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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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smithers3
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Reged: 10/26/07

Loc: Massachusetts
Please help with AP polar scope
      #3578159 - 01/23/10 01:36 AM

I'm afraid I might be too stupid to live. I'm trying to align my lovely new AP 900, and I just can't seem to get it to work. There sits Polaris, right in view, but nothing else seems to match up.
For your reference, here is a link to the directions: www.astro-physics.com/tech_support/mounts/pasill3.pdf

Here are my questions: 1. The image is flipped, so when I am supposed to roughly orient the illuminated images of Ursa Major and Cassiopeia, do I flip these as well? For example, right now, Ursa Major is North and East of Polaris. Should I rotate the reticle so that the picture of Ursa Major is above and right of Polaris or below and right of Polaris (please don't say below and left, or I'll have to put my head through a wall.

2. I am supposed to place delta UMi in a gap. Again, right now, delta UMi is east southeast of Polaris. So, shouldn't it appear to the right and slightly above Polaris in the polar scope? There's nothing there. There is a faint star approximately the same distance to the left, but that doesn't make sense to me.

3. Assuming someone can walk me through 1, 2, how do I know which line to use to place the stars in the gaps? The instructions read "The gap in the longest line is for 1990, the gap in the middle segment is for 2000, and the remaining gap is for 2010." By longest lines, do they mean the line that extends all the way from the center to the edge? Also, there is another short, gap line on the other side of the radial line which does not appear in the diagram and the instructions.

I wish I knew someone nearby who could show me how to do this, because it's driving me a little bit crazy!


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gillmj24
Post Laureate
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Reged: 12/06/05

Loc: PA
Re: Please help with AP polar scope new [Re: smithers3]
      #3578433 - 01/23/10 08:48 AM

I would PM the guy you bought from, I am sure he can help

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TxStars
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/01/05

Loc: Lost In Space
Re: Please help with AP polar scope new [Re: smithers3]
      #3578536 - 01/23/10 10:17 AM

**Note you will not be able to see Ursa Major and Cassiopia in the polar scope**
1) First rotate the reticle so Ursa Major and Cassiopeia are roughly in the same orientation you currently see them in.
2)With the dec axis turned so you can view through the polar scope roughly align the mount with polaris so you can see it in the polar scope.
Now for the part that takes doing it 100 times.
3)Use the alt/az screws to move polaris close to the spot in the reticle where it go's.
4)Look to see where delta UMi is in the polar scope, it needs to go in it's spot in the polar scope at the same time you have Polaris in it's location.
5)You might have to rotate the mount in RA slightly and make fine adjustments to the alt/az screws to accomplish this.
6) Mount your scope with a guiding eyepiece and drift the mount in the rest of the way.

And yes the longest lines are the ones that extend from center to the edge.

The extra line is for the southern hemisphere.

If this does not work send the mount to me and I will use it for you.


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Dave MModerator
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Reged: 08/03/04

Loc: Ohio
Re: Please help with AP polar scope new [Re: TxStars]
      #3578671 - 01/23/10 11:37 AM

This link might help..
http://www.losmandy.com/polar-finder.pdf
If Ursa Major is at the 9 O-Clock position or East in
the sky then rotate the polar scope reticle so Ursa Major on
the reticle is oriented to match, align/set polaris first by adjusting your mounts RA and Dec, the other two alignment stars should be somewhat close, you then just need to tweak turning the polar scope reticle and tweaking the mounts RA and Dec adjustments to get all three lined up.
Once you get the hang of it it only takes a couple minutes.
HTH...


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smithers3
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Reged: 10/26/07

Loc: Massachusetts
Re: Please help with AP polar scope new [Re: Dave M]
      #3578743 - 01/23/10 12:05 PM

OK, so you do not flip the orientation of Ursa Major even though what you actually see through the polar scope is flipped? In other words, if I look outside and Ursa Major is "above" Polaris, it should stay "above" Polaris in illuminated image inside the polar scope. Correct? Also, thanks Dave for the link to the Losmandy polar finder. I will check the text to see which version I have in order to tell which takes indicate which years. I think that's part of my problem.

But here's my other problem. In the orientation in the Losmandy manual, with Ursa Major "above" and Cassiopeia "below," wouldn't that place delta UMi to the right of Polaris? Yet in the image in the manual it is to the left. Why is that?

Maybe there should be a "not a beginner but still hopelessly lost" section of this bulletin board.

I should also say out that I have some dyslexia, so this all probably makes perfect sense, and I'm just going to have to accept that I'm unable to see it and put the little dots in the right spots without seeing exactly why they go there.

Thanks again everybody!


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pmlogg
member


Reged: 04/30/09

Re: Please help with AP polar scope new [Re: smithers3]
      #3578812 - 01/23/10 12:39 PM

I'm relatively new to my AP900 too, a recent convert from Losmandy mounts. It seems on my AP900 (CP2 model) that the polar scope does not rotate independently from the mount the way it does in a Losmandy. So, I have found that I have to physically move the telescope in order to get Cassiopia and the Big Dipper/Plough in roughly the right position. Then I use the Azimuth and Latitude adjusters to get Polaris into its gap, but have to further rotate the telescope iteratively to get at least one of the other 2 stars (I can't see both most of the time) into its correct place in the reticule.

Thereafter you need to go on to do one of the Polar Alignment routines described in the AP900 manual. I found that confusing too as unlike the Losmandy, further adjustments are made using the Azimuth and Latitude adjusters rather than the Goto system just making allowance for any errors in Polar alignment.


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Peter in Reno
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Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Please help with AP polar scope new [Re: pmlogg]
      #3578851 - 01/23/10 01:02 PM

Download this:

http://myastroimages.com/Polar_FinderScope_by_Jason_Dale/

This will tell you exactly where polaris should be through polar scope based on your location, current date and time.

Peter


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smithers3
member
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Reged: 10/26/07

Loc: Massachusetts
Re: Please help with AP polar scope new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #3578920 - 01/23/10 01:39 PM

Thanks Peter in Reno. The program is going to be a huge help. I am especially happy that it says, "Reverses view to show what you would see through a telescope." This way, I'll just match it up and not have to worry too much about why I always appear to be upside down and backwards

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Peter in Reno
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Please help with AP polar scope new [Re: smithers3]
      #3578982 - 01/23/10 02:17 PM

Glad to help. Have fun with your awesome mount.

Peter


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Paul G
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Reged: 05/08/03

Loc: Freedonia
Re: Please help with AP polar scope new [Re: smithers3]
      #3580417 - 01/24/10 07:06 AM

Just a reminder to make sure the reticle is aligned in the polar scope.

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LLEEGE
True Blue
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Reged: 03/03/05

Loc: Cloud-chester,NY
Re: Please help with AP polar scope new [Re: Paul G]
      #3580601 - 01/24/10 10:11 AM

You should really try Roland's new quick drift alignment. It is fast and more accurate and all you need is your finder scope.

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Mystic Hill
member


Reged: 10/29/06

Re: Please help with AP polar scope new [Re: smithers3]
      #3601415 - 02/03/10 12:41 AM

Quote:

OK, so you do not flip the orientation of Ursa Major even though what you actually see through the polar scope is flipped? In other words, if I look outside and Ursa Major is "above" Polaris, it should stay "above" Polaris in illuminated image inside the polar scope. Correct?




I have the PASILL4 polar scope. The first step is as you say: orient the polar scope reticule so Ursa Major and Cassiopeia is aligned to how you see it with your eyeballs looking at the sky.

Quote:

3. Assuming someone can walk me through 1, 2, how do I know which line to use to place the stars in the gaps? The instructions read "The gap in the longest line is for 1990, the gap in the middle segment is for 2000, and the remaining gap is for 2010." By longest lines, do they mean the line that extends all the way from the center to the edge? Also, there is another short, gap line on the other side of the radial line which does not appear in the diagram and the instructions.




This comment makes me think that you have the PASILL4 polar scope as well. The PASILL4 has "N-05-10-20-30" written along the edge by Cassiopeia. Please ask Astro-Physics to post a copy of the manual. If so the lines are 2005, 2010, 2020 (center to edge) and 2030. You want to use the short dashes immediately clockwise from the long radial line.

Quote:

Also, thanks Dave for the link to the Losmandy polar finder. I will check the text to see which version I have in order to tell which takes indicate which years. I think that's part of my problem.

But here's my other problem. In the orientation in the Losmandy manual, with Ursa Major "above" and Cassiopeia "below," wouldn't that place delta UMi to the right of Polaris? Yet in the image in the manual it is to the left. Why is that?




If the real sky shows UMa high (like May 1 at 9pm) and Cas low and you orient the reticule that way then while looking through the polar scope you will see delta UMi to the left.

Quote:

Maybe there should be a "not a beginner but still hopelessly lost" section of this bulletin board.

I should also say out that I have some dyslexia, so this all probably makes perfect sense, and I'm just going to have to accept that I'm unable to see it and put the little dots in the right spots without seeing exactly why they go there.

Thanks again everybody!




You're welcome.

Roy


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Scott99
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: New England
Re: Please help with AP polar scope new [Re: Mystic Hill]
      #3602248 - 02/03/10 01:07 PM

It sounds like you might like blowing off the polar scope and just using one of the alignment routines in the manual, they're very simple.

instead of using the alignment scope you can use bright stars and make the adjusments while looking through the telescope eyepiece. It usually only takes me a couple of iterations of the 2-star alignment to get close.

I use the peephole in the mount (without the alignment scope in there) and roughly line up Polaris in the middle when I'm setting up. Then a 2-3 iterations of 2-star alignment usually does the trick.



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Norm42
super member
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Reged: 10/17/08

Loc: Webster, NY
Re: Please help with AP polar scope new [Re: Scott99]
      #3603243 - 02/03/10 08:31 PM

Might also try this as a quick alignment - do not have to get down and try to look through the alignment scope on your knees.

Then use a drift method to get better alignment, or this works well for most visual work.

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Board=beginners&Number=3460228&fpart=&PHPSESSID=

Norm


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