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There's a Monster in my living room


Ad Astra
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Hi Folks,

Weather is still cruddy, but I couldn't stand it. I set up the CGE Pro and mounted and balanced the Apomax Refractor in the living room. We have a loft above, so the ceiling is higher in the entry of the house - anywhere else in the house and Mr. Apomax bumps his head. :)

Motors and hand control work perfectly, and everything feels absolutely rock solid. The CGE Pro with the 16-inch dovetail bar and rings from the nice folks at Parallax Instruments hold this big 'frac without any problems. Unlike with the G-11 and the CGEM mounts, there is no wobble or slop at the end of a slewing run. Speed is about 5-deg/sec, that's fine by me - the motors seem quiet and smooth. No idea on tracking, of course. Need to see the clouds go away for that.

Portability is a sick joke with this thing. Yes, you can.... and yes, if you don't lift properly, you will hurt yourself. This is really a two man rig. I can easily imagine that the mass could get away from you, and if you were to drop something like that onto your foot far away out in the dark.... brrrrr! I don't even want to think about it! :D

Mrs. Astra made me take it right back down and put it away, as we have guests coming over for dinner. If the skies were clear - there would be one less place at the table! :)

Dan

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Oh wow.

That's just huge !!

Would love a house big enough to have it in !!

That's rather what Mrs. Astra said when she saw it assembled...

"You're not even thinking about keeping that in the doorway, are you?"

No, Dear.... taking a few photos for friends and putting my toys away.... :D

Oh yeah... This --> :) Never comes off my face.

Dan

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Now that is nice. Love that refractor.

I have the old CGE and its definately a beast as far as weight is concerned, not exactly grab and go are they:D

Philj

Not a bit of it. The JMI dolly will be the normal setup mode for this bad boy. It is very study and this fellow will simply float along on six, 10-inch pneumatic wheels! :D Our normal procedure is to move the cars out of the drive, then open the garage and roll the mount out onto the observing patio, and rough align the scope, then mount the tube. No lifting, no straining.

A Scottish friend saw me mount it and said it looked rather like 'tossing the kaber' -- I told him to bite his tongue! :)

Dan

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A Scottish friend saw me mount it and said it looked rather like 'tossing the kaber' -- I told him to bite his tongue! :)
Ya dinnay waant to be tossing that kaber, pawel! :)

Increadable setup!! Would give my right arm to have a peep through one of those! :D

Thanks for sharing and hope the weather clears soon!

We will be expecting a first light report! :)

Michael

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I bet the next night the cops fly over they'll get a scare :D

Hi Roger,

I wouldn't doubt I'll have a 'drive by' visit from the local Sheriff the first night out! The only trouble then is when he wants to bring all his pals over next time.... :)

Dan

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Very nice indeed! Can I come over as a house guest? Mrs. Astra won't have to feed me anything since I'll be happy just to have a few glimpses. Don't hurt your back!

Isabelle

:D Star Party in RivCo!

About the back, seriously, this is a two man show. I have it on the wheeled dolly to make sure I don't suffer and hurt something! Once it is set up, I don't plan on disassembling it - just removing and remounting the OTA. Otherwise, it will stay completely assembled and roll away into the garage between sessions. Total time to roll out and set up should be less than 10 minutes. Precision alignments for astrophotography in about 30 minutes or less, after a bit of practice, I should think.

I'm gonna take it slow and study the manual - I've got plenty of time to master this thing, and I'm sure not going to mess it up by hurrying!

Dan

Dan

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