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Thread: 4SE Polar Alignment and Modified Latitude Adjustment Bar

  1. #61
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    Default Re: 4SE Polar Alignment and Modified Latitude Adjustment Bar



    Great minds must think a like.

    I have done something very similar to what you are thinking about doing except I have my 4SE mount on my CG5 tripod. The approach I used is different however. I remove the legs from the 4SE tripod and bolt the 4SE tripod head onto the CG5 tripod. There is a 11 or 12mm threaded hole in the center of the 4SE tripod head that I use to fasten the 4SE tripod head to the cg5 tripod head. I use a long 10mm threaded bar, large washers, and a wing nut...long enough to use it to also attach the accessory tray and leg brace. This arrangement lets me do adjustments in azimuth needed for a precise polar alignment. For adjustments in altitude I have modified the 4SE mount's latitude adjustment bar. I also use a thin plastic gaint washer to prevent direct metal to metal contact between the two tripod heads.


    There are pros and cons between your idea and what I have done. Which way is better, I don't know. I am seeking 3 to 5 minute unguided exposures with a DLSR (I got 3 minutes once but typically I am around 60 to 90 seconds ... it's a polar alignment issue not lack of precision gearing). You only need about 20 seconds or so with the DSO-1 and I suspect you can get between 30 and 60 seconds with a DSLR with your setup. While removing the tripod legs from the 4SE tripod is simple it does take a few minutes to do. However, I think it will result in a more stable configuration than the way you are going. On the other hand, your idea allows for a very quick switch over and you can use the 3EQ's latitude and azimuth adjustments for a precise polar alignment which could be a major advantage. And then the question is how stable is stable enough? I use a shaky SLT clone and tripod and get very nice deep space images. BTW Celestron's Any Star Polar Alignment routine is programmed into the 4/5SE mount. For your wooden base... hardwood will resist screw wholler and keep everything nice and tight.

    Interesting, I just ordered a DSO-1 this morning and now am waiting. Given the way things work getting stuff shipped from the USA to Greece; if Matt were to ship the camera today, I'll be lucky to get it for Christmas.
    Last edited by sxinias; 11-24-2014 at 07:17 AM.
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    Default Re: 4SE Polar Alignment and Modified Latitude Adjustment Bar

    Great post Joe, I will be trying both methods too. I have an extra tripod head and spare legs for attaching the 4se tripod head. The latitude modification with a replacement 10mm threaded rod seems fairly simple. Also, your suggestion for using a hard wood plate instead of plywood makes sense. Cheers, wc

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    Default Re: 4SE Polar Alignment and Modified Latitude Adjustment Bar

    New here, trying to modify for polar alignment. I'm a little confused on one point. To do the initial EQ align, the mount has to be level, but the spacer and wingnut prevent that. Do you level with the tripod legs, or remove the spacer and wingnut, and not use them until you're ready to polar align?

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    Default Re: 4SE Polar Alignment and Modified Latitude Adjustment Bar

    Quote Originally Posted by metsfan View Post
    New here, trying to modify for polar alignment. I'm a little confused on one point. To do the initial EQ align, the mount has to be level, but the spacer and wingnut prevent that. Do you level with the tripod legs, or remove the spacer and wingnut, and not use them until you're ready to polar align?
    What we mean by level means the top surface of the tripod's head is parallel to the plane of the earth or, putting it another way, the vertical axis of the tripod is orthogonal to the plane of the earth.The surface of the wedge makes an angle equal to 90 degrees minus your latitude.
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    Default Re: 4SE Polar Alignment and Modified Latitude Adjustment Bar

    Quote Originally Posted by sxinias View Post
    What we mean by level means the top surface of the tripod's head is parallel to the plane of the earth or, putting it another way, the vertical axis of the tripod is orthogonal to the plane of the earth.The surface of the wedge makes an angle equal to 90 degrees minus your latitude.
    Thanks! Got it. I've set mine up with just a single coupling nut, and adjustment seems pretty easy. Hopefully the clouds clear up by tonight to I can try it.
    20150108_153108.jpg

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    Default Re: 4SE Polar Alignment and Modified Latitude Adjustment Bar

    Ah. Once I put the scope back on the mount, I understand the need for something on the other side to hold the weight while adjusting.

    [Down at the bottom of this page, it says I can edit my posts, but I can't find a link to do that anywhere. Would have just edited my previous one instead of posting again if I could find it.]

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    Default Re: 4SE Polar Alignment and Modified Latitude Adjustment Bar

    The time available to edit is short, very short. As you noticed, you need both wingnuts... a push-pull kind of thing. The 4SE programing has Celestron's Any Star Polar Alignment feature if you ever want to do a precise polar alignment. The manual is not current and describes a different alignment process.

    Obtaining a precise polar alignment is 50% skill and 50% luck kind of thing. The adjustment bar is very good for adjusting altitude. To adjust for azimuth, you must physically rotate the tripod. The trick is to align as close as possible on Polaris when you start with one leg of the tripod pointing North as well as the hinge of the wedge. To adjust in azimuth, use a small pinching movement on the bottom of the north facing tripod leg. For this to work, you need to be setup on a smooth level surface.
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    Default Re: 4SE Polar Alignment and Modified Latitude Adjustment Bar

    Hi SXINIAS,

    I am new with a 4SE. Would like to follow your way to modify the bar. However, did you also make a hole on the upper end of the bar?? If so I am afraid that I do not have gear to make it myself. Thank you.

    clear skies!

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    Default Re: 4SE Polar Alignment and Modified Latitude Adjustment Bar

    Please do not necropost, this thread is over 2 years old. Please start a new thread if you have questions.
    Time to put it back to sleep.
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    Default Re: 4SE Polar Alignment and Modified Latitude Adjustment Bar

    Quote Originally Posted by bootstrap View Post
    Hi SXINIAS,

    I am new with a 4SE. Would like to follow your way to modify the bar. However, did you also make a hole on the upper end of the bar?? If so I am afraid that I do not have gear to make it myself. Thank you.

    clear skies!
    Hi and welcome to the Astronomy Forum.

    Did I make a hole in the adjustment bar?

    Yes. It is needed to attach the adjustment bar to the mount.


    All that is needed is an electric hand drill, one metal drill bit having the same diameter as the hole in the factory adjustment bar, a large board and a C clamp. Clamp the adjustment bar to the large piece of wood to hold every thing steady then simply use the electric drill and your eye ball to drill the hole at the end of the bar in the approximate position the hole is in the factory bar. The higher the quality of the drill bit, the easier the job is. Almost any electric drill or even an old hand cranked drill will do.
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