El Corazon wrote: indilib.org/media/kunena/attachments/4350/SolderlessFocuser.pdf
That’s the one I built. Pretty simple. I still ended up soldering everything to a Vero board, but it worked immediately. Use a standard NEMA17 Stepper motor (<$10) and DRV8825 controller. You can get them all from Amazon.
That’s what the prototype looked like:
The electronics is actually the easy part, fitting the motor to the fine focus knob if your telescope requires more tinkering. That’s where having access to a 3D printer is priceless. I designed and printed all the brackets I needed.
But as you say, this is a rewarding hobby and you learn lots of different things all the time.
El Corazon wrote: In short, you need a stepper driven autofocuser with a strong motor, like a NEMA17. That should have no trouble pulling the weight of your light train when connected to the fine focus knob.
You can build one yourself, using for instance the MyFocuserPro instructions and the MoonLite Driver (as many others here have done as well) or you could buy a MoonLight focuser (expensive) or a Pegasus (some people I know have one and they are happy with it). Either way, I messed around for 2 years with analog focusers and since I put a stepper driven autofocuser together, all my stars are tack sharp in focus. No more bloated stars. Now I need to build one for my RC8 and for my ES102.
El Corazon wrote: That's an analog focuser and yes, it has an enormous problem, which is caused by the differential loading of the motor when it is focusing in vs out.
El Corazon wrote: Are you using the Linear or Polynomial focuser?
Gonzothegreat wrote: I use the tutorials from www.lightvortexastronomy.com/tutorials.html which are great.
Your stars look slightly bloated, have you use the autofocus or is it manual focus?
IMO this could be one of three possibilities (as it happened to me before), (1) you are not physically tracking, i mean you set tracking to ON and see position change, but the mount is not moving as it was ordered, or (2) you are don't have good polar alignment and the tracking is way off course, or (3) tracking for stars is not sidereal.
Technically, if the polar alignment is accurate, and the mount is tracking good (either on its own or controlled by ekos), you should see your target standstill, regardless of what you are doing with your camera. Guiding is for minor correction for astrophotography, but here you are just checking for fucus for 2-sec shots. You should have the stars stationary for a some time.
Deesk06 wrote: From astrometry "Orientation: Up is 234 degrees E of N"
UP is 234 degrees East of North. So therefore this trialing is east - west...looking at what I had said above it looks to be a tracking issue. So the Ra Axis.
Deesk06 wrote: I wouldn't touch the bearings right now. Go ahead and do the Rowan belt mod, however, be gentle. It's easy to pull off any connectors from the board.
Bearings would be last on my list. I do not plan on changing mine until it has been used for a good while. Like a few years or so, if at all.
Rowan belt mod and then look into adjusting the worm gear meshing. Be gentle with it though and work in small increments. Astro baby has a guide for it. Google astro baby HEQ5 worm gear mesh.
That's as far as I would go with touching the mount. There really should be no need to do much more, you do not want to make it worse than it is by doing something incorrectly.
Aa I said first, try and find yourself a starting point. Solve the image and figure out which direction is which.
Gonzothegreat wrote: To get round stars, it's a combination of a lot of things I think.
mount accuracy, is there any backlash? Can you fix it, or minimise it?
polar alignment, try to get the best you can with the Kstars PA tool
imaging train must set correctly, back-focus all good?
do you have a field flattener?
guiding, are you using the multi-stars option?
Spend some time on the mechanical part first, make sure everything is sound and working as it should. I did tune my mount, I took everything apart and changed some dead bearings etc... I have a post about it somewhere here.
Then spend some time on the telescope part.
and finally, on the software side.
Here's a very good youTube channel with tons of tips www.youtube.com/c/CuivTheLazyGeek
Thank you, but I was looking for rounded stars like your images. It seems that I'm still struggling with it. I found that Pixinsight (trial) actually round the stars, but this is due to an algorithm that actually alters the stars itself, and I didn't like that. I want to be able to get as round as possible in the widest area possible. Any advice on how to achieve that?
Is it the polar alignment? the accuracy of the guider? the mount mechanics?
PS: This is my 1st time trying PHD as a guider