“A Thing of Beauty!”

In earlier blogs I outlined the continuing saga of the 11″ CPC. Through all the struggles I have experienced with this telescope my new name for it is “Leviathan.” The name is especially fitting considering that the amount of work it took to move a scope of this size before receiving the Celestron CPC Wedge. Some reading this blog will have even larger telescopes than I but for me the 11″ is truly Leviathan.Recently the wedge that I ordered from High Point Scientific came in. My first thought was “A thing of beauty.” Though it is heavy, 38 pounds, it seems to be made of  black anodized aluminium. The fact that there was no difference between the cell phone being close to the mount and moved away from the mount would seem to bear witness to this. So after using the bubble level on the mount to level up the tripod, the wedge was added easily with the provided bolts. It took about 3 minutes to polar align the wedge when I used my cell phone! This took more time since I was trying to make sure the wedge metal was not throwing off the phone.

After using the supplied knobs my son and I added the telescope to the wedge. After waiting until evening the mount was aligned and auto guiding was engaged. However, the mount did not want to autoguide under Maxim DL. Seemed to be a driver issue so I engaged PHD 2 and took 20 images of M57 as a test. Though the focus was soft and I was having issues setting up the filter menu, the image of M 57 came out fairly well.  (See picture below)

Leviathan Awakes!
M 57 with PHD guiding

My autoguiding setup is a ST-80 with a ZWO ASI120MM camera set up for pulse guiding. Turns out pulse guiding works but sometimes the mount driver crashes and then you have to restart your computer to get it back again. After a little research I have used the provided ST-4 cable and will try guiding it that way instead. ST[4 guiding is much less hassle free than using the pulse guided method. Will post an update after the next clear night!