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Being a newbie using a "barn door tracker" with my dslr, I have found out that :
1) Stellarium is such a great tool to explore and learn the sky and how things work - thank you, all contributors.
2) The polar alignment and the tracking motor speed accuracy are very important when using longer focal lengthts and long exposure times.
During cloudy evenings, I have practised a lot with Stellarium to learn how to pinpoint NCP from the locations of nearby star patterns. When I think I am right, I hit "E" to turn on the equatorial grid which will show how well I did. Sometimes ok, sometimes not so ok...
Another approach would be the drift alignment method, which led me to this feature suggestion for Stellarium :
Suppose there was a plugin that let me adjust and fine tune three parameters on a virtual telescope/camera mount : rotation (motor) speed, altitude and azimuth of the rotational axis. Also, a virtual reticle would be needed and positioned with a mouse click on any chosen star. What a great tool that would be for practising the drift alignment method at home, and gain a lot of time in the field. You would just set some parameter(s) slightly wrong and learn how this affects the alignment in different positions of the sky. I know there are tutorials for this, but nothing beats practising. Would this be a difficult thing to implement ?
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