Flexibility problems give me trouble polar aligning my mount. What can I do?
BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Scope Doctor Steve Richards solves your astronomy ailments.
Flexibility problems give me trouble polar aligning up my Sky-Watcher 150P EQ3-2 Pro SynScan. Is there an auto align setup compatible with my mount?
Steve says: "Polar aligning an equatorial mount using a polarscope does require a certain amount of body contortion, leaving you in an uncomfortable position for making intricate observations and adjustments.
Sadly, the Celestron StarSense AutoAlign, which would be a solution, is not compatible with your mount. However, there are various solutions in the form of add-ons for your mount.
If you can take a laptop computer outside with you then there are two great ways to take the physical pain out of alignment.
The budget route is to fabricate a small bracket using a plastic pipe to attach a cheap webcam to the eyepiece of the polarscope and observe the orientation of Polaris using the live view from the webcam.
However, a much better method that is very simple to implement and requires no fabrication is to use the very popular QHY PoleMaster electronic polar alignment system, which as a bonus will give you increased accuracy.
Both of these solutions can be operated from a much more comfortable position with the laptop placed conveniently next to the mount.
If you don’t have a laptop outside with you, then you could consider fabricating a bracket to attach a standard camera right-angled fnder attachment to the eyepiece of your polarscope.
The Seagull 1x-2x Right Angle Finder or the Neewer Perfect 1x-2x Right Angle Viewfnder could be used to improve the viewing angle by allowing you to look down through the polarscope rather than up."
Some more useful guides that might help:
- Why do I need to polar align my mount?
- A basic guide to telescope mounts
- Get to grips with equatorial mounts
Email Steve your astronomy queries to firstname.lastname@example.org and they could be answered in a future issue of BBC Sky at Night Magazine.