Last updated: 18 July 2005

Subject:	Simple and accurate polar alignment procedure
Sent:	Friday, July 15, 2005 07:39:02
From:	Dave Stone (
It's been quite a while since I last sent you anything.

I've been working on a new Polar alignment procedure, one that it very
quick and should result in an accurate alignment. I'm hoping to get a
few people with wedges to try it out and offer feedback. If you think
it's worthwhile, could you please post this on the ETX site?




The following procedure should work with any GOTO scope. You can also
perform the steps using a non-GOTO scope which has accurate RA and DEC
circles. This procedure is for the Northern Hemisphere only.

1. Align the scope on the wedge so that you're aligned directly on
Polaris (the OTA is pointing straight away from the base). It's very
important that the tripod be level and the scope is at 90 degrees and
that Polaris is dead center. A reticle eyepiece is helpful here.

2. Go through the normal polar alignment procedure.

3. Once aligned, goto coordinates RA 2:31, DEC 88d 30m.

4. Using the tripod and wedge controls only (do *not* move the OTA with
the hand control) re-center Polaris in the eyepiece.

The tripod and base should now be accurately polar aligned. You will
have to re-synch the alignment stars. If that doesn't work, you have to
re-start the alignment procedure from the current tripod position (use
the declination circle to set the angle of the tube back to 90 degrees;
don't point the tube back to Polaris).

This procedure isn't perfect, but should get you very close to alignment
on the NCP. If you give it a try, please send feedback to and let me know.

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Copyright ©2005 Michael L. Weasner /
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