Last updated: 31 January 2004
Date: 1/29/04, 01:58 From: firstname.lastname@example.org I've been playing with my ETX in polar mode, and thought some comments on the polar home position for southern hemisphere observers might be appropriate. An observation - If southern observers place the ETX control panel on the western side of the mount (as is recommended for northern observers), the home position has the eyepiece pointed toward the ground. This makes it impossible to look through the optics, so I decided to try a different approach. It worked for me - my scope's running a patched romware version of 2.6E 1. Mount the ETX with the control panel on the _eastern_side_, with the tube pointed roughly at the celestial equator. 2. Loosen the RA lock, and rotate the scope around the the RA axis in a counter-clockwise direction as viewed from the south celestial pole. When you get to the hard stop, rotate the scope around the RA in a clockwise direction until the scope is pointed at the ground (roughly 100°). The eyepiece will be pointed toward the sky. You now lock the RA axis. 3. Next release the declination lock, and point the scope at -90° declination, so that the scope is pointed approximately at the south celestial pole. 4. The scope is now in polar home position, and you can wake it up using the Autostar. I found that an easy alignment and high precision pointing was more than adequate for a night's viewing. I also found that performing a precise alignment - as detailed on Bruce Johnston's pages ( http://members.aol.com/ccdastro/goto-tests.htm ) will help enormously. Clear skies Bruce D. Midrand, ZAMike here: Archived link above via the Wayback Machine.
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