Re: An easier Pasillx N & S Polar Alignment method

Morgan Spangle <msfainc@...>

Hi Joe,

Do you set up in the same place each time? I have a permanent setup
for my C14, but for a AP600/TEC 140 that I use for visual enjoyment, I
set up on the fly - mostly on my driveway, sometimes in another spot
in the yard. So what I did is:
1. Set up, level the tripod, get a good polar alignment that I checked
with the meridian delay function...
2. Mark the driveway or yard where the tripod sits before breaking the
setup down. On the driveway, after taking down, I installed some large
washers in which the tripod points can sit each time I set up. In the
yard, I dug a post hole at each spot, set a brick in sand that is
slightly above ground but below lawn mower height.

Now, when I set up in either spot, I just have to briefly look through
the PAS to tune up for a really good polar alignment. Takes a minute
or less. And if I'm just doing visual, I've found that I don't even
really need to tune the alignment - once I do a star synch at the
start of my session with the 600E GTO, all my observing targets fall
in a 32mm TV plossl (I don't even have to use a finder with the TEC
140, just a red dot). Its as close to a permanent setup you can
get...and really saves time. And you don't need any other equipment
like a laptop...

hope that helps

--- In ap-gto@..., "Joseph Zeglinski" <J.Zeglinski@...> wrote:


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?

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