An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method


Joe Zeglinski
 

Hi,

As winter will too soon be here, I am NOT looking forward to having to shovel a trench in the snow to kneel into, in order to use the polar scope. It was awkward enough in summer (at 45 deg N).

I wonder if anyone has tried any other way of centering Polaris through the PAS.

One possibility is to perhaps modify a diagonal, with a Barlow relay lens, to bring the alignment image to a more comfortable standing view position. This would be a great "optical" option for AP to produce for the PAS.

Perhaps a much better method might be to temporarily plug a standard "guider head", such as your (SBIG RGH, Orion autoguider, or Trifid autoguider), over the PAS eyepiece, and view the polar alignment on the laptop screen. In many cases, these guide heads are just waiting to start use as guiders, so perhaps they can also serve double duty as a PAS camera. An additional advantage, especially at light polluted sites, is that the guider will cut through the haze to bring out the other two dim reference stars, barely visible on the reticle right now.

I suppose this will be a real bonus for south pole PAS alignment. In that case, it should be possible to program (or draw) a laptop screen overlay/template, with a south pole centre point, using the other reference stars.

Has anyone tried the latter method? I wonder if there might be some issue with the focus reaching the guider chip - although, with the camera (or star diagonal) 1.25" eyepiece tube bottomed "overtop" of the PAS eyepiece, that may not be a problem. You still would need to make an eyepiece adapter from 1.25" down to the much smaller PAS eyepiece diameter, with a limiting collar (set screw ring), to prevent bottoming of the PAS eyepiece onto the chip.

Comments, please?
Thanks
Joe

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