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polar alignment scope for newt


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hi all,

i recently got a skywatcher 130/900 on an EQ2 and have had it out a few times, looking at saturn and trying to find some easy DSOs (clouds permitting). up until now i've more or less pointed the EQ north, checked that polaris is more or less in the middle of the 25mm eyepiece and taken it from there.

i'm considering getting a tracking motor for the mount (29€ isn't too bad) but i was also thinking of getting a polar-alignment scope. the question is, is it worth it? or should i save the money and invest it in eyepieces and a decent finder (telrad or 8x50 or something)?

thanks for your input, regards,

simon

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IMO it depends what you want to do. If you are getting into astro imaging then you really need to be tracking your object. The better your polar alignment the less tracking corrections you will have to make so in this case yes I think its worth it. If you are not getting into imaging then a tracking motor is still a really cool addition to your kit. I will soon be investing in a dual axis motor but im still a way off getting a decent camera and still do not yet have a polar alignment scope I just like the idea of being able to observe without reaching for the slow mo cables every few mins. Although with only rough polar alignment im expecting to have to make adjustments fairly regularly.

I would say everything you have listed is worth investing in at some point. Just depends what you want to do first.

Edited by Nova
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It depends on what you want to do I suppose.

How accurate your need to be with polar alignment depends on what you want to do. If you want to get into the imaging side of things then you will find accurate polar alignment is necessary but I think you can be quite rough with it if your an observer.

I have only ever used a polar scope as my mount came pre fitted with one but im sure most nights im out I don’t have to be as accurate as I am being.

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If you just want to track an object so it stays in the FOV while you change eyepeices, fetch a coat, etc, then a basic motor drive is OK. That is all you need.

If you want to track well enough for seconds, or tens of seconds, while imaging, that is different. I would save my money and put it towards a bigger and more rigid mount.

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thanks all for the comments. eventually, i'd like to get into imaging, but that's a way down the road yet. need to learn to find stuff up there in the sky first... ;)

The Skywatcher EQ2 mount does not have the facilty to attach a pole finder scope.

i should probably have clarified that i meant a pole finder scope attached to the finder shoe of the telescope. :D

so, to replace my red-dot finder, should i be looking at a telrad or a magnifying finder?

thanks, regards,

simon

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ahh thats a whole different kettle of fish. you are talking about a finder scope which has nothing to do with polar alignment. but as with pretty much any equipment query every one will have a different opinion. i personally have a 6x30 finderscope which is fine but i will be upgrading to something like a 9x50 eventually. i will be also adding a telrad alonside my finderscope. the telrad will help you find things faster as it only gives 1x magnification and the overlaying degree circles will relate nicely to telrad charts (google telrad charts)

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A polar scope in a finder bracket ain't gonna be a lot of use. Polar scopes are for aligning the mount (not the optics). And as mentioned - polar scopes aren't supported by your EQ2.

You'd really only need a polar scope on a mount you were going to use for imaging so you could be dead accurate with tracking. It won't make a lot of difference for observing only ;)

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thanks for the comments. telrad's look to be really handy. i will definitely put one on my must-have list. ;)

brantuk, thanks for the clarification about polar scopes as a finder. makes me wonder why they sell them...

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personally, I think a Telrad is a must have accessory for a telescope (unless you have goto perhaps and even then for the alignment.......) and would be the first accessory I would always buy.

I use mine of both scopes with a right angle finder and they are also worth their weight in gold.

you may possibly find that a Rigel Quickfinder might be better with your scope as it has a smaller footprint than the telrad and does the same sort of thing. personally I prefer the telrad though having used both.

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You only need to polar align if you are doing photography, for visual, rough polar align is sufficient. I made the 'mistake' of fitting a polar scope to my EQ5 and I am a visual user only, and consequently have never actually used it, haha!

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