A member of our club brought a 12-inch Meade ACF on an Alt-Az fork mount to our public outreach event last night. This is his first telescope!! First light under the stars! He can't find Polaris.....
Pretty sure it was this one...
The aligning of the scope never happened, despite help from several members with combined > 100 years' experience in the hobby.
What we did right: (we think...) Date, time, Daylight Savings were all entered correctly, double and triple checked by several people. We couldn't find a geographical coordinate or time Zone entry in the menu.....Doesn't the GPS do this anyway? But I digress.... The Mount itself was levelled with a small bubble level. The OTA was 'true-northed' and levelled as per the instructions.
We hit the button to start the alignment. Scope says "getting GPS data" and, after a few seconds the scope selects Arcturus as the first align star and it immediately begins a slew towards the zenith, threatening to bang the diagonal into the mount, and nowhere near Arcturus which was about 45 degrees up in the west.
To stop the slew before damage occurred, the power had to be shut off. We stood around, went over everything and tried again. And again. (What's that thing about trying something repeatedly but expecting a different outcome....?)
At a certain point we just manually pointed the scope at Jupiter and kept it in the view by tapping the buttons. The scope has magnificent optics!!! It will be a terrific performer once we can figure out how to align it...
But how to align it.
Anyone own this same system, 8", 10" or 12" ? Have we left out something obvious?