The Clear Sky Chart predicted no clouds, poor transparency, and wind (17-28 mph). As usual for my location, it was about right. I shot M81 anyway, but between the wind and the poor transparency it wasn’t much good. I don’t know whether my old Tak NJP would have done any better, but I suspect it might have. Had to throw away several frames; it’s been a long time since I did that. The Astrotech 12″ RC is a pretty big sail in my rolloff. Would have been OK in a dome, I guess. I see that Astrotech is going to bring out truss tube versions of their 10″, 12″, and 16″ RC models next year. Something to ponder!
Bigger version of that image here: http://www.cloudynights.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=27582&size=big
I saw a photo today of a more recently received LX850 mount and they have made a couple of small changes. The new mounts have a compass mounted to the base, and the elevation axis is not blue. I’ll be selling this one off next year or the year after that and now it’ll be the “old model”, which won’t help. Bummer.
I haven’t given up; that post may have been written in a more pessimistic tone than I intended! Sadly, I’m stalled by weather as usual. I’ll use it some more when I have sky and will continue to report results and impressions. So far I feel pretty good about the mount.
I hope your “Second light” is not your last light on Evaluating Meade LX850. I have been following your site with plan to buy LX850 someday. Unless you gave up on this project, please let us know anything else is new. Thanks.