Note:  To select items from a list on the Atlas EQ-G hand controller, use the scroll buttons at the bottom of the hand controller rather than the arrow keys at the top.

First Steps

Balance the telescope.  For help with this, see the Balancing a Telescope section.

Polar align the telescope mount.  Use of the included polar alignment scope is highly recommended.  For help with this, see the Polar Alignmentsection.

Lock the clutch lever on each axis before beginning the alignment.

Aligning the Telescope

The telescope will automatically point to alignment stars, but it will have you choose the stars.  It is helpful to know in advance what bright stars are out.  Try to pick stars that are widely spaced in the sky.  A 3-star alignment is recommended as it is the most precise without a highly accurate polar alignment.

1.  Point the telescope so that it is above the mount and aimed north (as in the picture above)

2.  Press ENTER to skip initialization screen

3.  Press ENTER to begin alignment

4.  Enter the longitude, including E or W.  (U.S. longitudes are West.)  Press ENTER.

5.  Enter latitude, including N or S.  (U.S. latitudes are North.)  Press ENTER.

6.  Enter your time zone.  (Eastern time = -5, Central = -6, Mountain = -7, Pacific = -8.)  Press ENTER.

7.  Enter the date.  Press ENTER.

8.  Enter the current time.  Time must be entered in 24-hour format.  Press ENTER.

9.  Select Yes or No for Daylight Savings Time.  Press ENTER.

10.  Select 3-Star Align and press ENTER.

11.  Choose the first alignment star (for example, Vega) from the list.  Press ENTER.

The telescope will point to the selected alignment star.  The star will be near, but not necessarily in, the finderscope.

12.  Press RATE, then press 7 to select 500x slew speed

13.  Center the star in the finderscope

14.  Press RATE, then press 5 to select 64x slew speed

15.  Center the star in the eyepiece.  Press ENTER.

16.  Select a second star from the list.  Press ENTER.

The telescope will point to the selected alignment star.

17.  Press RATE, then press 7 to select 500x slew speed

18.  Center the star in the finderscope

19.  Press RATE, then press 5 to select 64x slew speed

20.  Center the star in the eyepiece.  Press ENTER.

21.  Select a third and final star from the list.  Press ENTER.

The telescope will point to the selected alignment star.

22.  Press RATE, then press 7 to select 500x slew speed

23.  Center the star in the finderscope

24.  Press RATE, then press 5 to select 64x slew speed

25.  Center the star in the eyepiece.  Press ENTER.

The hand controller will display “Alignment Successful.”  The telescope is now aligned.

Selecting Objects from the Catalog

To select a deep-sky object, press either the Messier (4), NGC (5), or IC (6) button on the hand controller to choose the desired catalog.  Enter the number of the object in the catalog.  Messier and Caldwell objects require 3 digits, NGC objects require 4 digits.  To select M13, for example, you must enter 013; for NGC253, you must enter 0253.

Press ENTER and the telescope will slew to the selected object.  Press UNDO to select a new object.

To select a solar system object, press PLANET (7).  Use the scroll buttons to scroll through the list of available planets (the telescope will only list those planets above the horizon).

Press ENTER and the telescope will slew to the selected planet.  Press UNDO to select a new object.

To select a double star, variable star, or other type of object, press OBJECT (8).  Use the scroll buttons to move through the list of catalogs.  Press ENTER to select a Catalog.  Use the scroll buttons to move through the list within a catalog.

Press ENTER and the telescope will slew to the selected object.  Press UNDO to select a new object.  Press UNDO again to return to the main menu.