Yes, this coming Saturday weekend, which is again depending on weather condition, a few of my friends are going to gather at the same house roofing to try our scope to scope shootout....
Alfred will line up both his C8 edge HD and the 8RC for the shootout against the APM ED APO....
Of course we may have other scopes available for the shootout, but we only intend to do a 3 to 4 hours, starting from 6.30pm till 10.30pm....
I really hoipe this weekend the weather turns out good , at least same as the one when both Richard and myself did for the 2 APM shootout...
Here is a picture of our setup, in fact Jupiter observing has only been possible for the last 3 1/2 weeks (it was cloudy for 3 of them though!) since it took me 18 months after Jon bought the 'scope to persuade him to buy the Single Channel Dual Output Hitec Astro dew heater controller and the 8" Dew Not heater strip (which is just a tad too short in actual heating section but still goes around the corrector end of the tube just fine LOL), so for 3 out of 4 nights the optics on the LX90 were fogged over in the last 18 months, during which time I went up to his house maybe 15 times or more, otherwise I would have been up there more often.
And then the darn thing still fogged over the last night but one that I was there, because I didn't realise you need a Dew Shield as well on really bad nights for dew (90+ per cent Relative Humidity), and we get bad nights fairly often unfortunately.
I tried talking Jon into buying a commercial flexible dew shield but was unable to, so I went to the local Tesco supermarket and got a Lenor brand fabric softner cardboard box for free, and held it in place with Jon's belt (!). Here are some pictures of the "Lenor" (LOL) Dew Shield and the 8" LX90 ;- https://picasaweb.go...90BillingeUK...
It uses a trouser belt with an extra hole punched into it to hold the Dew Shield on. Getting it on and off is, perhaps suprisingly, a one man operation, I found. Yes it's me (muggins LOL) who does the setup of the dew shield and the alignment LOL...
Even in 97 per cent humidity with thick fog on Martindale Road down the hill (as I found when I drove there and also when I drove home again), it is still dew / fog free on the optics, when the Dew Not dew heater is on full power.
Even though the cardboard is quite damp afterwards, it's
still intact well enough, and after a day's drying out indoors in a warm place, should be fine again for another night. I'd say that's a total success, for almost no cost.
We run separate power for dew heater to prevent switching spikes and damage to the 'scope electronics. Everything is on mains power at the moment. Anti Cord Wrap is turned ON.
Apparently the 2500mAh NiMH D cells that you can buy and put into the fork arms of the LX90 stay working fine for a couple of nights of use. That is also the case with the Duracell 2000mAh "Stay Charged" AA cells that I use in the SN102, great cells. I use the Vapex 1/2 hour charger WITH auto FAN cooling for the AA cells.
I just got told that "Park Scope" is what I should be leaving it in when we've finished observing (not Sleep scope as I was doing), and you then switch off the 'scope and remove the handset and take the handset indoors to stop the LCD display from going blank (still illuminated red, just nothing on it) like it does sometimes when you come to switch it on in very cold conditions (after it's been stored outside under a cover, with handset still attached like Jon's was), so I was told. Although I never had that blanking happen on the AudioStar on my SN102 but it's stored indoors. All you have to do when you want to observe again is then reconnect the handset and then switch the LX90 on again and it's already remembered it's alignment, which is very nice, and it gets the date / time / location from it's GPS.
BTW the AudioStar handset from our 6 month old SN102's (both of us have one) works great with the LX90 as long as you choose Telescope Type as LX90 8" not StarNavigator 102, and do a "Callibrate Motors", Goto's and tracking were just fine after an "easy" alignment using True North (Polaris) and levelling of the tube with the bubble level / compass thingy and a 2 star alignment (I always make sure the top of the tripod (i.e. top of the fork arm base) is level first, if the 'scope has been moved).
Jon ruined the original #497 AutoStar handset to a fair extent by breaking the little red translucent cover off the top of the handset (how the heck he did that I don't know, maybe he dropped it) and then there was heavy rain and he said over the phone that there was water literally pouring out of the handset
(not my doing). However when dried out it worked OK, just that the right hand segment ("bulge") of LCD illuminator didn't work, only the left hand one, but we could still read the display OK, Oh yeah and the map reading illuminator was dead as well, but the 'scope still was able to work fine.
Anyway when we wanted to see the shadow transit of Io the other night, when we came to switch on, the LCD display was completely blank on the AutoStar handset. Red colored, i.e. lit up. But blank.
So I tried swapping the cord (handset to 'scope) end for end, which didn't help.
Then gave up. Now the handset is drying out indoors (only been in dew this time, not actually rain, since cover was on).
Maybe the handset will work again when it's dried out. Thanks goodness we have 2 "backup handsets"!
Can't wait to hear how it turns out with the 'scope shootout 6" semi-Apo versus 8" with large Central Obstruction (34 per cent in our case I seem to remember on the 8" ACF) but well collimated in your case, hopefully! Should be rather interesting!