Manual Camera Rotation

Hello Everyone - I’ve been wrestling with two things. The first is manual camera rotation. I need to get this down in order to keep filming after meridian flips and also because I’d like to start trying out mosaics. I did a test run a few weeks ago. I decided to test a quick two-frame mosaic of M45. I don’t want to spend $800 on a camera rotator right now, so I set it to manual. When the camera moved to the second frame, the rotation indicator popped up and told me to rotate the camera 42 degrees in the indicated direction. I eyeballed the rotation and it attempted to plate solve and told me I was four degrees off. I moved the camera a bit farther. When it plate-solved again, it told me I was 180 degrees off.
At that point, I simply turned the rotation feature off and tried taking a frame. When I did that, I found that my focus was WAY off. At that point, I had the scope slew to a bright star and re-focused using a bahtinov mask. I can’t really get my auto-focus routine to be reliable, so that’s the second thing I’ve been wrestling with. I have an 8" Newtonian and the camera is an SBIG 8300ST. What is the secret to manually rotating the camera so it doesn’t lose focus and so it can plate solve?

Is it possible that you need to reverse the direction of rotation? Depending on things like mirrors combined with how software reads the image off the sensor you may have a flipped image and may be required to reverse the direction of rotation. It’s possible that, if you rotated in the wrong direction that you may have actually ended up closer to the positional 180 degree counterpart and then asked to move there.

I don’t know if this is affecting you, but there is a known issue we are looking into where SGPro may fail to convert the angle provided by ASTAP into the equatorial positional angle.

You can test if you need to reverse the direction of rotational requests, simply by using the “Solve and Sync” function, noting the results, and rotating maybe 5 degrees clockwise. Run “Solve and Sync” again and, if the angle has increased, you’ll want to flip the requests.

See the option at the bottom of the section for Rotators: