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Meade LX600-ACF 12" f/8 or CPC1100

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#51 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 11:58 AM

How does that help? This thread doesn't even touch on weight, and half of the content is from someone who has never even seen either of these telescopes. Own it guys- we've left a flaming wreck alongside the runway on this one.

-Rich


Rich,

Yes, I few of us do not own the LX600, BUT we do own a few shared components such as StarLock and the OTA. And the OP did ask about StarLock and the Optics.

Weight is in issue in this size class, but we all know that. I agree with Pak on keeping it outdoors and get a cover. I am using a Telegizmos 365 cover on my LX850; it should work fine for the LX600 and most other telescopes. I can't speak for how it will work in wetter climates, but I have read folks in Florida using them (soggy there). I would ask folks in wetter climates how their Telegizmos cover worked.

BTW - on a side note, I purchased my second product from Celestron: a 10lb VX counter weight for my LXD75. It fits! Oh, it was well packed along with the AstroTech Field Flattener. I now need clear skies...

#52 KevH

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 12:04 PM

The only time I have commented on hardware I haven't seen and had a chance to play with is when it isn't released yet. Start reading with a little more care.

-Rich

You've certainly had no problems commenting on gear you've never seen. Why the sudden change of heart? How is thread different from 90 percent of the gear threads on CN where a majority of responses are based on what people have read? Oh yeah, this one is about Meade. That's what makes it different. Silly me.


Do you own a CPC1100? Do you own a Meade LX600 12"? Yet here you are posting in the thread taking subtle jabs at other people who are sharing their opinions. There are plenty of threads where people give opinions on equipment they have never used. Yet, I've never seen you stopping by any other threads to inform everyone that the thread is useless.

I can read just fine, btw.

#53 Pak

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 12:30 PM

You read enough and you gather information about a product and eventually you've learned enough to have an informed opinion. Still just an opinion but at least an educated one. I see nothing wrong with posting about products I don't own. That is obvious right? The biggest problem with threads like this is they get derailed by people being rude. Something I've been accused of more than once. If he original poster is satisfied with the information posted so far hopefully he can make a decision. If not, hopefully he will ask for clarification on a specific point and we can give him facts that are substantiated.

#54 KevH

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 12:37 PM

I am in 100 percent agreement with you. I was responding to Starhawk's complaint that most of the posts in this thread were from people who haven't seen the equipment and the thread was the worst he has seen in the history of CN. It struck me as a bit hypocritical.

#55 kkokkolis

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 01:04 PM

Gentlemen. May I remind you that this thread is about a new member's query that follows for you convenience.

Looking at buying either the 12" LX600 or the CPC1100 but torn between the two. Have tried to lift the OTA on Meade LX600 as don't have observatory set-up but is v heavy even with split fork (although do have an engine crane which could do it!). Also some concerns from reading various blogs about reliability with Meade on new products. Furthermore, not sure which is best and exactly the benefits of each (different answer from each shop...are celestrong HD optics really better than Meade ACF for imaging?). Would appreciate any honest input / comparisons / pros & cons from those here more knowledgeable than me (probably everyone)!

Thanks


Please, let me also remind you that it is already decided to edit and delete, without further notice and without any explanation, all posts that deviate from the topic, particularly those that have unnworthy bashing of a company or expressing negative feelings for other CN members as their main or sole purpose, irrelevantly if those feelings might be regarded as justified or unjustified by the poster or other members. And that we all have to respect the Terms of Service and all rules spoken through the mouths of the forum administrators, that Cloudy Nights as dominants in their own home determined we should follow, in order to keep being members of this worldwide community and one of the greatest forums around the globe.
So, gentlemen, please, let's be worthy representatives of our common affection for the Universe that imposes modesty to self aware humans, let's stop those ego wars and all talking about people (colleagues and partners in fact) and let's talk about heavenly objects and the equipment we use to experience them. Please! Let's aim high.

#56 A. Viegas

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 01:25 PM

Pak's write up is very well thought out and I believe would steer you toward the Meade product except for the obvious worry of the state of the company post acquisition. So perhaps the best counsel is to wait a little while to see what Meade's new owners say about the company's direction an priorities...

A couple of pages back someone also suggested you consider a GEM mount solution. I own both a CPC1100 and a CgEM and I think having the flexibility is good. Fork mounted scopes are great for visual but they are such beasts that you really need a perm/semi perm/ or wheeled solution to use them practically. The flexibility of having both mounts allows me to do imagining or video quickly with my semi permanent cpc1100 while having the GEM allows quick setup and different location options. If you can own both that's not a bad idea... If you will have a perm or semi perm setup then the fork is a great option. As for whether the CPC or Meade... I would recommend patience and lets see what Meade says and does. Who knows they could reaffirm their commitment to the high end products and run a sale too!

Al

#57 Stew57

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 01:39 PM

Pak's write up does make the Meade look good. Doesn't mention the massive obstruction nor the weight penalty. I am not a fan of forks on wedge anyway for design reasons. If I want to shoot at F5 or less why not start with a F4 imaging newt? The sct is a jack of all trades type scope and I see the F8 as taking away one of it's few strengths. I have not looked through one so I am one of the guilty parties taking about a scope I don't own from theory not observation.

#58 Pak

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 02:12 PM

Pak's write up does make the Meade look good. Doesn't mention the massive obstruction nor the weight penalty. I am not a fan of forks on wedge anyway for design reasons. If I want to shoot at F5 or less why not start with a F4 imaging newt? The sct is a jack of all trades type scope and I see the F8 as taking away one of it's few strengths. I have not looked through one so I am one of the guilty parties taking about a scope I don't own from theory not observation.



First, I did talk about the weight penalty. I specifically said the Meade was going to be heavier but either way both are going to be heavy so look for ways to deal with it. I suggested an outdoor year round cover and some type of wheels like the JMI. The Meade is a bigger OTA and the mount is beefier so that is an advantage but the weight is heavier. I was very clear on that.

Second, I stated that we are talking about imaging. With imaging the bigger CO doesn't matter. If the OP was asking about a visual scope I'd suggest the EdgeHD because at F/10 it will be easier on eyepieces, the longer focal length makes DSO's much nicer and the smaller central obstruction gives it more contrast on planets. (In theory). The OP was talking about imaging though so I skipped over that part.

#59 Starhawk

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 02:33 PM

(A) I was referring to a single source who has neither seen nor used either. I've been asked not to directly answer traffic from that source, so this is the best I can do within the run rules.

(B) I have used a CPC 1100 (see avatar photo), I have played with an LX650, though I haven't voiced an opinion on it.

© I don't post my inventory.

But thanks for an opportunity to set the record straight.

-Rich

I am in 100 percent agreement with you. I was responding to Starhawk's complaint that most of the posts in this thread were from people who haven't seen the equipment and the thread was the worst he has seen in the history of CN. It struck me as a bit hypocritical.



#60 Stew57

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 02:45 PM

I apoplogize for missing the part about the weight difference. For a permanent set up the beefier and heavier the fork the better. A fork on a wedge does have some forces to contend with a gem doesn't. Either way they are too heavy for me.

Again sorry my mistake

#61 WardyNew

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 02:59 PM

Thanks for the viewpoints on LX600 and the CPC. Good to have further opinions on the pros and cons and feel there's been a good balance of these across different people's views (although would be good to here from anyone who strongly feels CPC the better option and why?). Is good to know that the Starlock is more than just an Autoguider and the optics maybe not so much different as portrayed before coming here.

I did get my hands on lifting a 9.25CPC the other day and while obviously not the same weight as the 1100 it does feel that the handles are better positioned for the lift with one lower (personal opinion) but then with regards to lifting with the wheeled engine crane + cargo sling (can buy these for £150 / $220 btw and can lift 1 ton) the Meade handles are probably better positioned for this and OTA weight then shouldn't be an issue (storage means I have to store tripod and OTA separately)...shouldn't add too much time to the set-up.

Understand that people have not necessarily used the equipment but as mentioned, some have some of the components like Starlock and as a relative novice (haven't done astronomy since a kid when I had to sell my telescope when I went to university), it's useful to get the viewpoints of people who have much more experience of astronomy generally, in order to help explain and elaborate on some of the more subtle / sophisticated benefits of the various products out there. Think on balance I am swinging back toward the LX600 but if my patience & saliva glands can hold out, I will try to wait and see more reviews of the LX600, what happens with Meade (although I got the impression their financial woes were sorted out when merger/acquisition announced) and try again to get in touch with astronomy clubs to do a bit more research before buying.

Don't want to get too involved in the rest of the stuff as don't want to preach or offend anyone but would say that everyone here has a common interest in astronomy and obviously therefore very passionate about it...just need to not let this overspill and think about what is posted and try not to offend (or be easily offended).

I have gotten a lot out of the discussion so thanks again for your help. Will keep checking in on this to see if anyone has anything else to add and will keep you posted on what I eventually do and what the equipment is like when I finally buy.

Will now shut up as I have a tendency to be a bit long winded and ramble, especially after a pint or two!

#62 peteryan

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 04:17 PM

WardyNew,

You either are, or should be, in the diplomatic service! :bow:

v/r
Pete

#63 orion61

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 10:45 AM

I have always thought a GEM was more of a hassle to haul and assemble, Multiply the trips out to the car, then to the site, tear down to the car and then back in the house.
Fork mount has the tube and forks then the tripod and wedge.
the GEM has the Tube, the counter weights, the GEM head, and the tripod. how can that be easier?
16 trips for the GEM and 8 for the Fork mount.
Even if you leave the head on the tripod it is still 3 pieces to 2. and 12 trips to 8.
I grew up on GEMS in the 60's and was grateful for the fork mount.
Some of the early Forks were a bit wobbily but that was nearly 30 years ago, newer fork mounts have addressed this, unless the tripod is under built (NexStar 8, SLT-127)
And to clarify a Polar aligned GEM has the same "Hole in the sky around the Pole. Plus the hassle of awkward viewing positions and having to FLIP the mount as it passes the Meridian...
The advantage of a GEM is using more than one tube.
They "CAN" be a bit more solid, but even that comes with extra weight.
Then you have issues with Cone error unless you have tuned all the scopes to the mount.
To each his own.. Im just not into fads..
I have MUCH less of a backache with the Fork Mount.
Good thread...

#64 Jason B

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 10:55 AM

I find the fork mount to be my choice for visual. In Alt-Az mode, the eyepieces is always convenient and you still get tracking.

For imaging, nothing beats the versatility of a good GEM. I find the equatorial fork limiting in stability and versatility (multiple OTA's, easier to balance) and lastly it is hard to shoot anywhere in the polar regions with a fork (from Michigan at least).

But what matters most is whatever works best for your needs! To each their own as they say....

#65 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 10:56 AM

I have always thought a GEM was more of a hassle to haul and assemble, Multiply the trips out to the car, then to the site, tear down to the car and then back in the house.
Fork mount has the tube and forks then the tripod and wedge.
the GEM has the Tube, the counter weights, the GEM head, and the tripod. how can that be easier?
16 trips for the GEM and 8 for the Fork mount.
Even if you leave the head on the tripod it is still 3 pieces to 2. and 12 trips to 8.
I grew up on GEMS in the 60's and was grateful for the fork mount.
Some of the early Forks were a bit wobbily but that was nearly 30 years ago, newer fork mounts have addressed this, unless the tripod is under built (NexStar 8, SLT-127)
And to clarify a Polar aligned GEM has the same "Hole in the sky around the Pole. Plus the hassle of awkward viewing positions and having to FLIP the mount as it passes the Meridian...
The advantage of a GEM is using more than one tube.
They "CAN" be a bit more solid, but even that comes with extra weight.
Then you have issues with Cone error unless you have tuned all the scopes to the mount.
To each his own.. Im just not into fads..
I have MUCH less of a backache with the Fork Mount.
Good thread...



I 100% agree with this. Yes, I have two GEMS (LX850 and LXD75), but the GEM is a recent trend for me. Visual, GEMs can be a total pain.

LX850 - pretty much permanent set up.
LXD75 - small, light weight grab and go for the Meade APO refractors.

Other wise, if I had a portable SCT and wanted the bigger aperture (>8"), I would go with the LX600 all the way and its fork mount. For a project we are working on we are in fact going with the LX600 for some of the reasons you listed orion61.

#66 WardyNew

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 02:42 PM

Slightly off my original question but still linked in terms of trading off the pros and cons of different options but one other thing I've just looked at (having gotten tacit agreement from my wife) is getting a permanent observatory set-up along with a Sky-Watcher 300PDS with goto on NEQ6 Pro mount with GPS module, autoguider and guidescope for imaging later on. From what has been said I can imagine that this won't be as complete a package as the LX600 (or CPC1100) but wondered if anyone here had any views on whether the ability to have a permanent set-up outweights this (and just how much difference in quality are the optics on the Sky-Watcher PDS telescopes / suitability for both visual and imaging vs. the Meade and Celestron). I couldn't afford the observatory set-up with the Meade or Celestron and I wouldn't by a 12" Newtonian without a permanent observatory

One thing that does make me reticent in going down the route of permanent observatory and a massive Newtonian is that although have a decent view from my garden there is some obstruction from trees which I can get around if I can reasonably easily re-locate but probably harder with the Newtonian (even with the Engine Crane). However, idea of permanent observatory does feel attractive in being able to quickly observe, be already aligned, etc each night, especially if later down the line I can then afford the drives and electronics to slave the dome to the telescope.

Lots of questions wrapped up again in this I know but would be interested to here anyone's thoughts on this.

Cheers

#67 WardyNew

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 02:44 PM

Apologies for the spelling and grammatical errors in previous post!

#68 gmartin02

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 11:37 PM

I wouldn't recommend the 300PDS on the NEQ6 Pro even for just visual - that scope is a monster. It's listed at 26 kg (57 lbs) and 140cm (over 4 1/2') length. The mount is only rated at 25 kg (55 lbs) for visual and 18 kg for AP, and I think those #s are really optimistic. The NEQ6 Pro looks like the Atlas/CGEM, which are both rated at 18 kg for visual.

You might be able to get away with the 250PDS (14.5 kg) on that mount for both visual & AP.

#69 WardyNew

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 04:17 AM

Thanks on the advice about telescope weight vs mount. On the site I was looking at it rated the NEQ6 mount up to 25kg but does say only to 18kg for imaging and all sound a bit close to the wire. Bigger mount negates money for / advantage of the fixed sight so will stick to LX600 or CPC1100. On the Meade LX600, can anyone point me to any reviews by people who have already purchased. Have found a few but from when it was very first released and a bit mixed. Some reviews indicate some issues (mechanical issues with mount) but as these are from when it was very first released I guess it might just be down to that. With regards to acquisition, does anyone know timescales for this. Know it was announced back in May '13 but thought it was being voted on back in Jul '13 so thought this issue was over...have I missed something?

#70 WardyNew

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 06:55 AM

With imaging the bigger CO doesn't matter. If the OP was asking about a visual scope I'd suggest the EdgeHD because at F/10 it will be easier on eyepieces, the longer focal length makes DSO's much nicer and the smaller central obstruction gives it more contrast on planets. (In theory). The OP was talking about imaging though so I skipped over that part.


Pak

Is the LX600 CO much bigger than the CPC1100s? I do want to progress to imaging which is why I want a scope that is very capable in terms of this but I can also imagine wanting to do drag the telescope out to do a fair bit of visual observing. Admittedly just from reading about it, I didn't think the CO made 'that' much of a difference (as impact dependent on area of the obstruction rather than diameter...again, just based on trying to recall what I read somewhere as part of my research ahead of purchasing). If in terms of usage I was going to do 2/3 visual / 1/3 imaging would you recommend the LX600 or CPC1100?

#71 WardyNew

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 07:11 AM

WesC

You mentioned a GEM might well be better for my requirements and did look at this at one point due to some the reasons you mentioned about it breaking down to smaller / easier components and being good for imaging due to EQ mount. Thing that put me off was conversations about ease of set-up for visual with balancing on both axis and polar align being necessary. However, more than willing to be educated otherwise if this is not as complex as I've built it up to be. What is involved and is this difficult / would take much longer for a relative novice like myself?

Thanks

#72 David Pavlich

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 09:59 AM

With imaging the bigger CO doesn't matter. If the OP was asking about a visual scope I'd suggest the EdgeHD because at F/10 it will be easier on eyepieces, the longer focal length makes DSO's much nicer and the smaller central obstruction gives it more contrast on planets. (In theory). The OP was talking about imaging though so I skipped over that part.


Pak

Is the LX600 CO much bigger than the CPC1100s? I do want to progress to imaging which is why I want a scope that is very capable in terms of this but I can also imagine wanting to do drag the telescope out to do a fair bit of visual observing. Admittedly just from reading about it, I didn't think the CO made 'that' much of a difference (as impact dependent on area of the obstruction rather than diameter...again, just based on trying to recall what I read somewhere as part of my research ahead of purchasing). If in terms of usage I was going to do 2/3 visual / 1/3 imaging would you recommend the LX600 or CPC1100?


For imaging of anything beyond 30 second exposures, you'll need a wedge for either scope. With your 2/3, 1/3 scenario, I'd probably go with the 1100 because of the CO.

Having said that, if, after you have the 1100 for a while and decide that imaging is the way to go, I'd say that the 600 is the better scope. The wedge is purpose built and you have a native f8. You'll have some curvature with the larger chipped cameras, but with something like an APS-C chipped DSLR and smaller, you should be fine with maybe a tiny bit of cropping.

The new Meade OTAs have been developed with the growing imaging side of our hobby in mind. However, if the optics are on a par with the old RCX series, then, as a visual scope, the 600 just may be better than we are giving it credit for.

David

#73 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 10:36 AM


Pak

Is the LX600 CO much bigger than the CPC1100s? I do want to progress to imaging which is why I want a scope that is very capable in terms of this but I can also imagine wanting to do drag the telescope out to do a fair bit of visual observing. Admittedly just from reading about it, I didn't think the CO made 'that' much of a difference (as impact dependent on area of the obstruction rather than diameter...again, just based on trying to recall what I read somewhere as part of my research ahead of purchasing). If in terms of usage I was going to do 2/3 visual / 1/3 imaging would you recommend the LX600 or CPC1100?



WardyNew

Per Meade specification the the central obstruction is 20.95% (10"), 16.86% (12") and 13.28% (14"). The CPC1100 is 12% (11") per Celestron.

I have used my ACF based telescope for Video, Visual and a little AP since receiving my telescope. Once back home it will be running pretty evenly distributed between all three uses. Visually I have had no problems with my optics, so I can say you will definitely not suffer if you get an LX600 and use it for visual part of the time. As a matter of fact my ACF gets used 50% of the time visually for public outreach (yep they line up at my home now), family viewing and me just "lookin'". Views are simply wonderful. I have found the Meade optics to be a good fit for visual, video and AP.

I cannot speak for the CPC1100, but I can say I am very satisfied with the Meade ACF optics.

It is too bad you can use them side by side for comparison. I have - the experience was informative. FWIW, my telescopes have the longer lines when we get together ;)

#74 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 11:07 AM

WesC

You mentioned a GEM might well be better for my requirements and did look at this at one point due to some the reasons you mentioned about it breaking down to smaller / easier components and being good for imaging due to EQ mount. Thing that put me off was conversations about ease of set-up for visual with balancing on both axis and polar align being necessary. However, more than willing to be educated otherwise if this is not as complex as I've built it up to be. What is involved and is this difficult / would take much longer for a relative novice like myself?

Thanks


Ahhhh,

The ever famous GEM vs. Fork debate! This borders on the religious discussions of Meade vs. Celestron!

So many options and permutations!

First off, Starzona has a good basic write up each mount and their pros and cons. http://starizona.com...mounts_gem.aspx and http://starizona.com...unts_fork.aspx.


I use both and here is my quick take:

* GEM does take longer to put together.
* GEM breaks into smaller, easier to manage components.
* Visually the Fork beats the GEM hands down.
* Fork can be a beast in weight.
* I hate meridian flip with the GEM.
* I hate I am stuck with one OTA on the fork. Yeah, you can piggy back - not the same though!
* I love with the GEM I can put various OTAs on the mount. LXD75 (a GEM) handles the Solar Scopes, and my Meade 80mm and 130mm APOs as well. My LX850 handles EVERYTHING very well (90 lbs load!). The LX850 can even take my 80mm APO AND the 14" ACF AND the Canon 60Da AND the MallinCAM all at once! Rock on!
* The fork is just so easy to set up. Even my 10" with super wedge - simply easy to set up quickly.
* I love the horizon to horizon coverage with the fork.

Bottom line - I am glad I have both! I can't make up my mind ;)

#75 gmartin02

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 01:18 PM

If you decide on a fork mount, and you ever want to change scopes, you will have to change both the scope and the mount.

Since imaging targets are of widely different sizes, it is really nice to be able to choose the telescope f/l to image with based on the target selected, something that is hard to impossible to do on a fork mount (with piggy backing a very small refractor being the only option).

I have imaged with with 4 different telescopes on my CGEM mount (and will be adding a fifth relatively soon): Tak FS-60 for wide field, Orion 110 ED for medium field, AT8RC for high power/narrow field, and Intes MK-67 for planetary/moon. I'm going to pick up an AT8IN for medium field imaging that will replace the 110 ED which I just sold.

You just won't be able to do these kind of things with a fork mounted telescope, either for visual or for AP.

Also, if I was in your shoes and had the funds soon to be able to build an observatory and getting a lesser priced scope/mount combo, or buying the more expensive scope/mount combo and not having an observatory, I would go the observatory route (as long as you can find a good location for the observatory). It is a much bigger hassle to drag a portable mount out (especially a larger one), go through the setup (mount/scope/electronics) & polar alignment routine, and then start viewing/imaging, instead of opening the observatory to view/image.

For each new moon cycle now (because I don't have an observatory yet), I usually take the mount/scope out for imaging and leave it set up for 4-5 days under a Telegizmos cover. Half of the first night is usually "wasted" setting everything up (including equipment table, power cords, laptop, camera/guiding cabling) & getting polar aligned/focused/collimated. It is a lot easier on subsequent nights of the new moon cycle to set up because the mount is polar aligned and most of the imaging/electronics are already in place - just plug in the laptop, star align the mount, check focus, and start imaging. If I had the observatory, I wouldn't have to do this on the first night of the imaging cycle, and the equipment would be better protected (from the elements and from some random thief) than just being under a Telegizmos cover.

For the reasons above, building the observatory is the next thing on my large telescope expenditure list.


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