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Walking on the Moon

Polar Alignment (Meade, wedge, and pier).


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Can anyone help? I'm an old hand, but new to polar alignment. Here's what I have done.

Mounted my 12" LX90 on a height adjustable pier and an Astro engineering mega-wedge.

Put the 'scope into "Polar home" position using a spirit level to make it parallel to the ground in Azimuth terms.

Lined it up to Polaris using the mechanical adjusters on the wedge.

Set the day and time.

Selected "One star" Meade alignment on the 'scope, which causes it to rotate a little, then decline a touch.

Re-aligned it to Polaris using the wedge adjusters,as per Meade instructions.

Lined up the one star that the 'scope selected (Capella). 

 

So that's where I am. The 'scope will not now accurately find things. it seems to go to a consistent amount a few degrees "off" each one. I have tried "Synching" items when on them, but the scope doesn't hold onto the synch, just reverts to a few degrees off. 

 

 

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When lining up the stars did you use a eyepiece with cross hairs I did my skywatcher mount first time by eye with a 20 mm eyepiece it was way off all the time then I did it with cross hairs and it was bang on. 

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Hi and thanks for the response. No, I just centered it on a fairly high magnification. Maybe I need a reticle eyepiece. But the objects I am seeking are not even showing in the telescope's FOV (although they are well within the FOV of the 8 x 50 finderscope). That fact makes me wonder if I have some alignment problem with the scope or the mount, of which I am unaware

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I found the best way to set up originally was to aim the forks at Polaris, aim the scope at Polaris aligned with the forks and then rotate in RA and adjust until Polaris rotated in the eyepiece using something like a 26mm eyepiece, then refine the polar alignment using drift aligning and a 12mm illuminated reticle.

It also helps if you make sure the wedge is level in an east west direction, north  south obviously not critical.

When finished observing use the "park scope" option buried in the utilities menu somewhere :)

Syncing on a star overides any previous alignments.

When imaging I usually just switch on from the previously parked position, sync on a star near to where I'm imaging and then GOTO the target which will be on the Atik314 chip.

Dave

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Thanks Dave. The fork / scope position that you describe is what i am doing (Polar home parked). The rotational idea sounds good. I'll get a reticle eyepiece and give that a go. I'll also check my wedge W.E. level. But isn't that the same as what I am doing with a spirit level across the forks now, when I am in Polar home? Or am I missing a point? I'll also read up on drift alignment.

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2 hours ago, Davey-T said:

I found the best way to set up originally was to aim the forks at Polaris, aim the scope at Polaris aligned with the forks and then rotate in RA and adjust until Polaris rotated in the eyepiece using something like a 26mm eyepiece, then refine the polar alignment using drift aligning and a 12mm illuminated reticle.

It also helps if you make sure the wedge is level in an east west direction, north  south obviously not critical.

When finished observing use the "park scope" option buried in the utilities menu somewhere :)

Syncing on a star overides any previous alignments.

When imaging I usually just switch on from the previously parked position, sync on a star near to where I'm imaging and then GOTO the target which will be on the Atik314 chip.

Dave

 

My bold. Yes that's what I thought it should do. But it never really has, on either of my LX90's in AltAz or now in Polar. 

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  • 6 years later...

Good afternoon.  I see this is from 2016, but I'm running into a similar issue.  I have a Meade 14" LX200 GPS on a super wedge.  I follow the steps initially posted and my alignment is off enough that the object is just out of the FOV.  I will try a lit reticle (12mm) and attempt a better alignment with that.  

I wanted to post here to find out if there any additional updates or miracle moments!

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Have you "Trained Drives" ?

This improves the accuracy of the mount's final slow slew to target.

Your 14" has a very long focal length which makes GoTo accuracy difficult.

SYNCHing on a star near the target is what I do with my 8", the target is then always in the FOV of my camera.

Michael

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