in which I expressed the hope to be testing the Altair Astro 2” Quad Band
My first mistake was to violate my customary practice of setting up in daylight. The plan was to use the TS 102 ED f11 with the new Apertura
the CG5 mount, along with the Altair Astro 2” Quad Band
The floodlights weren’t on! So, I started setup at 9pm. The first glitch was that the hand controller for the CG5 was nowhere to be found. Last use was at a friend’s place. (Emails confirm its discovery and eventual return, so a temporary inconvenience.)
The Porta II mount should be able to carry the refractor. I set it up. Loaded as it was with the frac, finder, filter and binoviewer, balance was tricky but a success. I could not reach focus. At this point I am starting to miss my Baader Mark V binoviewer and regret selling it. Nevertheless, never having trouble with binoviewers on CATs I decided to switch to the VMC100L on the Orion Star Seeker III and move on to Plan B.
That failed too. It turns out that my complaint about the Celestron battery failing was unjustified. The connections to the SSIII mount are shorting out on both the power and hand controller side. Looks like I’m in the market for an altazimuth mount that is
By this time, it was 10pm and my neighbor with the floodlights appeared at his back door complete with an evil grin and turned on the floods. At that point I noticed that he had trimmed back his trees in a way that the shade from his floods was minimized.
Plan C. Quad band filter off, tri band filter on. VMC110L on the Porta II. The binoviewer would not come to focus.
It was time for plan D. Off with the binoviewer. Back with the Vixen diagonal and the Baader Mark IV zoom for enjoyable viewing of Jupiter and Saturn. Seeing was comparable to the previous report with maximum magnification at about 10mm equivalent. Being able to dial in the maximum magnification for seeing conditions was very convenient and I think that the Baader Mark IV zooms may actually outperform my pseudo Masuyama collection. Some details for this hypothesis follow.
I could make out Titan, Dione, Rhea and Tethys at Saturn and the rings were crisper with the shadow of Saturn more distinct across the rings. No Cassini division though.
At Jupiter definition of the belts was better than last time and with Io to one side and Calisto, Europa, and Ganymede to the opposite side in increasing distance order the Galilean satellites were all on good behavior.
Having at last achieved some success I decided to pack it in. I like to always end a session on a positive note.