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Adidaz 29

Polar alignment

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Hi everyone been stargazing for 2yrs now got a 10 in Dob with a 2way star alignment  very easy to use but now I've just bought a heq5 mount with synscan  watched loads of video of polar alignment but still none the wiser on my patio there are 2 trees with the leaves off the tree at the moment I can just see Polaris , but in a a few month it will be covered with leaves and obstruct my views. Could any one tell me what could do to get round this and can anyone explain the easyiest way for dummies like me to polar align  many thanks adidaz clear skies

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Unless you are planning on longer exposure imaging, you could use a compass to set the mount to the north. I often do that when doing solar observing and imaging. If at night, you can then do an Star alignment using the handset and the goto will then work fine.

Otherwise you could polar align whilst you can see Polaris and then mark where the feet of the tripod are using paint or something else so you can put the mount back exactly next time.

I have a feeling that there is a polar alignment routine in the handset similar to that used by Celestron. You use 2 stars as directed by the handset and then adjust the mount as directed. You could use that to fine tune you mount position.

if you’re going to be imaging, there is Alignmaster which gives you pairs of stars in the same way as above.

Hope that gives you some possibilities.

Anne

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If it's just for visual then pointing roughly north is good enough without needing to see Polaris. I don't do photography myself, I never properly align my eq5 unless I'm measuring double stars.

If you want to be accurate and don't have any electronic aids to help then drift aligning will do it but it takes more time...

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-resources/accurate-polar-alignment/

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Hi

Alignmaster as mentioned is worth a look .  SharpCap (pro version) now has a polar align routine.

But both , certainly sharpcap, need an imaging setup of at least a webcam to work?

Not sure if you're purely looking at this from imaging or visual ?

Neil

Edited by smudgeball
Spelling of software product

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33 minutes ago, Anne S said:

Unless you are planning on longer exposure imaging, you could use a compass to set the mount to the north. I often do that when doing solar observing and imaging. If at night, you can then do an Star alignment using the handset and the goto will then work fine.

Otherwise you could polar align whilst you can see Polaris and then mark where the feet of the tripod are using paint or something else so you can put the mount back exactly next time.

I have a feeling that there is a polar alignment routine in the handset similar to that used by Celestron. You use 2 stars as directed by the handset and then adjust the mount as directed. You could use that to fine tune you mount position.

if you’re going to be imaging, there is Alignmaster which gives you pairs of stars in the same way as above.

Hope that gives you some possibilities.

Anne

Thanks annAnn 

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^^^ I have used the polar align feature on the handset. Works well. Just takes a bit more time to get everything set up as you need to do a normal alignment procedure before hand. You then select the polar align feature, it asks you to select a star, it slews to it and asks you to centre it on the FOV using the controller. I use a Canon 600d with grid display to get the star bang on centre as I dont have a reticle eyepiece. It then moves it again and asks you to adjust using the alt/az bolts. Regarding the tripod, mine is on paving slabs. I drilled a small hole under each leg (10mm masonry bit, 10mm deep) so if I move it I know exactly where to reset it. The holes will never wash off!!! Everytime I stick the mount back on I have a quick look through the polar scope and Polaris is always in the FOV. To be honest, if I was just observing I wouldn't bother now polar aligning as I'm close enough to start off with and a 3 star alignment usually works out the errors.

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I can only agree with what has already been said. If you are going to do some AP and are setting up every session then you can use the PHD drift align to fine tune your PA, this will only need views to the south and west.

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5 hours ago, spillage said:

I can only agree with what has already been said. If you are going to do some AP and are setting up every session then you can use the PHD drift align to fine tune your PA, this will only need views to the south and west.

Thankyou

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Your mistake was buying an EQ mount. A device designed by the Devil, to cause us mortals maximum frustration and torment.

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On 25/02/2018 at 17:35, Donkeiller said:

Your mistake was buying an EQ mount. A device designed by the Devil, to cause us mortals maximum frustration and torment.

Polar aligning a eq mount is simple..once you done it once or twice it' easy..

Things that are far more complicated will arise later on so I see it as part of the learning curve

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On 27/02/2018 at 13:49, newbie alert said:

Polar aligning a eq mount is simple..once you done it once or twice it' easy..

Things that are far more complicated will arise later on so I see it as part of the learning curve

No it isn’t.

And as you say it only gets harder.

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On 2/19/2018 at 08:35, Adidaz 29 said:

Hi everyone been stargazing for 2yrs now got a 10 in Dob with a 2way star alignment  very easy to use but now I've just bought a heq5 mount with synscan  watched loads of video of polar alignment but still none the wiser on my patio there are 2 trees with the leaves off the tree at the moment I can just see Polaris , but in a a few month it will be covered with leaves and obstruct my views. Could any one tell me what could do to get round this and can anyone explain the easyiest way for dummies like me to polar align  many thanks adidaz clear skies

It is really easy , down load Polar Scope Align v3.8 on ios think its on android too by Ecuador fellow SGL member , that shows orientation of polaris , then turn your RA to match and get polaris in the circle .

You could also join the East midland stargazers ,there's a few members based in your area ,and they have a dark site im sure there is members that would be able to help you https://www.eastmidlandsstargazers.org.uk/

IMG_0289.PNG

Edited by bottletopburly
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On 25/02/2018 at 17:35, Donkeiller said:

Your mistake was buying an EQ mount. A device designed by the Devil, to cause us mortals maximum frustration and torment.

But the simplest way of taking long exposure astrophotography avoiding field rotation, or tracking stars visually. They really are quite simple once you have learned to use them.

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On 25/02/2018 at 17:35, Donkeiller said:

Your mistake was buying an EQ mount. A device designed by the Devil, to cause us mortals maximum frustration and torment.

Yep, mere mortals will always struggle, best to aim higher, demigod would be my advice. 

The first step towards becoming an astronomy demigod is never to back away from a challenge, and to learn the principles of the equipment in question. The more the equipment makes sense, the easier it will be to make it do what you want.

Of course, you could always take the demigod shortcut and get a Polemaster, or use alignment software, they work brilliantly, but there is a certain satisfaction in spending a night with your mount, drift aligning it, little tweaks here and there, waiting and watching, better or worse. You really get to know your equipment, like a partner. This relationship is a great building block for great astronomy, whether imaging, or even, with a properly polar aligned mount, high magnification viewing.  Once that relationship is established, you are mated for life, and your partner cares not if you ever drift align together again, just as long as you understand each other.

For mortals though I have no idea what's best, get a push-to dob or something........ ;)

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13 hours ago, Tim said:

but there is a certain satisfaction in spending a night with your mount, drift aligning it, little tweaks here and there, waiting and watching, better or worse

Agreed. You cannot beat that feeling of satisfaction when your drift alignment is showing below 0.10 in both RA and DEC.

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19 hours ago, Donkeiller said:

No it isn’t.

And as you say it only gets harder.

Polar aligning is pointing at the north celestial pole (in my case) and getting that fine adjustment is crucial to long exposure photography...

Maybe if you tell us how you do it then someone will be able to help with the equipment you use..

I' not a fine tuned as I think I can get..sure I can do better..

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