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Aligning scope using Stellarium

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:02 pm
by Aardvark
Open up Stellarium and it will communicate with EQascom programme via "Stellarium Scope programme". Click on your first align star, say Deneb, and with the Stellarium window active press the keys "Ctrl+1" together. The scope will now slew to target (Deneb). Now by using the up and down arrow keys in EQascom adjust scope position until you see Deneb in the cross-hair of your finderscope or Red Dot Finder (you still need a finder of some description). Now check the image in your camera or CCD and center in Field Of View (FOV), I use a CCD with Nebulosity and center using the software reticule generated by Nebulosity. Once you have completed the fine adjustment make Stellarium window active, then press "Ctrl+3" keys. This sets the alignment in Stellarium which then passes the information back to EQascom. EQascom registers the align points in a folder which you can look at if you wish. You can also clear the align points after each session, if you setup each night they will only be valid for the setup and alignment you've just done.

What I have described is how to align to one star (Deneb was the example), you then repeat the process as many times as you wish, but three widely spaces stars are usually sufficient (i.e. Deneb, Vega, Altair). I would then slew to a recognisable star close to target and do an alignment on it, this will ensure that the goto is fairly accurate and only a minimal adjustment for framing image will be needed. It is good practice to align close to target even if a multi star alignment has already been done. A good description of how the triangulation process used by EQascom is given in the EQMOD manual HERE.