Well, you have to have the mount in the home position before you even turn it on.
No, but you do have to have it in "Home" position before you start your alignment.
I shouldn't have to ask (but apparently what can go wrong, I've done)... but what is HOME? Polaris? That's what I assume.
So since it has to be on to use the red light polar scope, I guess after polar alignment, just turn it off and rotate the scope to Polaris.
HOME position has the mount oriented to North. The locator pin on the tripod should be on the north side with the tripod legs spread. Level the tripod, then attach the mount. I found that the bubble level on my EQ6-R is off about half a bubble. Attach the mount, and snug the two horizontal screws (azimuth adjustment screws) at the front of the base against this locator. Drop the counterweight bar and tighten it. I find it easier to polar align without the telescope or counterweights in place.
Turn the Declination axis so that the two saddle clamps face the rear of the mount. The counterweight bar should be pointing as straight down as possible, evenly spaced between the two tripod legs on the north side of the tripod. This puts the right ascension axis at "home". Turn on the mount power if you need to illuminate the polar scope. Sight through your polar scope; you will see a round reticle, ignore Octans, it's for Southern Hemisphere alignment. Polaris should be somewhere within the field of view. Turn the azimuth screws (horizontal ones) until you get Polaris somewhere near the reticle. You have to loosen one as you tighten the other and the mount will swivel left or right. To adjust the altitude of the mount, turn the screws at the base that are forward/back, (loosen one as you tighten the other) and Polaris will move up or down as needed in the polar scope FOV. You want Polaris somewhere in the ring of the reticle, at about 11:00. make sure the azimuth and altitude adjustment screws are snug. This gives you a basic polar alignment, which is usually plenty good for this mount.
Now, rotate the declination axis until the saddle is pointed towards north, with the saddle screws on the right. Tighten both the Dec and RA clutches. Attach your counterweight(s) and slide them about 1/3 way up the shaft. Now, attach your OTA, with whatever accessories yo plan to use (finder scope and/or telrad, diagonal, and eyepiece). Keep the Dec axis clutch tight, support the tube with one hand and release the RA clutch. Move the assembly on the RA axis and see how your balance is, move the counterweight in or out on the shaft until the rotating assembly balances and will stay in whatever position you place it in. Your RA axis is now balanced. Place the RA with the counterweight shaft horizontal and lock the RA clutch. Now, loosen the Dec Clutch, supporting the tube and accessories. If the assembly is front heavy, you'll have to slide everything back in the saddle, if it's tail heavy, move it forward. Support the tube and accessories any time you have the saddle clamps even slightly loose. Now your Dec axis is also balanced.
Return the RA axis until the counterweight shaft is pointing down, and the Dec axis has the tube pointed North. Tighten both clutches. This is HOME position. There is an arrow-like indicator cast into the body of the mount that points to the RA axis setting circle (the graduated ring). Set the circle so '0' is at the arrow just as a reference. Do the same for the small arrow that points to the setting circle on the Dec axis. I used a black Sharpie to mark a spot on the mount body opposite the cast arrows, to make setting HOME easier without worrying with the setting circles.
Now you can begin the alignment process. Make sure all preliminary data is accurate and entered (Lat/Long, date, time, etc) before starting the alignment.
Edited by Luna-tic, 19 July 2018 - 02:07 PM.