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I see from the photos of your setup, you do not use a panning base with the AstroTrac wedge. I assume you are just making your rough initial north alignment by rotating the tripod ? The wedge itself does not appear to allow any coarse panning adjustment. Or, am I missing something?
Also, I assume you have IS off on the 500mm exposures ?
My AstroTrac backorder finally arrived yesterday. Now the weather needs to cooperate. I was hoping to catch PanSTARRS near Andromeda this evening, but the forecast looks grim over the next few days.
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Bill, you are right. The Astrotrac Wedge does not allow for "coarse" panning (azimuth control). However, IMO, it's not needed or desired.
First remove the Astrotrac scope and visually, place polaris in the middle of the hole. That will be a very rough alignment. Then, attached the scope and use the Wedge "fine" azimuth control knobs to place polaris at the precise location in the reticle.
With the iOptron, there is no azimuth control. I believe they expect us to pan with the tripod.
I believe, it's a flaw. However, getting a panning base solves the problem.
I'm using this one below and it's working great: