Notes from the field. My rants raves and frothing at the mouth about this maddening and frustrating buy lovely hobby
Star party and first light with the C11
by, 06-17-2012 at 09:13 AM (709 Views)
Went to a star party tonight and had a really good time. It was also first light for the new C11.
The big problem I has was there were too many stars so alignment was harder! I found, per advice here, that if I looked for the brightest one then I should have been pretty good. The CGEM performed to spec and had the alignment stars in the RACI for the most part.
What was a big surprise was the view with the C11! I was absolutely blown away by the difference in light gathering and am very happy I decided to go with it. It was an outreach evening and I really enjoy that part of it. Especially when the kids come by. The look of amazement and wonder really is great. I set up on Bodes since everyone else was doing Saturn and then grabbed a photo of it on my phone so I could show them what that dime sized puff of smoke was. The other area I went to was M22. And again was amazed. It really puts things in perspective. The down side was the Messier marathon I was planning didn't come about.
The reason it didn't come about was two fold. One was the outreach work. Since everyone was doing Saturn I was a bit more popular because I had something different up and had one of the bigger OTA's there. The second was that I bumped the weight bar and had to do a realign followed by yanking the power cord out.
I use the Starizona power pack. And I highly recommend it. It 1/4 the weight of the Power Tank and provides 8 amp hours of power. However it doesn't have the screw in tip that works with the CGEM and if the handset cord gets in the wrong place as the mount slews then you are going to loose power. Pro Tip: A piece of medical or other tape over the plug keeps it from being pulled accidentally.
So after yanking the cord and with it being about 00:30 hours and facing a 45 minute drive home plus taking everything out of the car it was time to end.