Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Getting used to SkyX

Today, I did the whole 2 star alignment and polar alignment with the CCD camera. For the first two stars, I needed the star finder. But after that all stars immediately showed up in the CCD screen. And with the crosshairs in the screen, I could do a pretty exact alignment. And it was fast too!

Then I synchronized my mount with SkyX and used SkyX for slewing to other objects. This is very convenient and pretty exact.

After that, I finally wanted to try out collimation with CCD Inspector. The first attempts were complete failures - the Collimation view and the Image view were flickering like crazy, message popups flickered (too fast to read). It took me a while to figure out that I shouldn't let CCD Inspector delete the images that it analyzed (but why does it offer the option then??)

First, I used this as an opportunity to replace the default collimation screws with Bob's collimation knobs. That made the whole process much easier.

Then I tried to follow the CCD Inspector "Single (Defocused) Star collimation method". But what it defined as collimation was clearly not collimated. I could see with my naked eye that the defocused star was not concentric. After the second attempt I gave up and collimated just visually. I don't think it's that good. Next time I'll try the "Multi star collimation method".

During the collimation process, I had to slew the scope multiple times (to get the collimation star back in the center). I found that this was much easier with the handset from my scope vs. the controls in SkyX!