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Re: [ccd-newastro] Re: Imaging Workflow Scenario Question

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  • Michael Miller
    Pempro is easy if you re just using the polar alignment routine. I ll try to show it simple steps from memory. 1. Specify the mount and camera on the first
    Message 1 of 29 , Jan 31, 2012
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      Pempro is easy if you're just using the polar alignment routine. I'll try to show it simple steps from memory.
      1. Specify the mount and camera on the first tab, connect them.
      2. Go to polar alignment
      3. A screen will appear showing a compass
      4. Verify the checklist and hit next
      5. A screen appears which you need to have your location information put in
      6. Press slew and your mount will automatically go to a star at zero degrees dec and near the meridian.
      7. The next step will measure your camera's pixel scale and angle.
      8. The next step measures which direction your mount moves via the driver. It takes 3 images you just mouse click on the star each time.
      9. Next step it asks if you want to move east or west of the merdian.
      10. Measure azimuth error. Hit measure and the graph will start running and it tells you to move the mounts adjustment east or west and by how much. It continues to measure. You make fine adjustments until your drift is less than a fraction of an arc second ( flat line as shown by the graph) the next tab can be skipped.
      11. Go to altitude error, press slew and the mount will go to the correct position.
      12. Press measure and the graph will tell you if you need to move up or down
      13. The next step can be skipped on an AP mount as well.

      That's all there is to it. It's simply automating the old method of using a star in a crosshair eye piece and watching what happens over time.

      AP mounts come from the factory with backlash pre-programed, but PEC needs to be measured every 6 months or so and reloaded when the mount is new. I'm far from being an advanced user with it, but I don't even own a polar scope, and I image up to 20 min shots, and never have star trails unless somehow conditions messed up one frames guiding. I control the mount via my laptop and haven't used the keypad since the first day I set it up. I sync the mount in theSkyX or with ACP, using pinpoint, but ACP is so automated I just start it and tell what I want to image. This time of year I can image for 9 hours a night. My biggest headache is the weather.
      That's the other nice thing about being on a permanent pier, I haven't messed with polar alignment in 3 months. I primarily use theSkyX as a planning tool for targets altitudes for filter selection. ACP does everything else for me from focusing to flats.

      Michael D Miller
      CEO VP Services


      On Jan 31, 2012, at 8:42 PM, "garyemc" <garyemc@...> wrote:

      > Michael,
      >
      > I too own pempro, but when I tried to use it, and this was during the time when I was trying to learn everything else in this hobby, I got totally frustrated. If I remember correctly the tutorial/setup was long and cumbersome, and wasn't easy for me to grasp at the time. And I must not be the only one with that issue as I noticed on their website that they're coming out with a new update designed to be easier to use. I also tried pinpoint le and couldn't quite get it to work. I'll revisit them as I'm more comfortable with my setup now.
      >
      > The way I align now is I use AstroPhysics's Polar scope with my Mach1 mount, then go thru the hand controller routine, which is very lacking in my opinion. That's another story...In my opinion the AstroPhysics Hand controller star alignment routine is absolutely WEAK. Celestrons was much better!! I digress....So after my lack luster close alignment with the AP routine, I wind up refining that alignment by Syncing with TheSky6 and I'm pretty much aligned. Not perfect, but I have gotten 20min subs at times.
      >
      > gary
      >
      > --- In ccd-newastro@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Miller" <circpro@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > No, pinpoint will not measure drift. One of the best investments I ever made
      > > for alignment was Pempro. I think there's another program called pole align
      > > max, but I tried Pempro (60 day free trial) and loved it. It will move your
      > > mount to the correct position and start taking a series of images of a star
      > > and measuring the drift. After a few minutes, it will tell which direction
      > > and how much to move your mount. It's just an automated version of a
      > > standard drift alignment method people have used for years. I could never
      > > quite understand drift aligning when I started out, and it took forever, so
      > > I fell in love with Pempro. It will also measure and record your PEC
      > > (periodic error) of your drive gears and make allowances for that error if
      > > your mount allows playback of recorded PEC. Btw, I also found the full
      > > version of Pinpoint worked slightly better than the Limited edition version
      > > in Maxim, but I think I paid $179 for that. (this is such an inexpensive
      > > hobby!) All of these things can be confusing to learn at first, which is why
      > > Ron's book was so invaluable to me. Of course, since I follow most of his
      > > advice I bought the most expensive mount I could afford a few months ago (
      > > an Astro-Physics AP900GTO) , so my only problem now is learning how to
      > > process images correctly. The first few times people started mentioning
      > > "plate solving" I was lost. I can still remember taking sample images for
      > > minutes at a time trying to get the DSO centered. Once I discovered plate
      > > solving, I don't even think about it. None of these questions are dumb, we
      > > all have to learn these things through others that have been there. It seems
      > > overwhelming at first but thanks to forums and user groups, most imagers are
      > > the best people in the world at helping each other. I couldn't count how
      > > many things I was doing wrong, (and still am wrong about many things) but I
      > > try to share as much as I can as I remember what it's like.
      > >
      >
      >


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