Ron Clanton replied to the topic '~' in the forum. 2 days ago

Thanks!

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Doug,

Okay... I'm working on getting all the information/measurements to calculate the CFZ for my setups.  However, I'm having difficulty finding an estimate of "seeing" for various conditions.  I use Astrospheric to monitor and predict conditions in my area.  Is there a rough equivalent for their ratings of excellent, good, average, etc. to seeing arc-seconds?  I read some articles about measuring double stars... but wow.  I've looked for other sources on how to estimate the seeing in arc-seconds, but am not coming up with anything.

Thanks,

Ron

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Doug,

Okay... I think I understand the concept of NCFZ. I'll get the calculator out and give it a whirl! Man, this is cool stuff!  So... just a couple of questions:

  • Once I have calculated the NCFZ and translated that length into EAF focus clicks, what step size should I put into EKOS?  For example, if the NCFZ calculates to 100 steps... would you use 50?
  • I understand the concept of seeing limits, but how/where do I get that measurement for a particularly night?
  • Since seeing is a variable, do you change your step size every night?
Thanks for the education!

Ron

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Ron Clanton replied to the topic 'Stellarmate Align Module Problem' in the forum. 4 days ago

I'm not an expert, but perhaps I can relate my own experience.  I have two mounts...

My Meade LX85 is a relatively low-cost mount that has substantial backlash on both axises.  Because of the large backlash, it has difficulty making small movements during the align process.  I'm lucky to get the error under 300 arc-seconds.  I usually set it for 360 arc-seconds (1/10th of a degree) and let it go.  There is very little change from one step to another once it gets within a few arc-minutes.  Also, for most targets I don't need to be very accurate... unless it's full frame.

My SkyWatch EQ6-R Pro is a medium-priced mount that has little backlash and better step motors.  I can easily get under 30 arc-seconds in 2-3 steps.

I'm guessing that if I had a high-end mount (one of these days-- fingers crossed) I would get even closer.

Also, when the mount gets close, you are unlikely to detect movement as they are very tiny.

Hope this helps.

Ron

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Hy,

Thanks!  Very helpful.

A couple of questions:

  • What is the percent tolerance measuring?  Is it the percent difference in the final HFR from the best HFR?
  • Why do you use "Small Sized Stars" in the SEP Profile?
Thanks a lot.  Hopefully I can try it out in the next couple of days.  Unfortunately, it's cloudy tonight.  :-(

Ron

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I first want to express my thanks to all who are involved with the StellarMate/KStars/EKOS/INDI technology.  The current StellarMate 1.61 version has been rock solid on my two mounts.  I haven't had a crash or abort of any kind since I upgraded.  Well done!

The one "fly in the ointment" for me is auto-focus.  I continue to use polynomial, but the results have been inconsistent.  For instance, last night it focused perfectly on the initial operation, but focused badly for the next three through the night.  Unfortunately, it wasted a great above average seeing night.  Bummer.

I'm not sure what is happening... It's like it is focusing on different objects (spots?) at each iteration and gets misled into thinking the focus is better (I use darks).  I'm sure that backlash is also contributing to the problem, but I've worked carefully to get the best number to use.  Bottom line... I'm going to abandon polynomial focusing in the short term and go back to linear.

So... I could use some recommendations and/or best practices for linear focusing.  I'm using a 80mm refractor with an ASI EAF focuser.  My focal setting is usually around 14,900 with my ASI183MC Pro.  What are good settings for the "Mechanics" tab, particularly Initial Step Size and "Out Step Multiple"?

Thanks!

Ron

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ooohhh... I was sooo stupid.  I didn't see the "T. Range" in the setup.  I was trying to set in the capture tab.  Wow... I'm getting old.

Problem solved!

Thanks so much!

Ron

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