Skipping Alignment?

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Skipping Alignment?

#1

Post by 1cor29 »


Greetings all,
I am very new to astronomy, telescopes (other than the simple refractor, point-and-view), and mounts! I have a question I'm hoping anyone can answer because I cannot seem to find the answer on my own. I have an iPolar polar scope that I will use to polar align my telescope (I haven't done it yet). Question is, if I get my telescope properly aligned, is there a way to skip the initial alignment process on the NexStar computerized hand control? When playing with it last night, there seemed to be no way of skipping all that and just going to the menu of finding an object to point the telescope to. Any help would be so appreciated. Thank you!
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Schmidt-Cassegrain Celestron AVX 9.25" Telescope
Celestron AVX GoTo German Equatorial Mount
Celestron 25mm Eyepiece
Celestron X-CEL 2X Barlow Lens 1.25
iOptron iPolar External Electronic Polar Scope

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Re: Skipping Alignment?

#2

Post by Juno16 »


You can get a good PA, then do a Quick Align with the AVX hand controller. A Quick Alignment will get you close to your targets, but won’t be perfect. If you plan to image, plate solving will then put the target in the center. If you plan to do visual observations, a manual alignment will be your best bet.
Jim

Scopes: Explore Scientific ED102 APO, Sharpstar 61 EDPH II APO, Samyang 135 F2 (still on the Nikon).
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Re: Skipping Alignment?

#3

Post by 1cor29 »


Hey Jim, thank you for your reply, but I wanted to know how to skip the alignment process that's started when the mount is first turned on. When the hand control is on, it starts with the alignment process. If my telescope is already aligned, I don't need to do this alignment on the hand controller.
_____________________________________________
Schmidt-Cassegrain Celestron AVX 9.25" Telescope
Celestron AVX GoTo German Equatorial Mount
Celestron 25mm Eyepiece
Celestron X-CEL 2X Barlow Lens 1.25
iOptron iPolar External Electronic Polar Scope

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Re: Skipping Alignment?

#4

Post by Juno16 »


Ok. Got you.

I could be wrong, but I don't think that an AVX will start tracking until a star alignment of some sort is done.
Possibly there is a software option if you are using a PC to start tracking without a star alignment.
A polar alignment and a Star a alignment are two different things.
Jim

Scopes: Explore Scientific ED102 APO, Sharpstar 61 EDPH II APO, Samyang 135 F2 (still on the Nikon).
Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro with Rowan Belt Mod
Stuff: ASI EAF Focus Motor (x2), Orion 50mm Guide Scope, ZWO 30 mm Guide Scope, ASI 220mm min, ASI 120mm mini, Stellarview 0.8 FR/FF, Sharpstar 0.8 FR/FF, Mele Overloock 3C.
Camera/Filters/Software: ASI 533 mc pro, ASI 120mm mini, Orion SSAG, IDAS LPS D-1, Optolong L-Enhance, ZWO UV/IR Cut, N.I.N.A., Green Swamp Server, PHD2, Adobe Photoshop CC, Pixinsight.
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Re: Skipping Alignment?

#5

Post by 1cor29 »


Well that's a bummer. I guess I'll have to align with the controller then. I just liked the iPolar because it's much more accurate. Thanks Jim!
_____________________________________________
Schmidt-Cassegrain Celestron AVX 9.25" Telescope
Celestron AVX GoTo German Equatorial Mount
Celestron 25mm Eyepiece
Celestron X-CEL 2X Barlow Lens 1.25
iOptron iPolar External Electronic Polar Scope

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Re: Skipping Alignment?

#6

Post by Juno16 »


It’s really not too bad to do a two star alignment with a couple of calibration stars. That way your goto’s should be spot on.
Jim

Scopes: Explore Scientific ED102 APO, Sharpstar 61 EDPH II APO, Samyang 135 F2 (still on the Nikon).
Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro with Rowan Belt Mod
Stuff: ASI EAF Focus Motor (x2), Orion 50mm Guide Scope, ZWO 30 mm Guide Scope, ASI 220mm min, ASI 120mm mini, Stellarview 0.8 FR/FF, Sharpstar 0.8 FR/FF, Mele Overloock 3C.
Camera/Filters/Software: ASI 533 mc pro, ASI 120mm mini, Orion SSAG, IDAS LPS D-1, Optolong L-Enhance, ZWO UV/IR Cut, N.I.N.A., Green Swamp Server, PHD2, Adobe Photoshop CC, Pixinsight.
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Re: Skipping Alignment?

#7

Post by SkyHiker »


There's also an option "Last alignment" on my AVX. I've never tried it to use the last alignment, just one of two ways to skip the alignment ("Quick alignment" or "Last alignment") so I can move on and do the alignment by plate solving in Ekos. But if that option is available on the Nexstar maybe that serves the purpose.
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Re: Skipping Alignment?

#8

Post by JayTee »


I think we need to clarify that there are two different types of alignments that need to be done with your AVX mount. When you first apply power, the scope needs you to accomplish a go-to alignment. The go-to alignment is not the same thing as the polar alignment. The go-to alignment is where you select SkyAlign, or two star, or solar system, for your alignment procedure. You also have the choice as previously mentioned to do quick align or last align. These last two options assume you have not moved the mount since you last did a full up two star or solar system alignment on the mount. The go to align is what builds the sky model for the mount to use for accurate slewing to objects. Now if all you want to do is manual slewing to an object and then having the mount start tracking it will do this with simply turning the power switch on.

After the go to align is accomplished then you can move on to the polar alignment. As you already know this is where you point the RA axis as close to the north Celestial pole as possible.

One is not a substitute for the other. They both need to be accomplished to get accurate slewing and tracking from this mount. As previously mentioned it does make everything easier if you don't move the mount between your viewing sessions. If you do you have to do the whole process all over again.

If you haven't downloaded the nexstar hand controller manual you should it has a great deal of additional information. Here is the site. www.nexstarsite.com/download/manuals/Ne ... ControlVer
JT -- Proprietor - Rimrock Observatory
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Re: Skipping Alignment?

#9

Post by 1cor29 »


JT, you just made a light come on. I do have to do two alignments. First, I would do a polar alignment and that's when I would you my iOptron iPolar scope - to achieve polar alignment. The second alignment I'll do is the go-to alignment. Makes perfect sense now! Thank you for that clarification!
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Schmidt-Cassegrain Celestron AVX 9.25" Telescope
Celestron AVX GoTo German Equatorial Mount
Celestron 25mm Eyepiece
Celestron X-CEL 2X Barlow Lens 1.25
iOptron iPolar External Electronic Polar Scope

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Re: Skipping Alignment?

#10

Post by UlteriorModem »


I guess I am lucky. I leave my CGXL set up in place and put 24-7 covers on it.

When it comes time to use it, just take the covers off, turn the mount on and it will 'think' it's parked (because it was). I just hit the back button and 'begin alignment' comes up, it slews to switch position then I just choose 'previous alignment' and off to the races!

A quick solve and synch and it's usually within a few arc seconds.
Tom

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Mount: Celestron CGX-L
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Re: Skipping Alignment?

#11

Post by Piet Le Roux »


I am a Meade user so not familiar with the NexStar, With my mount in polar configuration I can do that and I do,do it with a mount that I use as a camera tracker. I boot then bypass alignment with "mode"key and its tracking in Ra, but understand that you cannot do any gotos because the 2 or 3 star alignment is to sync you goto star data with where the OTA is pointing. You could do a manual sync, after a accurate polar alignment, on a known star but your gotos may not be very accurate.
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Re: Skipping Alignment?

#12

Post by Chiefsmith »


I am rather curious about two-star alignment. I am using a Skywatcher HEQ5-PRO mount. When I first started last year, I used the hand controller to do this alignment. Since that time, I graduated to APT and a separate computer with set up just for Astrophotography using GSS to control the mount. Without the hand controller I have only been doing a PA. Is there a procedure for doing a two-star alignment when using GSS to control everything that I have missed? Is it even necessary to do a two-star alignment when using GSS? I know I am posting to an old post but, hopefully, some of you who are now on line will see this.
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Re: Skipping Alignment?

#13

Post by OzEclipse »


Chiefsmith wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 1:20 pm I am rather curious about two-star alignment. I am using a Skywatcher HEQ5-PRO mount. When I first started last year, I used the hand controller to do this alignment. Since that time, I graduated to APT and a separate computer with set up just for Astrophotography using GSS to control the mount. Without the hand controller I have only been doing a PA. Is there a procedure for doing a two-star alignment when using GSS to control everything that I have missed? Is it even necessary to do a two-star alignment when using GSS? I know I am posting to an old post but, hopefully, some of you who are now on line will see this.
If you have excellent polar alignment, you only need a one star alignment. Two or more star alignments model for imperfectly aligned mounts or alt az mounts.

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Re: Skipping Alignment?

#14

Post by JayTee »


If you are using APT, you have the option to do plate solving which is THE most accurate way to go-to align your mount. I use APT and after I power on. I just point my scope at a bright star, take a 10-second image, and tell APT to do a plate solve and sync. And you're done!
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∞ Primary Scopes: #1: Celestron CPC1100 (C11 SCT) #2: 8" f/7.5 Newt/Dob #3: CR150HD f/8 6" frac
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Re: Skipping Alignment?

#15

Post by Chiefsmith »


Ivo at APT suggested Plate Solving because of go-to errors that I am experiencing with easy objects like M42 and M31 with my mount being way off the target. SIRIL rejects every color calibration because of my stars do not align with the SIRIL Plate Solving algorithm. I have read the Plate Solving information in the APT instruction manual but it just seems too complicated. My brain just does not comprehend like it used to. Any suggestions pointing me to a very easy to read set of instructions on how to do Plate Solving greatly appreciated.

My Polar Alignment is spot on. I now have a SW pillar mount for the winter season and the tripod on my backyard for summer viewing. The mounts stay where they are so they are always aligned to the North Star. With a glass of wine or two I just sit in a chair and do the final adjustments for PA. That business about crawling around under the mount and looking up into the polar scope just does not cut it for me. I use the SW 90 degree polar scope Eyepiece and that makes life so much easier - and provides, IMHO, for much more accurate PA.

I also do PA right around the official sunset. At that time of day the background (?) in the polar scope is medium to dark grayish - not black requiring the red light and not bright white from the day time sky. The North Star just sits there like a bright little pin prick of light making the final adjustments very easy. This photo is from February 2023 before I had ordered the SW pillar mount. It seems crazy that I am in a short sleeve shirt because we should have had a lot of snow!!!

DSCF3260 (3).jpg
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Re: Skipping Alignment?

#16

Post by Graeme1858 »


Chiefsmith wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 9:36 am Ivo at APT suggested Plate Solving because of go-to errors that I am experiencing with easy objects like M42 and M31 with my mount being way off the target. SIRIL rejects every color calibration because of my stars do not align with the SIRIL Plate Solving algorithm. I have read the Plate Solving information in the APT instruction manual but it just seems too complicated. My brain just does not comprehend like it used to. Any suggestions pointing me to a very easy to read set of instructions on how to do Plate Solving greatly appreciated.

Here's a very good tutorial from our friends at FLO:

https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/3345 ... -tool-apt/


Probably nothing to worry about but just checking because I'm not familiar with the SW 90 degree polar scope Eyepiece (I just click Go in NINA!) But when you say your mounts are aligned to the North Star, does the eyepiece show you the location of the North Celestial Pole with respect to the North Star, because they are not in the same place.

Welcome to the forum.

Regards

Graeme
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Re: Skipping Alignment?

#17

Post by Chiefsmith »


I have been working all day downloading and installing all of the stuff that is shown on APT for Plate Solving - and really trying to understand this Plate Solving thing. If there is ever again, in my lifetime, a clear enough night sky I will try all of this.

To answer the question about the North Star and the North Celestial Pole, when I have GSS, APT, and Stellarium connected and in the Park mode, the telescope symbol in Stellarium immediately jumps to right about where you see the white circle on the below screen shot. Hope that clarifies what I was writing about.


stellarium.jpg


I use the Skywatcher Polar Scope app for PA. There is the white dot on the reticule that I believe represents Polaris, the North Star, and I put the star that shows up in the polar scope on my mount exactly where it is shown on Skywatcher Polar Scope reticule (I never knew what that was called until now when I see that term used on the Skywatcher Polar Scope app).
Last edited by Chiefsmith on Tue Feb 13, 2024 1:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Skipping Alignment?

#18

Post by Chiefsmith »


Thanks Graeme! I am going over the link you provided and I missed some things when I installed PlateSolve 2.28 that I have now gone back and taken care of.
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Re: Skipping Alignment?

#19

Post by Graeme1858 »


Chiefsmith wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 1:05 pm To answer the question about the North Star and the North Celestial Pole, when I have GSS, APT, and Stellarium connected and in the Park mode, the telescope symbol in Stellarium immediately jumps to right about where you see the white circle on the below screen shot. Hope that clarifies what I was writing about.

Your North Celestial Pole location looks like it's a bit out. If you turn on the Equatorial Grid in Stellarium, the NCP is closer to Polaris than your image shows.

Screenshot 2024-02-13 154820.png


Graeme
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Re: Skipping Alignment?

#20

Post by Chiefsmith »


You learn something new every day! If we ever have a clear night sky I will switch to the Equatorial Grid in Stellarium and see where the telescope symbol ends up. I will make screen shots of both views just to see how they compare. I have never used the Equatorial Grid in Stellarium before tonight so this is very much part of my learning curve. My image was just a very, very rough guestimation of what I had seen in the past. The weather here, I am in the north east part of the country, has been so bad for so long that I have not had very many opportunities for image making sessions. Hopefully, next year will be better.
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