As mentioned in an earlier post, the last mount in my observatory cannot be polar aligned directly as it has no view of the celestial pole. After giving things a bit of time I decided I’d just have to bite the bullet and return to drift aligning using PHD2. This time however, though I’m sure it makes little difference, I used PHD2 on the same Linux laptop I’d already used to align the other two mounts.
The process is identical to that in the Windows version, but I think having had a bit of practice with the easier plate-solving alignment system in Ekos, I felt a bit more confident about what I was doing. I used Kstars to pick alignment targets as close to the “ideal” positions as possible and this time I really didn’t struggle that much with the adjustments. The azimuth adjustment was actually relatively straightforward and whilst the adjusters again make the alt adjustment more tricky, after three or four iterations I still got to within about one arcminute of the pole. The obvious thing to take from this would seem to be that “practice counts”.
I do now feel quite happy with the idea of taking the HEQ5 on holiday, say, and setting it up from scratch using either method. I think that’s a good step forward.