The lastest version has the atmosperic refraction calibration function. The software will move the target by calculating the latitude.
25ºN Shift 2 pixels (about 1 arc minute)
20ºN Shift 3 pixels (about 1.5 arc minute)
15ºN Shift 4 pixels (about 2 arc minute)
The shift direction is the direction down to the horizon. You need to check the direction on the PoleMaster video display.
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PoleMaster User Manual
1.1 Insert PoleMaster base mount adapter into the front of your mount polar scope. Use a hex screw to tighten the inner screw as shown in the picture.
1.2 Insert the quick install plate into the mount adapter.
1.3 Tighten the thumb screws and make sure the quick install plate is secured.
1.4 Attach and screw the PoleMaster onto the quick install plate with USB port facing the direction as shown in the picture.
1.5 Tighten the screws and make sure PoleMaster is secured in place
After first installation, in future you can just simply install/uninstall the PoleMaster with the quick install plate and the PoleMaster combination.
Please install it by this direction: In the PARK position of the mount (The ball breaker is in vertical downwards position). When face to the mount, the USB port side is towards to left horizontally.
This position is helpful for the axis adjustment for the polar direction. The up/down direction on the image is the mount's elevation angle direction and the left/right direction is the azimuth angle position.
When doing the atmospheric refraction calibration. This position must be used also. It will make the calibration direction is the elevation direction.
2. Software Installation
PoleMaster require two software: PoleMaster driver software and PoleMaster application software. The software can be download from http://www.qhyccd.com/PoleMaster.html#PoleMaster
Each PoleMaster’s lens is focused manually before shipping from factory. Shall the needs for refocusing arises, e.g., stars are not sufficiently small and tight, please follow the instruction below to focus the lens.
1.Point the PoleMaster on bright stars
2.Remove the front protective tube by rotation
3.Use a M2 hex screw to unscrew the set screw (focus locking screw) on the side of the lens barrel
4.Rotate the lens until the star is well focused
5.Retighten the set screw and reinstall the protective tube removed in step 2.
4. Software Operation
Connect PoleMaster USB cable and run the applications.
If connecting successfully, the image will appear. Please setup the gain and exposure time.
Adjust the Angle of Pitch of the mount to the local latitude. And the direction is to north. Because of the view field of PoleMaster is 11 degrees * 6 degrees, once the angle is approx correctly, you can see the Polaris in the image. Please be familiar with the image near to the Polaris by following this picture.
The feature is : There is three dim star surround the Polaris and three bright star surround the Polarise. The Polaris is in the center of this two triangle.
Use the masking to verify the Polaris
In order to make sure the Polaris correct, the software has a masking. In this step, double clik the Polaris, there is a masking appeared on the image,. Adjust the track bar in the left tools banner to rotate this mask. If each red masking area has a star, it prove the Polaris is correctly.
Hint: Put the mouse cursor on the track bar and select the track bar, you can rotate the masking by mouse center wheel. You can also use the keyboard up/down key to adjust the rotation.
Calculate the rotate center
After the PoleMaster installed onto the mount. If it is not reinstalled or take off and the rotate center calculation is done before, you can skip this step.
The center calculation is rotate the RA axis twice to calculate the rotate center. You can select one star which is not too close to boarder or too close to the rotate center. After the star is successfully chosen, one green lamp is lit.
Rotate the RA axis by handset of the mount. Please following the arrow direction on the image. (if possible please use the handset to rotate , do not loose the RA and rotate it, because the RA axis may change when loose the RA axis). Rotate about 30 degrees to 45 degrees, then re-click the star's new position. The second green lamp is lit.
Then rotate 30 to 45 degrees again and click the star's new position, the third green lamp is lit.
After done that the software will calculate the circle out. It will draw a green circle on the image. Then you should control the RA axis rotate back to the Park position. And watch if the star is running on the circle. This can confirm the calculation is correct. If the star running not following the green circle, you need to redo from beginning.
Align the Pole Axis roughly
Double click the Polaris, match the masking (Secondary). A small green circle will appear on the image. This circle is the approx position of the Polaris. Adjust the mount to move the Polaris into this circle.
Align the Pole Axis Accurately
Double click the Polaris and matching the masking (third). Click the axis monitor button. There will be two green rectangle appearing. And there is a green and a red circle appears in the image and in the tool banner's zoom window. Adjust the mount carefully to match green and red well matched. The Pole axis is get well aligned.
Please note it must have one star in each green rectangle box. If there is no star in it, the pole axis position can not get calculated. The green circle will fly over by random.
When monitoring starting, if there is no GOTO, the software will keep on calculate the pole position frame by frame. If the mount is moved by accident, it will cause the mount's axis shift. In this condition, you only need move the mount and let these two star enter the green rectangle box. And when it enter the rectangle box the Pole position will get calculated again and you can adjust the mount to get it well aligned again.
But if you did GOTO, in the V108 PoleMaster, the two star will left the two green rectangle can it can not get calculated. In future V109 version we will add a function to allow the calculation in such conditions.
1. Why the calculated pole position is jumping slightly?
atmospheric agitation will cause the star position changed a little and cause the results jumping slightly. You can watch the most common position of the calculated positions and based on this position to adjust the mount.
In low signal to noise condition, (for example, the background light pollution is heavy, a lot of cloud etc cause the star controls is not good). the calculation random error may increase and the jumping will be bigger than expected.
If the jumping is very big or even all over the image, You need check if there is the correct stars in the two green rectangle box. Please make sure the correct star is in it.
2. when installing PoleMaster, if it is required to parallel with the RA rotate axis?
No need. Approx is ok. The rotate position is done by calculation. no need mechanical alignment .
3. How to use in low latitude area?
Low latitude area has big atmospheric refraction and cause the Pole Position is not on the geometric position that we see. In V108 version it has no the calibration function of it. In future version we will add the calibration function.
4. How to test the precision of the alignment?
You can use guide software to record the RA AND dec drift curve when disable both of RA and DEC guiding. The DEC drift present the precision of the alignment. The fomular is :
Precision ( arcsec) = 6(hours) * drift per hours.
For example: if in one hour the DEC drift is 3arcsec, the precision is 6*3=18arcsec.
5. When use the mouse to click the star, if need to point in high accurate?
No need. Approx is ok. The software will calculate the star position rather than use the mouse cursor XY position
6. Why some star is not round?
The lens used in PoleMaster is working at maximum F-STOP. It has some optic aberration and will cause some star is not round. But normally it does not affect the calculation because the software use the weight centroid algorithm to determined the star position.
7.When using the PoleMaster, Should I stopt the mount RA tracing or not?
No. It is best to keep tracing during using the PoleMaster.
8.Why can't I get the good PA precison?
If you have difficulties getting sub-30 arcsecond polar alignment accuracy, please check the following:
(1) Polar alignment accuracy should be measured by the amount of declination drift. Polar alignment errors as reported by other means may not be accurate as they are influenced by atmospheric refraction and in some cases, by the mount characteristics such as backlash.
(2) Check that the RA axis has been correctly determined. The accuracy of the RA axis is verified when one can see the star moving along the green circle in step ….. in your instruction manual. If the star does not move along the green circle, you will need to repeat steps …. until it does.
(3) In low latitude location, atomospheric refraction correction should be turned on.
(4) Make sure that PoleMaster should be installed such that the USB port faces the left hand side when you faces the PoleMaster