Polar Alignment Scope - EXOS2-GT PMC-Eight


George
 

All, 

    If someone could shed light on this polar alignment scope in the EXOS2 for me I'd greatly appreciate it.  I was out the other night (Saturday), first good chance I've had to use it and I'm trying to line up Polaris and the 4 alignment stars etched in the scope. What you see when you look in the scope is the crosshair pattern that extends to the edge of he view, there are several small crossing lines and the numbers 40' and 60' with a circle half way between the numbers. The pattern with the 4 alignment stars has small circles for lining up the alignment stars.  Now, I mussed with this thing according to the directions. I put Polaris in that little circle between the numbers and then rotated the RA axis to turn the 4 star alignment pattern to line up with the stars in the view.  Now wouldn't you know it, the circle was no longer on Polaris, and after much fussing I determined that there is absolutely no way for that circle to stay on polaris and the alignment stars at the same time, the distance isn't right.  

    Fast forward to today and I had found a solid article that discussed adjusting your polar scope to ensure it was rotating on center with the RA.  I get all set up, find a nice little antennae point that I can use to work on this problem. What did I figure out?  The little circle between 40' and 60' is not the center point of the polar scope.  The center of the polar scope is in fact the crosshairs.  Mind you it was very cold out Saturday and I just winged it a bit, and got about as much accuracy as you would expect for that.  So, can can anyone explain to me why on God's green Earth the polar alignment instructions tell you to align Polaris in the little circle which is "off-center" and the alignment stars in the little circles on the star pattern? They aren't close enough to align them all in the little circles. However, if I put Polaris behind the crosshair I'm betting that it would all line up neat as can be.

   So, Jerry or anyone else, I would greatly appreciate an explanation as to what the proper course of action is for aligning with the Polar scope.  The included instructions cannot be correct, why would you align with something that is not the center of the RA axis. And then additionally you can't align Polaris and the alignment pattern all at the same time as the stars are all too far from one another.
--
Mounts: EXOS2-GT PMC-8 , NexstarSe
Scopes: Skywatcher Quattro 8" , Nexstar5se
Cameras: ZWO ASI183MC , Revolution Imager CCD


George
 

Ok, I'm fairly new to EQ mounts.  I've used a Celestron VX from a friend a couple of times, so the routines aren't built into me yet.  I think what we have here is possibly some very ambiguous instructions.  I snooped enough on the internet to realize the folly of my question.  The crosshairs are pointing at NCP, that's why the circle for Polaris is just off center.  Now, that said, the instructions tell you to get the alignment stars as close to the etched image.  The picture with the manual shows everything aligning nice and pretty.  However, the idea is, rotate the RA axis and orient the etched alignment image so it matches the sky. Then move your latitude and azimuth adjustments to bring Polaris into the circle intended for this purpose.  I will take some of the fault, but I believe the instruction manual needs some work on this topic.
--
Mounts: EXOS2-GT PMC-8 , NexstarSe
Scopes: Skywatcher Quattro 8" , Nexstar5se
Cameras: ZWO ASI183MC , Revolution Imager CCD


G-man
 

Search feature is your friend.

I posted this when I was starting, this requires no additional gear, just a cellphone app. 

So, my procedure to align the telescope was this (EXOS2 mount)
-Place mount so its mostly pointing north.
-Fix/verify the polar finder alignment is so when you rotate the RA axis the crosshair remains fixed over whatever star you have it pointed in the crosshair (not the circle). (Youtube explains how to do this, its a PITA tho)
-Fix/verify telescope cone error, so it points to the same exact star the polar finder is looking, regardless of position of the RA axis orientation. This will be another 10-15 minutes of shimming the dang thing. I did the shimming on the mount iself since I only have one telescope permanently affixed to the mount. (BTW, I will be getting a crosshair eyepiece to do this, I suggest you do too)
-Now you can actually start polar alignment, and for polar alignment, you need to measure level and adjust the clocks on the RA and DEC axis accordingly.
-Use one of those free apps on the phone to tell you exactly what RA hour Polaris should be.
-Then rotate the mount's RA axis, and using the clock on the mount match it to the hour that the App is telling you Polaris should be. (ensure you have the correct hour, date, and GPS coordinates)
-Now look through the polar finder scope and move Polaris inside the polar finder little circle where Polaris should be by using the ALT-AZ knobs. (don't change RA or DEC here)
-Then lock both ALT-AZ axis and verify Polaris is still inside the circle.
-Rotate the mount's RA axis back to zero hours (which might not match where the park position is).
Mount should be aligned good enough now for Stellarium GoTos to get you within the FOV of your eyepiece (in my case 18mm on a 480mm focal length, ED80mm APO). You might need to do a very small manual adjustment to place the target in the dead center of the eyepiece, but I am thinking that once I get more accurate with my polar alignment (namely having an eyepiece with a crosshair, or plate solving) the accuracy should be even better.

G.


Wes Mcdonald
 

AquaBoy

I gave up on polar scopes awhile ago.  I bought a polemaster from qhy and have not looked back.  Takes about 10 minutes to get an excellent polar alignment and you don't break your neck trying to peep through the danged thing.

Pop for the polemaster and quit worrying about it.  And the EXOS 2 pmc-8 works great once polar aligned.

Wes

On Mon, Jan 28, 2019 at 4:31 PM Aquaboy16081 via Groups.Io <Aquaboy16081=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
All, 

    If someone could shed light on this polar alignment scope in the EXOS2 for me I'd greatly appreciate it.  I was out the other night (Saturday), first good chance I've had to use it and I'm trying to line up Polaris and the 4 alignment stars etched in the scope. What you see when you look in the scope is the crosshair pattern that extends to the edge of he view, there are several small crossing lines and the numbers 40' and 60' with a circle half way between the numbers. The pattern with the 4 alignment stars has small circles for lining up the alignment stars.  Now, I mussed with this thing according to the directions. I put Polaris in that little circle between the numbers and then rotated the RA axis to turn the 4 star alignment pattern to line up with the stars in the view.  Now wouldn't you know it, the circle was no longer on Polaris, and after much fussing I determined that there is absolutely no way for that circle to stay on polaris and the alignment stars at the same time, the distance isn't right.  

    Fast forward to today and I had found a solid article that discussed adjusting your polar scope to ensure it was rotating on center with the RA.  I get all set up, find a nice little antennae point that I can use to work on this problem. What did I figure out?  The little circle between 40' and 60' is not the center point of the polar scope.  The center of the polar scope is in fact the crosshairs.  Mind you it was very cold out Saturday and I just winged it a bit, and got about as much accuracy as you would expect for that.  So, can can anyone explain to me why on God's green Earth the polar alignment instructions tell you to align Polaris in the little circle which is "off-center" and the alignment stars in the little circles on the star pattern? They aren't close enough to align them all in the little circles. However, if I put Polaris behind the crosshair I'm betting that it would all line up neat as can be.

   So, Jerry or anyone else, I would greatly appreciate an explanation as to what the proper course of action is for aligning with the Polar scope.  The included instructions cannot be correct, why would you align with something that is not the center of the RA axis. And then additionally you can't align Polaris and the alignment pattern all at the same time as the stars are all too far from one another.
--
Mounts: EXOS2-GT PMC-8 , NexstarSe
Scopes: Skywatcher Quattro 8" , Nexstar5se
Cameras: ZWO ASI183MC , Revolution Imager CCD


--
Wes, Southport NC
PMC-8, ES ED 127, 10" LX200GPS, Astro-Tech 8" Newt, ETX-90
Polemaster, Orion ST-80 and SAG
Electrical Engineer, Retired


 

Aquaboy,
 
I'll second that, with the caveat that I use Sharpcap, rather than Polemaster.  Works well for AP.
 
- Bob
 
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 EXOS2
Scopes: SV 102EDT
Cameras:  Nikon D5300, Altair GPCAM2-IMX224C
Software: ASCOM, CdC, AstroTortilla, BYN Pro, Sharpcap, PHD2


john macias <jdm5@...>
 

Thank you for this info. I been meaning to find a better and cheaper way....
This article is pretty good too: https://astrobackyard.com/polar-alignment-in-sharpcap/

--
ES EXOS II GT WITH PMC-8
ES FCD1 Series 102mm f/7 Essential Aluminum Air-Spaced Triplet ED APO
YUNTAB H8 Android & NUVISION TM800W6 10L Windows 10 Tablets
ExploreStars Win & Android
ZWO ASI224MC USB 3.0 Color CCD with IR Cutoff Filter


G-man
 

I use plate solving now too, but when I didn't have an astrocam to do it I did what I described above and it worked. It is decent enough and its free... no additional money required. Whereas these other options will require an astrocam or pay for the software, or both.

G.


On Mon, Jan 28, 2019 at 5:26 PM john macias <jdm5@...> wrote:
Thank you for this info. I been meaning to find a better and cheaper way....
This article is pretty good too: https://astrobackyard.com/polar-alignment-in-sharpcap/

--
ES EXOS II GT WITH PMC-8
ES FCD1 Series 102mm f/7 Essential Aluminum Air-Spaced Triplet ED APO
YUNTAB H8 Android & NUVISION TM800W6 10L Windows 10 Tablets
ExploreStars Win & Android
ZWO ASI224MC USB 3.0 Color CCD with IR Cutoff Filter


George
 

Thanks guys for the info and recommendations.  I used the search function, but none of it really found what I was looking for.  In fact G. I read your process in a previous thread, but it didn't fit the issue that I had.  I am more comfortable with what I have figured out about the polar scope now, it cleared things up after some searching on the old internet.  I guess now, my problem isn't with the scope, but with the fact that the instructions tell you that you should see something and it isn't at all what you will see.  There needs to be a better section on the proper use of the scope to polar align the scope.  I will definitely look into the Pole Master, but it's not really going to be in my budget most likely.  I need to run the Cone Error routine as well.  I actually like the app, it worked well, but I fear that my fumblings with the polar alignment didn't let it live to its full potential.
--
Mounts: EXOS2-GT PMC-8 , NexstarSe
Scopes: Skywatcher Quattro 8" , Nexstar5se
Cameras: ZWO ASI183MC , Revolution Imager CCD


Jeffrey SpyV
 

Ignore the 4 stars in shape of a trapezoid. That's for Southern hemisphere observers that need to use the constellation Octans to find their polar center.
Use a polar alignment app or this page to determine where Polaris is currently in relation to the NCP (crosshairs). You can use Stellarium to find this, but you will need to flip what it shows since the polar scope inverts.


On Mon, Jan 28, 2019, 9:27 PM Aquaboy16081 via Groups.Io <Aquaboy16081=yahoo.com@groups.io wrote:
Thanks guys for the info and recommendations.  I used the search function, but none of it really found what I was looking for.  In fact G. I read your process in a previous thread, but it didn't fit the issue that I had.  I am more comfortable with what I have figured out about the polar scope now, it cleared things up after some searching on the old internet.  I guess now, my problem isn't with the scope, but with the fact that the instructions tell you that you should see something and it isn't at all what you will see.  There needs to be a better section on the proper use of the scope to polar align the scope.  I will definitely look into the Pole Master, but it's not really going to be in my budget most likely.  I need to run the Cone Error routine as well.  I actually like the app, it worked well, but I fear that my fumblings with the polar alignment didn't let it live to its full potential.
--
Mounts: EXOS2-GT PMC-8 , NexstarSe
Scopes: Skywatcher Quattro 8" , Nexstar5se
Cameras: ZWO ASI183MC , Revolution Imager CCD


W. Christopher Moses
 

+1 for SharpCap
It has the following advantages
1. Only costs about $15
2. Gives you a quantitative measure of PA
3. Has lots of other features
4. Does not require more hardware to lug around
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 G11, Losmandy AZ8
Scopes: Tak FSQ 106 EDX4, AT 115, WO Star 71, Mallincam RC6
Cameras:  2x ZWO ASI1600MM-P, Nikon D5100, ZWO ASI 120
Msc: IF ONAG, Moonlight Nightcrawler, ZWO EFW
Software: PixInsights, TheSkyX Pro


G-man
 

Or you can do it this way, free.


G.


On Tue, Jan 29, 2019 at 3:35 PM W. Christopher Moses via Groups.Io <chris_moses=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
+1 for SharpCap
It has the following advantages
1. Only costs about $15
2. Gives you a quantitative measure of PA
3. Has lots of other features
4. Does not require more hardware to lug around
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 G11, Losmandy AZ8
Scopes: Tak FSQ 106 EDX4, AT 115, WO Star 71, Mallincam RC6
Cameras:  2x ZWO ASI1600MM-P, Nikon D5100, ZWO ASI 120
Msc: IF ONAG, Moonlight Nightcrawler, ZWO EFW
Software: PixInsights, TheSkyX Pro


W. Christopher Moses
 

That looks like slew and sync, which is INCREDIBLY useful, but I didn't see a mention of PA alignment.  If it does PA, that would be a big boon to people starting out.  Having both tools in the same program would be great.  I wish TheSkyX, which is expensive, had a PA routine

On Tuesday, January 29, 2019, 4:43:03 PM EST, G-man <garciasampedrogj@...> wrote:


Or you can do it this way, free.


G.

On Tue, Jan 29, 2019 at 3:35 PM W. Christopher Moses via Groups.Io <chris_moses=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
+1 for SharpCap
It has the following advantages
1. Only costs about $15
2. Gives you a quantitative measure of PA
3. Has lots of other features
4. Does not require more hardware to lug around
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 G11, Losmandy AZ8
Scopes: Tak FSQ 106 EDX4, AT 115, WO Star 71, Mallincam RC6
Cameras:  2x ZWO ASI1600MM-P, Nikon D5100, ZWO ASI 120
Msc: IF ONAG, Moonlight Nightcrawler, ZWO EFW
Software: PixInsights, TheSkyX Pro


--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 G11, Losmandy AZ8
Scopes: Tak FSQ 106 EDX4, AT 115, WO Star 71, Mallincam RC6
Cameras:  2x ZWO ASI1600MM-P, Nikon D5100, ZWO ASI 120
Msc: IF ONAG, Moonlight Nightcrawler, ZWO EFW
Software: PixInsights, TheSkyX Pro


Michael Fulbright
 

I would agree with this.

What I love is if you already have a sharpcap supported main imaging camera and a FOV of about 1 degree or more you can just polar align with your main camera/imaging scope.

Otherwise your guidescope setup will more than likely be adequate.

Michael Fulbright

On 1/29/19 4:35 PM, W. Christopher Moses via Groups.Io wrote:
+1 for SharpCap
It has the following advantages
1. Only costs about $15
2. Gives you a quantitative measure of PA
3. Has lots of other features
4. Does not require more hardware to lug around
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 G11, Losmandy AZ8
Scopes: Tak FSQ 106 EDX4, AT 115, WO Star 71, Mallincam RC6
Cameras:  2x ZWO ASI1600MM-P, Nikon D5100, ZWO ASI 120
Msc: IF ONAG, Moonlight Nightcrawler, ZWO EFW
Software: PixInsights, TheSkyX Pro


W. Christopher Moses
 

On Tuesday, January 29, 2019, 4:56:18 PM EST, Michael Fulbright <mike.fulbright@...> wrote:


I would agree with this.

What I love is if you already have a sharpcap supported main imaging camera and a FOV of about 1 degree or more you can just polar align with your main camera/imaging scope.

Otherwise your guidescope setup will more than likely be adequate.

Michael Fulbright

On 1/29/19 4:35 PM, W. Christopher Moses via Groups.Io wrote:
+1 for SharpCap
It has the following advantages
1. Only costs about $15
2. Gives you a quantitative measure of PA
3. Has lots of other features
4. Does not require more hardware to lug around
--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 G11, Losmandy AZ8
Scopes: Tak FSQ 106 EDX4, AT 115, WO Star 71, Mallincam RC6
Cameras:  2x ZWO ASI1600MM-P, Nikon D5100, ZWO ASI 120
Msc: IF ONAG, Moonlight Nightcrawler, ZWO EFW
Software: PixInsights, TheSkyX Pro

--
Mounts: ES PMC-8 G11, Losmandy AZ8
Scopes: Tak FSQ 106 EDX4, AT 115, WO Star 71, Mallincam RC6
Cameras:  2x ZWO ASI1600MM-P, Nikon D5100, ZWO ASI 120
Msc: IF ONAG, Moonlight Nightcrawler, ZWO EFW
Software: PixInsights, TheSkyX Pro


George
 
Edited

Jeffrey,

    Although I'm new to the EQ mount, I would point out that in the case of this particular polar alignment scope, those 4 stars actually are not for Octans.  They do not match the pattern of Octans in any way. They are actually the unnamed star pattern created by stars HR285, HR8938, HR8546, and HR8748. The instructions even state that the scope is only for Northern Hemisphere only and the pattern does match those stars.

    I can appreciate all the recommendations for the computer methods for alignment and I definitely will look to either utilize SharpCap or APT with plate solvers to get me aligned and on target. However I think that it is important for me to be able to get the physical polar alignment process down as well using the scope.  I would love to purchase a pole master, but I am trying to use my scopes and equipment to get an outreach program going and I have several irons in the fire such as upgrading solar equipment for summer solar programs.  

  
George
--
Mounts: EXOS2-GT PMC-8 , NexstarSe
Scopes: Skywatcher Quattro 8" , Nexstar5se
Cameras: ZWO ASI183MC , Revolution Imager CCD


Jeffrey SpyV
 

George,

Please take a look at the link below, notably under the southern hemisphere section. 

http://fornaxmounts.com/media/wysiwyg/fornax/manuals/FMPS-10-manual.pdf


George
 

Jeffrey,

   I stand corrected? I'm doing some research into this, and visual manual defintely helped. I am curious though if the scope for our mount isn't etched to show the start pattern I indicated before. The problem is that both the Octans pattern and the 4 star pattern I reference appear to be nearly the same shape. I am going to try to move this out with the company to make sure wheat is correct. If the score is technically formatted the way your link states then it would be a very ineffectual scope as the is a fair chance the star you need to align Polaris would be out of view. I'm hoping the shadow of the stars is a coincidence and are intended for the pattern indicated in the manual. Thanks again for the link. 

George
--
Mounts: EXOS2-GT PMC-8 , NexstarSe
Scopes: Skywatcher Quattro 8" , Nexstar5se
Cameras: ZWO ASI183MC , Revolution Imager CCD


Jeffrey SpyV
 

It's OK George. 
I too was stumped at first, but digging around a few forums, it was pointed out that the 4 stars were actually chi, sigma, tau, upsilon Octans, which makes a small asterism near the southern pole. 
So just ignore them for now, and rely on what the current position of Polaris is and then rotate the RA axis to match. You then can proceed to place Polaris in the small dot, and the NCP should be center on the crosshairs. 


Kent Marts- Explore Scientific Customer Service
 

George, I think that you've hit the nail on the head -- there is an asterism near Polaris that is a near match for Octans trapezoid. That leads to confusion.

Kent


George
 

It's actually kind of frustrating it it's the case.  I don't know why they wouldn't have used a polar scope like the ones in a Celestron mount.  They depict the big dipper and Cassiopeia, but I guess the idea may have been to give a scope that is adaptable to both hemispheres whereas the Celestron isn't.   

On Wednesday, January 30, 2019, 1:14:07 PM EST, Jeffrey SpyV <Jeffreysmobileemail@...> wrote:


It's OK George. 
I too was stumped at first, but digging around a few forums, it was pointed out that the 4 stars were actually chi, sigma, tau, upsilon Octans, which makes a small asterism near the southern pole. 
So just ignore them for now, and rely on what the current position of Polaris is and then rotate the RA axis to match. You then can proceed to place Polaris in the small dot, and the NCP should be center on the crosshairs. 

--
Mounts: EXOS2-GT PMC-8 , NexstarSe
Scopes: Skywatcher Quattro 8" , Nexstar5se
Cameras: ZWO ASI183MC , Revolution Imager CCD