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Re: First light with my new SV115/M6

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  • stellarvue1
    Thanks for a great first light post. We had three completed this last week and we have many more going through production now. I hope to have some more heading
    Message 1 of 11 , Mar 1, 2005
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      Thanks for a great first light post. We had three completed this
      last week and we have many more going through production now. I hope
      to have some more heading out by the end of next week.

      I completely understand what you mean about the perfromance on
      Saturn with the 115. We had the same experience at WSP.

      Don't sell the 115 short. We will do a shootout at JT if the weather
      is good and people will then have many opinions on which to base a
      decision.

      Should be loads of fun.

      Vic Maris



      --- In Stellarvue@yahoogroups.com, "Troy L." <troy@s...> wrote:
      >
      > I picked up my spanking new SV115 from Vic over the weekend!
      After
      > owning a Nighthawk, it was no surprise to me that the 115 is built
      > like a (highly refined) tank. I got mine in Stellarblue, and it
      is
      > stunning. I know this because I sat and stared at it for a couple
      of
      > days while the weather was crummy. Note to Jim S. - I put the M6
      on
      > my *original* Stablelock tripod to ensure sturdy and solid
      > support. ;-)
      >
      > I did a test run in the family room the first night when it was
      > raining outside. I hoped that I would then be able to assemble
      > everything in my (mostly) dark back yard when the time came.
      Well,
      > the time came sooner than I expected! Monday night was clear as a
      > bell, and the 115 collected dust in the family room no more.
      >
      > I carried the M6/stablelock, the counter weights, my stool, a few
      > eyepieces, and lastly the 115 out to my backyard around 8:30.
      After
      > about 15 minutes of messing around with adjusting tripod legs and
      > checking the balance with various eyepieces, I started to relax a
      > little… yup, paranoid that I'd do something stupid and dump
      > it the
      > first night out.
      >
      > Okay, so what to look at first? I pointed at the Pleiades and put
      in
      > the 30mm Superview to take in a big chunk of sky. Wow, Vic is
      right
      > about the contrast thing. The sisters and their relatives were
      pin
      > points of light on a black velvet background. They always seemed
      to
      > have a slight bluish cast in my Nighthawk, but the 115 showed
      crisp,
      > white stars on black.
      >
      > The scope was still adapting to the cool (mid-40's) temp, so I
      > was
      > refocusing quite a bit at this point. Of course, playing with the
      FT
      > 2-speed was almost as fun as looking through the eyepiece.
      >
      > I then moved on to the Orion Nebula- what the heck, it was above
      the
      > trees now. I put in my 13mm Nagler and glided on over. Again,
      the
      > trapezium stars were beautiful pinpoints of light, with the nebula
      > flowing around them. Quite a sight… I sat there and tracked it
      > for
      > 10-15 minutes, enjoying the detail I had never seen before.
      >
      > I took a peek at Betelgeuse, just to see something with a little
      > different color. Another wow- it was like a flame-orange dot
      > surrounded by total darkness. Okay, not a great moment in
      > astronomical observations, but I'm just experiencing the move
      > from a
      > very good achromat to a great apo. These subtle things are very
      cool
      > to me.
      >
      > Saturn was pretty much straight overhead, so of course I had to
      > eventually get there. I left in the 13mm and pointed almost
      > vertical. Another wow moment- The Cassini division jumped out at
      me,
      > and I could see bands of color on the planet itself. I then went
      to
      > the 5mm Tak to get even more up close and personal with it. This
      is
      > where I really noticed the jump I had made from an 80 mm objective
      to
      > a 115mm. The image was amazingly bright and crisp for 161x. The
      M6
      > was holding steady and I could easily nudge it along to keep up.
      >
      > At this point the eyes were getting a little tired, and my
      contacts
      > were telling me it was time to pack it in. Just as I was about to
      > pull the scope off the mount, my wife walked out the back door.
      Well
      > okay, maybe the contacts can wait just a few more minutes. :-)
      > I showed her the Pleiades- "Neat." I showed her the Orion
      > Nebula-
      > "Hey, that looks very nice." (drum roll please) I then
      > showed her
      > Saturn with the 5mm- "Holy sh*t!! That's amazing!"
      > `Nuff said.
      >
      > It was a great couple of hours, but also a totally new and
      different
      > experience from my Nighthawk/JMI focuser/M4 mount:
      > It definitely took me more trips to the backyard to get setup.
      > The Nighthawk won't be going away any time soon- need it
      > for those quick looks.
      > It took a little longer to acclimate to the cool 45ish temp
      > The M6 mount is very smooth and points easily, but after
      > using the M4 for quite a while now, it took me a bit to
      > adapt to the alt-az movement. I'm sure the
      > "intuitive" up/down-left/right motion will be just
      > that for me very quickly.
      > The JMI focuser on my Hawk is nice, but this FT 2-speed is
      > awesome! What might have been "close enough" with
      > the JMI on the Hawk, I could easily improve on with
      > the Feather Touch fine focus knob.
      >
      > I was too excited to take notes, so sorry for the lack of detailed
      > descriptions. I can see that I will have to start an observing
      log
      > to capture the "wow" moments as I experience them. More
      > observations to come, as weather permits.
      >
      > As Vic said, I'll be taking the new beast to JT in a couple of
      > weeks. Now that I've had a taste of it in my light-polluted
      > backyard, I can hardly wait to get it to a truly dark site! I
      sure
      > hope that Southwest doesn't give me any trouble with the full
      > dimension carry on. I'd hate to have to buckle the SV115 into
      > the seat and have them put me in the baggage compartment.
      Although,
      > the trip is only an hour or so long… :-)
      >
      > CDS,
      > Troy
    • Tony Heyes
      Congratulations Troy! I knew you d dig it! My all time best views of Saturn were this year thru my 115. I m jealous, tho , being way out here in the Northeast
      Message 2 of 11 , Mar 2, 2005
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        Congratulations Troy!

        I knew you'd dig it! My all time best
        views of Saturn were this year thru
        my 115. I'm jealous, tho', being way
        out here in the Northeast I don't get
        to drive over and visit Vic! (he's got
        to be thankful about that!)

        Keep up the reports, it gets us past
        all the cloudy weather here in NH!

        Tony
      • davidf604
        I, too, would be interested in a NorCal SV gathering. Although officially I m not an SV er yet... but my 115 has to be coming real soon now ! And I like
        Message 3 of 11 , Mar 2, 2005
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          I, too, would be interested in a NorCal SV gathering. Although
          officially I'm not an SV'er yet... but my 115 has to be coming "real
          soon now"! And I like that idea of picking up the scope to foil the
          cloud gods.


          --- In Stellarvue@yahoogroups.com, "Troy L." <troy@s...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi Mark,
          >
          > Yup, we need to get serious about a NorCal get together. I'm
          > definitely motivated now! I have a couple of random thoughts, but
          > need to do some more research on locations. Let me know if you
          have
          > any thoughts on where we could go. Who knows? We might be able to
          > pull something off before the end of Summer. :-)
          >
          > Cheers,
          > Troy
          >
          >
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