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I am still very new to this hobby and have run into a situation where my goto is consistently off by 8 to 10 degrees. Is this a problem with not finding true north.  Can I enter a different value to correct for this? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

 

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Hello Older Padawan, and welcome to SGL.

If you tell us which type of telescope system you have, perhaps one of our members with the same, or a similar, system could give you a few suggestions. Each system has slightly different requirements to get good initial alignment.

Geoff

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4 hours ago, Older Padawan said:

I am still very new to this hobby and have run into a situation where my goto is consistently off by 8 to 10 degrees. Is this a problem with not finding true north.  Can I enter a different value to correct for this? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

 

When using a magnetic compass you simply add or subtract your local Variation to find true . If you have west variation subtract and add for east. 

Also be aware of Deviation this is where a magnetic compass will be attracted by metal objects electrical interference near to it i.e telescopes and mounts power cables etc.

Magnetic north is continuing east year by year. If you are in the UK its not very much in the SW at the moment. Here is a link to a useful table. I don't think that variation will account for you 8-10 deg maybe 1 or 2 deg (again depending where you are)

https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/blog/2019/03/magnetic-north-continues-its-march-to-the-east/

Steve

Edited by Steve Clay

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4 minutes ago, Steve Clay said:

When using a magnetic compass you simply add or subtract your local Variation to find true . If you have west variation subtract and add for east. 

Also be aware of Deviation this is where a magnetic compass will be attracted by metal objects electrical interference near to it i.e telescopes and mounts power cables etc.

Magnetic north is continuing east year by year. If you are in the UK its not very much in the SW at the moment. Here is a link to a useful table. I don't think that variation will account for you 8-10 deg maybe 1 or 2 deg (again depending where you are)

https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/blog/2019/03/magnetic-north-continues-its-march-to-the-east/

Steve

Just noticed you are in Colorado so could make a significant difference.

Steve 

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If u mean your alignment stars being off by that and then u have to center it and push ok or align?

In that case 7 or 8 degrees is good I have gotten wider 10 to 15 degrees off.

I think its normall. The computer is just going off by the time date later and long it's not gonna be closer than that.

That's y it needs u to align on 1 2 or 3 stars to get 100% in the ep

Joejaguar 

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Thanks for the input everyone. I have a Skywatcher 250P 10" with a SynScan GOTO and I am in Colorado. I have been using the 2 star alignment I think I will use Polaris next time and see if that takes care of the situation. I love all there is to learn about this hobby and I love the information on the site.

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As was said by Peter use Polaris. For visual that will be adaquate and the Synscan should be able to account for the difference.

Do you have a polar scope with the mount. If so then the next task is working out how to perform the polar alignment better with that and Polaris.

Polaris is something like 1 degree off of True North. I have seen values of 0.8 degree and 1.2 degrees. Not sure which one it actually is but 1 degree is in the middle.

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I agree start off with Polaris aligned first and do the 3 star align . As mentioned true north is less than 1* off center . 

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when i used to set up in the garden, I used to do an 3 star align,then pick a star[in named stars] slew to a nice easy bright star see where that was in a low power E.P centre in a high power E.P,then realign the scope and go to the star that was used to see where it in the low power E.P it should be near the centre but to improve the goto add 3 extra re-align stars and this should bring the star bang in the middle of a low power E.P. it seems long winded but its really worth it. Des

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Older Padawan

First of all welcome from Land Down Under

If you are not aware, we actually have three Norths, where I am South

1. True North, which is the line drawn along the meridian  between North and South Poles

2. Magnet North  This is the direction a compass points towards the Magnet North Pole

Depending on where you are on the earths surface, Magnet North can be either East or West of true north

Where I am, magnetic north is 12deg east

3. Grid North This is the direction of lines drawn on a map

Before adaption of GPS, we all used to use a street directory to work out where we wanted to go

The lines drawn on a street directly run North/South, East/West

The top of the map is always North

On a geographical map, in the margin, there is printed a 5 pointed star showing grid north, and magnetic north

What I have to do, when setting up my ED80 with my EQ5Pro mount, is face the North leg of mount south, then use a compass, allowing for magnet variation to set mount facing south

Then do a two star alignment

You will find what you been doing with two star alignment, once have base of your Dob aligned to true north, be more accurate than relying on alignment with Polaris

Hope everyone is more knowledgeable now with respect to different types of north

John

 

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