Setting Up The Finder on an EQ Mount

When setting up your telescope on your equatorial mount, aligning the Finder is an important step. (Here is a separate article on aligning the finder).

I mention this topic separately here, in the equatorial article, in order to add this advice:

Aligning your finder is much easier if you point at an object that is not moving. A distant building, telephone pole, or mountain is great in daylight. At night, Polaris is great for aligning the finder since it doesn’t move.

However, it’s quite difficult to get a polar-aligned equatorial mount to point the telescope at Polaris. Not impossible, just hard work. (Try it once and you’ll understand.)

So, I eventually realized that if I’m setting up at night, it makes much more sense to point the telescope at Polaris and align the finder before I do the polar alignment. I start with the mount deliberately not polar aligned — like 30 degrees off or more. Then it is easy to point at Polaris and align the finder. Then I move the mount and do the polar alignment.

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