I have an IEQ45-Pro mount but I think my question applies to just about any EQ mount. To align my scope I do the following:
1) Level the tripod with a bubble level (I think this just makes it easier to find Polaris later)
2) Use my built in Polar scope and move the tripod left/right and the az adjustment up/ down to find polaris in the polar scope( this gets polaris aligned to perhaps a degree or two).
3) Look at the position of polaris in my handbox to see where it should be with respect to true north. Use fine adjusting screws to adjust alt and az to match the actual position of polaris to the intended position of polaris probably accurate to a few minutes or so.
confusion starts here......
4) I then align the pointing of my finder scope to where I think true north is based on the rotation of polaris. I don't have a perfect illuminated reticle to do this, but I get it as close as possible.
5) Then I set the zero position of the scope
6) The I perform a 3 star alignment (almost always with ease)
My problem is when doing AP my tracking is often variable from night to night. Sometimes I'm OK 30 seconds unguided and sometimes just 10 seconds. Am I doing something wrong? Missing a step?
Any help would be appreciated.