How do you Align your Alt-Az Mount with a Wedge?

Your Fork mounted scope can accurately track objects when used in its Alt-Az position. However, if you intend to do long exposure astroimaging, you will need to convert your alt-azimuth telescope to an equatorial mount by adding a wedge between the base of the mount and the tripod.  This eliminates the field rotation that would otherwise wreck your astroimages.

To Align your computerized Alt-AZ mount as an EQ, your mount needs to support a wedge (HD wedge pro or NexStar Wedge); telescopes like the CPC GPS XLT, CPC Deluxe HD, NexStar SE 6&8, and NexStar Evolution series.

To Align using a Computerized EQ mount, click here. To Polar Align using an Alt-Az mount, click here.

Once you have a wedge on your scope, there are 2 steps to aligning your scope.

Steps:

  1. Rough Align
  2. EQ North Align

* NOTE: In the Southern Hemisphere, substitute EQ South Align for EQ North Align.

Rough Align

    1. Attach the wedge to the tripod and secure the mount and optical tube to the wedge
    2. Orient your telescope so the polar axis is roughly north (facing Polaris), use compass if needed or Southern Hemisphere, face your telescope setup and wedge south or Sigma Octantis.

 

EQ North Align

Align your mount using EQ North (or South) align and follow the onscreen instructions on the hand control.

Turn on mount and pick up your hand control and follow instructions provided on the screen
  1. Push ENTER for alignment
  2. Select Method – EQ North Align (in southern hemispheres you want EQ South Align)
  3. Set altitude to Index (done in step 3), push enter
  4. Find Meriden (done in step 3), push enter
  5. Find your location – either manually (enter GPS) or select from prestored options
  6. Enter MILITARY time…seconds you can estimate
  7. Enter date (MM/DD/YY)
  8. Select Method of aligning (i.e. AutoAlign, 2-star align, etc.)

NOTE: Even though there are about 250 named stars in the hand control database, only 82 can be used for alignment and related tasks. Here is the list.

  1. For demonstration purposes - EQ Auto alignment
    1. Pick and slew to first star
    2. Center star in the middle of the eyepiece
    3. Align telescope on first star
    4. Pick and slew to second star
    5. Center star in the middle of the eyepiece
    6. Align telescope on second star

    After you align the second star in EQ Auto alignment, you are EQ North Aligned.