Posted 10 November 2014 - 03:14 PM
I am based in UK and got my Evo 9 through First Light Optics a very good main supplier here, they had a slightly cheaper price than others but more importantly had one in stock.
Last night I was due to go out for a pint with a fellow observer but the appearance of a clear night meant taking the scopes out instead. This was the first real chance of a proper evening to put the scope through its paces, so after doing my homework on Celestron alignments we got there at 1900 and set up. I am more used to Synscan GOTO HEQ5 Pro with a refractor so never used a SCT and Celestron GOTO
First alignment with Skyalign failed, not sure why but second with Vega, Altair and Capella was fine. To test it I used the supplied 40mm and dialled in the Moon which was fairly bright last night and the scope had it almost centred. This seemed good enough to me so cracked on
From there on I got to see M31, M92, M2, M15, M57, M81, M82, M27, M45 , M42, plus also saw Uranus and then to my amazement just scraped in Neptune. I finished by looking at the moon and using a lot of mag with an 8mm the detail was staggering, the best I have ever experienced. All in all a very successful night from the edge of town
Most of the Messiers were quite feint as the sky was a bit drowned out and some of them were nearer to the edge of the view after slewing, but they looked good and the detail was good I was happy with this knowing that a darker moonless sky will make them stand out, and that the kit was working.
What I found last night, main points
Still a bit more work on alignment accuracy for me to learn and implement
The scope is perfectly collimated, and had not suffered in shipping. I tested it on 2 different stars!
The red dot finder has been replaced by 9x50 illuminated RACI (is very nice)
Definitely needed a dew shield and a heater band and controller, the kit was dripping when we left.
The finder dewed up an hour before end of play so out with the hairdryer that gave it 30 minutes of life!
Transporting it all to the dark site and setting up was a lot easier than HEQ5 pro and messing with polar aligning
I need reading glasses and find the Celestron typeface on the keys harder to see than the Skywatcher HC, tried altering the lights but still harder for me to see.
The cable on the HC is too short for my liking and gets stretched, so added an extension lead which resolved this
I did not use the Wi-Fi although my phone does connect to it, however my tablet does not. The tablet was handy to look at Mobile Observatory app to check the sky view.
You can switch the Wi-Fi off from the HC and dim the mount icon and tray light as well.
There was zero wind last night so stability seemed very good. After focussing on a star it took a second or so to settle. It felt pretty solid.
It is very useful having a built in battery so all I needed was a small battery pack for the dew system.
All in all I am very pleased with how it performed last night, and knowing that I can use my 100 ED Apo or the Mak on this mount as well is a bonus.
Definitely looking forward to the next night out.