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Found 1 result

  1. After a long wait (ordered on May, received it on August) I finally received my new baby The scope is the Sumerian Optics Alkaid, 12 inches version (300mm). http://www.sumerianoptics.com/products-price/ It was ordered from Teleskop Express (DE) It's a bit expensive for a dobsonian telescope, but I was really looking into something very portable. The "fold into a hand-luggage compliant suitcase" feature is really amazing. Not many airline companies do actually allow so much weight (16 KG), but still you can find a few, and I'm gonna see what happens on my next trip in Italy in a couple of days. I haven't yet used it a lot, due to weather, moon, and laziness but these are my first impressions: Unboxing The scope was very well packaged, it was a mess to cleanup the house with all that foam peanuts This of course is all very nice for transport, what was less nice is that all this, and the protective cotton over the mirrors, did create a lot of dust and filaments all over the mirrors. Nothing serious, cleaned most of it with a little air pump, but they might think of a different protection layer for the mirrors. Assembling The first time you read through the provided manual, get it wrong on a few steps, but overall instructions are clear enough, and most of the pieces can be mounted in one way only, so it's quite straightforward. Mounting the suitcase back requires some attention too, but there are instructions for this as well, so it's easy. After doing it a couple of times, you can really assemble and disassemble the whole thing in a matter of 5/10 minutes. Collimation This is where I'm still having some problems. Some of them due to the scope it self, but some might also be because of my inexperience with it, and with the Cheshire tool (I was previously using laser collimators on smaller newtonians). The secondary collimation is quite straightforward. I'm still having some minor issues in aligning it to the focuser, but with more experience it should get better. The primary is what troubles me most. Both the secondary and the primary use a two screws system. The third one is fixed, and you should align it by moving the other two. This in theory should work, but it seems that the two screws don't have enough run to compensate for major misalignments. Also, the screws movement is quite irregular, and after a few tries, one of them became very very hard to move. I will try again using some grease, otherwise I might think of replacing them with some plain old allen keys. Movements and stability Movements seem to be quite smooth. The scope is also provided with a shock cord "counterweight" system for balancing heavier eyepieces. I don't have any (yet), but I'm planning to buy a 1KG ep with a big FOV, so I tested balancing with a 1KG counterweight attached to the focuser, and it seems to hold on quite well. I also bought a third shock cord in addition to the two provided, just in case I need more traction. Red dot finderscope Mixed feelings with this: it certainly looks nice, and it also has a green setting (for daily usage/bright objects I guess?). But to align it you need an allen key (included), which feels a bit uncomfortable, and the window doesn't seem clear enough, blocking too much light, so it's a bit difficult to point at faint objects/stars. The finderscope is also too close to the tube, so it's not very comfortable. I will have a few more runs, and then decide if I want to replace it with a different one (I have a Celestron Starpointer Pro, which I have used with quite some satisfaction). Light shroud There is a little shroud provided, but honestly I haven't even tried it, I really didn't like the idea of an open truss. Instead, I sewed a full length shroud using some lycra cloth. I added some magnets to the top and bottom of the telescope, in order to keep the shroud in place. First light I had a quite unlucky first light, actually. There was too much dew, and the moon rose slightly after 11 pm. I just made it to view a couple of objects (easly resolved polaris b, the ring nebula), but the eyepieces got quickly covered with dew. In a way that was also useful though, since I both tested that my light shroud protected quite well the primary mirror (no sign of dew in there), and the built in anti-dew of the secondary, that in 5 minutes cleared it out. Overall impressions I still have to familiarise with it, particularly with the collimation, but I am really satisfied with this setup. The portability side is quite amazing, I could put it in the back of a quite small car, with lots of room to spare! I'm looking forward to a few more detailed tests over the next few weeks, in a fairly darker spot. I'm a bit worried about the airplane trip, but we'll see about that...
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