What is a quick summary of how to do All-Star polar alignment with CGEM, CGEM DX, CGE, CGE Pro and Advanced VX and Advanced GT Series mounts?

Here is a quick summary of All-Star polar alignment. It is basically the same for all the mounts. Some details differ for example; the CGE and CGE Pro will not have index marks but will find their switch positions, etc.

The CGEM will be used as an example:

1. Set up the mount and roughly align the tripod and polar axis to north. Use the mount’s scale for the latitude.

2. Use the Two-Star alignment with two calibration stars for a regular alignment.

3. Choose a star in the south around or below the celestial equator for the All-Star routine. This makes the fine adjustment controls relatively easy to reach while at the eyepiece. (Those observing in the southern hemisphere would choose a star in the north around or above the equator.)

4. Slew close to such a star and use Identify. The star should be the top one on the list. Press Enter and your scope will start to slew to it. Press Undo immediately to get to the top of the menu and press Align. Choose Polar Align > Align Mount. Your scope then completes (re-slews) to the star that you just identified and goes through the All-Star polar alignment. Follow the prompts and adjust the mount manually using the adjustment screws.

5. Turn off then turn on the mount and do another Two-Star + two calibration stars alignment. Check Align > Polar Align > Display Align to see the accuracy of your polar alignment. An alignment within a quarter degree of the North Celestial Pole is good enough for most purposes.

OTHER TIPS: Even if you carefully set the index marks, the first star is usually out of the finder field. (Once the mount is aligned, you can use the Calibrate Mount function under Utilities to greatly reduce this error for subsequent use.)

Take care to center stars with either a 12.5 mm or similar focal length crosshairs-reticle eyepiece. Use up and right motions for the final centering approach. Turn the eyepiece so the crosshairs are lined up with RA and with Dec.

Updated 12/15/13