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stringbean

Do I Really Need A Polar Finder?

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I have a celestron Go To cg5 mount that my refractor sits on. I am learning how to align with the stars using the NexStar hand controller. The instructions tell me to point the mount North and roughly select my latitude. I'm wondering if I really do need the Polar Axis Finder because I've read mixed reviews about how not many people bother because they can be fiddly and not that easy to use and that they're only really needed if doing Astro Photography. Can you please help me to save a few bob if I can get away with it or is it an essential requirement when setting up the initial alignment?

Thanks.

Edited by stringbean

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For visual (at lower mags) it might be worth trying adjusting the mount whilst putting polaris centrally in the Aperture in the mount where the polarscope would go...

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My trusty Vixen GP came with a polar scope installed, and I have always found it a doddle to align the mount accurately. I ave never understood why people think it is a hassle. MUCH quicker than drift aligning, and much easier.

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My trusty Vixen GP came with a polar scope installed, and I have always found it a doddle to align the mount accurately. I ave never understood why people think it is a hassle. MUCH quicker than drift aligning, and much easier.

Reading the post above about updating the firmware for 'All Star Polar Alignment', which does away with the need for a polar scope and be more accurate sounds much more appealing. My question did state that I was learning how to align my scope and asked for advice on weather I could save money by not purchasing a polar scope or weather it was an essential requirement. By updating the firmware on my handset as advised above, it will cost me nothing and do the job just as well.

Regards.

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You want to be somewhere close before using the routines in the handset...

It's meant for "nailing" the alignment... if your too far out then the offset target star may be out of the FOV...

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Ok, I haven't updated the firmware on my Celestron Nexstar hand controller yet as advised above so that I can perform the 'All Star' alignment. However, I've been playing with the handset just now in order to learn the functions of the NexStar and just noticed that I have a 'Polar Align' function in addition to the usual, Two, Three and Quick Star Alignment. If I use the 'Polar Align function first, must I still use a polar finder or do I look through the finder/eyepiece and adjust the azimuth and latitude to line it up centre and then continue with the star alignment?

Thanks.

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I've never bothered with one, and the one on my HEQ5 is so bright you can't see polaris anyway.

For a rough alignment, I tell the scope to slew to Polaris, and then unlock the clamps and manually centre Polaris.

After that, as I'm imaging, I drift align.

Rob

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Sounds very interesting, will have to look into updating my CG5 software, if it can use this new routine, would mean a new handset though - I think.

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I have one on my CG5 but never use it....after the 4-6star alignment, do All star alignment 2-3 times until the read out is zeros. Just as good as drift but ALLOT faster!

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This sounds interesting. Does Skywatcher's "SynScan" have something similar?

Unfortunately not, it's only on the Celestron.

John

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All-star alignment looks very neat, especially if you have a solid polar axle. I bet Skywatcher will incorporate this in future SynScan kit, or firmware upgrades.

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All-star alignment looks very neat, especially if you have a solid polar axle. I bet Skywatcher will incorporate this in future SynScan kit, or firmware upgrades.

I hope they do as I think there missing a trick here tbh

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I bet Skywatcher will incorporate this in future SynScan kit, or firmware upgrades.

Ditto. That would make things a lot easier.

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If your using your laptop to control a skywatcher mount is it possible to use a celestron goto program and then be able to do the all star align with that ??

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Found this comment on Cloudy Nights on a discussion about EQMOD and All Star Polar Align

"No. Well sort of. One was planned, and the basic screens for it are there, but it has never been implemented fully by the developers--the dude who was doing it has moved on to other stuff, for one thing. Most Atlas users are happy enough with the polar borescope, and there _is_ a utility in EQMOD that will rotate the scope in RA to automatically align the polar scope, meaning all you have to do is put Polaris in the place for it on the reticule."

John

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Found this comment on Cloudy Nights on a discussion about EQMOD and All Star Polar Align

"No. Well sort of. One was planned, and the basic screens for it are there, but it has never been implemented fully by the developers--the dude who was doing it has moved on to other stuff, for one thing. Most Atlas users are happy enough with the polar borescope, and there _is_ a utility in EQMOD that will rotate the scope in RA to automatically align the polar scope, meaning all you have to do is put Polaris in the place for it on the reticule."

John

I do this manually (just a date/ time setting) and get Polaris on the cross-hairs. This gives me excellent tracking. Still, for scopes without polar scope all-star align is great.

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A Skywatcher equivalent for the "All Star Alignment" would be fantastic - might be worth mentioning on their new Facebook page and seeing what reply one gets.

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Well, I mentioned it on the Facebook page and I have had a reply less than 24 hours later!

Sky-Watcher Hi Mark, the update will be available very soon. We don't have the exact date, but it will definitely be here within few months of time. Thank you for your comment and support for Sky-Watcher Products.

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Well, I mentioned it on the Facebook page and I have had a reply less than 24 hours later!

Sky-Watcher Hi Mark, the update will be available very soon. We don't have the exact date, but it will definitely be here within few months of time. Thank you for your comment and support for Sky-Watcher Products.

That's very good to here. Always good when companies keep up with firmware updates

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