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Adding a Polar Scope to the LX850


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#1 handymanCT

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 05:12 AM

I recently took my LX850 to the Connecticut Star Party in Ashford CT.  I had no issues setting up the scope or getting everything to work properly, except for the polar alignment.  Since the star party location is a bit further north and east then my backyard, I had to play with the ALT and Azm to get polaris in the FOV.  I spent way to much time trying to do a polar alignment and became frustrated.  Eventually cooler heads prevailed and the scope performed flawlessly the rest of the weekend.  I was even able to nail Uranus and Neptune with ease.
So once back home I decided that the LX850, as great as it is, is missing a very important feature.  A polar alignment scope, so I went about adding one to the setup.
Since I am a trade school graduate I knew what was involved in this but I don't have the tools to do it.  So I contacted a very good astro buddy who does have the tools to do this for me.  Basically we took the stainless steel polar axis plug out of the mount and measured it to be sure a polar scope would indeed fit in it.  We also made sure that the bore hole went completely through the mount and that you can actually see the sky through the bore.
The plan was to bore a hole dead center through the plug to allow a polar scope to be inserted.  I chose an iOptron polar scope and illuminated reticle.  Part numbers 3330 and 3333.  This is a pretty inexpensive scope and will run about $100.  I like this scope a lot since there is an app available for your smart phone that shows exactly where to put polaris for maximum precision.
So I gave the plug to my buddy and he bored it out for me with a hole the exact size of the OD if the polar scope.  Plus he put a small hole, 3mm to allow a set screw to hold it in place.
All that remains from then is to focus the polar scope to your eye, place it in the bored hole and level it to your mount.  Once those steps are done you then need to collimate the scope to the mount as shown here in this video.

 

 



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#2 Mark Sibole

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 11:45 AM

Good Idea .But a ot of work.Over the years ive learned how to a polar alignment where its a second nature thing to me and only takes 5 minutes to get it very close.even when imaging.

There are several things you can use to make life easier per say.Even with the polar scope on my LXD 75 mount I dont think ive ever used it and can get it aligned easily in less than 5 minutes and I am able to keep things in the FOV for hours.

If I can ever find my cheat sheet on polar aligning ill post it.It will work wit a GEM or fork mounted telescope.

Thanks for sharing.


Mark Sibole
MTSO Observatory
Fife Lake, Mi.

http://astronomy.qteaser.com

#3 Mark Sibole

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 12:51 PM

I use this chart by looking through the finder scope and using the mount adjustments moving it to the proper location of the NCP

TTN_PolarAlignmentA.gif


Mark Sibole
MTSO Observatory
Fife Lake, Mi.

http://astronomy.qteaser.com

#4 handymanCT

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 04:11 PM

Thanks for that information Mark.  But this seems much easier to me.

 

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