Re: Beginning RAPAS question

Mike Shade

I am a new member so forgive me if this question has been asked before.

I have a new scope on order and hope it arrives soon. An observing friend of mine has the A-P Mach 1 mount and loves it after starting out with lesser priced mounts and then having all sorts of issues. He suggested getting the Mach 1 from the start so I can concentrate on imaging and not mount issues. I also plan to purchase one of the A-P tripods and the RAPAS scope and adapter for the Mach 1. My current thought is to get the Baader Vario 10x60 finder scope with A-P guider bracket for better support and and use it as a guide scope and not a finder. I don't see the need for a finder scope if using go-to technology but feel a bit uncomfortable knowing I will not have one. The alternative is to keep the finder and purchase and mount a dedicated guide scope on top of the scope rings. I prefer to begin with a guide scope and not an off-axis guider.

Guide scopes, no matter how good, are generally asking for trouble. Differential flexure will creep up, even with the most robust systems. It is generally better to guide through the imaging scope to minimize this gremlin.

Is the RAPAS a stand alone product, in other words all that is needed for polar alignment assuming the finder and main scopes are set up for imaging and/or guiding? Having never used the RAPAS I have no idea if it is magnified in its own right for finding and aligning on Polaris. If I had all the parts I could probably figure it out but would prefer some words of wisdom so I do not make a wrong assumption. I plan to purchase the A-P hand controller but do not know if it will help the RAPAS. Or maybe the alignment scope is purely visual with no need for any other software assistance The main scope will be mounted on a scope buggy or similar device and wheeled out of my garage to a set location on the driveway so will require a polar alignment every imaging session though with careful placing of the legs in the same spots and with consistent level checking I hope it will not be too time consuming or frustrating. It sounds like the RAPAS should be perfect for this though I have read many opinions on other techniques with Pole Master, Align Master and a few software only solutions also being popular alternatives. Some claim the RAPAS is good out of the box, others that it needs to be calibrated before first use.

Thanks for your advice....

Terry .

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