Topics

Recommended Polar Finder that will work with IEXOS-100 PMC-eight


Jhun
 

Who designed that polar finder hole in IEXOS-100? Its a joke! Do you guys tried to look into it and tried find the celestial pole? Ever since I cant have a glimpse of celestial pole into that hole. what I usually do, I aim a laser into that hole for alignment.

Do you have recommended polar finder that will work perfectly with IEXOS-100?


Chris Tardif
 

SharpCap Pro comes has a tool for polar alignment which works really well.  It comes with the AltairAstro GPCAM 130.  I use the ZWO 30mm mini-guide scope.

 

https://www.altairastro.com/Altair-GPCAMv2-130-Mono-Guide-Imaging-Camera.html

https://www.highpointscientific.com/zwo-30mm-f-4-mini-guide-scope-30f4

 

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

From: Jhun
Sent: June 9, 2019 11:02 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Subject: [ESPMC-Eight] Recommended Polar Finder that will work with IEXOS-100 PMC-eight

 

Who designed that polar finder hole in IEXOS-100? Its a joke! Do you guys tried to look into it and tried find the celestial pole? Ever since I cant have a glimpse of celestial pole into that hole. what I usually do, I aim a laser into that hole for alignment.

Do you have recommended polar finder that will work perfectly with IEXOS-100?

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Craig Bobchin
 

I know that Explore Scientific is working on a polar alignment scope for the IEXOS-100 that they plan on selling. I don't know prices or time limes, but I know it's undergoing testing, and it does help significantly in getting good polar alignment.


Kent Marts- Explore Scientific Customer Service
 

We do have a working prototype and production should be starting on the production model. We are still months away from actually having them in hand.

I've had a couple of customers who used an inexpensive red-dot finder. They glued the foot/mounting base to the side of the axis. Thye lowered the latitude until they could see a far-away object through the polar tunnel, then aligned the red dot to that. 

When they set up the tripod, they use the red-dot finder to get Polaris into the polar tunnel.

Using an app that shows the hour angle of Polaris (PS Align Pro is what I use) to determine where in the tunnel to position Polaris will provide a very good polar alignment.

Kent Marts
Customer Service
Explore Scientific


jrichard333 <jrichard333@hotmail.com>
 

A couple of questions…

1.        Are there any pictures of the working prototype mounted to the iEXOS-100 mount?  I am aware during production, things can change, but I am curious J.

2.       Should not all three be in alignment i.e. the polar scope, red dot finder, and imaging device?

 

Since I am not able to see Polaris, I take a guess using LAT and Lon.  I then slew to one of my favorite planets, only two I can see J.  Jupiter or Saturn.  Depending on where the planet is in my finder scope and red dot finder, I will manually adjust the altitude and azimuth to line up to the planet and call it a day.  

 

It works for me, but I need a real polar alignment so  I can use the Goto feature to start imaging DSOs.

 

JR

 

From: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io [mailto:MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io] On Behalf Of Kent Marts Explore Scientific Customer Support
Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 1:34 PM
To: MAIN@ESPMC-Eight.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] Recommended Polar Finder that will work with IEXOS-100 PMC-eight

 

We do have a working prototype and production should be starting on the production model. We are still months away from actually having them in hand.

I've had a couple of customers who used an inexpensive red-dot finder. They glued the foot/mounting base to the side of the axis. Thye lowered the latitude until they could see a far-away object through the polar tunnel, then aligned the red dot to that. 

When they set up the tripod, they use the red-dot finder to get Polaris into the polar tunnel.

Using an app that shows the hour angle of Polaris (PS Align Pro is what I use) to determine where in the tunnel to position Polaris will provide a very good polar alignment.

Kent Marts
Customer Service
Explore Scientific


Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

There is another alternative for polar alignment that you may or may not be aware of but didn't want to use it. It's called the Declination drift method. This method will give you a very accurate polar alignment without being able to see Polaris. It is time consuming but works very well. We use it at our observatory. Here is a link describing this method using your camera that I reference in my first book. 

http://www.minorplanet.info/ObsGuides/Misc/ccdpolaralignment.htm

--
Jerry Hubbell
Vice President of Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.
jrh at explorescientific.com

www.explorescientificusa.com
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
1-866-252-3811

Author: Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
             Remote Observatories for Amateur Astronomers: Using High-Powered Telescopes From Home


Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) IAU MPC W54 Equipment
Wilderness, VA
Mounts
: ES PMC-Eight G11 + Telescope Drive Master (TDM)
Scopes: ES 165 FPL-53 ED APO CF, ES 102 FCD100 ED APO CF
Cameras:  QHY174M-GPS + FW, QHY163C
Misc: 3-inch 0.7x Focal Reducer Field Flattener, Filters: Luminance,
Red, V-band Photometric, Diffuser, 200 lpmm Spectral Grating

Software: MaxIm DL 6, Cartes du Ciel, Astrometrica, AstroImageJ, AutoStakkert!


Wes Mcdonald
 

JR

As Jerry suggested Dec drift align is possible.  But before you do that you should try to use the polar alignment tool in PS Align Pro.  You can use it to get pretty close without seeing Polaris.  Then you can try doing the Dec drift align.  

Another trick that might work is to, after doing a rough polar alignment do a go-to to a star near meridian and at 0 Dec.  Then use your az-alt bolts to center the stat in your eyepiece.  This should be pretty good....but in truth I haven't been super successful doing it.

If you are planning on astrophotography then your are doing to want to use phd2 to guide.  I believe u will find it has a drift align tool.... Again I haven't used it.  I believe APT also has one, not used by me though.

Wes

--
Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired


Wes Mcdonald
 

JR

Your red dot finder and main scope need to point to the same place.  The polar scope needs to be aligned to the RA axis of the mount.  In practice you get your polar scope aligned then get the scope and red dot pointed as near as possible to the same axis as the RA.  

Since you cannot see Polaris a polar scope will do you little use.

If you move the mount to where Polaris is visible, you can use the polar scope.  In my view, sharpcap or a polemaster is superior, at least as far as the learning curve is concerned.

Wes

--
Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired


jdavis1278@...
 

I realize I'm a bit late to the conversation. I just got my iExos-100 last month, and love it. It's my first mount, and even without polar alignment (I did the 3 star alignment) it gave me nice 90 sec subs with my DSLR. 
At any rate, I DO intend to polar align, and someone on Thingiverse decided to help those of us on a tight budget out.

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3642636
 
It let's you use 3 different methods to get a rough polar alignment. You mount it on your dovetail plate, then use one (or all ) of the methods and I just got it 3D printed (for like 20 bucks online) and sent to me. 

I'll post results in the forum. 


Mike Leemhuis
 
Edited

I'm glad the polar alignment tray I designed is helping you with your rough polar alignment.  I should point out that I have a slightly different version that works just as well if you don't have a Polemaster.  It is located here:  https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3120190
If you have other ideas for useful 3D printed parts to make the hobby easier, let me know.  It's always fun to design something new!

One other part that I designed that I think is very useful is a PMC-Eight support bracket.  It provides an easy and secure way to mount the PMC-Eight box onto one of the Exos2 support legs.  Here is the link: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3120066 


Mike Leemhuis
--
Location: Nicholasville, KY
Mount: Explore Scientific Exos-2
Scope: Explore Scientific ED102CF, Orion 60mm guidescope
Camera: QHY163C and QHY5L-ii
Filter: Optolong L-eNhance 2"
Software: ASCOM, PHD2, CDC, Stellarium, Sharpcap Pro, NINA, Deep Sky Stacker, Affinity Photo, Lightroom
Computer:  ASRock X570 Steel Legend, AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core Processor, 3600Mhz
Extras:  Lots of 3D printed parts I designed for improved usability


Jeff Weiss <jeffweiss2131@...>
 

I did a daytime polar alignment yesterday using Scott's method he outlined a few days ago on the Open-GoTo stream and Darned if Polaris wasn't right next to the tiny round circle when it got dark!

I will print a few of these devices to check them out and test them but I highly recommend that you try the daytime polar alignment process outlined by Scott recently. If you want one of these and cannot get it printed, send me a note and I will see if I can get you one out in the mail.
Jeff


On Thu, Sep 17, 2020 at 6:56 AM <jdavis1278@...> wrote:
I realize I'm a bit late to the conversation. I just got my iExos-100 last month, and love it. It's my first mount, and even without polar alignment (I did the 3 star alignment) it gave me nice 90 sec subs with my DSLR. 
At any rate, I DO intend to polar align, and someone on Thingiverse decided to help those of us on a tight budget out.

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3642636
 
It let's you use 3 different methods to get a rough polar alignment. You mount it on your dovetail plate, then use one (or all ) of the methods and I just got it 3D printed (for like 20 bucks online) and sent to me. 

I'll post results in the forum. 


Jeff Weiss <jeffweiss2131@...>
 

I am looking for Scott's powerpoint in the forum documents, in the meanwhile I wanted to post the process I used to align my scope in the daytime.

It is easiest to do this with a digital level (or a smartphone), a small dovetail bart and a compass with a ring for adjusting magnetic deviation (or a smartphone)

Here are images of the steps.


Step 1: Set mount in Park position and level mount base any way you can in both North/south and east/west.
Step 2: Set your dial indicator to zero
Step 3: Set mount to your latitude with digital level or smart phone
Step 4: Level counterweight bar
Step 5: Level the dovetail bar
Step 6: Verify compass heading taking into account "Magnetic Deviation" (Use a compass or smartphone) with an adjustable ring to help with this.
Step 7: Verify resulting dial indication is very close to your latitude
Step 8: Mount scope wait till dark!

Something similar should work in the Southern Hemisphere.

Jeff


On Thu, Sep 17, 2020 at 7:39 AM Mike Leemhuis <skislalom1@...> wrote:
I'm glad the polar alignment tray I designed is helping you with your rough polar alignment.  I should point out that I have a slightly different version that works just as well if you don't have a Polemaster.  It is located here:  https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3120190
If you have other ideas for useful 3D printed parts to make the hobby easier, let me know.  It's always fun to design something new!

Mike Leemhuis
--
Location: Nicholasville, KY
Mount: Explore Scientific Exos-2
Scope: Explore Scientific ED102CF, Orion 60mm guidescope
Camera: QHY163C and QHY5L-ii
Filter: Optolong L-eNhance 2"
Software: ASCOM, PHD2, CDC, Stellarium, Sharpcap Pro, NINA, Deep Sky Stacker, Affinity Photo, Lightroom
Computer:  ASRock X570 Steel Legend, AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core Processor, 3600Mhz
Extras:  Lots of 3D printed parts I designed for improved usability


Mario
 

Jeff, that's like the coolest level I've ever seen!
Will definitely try this process out!

On Thu, Sep 17, 2020 at 11:21 AM Jeff Weiss <jeffweiss2131@...> wrote:
I am looking for Scott's powerpoint in the forum documents, in the meanwhile I wanted to post the process I used to align my scope in the daytime.

It is easiest to do this with a digital level (or a smartphone), a small dovetail bart and a compass with a ring for adjusting magnetic deviation (or a smartphone)

Here are images of the steps.


Step 1: Set mount in Park position and level mount base any way you can in both North/south and east/west.
Step 2: Set your dial indicator to zero
Step 3: Set mount to your latitude with digital level or smart phone
Step 4: Level counterweight bar
Step 5: Level the dovetail bar
Step 6: Verify compass heading taking into account "Magnetic Deviation" (Use a compass or smartphone) with an adjustable ring to help with this.
Step 7: Verify resulting dial indication is very close to your latitude
Step 8: Mount scope wait till dark!

Something similar should work in the Southern Hemisphere.

Jeff

On Thu, Sep 17, 2020 at 7:39 AM Mike Leemhuis <skislalom1@...> wrote:
I'm glad the polar alignment tray I designed is helping you with your rough polar alignment.  I should point out that I have a slightly different version that works just as well if you don't have a Polemaster.  It is located here:  https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3120190
If you have other ideas for useful 3D printed parts to make the hobby easier, let me know.  It's always fun to design something new!

Mike Leemhuis
--
Location: Nicholasville, KY
Mount: Explore Scientific Exos-2
Scope: Explore Scientific ED102CF, Orion 60mm guidescope
Camera: QHY163C and QHY5L-ii
Filter: Optolong L-eNhance 2"
Software: ASCOM, PHD2, CDC, Stellarium, Sharpcap Pro, NINA, Deep Sky Stacker, Affinity Photo, Lightroom
Computer:  ASRock X570 Steel Legend, AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core Processor, 3600Mhz
Extras:  Lots of 3D printed parts I designed for improved usability


--
Regards,

Mario
Streetsville, Ontario

Mounts: iExos 100, Skyguider Pro
Scopes/Lenses: Main/Orion 80mm, DSLR/Tamron 18-400mm lens, guide/ZWO-340A
Computer: ASIAir
Cameras: Canon T2i DSLR, ZWO120MM (guide)
Utility Software: iPolar (for Skyguider polar alignment), iCap, Explorestars, Canon EOS Utility
Image Processing Software: Photoshop


Wade Prunty
 

Let me preface this by saying I am totally not attempting to be condescending here. I had a real hard time with polar alignment on my Celestron CGX when I first got into this, so much so that it almost made walk away from it all.

I think we're blowing this way out of proportion. I get really good polar alignment, goto results and guiding with my iEXOS-100, and this is coming from someone who has never used a polar scope. I start off by eyeballing my mount with Polaris, I just get it as centered as possible over the top of my mount. I then use the bubble level and adjust the tripod legs to make sure the mount is level. Then I make sure the mount head is set to my altitude. With all of that done I then use either the ASIAIR Pro, or something like it (SharpCap), to finely adjust the alt/az knobs to complete the polar alignment. I am polar aligned in under 5 minutes, every night. If you are imaging you should, at the least, be able to connect your camera to a laptop and use SharpCap.

Also, if you don't trust the mount's bubble level, you can adjust your tray on the tripod to be extremely inline for leveling, so that you have somewhere else to use a level on the mount.
--
Explore Scientific iEXOS-100
William Optics SpaceCat 51 APO
ZWO ASI183MM Pro, ASI533MC Pro
Canon 5D, T3i (Both Astro Mods)
William Optics UniGuide
ZWO ASI120MM-S
ZWO ASIAIR Pro


Jeff Weiss <jeffweiss2131@...>
 

It is magnetic! I dropped it several times, be careful!


On Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 8:28 AM Mario <mario1546@...> wrote:
Jeff, that's like the coolest level I've ever seen!
Will definitely try this process out!

On Thu, Sep 17, 2020 at 11:21 AM Jeff Weiss <jeffweiss2131@...> wrote:
I am looking for Scott's powerpoint in the forum documents, in the meanwhile I wanted to post the process I used to align my scope in the daytime.

It is easiest to do this with a digital level (or a smartphone), a small dovetail bart and a compass with a ring for adjusting magnetic deviation (or a smartphone)

Here are images of the steps.


Step 1: Set mount in Park position and level mount base any way you can in both North/south and east/west.
Step 2: Set your dial indicator to zero
Step 3: Set mount to your latitude with digital level or smart phone
Step 4: Level counterweight bar
Step 5: Level the dovetail bar
Step 6: Verify compass heading taking into account "Magnetic Deviation" (Use a compass or smartphone) with an adjustable ring to help with this.
Step 7: Verify resulting dial indication is very close to your latitude
Step 8: Mount scope wait till dark!

Something similar should work in the Southern Hemisphere.

Jeff

On Thu, Sep 17, 2020 at 7:39 AM Mike Leemhuis <skislalom1@...> wrote:
I'm glad the polar alignment tray I designed is helping you with your rough polar alignment.  I should point out that I have a slightly different version that works just as well if you don't have a Polemaster.  It is located here:  https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3120190
If you have other ideas for useful 3D printed parts to make the hobby easier, let me know.  It's always fun to design something new!

Mike Leemhuis
--
Location: Nicholasville, KY
Mount: Explore Scientific Exos-2
Scope: Explore Scientific ED102CF, Orion 60mm guidescope
Camera: QHY163C and QHY5L-ii
Filter: Optolong L-eNhance 2"
Software: ASCOM, PHD2, CDC, Stellarium, Sharpcap Pro, NINA, Deep Sky Stacker, Affinity Photo, Lightroom
Computer:  ASRock X570 Steel Legend, AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core Processor, 3600Mhz
Extras:  Lots of 3D printed parts I designed for improved usability


--
Regards,

Mario
Streetsville, Ontario

Mounts: iExos 100, Skyguider Pro
Scopes/Lenses: Main/Orion 80mm, DSLR/Tamron 18-400mm lens, guide/ZWO-340A
Computer: ASIAir
Cameras: Canon T2i DSLR, ZWO120MM (guide)
Utility Software: iPolar (for Skyguider polar alignment), iCap, Explorestars, Canon EOS Utility
Image Processing Software: Photoshop


Mike Leemhuis
 

You use the same technique that I use to align my scope.  SharpCap makes it super easy.  One thing I did to make sure I put my tripod in the exact same location of my front yard was to put three PVC tubes vertically into my yard at the location of my tripod legs.  I then added some 3D printed parts to cap the PVC pipes and locate the tripod legs exactly.  Now my setup is even quicker.  The details are described here:  https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4176066   The next best thing would be to have a pier in your yard but that's hard to mow over.   lol.

Mike

--
Location: Nicholasville, KY
Mount: Explore Scientific Exos-2
Scope: Explore Scientific ED102CF, Orion 60mm guidescope
Camera: QHY163C and QHY5L-ii
Filter: Optolong L-eNhance 2"
Software: ASCOM, PHD2, CDC, Stellarium, Sharpcap Pro, NINA, Deep Sky Stacker, Affinity Photo, Lightroom
Computer:  ASRock X570 Steel Legend, AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core Processor, 3600Mhz
Extras:  Lots of 3D printed parts I designed for improved usability


Steve
 

Mike,

Thank you for everything you have done for this group, it's appreciated!
--
Steve

Evostar 70ED APO
EXOS2- GT PMC8
ASI224MC-s
ASI EAF


Jerry Hubbell - Explore Scientific VP Engineering
 

On Thu, Sep 17, 2020 at 11:21 AM, Jeff Weiss wrote:
I am looking for Scott's powerpoint in the forum documents
I posted Scott's presentation in the files section
https://espmc-eight.groups.io/g/MAIN/files/Explore%20Scientific%20Official%20Files/MENTOR_Drift_Alignment.pdf

 
--
Jerry Hubbell
Vice President of Engineering

Explore Scientific, LLC.
jrh at explorescientific.com

www.explorescientificusa.com
1010 S. 48th Street
Springdale, AR 72762
1-866-252-3811

Author: Scientific Astrophotography: How Amateurs Can Generate and Use Professional Imaging Data
             Remote Observatories for Amateur Astronomers: Using High-Powered Telescopes From Home


Mark Slade Remote Observatory (MSRO) IAU MPC W54 Equipment
Wilderness, VA
Mounts
: ES PMC-Eight G11 + Telescope Drive Master (TDM)
Scopes: ES 165 FPL-53 ED APO CF, ES 102 FCD100 ED APO CF
Cameras:  QHY174M-GPS + FW, QHY163C
Misc: 3-inch 0.7x Focal Reducer Field Flattener, Filters: Luminance,
Red, V-band Photometric, Diffuser, 200 lpmm Spectral Grating

Software: MaxIm DL 6, Cartes du Ciel, Astrometrica, AstroImageJ, AutoStakkert!