Having come this far it was a given that the sky was completely overcast when I turned in. When I woke up at 3:55am on the other hand there were big patches of clear sky to the east. Too good to resist I did the Grab n Go and Grab n Go thing setting it up on the back deck. There were stars so one more trip to the garage for the adjustable chair.
Keep in mind I'm new to astronomy so I was pleasantly surprised to recognize an old friend I hadn't seen my first days looking through a telescope in January. Cassiopeia was just above some tall pines to the north. I still don't have a finder nor more importantly an established memory of where things are so I started scanning and lo and behold NGC457 the Owl Cluster comes into view taking up a large portion of the eyepiece at 78X. Even with the open tubes and the neighbors lights pointing in my direction the view was very nice. I'll take the magnification up until I find a limit on a night when I have more time and it isn't already 4:30am. I dodged clouds for a few minutes but they were closing in fast. I gave up for the evening knowing this is going to be a very enjoyable addition to my humble but growing arsenal of binocular telescopes.
The mount worked quite well. It is new so the bearings aren't worked in but a rub with a candle should help until they set. Fairly small bearing surfaces seem to require a larger force to get them moving but that it is closer to the force required to keep it moving resulting in a stiffer system with less overshoot.
The 20mm Expanse clones are now in the holders as I want to see this instrument doing what it will likely do best with a 2 degree FOV. I can get 2.4 degrees with ES or Panoptics but haven't made that investment yet.
Today's goals are to finish the tripod, figure out some form of enclosure for the tubes, make an adjuster for the lower tube. Should I by some miracle get that far I'll start on replacing the focusers, especially the lovely, but I must admit functional, wooden tower. The approach I've found works best for me while making something you've never done before is to go quick and dirty until you've had a chance to use it. It saves time and keeps me from being invested in something I may wish I had taken a different approach on. With this method I'm never too deep into a section to try an alternative or scrap something for something else that might work better.
Thanks for reading.