Setting up an equatorial mount

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Setting up an equatorial mount

Postby Telstar » Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:40 pm

I am building a shed/observatory for my scope and equatorial mount. It will give great views of most of the sky but unfortunately a large pine tree blocks out Polaris! As I cannot move the position of the shed, is there any way I can align the mount/scope accurately without having direct sighting to Polaris?
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RE: Setting up an equatorial mount

Postby brianb » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:03 pm

Welcome to the forum!

[quote]is there any way I can align the mount/scope accurately without having direct sighting to Polaris? [/quote]
Yes. Look up "drift alignment". In fact everyone who needs an [i]accurate[/i] alignment has to do this anyway.

BTW users in the southern hemisphere would be sunk without an alternate method as they have no sight of Polaris and no southern pole star.

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RE: Setting up an equatorial mount

Postby sftonkin » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:06 pm


[quote]ORIGINAL: Tel
is there any way I can align the mount/scope accurately without having direct sighting to Polaris?
[/quote]

There is a page on Polar Alignment, which includes drift alignment (which is, as Brian says, the only accurate way) on my [url=http://astunit.com/tutorials/tutorial.htm]Astronomical Tutorials Page[/url]
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RE: Setting up an equatorial mount

Postby Telstar » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:43 pm

Thank you for the info, that has been most helpful and means I can go ahead and finish my shed and set my scope up.
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RE: Setting up an equatorial mount

Postby rzero » Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:03 pm

Hi Tel this might help

http://myastroimages.com/Polar_FinderScope_by_Jason_Dale/
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RE: Setting up an equatorial mount

Postby sftonkin » Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:53 pm


[quote]ORIGINAL: Tel

[size=5][b]a large pine tree blocks out Polaris![/b][/size]
[/quote]

[quote]ORIGINAL: micklove

Hi Tel this might help

http://myastroimages.com/Polar_FinderScope_by_Jason_Dale/[/quote]

How, exactly????


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RE: Setting up an equatorial mount

Postby rzero » Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:26 am


It helped me when I couldn't see Polaris due light pollution, using a compass I could work out where the scope should be pointing and got it pretty much spot on. Hence the word "might" [;)]
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RE: Setting up an equatorial mount

Postby adrena1in » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:06 pm

Still can't quite understand how using a Polarscope when you can't see Polaris might help. Using a compass and setting the declination fairly close is a good start and fine for viewing, but drift aligning to get really accurate is the way to go. Just think, once you've done it once you'll hardly have to do it again, since your setup will be permanent. (God, I'd love to be able to do that!)
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