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Atlas EQ-G "illuminated" polar scope

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#1 FKelly

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 09:24 AM

Finally got a decent CSC for last night and dragged the Atlas outside. I haven't used it since I purchased it so I simply wanted to practice polar aligning it without scopes on it. The light within the scope is really poor, it casts an uneven reddish glow over the reticule. I actually couldn't see Polaris with the light on, and when I switched it off the stars were too faint to accurately align.
Is there something wrong with my PA scope? I have no experience with them so I'm a bit puzzled.

#2 rdegoutier

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 10:10 AM

Under the Utility function in the HC, there is a Polar Scope LED adjustment where you can dim the glow down to almost nothing.

#3 jtaylor996

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 11:13 AM

Extend your counterweight shaft, and make sure the axis is turned properly. Look in the front end of the polar scope to make sure it's not obstructed.

You'd be surprised what you can see if the CW shaft is in the way...

#4 FKelly

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:44 PM

Thanks guys, I'll turn on the HC tonight and see what adjustments I can make via utilities. When I looked down the front of the PS I saw the red led light, so I know it's not obstructed.

#5 RogerRZ

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 05:12 AM

On mine, you can't adjust the brightness via the HC. The only brightness adjustment in the utilities are for the HC itself.

#6 neptun2

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 05:35 AM

It depends on the firmware used. As far as i know the mounts sold by orion usa have the polarscope adjustment and the skywatcher branded mounts does not have it.

#7 Charlie Hein

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 11:44 AM

I actually couldn't see Polaris with the light on, and when I switched it off the stars were too faint to accurately align.
Is there something wrong with my PA scope? I have no experience with them so I'm a bit puzzled.


That polar scope should be able to easily see Polaris. It should in fact be bright enough that the somewhat bright illuminator makes it nearly the only star you can see with it on. Might want to check the polar scope focus if you're not seeing stars...

#8 neptun2

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 01:11 AM

My heq5 has illuminated polar scope and only polaris is visible when the power is on which makes alignment easy. About the focus - my polar scope was far from focus when the mount came.Check it.

#9 tommyhawk13

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 08:34 AM

Extend your counterweight shaft, and make sure the axis is turned properly. Look in the front end of the polar scope to make sure it's not obstructed.

You'd be surprised what you can see if the CW shaft is in the way...

I'm guessing this is the problem.
I too have had a frustrating experience trying to polar align until I realized that I forgot to drop the counterweight shaft. :foreheadslap:

#10 FKelly

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 10:01 AM

No - I recognized early on that the counterweight shaft would block my view. That's not to say that I didn't find that out the hard way ;)
I updated the HC controller to the latest version, it doesn't have a utility to adjust the red light. I took the PS out and made sure the reticle is firmly installed then put it back together. Waiting for a clear night so I can take her outside and try again. I think the issue is that the stars of the Little Dipper are too dim to "see" them thru the PS.

#11 rdegoutier

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 10:16 AM

I added a small POT to mine before I realized that there was a utility to dim the LED. I still use it, as it is faster than fooling about with the utility menu.

You need a 0-100K ohm POT, preferably with an on/off switch built in.

I can post pictures if you want to go that route.

#12 FKelly

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 10:34 AM

That's a cool idea. Let me check again one more time to see if I have better luck - if not then I'll email you for pictures. More and more I think the issue is light pollution or bad seeing the night I was out.

#13 tommyhawk13

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 07:26 PM

Another thing you way want to look at is the alignment of the polar scope. Maybe it's so misalligned that it's not even aimed at Polaris?

It's set up just like a finder scope, with 3 set screws on the side of the housing. Don't loosen them all up at the same time, they're all that holds the scope in.

I had to align mine, because it was off when I bought it.
it's an easy procedure.

Set it up in the daylight outsde, and aim the mount at something far away like a radio tower, with the crosshairs centered on the tip. Rotate the mount in declination, and see if the tip is still centered on the crosshairs.

#14 neptun2

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 01:44 AM

As far as i know you need to rotate in RA not Dec for polar scope calibration.

#15 Charlie Hein

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 05:28 AM

that is correct.

#16 jrbarnett

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 08:56 PM

You only need to be able to see one star - Polaris - for purposes of polar aligning for visual use. I've found that so long as Polaris is near center in the polar scope, you'll be able to put objects in the FOV of a medium power eyepiece pretty much all night long. IMO the polar scope, illuminated or not, is a gimmick for visual users.

Regards,

Jim

#17 supercoolone

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 11:04 PM

Did you try to focus your polar scope? the eyepiece on that polar scope is adjustable - its like a helical focuser - twist in and out. Keep your eyeglasses on too.

Light pollution should not be a factor. I can see Polaris in heavy City of Chicago light pollution with and without the illuminator on.

#18 Lane

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 12:03 AM

I had to focus my sirius when I got it and until I did that I could not see anything in there. Even when focused the only star I can see through the polar scope from my light polluted back yard is polaris. Which actually works well, since that is the only one I need.

#19 John Carruthers

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 12:46 AM

Alan has a polar scope 'how to' here , may be of some use?

#20 Charlie Hein

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 05:42 AM

Did you try to focus your polar scope? the eyepiece on that polar scope is adjustable - its like a helical focuser - twist in and out. Keep your eyeglasses on too.

Light pollution should not be a factor. I can see Polaris in heavy City of Chicago light pollution with and without the illuminator on.


Careful - the "eyepiece" is the reticule focuser. The main focus is achieved by threading in and out of the tube with the objective lens in it.

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#21 tommyhawk13

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 01:26 PM

As far as i know you need to rotate in RA not Dec for polar scope calibration.

:foreheadslap:






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