Comparison of Rough Polar Alignment Methods

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
OP tradesmith45 Senior Member • Posts: 2,128
Cell Phones for Aligning Small Trackers

Cell phones use a solid state 3D compass.  GPS is used to get local magnetic declination corrections to give true north.  They are subject to magnetic deflection like all magnetic devices.

There are other challenges to the use of cell phones with small trackers - limited flat spaces to place the phone against.  The Nano is especially limited but the Polarie has short sides to use for placing a compass against.  These limit the reliability of compass readings.

The hollow drive shaft of the Polarie can be used w/ a planetarium app to check that Polaris shown on the app is centered in the middle of the shaft.  But this requires getting down on your knees & looking up.  Better to use the peep hole.  And the gyros in the cell phone are a bit sticky & may not always show Polaris in the correct location when the phone is placed against the drive.


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