Comparison of Rough Polar Alignment Methods

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
Trollmannx Veteran Member • Posts: 6,690
Re: Rigging & Rough Polar Alignment Methods

tradesmith45 wrote:

Trollmannx wrote:

Prefer to keep it simple.

Use the peephole and the polar finder on my Polarie here at 60N (Polaris is seen at quite a steep angle from here) and no problems (except bright summer nights just now).

Use the peephole only when using the 40mm lens and in a hurry, peep trough the the polar finder when a better alignment is wanted and when using the 105mm lens (that is my two wide angle astro lenses).

A feeble tripod often is the week link. Am served by a heavy duty and pretty high tripod that I got long ago (that is the advantage of paying a bit more to get a quality product - the tripod still serves me perfectly well after all those years).

Those are some hefty lenses. Presumably you use a counter weight of some kind with the Polarie?

Yes - got the original Vixen counterweight system (not cheap but works like a dream even in -30 C and the tracking is smooth when balanced).

The Polarie can handle the 40mm lens without a balancing system but all my images are equatorially oriented (north up, east to the left) and the balancing system makes finding and orienting the field much easier.

One of the problems w/ small trackers is rigging them so the load stays centered rather than hanging far out to the side. That would be especially challenging w/ such big lenses. As you know, the Polarie heavy load kit gives balance around the drive axis but not around the Alt axis. So loads can shift out of alignment.

My payloads are never greater than 1.5 kg. It's reasonably easy to keep such loads centered over a tripod with the Nano or Polarie. Doing so makes it possible for me to successfully use small tripods in the Kg weight range. However, any type of pano head creates a tall stack that can increase torque even w/ just 1.5kg. payload.

Agree - overloading any mount just lead to frustration and bad experiences.

Yes. 60º North would put some strain on ones neck and a tall tripod would help. I'm 45º North. When windy, I usually keep the tripod low & kneel to look through the peep hole.

For WA or UWA, shining a laser through the peep hole will give a Q&D alignment. But due to the dangers to aircraft, lasers should be used only briefly.

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