Monday, September 18, 2006

Thumbs UP to

My Meade LX200 had been experiencing issues with the right ascension drive, and I tossed and turned between getting the Supercharge or sending it to for a reapir. I chose the latter, and the scope was sent to them in California for the repair. The chap who runs it, Tim, kept in touch with me all throughout, and even ran an eight hour test on the scope to check his work.

The scope arrived back home today. My poor wife dragged it in from the front doorstep, where it had been left by the UPS chap. She called to tell me it was back and I shot off a quick email to Tim at, letting him know it had arrived. I hurriedly put the kids to bed (my wife took one of our dogs to agility classes) and set the scope up out front. Before turning it on I performed a quick collimation of the optics, which had been knocked about a little during shipping.

After ten minutes I was done and swtiched on the scope. I did a quick two star alignment on two stars rather close to each other (Deneb and Vega), although it's recommended to use two stars that are as far away as possible. Anyway, after finishing the alignment procedure I punched in M57, and the scope went to work. It beeped when it was done, telling me to have a look. BANG! The Ring Nebula was in dead center of the field of view. I punched in Albireo, same result. M92 the globular cluster, also appeared right in the center of the field of view. I danced around to a few other objects visible from my front yard and they too appeared dead center. So, extremely impressive performance!

I would have to definitely recommend Tim did a great job with the scope, and it's behaving beautifully. I am taking the scope out to the local observing site on Wednesday night to check out some other objects. I also can't wait to reattempt the astrophotography now that I fixed the Meade LPI imager. Good stuff coming... :-)

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