Oh my ... I feel like a segment from an old news program in St. Louis..."You paid for it!". What a beautiful scope. During my unboxing it was storming like crazy, so no first light tonight. Par for the course with big telescope deliveries.
The stock focuser seems pretty good and the MEF3 works much better than I expected. I don't see a need to upgrade the focuser at this point. I did try to adjust it, but with a heavy eyepiece it was probably where it should be. Let me know if you have an idea for the use of the two extension tubes. As far as I can tell they will not be needed for visual with either diagonal. They don't seem to want to thread together easily, but one of them does work when attached by itself. I didn't want to try and force them to play with each other. Those don't appear to be part of the fit guide so must be an alternative extension setup?
I really like the function of the tube rings. Makes it easy to get the tube in and out. My plan is to set the rings and dovetail in the saddle and then plop the tube in there. That worked very well and will ensure I don't make any mistakes inserting the dovetail (which can happen if not careful). While I do wish they were a more subtle color, I don't mind the look. But for this situation, I rather have a very solid connection and they seem extremely well made as well as the dovetail which is awesome. I even was able to install 4 safety screws, 2 on each side. Why both sides? This puppy is front heavy and I could see it swinging downward if not careful. Not a likely scenario, but when you have a scope like this you don't want to take any chances.
Because it has a sliding dew shield, it actually fit in the case I use for the 103s (more easily than the 103s).
It feels like a heavy scope and I suppose it kind of is. I didn't weigh anything yet, but just holding the OTA you can tell it's a bit heavier than normal. Similar to my 150mm F5 which probably weighs about the same. And similarly front heavy, but certainly not bad and easily balanced with the rings.
Takahashi America is pretty darn good, and man. That triple boxing is killer. Honestly the box felt like there was a scope and mount in it! Of course that would have been nice. Even putting the box in the attic empty I was surprised how heavy it is.
I think I have decided to keep the 103s as I can see using it in situations such as if it's really cold out, going to a star get together where I don't want to have such an expensive scope (I have not been to one of these in 5 years), or situations where I want to setup something more lightweight (the 103s is the max for my Vixen AP mount, and that mount is awesome grab and go EQ mount).
Open boxing below. I didn't see many of these on here so thought it would be a nice treat for you guys
Edited by GOLGO13, 22 September 2021 - 09:18 PM.