So, this is a variation on some questions I posted elsewhere and before, but I thought I'd ask it here since I know that my new equipment is popular among planetary astrophotographers. I've had the iOptron CEM70 for a couple weeks now and I've finally begun using it with the Edge 9.25. But I'm having some issues, to the point that both pieces of equipment have been rendered useless. So: help!!
1) Focusing issues with the Edge HD 9.25. I wasn't able to obtain sharp focus of any celestial objects. I went through about 10 different revolutions of the focuser, back and forth, to lubricate it but that made no difference. So, I tried my hand at collimation. Disaster. According to instructions, I blew the star out of focus and the disk at the center was too far to the left. I tried to use the method of placing my finger across the lens (without touching) to identify which screw had to be turned. I think think I tightened that screw way too much. And I loosened the other two screws. Now the star is way, way too dim! I slewed to the moon and, although I could make out the craters etc, the surface was way too dim. What could have happened? Is there any way for me to collimate in the day time without a ball bearing and without an artificial star?
2) Balance issues with the Edge HD 9.25. I do have a dew shield on the way. Without it, or some other form of frontal weight, the Celestron is just too back heavy to be balanced. Is the dew shield enough to balance? Does anyone have experience with those extra weights that hang from the base of the telescope?
3) Challenge with fastening the Edge HD 9.25 to the mount. In the dark, when I try to place the telescope bracket on the CEM mount swivel tray thing, it slides around a lot before coming to rest in the correct position. Any tricks to that?
4) iPolar. I thought I was doing a brilliant job of polar aligning the scope because I was able to get it level and then use ipolar to make subtle adjustments to the scope so that the red dot became green! But I think it's all a failure because ipolar wasn't calibrated to begin with. When calibrating, am I supposed to take two, covered photos, one with the OTA in the zero position and one at the 90 degree position? If so, can I do that inside during daylight?
5) GoTo Issues. GoTo is way off, perhaps because of poor polar alignment? Perhaps because of the balance issues? Any thoughts on how to compensate.
Thanks in advance for the answers to these many questions. I was becoming better at planetary photography using my beginner, 100 mm Orion refractor. I have a Stellarvue on its way to learn more about DSO astrophotography. But I had figured that a high magnification SCT would be a good scope for planetary.
Anyway, thanks again!