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Radar

Astro-Physics Southern Hemisphere RA Polar Scope

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One of the accessories I got with my AP1600GTO was a polar alignment scope. Usually these aren't much good to anyone in the Southern Hemisphere, however this one is ingenious and I can't wait to use it. 

First up it has a right angle diagonal so you don't have to grovel on your knees to see through it.

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Next you can use the supplied computer software or download the Astro-Physics App (iOS or Google Play). The app works out the time and your GPS location in an instant, then shows a yellow dot of where Sigma Octantis should be inside your polar scope. 

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The reticle is illuminated as per the software or app. 

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You can see the polar scope mounted inside an Astro-Physics mount here. I believe this polar scope will work with all Astro-Physics mounts and other brand mounts as well. 

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It's been around for a couple of years but I thought it was worth a mention for those of us down here in the Southern Hemisphere. 

Couldn't be easier really. Would also be good to see this work on a widefield tracker system.

Ray 

 

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11 hours ago, timthelder said:

I'm all teared up...(sniff, sniff.)

Me to,,,

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The polar scope reticle looks like the Tak one on their mounts :} .......just another cool option to aid polar alignment that's come out is a small camera from Qhyccd that screws into your mounts polar scopes port {with the right adapter} and using the supplied software you go through some steps to get the mount accurately aligned......Qhyccd claims 30 arc sec, the polar scope on my Tak mount gets it to 2 arc minutes. Tried it for the first time last night quickly, not bad it all ;].......probably more help for people who set up each night then those lucky enough to have a Observatory setup.

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G'day Stu,

Interesting all the Southern Hemisphere polar accessories coming out. Wish I had these back in the day when I would go bush and do film photography (would take mea  good 45 minutes to get aligned to do 30 minute exposures on film). Your tak setup looks awesome (and very portable).

Ray

 

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Gday Ray forgot to add congrats on the new mount, very impressive ;]

Never did any film photography but would imagine it would be difficult and polar alignment would be another painful task to do.  Your AP polar scope probarly works like the Tak one, I can pretty much get aligned under 5 min but the claimed 30 arc seconds attracted me.

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6 hours ago, beren said:

Gday Ray forgot to add congrats on the new mount, very impressive ;]

Thanks mate. I'm not usually superstitious, but I make my most expensive astronomy investment ever and get the worst weather I've ever seen for the last two weeks (in the middle of our hot dry summer as well). What are the odds? I'm starting to believe in higher powers. The small amount of time I have had with the mount has already blown me away and I haven't even started guiding yet. My last mount was overloaded and I couldn't guide with my setup, its been a few years since I shot anything remotely decent. I'm really looking forward to getting my feet wet again. 

I guess you could use your polarscope (and probably my polarscope) inside the telescope if the telescope was perfectly orthogonal to the mount, which opens up a world of quick alignment for many southerners. 

Ray

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Yeah most nights have been really windy up wanneroo way, it's a pain .

 

Is the Ap1600 going to be permanently mounted in your ob or can it be used in a portable situation? 

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At this stage mate it is to be permanently mounted. It does break down quite easily to be portable, but before I consider that I want to make up some proper carrying cases or boxes for it. I would also need to get a field tripod for it.

I watch the weather closely and you would get more storms in Wanneroo than here for some reason. We watch a lot of cells moving just north of where we live in Morley. We have friends in Ellenbrook who always get more storms than here. Its like a microclimate. Pop over sometime if you are ever down this way.  

Ray

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Im in Landsdale its the north easters that are a nuisance most summer nights for me , don't like exposing the optics to the wind although my spot is reasonably sheltered and close to my shed.

If you going to get cases made up there is a really good place in welshpool called Alloy Cases, the owner is very good . Seems to be a few pier like tripods being released lately although APs own piers look good.

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Yeah the wind can be annoying. The cure to that is a dome, but that's expensive and not a small decision to take lightly. To be honest Stu I thought you were based in the Eastern States (not sure why I thought that). You are only ten minutes from me.

Ray

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On 1/30/2016 at 9:58 AM, Radar said:

Thanks mate. I'm not usually superstitious, but I make my most expensive astronomy investment ever and get the worst weather I've ever seen for the last two weeks (in the middle of our hot dry summer as well). What are the odds? I'm starting to believe in higher powers. The small amount of time I have had with the mount has already blown me away and I haven't even started guiding yet. My last mount was overloaded and I couldn't guide with my setup, its been a few years since I shot anything remotely decent. I'm really looking forward to getting my feet wet again. 

I guess you could use your polarscope (and probably my polarscope) inside the telescope if the telescope was perfectly orthogonal to the mount, which opens up a world of quick alignment for many southerners. 

Ray

Can you possibly imagine what the array has done to the UK weather?? :(:(:(

Greg

 

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I can mate, and its not good. Come to Australia over a new moon and we'll go exploring the Southern Sky somewhere. 

Ray

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