Astronomy

How to attach binoculars on starwatcher tracker?

How to attach binoculars on starwatcher tracker?



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I am a complete newbie on trying to figure out how to attach the binocular on the starwatcher tracker. I am having problem with the angle. This is the issue I am having:

  1. I align the skywatcher tracker to the north star (Polaris), (I am at 40 degree longitude)

  2. I attach the L shaped bracket on the skywatcher tracker. This L shaped will be able to support my binocular. Once I attach the binocular which it sits parallel on the short leg of the "L" shaped bracket i.e. parallelly aligned to the pole star.

  3. Now the problem is as as follows: I have the polar axis. Also consider a plane which is perpendicular to the polar axis passing through my center of my tripod. I am able to view objects on the side of the plane which has the north star. But I am unable to view any objects on the opposite side. If I turn my binocular around it will have towards the ground instead of the sky.

Am I missing an attachment here, or do I have something wrongly configured? Any help or comments is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

photo added. Say the binocular is focused at the north star. But the object I am trying to watch is behind the plane which is defined by the green L-bracket in the photograph. the binocular can rotate about the polar axis (which is perpendicular the plane defined by the green L-bracket)

I have two degrees of freedom without disrupting the polar alignment. I can rotate along the x or y axis. If I try to rotate anything using the parts in the circle I will loose polar alignment. In order to observe something right of the plane (defined by: on which the y axis lies that is the y-z plane): First I will have to rotate the binocular along the y-axis by 180 (but that makes it point to the ground). Second I will have to rotate along a z-axis to point it to the sky -- which I have no controls to do.


This platform is similar to a German equatorial mount. Though it may seem awkward at first, it can point anywhere in the sky using only the two labeled axes. The "X" axis is for hour angle; the "Y" axis is for declination. The relation between right ascension and hour angle is a linear function of time.

The photos in the question show the binoculars pointing near the pole (declination 90°). To point at something on the equator (declination 0°) e.g. Orion's belt:

  1. Determine whether the target is in the eastern or western half of the sky.
  2. With the counterweight down as shown, rotate the declination (Y) axis so that the binoculars are at a right angle to the other axis, pointing at the horizon in the same half of the sky as the target. (For another declination δ, make that angle 90° - δ.)
  3. Rotate the hour angle (X) axis so that the binoculars point toward the target.

When crossing between the eastern and western halves of the sky, such mounts require a "meridian flip" on both axes. With practice, you'll get used to that and can plan your observing session around it.


I own such a mount. You can turn it to wherever you want by loosening the right ascension (the black “knob” that's touching the white part just below right of the greenish dovetail plate. You can also loosen the declination with the “knob” that's around the mounting bolt.