New purchaser; please advise on initial kit for precise polar alignment

Somewhere to ask questions about the best way to use SharpCap
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SimonWalsh
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Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:41 am

New purchaser; please advise on initial kit for precise polar alignment

Post by SimonWalsh » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:17 am

Hi There,
I am a new purchaser if this software. Have 3 cameras; a QSI 683, a SE lodestar and an Atik infinity. I don’t have a guidescope and was hoping to use this software initially to get more precise polar alignment with my FSQ106

I haven’t used the software yet but would really like some initial quick advice on which camera would be best to use. I’m guessing the lodestar. Will it be feasible to do this with my main scope?

Thanks for the initial kick off; I’m finding myself wasting a lot of clear nights testing different things out and so getting some initial advice so I am on the right track from the get go would be great.

Best
Simon

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Re: New purchaser; please advise on initial kit for precise polar alignment

Post by admin » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:20 pm

Hi,

The lodestar is certainly the best bet as it will give you relatively fast response times and the big pixels will pick up plenty of stars without the exposure is being too long. On the flipside, the field of view when combining that FSQ106 is very near to the minimum size that will work (0.7x0.5 degrees, see https://astronomy.tools/calculators/field_of_view/). Normally getting a field of view above 1° in each direction gives a better chance of reliable operation. On the other hand, since you have all the kit already, there's no harm in giving it a try to see if it works.

Cheers, Robin

SimonWalsh
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Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:41 am

Re: New purchaser; please advise on initial kit for precise polar alignment

Post by SimonWalsh » Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:51 pm

Hi Robin,
Thanks.
I’m having a great deal of difficulty connecting my camera (in this case a QSI 683) to the software. The issue suggests that there is a connection problem but the temperature is correctly displayed and the camera connects to other software without difficulty. Do you have any suggestions?
Cheers
Simon

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Re: New purchaser; please advise on initial kit for precise polar alignment

Post by admin » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:10 pm

Hi,

SharpCap isn't really the ideal software to work with older high resolution CCD cameras – this is because SharpCap effectively runs the camera continuously (like a video camera). That works well for more modern CMOS cameras which can download the frame to the computer very rapidly, but readout and download on her large CCD sensor can take several seconds, which makes it often appear that the camera is not responding or has frozen.

The next major version of SharpCap (due sometime this year) will have a mode where it works more like a still camera and only takes images on request, but for now I'd suggest considering an alternative piece of software for running your QSI.

Cheers, Robin

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