I have read some of the posts in other threads about polar alignment so sorry in advance for re-visiting this issue. My question involves something I haven't seen mentioned in the other posts; the position of the fork arms when doing the polar alignment.
This is what I have been doing (and not getting great results):
1. Aligning on the NCP, not Polaris.
2. Setting the declination circle to 90 degrees.
3. Rotating the ota tube in RA so that the eyepiece holder is pointing straight up.
4. Using a Polar finder app to determine the location of Polaris in relation to the NCP at the time of the alignment.
5. Using an eyepiece with a FOV of about 1.5 degrees at low power.
6. Adjusting the tripod until Polaris is at the edge of the FOV in the eyepiece at the correct location shown in the Polar finder app. I'm eyeballing the placement of Polaris at the correct spot on the edge of the field of view. This would put Polaris 3/4 degree away from the NCP.
7. Turn on the tracking motor.
8. Use a known star like Vega and use the slow motion controls to place Vega in the center of the eyepiece field of view.
9. Rotate the RA setting circle to match the RA of Vega.
The step I'm wondering about is #3. Should the eyepiece holder be pointing straight up when aligning to the NCP. Since all RA hour angles terminate at the NCP it doesn't seem like it wouldn't matter where the eyepiece holder is pointing, but not sure my logic is sound.
I can find objects after doing the alignment but usually they are off by 1-2 degrees. Hoping someone can confirm if this is normal or point out where my alignment process is going South.
Thanks in advance.