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First Light Report - 14" LX200 GPS

Started by [email protected], 09/01/2003 04:43PM
Posted 09/01/2003 04:43PM Opening Post
Well, it was an interesting night. Several club members helped me unload my new 14" LX200 and get it up onto it's pier in my observatory. I then started the alighnment process only to have to do it again in a little while, when the roof of the observatory hit the OTA and pushed it out of position, oops, no serious damage done however. I then started the alignment process all over again (this was going to be a pretty common theme for the night). To make a long story a little shorter, I think I must have started the alignment routine at least three times in the following hour, because of operator error, mostly from using the keypad wrong. I'd be looking in the EP trying to get a star centered when I'd hit the MODE button, thus canceling out of the procedure. Back to step one. Sigh. I finally achieved alignment, to be rewarded with dead on accuracy for most of the night, that is, until the coiled focuser power cord got pinched between the fork arms and the front panel during a slew, and managed to shut off the power switch. Back to step one, again. All in all the scope performed flawless and some images that I remember were as follows:

Veil Nebula - Outstanding! Wish I had an OIII instead of the Narrow Band filter, but still very nice.

Pluto - No longer a challenge, was right where "TheSky" showed it to be, no averted vision required.

M57, M27, M13 - Not enough words here.

Stephen's Quintet - Three main blobs were easy, but splitting the two pairs was not possible tonight.

My overall opinion of this scope - An excellent value. Optics are superb. Collimation out of the box was excellent. The fork arm mount, well, the mount is a little shaky, making it hard to focus using the coarse knob, but settles out fairly quickly. Precision of the GOTO was EXCELLENT, with all objects being in the center of field on my 22mm EP, once the operator did everything right. I guess I'm one happy camper, 'er, astronomer.
Scott Baker
Vice President, New Member Mentor
San Diego Astronomy Association
International Dark-Sky Association
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Attached Image:'s attachment for post 8871