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Polar alignment, ALT/AZ alignment check list

Polar alignment, ALT/AZ alignment check list for Meade ETX Telescope and Meade 497 Autostar
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Polar alignment, ALT/AZ alignment and Star Alignment Check list
Meade ETX telelscopes, Meade 494, 495, 497 Autostar and Meade Tripods

Polar Alignment is require for astrophotography. Alt/Az is much easier but is not suitable for strophotograpy. This is the check list you should go through before you start the star alignment in Polar alignment or Alt/Az alignment home positions.  You do not want to redo the setup and offset again because after the Autostar moves your telescope, you will have to level the fork arms or the OTA and point to north again.  This is similar to the pre-flight checklist for the pilot.   

Please remember, performing the entire pre-alignment checklist and alignment procedure for Polar alignment or Alt/Az alignment home position may seem like a lot of work, but in reality, it should not take more than 3 minutes to complete.  Spending those 3 minutes to make sure everything is correctly set up can pay off with an entire night of accurate GOTOs. 

Note: It is possible to check some of the information by pressing the MODE key for two seconds, holding it in, and releasing but it will not provide you with telescope model, mount, daylight saving, or time zone information. OTA refers to Optical Tube Assembly, the telescope tube itself.

Polar alignment, ALT/AZ alignment & Star Alignment check list

Telescope/Tripod/Mount Checklist:
Polar Alignment home Position
Tripod leveled
Fork arm leveled
Telescope points to 90 on DEC dial
Telescope in Polar home position
Polar offset performed (optional)
Polar Alignment home Position
Alt/Az Position for Star alignment
Tripod leveled
OTA points to North and is level
Alt/Az Position for Star alignment

Meade 494 595 497 Autostar Checklist:

Mount (Polar or Alt/Az)
Time Zone
Time   Synchronize with a precision time source
Daylight Savings

Meeade 494 495 497 Autostar
Checking these settings is especially important if you use your computer to control the ETX-Autostar.  Some software might change the settings in your Autostar during its operation.  These changes made by the PC software may cause total star alignment failure or incorrect GOTOs if not corrected.
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