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Pier and AE Wedge for LX90


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For the last few years I've been staring at an aluminium AstroEngineering Megawedge which was thrown in on a deal, but once cost someone £600 or so I think. Now I have bought a secondhand pier which will give me more stability, and more space  in my Astroshed. The time has come to marry these two items to my 12" LX90.

The pier is square sectioned. Does anyone have any advice? I've never used either thing before. I have the instructions for the wedge, and it all seems to make sense. But with the pier presumably the important thing (apart from getting it stable) is to get it facing north (whatever its section happens to be). There's about 10 to 20 degrees of Azimuth adjustment in the pier and the wedge between them. So it seems to me that I have some room for error, but only so much. 

I do visual only currently. The object is better stability and less grinding around from the telescope gears, but also I might just stick a camera on it, if this all works. It's  a permanent setup in a roll top shed, with a tightly slabbed floor, below which is dry-mix, which is about a year old.

Any advice at all would be appreciated.

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Not familiar with the Astro Engineering wedge, mine is on a Meade wedge which has a little fork thing that the east / west adjuster slots into, this needs to point south on mine but yours may be different.

You need the wedge slope pointing north then if you mount the scope on it and point the fork arms at Polaris, rotate the scope to point parallel with the fork arms at Polaris you can then spin the scope in RA and adjust the Alt / Dec to get Polaris to stay in view when you rotate it, this will give you a rough PA to work from, start with a wide angle eyepiece then work your way down.

If your going to use a DSLR the 6.3 focal reducer  will help and you can use the DARV method to refine your polar alignment.



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Well I've got the pier in and it is pretty robust, especially as it is height adjustable. There's still quite a lot of movement oin the forks and the gears of the scope. But it is infinitely better than a tripod. I now await some clear sky, and I'll try lining it up as you have said Dave. I'll line it up using only the wedge adjustments, and than there's a Meade polar alignment that it'll do. 

It's quite exciting. there's soooo much space around the scope now and no tripod to disturb. it's bliss. And the adjustable height is going to be a big help too. As we get older, I just do whatever it takes to make the whole business easier - that way, i keep observing...    :icon_biggrin:

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  • 2 years later...

Two years on, I have been so pleased with both the polar alignment (which makes everything smoother and quieter) and THE PIER! It is an electrically height adjustable one by HiTec Astro (Another chap in his shed, I reckon).  Being able to adjust scope height while on the go just makes visual observation so much easier. Basically, I can always get the Binoviewer right to my standing or sitting eye height, after I have located the target.  No more craning around. And at my age, that matters! 

I can't recommend adjustable telescope height enough. 

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