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 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.
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. The electronic polar mirror also 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.
How does PoleMaster work? Well, the idea is actually fairly simple. You find out where the pole is, then determine the mechanical axis of rotation of your mount and finally make the two coincide. While the idea is simple, this has not 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 (so not only it can detect Polaris but also the dimmer stars surrounding). 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 centres 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
What's In the Box
- PoleMaster camera body
- Lens cap with a lanyard
- USB cable
- Mount adaptor*
- Mount adaptor cap
- M4 hardware for attaching the adaptor
- Allen key for lens focus adjustment
|Field of View
||11 degrees x 8 degrees
||5 arc minutes
||Up to 30 arc seconds
||Mini USB2.0 Port
||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.
Adapters for PoleMaster
Save 50% on your PoleMaster adapter when purchased at time of PoleMaster (does not apply to ADM adapters). Price will be reduced to $25 in your online order before payment is processed.