Re: Question about 400gto

Larry Denmark <kldenmark@...>

Hi Marc,

1. Look up your latitude (you can find it at ). Adjust the altitude of the mount. You
can do this during the day, using a simple protractor.

2. Bring your mount to where you will do your observing. With a regular
magnetic compass, point your mount to the north. Level the mount (leveling
usually isn't necessary for polar aligning, but it is using this method in which
you pre-set your altitude adjustment). -- You are now close enough for
government work <g>.

If you wish to improve the pointing accuracy, you will have to invest only 5 or
6 more minutes of your time.

Use a low power eyepiece (with cross hairs is preferable, but not absolutely
required) and follow the simple instructions that come with the mount. Use
either Polaris plus one other star at least 60 degrees from Polaris, or, if you
can't see Polaris, use any two stars on either side of the meridian that are at
least 60 degrees apart. For visual use, there is no need to go back and forth 3
or 4 times between the two stars in order to fine tune the alignment. One
iteration will be enough.

This takes 5 or 6 minutes and has you aligned quite good for visual work,
especially with low power oculars. A great feature of the software is that you
can train the mount during your observation sessions. Using the rough method
above, your target almost certainly be in the low power field of view. Center
the target and then hit the Re-cal key (#9). All objects in the area will then
be found darn close to dead center.

TIP: the 7 x 50 finder scope that comes with many telescopes looks nice on the
telescope, but IMHO, it is a pain in the neck to use. Especially in this world
of goto mounts where star hopping has become largely a lost "art" (?). Replace
it with a 1 x finder. I have a Televue Starbeam which I enjoy, but Telerad or a
host of inexpensive 1 x finders are available and they are a joy to use and will
cut down significantly on the set up time. -- [M.C., this would be a nice
option to offer with the Starfires instead of the 7 x 50 finder scope].

Larry Denmark
E-mail .....
Web site ..

----- Original Message -----
From: "Marc Zukoff" <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, April 15, 2000 10:33 AM
Subject: [ap-gto] Question about 400gto


I was hoping someone can provide me with some information about
the 400 gto. For simple visual use, with low powered eps., what is
the simplest method of alignment, and how long does the process take.
As someone previosly mentioned I do not need the object exactly in
the center of a 3mm radian with a powermate. Some of the alignment
procedures seem as though they are very time consuming. I am lookest
for the quickest setup.


Marc Zukoff

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