Last updated: 22 September 2005
Subject: ETX80 first light Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2005 10:24:28 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) Received my ETX-80AT-TC via UPS ground from Meade one week after OPT corp. processed the order. $279.00 less 2% OPTAS discount (free shipping). Firmware ver. 13E FIrst light on a quite marginal to poor evening due to haze and clouds. Visual magnitude limit was 4 at zenith, and 2.5 to 3 from horizon to 45 deg. I installed 6 rechargeable 1.2volt 1800milliamp-hour NiMH AA batteries. The system ran flawless on this power source as well as a 9volt 17ampHour portable battery. I enjoyed a quick and easy alignment with good go-to accuracy and tracking. The unit comes equipped with a back-up battery which retains set-up info when the main power source is disconnected. Deep sky objects were out of the question due to sky conditions. However, crisp images of stars were realized. Albireo's components colors were vivid in both supplied (26mm (15X) and 9.7mm (41X)) Series 4000DS Super Plossl eyepieces. Mizar's components (separation 14") were easily resolved. The use of the flip-in 2X barlow was annoying due to the fact that approximately 20 full turns of the focus knob was needed to re-focus. While the knobs placement is easily reached (now orientated 90 deg to the OTA), its small size made for over 60 "bit-size" twists. After accidentally kicking the barely adequate tripod and upsetting the alignment, I got to appreciate a useful "search" feature. After doing a go-to, and missing the object, hitting go-to again starts an ever increasing slew in a box pattern. The object eventually is brought into view and the slewing can be halted. So far, the system has operated as advertised. Clouds and rain will delay further review until late in the week.
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