Baby-Mewlon first-light report
I'm approximately 10 years into hobby, I'm 99% Lunar and planetary (Jupiter and Saturn) "balcony-type" urban observer.
I started the hobby with SW mini-dob 130mm, swapped it to SW ED80 on AZ-4 about half a year ago.
ED80 with stock dielectric diagonal + Baader Hyperion zoom with Hyperion zoom barlow serves my observing needs very well.
My motivation for Mewlon-180 is a desire for more resolving power in compact package with sharp optics on those nights of stable seeing – there are quite a lot of them at my location, especially starting from late spring till late autumn.
Scope arrived from Japan intact and in pristine condition, to my mental tranquility
I put it on AZ-4 with aluminum tripod – for my biggest surprise, that combo carries Baby-Mewlon quite well - I planned mount/tripod upgrade later, after confirming that scope survived the shipping and is problems-free.
Finder was aligned spot-on from the box.
It's surprisingly bright, pain-in-the-neck little one, that does its job of pointing the scope on the Moon/planets in the city very well. My SW 7x50 RA finder goes deeper, but for my intended scope's usage, I will not bother with alternate solutions. Flashing the light into scope's tube towards the main mirror I can see 2 screws that fix the finder leg to the cast ring from inside.
Tested the collimation on distant street lamp - it appeared spot-on, to be confirmed later on Rigel at up to 607X power. Yes, the scope had traveled half a globe, passed customs and courier's handling and kept the collimation - I'm impressed, since I was mentally ready to start the night from collimating the scope, spending unknown amount of time on that, since I never collimated Cassegrain scope.
I ran focus knob couple of times all way in/out to distribute the grease evenly.
Focus shift in my specimen appears to be very small, but I think I need more stable mount to fully evaluate it.
I used SW dielectric 2" diagonal that came with ED80 and Baader Hyperion zoom Mk3 with Hyperion Zoom barlow.
The seeing was above average, with moments of very stable seeing, main target was the Moon.
I was concerned that 180mm aperture will be affected by the seeing too much, but that wasn't true – quick-swapping 2 scopes, at comparable magnifications (~90X to ~150X) ED80 rendered more stable image, yet Mewlon left the little frac in dust for details, especially in moments when turbulence was at minimum – a jaw-dropping experience. The whole new level of Moon's surface details was opened for me – I had observed that night Rimae Atlas and other small details not visible in 80mm frac, that I need to dig into Virtual Moon Atlas a lot deeper to name the features I saw with Mewlon.
I pushed the scope up to 607X on Atlas and in numbered moments of stable seeing it delivered sharp image. That's 0.3mm exit pupil, I didn't expected such results at all.
I had long ago re-greased my AZ-4 it with bike grease on aluminum axels with couple of drops of Joe's Eco-Nano bike chain lube on Teflon-to-aluminum/Teflon-to-ebony star surfaces. That combo appears to be usable with Mewlon for altitude range of 30-65 degrees (my observing place limits) and mags up to 270X same way as I use it with ED80 for mags up to 169X, both for manual tracking and for focusing. Altitude axis is a bit stiff, but I intend to tinker with grease choice on alt axis a bit more (I will get EQ5 a bit later).
I wish to thank all respectable members of that forum, who shared the info on that scope with me.
Edited by vkx86, 18 November 2016 - 02:22 AM.