I've never been much interested in manuals and instructions. So I figured I'd just wing it! And by golly, that's what I did.
As a general note, this setup is a decent ways from what any normal newbie would call a grab and go. But I thought it would be a pretty cool backyard scope. And I can put almost anything I want on the mount, within reason.
Setting up the Celestron AVX 6 refractor was several trips in the making. The actual mounting of the large-ish telescope was no problem at all. And I had the un-accessorized C6R OTA set up on the AVX mount early in the day in our semi-rural backyard at the outer edge of the urban light dome.
After pointing the mount as close to my guestimated north as I could figure, I had initially set it on there with the tripod legs as low as they would go. But quickly realized that the legs would need to be fully extended to keep the eyepiece at least a couple feet off the ground when nearing zenith. So one at a time, I lifted the assembly and extended each of the three legs fully.
Worrying that the diagonal may contact the tripod during the AVX mounts erratic movements,, as I had read about,, I started looking for options of a pier extension. And I found this inexpensive solution in a thead on CN that I plan to later incorporate.
Even though I never had any part of the scope hit the tripod, a taller pier would be prefererred so the tripod legs wouldn't need to be extended so far. But 8 inches might be the practical limit for plastic.
Later in the day, I adjusted the altitude adjustment to match the latitude of my location, which I had learned was the actual altitude of the North Star.
And then went on to add the diagonal, eyepiece, finder scope, and slide the scope in the rings and adjust the location of the counterweights for optimum balance.
After if got mostly dark, I went outside for the fun to begin. I hooked up my powerpack, which I had previously run a 100 foot extension cord to. Then plugged in the hand controller and went to aligning. But the mount would only go one way. After a fit of running around in circles, I finally figured out what that extra coiled phone cord was for and was back in business. WooHoo!!
I need to get some large posters of the night sky and constellations to study. But I chose the moon for the alignment because that was the only thing I could readily identify.
The moon was BLINDINGLY bright! I didn't notice any CA, and the moon showed some really nice details through the Baader zoom equipped C6R. It focused clearly up to 300x with the Ultima SV 2x barlow. Although I believe the other half of the moon will have more to look at in a couple of weeks, when I hopefully I will have acquired a cheap used DSLR for some snapshots. Can't wait!
I tried a moon filter to reduce the brightness, but it seemed too dark.
Not being well acquainted with most named stars, I went on to slewing to a slew of available options, that were either hidden by trees or below the horizon, before I finally found Vega.
Vega was a sparkling bright blue star in the eyepiece. And I had learned my first star with the help of the Goto!
I tried a couple of clusters, but didn't see much. Not sure if it was alignment or seeing. Hopefully with some more practice I'll have better luck.
Then I landed on Spica. A binary that I read can't be resolved as a double with a normal telescope.
This star appeared very colorful. Not sure if it was the fast achro acting up with CA, or that's just how it looks.
Took a little break and went back out to see Jupiter and Saturn after they made it above the treeline.
I was surprised how easily I could see Jupiter's four Galilean moons. Jupiter itself looked light yellowish with faint dark reddish-brown stripes. CA was not evident to me. If I remember correctly, magnification at just under 150x was the sharpest.
Although I couldn't resolve a ton of detail, I was encouraged with the views of Jupiter on my first night out with a real telescope.
And lastly, following close behind Jupiter was Saturn.
Looked like a yellow cartoon alien head with black c-shaped eyes at first.
Running the magnification up to around 190-200 seemed to provide the most clarity, with some ring separation visible. No noticeable CA.
I was out pretty late. But it was a good first night.
Already planning on building a litte shed that I could store a carted 10 or 12 inch dob in, that could become the new yard scope. And if/when I get the big dob, may move down to a 4" f/7-ish ED for a more grab-n-go refractor to mount on the AVX then.
But the BIG 6 inch f/8 achro is a nice start and about half the price of a fully assembled 4 inch ED OTA.
And I detected no CA on any planets or the moon. Maybe it was there on the bright stars. But I'm not sure.
And the AVX didn't disappoint. Easy enough to use for even a dummy that didn't read a lick of the instructions. And decently stable when pushed to the limit with a nearly five foot long 20+ pound refractor.
Edit to add: Tracking is a splendid thing to have on a telescope.
The Baader zoom...I don't know. It's a solid piece mechanically. And I like the features of being able to use it in either a 1.25 or 2 inch diagonal. And that it is threaded for camera attachments. And it is reported to have a wider field of view than other zooms. But with my limited experience, I can't say that the view is anything extraordinary. Maybe it is, but maybe it's not worth five times as much as the lower end zooms. Seems a bit of an extravagant luxury until I can confirm otherwise.
Edited by Echolight, 31 May 2020 - 03:51 PM.