Thursday, October 29, 2015

Unguided Imaging

Now, where I have my MyT mount back in action, I wanted to try to do some unguided imaging. I spent two nights setting everything up:
  1. Setup the scope - do a rough visual polar alignment
  2. Home the mount
  3. Take an image of the place that the scope points to, plate solve (all sky as the scope will be quite far away from the expected point) and sync the mount to this location
  4. Run a model with 10 points, use this to do a more accurate polar alignment. As the polar alignment will be still pretty far out, I'm using the tics information in the polar alignment tab
  5. Run another model with 10 points, now do the accurate polar alignment
  6. Now run a model with 200 points, create a Super Model
  7. Use this model to improve the polar alignment (it was already very accurate)
  8. Run a 30 point model to realign the model with the new polar alignment
  9. Check polar alignment error - was neglectible
  10. Next, use PEMPro (the beta version with Ascom support!) to measure the periodic error
  11. Add the periodic error to the mount
I did some test exposures and could easily take 10 min exposures without any star trails or elongations!

Next, I wanted to use SGPro - using the DirectMountGuider for unguided imaging. Unfortunately, it didn't perform a Meridia flip. When looking through the log file, I found the following lines:

[10/24/2015 4:27:13 AM] [DEBUG] [Pier Flip Thread] Meridian Flip: Telescope has performed meridian flip).
[10/24/2015 4:27:43 AM] [DEBUG] [Pier Flip Thread] Autoguider (Direct Mount Guider) failed to flip calibration data!
[10/24/2015 4:28:46 AM] [DEBUG] [Sequence Thread] Blocking Pier Flip: Failed to meridian flip, aborting sequence (True)

I sent this to the SGPro forum and got the reply that this will be fixed in the next version of SGPro. And the moment I asked when that will be ... the developers announced the release of the next version. And sure enough, this was fixed!

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