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Polar scope reticle


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Hi all, 

Having a little trouble understanding the reticle. I have the eq5 mount and when looking through polar scope it has a clock style face 0 3 6 and  9 with 0 being at the bottom and 6 at the top. Should this not be the other way around ie 0 top 6 bottom, the only way to resolve this is to rotate the RA axis 180 but watching vids of polar alignment for thus mount the RA axis is always pointing down. This is the reticle I have. https://www.avalon-instruments.com/support/13-troubleshooting/104-polar-alignment-using-the-new-skywatcher-polar-scope

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Ignore the numbers, they mean nothing unless you’re going to polar align using a synscan handset.

All you have to do is copy what you see in whatever app you’re using in the polar scope.

If you need to calibrate the polar scope do the following:

Level the mount

Place Polaris at the centre of the polar scope 

Using altitude bolts only place Polaris at 12 o’clock

Rotate RA to place polar scope 12 o’clock position on Polaris.

Carry out polar alignment 

Return to home position 

Edited by Jiggy 67
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Thanks jiggy,

I was just reading this method on another post, also it does have the goto synscan but I've yet to use the scope due to weather. So not even switched it on. Will it prompt me do do a polar alignment using synscan? If so, why is the numbers upside down. This is my reticle but flipped.

https://www.avalon-instruments.com/support/13-troubleshooting/104-polar-alignment-using-the-new-skywatcher-polar-scope 

Cheers Mike

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No it won’t prompt you to do polar alignment. What it will do after you’ve entered time, date and location is give you the position of Polaris on the polar scope, you can choose to use it or ignore it. I always polar align before I do anything using an app PS Align Pro.

BTW for visual, PA doesn’t have to be spot on, just approximate will do, however.......and some will disagree with this, but the more accurate your PA the more accurate your GoTo will be

 

Edited by Jiggy 67
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22 minutes ago, Jiggy 67 said:

No it won’t prompt you to do polar alignment. What it will do after you’ve entered time, date and location is give you the position of Polaris on the polar scope, you can choose to use it or ignore it. I always polar align before I do anything using an app PS Align Pro.

BTW for visual, PA doesn’t have to be spot on, just approximate will do, however.......and some will disagree with this, but the more accurate your PA the more accurate your GoTo will be

 

Thanks again jiggy, do you know why the PS face is wrong on mine! , other posts are saying it should be 0 at the top because the synscan works with the polar scope that way. If that makes sense. Can I take it apart and put it the correct way or is this a manufacturing fault.

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32 minutes ago, Milzy said:

Thanks again jiggy, do you know why the PS face is wrong on mine! , other posts are saying it should be 0 at the top because the synscan works with the polar scope that way. If that makes sense. Can I take it apart and put it the correct way or is this a manufacturing fault.

It’s just the way they are put in, they are just thrown in, I wouldn’t bother to be honest, as long as it’s central in the shaft, which it should be, I’d just leave it.

 

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5 minutes ago, fozzybear said:

maybe this might help

Helpfull thread's fozzyđź‘Ť but again this is for aligning the polar scope, I need to do this as it should be done only once if done correctly?

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6 minutes ago, Jiggy 67 said:

It’s just the way they are put in, they are just thrown in, I wouldn’t bother to be honest, as long as it’s central in the shaft, which it should be, I’d just leave it.

Why should they be like that people spend a lot of hard earned money on equipment... About time they changed there ways.....

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3 minutes ago, fozzybear said:

Why should they be like that people spend a lot of hard earned money on equipment... About time they changed there ways.....

Lol..mines back to front and upside down, see my image above. 

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It really doesn't matter which way up, down or round the reticule is facing. The numbers and cross are only for reference. My 3 and 9 are closest to top and bottom. I just rotate the RA slightly, lock it off. Put Polaris on the reticule where it needs to be according to SynScanInit App (or any polar alignment app of your choice) and then reset the RA to the home position. Job done. Takes a few seconds when you're used to it.

The important part is that the reticule is calibrated/collimated. With Polaris in position, you should be able to rotate your RA 180 Degrees and it should still be bang on the line. If it shifts, you need to calibrate/collimate your reticule.

 

Edited by Jamgood
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2 minutes ago, fozzybear said:

Why should they be like that people spend a lot of hard earned money on equipment... About time they changed there ways.....

It's all about manufacturing tolerances and touch-time thereby maximising profit and undercutting the competition.

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11 minutes ago, Jamgood said:

It really doesn't matter which way up, down or round the reticule is facing. The numbers and cross are only for reference. My 3 and 9 are closest to top and bottom. I just rotate the RA slightly, lock it off. Put Polaris on the reticule where it needs to be according to SynScanInit App (or any polar alignment app of your choice) and then reset the RA to the home position. Job done. Takes a few seconds when you're used to it.

The important part is that the reticule is calibrated/collimated. With Polaris in position, you should be able to rotate your RA 180 Degrees and it should still be bang on the line. If it shifts, you need to calibrate/collimate your reticule.

 

Worrying about nothing..lol. but surely this lens hasn't been put in correctly for it to be flipped and up side down is pretty poor from SW.

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  • 4 weeks later...

For SkyWatcher current polar scope owners that use Polar Scope Align Pro (PS Align Pro), since version 5.5 there is another option of using the polar scope reticle in the random angle it was installed in. Taken from the app, the idea is that you first figure out at what angle it is installed in - the app will want to know what hour/minute mark points up at "home" position. There are a few ways to do this (on a level mount), borrowed from the app:

HelpOrionRotate.png.7aa536a661e22e503e819bf68978c1eb.png

So in the above example we know our reticle is installed so that 1h 30m is at top. We open the Rotated Reticle View in the app and enter it. We only need to do this once, the app will remember and the rotated reticle tool will now on show you how to polar align with your RA at home position:

841725975_SimulatorScreenShot-iPhoneSE-2021-01-25at14_07_16.png.86d68aa99e1b77b102cdae5f136c0a5b.png

So you see on the lower left the hour angle is listed in reference to the rotated view of your reticle (and as usual you can zoom in on the actual reticle view if you prefer to use the visual aid).

Other manufacturers seem to manage to install similar reticles upright just fine, not sure why SkyWatcher doesn't even try...

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51 minutes ago, ecuador said:

Other manufacturers seem to manage to install similar reticles upright just fine, not sure why SkyWatcher doesn't even try...

I expect that the polar scopes are manufactured independently of the mounts and just assembled together prior to shipping. Since the polar scope is just screwed into the mount, given the virtual impossibility of matching the start of both threads, then I suppose that given the number of mounts they sell, they just assume 1 in 360 being very close will be OK?

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43 minutes ago, Seelive said:

I expect that the polar scopes are manufactured independently of the mounts and just assembled together prior to shipping. Since the polar scope is just screwed into the mount, given the virtual impossibility of matching the start of both threads, then I suppose that given the number of mounts they sell, they just assume 1 in 360 being very close will be OK?

I assume all manufacturers make them separately, I can't imagine an assembly line for all the mount parts and polar scopes together. They just make the polar scopes so they can just slide in and lock at a fixed position and during polar scope assembly they have a similar procedure to get the reticle both upright and centered.

I would not be wondering if only expensive mount manufacturers bothered to center their polar scopes, but iOptron for example has been doing it since their first mounts over 10 years ago and they are price-competitive with SkyWatcher.

Then again it could be worse, Celestron (same parent manufacturer) is still shipping a horrible polar scope reticle (the one with a generic "Polaris" circle drawn for some random epoch). No wonder sharpcap etc are popular despite having you carry a laptop around for something as simple as a polar alignment.

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  • 2 years later...

I don't mind getting down on my knees, on cold stone, nor do I mind straining my neck to 50+ deg, but I do struggle with aligning that PA reticle vertically, while peering upwards in said position. I know there are methods for tweaking the reticle up and down to refine verticality, but my WO wedge is a hard tweak vertically.

However, I think I've found a way to do it more accurately and more easily, and one that does not involve lots of trigonometry. So, here goes, and apologies if this a well known method, or if it is a load of rubbish:

Remove the tracker head, set it up on a level surface facing a distant, known vertical. Align the reticle with said vertical, then lock the RA clutch. 

Next, remount the tracker head back onto its wedge. With the mount levelled, now measure the angle of the dec bracket using the same inclinometer (mine was now 8.3 deg). In future, when doing polar alignment, I will set the dec bracket to that angle, my new 'vertical' reference.

getting that reticle vertical.jpg

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Hi jfrijhoff, Thanks for that,  really useful for setting up a SW SA tracker. Unfortunately the Ioptron SkyGuider Pro (mine) doesn't have a Meridian Indicator (required for the calibration method described), rather it uses builtin illumination of the reticle to indicate verticality, ie the reticle is only lit when its vertical, but its pretty vague, +/- 10 to 15 deg.  I guess it would be fine for shorter focal length scopes, say up to 135 but I'm using 400.  But, as I recall Peter Zelinka has used a 600 camera lens, so good accuracy must be doable.

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