equatorial mount instructions

Leave your tripod where it is, and walk several paces back away from it (er, that’s north, I guess). From now on, unless you’re taking your telescope a long way away from home, you can leave the altitude set. Step 6 – Finding the Second Star – Its Declination Address It’s important to make sure you’re not forcing the bolts together – remember to back one off when loosening the other. (That’s roughly 180° minus the Melbourne’s 12° magnetic declination. Loosen the azimuth adjustment knob and rotate the moving the telescope about the mount’s R.A. and Dec. entire equatorial mount left-to-right so the telescope axes. A more accurate, if fiddly, way of doing it is to (again) use your phone. I look specifically at how to set up an equatorial mount and align it for the Southern Hemisphere. No worries Brian, I’m glad you found it useful. Don’t worry about how high it is pointing, we’ll organise that later. telescopes » How to set up an equatorial mount. Page 11 ….. It only remains to put the telescope onto the equatorial mount, if it’s not there already. If you’re not careful you can bend the bolts. Duh. Lock the clutches and then use the adjustments to get closer to the target. 5 Tips to use an Telescope with an Equatorial Mount (the easy version) 1) Keep you mount setup as simple as possible at first.. Look at telescope instructions for equatorial mounts and you’ll... 2) Set the latitude scale to your latitude and aim the polar axis so it points north. There are two ways of setting this angle on your equatorial mount. There’s a park near my place with an oval. With the equatorial mount, once it’s set up for the Southern Hemisphere, you only need to adjust one axis. Copyright © 2020 . Binocular prisms – why are they so weird and different? Yeah, it’s possible, but it’s so much more difficult if you can’t see things like trees in the distance. This might sound silly, but you don’t want trees blocking your target. I use a spirit level, but my iPhone also has an app for it. Of course, how accurately the scope is polar aligned will determine how often you need to adjust the declination axis. Now, rotate the equatorial mount so the polar axis is pointing due south. That means it’s parallel with the axis that the Earth spins on, so we can compensate for that spin. This website or its third-party tools use cookies, which are necessary to its functioning and required to achieve the purposes illustrated in the cookie policy. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. If you’re into photography, take it from me, getting it to within 1 arc second (1/3600°) is a whole new level of hell. Alternatively, use a GPS or the compass app on your phone). Take care not to rotate the mount where you’re levelling it. Most of the stuff you’ll find on equatorial mounts is written for the Northern Hemisphere, and talks about the Pole Star. This one is pointing at about 40°, which is probably as good as you can get at that level of accuracy. The Astronomical Society of South Australia has a nice easy web page that provides some more detail on polar alignment, including how to use Sigma Octantis. Come in for advice on how to get the best out of your current telescope, what your next telescope should be, how to take photos of the sky, or even how to see some rare birds. You can find out what their co-ordinates are at any given time, and zero in using those. Your email address will not be published. In this second part of the blog, I’m going to show you how you do it. Common disasters in selecting telescope mounts. This is perfect, although I’m lazy and normally set up in my back yard. Then, of course, I found I was just out of adjustment range. Manufacturers make them for the northern hemisphere, of course, so the “N” leg has to point south. OpticsCentral is a specialised optics superstore based in Melbourne Victoria Australia. Now you’ve got it pointing south, we come the second of the two-stage process. There are two stages to this process, getting the mount oriented left-right and then setting the altitude up-down. I had to tear the whole thing down just so I could move the tripod. In this part I’ll show you the steps to set up your equatorial mount well enough to get decent tracking for visual work. From the side, it should now look like the picture below (south is to the right in this side-on picture). It’s a pain relocating an equatorial mount as the set up takes a bit of time. The one I was photographing for this blog certainly did. Hours wasted, and what was worse, was there were other people there watching me! You’ll find him in the Mitcham store on Fridays and Saturdays. In this blog I’m going to assume you can’t do any of this. Step 5 – Setting the Declination Dial to 90 degrees Page 16 ….. I had no problems following all steps without any help or hints. In fact, my iPhone’s compass says it can point to true south, if I can trust it. Better still, get someone else to rotate it while you direct. Once it gets dark, get your target in view (let’s say you’re looking at the Pleiades – awwww). A lot of scopes have a bubble level built in, which is helpful, but I find they’re not always all that accurate. Here’s a list of latitudes for major capital cities in Australia (remember that all these latitudes are south): (if you’re not in any of these places, you can Google your latitude. Equatorial mounts are designed to help you track stars. The first step is to get this pointing due south – that is, to a point directly above the south point on the horizon. As you can tell from the photos, my back yard is on a slope, so I really need to do this. Now you’re aligned, not only can you track stars, but you can get find targets using catalogued co-ordinates. If I had to do it again I’m sure I could, but I would want to have this blog handy as I would need to do it a few times before I could do it from memory. The other thing to know before we start is that near enough is, in this case, good enough. Grab your compass. However, I did need Bill’s help to hold his phone (with the declinometer app) on top of the mount while I adjusted the altitude bolts. Might not mean much to some, but I got a clear view of Jupiter last night. What’s more, the field doesn’t rotate at all. This won’t work for us Down Under, unfortunately. Step 2 – Facing the Telescope North Page 13 ….. What are we trying to do? This is especially useful for comets, because comets move. Required fields are marked *. Then, hold the phone against a part of the head that’s parallel with the polar axis on your equatorial mount (see the photo below) to find its angle. Once you’re done, if you’ve got a mate who’s using an alt-azimuth mount, try not to look too smug as you listen to her swearing while she gropes around in the dark trying to find the right one of two adjusters. You’ll need quite a lot of practice to get the scope centred on an object close to the pole. Find how you have to orient the mount. To adjust the altitude, use the two bolts I’ve marked in the photo two above. Remember this wonky drawing from the previous blog? If you’re not in Melbourne, Google the declination for where you are, or ask me.) Take it from me – I once spent 45 minutes up at Mount Burnett roughly aligning my big heavy NEQ6-Pro. Now, move left or right so you can look right over the compass, and due south at your tripod, like in this photo. Short cuts for aligning your equatorial mount next time Always set up in the same spot (eagle-eyed readers may have noticed I have some small pavers set into my lawn). The polar axis of your mount is the one that has to point at the SCP (in the side-on photo two below I’ve labelled it). If you are set up in the same spot, you can leave the leg lengths set so you don’t … Do these things and you’re up and running in 5 minutes. Mind you I have never set up a telescope before. If you are set up in the same spot, you can. Good luck with your equatorial mount. Make sure you calibrate your phone by checking it on something you know is level. The axes just don’t do what you want them to. Love the new word ‘Astronomise’ and this make more sense than any previous I have seen. Once you’re set up, don’t move the equatorial mount. It was awesome. Your email address will not be published. Now, take the opportunity to make sure the mount is level. The polar axis is now pointing due south. That is, you can keep what you’re looking at in the field of vision while the Earth turns. Step 4 – Finding the North Star Page 15 ….. But, like I said at the start, if you’re a visual astronomer, near enough is good enough. If you’re close to Melbourne, set the compass so it’s pointing to about 168°, which will point to true south, rather than magnetic south. If you follow the procedure I’m about to describe, you’ll get to within a couple of degrees. Note: a lot of mounts can detach from the tripod, and finely adjust left and right. The goal is to point the polar axis of the mount exactly at the South Celestial Pole (SCP).

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