EZ Polar Alignment ______________________________________________________________________________
Donovan's Polar Alignment 1) With POWER OFF. 2) Put the scope in roughly polar home position a. Finder Scope down b. RA as 'level' as you can get it while looking down into your EP. c. I suggest using a low power EP at first 3) Roughly align DEC to 90 degrees.. Don't sweat it too much at this point, just open the clutch and eyeball it. 4) Using the Wedge's Alt and Az adjustments put Polaris in the middle of your EP.. 5) Loosen the RA clutch and slowly rock the forks back and forth over at least 90 degrees while observing the stars. keep one hand on the forks. 6) With your free hand adjust the Dec slow motion control to adjust DEC closer and closer to a true 90 degree mark. 7) You will find that in reality you will kinda walk back and forth between adjusting your wedge and adjusting Dec. As you get closer to a true 90 you will have moved Polaris to a different position in the EP.. Use the wedge to keep it in the center once you have gotten the Dec as close as you can.. Then do it again.. Step 4 through 6 a hand-full of times. 8) Very quickly you can see from the arc's the stars are making for you, how to adjust the 'error' out. (note that the last few Dec adjustments will be one or two detents of the slow-mo knob.) 9) When Polaris sits dead still as your roll around in RA, you have NAILED it. 10) Adjust your Dec Setting Circle carefully to 90. next time around this will take just one or two minutes 'cause for the first time you can actually trust your settings. 11) Roll the scope up so the GPS antenna is not being blocked and fire the scope up. 12) After GPS acquisition, go into polar alignment. One, two, or Easy alignment, your choice. 13) The first thing the Meade AutoStar is gonna ask you is to set up the OTA for a perfect 90. Unfortunately, the darn startup is gonna have moved it a few degrees from what you just perfected manually .. Use your hand controller to move it back to an indicated 90. double check that it is correct by using the hand controller to rotate in RA, then hit ENTER.. a. I have learned to set mine by the exact offset that startup is gonna bias. so I only have to hit Dec a couple of times with the hand paddle and it is ready to rock. 14) The scope will slew off of Polaris to where it thought Polaris oughta be, but ain't. Think of this as similar to any alignment in alt/az. it does not go directly to the star and you need to slew it in. 15) Use ONLY the wedge adjustments to center Polaris in the CENTER of a HIGH POWER EP... should only take about 30 seconds with the Milburn.. 16) Hit ENTER and do your star alignment. And you are THERE... again. I find it MUCH easier to initially do this with power off and go back and forth between the Dec slow-mo control and the wedges alt/az adjustments.. With this simple (well do it enough times and it is) procedure, I have dead on GOTO's in polar mode. I am VERY close to a great alignment. takes only 15 minutes of drift aligning with the CCD to have it nailed.. Good luck - as I stated at the start, this is courtesy of Donovan Conrad.