My new scope arrived this monday 🙂
Why the 20″ f4 Obsession ?
I decided to go big, as a final cure for aperture fever, I’m cured.
This scope is as big as I can go, given the space I have for storage, the car I have (Vauxhall Zafira) and the muscles I have in my arms. It will just fit through my side garage door.
Between the f4 and f5, I plumped for the f4 to reduce the time spent on a ladder. This works well, I can collimate and operate argo navis standing on the ground. The f5 is less fussy about collimaton, and gives slightly better contrst, but the ladder issue swung it for me
The scope took around 2-3 months to be delivered, I paid for it using a foward currency contract to lock in the exchange rate, so I wouldnt get hit with an unexpected suprise, to UK readers, I’d recommend “World first”, their process was very simple and they were very helpful.
Once ready to ship, I was able to track the package from door to door, and even (sad) watched the flight take off and land using FlightRadar24.com
The scope arrived in 6 boxes, totalling 120KG and 1.2 cubic meters. It was well packaged (id heard this before on reviews), and there was no damage to report.
Throughout the process David Kreige was helpful and responsive, he even threw in a couple of T-shirts 🙂
Set up was quite easy. I needed to attach the side bearings to the mirror box, place the mirror box onto the rocker and attach the Altitude encoder arm.
I fitted the primary mirror (catseye hotspot was added easilly thanks to an etched centre mark on the mirror) and the sling was setup . Next was the secondary housing, whcih required me to attach the dew heater to the back of the glass and then install the mirror in the secondary housing. All very easy.
I fitted a fan controller and put my 8Ah Tracer battery in the rocker box, that will eventually power the whole scope, but for now i just needed to equilibreate the mirror.
My location was urban with streetlights in plain view, which isnt typical, but good enough for an inital quick see. I didnt even fit the light shroud, and forgot in my excitement about my dictaphone, so my notes are from memory.
Before first light, I had to set up my argo navis, this came out of the box ready to go (even had batteries !), the only thing I needed to do was set the ALT REF angle (this might have been optional), and fix the AZ encoder resolution from +10000 to -10000, as the AZ angle was going anticlockwise instead of clockwise, thanks to JonStarrySky for assisting with that. Alignment was then easy, I lined up Vega and Altair. job done !!
Id decided on M13 as my first DSO, partly due to its position, but also the conditions were not ideal for faint (less faint now) fuzzies …. WOW thats all I can say and it wasnt even properly dark. I revisted M13 many more times in the night.
I went for the double double, easy split even in my lowest power EP 🙂
I tried out the Tour function in Argo, finding Globulars, all very easy and pleasing on the eye. I mostly stuck with familiar, easy object. One added bonus, we observed Neptune low in the south through the “murk”
The stiction on the bearings is silky smooth and an absolute dream to work with …
The Ring nebula M57 surpassed expectations given the light pollution etc I was dealing with. Im certain in better conditions I will see the central star, I kidded myself there was a faint hint of it 😀
My neigbour walked over to see the beast and I repeated many objects and left him suitably WOWed out
In summary then, I’m a happy bunny, the scope is a dream to setup and use, ArgoNavis was easy to setup. Cant wait for a proper session