(I'm not a total noob, I have been imaging with my Z61 refractor for ~8 months now)
I just came in to possession of what seems to be a fairly new iOptron RC6. Purchased from an older gentleman who had recently given up hauling around his 12" dob. He tried the RC6 but fairly quickly decided it was not the visual scope he was looking for and put it up for sale. It arrived at my house in seemingly excellent shape with still a hint of new-telescope smell, even.
1. - Just a bit about collimation: Having read most of the collimation nightmare stories and waded through many posts about potential procedures and gadgets, I was convinced to wait and look at stars before loading up on gadgets to try any indoor collimation. I am totally a novice at looking at defocused stars, but I think it actually looked pretty good (yeah! if true). I used Vega (probably more like a 2nd mag star last night thanks to haze and smoke) and a 9mm plossel eyepiece. After finding focus (all of the extensions) all I really knew to do was center the star, defocus inward and see what it looked like. Despite fully expecting to see ovals, the black center looked quite respectably centered in respectably round diffractions. On the downside, it was very inconvenient and uncomfortable to do this - basically laying on the driveway propped partway up on an elbow and twisting my neck to get at the eyepiece. Next clear-ish evening I can try with the tripod slightly less extended to see if I can reduce the "propping partway up" part to be able to have more time with my head held still.
Is there more I should be checking visually? Or just wait until I can hook up a camera?
2. - Stuff I need to hook up a camera: Obviously a 2" compression to M42 (M48?) adapter. Will that be called a prime focus adapter? I always used the refractor with the screw-on flattener, so I don't own a suitable adapter to get from the compression fitting to the camera. With no reducer, I will expect to find focus with fewer extension tubes, rather than more? For actual AP I will purchase a CCDT67.
3. - Guiding. I am well aware that my CEM25P might not be up to the task, but there's only one way to find out. I have spent a fair bit of effort tuning the mount and consistently achieve at or better than 0.75" RMS guiding, but the only way to know if it is capable of sub-arcsecond guiding with the RC6 is to try it.
Plan is to buy an OAG. I would be happy to move to guiding the refractor with an OAG anyway, even if it's not necessary. Balancing the clunky 50mm guidescope has always been a challenge. Is there a reason to go with one OAG vs another (Orion TOAG / ZWO / QHY)? I will be needing 85-ish mm backfocus from the reducer, so I don't think width of an OAG will be a limiting factor.
I know the 120mini is not the best guide camera for an OAG, but I have it and might as well use it unless it proves to be inadequate. It seems a fair number of people get by with a 120mini for at least a while.
*IF* this all actually works, I will strongly consider buying a Moonlite focuser, but that can wait. I'm not in a huge hurry and will continue imaging with the refractor.
4. - Yes, I know a 183 is the wrong sensor for even a reduced RC6, but I'm not going to worry about swapping cameras until I determine that I can or cannot reasonably guide the RC6.
Hopefully I can learn something from asking these questions - I'm all ears.