Newbi in need of help.


Amy Jones
 

I just bought a Exos2 pmc-eight and I feel overwhelmed.  This is my first go to mount and I am not familiar at all with the go to mounts.  I tried to follow instructions to get it to work but needless to say that all I had is a couple of frustrating nights and lots of questions.  I really want to learn how to use it but I am getting to the point where I feel intimidated by it.  I am looking for a good soul who would like to take me under his/her wing and help me through the learning process.  

if you are that soul here is the first question. 


Can I polar align only?  or do I also have to go through the 2 or 3 star alignment?  

also,  are the knobs in the RA and DEC supposed to be loose or tight?  


thanks



hubbell_jerry@...
 

Hi Amy,

Thanks for your purchase, I know that it can be a bit intimidating for a new user to the hobby but you will find lots of folks on here to give you a hand. 

You can do either a physical polar alignment using the polar alignment scope, or you can use the 2 or 3 star alignment in ExploreStars, or both. If you want to get the most accurate goto navigation then you should do a 3 star alignment.

The clutch knobs on the RA and DEC knob need to be tight after manually positioning the telescope and balancing the scope on each axis with them loose.

To get you started Here is a link to our knowledge base article on how to get started with the PMC-Eight. 


There is a lot to learn, but you can start with these two videos



Hopefully this will get you started.

Jerry Hubbell
Director Electrical Engineering
Explore Scientific, LLC.




Amy Jones
 

thanks Jerry,  that really helps.  I will start watching the videos and give it another try.  


Steve Siedentop
 

Hi Amy -

To answer your questions...

Can I Polar align only?  Or do I also have to go through a 2 or 3 star alignment?
If you're using ExploreStars, you'll need to do both.  It seems to be a well kept secret that if you're not taking pictures, centering the north star (Polaris) in an eyepiece will get you polar aligned close enough so that a 2 or three star alignment will put objects in or near the center of the eyepiece.
If you're using your computer and a program like Cartes du Ciel, polar alignment is much more important as the computer program is relying solely on the physical alignment of the mount to find objects.

Are the knobs in the RA and DEC supposed to be loose or tight?
The RA and DEC knobs (clutch knobs) should be tight when you're sending the mount to a target.

Here's a video of how to set up an equatorial mount in general...it's not a PMC8, but there's good advice on balancing and polar aligning.  Don't get too caught up in the details of polar alignment unless you have a camera on your telescope.  Centering Polaris in the eyepiece will get you close enough to do a 2 star or 3 star alignment in ExploreStars so you can start observing.


As far as what to observe...check out some of the Astronomical League's observing programs:
*The Urban Observing Program is a good place to start...if you want to earn the certificate, you'll need to record your observations.  Details here:  https://www.astroleague.org/al/obsclubs/urban/urbanld.html


Hope this helps...

-Steve



Amy Jones
 

thanks steven,  much appreciated.  


W. Christopher Moses
 

Hi,
   Welcome to the group.
    For polar aligning, don't forget to do a basic level.  No need to get it exact, but it makes adjusting the ra and dec easier as they will move the mount at 90-degree angles.


Jeny@
 

I do some backyard visual observations with my pmc-8/150 Mak setup and seems that goto work fine with just polar alignment.
Targets got put in eyepiece fov and needs just slight adjustment to put em in the middle.


On Tuesday, June 5, 2018, 6:23:39 PM EDT, chris_moses@... [ESPMC-Eight] wrote:


 

Hi,

   Welcome to the group.
    For polar aligning, don't forget to do a basic level.  No need to get it exact, but it makes adjusting the ra and dec easier as they will move the mount at 90-degree angles.