Jump to content


Quick and precise Polar Alignment without Polaris


Recommended Posts


When away from home I use QHY Polemaster for aligning. Works like a charm and one gets a little bit spoiled when PA is so quick and precise. But I missed a good way to align when doing balcony astronomy from home. I have good South view but can not see Polaris so Polemaster is useless. So I decided to create my own NCP, haha. I started by nailng 3 claw tee nuts into my floor, to have tripod at same place every time:



I used protective lid from Polemaster adapter and mounted a small laser in it:


Mounted to my HEQ5 it looks like this. I use a small 3 volt battry box for supplying power to the laser.


Then I used svereal hours to do a very precise drift aligning, using DARV procedure. After doing a few meauserements and calculations, I printed a target table and glued it close to balcony ceiling. Looks like this with laser dot in the middle of the small center circle. Numbers are degrees off NCP.


Now I can carry out mount and tripod and with the aid from laser have a very good PA, often close to 0,1 degree. Also during full daylight. This idea can be used for every mount. The laser can be pointed to any surface, only important thing is it must be rock solid in respect to the mount.




  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

Brilliant idea! I also image from my balcony without polaris from Stockholm. But could you please explain further, how the laser is dependent on the Polemaster? Can you mange without it? Like, mounting the laser to the polariscope only? 

Allt gott! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The laser has nothing to do with Polemaster. I just used the camera cover lid to fasten the laser. In fact any rigid mounting would do. And the laser doesnt need to be pointing along the axis. Could be pointing anywhere as long as it it well secured to the mount. I have ordered 5 small laser detector circuit boards from China ebay now. I will place the detector transistors in a cross/plus pattern in a small box instead of the target table. When perfectly aligned a small piezo buzzer will sound. Too high/low or too much west/east will light up the corresponding LED-s...





  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.