Monday, March 26, 2018

Dave's 17.5" -- First Light ...


Got the big dob out to the park about 7 and had it set up and collimated in 20 min.  With practice that should be under 15 min.   I’m a total klutz, so that’s a credit to your truss design, not to my assembly skills.  Took another 5 minutes to dial in the 50mm finder. 

In the bright twilight my first target was Venus.  At -3.9 Venus was painfully bright, like an oncoming motorcycle with the Hi Beam on.  The scope resolved the nearly round disk sharply at 100x, using a 20mm TeleVue Nagler.

Sirius appeared, and high above it the slightly gibbous 1st qtr moon.  I needed my new Costco 2 step kitchen stool to get to the eyepiece but it was well worth it.  The moon was jaw-dropping.  Wow!  The Lunar highlands around Tycho and Clavius, near the terminator, were razor sharp with rills, small craters and details

I’ve never seen before in any scope I’ve owned.  Just stunning.  I couldn’t stop looking.  Focus tweaks and eyepiece changes damped down quickly.  The scope moved smoothly in all directions and has just the right ‘sticktion’ for my heavy 2” eyepieces.  Never needed to adjust the weights.

Just as it was getting dark enough to consider a few brighter deep sky objects the clouds rolled in so I reluctantly packed up and rolled out.  Far too short a session but long enough to demonstrate that the optics are just fine, and the design and build is excellent.  Can’t wait for a clear sky and new moon!


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