Sharpcap polar alignment

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Bruce D
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Sharpcap polar alignment

Unread post by Bruce D » Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:12 am

Anyone using Sharpcap to do their polar alignment? I just spent hours trying to get it to work for me. It seemed to have a lot of trouble doing a plate solve, even though I could see a couple dozen stars in the field. It would say it detected 35 stars and was working 15 and it would give a time it took to solve, but it would say "last plate unsolved". I would have to fiddle with the exposure and gain to finally get it to go on to step two, same thing- it would go through thousands of frames before it solved one for step two, then it would give me nonsense adjustments- "up 10", then the next it would say "down 8" … anyone have any idea what I am doing wrong?
Bruce D
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NGC7000
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Re: Sharpcap polar alignment

Unread post by NGC7000 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:18 am

Guess I'm not downloading the update just yet.... :lol: :lol: :lol:
Tom H
Astra inclinant, sed non obligant.
Bruce D
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Re: Sharpcap polar alignment

Unread post by Bruce D » Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:46 am

Yuh Tom, you know the saying- so simple a 5 year old can do it but I'm stumped!
Bruce D
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bluemax
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Re: Sharpcap polar alignment

Unread post by bluemax » Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:29 am

Bruce, contact Tim...he seems to be the club Guru on Sharpcap.
I am also new to it and wrestled with it the first night same as you. After a while I got it working (can't remember the settings) and was successful getting PA. then the next night I fiddled with it and for some reason the stars (many) were represented on only 1/2 the computer screen!! The top half of the screen was black while bottom half showed many stars. Very strange. Anyhow, I found you need to be pretty close to Polaris to get started. For something so simple (so they say) I found it not so. Going to review the utube videos on it though.
Frank N

12.5" F5 single arm Dob

"I'm a seeker too. But my dreams aren't like yours. I can't help thinking that somewhere in the universe there has to be something better than man. Has to be"

Taylor in "Planet of the Apes" 1968
TimW
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Re: Sharpcap polar alignment

Unread post by TimW » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:40 am

I find the default setting work best for me.
You need to be within 5 degrees of the celestial pole to start with.
You can also try increasing the exposure time until the plate solves adequately.
Increase you minimum star width to at least 4 pixels. This will prevent SharpCap from locking onto noise.
Tim W.

Laurie J. Wood
March 22, 1967 - August 23, 2019
Forever in my memory. Forever in my heart.

Scope: 8" Celestron SCT on an AVX equatorial mount
Solar Scope: Lunt Solar System 60 mm Double-Stacked H-Alpha
Solar Imaging Camera: ZWO ASI174mm monochrome
Imaging Camera: ZWO ASI1600MC-Cool
Autoguide: PHD2
Image Capturing: SharpCap
DebayerIng: PIPP
Planetary Stacking: Autostakkert
Planetary Post Processing: Registax
Deep Sky Stacking: Deep Sky Stacker
Deep Sky Post Processing: Photoshop
Bruce D
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Re: Sharpcap polar alignment

Unread post by Bruce D » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:53 am

Thanks Tim, i did finally get it to work at stellafane, first problem was not being close enough to the pole. Second lesson learned was when at the correction phase, it doesn't solve every frame so you have to make a small adjustment and wait until the next frame is solved before making the next adjustment. I'm sure it will go quicker after I've done it a few times
Bruce D
TimW
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Re: Sharpcap polar alignment

Unread post by TimW » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:18 pm

Im glad you got it figured out. Im really hoping I can start attending meetings again soon.
Tim W.

Laurie J. Wood
March 22, 1967 - August 23, 2019
Forever in my memory. Forever in my heart.

Scope: 8" Celestron SCT on an AVX equatorial mount
Solar Scope: Lunt Solar System 60 mm Double-Stacked H-Alpha
Solar Imaging Camera: ZWO ASI174mm monochrome
Imaging Camera: ZWO ASI1600MC-Cool
Autoguide: PHD2
Image Capturing: SharpCap
DebayerIng: PIPP
Planetary Stacking: Autostakkert
Planetary Post Processing: Registax
Deep Sky Stacking: Deep Sky Stacker
Deep Sky Post Processing: Photoshop
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