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The AutoStar that comes with the ETX computerized scopes is a powerful tool, but it still vexes the new user.  Here are some observations and hints.

Alignment

After a year and a half of use I have refined my setup procedure which I would like to document here.

  1. Set up the tripod and face it as close to north as possible.  An "eyepiece plug" compass/level is a good accessory to have and will work well for this step.  

  2. Level the top plate of the tripod as closely as possible. (I am assuming the user is going to run the scope in ALT/AZ mode)

  3. Mount the scope and place it in the HOME position.

  4. Lock the AZ axis.

  5. Mount an eyepiece, 25mm or so and move the scope in ALT to get Polaris in the field of view.  Minor movements in AZ can be made by unlocking the axis and rotating.  Major changes require moving the whole tripod and scope combination.

  6. With Polaris centered, lock the AZ (if unlocked) and level the OTA in ALT.  Lock the alt axis.

  7. Power up the scope.  If the above was done with the hand controller to move the scope turn the scope off and then turn it back on.

  8. Follow the alignment procedure.     

Done correctly you will find the alignment stars amazingly close to centered in the eyepiece! 

Follow this link for details......

AutoStar Tours

I have started writing a program to convert MegaStar 5 observing lists into the AutoStar format.  Check back for updates on the progress.

 

Copyright 1997-2012by Bill VanOrden