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Jiggy 67

Mount levelling

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Hi all,

I normaly keep my EQ5 in the house assembled (but without the OTA) so I can take it out in one piece. I then level the mount with a spirit level on the eyepiece tray. Is this adequate or should I be removing the mount head and putting the level on the top of the tripod?? would it make a difference, I've been thinking that the tray may not be level with the mount....if you know what I mean

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I usually level my tripod before putting the head on. The tray can be a little flimsy on some mounts. I attach the spreader first so the legs remain properly pushed out, then level using the leg extensions (and a spirit level on top) :)

Edited by brantuk

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Levelling an equatorial mount is not a necessity as it has no effect on polar alignment accuracy or tracking ability so I wouldn't worry about getting it perfect. The only real advantage in levelling the tripod/mount is that adjusting the altitude and azimuth bolts when carrying out the polar alignment itself results in no interaction between the two planes which makes doing the alignment a little simpler.

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Levelling an equatorial mount is not a necessity as it has no effect on polar alignment accuracy or tracking ability so I wouldn't worry about getting it perfect. The only real advantage in levelling the tripod/mount is that adjusting the altitude and azimuth bolts when carrying out the polar alignment itself results in no interaction between the two planes which makes doing the alignment a little simpler.

I'm trying to find a fault in this logic but I can't. All that time I've wasted!

I'm sure I read somewhere that it was important for something important or other....but hey ho. Seriously, do I not have to bother doing this? :)

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Thats correct

you could nail it to the wall if you want to as long as the polar axis is pointing at the north celestial pole for northern hemisphere

You would not be able to use the telescope though

levelling is what you need for a fork mount

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I must have spent *hours* of accumulated hours over the years with this faff. It's so obvious really. Ha, thanks for that!

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Wouldn't this affect your ability to balance the scope on the mount? As the point you are attempting to balance on (fulcrum?) wouldn't be on the centre line?

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Somewhere on YouTube or elsewhere there is an excellent video that thoroughly debunks the leveling myth for GEMs and also demonstrates that the adjustable top plates on all those backyard piers are pointless mistakes weakening the entire setup.

When a wrong answer is repeated often enough it can somehow appear to become correct.

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Wow!!! There's a revelation. I'll continue to get it as level as possible but won't spend any significant time on it. Thanks guys

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Ah, here we go:

From someone called "Astronomy and Nature TV".

Edited by Marmite

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From someone called "Astronomy and Nature TV".

Otherwise known as "Scopes 'n' Skies"

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One benefit of quick, no-nonsense rough leveling when in unfamilliar surroundings, is that it makes it more likely that you'll get Polaris in the polar scope first time. If you're inexperienced, you can sometimes mistake something else for Polaris at a dark site, or have difficulties finding it at all if you're badly levelled.

But if you know what you're doing and unless you're wildly off-level, it's a waste of time, yes.

(with EQ mounts)

Edited by great_bear

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Wow!!! There's a revelation. I'll continue to get it as level as possible but won't spend any significant time on it. Thanks guys

Agreed, for those of us with non-permanant setups this will save quite a bit of time.

I normally level the tripod as the bubbles on the mounts are not always that accurate, but when I fit the mount after levelling the tripod the bubble is in the middle anyway. I guess I can now leave the mount on tripod and quickly level it until the bubble is approximately in the middle.

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Totally agree that it is not necessary if you are accurately polar aligning using the polar scope, although it gets you in the right ball park.

Often for just a quick session, I make sure my tripod is level and facing north accurately then pop the mount on and don't even bother checking through the polar scope. Because it was aligned previously, it generally is accurate enough and tracks very well once a star alignment is done. Obviously this only applies to visual

Stu

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Tapatalk

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Levelling an equatorial mount is not a necessity as it has no effect on polar alignment accuracy or tracking ability so I wouldn't worry about getting it perfect. The only real advantage in levelling the tripod/mount is that adjusting the altitude and azimuth bolts when carrying out the polar alignment itself results in no interaction between the two planes which makes doing the alignment a little simpler.
As someone new to this lark, you've just saved me hours of my future. Cheers!

Russell

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Caught me out there too - manuals allways seem to suggest starting with a level tripod, but it makes sense that eq mounts don't necessarilly need that :)

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I've learnt something new today. I always level the mount using a small spirit level. Only takes about 2 mins so I don't mind so much. I never try to get it too accurate anyway, just thereabouts. Thanks for the info. Off to watch the YouTube vids now :-)

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Thanks for the info. Off to watch the YouTube vids now :-)

That's at least two of us then!

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Somewhere on YouTube or elsewhere there is an excellent video that thoroughly debunks the leveling myth for GEMs and also demonstrates that the adjustable top plates on all those backyard piers are pointless mistakes weakening the entire setup.

When a wrong answer is repeated often enough it can somehow appear to become correct.

I've often wondered why people go to the bother of building a strong pier- only to top it off with three wobbly bolts? My own engineers based assesment of the setup suggests you only need some way of accessing the holding nut under the EQ head. Perching the head on long bolts as you say surely just adds weakness to the system ?

In my pier design the EQ mount sits directly on top of the steel pilar. I couldn't give a stuff if the top of the pier is level or not- as long as the polar axis is well aligned thah's what counts.

Dscf1902.jpg

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Otherwise known as "Scopes 'n' Skies"

I don't doubt the logic but having watched the twenty minute drivel that is his "introduction to digiscoping" and the fact he's selling stuff (not to mention the company's "got your money now" take on customer service) I wouldn't imagine he's fully representing the facts.

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In my pier design the EQ mount sits directly on top of the steel pilar.

Is that mount really bigger than the man in the doorway?

- or is it just the way the photo is taken?

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The hobbits of West Montgomeryshire are known for their enthusiasm for astronomy.

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I've often wondered why people go to the bother of building a strong pier- only to top it off with three wobbly bolts?
An interesting point! I've just put an, albeit lightweight, construction of that ilk, on top of my Skywatcher "Wheely" pier... And boy does it WOBBLE. Perhaps if the bolts are embedded in concrete? But, like you, I do wonder... :happy1:

Am thinking of drilling an "access hole" into a (mild steel) pillar. A hole-saw, maybe? But I'm REALLY not sure it's a job for the amateur... I'd like to retain MOST OF my remaining fingers, hands etc. :)

P.S. Prior to the "Wixey", I invested in a (typical DIYers?) Digital Level. It has proved invaluable... :)

Edited by Macavity

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I don't doubt the logic...

Good, because it all seems pretty sound.

...but having watched the twenty minute drivel that is his "introduction to digiscoping" and the fact he's selling stuff (not to mention the company's "got your money now" take on customer service) I wouldn't imagine he's fully representing the facts.

Not having seen anything of theirs aside from the two videos above, I couldn't comment, but I can say that essentially everything they discussed with regard to piers and the "rat box" doohiffery were pretty well bang on.

There's no good reason to level a GEM to the nth degree, or even at all, so why waste all that time and effort, AND weaken a pier that may already be poor, by bunging a completely useless "rat box" contraption on top?

That's my take on the matter, and I'm sure you'll agree that it's a blumming good one. :rolleyes:

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Good, because it all seems pretty sound.

Not having seen anything of theirs aside from the two videos above, I couldn't comment, but I can say that essentially everything they discussed with regard to piers and the "rat box" doohiffery were pretty well bang on.

There's no good reason to level a GEM to the nth degree, or even at all, so why waste all that time and effort, AND weaken a pier that may already be poor, by bunging a completely useless "rat box" contraption on top?

That's my take on the matter, and I'm sure you'll agree that it's a blumming good one. :rolleyes:

Well thanks for that, we were all on the otherside of the fence until you came along with your aggressive form of agreeing with everyone else!;)

Carry on, old bean!

Edited by Parus major

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