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Thread: Hmph! Might have to fine-tune my mount.

  1. #1
    KathyNS's Avatar
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    Default Hmph! Might have to fine-tune my mount.



    With a rare clear, new moon evening, I thought I'd go out and catch some photons.

    I opened the dome about sunset, intending to take some flats by twilight. I found that my Atik had water droplets again. That's after I changed the desicant. Obviously, there's too much humidity inside for the desicant to deal with.

    So, I changed out the camera, installing the Canon again. I had been planning to get some Ha on the Rosette, but that plan was out, so I decided to have a try at quasar 3C273, which is east in the evenings. I managed to find it in Stellarium (it only semi-recognizes the 3C designation and won't lock onto it, but try the alternate HIP 60936 designation and it is fine). After re-aligning the mount on several stars in the Virgo area, I sent it to HIP 60936 and started shooting 10-minute subs.

    After processing them today, I had an okay image of an anonymous star field with a couple of fuzzies in the background. It took a couple of tries stacking and processing it before I had something that would plate-solve. It didn't help that my Internet connection is intermittent this morning, so downloading the star databases was problematic. I finally got a plate solution for the image.

    Yes, you guessed it. 3C273 was just outside the frame! @#$%!!

    So I think my mount is due for a hyper-tune, and maybe for a drive train upgrade.
    helicon64, Lowjiber and MoosBros like this.

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    Default Re: Hmph! Might have to fine-tune my mount.

    as Father Guido Sarducci would say.."If it's a-not one thing, then it's a-something else.."
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    Default Re: Hmph! Might have to fine-tune my mount.

    Usually, the problems are procedural when it comes to go-to accuracy--you don't usually need to "tune" anything. You don't mention the mount you are using, but it looks like an HEQ5 (SynScan). The SynScan accuracy is VERY dependent on alignment star choice. Much moreso than a NexStar. If I follow the hints in the manual--first two stars separated by at least 3 hours of RA, third star between declination 30 and 70 north or south, my go-tos with my SynScan mount--an EQ6--are dead on. Oh, one thing that can affect your accuracy not mentioned in the manual is the _altitude_ of star 3. It should be neither close to the Meridian nor the horizon. Tuning your mount will (maybe) help with tracking accuracy. Go-to? I doubt it.
    Uncle Rod

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    Default Re: Hmph! Might have to fine-tune my mount.

    Hi Keith
    Rowan Astronomy
    Belt drive kits!
    best upgrade you can get!
    You've probably got a case of a soft mount/pier (well you did say it was wood......)
    NEQ6 Pro Mount.
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    Default Re: Hmph! Might have to fine-tune my mount.

    Is your mount and stellarium working with the same time? Something simple like this could put your target out of your camera view.
    John

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    Default Re: Hmph! Might have to fine-tune my mount.

    A belt drive can help with tracking--somewhat--but rarely with go-to accuracy problems.
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    Uncle Rod

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    Default Re: Hmph! Might have to fine-tune my mount.

    Keith,

    The hypertune will benefit the mount and should reduce dropped frames on long exposures. When it comes to gotos I would wait until you have a chance to image several objects to see if you have any type of pattern where object is off center same direction and distance, the grid tool helps with this. Then it usually is matter of fine tuning your PA if that ends up being case. I trust your pier is solid!

    Clear skies!

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