The observatory PC was down so I couldn’t operate any cameras – thus, no tracking error could be quantified. I did use the assisted polar alignment. Couldn’t start with PolarAlignMax as usual because of the PC so I just plopped it down and let the mount sort it out. That took longer than it would have if I had started a little closer to correct alignment, but it got me there. You can tell how far off you are by how long it watches the drift. When I started it was using periods of 20 seconds but by the time I was done it took 90 seconds or more to see enough drift to decide what to do. I really like the whole “turn knob .5 turns CW” bit! Both adjustments are very smooth and precise; I believe they are both worm drives. I’ll refine it later but it should be close enough now for reliable goto. I did a star alignment or two, just looking in the finderscope, and that seemed to work. I had the impression from reading the manual that the mount could do the alignment itself using the widefield Starlock camera but I didn’t figure out how to tell it to do that. I did observe the Starlock tracking camera going active and reporting tracking corrections so that appears to be working. That’s the camera it uses for drift, also. I don’t think I’ve done anything that used the widefield camera yet. I’ll turn on HPP next time I use the mount and see if that invokes the automatic object centering.
It seems nice and quiet now. I suppose it’s a combination of getting used to it, the gears wearing in a bit, and having it somewhere near balance. It’s nice (though not important) that it slews faster than the NJP.
I did get the PC running yesterday and installed the software from one of the disks. It came with three, for some reason, but the first one I grabbed seemed to have everything on it and until I check I’ll presume that they are all dupes. Don’t forget the drivers for the included serial-USB converter. I thought it was nice that they included that device, which presumably has been tested and found to be compatible with the controller. I’ve never had issues with serial-USB adaptors but have heard enough stories to know that it CAN be a problem.
Further testing under the stars will be arranged as time and weather permit. I’m eager to see some tracking results, and some test images!
They must have goofed when they packed the OTA; no clouds. Should be clear all weekend so there should be reports on both the OTA and the mount appearing here VERY soon!
The other part of this awesome setup, the 14″ LX850 OTA has arrived today! Stay tuned!