New tripod works great Confirmed that our little two step step stool puts our daughter at the right height, and a quick test in the backyard showed that it's much more comfortable to use now:
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In fact, my wife who so far despite her intense interest in astronomy and excitement about us getting this scope has been scared to touch it finally got into a groove.
Pretty sure she found M7 and M6 purely by chance from our red zone backyard. She was just scanning around and called out "Hey check this out!". Weren't able to track our way back to any recognizable reference points but it was the right part of the sky for them and they looked right. Considering I spent 20 minutes at the darker site on Friday searching for either of them with no luck I was impressed that she found them in just a few minutes from our yard by chance
Oh and replacing my cardboard shroud with foam was a good call, it's much easier to expand/collapse now...plus I prefer the smell of hot glue over the smell of cardboard with my nose right up against it!