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New Skywatcher polar scope


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You basically need to find where Polaris is on the smaller of the 2 circles (It's North and up but not bang on so will rotate throughout the day / night.

https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/polar-scope-align/id970157965 this can help on Apple or this https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.techhead.polarfinder&hl=en_GB&gl=US on Android.

If you're just visual, don't worry too much but for imaging you want to get it as good as possible.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, knobby said:

You basically need to find where Polaris is on the smaller of the 2 circles (It's North and up but not bang on so will rotate throughout the day / night.

https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/polar-scope-align/id970157965 this can help on Apple or this https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.techhead.polarfinder&hl=en_GB&gl=US on Android.

If you're just visual, don't worry too much but for imaging you want to get it as good as possible.

Thanks. How do I decide where on the inner circle? Is the 0, 3, 6, 9 for the time of day?

Edited by PatrickO
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I use an app called PS Align which, when downloaded to your phone/ tablet and set up to your observing/ imaging location, it shows where Polaris should sit within the reticle.

On my rig, with the polar scope aligned to the polar axis, my clockface is upside down but it doesn't matter- just rotate your mount until 12 is at 12 o'clock then make your RA and DEC adjustments to move the mount so that Polaris is in the right place.

This give a good idea of what you are looking to do-

Polar Alignment For Astrophotography | Aligning How-To Guide (nightskypix.com)

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13 minutes ago, PatrickO said:

Thanks. How do I decide where on the inner circle? Is the 0, 3, 6, 9 for the time of day?

You don’t really need to. An app like PS Align Pro will show you where Polaris is and then just replicate the view in the app in your polar scope. You can calibrate the polar scope but there really isn’t any requirement to do so. Copy the app and you’ll be bang on

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28 minutes ago, Jiggy 67 said:

You don’t really need to. An app like PS Align Pro will show you where Polaris is and then just replicate the view in the app in your polar scope. You can calibrate the polar scope but there really isn’t any requirement to do so. Copy the app and you’ll be bang on

Thanks. I can't find PS Align Pro. Any chance of a link.

Feel like I'm being a complete numpty.

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On 25/03/2022 at 11:34, PatrickO said:

Thanks. Looks like there isn't an Android version.

Seems that there is an Android version too.

Link deleted as not original creator.

 

 

Edited by Knighty2112
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That reticle showing Octans is for the Southern Hemisphere, so aligning with Polaris is going to be difficult.

@PatrickOEdit: My mistake sorry, I did not realise the reticle *also* showed Octans, but having now looked at my Celestron version I get it now 🤭

Edited by Laurieast
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To me, the most important step in the PA routine is to square the reticle N S E W. To do so, I place Polaris in the center of the reticle and then move the mount’s AZ bolts to one side. Should the reticle was squared, Polaris should be exactly on the horizontal line (doesn’t matter if it is 0, 3, 6 or 9). If it is not, I rotate the RA axis and put Polaris on the line. And that’s it: now just place Polaris in its position in the reticle and beg the clouds haven’t rolled in. 

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Patrick- it is as simple as herding cats (which from your avatar, you probably have experience of).

Find an app that works on your phone (or find a phone that works with the app......)

Set the app up as per the instructions/ guide for it.

Open the app and you will see a representation of your crosshairs with a little cross representing where Polaris should be in your polar scope. 

Make the adjustments using the adjuster bolts on your mounts until the view through the polar scope matches the app representation.

Robert is then your fathers brother.

😉

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46 minutes ago, Swoop1 said:

Patrick- it is as simple as herding cats (which from your avatar, you probably have experience of).

Find an app that works on your phone (or find a phone that works with the app......)

Set the app up as per the instructions/ guide for it.

Open the app and you will see a representation of your crosshairs with a little cross representing where Polaris should be in your polar scope. 

Make the adjustments using the adjuster bolts on your mounts until the view through the polar scope matches the app representation.

Robert is then your fathers brother.

😉

Thanks so much. Hope for clear sky tonight.

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@PatrickO I will give you the steps that got me through my first polar alignment.

Ensure that your mount is perfectly level and your counterweights are pointing to the ground and NORTH. This can be done with a compass on your phone and spirit level app.(or actual tool).

Ensure that the mount is set to the correct latitude for your location. (I check mine with an inclinometer app on my scope or saddle)

Polaris should be in the view through your polar scope. Check the app for the position of Polaris in the reticle and with the aid of your lat/longitude bolts and Azimuth screws on the base of the mount, place Polaris in the same position as the app shows.

You have completed your first polar alignment. There are more fine tuning steps, like perfectly centering the polar scope reticle and drift etc, but simply get used to the basics first.

     HTH

             IAN 

 

Edited by bosun21
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45 minutes ago, bosun21 said:

@PatrickO I will give you the steps that got me through my first polar alignment.

Ensure that your mount is perfectly level and your counterweights are pointing to the ground and NORTH. This can be done with a compass on your phone and spirit level app.(or actual tool).

Ensure that the mount is set to the correct latitude for your location. (I check mine with an inclinometer app on my scope or saddle)

Polaris should be in the view through your polar scope. Check the app for the position of Polaris in the reticle and with the aid of your lat/longitude bolts and Azimuth screws on the base of the mount, place Polaris in the same position as the app shows.

You have completed your first polar alignment. There are more fine tuning steps, like perfectly centering the polar scope reticle and drift etc, but simply get used to the basics first.

     HTH

             IAN 

 

Thank you Ian. A very helpful explanation.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 25/03/2022 at 10:21, PatrickO said:

How do I decide where on the inner circle? Is the 0, 3, 6, 9 for the time of day?

The legend on top right explains which of the 3 circles you need to use based on year. So at present we should be close to the middle circle. And Yes its a Clock face but its not the time of our day but the location of Polaris will be in Hours, Minutes and seconds. On many mounts the reticle is not perfectly aligned. Therefore when the weight arm in in down position the 0 is not at top. You will read posts that ask you to open the polarscope and adjust the reticle to get it perfectly aligned. That is absolutely NOT necessary. You just need to rotate the mount about RA until 0 is visually at the top and lock it in this position before adjusting AZ & Alt screws to get Polaris in right position.

Once thing is critical though and that is to check if reticle is aligned to axis. Several videos are out there explaining how to do this. Here is one that I used when I first went through this exercise https://www.myastroscience.com/polarscopecalibration.

Good luck.

I use an App called Polar Clock on Android. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.astrotools.polarclock&hl=en_GB&gl=US

If you use Kstars on your PC that comes with a Polar scope clock layout as well.

Edited by AstroMuni
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@PatrickO, are you trying to do imaging? or are you using your scope for visual only? Because if it's the latter, there is absolutely no need to take polar alignment past setting the mount to your latitude and pointing the north leg North. I'm visual and all my mounts have had polarscopes but I've never looked through one in 30years. A rough polar alignment is fine for tracking for visual and the fancy Goto mounts account for misalignment. Good luck.

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15 minutes ago, Franklin said:

@PatrickO, are you trying to do imaging? or are you using your scope for visual only? Because if it's the latter, there is absolutely no need to take polar alignment past setting the mount to your latitude and pointing the north leg North. I'm visual and all my mounts have had polarscopes but I've never looked through one in 30years. A rough polar alignment is fine for tracking for visual and the fancy Goto mounts account for misalignment. Good luck.

Mostly visual and EEVA. That's very useful to know.

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  • 5 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
On 25/03/2022 at 11:45, Knighty2112 said:

Seems that there is an Android version too.

 

Polar Scope Align Pro developer here.

Please delete links to that site. It is a scammer site, built by mirroring everything on the iOS store, pretending they exist for Android, then giving you download links to "similar" apps packed with god knows what kind of spyware/adware etc.

Unfortunately, there is no Polar Scope Align that is like the iOS version for Android. I am not an Android developer and have tried in the past to collaborate with Android developers to make a port (which requires lots and lots of work - and it is definitely not a good return on investment, I do it as a hobby), it hasn't come to fruition yet so can't promise about the future.

There is a similarly named app on Android (mentioned in another comment above), it does not have a free version and it has nothing to do with my iOS app, it does significantly fewer things, it does them differently and it doesn't even work properly on my phone, so I can't really recommend it as there are other Android apps.

Edited by ecuador
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