Author Topic: Star alignment problems - dec balance?  (Read 5168 times)

Alejandro Taylor

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Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« on: December 24, 2017, 02:17:43 PM »
I'm really new to this still, but eventually have a good installation.  After getting out a few nights, I feel I have down most everything, but my celebrity alignment is giving me major issues.  Here is my gear:

Stellarvue 70mm APO Triplet R/P Focuser
Stellarview Reducer Flattener SV-SFFR-70APO
Celestron AVX Mount
QHY Polemaster
Orion StarShoot AutoGuider Guru Mono Astrophotography Camera
Orion Deluxe Mini 50mm Guide Scope
Canon 6D
Astronomics Light Pollution Filter

I feel that with the Polemaster I have my polar orientation down good, but when I go to do two star alignment it goes downhill quickly.  When I select two star alignment it lists Vega since the primary choice, which is one of the brightest stars I can see from my field of view.  While I choose that, the mount will slew only very roughly in that way, Vega isn't viewable at the point in the guide camera or extent.  Is that normal?  How close if it be at the point?  After a great deal of alterations I will manually get it centered and proceed to the next superstar.  While I select the other one, it moves again not so close to it.  I get it in center and select a calibration celebrity or two.  Then after the process is complete, I select a thing such as the Andromeda Galaxy, also it goes to the rough direction of this but still not in opinion.

What could I do wrong?  I know that I really should just be pressing right and up to have the alignment stars in perspective, but its always so far off that isn't an option.  Is it from me hunting around too much for the celebrity, or could it be the balancing of this extent?  I feel I possess the RA balance down, and east heavy.  The dec balance though I know is pretty off.  Could that be the issue?  With such a small extent and the weight of my Canon 6D off the back, I can only slide the scope up forward so much to balance, it still is realllllly thick on the camera side.

If that may be the issue, is there any way to balance it correctly?



Duane Berhane

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 06:28:36 AM »
Are you setting the location and time properly? The closer to the correct values, the closer the initial moves will be. Also, are you properly leveling the mount?

Stanley Elliott

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 07:31:19 PM »
i havnt use that mount but the gotos i have used going back to 2000 nestar thats kinda norm you may be 5 to 10 degrees off, use your telrad and slew the scope maybe on 5 mid speed and put in the center of smallest telrad circle then center in ep and hit algn. gotos never align 100% in the ep u have to manully do the last few or sevberal degrees yourself.

Scott Bentley

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 06:51:57 AM »
Quote
I'm really new to this still, but finally have a good setup. After getting out a few nights, I feel I have most everything down, but my star alignment is giving me major problems. Here is my equipment:

Stellarvue 70mm APO Triplet R/P Focuser
Stellarview Reducer Flattener SV-SFFR-70APO
Celestron AVX Mount
QHY Polemaster
Orion StarShoot AutoGuider Pro Mono Astrophotography Camera
Orion Deluxe Mini 50mm Guide Scope
Canon 6D
Astronomics Light Pollution Filter

I feel that with the Polemaster I have my polar alignment down good, but when I go to do two star alignment it goes downhill fast. When I choose two star alignment it always lists Vega as the first choice, which is one of the brightest stars I can see from my field of view. When I choose that, the mount will slew just very roughly in that direction, Vega isn't viewable at that point in the guide camera or scope. Is that normal?
Yes, it can be. Polar Aligning has nothing to do with GoTos.

How close should it be at that point?
At least in the general direction.

After a lot of adjustments I can manually get it centered and move to the next star.
That's what you're supposed to do.

When I choose another one, it moves again not very close to it. I get it in center and choose a calibration star or two. Then after the process is complete, I choose an object like the Andromeda Galaxy, and it goes to the rough direction of it, but still not in view.
Might need more points. Is your time/lat/long correct?

What could I be doing wrong? I know that I really should only be pressing right and up to get the alignment stars in view, but its always so far off that isn't an option. Is it from me hunting around too much for the star, or could it be the balancing of the scope? I feel I have the RA balance down, and east heavy. The dec balance though I know is pretty off. Could that be the problem?
No

With such a small scope and the weight of my Canon 6D off the back, I can only slide the scope up forward so much to balance, that it still is realllllly heavy on the camera side. Then many folks add extra weight to the front.

If that might be the problem, is there any way to balance it correctly?  Add weights to the front to balance. Use your imagination.


radnatipni

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 03:05:35 PM »
ill add your 2nd part, u always have to be balanced so if u r not in the dec that can also add to things going off, even manual scope u need to get balance on both or u r putting too preasure on the gears by being off balnced.
j

Jason Harlan

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 10:35:22 AM »
Quote
Are you setting the location and time properly? The closer to the correct values, the closer the initial moves will be. Also, are you properly leveling the mount?

Yes.  I tried latitude/longitude and triple checked. Also tried nearest city which is only about 2 miles north of me. Didn't seem to make much of a difference, but long/lat seemed a bit closer. Also with the time, I know I am correct now. I thought DST meant if I was in an area that observed it or not. But after checking it meant if we currently are in it or not. Being late November/December now, (in california) it should be set to Standard Time correct?

For leveling, it is roughly level. I read with the polemaster that leveling doesn't really matter though.. is that wrong?

Jason Bryant

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2018, 09:51:13 AM »
Quote
i havnt use that mount but the gotos i have used going back to 2000 nestar thats kinda norm you may be 5 to 10 degrees off, use your telrad and slew the scope maybe on 5 mid speed and put in the center of smallest telrad circle then center in ep and hit algn. gotos never align 100% in the ep u have to manully do the last few or sevberal degrees yourself.

I don't have a telrad, but am seriously considering getting one. Not having a visual way to align except through the main scope Canon 6D or guide cam is a struggle for me to get it in my head.

Tyler Cox

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2018, 01:33:17 PM »
Quote
ill add your 2nd part, u always have to be balanced so if u r not in the dec that can also add to things going off, even manual scope u need to get balance on both or u r putting too preasure on the gears by being off balnced.
j

Yeah it's pretty bad how unbalanced it is.. I'm going to really have to get creative on how to balance it off the front since the scope doesn't extend forward much at all over the center of the mount.. it's so small.

coachroninil

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 01:51:21 AM »
"After a lot of adjustments I can manually get it centered and move to the next star."

After you polar align the mount using your polemaster and slew to the first align star your only doing this with the HC and direction buttons to center it correct? Not with the mounts lat or az knobs correct? That would throw you way off.

portfreqportri

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2018, 02:22:56 PM »
Quote
"After a lot of adjustments I can manually get it centered and move to the next star."

After you polar align the mount using your polemaster and slew to the first align star your only doing this with the HC and direction buttons to center it correct? Not with the mounts lat or az knobs correct? That would throw you way off.

Yes I do not touch the knobs at all after I polar align with the pole master. Only using the hand control, or through PC controls. I've tried with hand controller only, and also to control with StellariumScope+Stellarium controls. Same results.

rioclamabik

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2018, 12:57:42 AM »
Quote
Quote

"After a lot of adjustments I can manually get it centered and move to the next star."

After you polar align the mount using your polemaster and slew to the first align star your only doing this with the HC and direction buttons to center it correct? Not with the mounts lat or az knobs correct? That would throw you way off.

Yes I do not touch the knobs at all after I polar align with the pole master. Only using the hand control, or through PC controls. I've tried with hand controller only, and also to control with StellariumScope+Stellarium controls. Same results.
Do things get better with each star? Try 3 star align perhaps? I think your initial polar alignment must be off just IMHO.

unmoharib

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2018, 12:47:32 AM »
Quote
Quote

Quote

"After a lot of adjustments I can manually get it centered and move to the next star."

After you polar align the mount using your polemaster and slew to the first align star your only doing this with the HC and direction buttons to center it correct? Not with the mounts lat or az knobs correct? That would throw you way off.

Yes I do not touch the knobs at all after I polar align with the pole master. Only using the hand control, or through PC controls. I've tried with hand controller only, and also to control with StellariumScope+Stellarium controls. Same results.
Do things get better with each star? Try 3 star align perhaps? I think your initial polar alignment must be off just IMHO.
It's usually worse with each star. 1 star alignment almost seems best.. even though it is still off. I sure hope my polar alignment isn't off when I use the polemaster. I follow all of its steps and everything lines up like it says its supposed to. I bought it because I wanted to eliminate as much chance of problems with that.

acbrawexel

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2018, 01:51:49 AM »
I know the controversy over leveling things... but I level everything... the tripod, then again when the mount is on... I also level the balance bar and make the mark so when I drop the bar down to home that I can make it 90 degrees to perfect parallel... I do the same leveling with the dove tail so when I pivot it back home that it is perfect...

I use a gps to get as exact as possible date, time, lat, long, and altitude...

I never do less than a 3 star alignment (I have an AVX but don't use it much and usually use my Atlas mounts)... and in some cases Ihave doe a 12 star align (using Stellarium/EQMOD)... 3 in each quadrant... I use a lite reticle eyepiece to center the stars...

Goto's are always in the FoV and depending on scope and eyepiece/camerapretty close to center...

compstifcolpai

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2018, 04:32:58 AM »
Hi jowaldo,

 I don't have a polemaster but I do own an AVX. I'm just making an educated guess but to me it does sound like your polar alignment might be off, or you're accidentally picking the wrong star when it slews to say Vega. It sounds like you're pretty familiar with the names so I'm going with the first choice. Here's something I can recommend trying if it's not too much of a hassle.
As the others have posted, make sure your date, time, daylight savings time, and TIME ZONE are correct. When you pick the closest city to you, it should select the proper time zone automatically, but it never hurts to check. Daylight savings time can be a source of confusion as well. You are correct, you should change the mount to say "Standard time" when it pops up and says "Daylight savings time".
Next, level the mount, point it at Polaris and make sure the PHYSICAL latitude scale on the mount itself is set to close to your latitude. For example, I'm in Charlotte NC and my mount's physical latitude is set to 35 degrees using the little scale on the side of the mount. You should see it with the small silver needle and all the degrees.
If it's not too much trouble, as a test remove the pole master kit and just use the bore that goes through the axis of the mount. Line up Polaris through that bore. If your latitude is correct, you should be able to at least see Polaris through the hole. Using the mount's knobs for latitude and the azimuth knobs(NOT the handle controller) center Polaris in that bore just by eyeballing it. You may have to make some adjustments.
This is how I set mine up. Once you do that, try a 2 star alignment. The first star, whichever you chose, WILL be off a bit. Center it using your hand controller in your finder scope FIRST, then hit enter. The controller will then ask you to center it in the EYEPIECE. Look through your eyepiece and center the star there again using the hand controller. Then press ALIGN. It will pick a second star so repeat the same procedure. You'll notice it will move very fast first towards the general direction of the star. Once it asks you to center it in the finder, it will move slower. When you've centered it in the finder and pressed enter, then it will move even slower to center it in the eyepiece. I use a 17mm eyepiece and after a 2 star alignment my objects are DEAD center, and that's just with eyeballing polaris. No polar scope or nothing.

If it works this way, it sounds like you might be making a mistake somewhere in the pole master setup. I hope this helps.

Eric

Chris Jiles

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Re: Star alignment problems - dec balance?
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2018, 04:55:55 PM »
Quote
Hi jowaldo,

 I don't have a polemaster but I do own an AVX. I'm just making an educated guess but to me it does sound like your polar alignment might be off, or you're accidentally picking the wrong star when it slews to say Vega. It sounds like you're pretty familiar with the names so I'm going with the first choice. Here's something I can recommend trying if it's not too much of a hassle.
As the others have posted, make sure your date, time, daylight savings time, and TIME ZONE are correct. When you pick the closest city to you, it should select the proper time zone automatically, but it never hurts to check. Daylight savings time can be a source of confusion as well. You are correct, you should change the mount to say "Standard time" when it pops up and says "Daylight savings time".
Next, level the mount, point it at Polaris and make sure the PHYSICAL latitude scale on the mount itself is set to close to your latitude. For example, I'm in Charlotte NC and my mount's physical latitude is set to 35 degrees using the little scale on the side of the mount. You should see it with the small silver needle and all the degrees.
If it's not too much trouble, as a test remove the pole master kit and just use the bore that goes through the axis of the mount. Line up Polaris through that bore. If your latitude is correct, you should be able to at least see Polaris through the hole. Using the mount's knobs for latitude and the azimuth knobs(NOT the handle controller) center Polaris in that bore just by eyeballing it. You may have to make some adjustments.
This is how I set mine up. Once you do that, try a 2 star alignment. The first star, whichever you chose, WILL be off a bit. Center it using your hand controller in your finder scope FIRST, then hit enter. The controller will then ask you to center it in the EYEPIECE. Look through your eyepiece and center the star there again using the hand controller. Then press ALIGN. It will pick a second star so repeat the same procedure. You'll notice it will move very fast first towards the general direction of the star. Once it asks you to center it in the finder, it will move slower. When you've centered it in the finder and pressed enter, then it will move even slower to center it in the eyepiece. I use a 17mm eyepiece and after a 2 star alignment my objects are DEAD center, and that's just with eyeballing polaris. No polar scope or nothing.

If it works this way, it sounds like you might be making a mistake somewhere in the pole master setup. I hope this helps.

Eric


I'm not saying that it can't be a PA thing... but I know for visual, I've done ok with my goto's by just aiming the scope north... now the alt would be left over from last time I set up, and I do use a compass to get it hand grenade close... but I'd be far from having a good PA...