#43477 Mar 23, 2014
I took out my 1100 GTO for the first time at a public event for a special Mars viewing at the Van Vleck Observatory last night. It was a last minute decision to pack it as we were using the 20" Alvan Clark. Mars would only be at 18 degrees by 10 pm and I knew it would be hard to reach the eyepiece for that 24.5" long scope for the first hour or so. I had a 152 mm achromatic mounted on It with a Celestron universal dovetail which worked out marvelously in the LM162 saddle by the way. No one was quite sure if it would or not given the warnings online about some Celestron dovetails not working in AP saddles. This is one of the black ones with many holes not the orange one. What did take me by surprise was the number of screws and set screws that blocked the holes for the RAPAS. Got all the little buggers out and it aligned perfectly. After the first RCal on Rigel GoTo's were dead on for a 14 mm Radian and often a 8 mm Radian and Delos EP's. With 30 people coming out for a 10 pm to midnight viewing I didn't pack out of their until after 2 AM.
Wonderful mount! Great precision and an absolute pleasure to use. Now if I could just get a decent case for the head instead of using the shipping boxes it came with I would be a very happy camper. Yes I know I have had had a lot of suggestions but still haven't decided on two cases or one. The extra time to setup the halves versus the lifting weight of the two together have stopped that decision making process so far.