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One Star Align

Introduced with NexStar hand control version 4 (first included with the CPC) and available in all newer versions, One Star Align is available in alt-az mode (scope mounted directly on the tripod) and equatorial mode (scope mounted on a wedge).  One Star Align is not designed to provide accurate GoTo or tracking,  but rather allows you to quickly setup the scope to start approximate tracking.  This is most useful when you don't care to have precise tracking and will manually find objects rather than using GoTo.  That said, it does quite good on a permanently wedge-mounted scope, and if you add a second star later with the Re-Alignment feature, even an alt-az mounted scope will exhibit good GoTo and tracking.


  • Power up the scope.
  • Press ENTER to begin, use the Up and Down buttons (6 and 9 on the keypad) to scroll to One Star Align and then ENTER again.
  • The hand control will show either the current time or the time when you last used the scope.  The top line of the display will cycle through the messages, "Enter if OK", and "UNDO to edit".  If your scope has a GPS module, the GPS receiver will shortly lock onto 3 GPS satellites and update the date, time, and location.  If you become impatient waiting for a GPS link, or if you don't have a GPS module in your scope, use the Up and Down buttons (6 and 9 on the keypad) to scroll through the date, time, and location settings. If they are all correct, press Enter to accept and proceed with the alignment.  If they need adjusted, press Undo and make any necessary corrections.
  • The display will now prompt to Select Star 1.  Decide which star you will use, use the Up and Down buttons (6 and 9 on the keypad) to scroll to that star and then press ENTER.
  • Use the arrow buttons to slew (move) to the star you selected.  Center the object in the finderscope and press ENTER.  Then center the object in the eyepiece and press ALIGN.
  • To provide GoTo and tracking of nearly the same performance as one of the full alignment routines, you may later use the NexStar Re-Alignment feature to replace the "Unassigned" star with a real star.

Additional details:

  • As with all the new NexStar alignment methods, One Star Align does not care where the optical tube is pointed at the beginning of the alignment.
  • To get better tracking be sure to level the tripod before you start.
  • If you do not have a GPS-equipped telescope, be accurate to within a couple of minutes when entering the time.  Also, either select a city within 50 miles or enter your longitude and latitude to within a degree or two.

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Michael Swanson
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