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Weasner's 8" LX200-ACF Report #3

Last updated: 2 March 2009

2 March 2009

Finally, Another Session!

New home construction activities and the weather have conspired to keep me from getting to use my 8" LX200-ACF since my last report in November 2008. But finally timing and the weather forecasts worked out so I went to Oracle Observatory for two nights. You can read the full report for 28 February - 2 March 2009 there. That report covers all the activities; this report will cover just some LX200 specific points.

After sunset on the first night, while waiting for some high clouds to go away, I manually pointed the telescope at some objects and viewed them with the 26mm eyepiece. Venus (a nice crescent phase), the moon (also a nice crescent phase), and Comet Lulin made nice targets. About an hour and half after sunset the clouds went away and I powered up the LX200. It was running on my Celestron Power Tank 7Ah. The GPS fix and two star alignment went without problem, which pleased me since it had been three months since my last use. GOTOs were nearly perfect for the rest of the night. I did several astrophotographs without removing the camera to center the objects in an eyepiece. Even DSOs too faint to see in my Nikon D70 DSLR viewfinder were captured in the image frame. That was super!

I did some vibration tests with the LX200-ACF on my new observatory concrete pad. The tripod was on a small carpet. With a 9.7mm eyepiece, no image vibrations were visible from walking or stomping on the concrete near the telescope. That made me very happy. So, it appears that no further anti-vibration techniques will be required when I get my SkyShed POD XL5 in a few months.

After using the telescope for about an hour, more clouds moved in. I decided to Park the telescope to wait it out. After 90 minutes, the clouds were gone. I powered on the telescope and all the GOTOS were excellent.

I completed the Spike-A Spike-a™ Bahtinov Mask that I had started in November 2008. You can read my review here.

I spent the next two hours doing some astrophotography with my Nikon D70 DSLR. Some of the images are on my Oracle Observatory page. But shortly after midnight the breezes became too strong so I again parked the telescope and closed up for the night. When I powered up the telescope on the second night, after the AutoStar II got its GPS fix, the GOTOs were off by about 15 degrees in Declination. Odd. I only used the telescope briefly that second night so did not re-do the alignment. I will do further multi-night park testing in the future.

I was happy to finally use my 8" LX200-ACF again after three months. I hope it will not be that long before my next use!

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