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Polar Alignment


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Thought I'd try and get synscan running tonight - unsuprisingly an epic fail!

I wasn't able to get close to any of the alignment stars, I know this was partly because I misinterpreted the home position.

However I did struggle with polar alignment, I do need to re-read the manual on this.

I did find that through the polar scope I was haveing real problems identifying polaries - no problem with the naked eye, but as soon as a look through the scope I loose it. I'll be googling the issue of alinging the eq6 - but if anyone has any advice be keen to hear it.

(I have also realised that cold evenings don't lend themselves to learning new things!)

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Ah yes - I had a problem in that the backlight was washing them all out - but I've just found how to dim the LED from the handset - I found some great stuff in the beginners section (think I could head off some other rookie mistakes!

Paul

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You could take a look at my polar alignment guide. Its based on an HEQ% but the EQ6 is more or less the same.

Astro Babys HEQ5 Polar Alignment

If you have GoTo theres an easier method of determining where Polaris is which is to use either the clock position - thats where the Synscan handest where tell you where Polaris is with an hour angle and a clock position. So if the handset tells you the clock position is 7 o clock - then rotate your RA axis until the Polaris marker is at 7 - o clock and align POlaris to be in the target marker.

Alternately you can use the hour angle method. Thats a little more complicated and depends on the reliability of your RA scale.

What you do is this

1/ Rotate the RA axis until the Polaris marker is at the 12 - o clock position and lock the RA axis

2/ Set the RA scale to 0 against the RA index marker and make sure the RA scale is unlocked.

3/ The GoTO handset will tell you during alignment where Polaris is with hour angle and clock position (clock position is covered above) - lets say the hour angle is 13 hours. That tells you its 13 hours since POlaris transited soooooo

4/ Unlooc the RA axis and now rotate the mount until the RA scale reads 13 (use the numbers on the top of the scale (Northern Hemisphere).

5/ Now lock the RA again.

6/ Use the Alt/Az controls to centre polaris in the POlaris target marker.

Job done. Mount is now Polar aligned.

I never use that method becaue my RA scale is always a bit gummy and tends to stick a bit - its a common problem with HEQ5s.

I use the date/time circles as described in my own guide.

Hope that helps somewhat.

Polaris - it can be a bit tough the firts few times to find it in the Polarscope buit it might be because your Polarscope isnt focused.

To focus the polarscope there are two things that may need doing

There are two adjustments on a Synta polarscope. The firts is the knurled ring at the end of the polarscope (the bit closest to you eyeball) this is often VERY tight from the factory but it does turn. Turn it counterclockwise - this is the reticule focuser to get the star maps in focus.

A little known (or at least its seldom mentioned) focsuer for the main polarscope optics also exists. You have to remove the polarscope from the mount to get at it.

Heres how

1. Grip the polarscope barrel and turn it to the left to unscrew it from the mount. They can be VERY stiff from the factory and if you cant hand turn it wrap a cloth around it and apply some mole grips. Do this VERY carefully.

2. With the polarscope removed you will see behind the date circle of the polarscope there are three grub screws. Release these a little bit and you wil find the main polarscope tube unscrews from the eyepiece end. THIS is the helical focsuer for the main polarscope (ie the bit that brings stars toi focus).

Now - setting the focus on this can be a bit of a curse so heres how you do it.

3. Tape the polarscope to a camera tripod or use elastic bands to secure the main polarscope tube to the tripod. Now Make a simple lightshield for the polarscope out of some card and use an elasctic band to secure the lightshield to the polarscope.

You have to do this because the scope has no baffling or lens shield of its own and will be affected badly by any surrounding light sources.

4. Point the polarscope at a distant object - a star is good but I use a light on a radio mast thats about 5 miles away.

5. Turn the polarscope end (the eyepiece but but not the reticule adjuster) until the scope is in focus.

6. Retighten the small grub screws

7. Reinstall polarscope to the mount.

Voila - you should now have a perfectly well focused plarscope that will be fixed focus on infinity for stars while the knurled end will focus the reticule for you.

Hope thats all of some help.

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Greennija, if you have the 3.25 firmware handset, forget everything your doing and do this...

Level your mount,

turn you telescope so it parallel to the ground.

Locate Polaris in your Finder scope (if you have trouble making it out amongst other stars, switch on your handset)

Switch on your handset when asked if starting from parked position click 2 (NO)

(Im assuming you've alreadi put your lat long details in)

Input the date mm/dd/yyyy

input the time

for daylight savings click NO

a reading will come up, (POLARIS and Clock) the 2nd reading which is in the form of a 24hour clock, is where you need to place polaris in your polar scope on the circle...ie.....16:25 wants to be about 4.30 on the circle

21:42 wants to be about 9.45 on the circle etc etc

Thats it...return your telescope so its pointing to polaris, lock it down, then start your allignment...:)

Edited by Mick UK
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Thanks for your help guys - got a great alingment and had the synscan running a treat - used a combination of sugestions and learned a lot about how the handset works too.

Had a really good session as a result

Paul

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first time polar aligning is a real trial, when they supply these mounts they should send a person round to show how to use them L.O.L

the manuals are for people that know what they are doing,

there is a program that i use to set polaris in the polar scope circle, forget what it`s called at the moment but i`m sure someone will supply the name of it, but this makes it alot easier to align as it shows where polaris should be at a certain time of day,

very usefull

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first time polar aligning is a real trial, when they supply these mounts they should send a person round to show how to use them L.O.L

the manuals are for people that know what they are doing,

there is a program that i use to set polaris in the polar scope circle, forget what it`s called at the moment but i`m sure someone will supply the name of it, but this makes it alot easier to align as it shows where polaris should be at a certain time of day,

very usefull

Polarfinder by any chance Rob :)

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Here is a demon trick which I am forever passing on. It was invented by Belgian guest Bernd and I thank him every time I use it; squirt a green laser pointer through your polar finder. It will show you where you are pointing. You can do the same thorugh your finder to see where your scope is pointing as well.

It saves wear and tear on the neck, believe me.

Olly

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