PoleMaster - A High-Precision, Easy to Use Electronic Polar Scope for Astronomy and Astrophotography - The Best Camera and Software Available for polar alignment.
As any seasoned astro imager would agree, achieving good polar alignment is not an easy task. You may spend hours under precious dark sky trying to get that perfect polar alignment, but in the end you may not know whether good alignment has in fact been achieved. Even after you have obtained good alignment, a gentle knock on the mount may send the polar alignment off and you may have no other choice but to start from scratch again. With an hour here and an hour there trying to get polar aligned, it soon will be dawn and time to pack up the gear.
The PoleMaster is a great solution to this problem. The PoleMaster is an innovative product pioneered by QHYCCD to relieve the pain of polar alignment. Using PoleMaster and following a few simple, easy-to-follow, steps you can achieve perfect polar alignment in 2-3 minutes, with an accuracy of up to 30 arc seconds.
Note: For Star Adventurer, please choose the adapter "AstroTrac/Star Adventurer Kit". It will come with the required extra parts to work with the Star Adventurer.
How does PoleMaster work? The idea is actually fairly simple. You find out where the pole is, then determine the mechanical axis of rotation of your mount, and make the two coincide. While the idea is simple, it has never been implemented in a commercial product - until now. PoleMaster makes use of a super sensitive wide field imaging camera along the axis of RA to monitor the polar region in real time (it not only detects Polaris but also the dimmer stars surrounding Polaris). From the positions of these stars PoleMaster can determine the position of the true pole and compare that to the mechanical axis of RA rotation. Polar alignment is now a simple matter of moving the two centers of rotation so they overlap. Piece of cake!
In comparison with other polar alignment techniques, PoleMaster has the following advantages:
Speed and convenience
With PoleMaster you do not need to move the telescope to a specific place just to unblock the polar scope. You do not need to kneel or contort your body to look through the polar scope. You do not need to fully dark adapt just to see the pole star. You do not need to level your mount. You do not need to worry about the entering the date and time in your handset and figure out where to rotate the mount to coincide with the current pole star position.
With a high precision camera, one can achieve accuracy not achievable with the naked eye. The imaging camera in PoleMaster has a resolution of 30 arc second, so the best polar alignment that can be achieved by PoleMaster is also in the order of 30 arc seconds.
Wide angle view of the polar region
A wide field of view of 11x8 degree makes it very 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 a polar scope.
Real time polar alignment checking / adjustment
By using PoleMaster you can monitor your polar alignment in real time. In the event that polar alignment is lost, it is now a simple matter to bring it back without having to start from scratch.
Three star alignment no longer needed
Once you are polar aligned, you will only need to perform 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 minimize drift in the DEC axis therefore maximizing the performance of your mount.