Saturday, September 1, 2012

Polar Alignment with the new mount

Took photos of M31 with the new mount. I still can't use exposure times >30 seconds :-(

The photos themselves were decent - pretty much the same quality I had before with the old mount.

And what's really annoying, I get quite a lot of "No response 17" error messages (at which point I have to swich the mount off and start all over again with alignment :-( I searched around and it seems to be a common problem with the Nexstar mounts. If it doesn't get better, then I might have to send the mount back.

I then tried to take photos of M27. It's much higher in the sky. Here I couldn't even take >10 seconds exposure. The mount slews exactly to the objects, so it should be well calibrated. Maybe I have to improve the polar alignment. And at some point, the scope stopped tracking completely. Couldn't use these photos at all.

Took the scope out during the day to work more on polar alignment during the day.
  1. Did a Sun alignment
  2. Polar alignment
  3. Turned scope off, did another sun alignment
  4. Another Polar alignment
    You would think that at this point, there is no correction necessary as I just did a polar alignment. But it was still a little bit out of alignment
  5. Again, turned scope off, did another sun alignment.
  6. Another polar alignment
    And though it was less then before, it still wasn't fully polar aligned.
Not sure if I'm doing something wrong. But all instructions that I found said that one star alignment and one polar alignment should be enough - not that this is such an iterative process.

I then put the tele-extender on the scope to try out eyepiece photography on the sun. The resulting photo was OK:

I'll leave the scope outside and will take more photos tonight (if it doesn't get cloudy again).