Building & Using a Tracking Mount for Astrophotography
Aligning the Green Laser With the Hinge Pin
The green laser is installed in an adjustable mount, much like a telescope's finder scope. The method to align the laser beam to be parallel to the hinge pin is as follows:
- Lift the upper mount plate, disengaging the two gears.
- If necessary, spin the large gear so that it is snug against the upper plate.
- Turn on the laser, noting the spot where the beam hits a distant target.
- Rotate the plate through about 90 degrees.
- If the laser beam is not parallel to the pin, the laser spot will move on the target.
- Adjust the laser in its mount (via the 6 nylon adjustment screws) until the laser spot no longer moves on the target when the plate is rotated. When that is achieved, the laser beam is parallel to the pin.
When the camera is pointed north of the celestial equator as shown below, the laser and its mount can be removed to avoid interference with the camera and its monitor.
|This image shows the green laser and its mount removed from the top plate to give clearance for the camera.|
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