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12" LX200 GPS Mini Review

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Posted by Robert Koenig on March 4, 2002 20:26:36 UTC

I finaly received my 12" GPS scope last Tuesday, and Awsome best describes it.

My girl friend came over to my home while I was gone, and saw it. She said she was almost scared of it. Very large in an I mean business kind of way.

I built a custom dolly for it, and moved it out on my deck Friday evening. I let it cool down as the temp dropped. This was the first real viewing I had done so far. When it got good and dark out, I turned it on, and it set itself up. That takes about five minutes. Once you turn it on, you only have to push a button twice. Once to acknowledge the sun warning, and once to select the setup method. There are three or four methods. The first time I did the setup, and it asked me to center the first alignment star, it was a bit off. Still in the view of the 26mm EP, but to one side and down. I centered it, and it went to the second star. Same thing. Centered it and it then stopped. I did a goto to Jupiter, and there it was almost clear as a bell, but just off center. I used the electric focuser and it became quite sharp. Jupiters moons stood out very well. I then went to the Orion Nebula. It was a hair off center too. Then Saturn. My girl friend at first couldn't see Saturn, but when she saw it, she got all excited. Aparently she has taken Astronomy in college, but never saw Saturn through a telescope, only pictures. I need to get some lower mm EP's to bring these planets in closer though. The 26mm plossle works good, but I want to see clear as a bell the giant red spot.

My opinion of this scope is: I would reccommend it to anyone. I'm very glad I spent the extra dough and got the 12". I almost got the 10". Everything worked 99% perfectly, except the guide star centering, but thats to be expected, plus I had it on my deck, and as I walk around the scope there is movement in the joist members, though my deck is at 7000' ASL, so is built for 300 lbs per square foot Impact snow loading. Not too much give.

While waiting for the scope, I found a great deal on a Meade Pictor 416XT CCD Autoguider/Imager. I need to get a long RS232 cable (about 60') so I can do all this stuff from the warmth of my office. I have a laptop, though, and will probably hook it to that in the mean time. I know very little about CCD imaging, but got to do it to learn it.

Robert Koenig
Lake Tahoe CA

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