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cant see through the finder when polar aligning.


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HI Guys.

I recently made myself a wooden wedge which is very stable and overall I am very pleased with the outcome but the problem I'm having is I cant see through my finder when polar aligning, the scope is a meade LX90 GPS fitted with a standard cross hairs finder and when the scope slews to polaris the finder ends up under the scope and I cant get my eye to it. The angle of the wedge is set to my location so alt is sorted but trying to set az through the EP is frustrating to say the least. does anyone have a suggestion.

thanks in advance.

Dave:unsure:

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Hi Dave, I know the scope appears to tie itself in knots to get to Polaris ...

can you give us a bit of info please?;

What size ep do you have in the focuser?

Is it your biggest focal length ep?

is the scope roughly aligned with Polaris after it slews to it?

i presume you are setting up on a tripod, not a fixed pier? 

Can you adjust your wedge laterally and vertically?

 

it helps if you have other finders, another finder with a 90deg ep, a telrad etc... I am permanently setup on a pier so I don't have to do it too often,  I use a Meade 12mm illuminated reticle eyepiece to get polar alignment spot on after using a 40mm 2" eyepiece to roughly centre it, and a telrad to get in the ballpark area.

if you are using a wedge, alignment is a tad more tedious than in alt/az mode ?.  If you intend doing photography then an equatorial mount is much better, but for normal visual use alt/az mounting is more than good enough...

cheers!

 

 

Edited by Smithysteve
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Hi again steve.

Thanks for the in depth reply to my question (you always were very helpfull over at the observatory), the answers to your questions are as follows.

  • The EP is a 26mm 1 and a quarter inch and that is the longest focal length one I own at the mo.
  • The scope is roughly aligned to polaris after slewing.
  • It is indeed a standard field tripod.
  • The wedge  can be adjusted in both planes.

I have had some success in polar aligning and had a pretty good session photographing the Orion Nebula, I had wondered about a Telrad, How do you mount them on the scope? I dont bother with the wedge if I'm only observing because as you say ALT / AZ is perfectly good enough.

Once again thanks for your help.

Dave.

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Hi Dave,

 

Telrad's are normally just stuck on (the Telrad comes with a base plate, the base plate has the sticky pads on it) and then the Telrad attaches to the base plate.

 

I have a Telrad stuck to my OTA now for over 4 years and it has not budged yet - once its on, its on!

 

Your more than welcome to pop round and have a look at one if you wish?

Edited by Daz Type-R
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Set it up such that the finder is on top when pointing at the southern meridian first. If you start from there, then you'll need to flip it over till the scope is parallel with the arms pointing towards polaris, and rotate it 180 degrees to do the polar alignment, with the finder on the top. Then star align and you're good to go. :)

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16 hours ago, Daz Type-R said:

Hi Dave,

 

Telrad's are normally just stuck on (the Telrad comes with a base plate, the base plate has the sticky pads on it) and then the Telrad attaches to the base plate.

 

I have a Telrad stuck to my OTA now for over 4 years and it has not budged yet - once its on, its on!

 

Your more than welcome to pop round and have a look at one if you wish?

Hi Darren. thanks for the info and your generous offer of popping round and I will certainly keep it in mind, by the way I see you are a dark sky member , I believe 1 of the dark sky sites is in notts, can you tell me where that is please. many thanks.

Dave.:)

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We have 2 darksites, 1 is at Ambergate, Belper, and while the facilities are not great there, it does offer a good dark sky, the Milky Way is clearly visable!

 

The next is at Wymeswold in Leicester but is only a 10-15 minute drive from Ruddington, here the facilities are excellent but while the sky is dark, it's not as dark as Belper.

 

From Hucknall, both take approx 35 minutes to drive too, so will be a similar time for yourself.

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22 hours ago, Brantuk said:

Set it up such that the finder is on top when pointing at the southern meridian first. If you start from there, then you'll need to flip it over till the scope is parallel with the arms pointing towards polaris, and rotate it 180 degrees to do the polar alignment, with the finder on the top. Then star align and you're good to go. :)

Hi Kim, thanks for the suggestion, I have to say I had considered trying this but thought it was to simple a solution to work, hope to try it out tonight as both BBC and clearoutside are forcasting a couple of hours of clear skys.

once again thanks

Dave

22 hours ago, Brantuk said:

Set it up such that the finder is on top when pointing at the southern meridian first. If you start from there, then you'll need to flip it over till the scope is parallel with the arms pointing towards polaris, and rotate it 180 degrees to do the polar alignment, with the finder on the top. Then star align and you're good to go. :)

 

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