PA breakthrough - bubble level #iEXOS-100 #astrophotography

Jay Sanchez

I have to share my latest breakthrough in hopes it will help others regarding PA.

A little short background info -- I've had the iExos since September and have slowly gotten up to speed with configuration and operation. I started with a tablet and now have progressed to a laptop and guiding. I've had my guide cam and scope for the past month and have been frustrated with not being able to guide with an acceptable RA error after getting excellent alignment via Sharpcap. Based on the advice of others, I've been meticulous with leveling my tripod before attaching the mount; I was putting a flat piece of sheet metal on top of my tripod with a large bulls eye bubble level the following up with a straight level on each leg axis of the tripod and ignored the mount's bubble level. I could never get the trendlines in PHD2 to stabilize and kept getting error messages from PHD2.

Well, it turns out that if I just use the bubble level on the iExos, I can get excellent guiding (~.43 Total RA) -- I've confirmed this the past several setups and tear downs. So, at least with my particular iExos mount -- the built-in bubble level is SPOT ON! I understand this may not be the case for others.

Attached is a recent pic of the California Nebula (30 x 240sec @ iso800 w/ modded Canon t2i and Pentax 300mm, Ha 12nm filter)

Chris Tardif

Your photo is really good.  Your stars appear round and the photo turned out. I wouldn't worry about what the PHD results are.  I have been trying to follow in Trevor Jones' foot steps as much as I can....check out this video and see number 4:


Mounts: Explore Scientific IEXOS-100 w Celestron CG5 tripod, iOptron CEM 40
Scopes: Explore Scientific FCD-100 ED-102CF, Various Canon lenses, ZWO mini-guidescope, StarField 60mm guide-scope.
Camera: ASI120MM Mini (mono), Altair GPCAM 130
Control PC: Intel NUC
Loc: 44 -79