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  1. #1
    caheaton's Avatar
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    Talking GRS at last! Thanks XT10!



    Well, after years of trying (first as a kid with my 4.5" Newtonian and then as an adult with my ETX-80), I've finally observed the GRS on Jupiter (although it looked more like a whitish oval with a grey border, but I have trouble seeing color through scopes so that's not the XT10's fault ).

    It didn't help that my software (I just discovered after all this time) was making me look at the wrong times, but tonight (after confirming with an online source that it would be visible), there was no doubt. The spot was just past the meridian and quite obvious. As an experiment, I also observed side by side with the little ETX, but I could not see it through that scope (although under different conditions, I might have been able to. The ETX can do remarkable things under the right conditions). Anyway, after aligning my finder and Jupiter with the 26mm EP, I immediately jumped to the 6.4mm. At 188X the spot was clearly there, but not jump out at you there. I decided to experiment. I replaced the 6.4mm with my 3mm (400x). That was too blurry to be of use. I dropped down to a barlowed 6.4mm...better but still too much (376X). I expected those to be unusable, but no harm in trying! Next I went to a barlowed 9.7mm (247X)...that was just about perfect! The spot was very easy to see, but it did fade in and out with the seeing; I would have 2 or 3 moments of clear seeing as Jupiter drifted across the FOV. During those clear periods...all I could say was wow! Not only was the spot evident, but so was considerable detail on the edges of the belts. I've never seen Jupiter so clearly...the closest I'd ever come before was a barlowed 6.4mm in the little ETX (125x) on the best of nights. (And at 125X, it was tough to discern).

    I also took the opportunity to try out a few filters. In the ETX, the #56 green was my favorite. Surprisingly, it didn't do much for me in the XT10. I also tried a #21 orange and it too offered little (but I'm willing to bet it'll be great on Mars). The filter I liked best was the #82A pale blue. Interestingly, it's my lightest filter with about 87% transmission (if I remember correctly). I would have assumed that the greater light gathering power of the XT10 would have favored darker filters, but such was not the case. The 82A seemed to help bring out the "ring" around the spot more clearly then the other filters.

    After the spot had set, I decided to take the intelliscope for a brief spin. The other night, I was getting warp factors of around 22 to 35...not very good! I suspected a problem, so last night I took a closer look. I had two problems: first, the vertical stop wasn't quite vertical. After carefully leveling and adjusting, I was able to get it just about perfect (had to remove one of the thicker washers). Next, I noticed that the base was a bit too loose, so I tightened the nut a bit more then I did when first assembled (the nut was spinning with the base, so I guess it had worked loose). Because this made stiction pretty bad, I applied some silicon lube with a paper towel to the tops of the teflon pads before reassembling the base. (It's still stickier then I would I like, but bearable for now. You only really notice it when running high magnifications like I was doing tonight.).

    So...back to testing the intelliscope. Tonight I had a warp factor of 0.6, still a bit high but not bad, not bad at all (especially considering that I was on my driveway, which has a small slope). Even with a warp of 0.6, the scope had no problem guiding me to Uranus, Jupiter, M31, M33 and Vega. Very nice...I'm glad I purchased the "i" version of the XT10...this will help alot on nights (like tonight) when there is a lot of light pollution (all the houses around me had their porch lights on , plus a street lamp keeping me company. At least I had no problem seeing what I was doing without the need of a flashlight. )

    I think I'm going to like this scope, and it should compliment the little ETX quite well. The only thing I really missed was tracking...having to constantly move the scope (combined with the stiction) made tracking quite a chore...I guess one of these days I'll have to get a CAT for planetary work. (But I don't think I'll tell my wife that just yet...this is already my second scope purchase this year ).
    Craig

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to caheaton For This Useful Post:

    GrandPrixChris (11-09-2009),WWPierre (11-07-2009)

  3. #2
    ghswen's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the report Craig!

    Don'cha love it when everything comes together!
    Gordon
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  4. #3
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    Excellent! I've not seen the GRS myself. My current eyepieces will only get me to a max of about 170x. (Barlowed 15mm) The seeing has been terrible, and I think my mirrors are slightly out of alignment. Need some collimating equipment soon!
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  5. #4
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    caheaton said:
    warp factor of 0.6, still a bit high but not bad, not bad at all (especially considering that I was on my driveway, which has a small slope).
    The small slope of your driveway makes no difference in obtaining low warp factors with your Intelliscope controller. Once you accurately adjust your vertical stop following the proper procedure by making certain the base is perfectly level and the top of the tube is level when vertical, everything is good to go.

    The scope then recognizes that the tube is perpendcular to the base, regardless if it's on a slight slope. I think the manual mentions this.

    I often get warp factors of 0.3 and 0.2, even had a 0.0 once even though the manual says such warp factors are typically not achieveable.

    Hope this info helps.
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  6. #5
    caheaton's Avatar
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    I read that in the manual too, but for some reason the scope seems to just do better on level ground. However, the choice of stars seems to have a greater effect. The night I observed the GRS (warp 0.6), my star choices were Altair and Fomalhaut (not as far apart as I would have liked, but what I could do given proximity to the house, etc.).

    Last night I took it out for it's first real test (park in green zone skies) and aligned it a couple times in the night. First time on Capella and Vega gave a Warp of 0.1, later I had another 0.6 after choosing Aldebaron and Capella. Even with a warp of .6, the scope got my targets within on just on the edge of the FOV, so I was happy!
    Craig

  7. #6
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    Congratulations! I remember my first view of the GRS last year about a month after I got my scope (October). I still get a thrill evening looking at the shadows of the moons on Jupiter's clouds. What goofed me up at first about the GRS is that I was concentrating so much on the lower part of my view of Jupiter instead of the slightly upper part since dobsonian reflectors have upside down images.
    Chris

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  8. #7
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    Thats awesome craig ...I have yet to see the GRS , although i have seen the planet many times with great views ...
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