Equipment Tuning

Seeing that it was completely cloudless after finishing dinner, I decided to try to get some astronomy done. My objective was to work with PHD2 on the TV for the purpose of seeing if my recent backlash adjustment was effective. If it was, I would continue with trying to image something.

I went out at 1845 to uncover the scope, bring the electronics out of the cottage, check the balance, power up, and polar align before going to work with PHD. Everything went swimmingly. Polar alignment was just a little off and it was easily adjusted.

I slewed to near meridian and equator and brought up PHD and immediately found lots of stars. I went straight to calibration and got a weird result. It said that my two axes were almost in line with one another (88 degree orthogonality error!!) instead of being perpendicular. PHD told me that this great of an error is usually due to large polar alignment errors.

At this point I could see clouds starting to roll in.

I went to the Guiding Assistant Tool and started it. While it was running I was seeing a 100’ (yes, minutes) polar alignment error. The tool got as far as measuring backlash, and I was losing my guide star to the clouds.

I shut down and covered the scope, and I was back in the house by 1945.

I need to keep working on guiding until I get it right, and getting polar alignment right is on that critical path. Next time out I will do another Polemaster alignment, and see what error PHD measures. If it is still out of the ball park, I will do a PHD drift alignment.

All in all, I enjoyed setting up the scope and working with it even that little bit. Looking forward to getting this thing working!!

Leave a Reply