Re: Newbies request for help again

Andrew Houseman

You can get well within 1/2 degree during the day with a little app called 'Solar Polar Align'  and a cheap digital angle finder.

With no scope, set alt adjustment at 0, so the dovetail saddle is flat and put the phone on it where the scope would normally go. Solar Polar Align' computes the shadow angle of a vertical object, so you adjust the Az to make the shadow and line on phone match. It is much, much more accurate than a compass.

Then put the angle finder in the saddle and set the Alt to exactly where the angle finder matches your latitude. Now attach the scope.

Come nightfall, fine tune with SharpCap, but at least you will be starting out extremely close to true north.

Keep in minds, polaris is not exactly at the pole and there will be some cone error with the scope, so you may not actually see polaris through it, but the important thing is to align the mount to true north.

On Thu, Mar 11, 2021, 8:36 AM Jeff Hogan <jhogan1@...> wrote:

Thanks Ian


I’ll see if I can follow this.


Jeff Hogan, M.S., M.P.S.
Allied Health Nursing IS Specialist
Associate Faculty/Digital Professor
Valencia College

1800 S Kirkman Road
Orlando, FL 32811



From: <> On Behalf Of Ian Morison via
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2021 2:55 AM
Subject: Re: [ESPMC-Eight] Newbies request for help again


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Hi Jeff,

     The latitude is to adjust the tilt of the polar axis.   Adjust to bring the pointer on the side (above the squiggly orange symbol) to the angle of your latitude  28 degrees.

I guess that you live off Paulette Street.   The attached image shows the difference between magnetic north and true north which will be 6.5 degrees to the right in angle to the direction given by your compass.   Put some tape down to the north of your mount along true north (ie just to the right of your compass direction) and then align the polar axis along this line.

Then, at night, you should be able to spot Polaris if you squint along the polar axis -  and may even be able to see it through the sighting hole.  If you can, you are well aligned for most things.  After dark slew to M42, the Orion nebula, it lies in the sword of Orion as seen in my pic.  I also append the Stellarium view towards the south southwest from your location after dark tonight.  This program is free so do download it!

If this doesn't work, the Moon will be around again soon.


I do hope this helps.



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