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HEQ5 Skyscan Pro - First Light


Albireo380
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I finally got out about 10.45pm tonight and drove up to Glen Fruin (near Loch Lomond) with my HEQ5 + WO 80mm Megrez II.

The tripod is robust and well constructed, stable, but not too heavy. The mount sits on the tripod and swivels left-right on a couple of screws (for accurate polar alignment). I followed CCs instructions from a previous thread - tried to align the Plough & Cassiopea through the polar scope, then brought Polaris to where I thought it should be - difficult as I could hardly see the circle marking to align Polaris, against the dark sky. All seemed okay, but I had a nagging doubt I was doing something wrong. When I then tried a 2 star alignment (Algol and Arcturus) I seemed to be a degree or so out - hardly able to get the star into sight at all, Slewed to the moon and confirmed I was a degree out. This was no good.

So I thought for a while - perhaps the polar alignment scope reticule was illuminated when I powered up the mount. I hadn't powered up the mount until I had finished trying (badly) to polar align the first time. I started again, but powered up the mount before polar aligning - suddenly all was clear - it was easy. Two minutes later I was polar aligned and did a 2 star alignment to Arcturus and Altair - both in the FOV of a 30mm EP through the scope. Some minor adjustments to get them in the centre of the FOV using an 10mm EP and the alignment was successful.

I then slewed to Mizar / Alcor - sitting crisp in the centre of the 10mm EP. The double was split nicely. Then over to Jupiter (it was about midnight now and it was low in the sky). Very nice through the 10mm EP - 3 moons (Callisto, Ganymede and Io + 2 equatorial bands). Not bad . Spent 15 mins just looking - and being surprised I could see any detail on Jupiter at such a low magnification (x50).

Then slewed over to the Moon. Lovely sight, the Mare Imbrium was fully lit, with Plato sharp on the rim. Mare Serenetatis looked like a dark shell set amidst the lunar highlands. The crater Hercules showed lovely ramparts on the crater rim and the smaller Hercules "G" stood out crisply - all this at x50 magnification - I was pleased. An accurate mount and a nice scope.

I played about for a while, slewing form one star to another, all bang on in the FOV of a 10mm EP. It seems the mount is accurate.

By this time it was 1.10am and as it had been a long week, I packed up and drove home.

Happy my first polar alignment had worked - and even happier the HEQ5 performed.

Tom

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Hi Tom,

Nice report, I'm still getting to grips with my Skyscan its a nice feeling when you get resuts the first couple of times.

I've only tried the one star alignment so far, it seems to be fine over smaller stretches of sky but not with large slews. If I align on Vega then the GOTO on the Big Dipper objects will be out, its no big deal I just re-align on a nearby star.

Gaz

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Nice report. I'm glad that you make it first time. :D

I also find this mount accurate and I'm happy that i buy this mount. Normally I like to find objects myself but when I observe together with my wife I usually use Go-to because otherwise she fall asleep (I'm not sure if I spell this right :D).

Saso

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