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ehorvath

CPC 1100 & HD Wedge North Polar Alignment NIGHTMARE

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CPC & HD Wedge users HELP!  LOL  So I have the CPC 1100 XLT and HD Wedge.  Is there a place that describes exactly how to do the entire PROPER North Polar Alignment?  I followed the instructions in my book, which is in 3 different sections and it obviously is wrong!  This is what my instructions said:

1.  Attach the Wedge above one of the legs for more stability and so the slant is pointing south so when the scope is attached, the fork arms will point true north.

2.  Attach the telescope and then open the clutch in order to have the OTA pointing South and upward to the meridian and to do that, align the arrows on the top of the fork arm......there are NO arrows for this on my scope!.

3.  Do a EQ North auto 2 star alignment (I chose Arcturus as #1 and then it slewed to Altair).

4.  After this alignment, manually place the telescope in "polar alignment" so the OTA is in alignment with the fork arms and pointing towards true north.

5.  Go into Menu > Utilities and chose "Wedge Align" and the scope will slew to where it thinks Polaris is.  (When I done this, my scope slewed FAR East, nowhere near Polaris and there was no way to correct this using the manual knobs on the Wedge as it states to do.  Instead of slewing with the directional buttons which it said NOT to do, I opened the clutches, moved the scope manually, locked them down and then was able to use the knobs on the Wedge to get Polaris in the EP as the directions stated.)

6.  After the "Polar Alignment" on Polaris is done, press ENTER (I done that).

7.  Then it said to place the OTA back into "Meridian" position and do the EQ North auto 2 star alignment AGAIN and then the scope is ready for use.

So I done that, chose Arcturus again and then it slewed to Altair again but was WAY off.  The instructions I have simply cannot be correct and it was such a nightmare I don't care to ever use it for astrophotography again!  LOL  My other concern is there are supposed to be "arrows" on top of the one of the fork arms but there are NO arrows at all on either one of them.  In order to get it as "properly placed" as possible, I used the owners manual to ge the scope in as much of a 90° angle as possible.

Thanks for any assistance!!!!!

Eddie

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If your standing looking at the sloping face of the wedge then you should looking south...

The sloping face  should be on the "north" side of the tripod...

for the "start" position I used to use a spirit level across the  base of the forks and release the "Azimuth" (which once your on a wedge your in "Equatorial) mode so it  becomes "Right Ascension"-RA) and rotate the forks  until the bubble is centred... 

Then release the "Altitude" clutch (now Declination as your on a wedge and in EQ Mode)  and move the OTA so the OTA is at right angles to the "forks" ....

It's an age since I have used it so can't remember the exact sequence using the handset...

Peter...

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Yes, that's exactly how I had the Tripod/Wedge set up.....it's the hand control/EQ North alignment that was so confusing.  LOL  I think the more logical approach is to do the EQ North align and then the Wedge Align and then just start the GoTo process to go to what you want to view and photograph.

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I agree with you that the instructions which come with the wedge are confusing. I have this link saved as a favourite on my phone and use it whenever I need to set up my CPC1100 on the HD wedge. Never failed me yet.

Taken directly from the Celestron website:

http://www.celestron.com/c3/support3/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=2549

James

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Hi, I've been discussing this with a couple of other members in another thread: http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/235579-polar-alignment-with-a-cpc-and-wedge/#entry2782082

The instructions from celestron are (I think) out of date. The wedge align option doesn't exist on my handset (which I believe is up to date - or maybe its the other way around and I'm out of date!). Anyway, using the celestron instructions, combined with the instructions in both the scope and wedge manuals, and from various internet sources, I have managed to cobble together some instructions that seem to work. At least, I get the thing set up and aligned. But the errors in polar alignment seem a little large to me. Anyway, I've attached my instructions, so read through them, then the thread and you will get the full picture of what I am doing. Maybe the more of us that collaborate on this issue, the more likely we will be to come up with a foolproof technique! 

Polar Alignment Method CPC800.docx

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Oh, and the 'arrows' are marked at Alt Index on my scope and only appear on the top of one arm. See attached photo. When these arrows are lined up, the OTA is parallel to the ground (in my mind, at 0o altitude (obviously, without wedge attached). Maybe you could point your OTA as mine is in the image (again without wedge), and use a spirit level on the top to ensure the tube is completely level and at right angles to fork arms and make your own marks? Just a suggestion. 

Mods: Would it be useful to merge the two threads? 

post-24939-0-79400200-1444988385_thumb.j

post-24939-0-02647800-1444988529_thumb.j

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Thanks AstroJoe and Rockrae78!  I'll give those a try.  Rockrae78, yep, I do NOT have those arrows on either Fork Arm.....so I'm at a loss as to why they are not on mine :(

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It thought they were a necessity to get accurate alignment. I can't think why they would be left off! Having said that, I've never checked mine to see if they are accurate. Must do that soon!

Please let me know how you get on with it. I'd be interested to see what you are doing differently and if I can improve my method any.

Edited by Rockrae78

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I'll do that.  I emailed Celestron and asked if I got a "defective" scope.....everyone one seems to have those alignment arrows for the Meridian except for mine :(

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I received an email today from Celestron on how to EQ North Polar Align.  turns out the newer model GPS CPC models do NOT have the index markers on them and they do NOT have to be South Aligned either....whew!!!  Here is what I was sent:

EQ North & Polar Align w/No Index Markers

1. Face the mount True North with the OTA parallel to the fork arms pointing to Polaris. If you can see Polaris with a low power eyepiece, then it's roughly polar aligned to start off. You only need to have Polaris in the FOV, it does not need to be centered! To get it within the FOV, use the slow-motion controls on the Wedge for Latitude and also for Azimuth!

2. Now, go to Utilities and select Wedge Align and choose EQ North Two Star Align; follow prompts on the LCD screen. After the scope moves to the first star, it might be off, but the second star will be more accurate.

3. Next, select and press the Align button and scroll to Polar Align. The mount will need to be moved to a selected star at which point you will center in the EYEPIECE using the AZIMUTH & ALTITUDE adjustment knobs on the Wedge to center the star.

4. Now, turn the scope off and then back on and redo the Two Star Align followed by 1 or 2 calibration stars. If your CPC does not have the index markers, you do not need to do a Polar Alignment facing South.

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Hi Eddie,

Thanks for that... its useful information. Unfortunately, my hand controller doesn't have the wedge align option... I've checked and I've got the most up to date MC firmware (version 5.14), and fairly up to date HC firmware (NXS 5.21.2064). Perhaps you've got the different type of hand controller (apparently there are two different types that have been supplied with the CPC scopes) to me. 

Oh well, I'll just carry on doing what I have been doing - although still no clear nights as of yet! 

Let us know how you get on with this method. At least you have a solution to what could have been a very vexing problem!! 

Rae

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I see in your signature, you have the CPC 800......mine is the 1100 GPS XLT so maybe that's why your HC is different than mine???

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On 16/10/2015 at 10:28, Rockrae78 said:

Hi, I've been discussing this with a couple of other members in another thread: http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/235579-polar-alignment-with-a-cpc-and-wedge/#entry2782082

The instructions from celestron are (I think) out of date. The wedge align option doesn't exist on my handset (which I believe is up to date - or maybe its the other way around and I'm out of date!). Anyway, using the celestron instructions, combined with the instructions in both the scope and wedge manuals, and from various internet sources, I have managed to cobble together some instructions that seem to work. At least, I get the thing set up and aligned. But the errors in polar alignment seem a little large to me. Anyway, I've attached my instructions, so read through them, then the thread and you will get the full picture of what I am doing. Maybe the more of us that collaborate on this issue, the more likely we will be to come up with a foolproof technique! 

Polar Alignment Method CPC800.docx

I know this thread is nearly a year old but these instructions on the word doc helped me out fantastically. 

My HC does not have the Wedge Align menu either, so I was completely lost. 

One thing I could add is to possible shed light on the 'point at meridian' bit. 

I found out through another forum that all you need to do is rotate the scope around its base 180 degrees so it is pointing exactly opposite from where it started. You have to do this with the HC and ONLY using the left & right buttons, DO NOT use the up & down buttons. 

I have yet to try this in anger but it sounds like it makes sense. 

Regards..,

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