Monday, July 27, 2009
Back in business...sort of.
I wouldn't call it clear by any stretch. Poor transparency and poor seeing. Lots of twinkling up there, but hey, it's clear enough for me to do what I need to do.
You would think there was a lot on the line here, but really, there is not. No matter how you slice there was no way I would have gotten rid of the old Refractor if it completely failed the test. But what was on the line was the matter of it being surplus and confined to the odd night here and there. Essentially to retire with dignity and stay in storage while the other two get all the fun. Not a nice scenario.
...Jim, the Enterprise is twenty years old, we feel her day is over...
Not so fast Admiral Morrow. First, it's not called Enterprise, and secondly, it isn't over and here's why.
Got the SP-C102 set up late as usual and mostly in the dark. However, it was hoisted onto the SP mount with the steel legs for the first time. It has not yet been on the steel legs as of yet. First thing was to look at any star. Sadr was my choice, not too bright, but not to faint. Result? Apart from crummy seeing...COLLIMATED!. The star test revealed the out of focus image on both sides is spot on. Seeing interfered a bit, but the end result was EXACTLY what I wanted.
But, if you're going to play with the other kids, you're gonna have to do better than that. Swung over to Alpha Hercules just to see what a double star was going to do that was slightly more challenging than say, Albireo. Again spot on with perfect concentric rings, albeit seeing again being a challenge. Then it struck me...no not the OTA although that would have been enlightening. It's performing better than ever before. Better than when I first got it. What does that say?
Struve time. Again, you want to play with the other kids, you better be a Struve hunter because that's the in thing right now on this blog. Struve 2668 proved to be easier to find, go figure as it took me forever last time. Not a problem. The old Refractor showed it as a nice tight double with contrasting colours and very nicely control of the glare of the primary. Struve hunter? Well one down, many more to go. But it looks like we are capable here.
Double Double: Probably the best I have seen it ever in the SP-C102, sharper than the Pronto which says a lot about how good the collimation is now. No trouble here.
Albireo: With K out now with me, she wanted to look at a pretty double and Albireo, dedicated to both of us, was very nice indeed, but wasn't used as a test.
End result: I would say that this is a tremendous improvement over what was happening and has given a reprieve so to speak for the old Refractor which is great because it's always been there. The OTA is looking beat up but this test green lights any major overhaul to the tube in the future.
So does that make the other two surplus? Well not the Pronto....