant. The maths takes care of it when the centre of rotation of the mount is determined and related to the field of view.
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NoelC

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #4 on: Oct 10, 2017, 19:01:23 »
I noticed a 30' offset from one alignment to repeated alignment on SharpCap.
PHD seemed to come within 15' on the second alignment.
Duncan: have you tried repeating alignments?
Would be interested in repeated alignment data on PA as well Roger.

But on the face of it 30' is pretty good I think.

Noel
Synta mount, a bunch of telescopes and a shed (on wheels).

Apophis

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #5 on: Oct 10, 2017, 19:20:56 »
Not sure of what your asking for?
Roger
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The Thing

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #6 on: Oct 11, 2017, 10:48:44 »
30arcsec is better than you should be able to achieve unless you have a very top end mount. With my HEQ5 and neq6 mounts 2.5arcmins is all I can achieve with a fixed pier. The adjustments are too rough and lazily engineered.
Also I find that the alt axis changes between sessions as the is no way of locking the position, the standard bolts slip and flex. For guided AP 2.5 arcmin is easily good enough.

Slightly varying results on different runs can be due to seeing change, tiny amounts of flex, algorithm inaccuracies, centroid calculation etc.
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Carole

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #7 on: Oct 11, 2017, 12:08:10 »
Roy gave me and a friend a demo at Kelling and I recall he said he could get to 30 arc sec and he has an HEQ5.

Where do I find this info on Polemaster?

Carole 

Apophis

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #8 on: Oct 11, 2017, 12:58:46 »
I`ve posted my last PHD2 log on dropbox , surely how accurate PA is has a direct effect on guiding?
Within 1 Arc minute for 3 hours.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/prnequp8v8olz2b/Guiding%206%20Octjpg.jpg?dl=0
Roger
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NoelC

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #9 on: Oct 11, 2017, 17:08:04 »
Very nice guiding Roger.
But the 1' figure you give there is for guided tracking isn't it?
Have you tried the drift alignment on PHD to estimate how close you are? - just wondered.

QHY say that "Precision (arcsec) = 6 * drift (arcsec per hour)" or that 3arcsec per hour is equivalent to an alignment accuracy of 18arcsec. On that basis, 30' alignment error should be around 6' per hour drift. If thats true I should be able to turn Dec alignment off or down very low (I've not tried - only installed Sharpcap the other day).

My mount is on a pier, but as you say the nuts and bolts are very rough and ready, and there appears to be a huge amount of backlash on the Az adjustment (oddly).  My adjustment bolts are M12x1.75 (i.e. course threads). I just tinkered with the alignment until it came in as close as I could get it. (Cloud was advancing rapidly - hence the multiple alignments).

When I first installed Sharpcap it said my alignment was 15arcmins (which was achieved using polarscope and PHD).
Synta mount, a bunch of telescopes and a shed (on wheels).

Carole

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #10 on: Oct 11, 2017, 21:26:17 »
Noel, you and Mark would make a couple of bookends when it comes to statistics, are you sure you need to come to imaging sessions.   :cheesy:

Carole

NoelC

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #11 on: Oct 12, 2017, 17:04:41 »
Sorry; but I'm quite good at tinkering.
Not so good at imaging (yet).

Noel
Synta mount, a bunch of telescopes and a shed (on wheels).

The Thing

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #12 on: Oct 15, 2017, 08:23:27 »
Hi Noel et al.

Last night I used the latest version of PHD2 2.6.4dev3 (I think there may be a dev4 now!) to polar align using the static alignment tool (SPA) after the Guiding Assistant said I was 89 arcmin out!!! I can only assume that the previous version of SPA was not quite right. It's now easier to see what adjustments to make, just put the target circumpolar star in the calculated circle (I just used Polaris). I got to within 2.5arcmins in 30seconds :) and then checked it with the Guiding Assistant and then repeated SPA which showed it was still spot on. I'll check it again next time I image as I am sure my Alt axis moves, the pivot bolt is a lousy fit and the adjustment bolts bend and slip where the put pressure on the casting. Rebuild looming.

BTW I'm using a 75mm fl gudescope at 10arcmin/pixel, a longer focal length would be more accurate for this but at the end of the day my mount is limited by its adjustments which are rough to say the least so I'm happy

HTH
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Carole

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #13 on: Oct 15, 2017, 10:19:30 »
Duncan, I don't have a Polemaster adapter for my NEQ6 which has been on the pier for several years now and not moved, but I do think it is time I re-checked the polar alignment which I originally fine tuned using Alignmaster. 

What version of Sharpcap do I need and is it simple for us mere mortals not so IT/techie minded as yourself?   It would save me buying the Polemaster NEQ6 adapter for what could be a one off or rare use.

Carole


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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #14 on: Oct 15, 2017, 11:12:14 »
Hi Carole

With your existing guiding setup you can use either Sharpcap 2.9 which is still free (v3 costs) or phd2 2.4.6dev4 or higher from the beta section on openphdguiding.org. Don't worry it's says beta!

I much prefer the phd2 static alignment method as it's quicker, the mount rotates much less the Sharpcap version which needs a 90 degree movement and has to platesolve at each position which can be hit and miss. Also with the Sharpcap method you have to watch numbers which tell you which way to still need to move after each adjustment rather than just move one star into one circle once.

Hth

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Apophis

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #15 on: Oct 15, 2017, 11:13:57 »
I didn't realise the adapters were so expensive just looked £32 is a bit steep considering you pay so much for the PM itself.
Roger
Look and ye shall find

The Thing

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #16 on: Oct 15, 2017, 11:17:47 »
On cloudynights consensus seems to be the polemaster is good but why pay for another guidecam and lens when you already have them😎. And there is free software to do the job.😍😀
Life is like a box of chocolates, scoff it while it's in front of you.

Carole

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #17 on: Oct 15, 2017, 13:56:24 »
Watching numbers sounds a bit too techie for me unless it tells you what numbers to look for.

I'll look into the PHD2 system. 

Quote
I didn't realise the adapters were so expensive just looked £32 is a bit steep considering you pay so much for the PM itself.
Yes £32 for a one off PA is a bit much.  But if you think that is expensive I was looking to see if they did an adapter for the Star Adventurer the other day and that was £68 !!!

Thanks


Apophis

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #18 on: Oct 15, 2017, 14:13:18 »
I have that adapter for the Star Adventurer , i was going to try it out at DSC.
Roger
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Carole

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #19 on: Oct 15, 2017, 14:15:49 »
I still have Alignmaster but the problem with that is you have to choose 2 pairs of stars, and since the trees have got taller where I live, I can't seem to find pairs where I can see both stars.

I have found the download on PHD2, and looking at a thread on SGL it does look quite similar to Polemaster. 

Just need to get my laptop out and see what version I already have installed as I did it not long ago when I changed from my Vista laptop to my W7 laptop.

Carole

Carole

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #20 on: Oct 15, 2017, 14:16:31 »
Quote
I have that adapter for the Star Adventurer , i was going to try it out at DSC.
So did you have to pay £68 for it, or how did you acquire it?

Carole

Apophis

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #21 on: Oct 15, 2017, 18:11:52 »
When i got the SA from Modern Astronomy , the adapter was £39 ! Its still that price , where was it £68?
Roger
« Last Edit: Oct 15, 2017, 18:34:56 by Apophis »
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Carole

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #22 on: Oct 15, 2017, 23:03:10 »
Can't remember now, could have been 365 astronomy, somewhere on the internet I found it.

Well I tried out PHD2 static PA tonight, but I could not use it because whatever star I chose went off the screen even before I had slewed sufficiently, so I checked with the right angled polarfinder, and PA was out in Azimuth, (not been moved or checked for several years lol), so I adjusted that and tried PHD2 again, but still the star went off the screen.  I need a bigger FOV I think, but this was with the finderguider!!!!

Also used EQMOD but all my GOTOs were out and could not find anything, so switched back to the handset and everything was easily find-able.   However thinking about it now, this was a fresh install.  I bet it's defaulted to somewhere in Europe (Switzerland?? or something), didn't think to check that having used EQmod before.  Will take a look later. 

Both my intended targets were out of the FOV one behind the houses and the other behind the dome, so not a good evening all in all.

Oh, one thing that did go well, I found a USB Hub that someone kindly gave me yonks ago and I forgot I had it, it's a super duper one and I attached all the USBs tonight plus Eqmod and everything worked, so that is a good step in the right direction, I just have to note which USBs I used for what. 

Carole

Carole

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #23 on: Oct 16, 2017, 10:57:07 »
Hmmm, spoke too soon.  I went to check this morning the observatory location on EQmod and also why I could not connect my camera and EFW to APT as I want to try out plate solving, and the hub is only working in 2 out of the four channels.

CdC is definitely with my location I had already done it, date and time was fine too, so no idea why I could not get GOTOs to go to the right place last night, yet the handset worked just fine.

Carole

Apophis

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #24 on: Oct 16, 2017, 10:58:02 »
Its nice when things work , last time i was out i connected a 20 ft USB to my laptop with that Usb Hub you gave me , and so could image whilst sitting comfortably in garage, little heater ready for winter and also still get the Wifi from house for Plate Solving and Internet.
Roger
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Apophis

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #25 on: Oct 16, 2017, 11:11:05 »
Have you set your site information in EQMOD including ELEVATION.
Silly question but EQMOD was on SIDEREAL tracking?
Roger
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Carole

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #26 on: Oct 16, 2017, 11:54:53 »
Not done elevation, where do I get that info?  smartphone?
Can't see why that would make any difference.

Yes it was sidereal tracking.

Carole

MarkS

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Re: Polemaster
« Reply #27 on: Oct 16, 2017, 21:43:49 »
Quote from: Carole
Not done elevation, where do I get that info?  smartphone?
Can't see why that would make any difference.

Elevation cannot make any difference.  Just set it to zero.

Mark