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Old 22-01-2017, 07:29 PM
ColHut (Colin)
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ColHut is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Perth WA
Posts: 257
An update on this little scope:

Eight and a half years later having had light to moderate use it still continues to perform adequately. Looked at over time the cost per hour has been rather little.

The setting circles continue to annoy me as they are too small, badly placed, have no vernier, and are at best accurate to within a degree only (half the smallest division). Still that is just good enough for the max TFOV of about 1.7 degrees.

The latitude adjustment scale is out by 2 degrees, so I use a digital level to correct for this when travelling to new latitudes.

Having left both slow motion control cables on does mean they can get in the way. On balance though they are better left on.

The free slewing clutches can be very hard to find in the dark at odd angles even with practice!

It is affected by strong gusts and breezes as the OTA is quite long.

OTA weight with Rigel QF, 6x30 RACI finder, electric focuser and eyepiece is 7lb 12 oz (about 3.5kg). Orion and others give its capacity as 9lb.

An EQ 3-2 mount with polar scope and proper bearings would be a better mount for a scope of this length.

And in the field?
A recent trip to Bremer Bay allowed its use in some very dark (if cloudy) skies. Despite a side trip with telescope on the back seat on 100km of unsealed road, the telescope needed only a slight tweak to collimation (Thanks Howie!) on set-up.

M42 was breathtaking. The planets although low in the west were easily found with the Rigel QF. The Pleiades stunning. The Milky Way rich with stars. No doubt dark skies are worth several inches of aperture. Even using only the compass (adjusted for magnetic variation) and the digital level to polar align still provided 15 minutes tracking in a 20mm eyepiece. Probably some luck there.

I am looking to upgrade to a slightly more capable mount, maybe even a new OTA (130 x 900) some time, but it will not likely be goto (although that could change). I have enjoyed learning to use the EQ mount for all its foibles, and I very much enjoy the EQ ‘tracking’ which makes viewing a pleasure with plenty of time for sips of tea without worrying about where the target has gone. With regret it being more portable, does get more use than my 10” dob.

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