The Alt-Az mount is gaining fame again after many years in the shadow of the polar aligned parallactic mount. The ever increasing possibilities within computer control has made it possible to design Alt-Az mounts capable of delivering precise equatorial tracking. Having the simple mechanical principles of the Alt-Az mount, these new mounts offer easier transport and faster setup than the typical polar aligned mount. Setting up an Alt-Az telescope mount – no leveling needed Basically, an Alt-Az mount has a vertical azimuth axle and a horizontal altitude axle. However, this does not need to be precise with many newer mounts where the software handles the alignment. Therefore, the great advantage setting up an Alt-Az mount is that no leveling of any kind is needed. Just set up the tripod [...]
This is the first article in a small series that will focus on the use and possibilities of Altitude-Azimuth (Alt-Az) telescope mounts. First the basic overview will be created and in the coming articles more details on the actual use and possibilities of the modern Alt-Az mount will be covered. The historic view The very first telescope mounts made were Alt-Az mounts. Logically, it is the easiest way to mount a telescope to get a compact and stable base. For astronomical telescopes, the need for tracking the objects across the sky lead to the invention of the Polar aligned Parallactic mount. In the times of no computer control, the fixed speed drive needed for the polar aligned mount was easy to make as a mechanical clock. With modern computer controlled [...]
Below is the slides from a presentation I have held several times at different Starparties. The presentation gives a basic introduction to eyepieces and how to select the right ones for your telescope.