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Tracking mount alignment questions

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#1 djr5899



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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:45 PM



Pretty new to astrophotography, and had 2 questions regarding alignment of a tracking mount.  I'm using an iOptron Smart EQ Pro+ mount, and for the most part I intend to use it from my home.  My backyard has the best view of Polaris, however, most targets for me are in the Western sky, and from my back yard, the Western sky is all blocked by trees.  If I move to the Western side of my house, I have a good view of all my targets, but no view of Polaris.


If I polar align in my backyard and set my zero position, and then move the mount to the west side of my house, will that throw off the alignment?  Should the mount be placed with the alignment peg facing north when I move it?




A little bit of a different question...I have some darker sites about 30-60 minutes from my house (house is bortle 8/9 scale, darker sites are 4/5 range).  If I polar align at my house, and then move to one of these darker sites, should I still be pretty well polar aligned?  I understand there will be some difference, but for reference, in South Florida I am roughly 26N latitude, 80W longitude.  The two dark spots I use are both still within that range...they don't go into the 25N or 27N, or 79W or 81W...so I am always in that 26N-80W block (not by design, just the way it is).  I would think any changes would be very slight, versus me aligning at my house and then trying to use the mount in Georgia with the same alignment.


Thanks in advance for any of the feedback.

Edited by djr5899, 07 April 2020 - 05:46 PM.

#2 Jond105


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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:54 PM

Moved to beginning and intermediate imaging for better fit

#3 kathyastro


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Posted 07 April 2020 - 05:56 PM

As soon as you move the mount, all your previous alignments, both polar and goto, are worthless.  You have to start over.


Polar alignment is the process of getting your RA axis exactly parallel to the Earth's axis.  When you move the mount, it is no longer parallel.

Edited by kathyastro, 07 April 2020 - 05:58 PM.

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#4 richorn


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Posted 07 April 2020 - 06:24 PM

It sounds like you need to set up without Polaris and use drift align for you polar alignment.


As Kathy said, you can't move or change anything after alignment, or those settings are lost.


I would just setup on the side of the house and use a compass to get your tripod pointed towards north.  Then use a drift alignment to get your PA close.

Edited by richorn, 07 April 2020 - 06:25 PM.

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