Drift Method of Polar Alignment

 

1.     Roughly align scope, level if possible

 

2.     Align reticle EP so that a star moves parallel to the crosshairs in Dec and RA when using the slow motion controls. Align it so that Dec is up and down (North & South) and RA is right and left (East & West).†† (RA = direction of sky motion).

 

3.     Find a star very near the meridian (high in sky, due south) and between 0 and +20 degrees declination (Orionís belt, planets) and align it to the center of the guiding eyepiece.Watch for Dec drift (up or down). Unless your alignment is very close, you will see drift in 5 to 30 seconds.

 

4.     If the star drifts up, turn the azimuth knob (left/right) that makes the star move right in the field.

 

5.     If the star drifts down, turn the azimuth knob (left/right) that makes the star move left in the field.

 

6.     After adjustment, use the slow motion controls to re-center the star. Repeat this until there is no drift for at least 5 minutes. Note: If you see drift in less than 5 seconds at 200X, you are probably 10 or more eyepiece fields off in azimuth. Give the knob a good crank.This may have to be repeated 3 or 4 times to notice the drift slowing. If you don't see any drift for 30 seconds or so, you may only be 1 or 2 eyepiece fields off.†† Make your azimuth adjustment accordingly. If after adjustment the star drifts in the opposite direction, you went too far.

 

7.     Find a star 15 to 25 degrees above the Eastern horizon and about +20 degrees declination(Pollux, stars in Cancer). Align it so that Dec is up and down (North & South) and RA is right and left (East & West).†† (RA = direction of sky motion).

 

8.     If the star drifts up, adjust the elevation (latitude knob) to move the star down.

 

9.     If the star drifts down, adjust the elevation to move the star up.

 

10. Repeat until there is no drift for at least 5 minutes.

 

11. (Note: You may use a star in the west instead of the east but the adjustments must be reversed, that is, if the star drifts up, adjust the elevation to move the star up and if the star drifts down, adjust the elevation to move the star down.)