OK, Meade, I’m ready for a look at the new mount! No ship date yet, though I was told to expect shipment by the end of the month and that sounds likely. It’s been a very long time since I ordered a not-yet-shipping product and had to wait. Previous examples include the 14″ LX200GPS (pre-ordered the day it was announced) and the CGE (pre-ordered shortly after it was announced). In those cases, of course, the wait was many months but that which arrived worked perfectly and was worth the patience. In this case, with product definitely being shipped, the delay should be much less. I’m more concerned about how well it will work. I plan to run it through its paces and derive a pretty solid picture of its performance. I’ve lost count of the EQ mounts that have been in my observatory, but there have been enough to give me a good idea of what to look for.
It’s an odd choice for me to make in a mount, I know. I’ve used and enjoyed three Takahashi mounts so it will have to be pretty good if I am to be satisfied. The most distinctive features are of very limited value to me as I already do plate solves for precise positioning and use an off-axis guider. Starlock won’t give me any new capabilities and any assistance in star alignment won’t matter because I pretty much never re-align. I’m more intrigued by the things folks aren’t talking about, such as the home switches and the internal cable run. The most significant feature to me is that is new and different. I’ve always enjoyed an opportunity to test and report on a new item that most folks haven’t seen yet.
I’m also waiting for the date I start telling folks about the decision to acquire this mount and about this blog. With nothing to report, it seems that it is now too early. My ideal would be to wait until I can post photos of the mount as installed in Urban Observatory but I probably don’t have that much patience. I’ll more likely wait until there are a significant number of folks reporting on the receipt and testing (whether successful or unsuccessful) of their LX800 replacements. That way there’ll be something for folks to talk about besides telling me how silly I am to take a chance on this mount after the initial rollout failure. Once I announce the decision on Cloudy Nights I’ll add a link to this blog in my sigline and that should lead interested folks here.