Setting up the IEQ45 pro: I pieced together a list from my experiences and various sources on cloudy nights and elsewhere. apologies if you recognize something you wrote and any comments or corrections welcome.
1) Level tripod (I use an accurate level on the base and ignore the built-in bubble level). Assemble mount, scope and CW's, and do a rough balance.
2) a. Level the polar scope using the bubble level. This may be sufficient but see (b)
b. You can more precisely level the polar scope by placing polaris on the horizontal axis of the scope reticle, loosening the az bolts, and moving the mount right and left in az, checking to see if polaris stays on the reticle on the left and right sides. If it is higher one side, use the hand control to adjust. Then loosely screw down azi bolts again.
3) Polar align using the polar scope and the information from the HC as normal. You can drift align at this point if needed. Once this is done the RA axis is aligned to the pole and you can move on to refining the pointing model.
4) Release clutches and put the scope into rough zero position by eye (dec and ra surfaces at vertical) (note - unlike some other mounts, this does not affect polar scope rotation or level). Note that it's possible to set dec to vertical using a level held against the side of the flat dovetail plate, but it's not possible to set ra to vertical this way, since there is no flat surface to use). Use the handset to record this zero position.
5) Without changing anything, refine zero position by sending the mount to park. If you haven't changed the settings, the default park is at 90° to vertical for each axis. You can then use an accurate level on the now horizontal dec and ra surfaces (the counterweight bar and dovetail plate), releasing the clutches to level in each case. Lock clutches again and then send back to zero position with the HC.
6) Do a one star alignment (pick a star near the zenith), but instead of centering using the hand controller, loosen ra and dec clutches and center star by hand, lock again, and send the mount back to zero position with the HC. This should give you the most accurate zero position, which you can now mark on the mount if you want to.
7) Three-star align to refine pointing. If the one star align was good, and cone error is low, stars should be in the field.
At step 6, you don't need to use one star alignment in the menu. You can clear the calibration data and just slew to a star, unlock the clutches and manually center the star and then tighten the clutches. You are now one star aligned and the zero position is the true Alt, Az in relation to the earth, or relatively close. The good or bad thing about using one star alignment to move to a star is it automatically clears the calibration data as soon as you select align. One star alignment data is also cleared immediately if you chose two or three star alignment.
Sync to a star does not clear the alignment data when it moves to the star you wish to sync to.
If you mark the zero position, it is only valid if you can get your mount and tripod back into the exact same position in relation to the earth.
Level really doesn't matter unless you drift align.
To verify if your level is correct (assuming you have minimal cone error), goto any target at the Zenith slightly to east of the Meridian, then try to slew to a target West of the Meridian near the Zenith. If your level is good, both targets will be spot on, and Goto's should work. If your level is off, your Goto's will only work on one side. Fix your level and start again.
Depending on the weight of your gear, it may be easier to polar align before assembling the scope. I do it this way because adding the full weight may shift position of the mount.
Edited by mac1969, 23 July 2016 - 11:53 AM.