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Ashleyfrog

Do I need to polar align???

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Hiya. I have recently treated myself to a skywatcher 209p and a heq5 synscan. I am a novice with this. Had a skywatcher 150 and eq3 then a sky prodigy 6 but didn't get on with that so treated myself. I am pretty beginner and have watched some YouTube vids about polar alignment. I guess when I have done it a few times I will be fine. But for general setting up and finding objects with the goto what is the easiest way to do this and will it be accurate. Thanks for your help. Hope for clear sky's !

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Hi

It is not hard to align it, and it will be so much easier to use your scope. For simple watching you don't need to align it properly - no setting the dials and getting Polaris to right place, just get it to ~center of polarscope.

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If you're purely visual , just set the alt scale to you're latitude ( google maps should tell you ) and aim roughly north ... Don't worry about it too much unless you get into imaging

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Ok thanks. So I set up my mount with the north leg facing north. Balance the telescope and mount and look through the polar scope and get Polaris in the centre of the polar scope by adjusting the dec and ra?or use the hand controler? Then do two star alignment and hopefully using the goto will take me to what I want to see..........

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Yes should be OK for observing.  If you want to get into imaging then polar alignment is more important.

Carole 

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I am new to this game to and at the moment I just observe but I want to get into AP soon(ish)so I quite enjoy doing polar alignment. Once levelled and using a compass to get as near to north as possible the Pole Star was almost aligned anyway although I did find having an app on the phone makes the whole thing easier to do too.

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Also, if you are new to eq mounts , don't forget to loosen one bolt before tightening the opposite or you'll be the latest bendy bolt victim

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Ok thanks. So I set up my mount with the north leg facing north. Balance the telescope and mount and look through the polar scope and get Polaris in the centre of the polar scope by adjusting the dec and ra?or use the hand controler? Then do two star alignment and hopefully using the goto will take me to what I want to see..........

Neither. You get Polaris to the centre by moving the adjusters on the mount itself. The ones that move it in azimuth (east/west) and altitide (up and down.) These are not the RA and Dec axes on which the tube pivots once you are up and running. This might be a time to read the manual if you have one. If not they are online.

Olly

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If you want to be correct with PA, the pole star should not be in the centre of the polarscope.  The pole star rotates around the true pole a degree away and there are various routines to fine out exactly where polaris should be around the 1 degree circle at any given time.   This is much more critical when doing astroimaging.  

Some handsets have a routine, I use software called Polarfinder which tells me exactly where it is.

Carole 

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For Rough-and-Ready alignment I just match the Ursa Major / Cassiopea graphics in the polar 'scope with their positions in the sky, then use the alt /az adjusters to centre Polaris in the little circle.

BTW as Olly will tell you, you only have to level the mount east-west, and only if you're going to do a serious drift-align. North-south is taken care of during the polar alingnment.

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I sank 3 bricks into the lawn; levelled the tripod  & marked where the legs sat (during daylight, I hasten to add). Then did a polar align  so I just have to take the rig out and plonk it on the marks.

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How do you polar align in the daytime? Sorry if I sound thick but if you don't ask you won't no I've always been taught!

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He means marked where the legs were in daylight, polar aligned at night then parks it.. Next time you use it, goto marks with legs and no need to polar alighn.

Parking means it starts fro. Last aligned position!

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If you're purely visual , just set the alt scale to you're latitude ( google maps should tell you ) and aim roughly north ... Don't worry about it too much unless you get into imaging

I have done this and still have to use both RA and DEC to follow objects. Any suggestions about what I may have done incorrectly. I bought my Astromaster 130 EQ early this summer and this has been one of the frustrating aspects of using it. Thanks.

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Also, if you are new to eq mounts , don't forget to loosen one bolt before tightening the opposite or you'll be the latest bendy bolt victim

Could you explain what you mean? I am new to eq mounts and I don't want to be a bendy bolt victim. Thanks.

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I have done this and still have to use both RA and DEC to follow objects. Any suggestions about what I may have done incorrectly. I bought my Astromaster 130 EQ early this summer and this has been one of the frustrating aspects of using it. Thanks.

I can only has at a guess that you are not using the right settings as thats the only logical explaination as far as I can see.

watch this for tips, its cheesy but very good. 

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I can only has at a guess that you are not using the right settings as thats the only logical explaination as far as I can see.

watch this for tips, its cheesy but very good. 

Thanks bomberbaz. This actually was the video I used to start with. I will redo the process, maybe I was off a bit.

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Could you explain what you mean? I am new to eq mounts and I don't want to be a bendy bolt victim. Thanks.

It is so that you are not trying to force against an imovable object, ie a tightened bolt. If you don't  slacken the opposing bolt, then something has to give, as in bend.

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