About this product
Without optional adapter.
Please see HERE if you are looking to buy a PoleMaster with adapter.
The QHY PoleMaster is a modern solution to an age-old problem. With only a few simple, easy-to-follow steps you can achieve perfect polar alignment in minutes, with an accuracy of up to 30 arc seconds!
"We think that QHYCCD have come up with an excellent product here which really takes the sting out of having to polar align. The accuracy of the device meant that polar aligning with the Polemaster was more a pleasure than a chore" Pete Lawrence writing for 'BBC Sky at Night' magazine Sep 2016.
How does it work?
Polar alignment sounds simple enough. You find where the pole is, determine the mechanical axis of rotation of your mount, then make the two coincide. PoleMaster makes use of a sensitive wide field imaging camera along the axis of RA to monitor the polar region in real time (not only can it detect Polaris, it also finds the dimmer surrounding stars). From the positions of these stars PoleMaster determines the position of the true pole and compares that to the mechanical axis of RA rotation. Polar alignment is now a simple matter of moving the two centres of rotation so they overlap. Easy!
- Speed and convenience: No need to move the telescope to specific place to unblock the polar scope. No need to kneel or crick your neck to see through a polar scope. No need for fully dark adapted eyesight. No need to level your mount and no need to enter the date and time in your handset then figure out where to rotate the mount to coincide with the current pole star position.
- Accuracy: PoleMaster's sensitive camera provides accuracy not achievable with naked eye. The camera's 30 arc second resolution means the best polar alignment that can be achieved by PoleMaster, in the order of 30 arc seconds.
- Wide angle view of the polar region: A wide field view of 11x8 degree makes it easy to locate the pole star
- Easy to install: PoleMaster can be easily installed onto any equatorial mount through mount-specific adapters, even on mounts without polar scope.
- Real time polar alignment checking / adjustment: Using PoleMaster you can monitor your polar alignment in real time. In the event that polar alignment is lost, you can bring it back quickly and easily without starting from scratch.
- Three star alignment is no longer needed: Once you are polar aligned, you only need to perform a one star alignment - a real time saver.
- Perfect companion to single axis mounts: When used with single (RA-only) axis mount, good polar alignment will minimise drift in the DEC axis therefore maximising the performance of your mount.
What's in the box
- QHY PoleMaster
- Lens Cap
- USB Cable
|Resolution ||Approx 30 arc seconds |
|Install method ||Three M3 screw to mount adapter |
|Interface ||mini USB2.0 |
|Software ||QHYCCD PoleMaster Software |
|Rough precision ||Approx 5 arc minutes |
|High Precision ||Max 30 arc seconds |
|Weight ||Approx 70g |
|Dimensions ||See mechanical drawing |
|Power Consumption ||Approx 0.35 watts / 70 mA |
|Available Adapters || |
- Sky-Watcher EQ6/AZEQ6 HEQ5
- iOpton CEM60 ZEQ25/CEM25 iEQ45 iEQ30 AZEQ5
- Celestron AVX CGEM
Downloads / Manuals
The following manuals and downloads are available for this product:
Steve Richards has kindly put together a manual for the PoleMaster which you may find is much easier to understand and follow than QHY's own manual.
PoleMaster User Manual (English, UK / Northern Hemisphere) - by Steve Richards (PDF)
QHY PoleMaster Manual (HTML)
QHY PoleMaster 3D Drawing (DWG)
The latest QHY PoleMaster Driver and Software can be downloaded from the QHY CCD website.
|Average Rating (10 Reviews): |Polar alignment - the easy way!
08 March 2023 | Paul
fantastic tool that gets you accurately polar aligned every time - easy to use, intuitive interface with clear instructions and an easy-to-follow process, that takes 2-3 minutes to complete depending on how far off alignment you are! The downsides - it needs a laptop and won't connect to an ASIAir currently, and it needs a different adapter for each mount, so check exactly what you need - Overall though it's well worth the slight hassle of having to use a laptop/PC and will save you time and give confidence in your alignment. definitely made a difference to my workflow simply by speeding it up!
08 October 2022 | Jaimi
Got to use the camera last night for the first time. And wow. First time use (did watch a few review videos that had a quick setup guide). Was polar aligned in about 20 mins. This was using a new mount (unboxed it about an hour before using the PoleMaster) so had to set it all up from scratch, so an eyeball on where Polaris was when it came to polar alignment.
Honestly this was super easy, no bending over and squinting. Just sat at the laptop, next to the mount.
I would recommend taking a moment to rotate the camera so that your adjustments are clearly represented on the screen (adjust the mount right, image moves to the right).
But absolutely fantastic to use. A must have.
20 April 2021 | David
If you have ever wondered if polar alignment could be easier then this is the device for you. I had struggled with polar alignment, mainly from a bending over and squinting point of view. The Polemaster isn't cheap but my back and knees are worth a whole lot more. Zero problems with installation on my Astrotrac, and all I need is a new adapter when I get a proper mount. Software is clear and easy to use. I was skeptical but it really does lead you through the process of alignment in such a way as it's difficult to go wrong. Plus there are loads of excellent YouTube videos explaining the process in detail. Drivers were no problem either on a Win10 machine and it also worked perfectly on a Win7 machine. The unit is very well made, it feels solid, and has several features that set it apart from the competition. The proper lens cap for one and a quality screw on connector for another. You do have to check it's focused properly, but if it's not you can remove the outer barrel and focus it easily. The tools to do so are in the box. It's fantastic and I'm very glad I bought it without struggling on for years before seeing the light.
Great camera and software once it works
13 April 2021 | Marc
I would give this camera 5 stars if it werenít for the pain that I had around drivers and getting the camera to work. I have a windows 10 laptop, all other Astro software has worked fine first time but this was a right hassle. Searches online proved that others have the same issue too. The support from QHY is terrible. First light optics on the other hand are awesome. The item arrived next day and also included the clouds as well!
Makes polar alignment far easier
03 March 2021 | Robert
...canít believe how easy this device is. Provides more time for images. FLO were quick with order and it arrived within a few days. Great service all. Thanks
09 December 2020 | John
This works quite easily and is very useful with an equatorial mount. I keep it handy always to check the alignment. Well worthwhile.
28 October 2020 | Keith
An excellent aid to polar alignment. I am a 72-year-old fat man with a bad back and a stiff neck. Kneeling to look thru the polar scope would probably have me reeling in agony for days afterwards so is not an option. The first time I used this device it took me 15 minutes to get an accurate alignment without contorting my body. I reckon with a little practice I can get it below 5 minutes so 12 out of 10 for this product. I don't understand why some people give this device negative reviews, the onscreen instructions seem pretty straight forward to me. BYE THE WAY, get one of the universal adapters so it fits on the underside of the dovetail/losmandy bar and works on any mount. I bought this
ADM Dual DV Series Dovetail Adapter For PoleMaster Mounting £44
Doesnít work in the field...!!! 0 star review
23 June 2020 | Darren
Complete waste of money. Itís needs to be plugged into a house socket for it to work.
Doesnít work from battery power.
Doesnít work from an extension.
Only works from a plug socket.
So unless you have electric in an observatory, you will need to be able to remove the roof from your house to observe the night sky due to the plug lead not being 60ft long . .
Iíve tried numerous setups and ways to get it to work and every time it freezes........then starts again for 1/2 second then freezes again.
So instead of it taking 3-5 mins for accurate polar alinement itís takes 7 1/2 hours... oh look itís morning better pack everything up.
Iím getting in touch with the makers and asking them to refund my money as it has nothing to do with first light optics that QHY made such a useless piece of junk.
This either sounds faulty or your laptop isn't able to provide enough USB power - please get in touch :-)
13 November 2018 | Nigel
First impressions are what count and my first impressions were a little bit underwhelmed.
I finally had a partial clear night and managed to test my new Polemaster with the EQ6.
All in all the build quality is rather nice, with all round quality feel.
Where it let itself down was being out of focus right out of the box despite being allegedly focused to infinity!
No biggie as Polemaster comes with a microscopic Alan key to allow re-focus but where your out in the field in the long grass what ever you do don't drop the Allan key or you'll be going home in tears
The second sad tiding which I think inst really a show stopper because its close enough was the initial alignment circles in the software don't fully encompass all the alignment stars. Some sit on the alignment circle or just outside.
Its close enough to get alignment I think but couldn't tell for sure as I was doing very wide field and couldn't tell how bad drift was. It seemed OK at first glance.
The actual alignment process was a breeze and only took a few minutes once I got the focus sorted.
When I attack narrow field I'll get a better understanding of how accurate the polar alignment is/isn't and may revisit this review.
In summary Id give 4/5 for the hardware and 3/5 for the software.
Polar alignment a pleasure
16 June 2018 | Ian
I live in a light polluted Bortle 6 area and don't have any permanent setup - though I manage OK
It's no exaggeration to say polemaster has revolutionised my setup from fumbling misery to smug delight.
I now perform a very accurate (and enjoyable) polar alignment in about 3 minutes. It's solidly made, and was easily fitted to an HEQ5 in a few minutes.
I worried about it working due to light pollution, but it works perfectly first time, every time.
It is the best non-essential astronomy purchase I have made, though for me, I would now class this as essential kit.
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