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Advice for Polar Alignment Tool

mountainairca
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Advice for Polar Alignment Tool

Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:42 am
I am hoping the community can provide some tips on using the polar alignment tool in EKOS, as I haven't had the best of luck.

When I have roughly polar-aligned the scope (by using the Polar Align Pro app, then adjusting it so Polaris is in the FOV of the ASI294MC-Pro) and try to run this polar alignment tool, it either slews west to the mount limits, aborts and parks the mount to the east, slowly drifts to the east after I issue a Move to Switches command via the HC, or fails to plate-solve the image.

However, when I first go through StarSense Auto-Align and then do an All Star Polar Alignment, I can then use the KStars Polar Alignment feature successfully -- in fact it's very fast, easy, reliable and accurate. A wonderful feature! However, even after that is done and I look through the 9x50 finder or the camera (after returning the mount to its switches), the position of Polaris is actually further away than when I did the rough initial polar alignment, and seems to be at a different hour angle than what Polar Scope Pro shows as the correct hour angle. This confuses me. And when I try to manually point in the same general area (further away from Polaris and at the different hour angle), I still have difficulty getting Ekos PA to work.

What I am trying to do is avoid StarSense all together. I want to point the scope, do the PA, then slew to a few sky locations to build a pointing model much faster than the whole StarSense Auto-ASPA-StarSense Auto routine.

So, are there any tips to how I should initially point the scope before clicking the Start button for the polar alignment? I have reviewed all the KStars and StellarMate documentation, and watched a couple videos on doing PA, but I still need a bit of advice.

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