Is my telescope "compatible" with my latitude?


by MadAtom
Tags: astronomy, celestron, equatorial mount, latitude, telescope
MadAtom
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#1
Dec19-12, 09:32 AM
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I have a newtonian Celestron Astromaster 114EQ (CG-2 equatorial mount) and the manual says: "The Astromaster CG-2 mount can be adjusted from about 20 to 60 degrees [...]".

The latitude where I'm is -15. What does this excerpt means for me. I wouldn't be able to use it correctly from where I am?
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jedishrfu
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#2
Dec19-12, 10:12 AM
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I think the mount has to be polar aligned to be useful in tracking correctly.
cepheid
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#3
Dec19-12, 11:15 AM
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20-60 degrees (probably) refers to the range of possible elevation angles (above the horizon) of the telescope mount.

cepheid
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#4
Dec19-12, 11:26 AM
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Is my telescope "compatible" with my latitude?


Hmm, yeah it it turns out the elevation angle you need to point the telescope at for polar alignment is just equal to your latitude, so you'd need to point it at 15 deg above horizontal to see the south celestial pole. If 20 deg is indeed the minimum elevation, then it sounds like the telescope can't get low enough. Interesting...
MadAtom
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#5
Dec19-12, 01:56 PM
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well... the circle that indicates the latitude has a range from o to 90 so, in reality, I'm able to set my 15 latitude. But, according to that exert, I wouldn't be able to track "well"? What would be the real effects of that limitation?

Because of the weather I'm not able to make tests and I have no prior experience with telescopes... actually, when it came, when I was tracking objects, I was moving the scope by increasing and decreasing latitude...
russ_watters
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#6
Dec19-12, 03:13 PM
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That is odd. My only guess is that below 20 degrees, the counterweight might hit the tripod.
MadAtom
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#7
Dec19-12, 03:50 PM
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Quote Quote by russ_watters View Post
That is odd. My only guess is that below 20 degrees, the counterweight might hit the tripod.
Yeah, exactly! below 20 (and depending on the direction of it...) the weights can hit a leg of the tripod! this problem is over when you set a latitude near 20. I hope it's just that...
Chronos
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#8
Dec19-12, 04:13 PM
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You probably need to improvise with your balance weights as they will collide with the tripod. You can try mounting them higher up on the shaft to gain clearance, or use diy weights with a slimmer profile. I believe the CG-2 has a 1/2" shaft, so you should be able to substitute a shorter length of all thread if it is too long.
Oldfart
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#9
Dec19-12, 08:05 PM
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You could set the tripod on a 5 degree south-facing slope, or modify the tripod to tilt it 5 degrees. Then check it to be sure that the scope is still steady.

OF
davenn
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#10
Dec20-12, 05:00 PM
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nice looking scope :)
should provide years of fun sky watching



yup I see the problem
My suggestion would be to tilt the tripod a bit, ie. 1 or 2 of the legs shorter than the other 1 or 2. Then clamp the tripod legs firmly to the ground to stop it falling over. The problem is probably only be when looking at a particular area of the sky.

or you can get rid of the tripod and mount the EQ mount on a pillar giving you more room to swing around

Dave
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chemisttree
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#11
Dec20-12, 05:22 PM
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If the tripod has a post that the mount rests against to adjust the 'azimuth' setting, you might try removing that post and position it on the other side of the tripod. These tripods usually give you two options to position the mount on the tripod. One (shown in the above picture) has a tripod leg facing north and one where a tripod leg faces south. You will note that the tripod leg in the configuration shown above interferes with the full range motion of the mount about the RA axis. Put the post in the opposite position and you will have more clearance. Of course there's always a part of the sky where the weights will interfere with the tripod.
Oldfart
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#12
Dec21-12, 12:44 AM
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Maybe we are making more of this than is deserved. Back in olden days, I would just plunk my SkyScope tripod on the ground, and "eyeball" the polar axis to the north star. Not very accurate, but good enough. If you are 5 degrees off but are using the scope only for casual observing, I wouldn't worry about it, you can easily compensate for this manually.

OF
MadAtom
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#13
Dec21-12, 03:57 PM
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Quote Quote by davenn View Post
My suggestion would be to tilt the tripod a bit, ie. 1 or 2 of the legs shorter than the other 1 or 2. Then clamp the tripod legs firmly to the ground to stop it falling over.
Yeah, that could work too but won't be necessary. thank you.
MadAtom
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#14
Dec21-12, 04:02 PM
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Quote Quote by chemisttree View Post
If the tripod has a post that the mount rests against to adjust the 'azimuth' setting, you might try removing that post and position it on the other side of the tripod. These tripods usually give you two options to position the mount on the tripod. One (shown in the above picture) has a tripod leg facing north and one where a tripod leg faces south. You will note that the tripod leg in the configuration shown above interferes with the full range motion of the mount about the RA axis. Put the post in the opposite position and you will have more clearance. Of course there's always a part of the sky where the weights will interfere with the tripod.
Yeah, that works too. Actually I can move it 360... Thank you.
MadAtom
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#15
Dec21-12, 04:28 PM
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I found a way to balance the weights in which the scope is well balanced and still dont hit the tripod legs! I was more concerned if it would affect my tracking, I mean if I couldn't use the DEC/RA due to my position (silly... I know...), although this tripod inconvenient could really affect my observations with that scope... thank you all! Now... any of you know how to make the rain stop?
chemisttree
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#16
Dec21-12, 08:56 PM
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Quote Quote by MadAtom View Post
I found a way to balance the weights in which the scope is well balanced and still dont hit the tripod legs! I was more concerned if it would affect my tracking, I mean if I couldn't use the DEC/RA due to my position (silly... I know...), although this tripod inconvenient could really affect my observations with that scope... thank you all! Now... any of you know how to make the rain stop?
Move to south Texas.


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