Should the mount be tracking during polar align

Using SharpCap's Polar Alignment feature
Post Reply
Taylor
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:29 pm

Should the mount be tracking during polar align

Post by Taylor »

Should your mount be turned on and tracking during the polar align routine or does it not matter? I'd think that it should be on for best resolution of the stars used for plate solving but was just wondering.
User avatar
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5809
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:52 pm
Location: Vale of the White Horse, UK
Contact:

Re: Should the mount be tracking during polar align

Post by admin »

Hi,

it really doesn't matter – typically you will be taking 2 second exposures (or some fairly similar length) and you are taking images very close to the celestial pole. The combination of the two means that you will get no visible star trails regardless of whether you are tracking or not. In fact the total rotation would be very small even during the whole polar alignment procedure (which typically might take a few minutes).

Cheers, Robin
SonnyE
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2020 5:37 am

Re: Should the mount be tracking during polar align

Post by SonnyE »

Thank You for that clarification, Robin.
My mount, a Losmandy GM811GHD, goes to tracking when started. It seems to be the nature of the Gemini II controller.
So I do my Sharpcap Polar Alignment with my mount off, and just manually do the axis rotation, and return to CWD (counter weight down) before I switch it on to begin my model building for the evening.
I believe there is a way to stop the automatic tracking, but since it has not been a bother, I just work around it by leaving my mount powered down during my Polar Alignment.

I do hope to one day actually learn to use more of the features and plate solving available in Sharpcap. I'm 6 years into my Astro Imaging, and still a beginner. At almost 71, I suppose I'd better step it up. :lol:
User avatar
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5809
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:52 pm
Location: Vale of the White Horse, UK
Contact:

Re: Should the mount be tracking during polar align

Post by admin »

Hi,

glad to hear that you have a method that works nicely for you :)

clear skies!

Robin
VPR
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat May 09, 2020 3:40 pm

Re: Should the mount be tracking during polar align

Post by VPR »

If you want to stop the Losmandy Mount tracking (Gemini-2), there are two ways to do this:

1) Menu > Park > ‘Park at CWD Position’.
2) Menu > Track > ‘Terrestrial’.

Option 1) is not recommended because accidentally pressing one of the 4 direction buttons will start the Mount tracking again – cause for a crash if your limits are not set correctly :o

Option 2) is the recommended way to stop tracking. It will not move. As a habit, I always leave the mount in ‘Terrestrial’ mode when unattended (with power On) or when polar aligning. While in ‘Terrestrial’ mode, it also knows its pointing location – so, it is easy to get back to tracking (set the Track back to ‘Sidereal’). Powering the Gemini-2 Off and back On, remembers the last tracking mode setting.

V.P
Post Reply