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Polar Alignment scope vs. Drift Align?

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#26 Greg S

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 10:10 PM

I had the exact same experience with my new Mach 1 with the PASIL. I agree that it's kind of sloppy and the scope seems subject to moving out of alignment. I did the quick alignment and got it back into alignment but the PAS was WAY off!

Breezing through this thread I see lots of comments from people who say only drift alignment works and that Polar Scopes are for rough alignment. If this PASIL is any example of what they have used then they are absolutely correct!

However, if you have every owned a TAK mount you know that the TAK polar scope is FANTASTIC. You really DON'T need to drift align when guiding which is great.

I really hope the new right angle finder scope from AP is as good as the TAK.

#27 Dave M

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 07:46 AM

I really hope the new right angle finder scope from AP is as good as the TAK.

I sure hope so also.
Making it a right angle polar alignment scope was a nice idea.

#28 CounterWeight



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Posted 21 August 2012 - 11:31 AM

It's a great idea as long as diagonal done very well? - though I first read about it here on another mount, I thought ES was going to market that other mount?

#29 Peter in Reno

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 12:11 PM

I Googled for "Takahashi polar alignment scope" and found the operating manual. I read the part about using the polar scope and can't believe how easy is to use it. I wondered why other mounts never use this kind of polar scope unless Takahashi owns the patent for their polar scope? Maybe the patent finally expired by now?



#30 Starhawk


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Posted 21 August 2012 - 02:50 PM

The easier way with a Mach 1 is to do this:

Load it up at park 3.

Have the mount DRIVE ITSELF to Park 1.

Open the clutches and level the OTA and mount arm.

GOTO to a star near the zenith.

Adjust the altitude to center it.

GOTO to a star near the horizon.

Adjust the azimuth to center it.

Use the mount.

The fact the mount is always aligned is why this works. It's freaking awesome.

Like I said, my PAS path is used for cables.


#31 psu_13


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Posted 21 August 2012 - 04:47 PM

When I was shopping for expensive mounts the elegance of the Tak polar scope was the main thing that kept it in the running vs. the Mach 1. In the end the excellent support and documentation that AP provides won out. Still, one does wonder why no one else makes polar scopes like that.

#32 WadeH237



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Posted 21 August 2012 - 09:11 PM

My old Ultima 2000, that I bought in 1998, had a finder scope with a reticule very similar to the Tak's polar scope. It also came with a tool (a bit like a circular slide rule) to determine the position angle of Polaris.

So it's not just a Tak thing. I'm also a bit surprised that nobody else has done it until now.

#33 Greg S

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 12:01 AM


I just thought about what you suggested and makes all the sense in the world as you are aligning Altitude at the perfect spot and Azimuth at the perfect spot too. Anywhere in the plane works the same.

This is where AP takes some getting used to. Unlike other mounts it's just programed with the sky in it, IF PROPERLY POLAR ALIGNED. Other mounts have "models" to adjust for misalignment. Two very different systems.

I think I can get used to the AP system but the emphasis needs to be on proper polar alignment.

But, I still want a TAK scope for my Mach 1.

#34 vdb



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Posted 22 August 2012 - 09:17 AM

Yeah the Tak polarscope is great but dec guiding is a @#$% ... (got one so I know what I'm talking about)
The same polarscope principle is found in the IEQ45, and 30 minute subs are easy ...
The losmandy polar-scope is junk ... 15 minutes max, drift is necessary for longer subs
(I aligned all of my polar-scopes)
Drift really takes not that long with PHD, I have one setup without PS and it took me 10 minutes to get 2.4 meter focal length to do 30 minute subs ... you need to be level though ...

#35 Footbag


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Posted 22 August 2012 - 10:32 AM

I've also had enough luck where PHD drift aligning only takes 10 or so minutes. Of course if a polar scope could remove that from my setup, I'd buy it in a second.

#36 Starhawk


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Posted 22 August 2012 - 02:40 PM


Thank you- I now feel like I did some good on this thread!

Unless Roland is going to fulfill the lists, he has to accept the fact the bulk of his mounts will carry non-AP scopes.


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