Setting Circles – Good, Bad or Ugly?

As a very amateur astronomer I find it hard to locate objects in the sky, it could be me or my Meade Bresser 130N, but anyway, I tried polar aligning the telescope last night to Polaris and set the latitude to about 52 degrees, then reset the declination to 90 degress, or on my scopes mount 9 – is this right? I then set the RA to 0 – is this also correct??

I then chose a close star in Ursa Major (Plough) and moved the telescope using the dials on the mount to the correct RA and Dec as seen in Starry Night Pro, but on arriving at my star I found my telescope to be pointing in the wrong location, after manually correcting the telescope myself onto the star, I then looked down to the mounts RA and Dec settings to find that the Dec was correct but the RA was about 2hours out – well I think it was two hours as the main points on it are I think in hour segments and within those are 6 markings, which I imagine to be ten second markings. Maybe I was not correctly on Polaris in the first place – who knows!

It appears to me that the mount is ok for losely pointing you in the direction of the sky you need to be in, but the settings are so exactly shown in Starry Night Pro, but you just can’t get this sort of precision with these mounts. Agree / Disagree?

Has anyone else had fun setting up and using setting circles, can anyone give me advice on setting up and using them?

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