Last night I had my first go at using this my first EQ mount. Here's what I achieved and some hilarious mistakes!
1. Polar aligned with accu align and wrestled with it for twenty minutes until I realised I had left the cap on in front of the scope! Haha. After that it was easy. Just used an app on my iphone and it worked well.
2. Balanced the rig with some difficulty for the first time and watched a couple of youtube videos and fiddled a lot until I got it right. Done.
3. Figured out the hand control as its a bit different from the Celestron one I used before with my alt az mount. Quite easy to use actually once I actually remembered to look at which button I was pressing first.
It seems that I was able to go much further than the 30 seconds max exposure with my previous mount.
Unguided I tested 30, 60, 120, 180 and 300 seconds exposure. They all looked OK except for the 5 minute one. To much! I settled for 2 minute exposures and there was minimal star trailing.
I shot into the north to the Iris Nebula and saw very little drift throughout the night. I didn't need to make corrections. With my previous alt az I regular had to reframe the target and of course it rotated.
What a joy it is to finally use an EQ mount - no rotation, better tracking, longer exposures.
That said I made a mistake by choosing to image the Cave Nebula with no filter and forgot to take darks!!!
I think the Cave Nebula must be an extremely dim target and the image was almost non existent perhaps with darks added and using a filter (optolong L Pro I have), should possibly work next time.
Tonight is clear again and I will try to image Bode's Nebula - is 2 minute exposures a good idea?
This way I can compare to my previous attempts with 30s.
The mount is looking good!
FYI I am in Bortle 5 skies, and my mount has approx. 10 lbs on it, max. payload for the CEM 26 is 26 lbs.
Clear skies everyone!