altitude and azimuth setting circles
circles make finding your way around the sky easy. Here
is how they work.
We ask for these six
example dimensions to design a custom azimuth circle fitting your
Prefer electronic setting circles? Contact us.
Customized setting circles to fit your mount bearings.
Our manual setting circles
3mm birch plywood.
Simply glue to your bearings.
Altitude and azimuth pointers included.
bearing setting circle:
piece azimuth circles up to 23.5" O.D. Inquire with circle
diameter and zip code for shipping cost.
Quarters or halved azimuth circles to 24" O.D.
and fit tightly around rocker box corners. Price includes shipping.
plus altitude circle.
plus altitude circle.
An e-mail requesting
a few simple dimensions will be sent after we receive your order.
Image above: setting
circles inscribed on our altitude and azimuth bearings, azimuth pointer
Right image: two
piece (split) azimuth circle notched for rocker box corners, altitude
circle and pointers.
Azimuth circle for top of rocker box board.
Azimuth circle for round ground board.
Using Manual Setting Circles
Using manual setting circles will allow you to place a target
in your wide-field eyepiece or finder. This is the easy process for
a compass or phone with app against the front board on your mount.
Align the ground board setting circle pointer with the 0 degree
mark. Adjust the mount so the compass and ground board pointer
N/0. The above example is using a phone app with the phone turned
west (270 degree) putting N at 0.
is useful to use a bubble level or app as it is important for
assuring the altitude setting circle accuracy. Shim/adjust the
mount feet as necessary.
a planetarium program or app like Star Safari that shows the Azm
(azimuth) and Alt (altitude) for the objects you will observe.
The arrow in the above example shows Messier 35 located at Azm
148 and Alt 75. Below shows the setting circles at the correct
azimuth and altitude settings:
shows the azimuth circle turn so 148 is at the pointer.
shows an altitude bearing with 75 at the pointer.
for your target in a wide field eyepiece. If it is not there use
the star patterns on your chart/app and match them in your finder
scope, you will already be very close to the target. Setting circles
are a great tool, especially when observing in skies where few stars
are visible to the naked eye.