Might not mean much to some, but I got a clear view of Jupiter last night. I’m just beginning my astronomical gazing with an EQ mount. Hours wasted, and what was worse, was there were other people there watching me! I use a spirit level, but my iPhone also has an app for it. telescopes » How to set up an equatorial mount. If you follow the procedure I’m about to describe, you’ll get to within a couple of degrees. You’re less likely to actually get out and astronomise (if that’s a word) if you’re faced with a lengthy setup time. This one is pointing at about 40°, which is probably as good as you can get at that level of accuracy. Find how you have to orient the mount. No worries Brian, I’m glad you found it useful. Do these things and you’re up and running in 5 minutes. That is, you have to set the equatorial mount’s altitude to match your latitude. If you don’t have an old-school compass, your smartphone will probably have a compass app. If you are set up in the same spot, you can. Once the telescope is pointed somewhere close tube (and R.A. axis) points roughly at Polaris. Step 3 – Putting in the Eyepiece Page 14 ….. Duh. If you’re not in Melbourne, Google the declination for where you are, or ask me.) In this blog I’m going to assume you can’t do any of this. To adjust the altitude, use the two bolts I’ve marked in the photo two above. Note: a lot of mounts can detach from the tripod, and finely adjust left and right. This website or its third-party tools use cookies, which are necessary to its functioning and required to achieve the purposes illustrated in the cookie policy. Step 6 – Finding the Second Star – Its Declination Address This included mounting the scope, counterweights, cameras, electrical cabling and all. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Don’t try to align an equatorial mount during the night, before sunset is way easier if you can. Bill is Optics Central’s expert on astrophotography, telescopes and bird watching. We’re not done yet, as that only means it’s pointing somewhere on a line between the south horizon and the SCP. You’ll find him in the Mitcham store on Fridays and Saturdays. In fact, my iPhone’s compass says it can point to true south, if I can trust it. Come in for advice on how to get the best out of your current telescope, what your next telescope should be, how to take photos of the sky, or even how to see some rare birds. Thank you so very much. (That’s roughly 180° minus the Melbourne’s 12° magnetic declination. Lock the clutches and then use the adjustments to get closer to the target. There are two ways of setting this angle on your equatorial mount. Once you’re done, if you’ve got a mate who’s using an alt-azimuth mount, try not to look too smug as you listen to her swearing while she gropes around in the dark trying to find the right one of two adjusters. It was awesome. Step 2 – Facing the Telescope North Page 13 ….. That was so very cool. OK, so we’ve got our scope and an equatorial mount. This depends on a number of factors, including the quality of the equipment and how well you’ve done the job. Anyway, I got to go out for dinner as a reward for successfully setting up the mount. I look specifically at how to set up an equatorial mount and align it for the Southern Hemisphere. From the side, it should now look like the picture below (south is to the right in this side-on picture). In this part I’ll show you the steps to set up your equatorial mount well enough to get decent tracking for visual work. Alternatively, use a GPS or the compass app on your phone). Common disasters in selecting telescope mounts. Of course, how accurately the scope is polar aligned will determine how often you need to adjust the declination axis. The Astronomical Society of South Australia has a nice easy web page that provides some more detail on polar alignment, including how to use Sigma Octantis. But, like I said at the start, if you’re a visual astronomer, near enough is good enough. If you want to know more or withdraw your consent to all or some of the cookies, please refer to the, Providing Exceptional Consumer Optical Products Since 1975, Computerized goto equatorial mount #9928 (20 pages), 2" crayford focuser for newtonian reflectors (2 pages), 3.6" clear-aperture reflector; optical tube assembly (8 pages), 60mm multi-use guide scope with helical focuser (4 pages), 3" field flattener for eon 115 & 130 f/7 triplet refractors (4 pages), Manual will be automatically added to "My Manuals", Accessories Orion EON 110mm ED f/6.0 Instruction Manual, Accessories Orion SkyView Pro GoTo System Instruction Manual, Accessories Orion Sirius EQ-G Instruction Manual, Accessories Orion 13039 Quick Start Manual, Accessories Orion 9768 Instruction Manual, Accessories Orion 13008 Instruction Manual, Accessories Orion TeleTrack 9441 Instruction Manual, Accessories Orion SkyView Deluxe 9400 Instruction Manual, Accessories Orion 8671 Instruction Manual, Accessories Orion 52074 Instruction Manual, Accessories Orion HCCA G27902 Owner's Manual, Page 6: Setting Up And Using The Equatorial Mount. From now on, unless you’re taking your telescope a long way away from home, you can leave the altitude set. With the alt-az, you need to adjust both axes to keep a star in view, and even then, the view rotates slowly. I had to tear the whole thing down just so I could move the tripod. You’ll find that once you’ve got some practice setting it up, and you remember my short cuts, you’ll finish the set up and start observing in minutes. Here’s a list of latitudes for major capital cities in Australia (remember that all these latitudes are south): (if you’re not in any of these places, you can Google your latitude. With the equatorial mount, once it’s set up for the Southern Hemisphere, you only need to adjust one axis. In a previous blog, I set out the two different types of mount, alt-azimuth and equatorial. Now, rotate the equatorial mount so the polar axis is pointing due south. Short cuts for aligning your equatorial mount next time Always set up in the same spot (eagle-eyed readers may have noticed I have some small pavers set into my lawn). There are two stages to this process, getting the mount oriented left-right and then setting the altitude up-down. What are we trying to do? There’s a park near my place with an oval. In an old astro club I was in, there was one kid who just had the knack. In this second part of the blog, I’m going to show you how you do it. Thank you again. You’ll need quite a lot of practice to get the scope centred on an object close to the pole. Step 1 – Getting the Mount at Right Angles Page 12 ….. The easiest way of setting this is to use the altitude scale, which is on the mount itself. Try to visualise where the target is in relation to the pole, and this will give you an idea of where the right ascension should point (the counterweight should point at a right angle to the right ascension).