New EXOS-2/PMC-8, need advice on tracking


We had clear skies last night (finally!), and I was able to take another run at this.

Progress,but no home run yet.

After trying very hard to avoid it, I caved and bought a guidescope and Altair camera to use with SharpCap's Polar Alignment feature.  That combo cost me about the same as a Polemaster, and is more versatile.  For now, this is not for guiding - no plans to do any more with it than PA and perhaps a bit of planetary once things settle down.

Took a bit of first-time bumping around to get to it, but I did manage to get to an 'Excellent' PA from SharpCap.

Long story short, I had some unrelated issues and instead of my planned 30, 60, 120sec exposures, I ended up with a batch of 10sec's.  :-(

Those images still shift around a bit and travel, and had they been longer, I think I'd still have had lines rather than dots.  Shorter and better than before, but still not right.  Some of that motion may have been seeing or bumping, so the main thing I'm chasing right now is the travel (tracking being off).

I realized this morning that my Latitude and Longitude didn't get updated after the big (ASCOM unPARK issue) deinstall/reinstall, so that won't have helped me.  Fixed now and will wait on more clear sky for another test.

- Bob


Well, finally!  No seagulls, no streaks :-)

Clears skies tonight, so out for another attempt at capturing round stars.

PA rating with SharpCap -> "Excellent"
As noted in previous post, fixed the latitude and longitude for this outing.
Focused with liveview on the D5300, so the stars are a bit fuzzy.  Doesn't matter for this exercise.  All I want from this is to know at what point my tracking quality breaks down and they stop being round.

Took sets of exposures at 30, 60, 90 seconds. Now I wish I'd done some longer sets!

The stars in the 30 and 60 second images (attached) look identically round to me.  The 90 second images look a little less well defined to me, could be seeing, could be my imagination.  What do you think?