Detailed setup page 2
My astrophotography setup in more detail page 2
By now the telescope have cooled or reached ambient temperature, this is important to obtain a clear end sharp picture trough the mirrors/lenses. I check the collimation( Newtonians only) and fine adjust if necessary with my collimation tool.
I turn on the power, this is done by switching on the Battery pack which acts as the main 12V DC power supply for all the equipment except for the PC, and ensure all electrical components is working ( Dew heaters, camera etc.) I connect the USB cable to the Laptop witch is controlling the telescope throughout the hole session. Polar align the telescope correctly with Earth’s rotation axis by makeing sure the guide camera and guide scope are in focus and able to se (and later track) the stars.
I then need to focus the main telescope by adjusting the focuser knob to get the stars sharp, by doing that you will be able to platesolve and orient the telescope to a specific point in the sky, and later in the session to get the sharpest pictures.
I am now ready to start up my Laptop!
When the Laptop bots up and Windows 10 starts, I launch the Pegasus Astro- Pocket Powerbox application and this connects the Laptop to the Powerbox which I have placed physically on the telescope-mount.
Next I open the PHD2 application and connect the mount and guider. This opens the EQMOD software utility that connects to the mount allowing me to control the mount without a hand controller. This software also controls the guiding and sends guiding correction to the mount.
Now its time to “Polar Align” the mount/Telescope. I launch SharpCap and select the polaralignment tool from the menu. After following the adjustment procedure in the application, the Telescope-mount is now inside limit( good/Excellent )and polar aligned.
Lastly I launch N.I.N.A. This is the software I use for capturing my images.
I also use Stellarium, is nice to have, it shows the night sky and its objects presented in high graphical quality. This software can also show in which direction the telescope is pointing and allows you to move it between different objects.
Before I will open N.I.N.A. and load my hardware profile (Eg. 200PDS/Z61 and Canon Eos/Zwo 485). to connect all hardware units( camera, auto-focuser, Telescope, guider), a few things needs to be done.
So first things first, at this point I need to focus the camera either with the auto-focuser or manually and by using a Bahtinov mask. This is done most efficient by pointing the telescope at a bright star. I start out by manually turn the focuser wheel/run manual autofocus to a close enough focus point where the platesolver software is able to recognize the stars and orient the mount and telescope. Adjust now from this coarse condition to fine adjustment with autofocus module in N.I.N.A. or by using the Bahtinov mask as mentioned earlier. When this process is done and the stars look pin sharp and crispy its time to test the mount/telescope/software and make sure that it knows exactly where it is and is able to point to the objects that you select. This is focus adjustment and plate-solving.
Stellarium and N.I.N.A. configuration and Focus ajustment