Saturday, June 05, 2010

First Light of iOptron Cube

This is the first time that my Cube is pointing to the sky.

And I've mounted the scope on the other side of the official dovetail via the hack which I've just done last night. And the devil is in the detail, the black knob cannot be engaged since the newly added mounting screw has a head which is too big! There, I've looked around my home to find a suitable "washer" to offset that, here I found a very nice plastic ring.

A picture tells a thousand words. Since my small ball head is just too small to mount my Ranger, I've mounted my Manfrotto 410 head there. It is strong but it's heavy as well. Therefore, I've to extend my tripod so that the whole thing will not tip over.

It works perfectly. Slewing is smooth and the scope was extended farther out, it reaches a lot of sky outside! However, it's a little bit late and so the sun was sinking low close to the newly constructed building, bad... the seeing becomes very poor therefore. Tracking is smooth and the sun keeps in its place virtually during I take my snapshots. Focusing will induce vibration but I'm using a NGF-CM and thus it's not a problem at all.

Since this is not the official side, I believe it could be better on the official side? Anyway, here's the result:

20100605 1518 (GMT+8), this does not come out as good as before, but I guess it's more like a problem of the sky condition rather than the mount or the tracking performance. Cloud keep moving around and seeing was extremely bad.

Therefore, I've to try more to know.

The 410 head is close the 3lb alone, plus the Ranger, the solarmax and the camera, the whole thing is more than 7lb but the performance of the Cube is good enough, I'd say... it's an excellent portable and economical mount indeed.

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