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Help with Polar scope reticle


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Hi !

Here is a picture of the polar scope reticle on my mount (The mount is an EQ5 type mount, but unbranded, and picked up second hand...)

How do I use this reticle to align my polar axis in the Northern Hemisphere? I wonder if this for southern hemisphere only? If the three rings line up with Polaris - how do I know where on the circle it should be?

thanks for any help.



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Well, Octans is indeed a Southern Hemisphere constellation. However, the circles are at 3/4° which is the offset of Polaris from the north celestial pole, so this scope should work fine for polar alignment here in the northern hemisphere. It doesn't have a convenient little circle to put Polaris in, but you can easily substitute that by simply using the 1° marker and placing that line in the correct 'clock face' position for Polaris and aligning to the intersection of the circles with that line. How to rotate the scope to put that point in the correct place? There are apps available to show you where Polaris should be on the 'clock face'. Good luck!


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This is similar to the new Polar Scope that comes with the EQ5's now. I had the same issues with trying to understand it. I will post a scan of an instruction sheet which should help you out. Ignore the part about the syncscan and download and use Polar Finder as mentioned by Stub Mandrel to get the clock position of Polaris.

Hope this helps

polarscope instructions.jpg

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Ok, this is something that I'm struggling with as well. I was under the impression that it was important if not imperative to have your mount and scope set up totally level. That in itself is no problem but to get the reticule looking all horizontal and vertical to place Polaris in the correct position, you'd need to rotate the RA. This obviously will push your RA out of level and the scope consequently not in the recommended position for your alignment. 

Have I got this bit wrong? I've only had my setup a matter of a week or so and haven't had any clear sky to have a practice with yet as the only time I got out, I was so keen on looking at everything I could, I didn't bother setting the synscan up.   :hello2:  I thought I might get an hour or so tonight so got all set up, went to get an alignment on Capella and lost it due to clouds that sneaked up on me :iamwithstupid:

Its going to clear over here on Monday night so any help with regard to this would be really helpful to me as well.

Sorry for the hijack bright sparky.



Edited by Dbswales
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It is helpful to have your tripod level but not essential. That is so that when you adjust the alt/az bolts, one adjusts only alt and the other only az. Being out of level wont stop you getting polar alignment but it might take a bit longer.

Next, you are polar aligning the mount, not the scope. So the way the scope is pointing will have no impact on your polar alignment. All that matters is that the polar scope is collimated with the polar axis, it in the correct orientation, and Polaris goes in the right spot..

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Thanks for the help on this. I now understand how to get my polar alignment sorted. I thought to look on appstore on my phone and found several apps that give the polaris position. Would never have thought to look there if I hand't got your help. Polar Scope Align (iphone) seems to do everything I need...there are others too.

I'm currently making a plate to fit on my eq5 mount to house a bublble level and a compass to help with setting up the mount Its just an Aluminium plate with a hole that goes between the mount and the tripod that has a bit that sticks out to mount the bits on. Otherwise there isnt an area thats suitable on the mount itself. Some people use the accessory tray but im not convinced its really level with the mount.

Thanks again for sorting me out!

Edited by BrightSparkey
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