The scope has GPS, so I have been using the data directly. After alignment, I have gone into the Polaris alignment, and the distance to Polaris is huge- where I have put the tripod down with the wedge roughly in alignment, I will be moving it all the way to one end of its range to get Polaris centered. And at this point, realigning isn't the issue- there is massive drift. If I take images, stars swirl in the frame showing the scope is way off in polar alignment. So, starting over from scratch, the mount will be very, very far from where a drift alignment indicates north is. I have found one shortcut to get close after the Nexstar polar alignement anomaly- when the mount starts with the tube lined up with the marker pointed at the meridian, the first guess it makes at a star is a fair approximation of a true polar alignment, so manually moving back from the polar misalignment can be done by centering without using the motors. From there, a conventional polar drift alignment works.
If there is something I am doing wrong, I don't know what it is. Other than this behavior, the mount seems to function perfectly. I'm getting ready for some observing on top of Mt. Lemmon, so I'll try this again this weekend and see if there is some way to do this where it works. If you've seen one of these do it, then I'll try again. I'll write back if I can figure out what the problem is.
OK, I'll bite- what's so special about All Star Polar Alignment? I'm still a bit annoyed by the disasterous Nexstar polar alignment where it was supposed to get an alignment on Polaris, but in fact resulted in being several degrees from true alignment, but y'all seem to think this is as good as a drift alignment. Can someone please describe what happens?
The advantage is that you can use any star (away from the horizon) to perform the polar alignment, not just Polaris.
If the original polar alignment utility is producing alignments "several degrees" off, then I gotta say "prob'ly pilot error," as I've used it for years with good success:
1. Remember, once you start the polar align procedure, you do NOT move the scope in declination or RA. You center Polaris using _only_ the mount altitude and azimuth adjusters. IOW, follow the on-screen prompts.
2. Naturally lat/lon, date, time-zone, DST must all be correct in the HC.
3. Remember to redo the go-to alignment following the polar alignment procedure. Early mounts needed to have their power cycled following polar alignment.