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3D prints to assist with daytime rough polar align

Posted: Sun Nov 14, 2021 9:08 pm
by barnstorm
A compass will get you pointed to MAGNETIC north but not true north, nor the celestial pole. It also does not provide altitude information. Sky@Night ran a story about using a smartphone and a star finder app during the day to do rough alignment but that has issues also.

Some looking around on Thingiverse (online library for 3D printing models) and I found two possible aids. Both allow you to mount your cell phone to a Vixen dovetail mount and use the PS Align Pro App to polar align your scope! The first print also allows you to use a red-dot pointer and the PoleMaster camera or a phone so I printed that to try today. The other one only holds a phone BUT gets the phone away from the metal of the mount for perhaps a more accurate magnetometer reading?

I set the rig up in my living room today and even in the house my iPhone 7 seemed to get a good magnetometer reading and allowed me to do a quick and easy alignment. I can't verify how good until I actually get a sunny day or clear night, however. This was crazy easy and if it works better than my Compass - One Star Align - Slew to Sun - Adjust mount - Sync procedure I will be happy.

If you want to give this a try yourself here are the Thingiverse links:
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3642636
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4133183


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Re: 3D prints to assist with daytime rough polar align

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2021 6:11 am
by marktownley
Nice bit of printing, thanks for sharing!

Re: 3D prints to assist with daytime rough polar align

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2021 3:38 pm
by rsfoto
Hi,

Yes 3D printing makes our life easier. I got a 3D printer two months ago because a friend wanted to motorize his telescope focuser and so we ventured into this new technology.
The best of all is that before printing you have to learn to draw the parts :mrgreen: and that is not easy but with time one can learn it.
Below a drawing of the motor holder and an image of this same part printed and working on the telescope.
Now when I need a part I do not need to wait for the metal milling mill because instantly I get my parts (well not instantly but maybe a few hours later)
I print all in PETG plastic. Much better then PLA.

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Re: 3D prints to assist with daytime rough polar align

Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2021 1:33 pm
by thesmiths
I've had Polar Scope Align Pro for years and never even realised it had a Daytime mode! Thanks for the "heads up"!