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Model: polarscopeEQ5-3-1Part Number: 20116Brand: Skywatcher
The Skywatcher Polar axis finder scope speeds up and refines the polar alignment procedure so the observer can spend more valuable time observing, rather than setting up.
This latest version is usable in both Northern and Southern Hemispheres. They are also direct replacements for the Polar Alignment Scopes supplied with the HEQ5 and EQ6 mounts.
Suitable for EQ3, EQ5, HEQ5 and EQ6 series mounts.
I knew I needed better polar alignment to improve my photos, but I dreaded the actual process of setting as every tutorial on the web made it seem like a mission.Not so, the new style reticle (which I wasn't expecting) makes it easy. First time out you need to centralise the polarscope - best done in daylight on a distant object.To do the actual alignment roughly align the scope by eye so you can see polaris through the polarscope, and turn the mount until one of the X-lines is horizontal. Using Jason dale's PolarFinder you can find out where on the 'clock' polaris should be, and a little table in the scope itself tells you which ring of the polar finder to use. The only thing is that the polarscope has more divisions than the computer program - if the program can be made more precise then you will be able to align even better.Just adjust the mount up and down and left to right until polaris is where Polarfinder says it should be. It takes about a minute to do.I am only taking fairly short images, up to 3 minutes so far, but since getting the polarscope I haven't lost a single image to start trailing or even oval stars because of bad alignment, and haven't needed to delve into the arcane practice of drift alignment..It does help to have a illuminator though, I made one (I used a red torch shone across the end the first few times) but if you aren't confident to do this, it will be worth buying one.Summary: the new style reticle takes all the guesswork and calculation out of polar alignment, and the much finer engraving ensures accuracy.
Easy to install and align to polaris.Now I can use the dials to find hard to find objects and when found it stays in view better. Instructions can be found herehttp://www.skywatcher.com/swtsupport/Instruction_Manuals/Polarscope.pdf
I found it extremely confusing to fit the Polarscope to my EQ3-2 mount. To fit is, you must first unscrew the piece of the mount with 3 screws on it. This required a bit of force, but once that is off the polar scope assembly simply screws in place of the piece just removed. Hopefully that will help someone get it fitted easier than I found it!Once it was attached to the mount, it was easy to calibrate, although a very small allen key is needed. It can also be hard to see the reticule at night as it isn't illuminated. Once it is aligned to Polaris, observing becomes much easier and a more pleasant experience.The lack of instructions is the main thing that lets it down, other than that, worth buying.
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