After I had sent the iOptron iPolar tracker back to the shop because the USB port was on an unreachable side, I practised aligning it with Orion. To this end, I downloaded an app that showed where in the reticule Orion should be located and looked through the tracker after levelling the tripod. I saw very different (many more) stars through the tracker than with the naked eye, but after some turning of the knobs I found a much brighter star that, I assumed, must be Orion. So I set it up as the app indicated.
In order not to have to assume again next time, I have come up with the following procedure:
- Level the tripod and mount the Celestron’s Red Dot finder instead of the tracker. Place Orion with the buttons exactly on the red dot.
- Assemble the tracker and repeat the exercise with it. Place Polaris in the centre.
- Now mount the weight, telescope and cameras and place Polaris where it should be according to the app.
This is because Polaris is straightforward to find in step 1, and therefore should always be close when performing step 2 and 3.
Categorised as: astro