Biggest problem I'm having is properly doing,"DRIFT ALIGNMENT"

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  • Member since
    November, 2012
Posted by MooseMan01 on Saturday, October 05, 2013 9:42 AM

Wondering if it's possible you're not aligning to Polaris? Sorry if it seems like a silly question. It is rather hard to diagnose someone elses problem through a web site. But the problems you're having could be due to something very simple.

In my experience with the EQ mount, precise alignment to Polaris is not terribly critical. You should be able to do a rough alignment of the mount to Polaris just by "eyeball". Then swing the scope over to the target of interest and turn on the motor. Even an approximate alignment to Polaris should keep the target object in the field of view for a good while, long enough to collect data with a webcam. That's why I'm wondering if something more fundamental is wrong, other than slight misalignment.

Give us a clue stepping beyond. How long does the target stay in view before you have to make an adjustment, and at what magnification. IE What is the focal length of the eyepiece and telescope you are using.

  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: North Carolina east coast USA
Posted by stepping beyond on Friday, October 04, 2013 10:51 PM

Tim , I had the powerseeker out from 7-10 pm est. I was drifting from my driveway, cursing those street lights and cars passing by, that's why I view frpm the backyard plus it's much darker. That's where my "HUNTING" is done, for DSO's with my Z10 reflector. I had Polaris aligned and drifted again in the E, I'm limited in the aligning process on stars I can drift on without moving out of position.I found your post when I came in. Most excellent with pictures, I bookmarked straight away both tutorials. Thank you very much and I'll be asking questions repeatedly.My cg1 mount is pretty cheezy but, If I'm unable to achieve something that I can appreciate then I'm not out a load of dough.  I have an electronic eyepiece and a cheaper refractor just to see if I'm able to do AP with the use of one arm. I've made strides in my quest to achieve something that others said I couldn't do. Hey I'm not dead , so don't count me out "I always say".

 

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  • Member since
    May, 2009
Posted by Timthelder on Sunday, September 29, 2013 8:31 PM

Hey there Ronnie,

I understand your frustration totally.  Most anyone starting out who want's to do astrophotography has this hurdle to overcome.

I once helped someone over the phone with their problem, come to find out, they didn't know the mount always had to face Polaris for the mounts 'go-to' feature to work.  They were just plunking their mount down in the yard and hitting go.

Anyway, I believe Mooseman helped you with where you mount needs to point when you set it up, (at Polaris.)

Here is a couple of illustrated links... To a what I think is a simple understanding of what one needs to do, to properly drift align their mount.

A couple of things to add that I will edit shortly. 1.) This is done with the mount facing North, not the scope.  AND  In these tut's the referenced 'front of the mount' is the side pointed at Polaris.

Traditional two star drift alignment method. 

And a not so traditional...One star drift alignment method.

NOTE:  Learn where the 'ecliptic' line is for your observing/imaging location.  The stars you want to use are a little bit above it, or a little bit below it, whether you're facing east or south.  It will be low in the east but higher up in the south.

 Tim 

(from your reply from another topic. Yes, I have some experience at this. lol)

My website:   http://www.astrotarp.com  

Also look me up on facebook!

And...My Current Stuff

Orion 100ED F/9 Refractor_Celestron 80mm SLT F/11 Guidescope_Celestron C9.25" F/10 SCT_Celestron 80mm F/7.5 Guidescope_CGE Pro mount_Celestron CG-5 ASGT Mount_Orion SS Autoguider _DMK21AU618.AS Imaging Source videocam_ Baader RGB filters_Canon 450Da

  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: North Carolina east coast USA
Posted by stepping beyond on Saturday, September 28, 2013 11:09 AM

That would be "SUPER AWESOME" Mooseman. My cognitive ability is all downhill from brain damage. I do the best I can but,  if I could get it aligned properly , that would be a very good thing. I've only worked with ALT/ AZ mounts since I was 10 yrs. old. My brothers called my scopes junk when I was growing up but, as long as I could see the "Lunar Surface and Planets I was happy. When I was a teen until I was 35 I was a "Rocketeer" and made custom built rockets and let my 2 boys launch and retieve them. That lasted a lil' while , their interest went elsewhere. I tried to give them a taste of real enjoyment but, It didn't stick. Ronnie

  • Member since
    November, 2012
Posted by MooseMan01 on Saturday, September 28, 2013 9:36 AM
Yes it is quite tricky at first, but not so bad once you get the hang of it. I'll try to post a few pictures of my EQ mount to help explain it.
  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: North Carolina east coast USA
Posted by stepping beyond on Saturday, September 28, 2013 9:05 AM

Thank you for your input, I tried just that and no doubt it's not easy by no means. I've had 2 nights in a row of pristine seeing and though I need to keep working with the alignment, once those stars are out I move over to the Z10. I'm a astro junky that needs to see what's up there and when I don't I'm not very happy. I desire the excitement of the wonderful treasures that exist so many ly's away.I will continue working with your advice and someday I'll get r done and get one of those planets, hopefully I can get Jupiter in my fov and get a video for processing. That would be too cool !

  • Member since
    November, 2012
Posted by MooseMan01 on Friday, September 20, 2013 10:37 PM

I have an equatorial mount. It's a Meade. Not expensive but I've used it to take some planetary images that turned out ok. Mine does not have the motor, although I've considered adding one.

You have to align it to Polaris. If you look at the design of the equatorial, you'll see that the whole thing rotates around a spindle. This is the "Right Ascension Axis". If you can align the equatorial mount to point exactly at polaris, then rotating the right ascension drive will enable you to track the rotation of the stars exactly. Thats where your motor comes in.

Getting very precise tracking is not easy, especially if your doing long-exposure photography over several minutes. Slight misalignments in the telescope mount with respect to the rotation of the planet will show up in the image. There are tricks used to fine-tune this alignment.

Remember, this rotation is actually caused by the planet as it rotates on its axis, the central point conciding very closely to the star polaris!

First you need to adjust the altitude knob at the bottom of the mount, to tilt the head up to the angle which is polaris. This I believe it turns out to be the latitude coordinates of your location. In my case, it is 45 degrees. Once you set this, you dont change it unless you transport your scope to another location, IE with a different latitude.

  • Member since
    April, 2012
  • From: North Carolina east coast USA
Biggest problem I'm having is properly doing,"DRIFT ALIGNMENT"
Posted by stepping beyond on Friday, September 20, 2013 11:08 AM

I just don't know if I'm doing it correctly. I've got a motor and not a computer navigation control, it's all hand on . I'm using a dim star in the east and I wondered about that but, that's what I chose. Should I have chosen one farther North? Do I have to do 2 stars or can I just do 1. I'm limited in my choices. Does anyone have a Equatorial mount? Mine maybe cheap But, it should do this drift alignment process

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