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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.
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!
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.
As an older person with a not so good back, this has to be a game changer.no more getting into awkward position to polar align, And so much quicker, it's deffinatately a game changer for me. Simple to use, I just watched many videos on YouTube while waiting for delivery, which was 2 days after ordering,thanks First Light Optics ,excellent service,as usual. Then I just worked through the settings, took about 10 minutes the first time, and getting quicker each time, The camera itself is really well put together,nice alloy body and a good lens cap which screws into the camera when not in use, all in all I am very pleased.with this tool, would I recommend this ? Absolutely!!!!
Forget the mount. Forget the scope. Forget the dew heater. This genuinely is the best purchase I've made for the astro setup. Not just so you don't have to bend down (I'm 27 so that's not *too* much of an issue) but it takes all ambiguity of when things aren't going well one evening, you know it ISN'T your polar alignment. This is a BIG help. The quality of the PoleMaster is also fantastic. I was really surprised at the overall build quality of the actual pole master and the accessories. All really high quality. Fitting and setup was a total breeze, the software is super simple and you'll be able to align within literally 1 minute after first setup.I also keep my cap off during imaging just to monitor polar alignment, but also to see for light high clouds as the camera is very sensitive. Due to this sensitivity, it takes all question out of 'hold up, is that actually Polaris' that you no doubt have had while looking through a polar scope! Polaris will be very noticeably brighter with fainter stars around it. I actually had the polar illumination randomly stop working one night on my EQ6R, so this would have been SO helpful that evening, now that is totally a non issue as this completely replaced the polar scope.Not having to fully level the mount has made things a lot more convenient for me. I sometimes shoot at a friend's place who has a patio with slabs. These aren't all totally flat, but with the PM this is a non issue.Finally, because of the higher accuracy of polar alignment, my stars have never looked better. I always thought my stars looked great and round, until I used this. My stars are now actually pinpoints - I should mention I'm NOT guiding, which I know is part of this, however the much higher degree of accuracy has helped a lot. This is totally worth it for all the things above. It 'just works' and the quality of this totally justifies any queries about the price.
I bought the polemaster with both the adapter for the Star Adventurer (which does not fit as you need a washer + screw from the hardware store...weird) and for the EQ6R-Pro (one day in the future) I live in the Southern Hemisphere / South Africa, and trying to pole align is almost impossible unless you're at a dark site. Locating Sigma Octantis / Polaris Australis is a nightmare.. with this tiny machine I can pole align in a matter of minutes with an accuracy far greater than one could do through any reticule. Using the software is very easy, a few clicks and you're done. Highly recommended
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