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First Light.....at last


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Friday 16th finally saw First Light for the new Explorer 200 :toothy4:

Having had the day off on Friday, I spent a pleasant few hours setting everything up, checking collimation, balancing the scope etc. Had to download an alternate set of polar alignment instructions (first time for doing this!) and did what I could while I waited for dark. The power pack had also arrived from eBay and came with an adapter that fits the mount perfectly. So that sat charging while the above was happening. One thing I was not prepared for was the weight, both the scope and the mount. The little 114 I could pick up and move fully assembled no problem, but this is way different - took me a while to get used to this.

The wife reminded me that we were baby-sitting that night for friends, so it was around 11:30 by the time I actually got out to use the scope - but this was no problem as the sky was nice and clear and most of the neighbours had gone to bed, so was fairly dark too :)

And the wait was definitely worth it! The HEQ5 was rock solid, everything moved smoothly and I spent a happy 10 minutes just playing with the control pad and looking through the finder (which I swear was better than the 114!!!). Everything appeared much brighter and clearer then the 114 and there was certainly more to see with the extra resolving power. It was quite amazing - like looking at a different sky! I did a fair bit of sloshing around - getting used to the movement of the scope and the overall size ( It's huge! :) ) while waited for the War God to arrive. Managed to get a good look at him, and Orion as well before the clouds finally rolled in around 3am.

All in all, I am really pleased with the scope. I still have tons to learn about just using it, let alone imaging as well, but am really looking forward to getting no sleep whatsoever!!!!

My son, Andrew, definitely wants the 114, and I shall put a motor on for him and start teaching him how to use it. Will be nice to go out together :)

Thanks to everyone who pointed me in the Skywatcher direction - your expert opinions and advice are much appreciated :)


P.S. Pic to follow

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Knew that ypu'd like the 200/HEq5 combo. It's a great scope...

The finder on the 200 should be bigger than the finder on the 114 - although they will be interchangeable I think.

Glad you got out, you can look forward to the next few months of cloud now :)


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Glad you like the Explorer. Its great looking at nice sharp images through it although I still dont think I managed to get the collimation spot on. I really like using this scope but it can be a [removed word] to carry out of the garage and setup.....but its usually well worth the effort!

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No, it's not a problem Andy, just wasn't prepared for the difference.

On the lookout for some flightcases to reduce the number of trips out to the garden!

Glad to see you are feeling better, BTW :)


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