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|Polar Calibration and Alignment HEQ5 PRO|
Note: There are two procedures to achieve polar alignment. The first is calibrating the reticle in the polarscope. Calibration takes the most time if it is not correct, but once done, it should be good for a long time. (My polarscope was out of alignment when it arrived with my HEQ-5 Pro). The second procedure is actually doing a polar alignment which after a few times takes only a minute or so to complete, so it is important first to have good calibration.
1. If the polarscope is true in the bore of the scope then don't adjust any of the 3 screws that hold the scope in place.
2. For polar calibration, Use a polar finder program and select a date and time and make note of where Polaris is in the finder program.
Check to see if the Polaris indicator (the tiny circle superimposed on the larger outer circle), in your polarscope
matches the position of Polaris in the Polar Finder program. Here’s a path to the download for the PolarFinder program.
Hint: Try and find a date in the Polar program where Polaris is due N, E, S, or W and use these dates on your date circle to
simulate the same.
Be sure to enter your lat/long each time in this program. I found that it reverts back to a different setting after exiting, but it does work.
4. If the Polaris positions match, everything is OK ... your mount is Polar calibrated.
5. If the positon of Polaris doesn’t match, then the problem arises with the Index Marker Ring. Moving it right will move Polaris
clockwise on the reticle. Moving it to the left will move Polaris counter-clockwise on the reticle. The index marker ring
doesn’t move anything, it’s just a reference marker and if not adjusted correctly, it will give you the incorrect hour angle
position of Polaris.
6. Follow the procedure to set your sub-longitude, (4° W on the scale at my B.C. Location). I am at 124° West of Greenwich.
My reference meridian is 120° W. Every time zone has a reference meridian. If you’re not right on the meridian, then you are at a “sub-longitude”.
7. Align the Index Marker Ring with the Date Scale Indicator by releasing the RA Clutch moving the counterweight shaft in RA.
Line up the top arrow pointer to the desired date on the Date Scale Disk. The Date Scale Disk has numbers 1 – 12 on it with
mid month being mid-point between the numbers.
8. Rotate the RA Ring (loosen the setscrew), (Not the RA drive) to the correct time, ie: rotate the RA ring so the time is under the Date Scale
Indicator (top arrow or pointer). Note: Use Standard Time 24 Hr Format, NOT Daylight Savings Time!!
9. Once the date is set, move the RA drive so the 0 now aligns with the Date Scale Indicator (top pointer/arrow). The RA ring
should move freely unless you’ve tightened the setscrew.
10. Check the Polaris circle indicator on the reticle of the polarscope to see how close you are to the way it looks in the Polar Finder program.
11. Repeat and keep adjusting the Index Marker Ring which ever way Polaris is out, until accurate.
DON’T FORGET TO TIGHTEN DOWN THE SETSCREW AGAIN!!! Each time you adjust the Index Marker Ring,
you must go through the Polar alignment procedure again! This is frustrating but once you get precise alignment,
it won’t be necessary to do it again unless the screws come loose.
with your own alignment of the scope. This completes calibration. Now on to Polar Alignment.
scribed in the outer circle of the Polar Scope reticle. You should now be accurately Polar aligned.
Use steps 7, 8, 9 and 13 to always do your polar alignment.
The problem with Polaris not showing the right position in the reticle in my observation, lies with the Index Marker Ring not being set correct. The alignment proecdure for this in the manual is VERY confusing and I found by "going backwards" and using an already "given" for the position of Polaris from a software program such as Polar Finder, makes the alignment process much easier. It also makes it easier to "spot check" on a number
of dates around the calendar to achieve precision alignment.
Note (For Myself): When you fine adjust the latitude T-Bolts, it DOESN’T affect the leveling of the mount tripod, the tripod is separate from the mount head.