Pointing Model vs. OAG with PHD2


Bruce Donzanti
 

I would feedback from those doing pointing models if would be advantageous for me to try it based on my specific setup on stick with OAG.

I am in a permanent observatory above my garage roof which is about 12 feet above street level. In the observatory, my C11" EdgeHD (with an 80mm piggybacked onto it) is on an AP1100 which is on top of a Pier Tech adjustable steel pier (can be raised 18 inches).  The steel pier lies on top of a cement pier that runs down below street level.  So, the scope itself is about 8 ft above the observatory floor, requiring me to use safety ladder to get to it but just about everything is automated now with few exceptions. My setup is well built, has excellent polar alignment and cable management.  I would have to recheck my PE on my 1.5 year old AP1100.  For guiding, I have been using PHD2 with an OAG for about 2 years but I find it to be finicky and I often have to get up on the ladder to re-focus the guide camera (one of the few non-automated steps).  Seeing and transparency in my area is generally not very good and I do not get many clear nights.  Typically, my seeing is around below average/average with many nights of poor and few above average/excellent. I am thinking of using the 80mm as the guide scope for the C11 since it has an autofocuser but I am still dealing with PHD2 and my so-so skies. 

With this as an introduction, would taking the time to learn to build a pointing model save me a lot of aggravation (i.e.,up and own on the ladder for the OAG adjustments or using the less effective 80mm) in the long run or am I just exchanging one set of problems for potential another set?  Would a pointing model be more or less advantageous for guiding in my sky conditions or just the same as using an OAG approach?

Bruce

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