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Aligning A-P Mach1 GTO

Started by kmcgrew, 12/25/2011 01:47AM
Posted 12/25/2011 01:47AM Opening Post
My work requires me to live about 7,500 miles from my A-P scope and mount, so I have only a brief time with them before I must return to the Sandbox. The first time I used them, in August, the alignment was spot-on.

This trip home, though, I can't seem to get the mount properly aligned. I follow the directions but, for example, after Polar aligning on Polaris (redundant, I know) and I direct the mount to slew to, say, Jupiter, the scope is pointed to the horizon in lieu of the zenith.

The date, time, and location all appear to be correct. Should I do a factory reset on the keypad? Is it possible to get the axis hubs out-of-alignment? I really want to get this working like it did the first time so I can enjoy these skies!

Thanks!

Kelly
Posted 12/26/2011 08:50AM #1
Kelly McGrew said:

My work requires me to live about 7,500 miles from my A-P scope and mount, so I have only a brief time with them before I must return to the Sandbox. The first time I used them, in August, the alignment was spot-on.

This trip home, though, I can't seem to get the mount properly aligned. I follow the directions but, for example, after Polar aligning on Polaris (redundant, I know) and I direct the mount to slew to, say, Jupiter, the scope is pointed to the horizon in lieu of the zenith.

The date, time, and location all appear to be correct. Should I do a factory reset on the keypad? Is it possible to get the axis hubs out-of-alignment? I really want to get this working like it did the first time so I can enjoy these skies!

Thanks!

Kelly

Aligning the mount on the pole is only the first step in making a mount work. All that insures is that the polar axis is aligned, it does not insure that the scope is pointed in the proper direction with respect to the internal sky map.

The first thing you need to do after polar aligning the mount is to orient the scope to a known position. The easiest position to start with is the northern horizon. Loosen the clutches and place the scope horizontal, pointing north, with the counterweight shaft also horizontal. A simple carpenter's level can be used to accomplish this, or even eyeballing the scope and counterweight shaft is really good enough to start with.

With the keypad set to Autostart "NO", power the mount up, enter your location and then when it asks you for the start sequence, simply use the "Start from Park1" command. Now you can slew to any object, center that object in your eyepiece and press Recal. You are done, aligned and ready to tango.

Rolando
Posted 12/26/2011 09:38AM #2
Kelly,

Are you talking about a mount that is permanently on a pier? And it was polar aligned last time when you left it, but not this time when you tried it again?

Or are you setting it up anew this time?

Alex