This polar finderscope works with the Losmandy GM-8, G-9 and G-11 mounts only. It threads into the polar axis and works in both Northern and Southern hemispheres. A battery-powered red LED illuminator is provided to light up the polar alignment reticle during use.
The LED illuminator has five user-selectable brightness levels. A built-in microprocessor automatically turns the red LED off after two minutes to conserve battery life. The illuminator can be unthreaded from the finder, if desired, and the illuminator port sealed against the entry of dust by a knurled plug when the illuminator is not in use.
In the finder is an etched reticle with two star patterns covering the north and south celestial poles. No calculations are needed to use the polar scope. Simply rotate the polar scope until the appropriate alignment stars approximately line up with the etched pattern for your hemisphere, adjust the mount's altitude and azimuth knobs to move the mount until the stars fall precisely in the positions indicated in the reticle, and that's it. The polar axis of the scope is now lined up with the appropriate celestial pole.
While the alignment will not eliminate the need to guide your scope during long exposure astrophotography, it will considerably reduce the number and magnitude of corrections needed due to polar alignment errors.
For a more detailed description of how to use the finder, including images of the illuminated polar reticle, click on this link to take you to Losmandy's "Using the G11/GM-8 Polar Finder" instructions page
. The reticle illustration in the instructions has index marks showing you where to place the appropriate alignment stars for the years 1990, 2000, and 2010. However, the current version of the polar finder has the correct indexing marks for the years 2005, 2010, 2020, and 2030 (and can be extrapolated further), assuring accuracy for decades to come.
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