The PoleMaster is an easy, convenient and fast way to achieve excellent polar alignment. It has been recognized by astronomy enthusiasts around the world and has become a must-have for anyone using an equatorial mount for visual use or for imaging. The PoleMaster electronic polar axis alignment device is a patented product of QHYCCD and is protected by Chinese, US patents and International PCT.
As any seasoned astroimager 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 geari.
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.
With Polemaster, You don’t need to rotate the telescope to some uncomfortable position to keep the optical polar axis of the equatorial mount unobstructed. Also, you don’t need to squat down to look through the polar axis scope. You don’t need to turn off all the light sources to allow the naked eye to adapt to the darkness and look for the Polaris in the field of view. You also don’t need to enter the date and time and then rotate the equatorial mount to a strange angle, finally you don’t need to adjust the equatorial level. With the PoleMaster you can observe the alignment of the polar axis at any time, as well as continuously monitor the polar axis. When the equatorial mount moves inadvertently, you can also tune it back without having to redo everything.
The PoleMaster’s pixel resolution is approximately 30 arc seconds. The camera’s pixel matrix itself is a good ruler, so the accuracy it measures is much higher than the accuracy of the macroscopic lens. In the best case it can achieve an alignment accuracy of 30 arc seconds.
Wide Field of View: The electronic polar mirror has a large field of view of 11 degrees x 8 degrees, so it is easy to find the Polaris.
Once you have calibrated with a PoleMaster, you only need to perform a single-star sync (one-star calibration). This greatly facilitates the setup of an equatorial mount.
With a suitable adapter ring, the PoleMaster can be mounted to any equatorial mount. Even single-axis equatorial mounts that have no ability to correct in declination will benefit because with the PoleMaster, after the polar axis is aligned, the amount of drift in the declination direction will be very small, which can further improve the performance of such an equatorial mount.
The PoleMaster achieves polar axis alignment following this simple idea: Find the position of the pole and then make it coincide with the center of rotation of the equatorial mount’s RA axis, so that the right ascension axis of the equatorial mount is aligned with the axis of the Earth’s rotation. The PoleMaster can be mounted in front of the Equatorial Mount’s RA axis. It contains a highly sensitive camera that dynamically captures star images near the North celestial pole in real time. Its sensitivity is higher than the naked eye, so not only can you see the North Star, but you can also see a few dim stars near Polaris. Based on the location of these stars, the software calculates the true north pole position. At the same time, the PoleMaster detects the position of the center of rotation of the right ascension axis and then marks the position of the two points on the screen. All you have to do is adjust the equatorial mount so that the two points overlap and the polar axis is aligned. 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 advantage:
1. 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.
2. Accuracy: 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.
3. Wide angle view of the polar region: A wide field of view of 11×8 degree makes it very easy to locate the pole star
4. Easy to install: PoleMaster can be easily installed onto any equatorial mount through mount-specific adapters, even on mounts without a polar scope.
5. 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.
6. Three star alignment no longer needed: Once you are polar aligned, you will only need to perform one star alignment – a real time saver.
7. 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.
|Field of View||11 degrees x 8 degrees|
|Coarse Adjustment||5 arc minutes|
|Fine Adjustment||Up to 30 arc seconds|
|Computer Interface||Mini USB2.0 Port|
|Software||QHYCCD PoleMaster Calibration Software|
|Internal non-volatile memory||Non-volatile internal EEPROM memory capable of storing several small frames for calibration routines, focus, optic analysis, etc.|
|Reference Price (without adapter)
QHYCCD Standard Adapter Ring
QHYCCD Large Adapter Ring