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My New RCX 400 10" telescope


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#1 stuma

stuma

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 10:05 PM

Well, it came today already after ordering it from telescopes.com on
Tuesday. I struggled trying to decide between getting this scope vs.
a 12" LX200R scope. The deciding factor for me was all of the
conveniences that come with the RCX 400 like the built in dew heater,
auto collimation, better tripod, all the ports on the tube itself to
prevent cord wrap, and the 9 preset focus memories. On the down
side, this scope is very expensive coming in at $5500.

Wow, this scope is unbelievable! I havent had it outside yet but
after unpacking it and playing with the autostar II I was simply
amazed.

The first thing I noticed right away was that the ota and mount were
huge! I first thought they sent me the 12" model because it looked
so much bigger than my LX200R 8". The box it came in was 3 times the
size of the LX200 8".

The second thing I noticed was that the tripod was unbelievable!
Compared to the lx models, it was like night and day. Boy was the
tripod heavy. Whoever engineered this new tripod did a fantastic
job. It was super easy to set up and it was rock solid sturdy. The
tripod legs were hugely round compared to the lx200r I have. It
looked like the tripod could support a 16" scope. Another nice thing
about the tripod was the spring loaded center bolt. It was so easy
placing the scope on the tripod and get the bolt screwed in. The T-
bracket was a nice touch. Again, night and day compared to other
scopes I used in the past. A nice touch on the tripod was the height
adjusters that are right below the base. You simply pull up on a
latch and the tripod adjusts with ease.

On to the scope. Like I said, the scope itself was huge and heavy.
This is definitely not a scope to cart around a lot of places unless
you are well built. I plan on mounting it on a wedge on my pier so
it is going to stay put. I can't even imagine what the 12, 14, or 16
inch models look like. I played with Autostar and updated it to the
latest version 2.2i. All went easy without problems. Having the USB
ports and other HBX connectors on the scope tube itself is wonderful
because they wont get tangled. I then went and made sure the fan on
the scope worked, which it did, and tried out some of the other
autostar features. The scope once on the tripod seems very well
balanced and there seems to be a lot of clearance. I should have no
problem using my Stellacam video camera at any angle I choose. On
the LX200R, I couldn't get it to go past about 70 degrees or so.

Ideas are already popping into my head for new enhancements to
Deepsky. Once I get the POD and scope mounted I am going to come up
with some new features that benefit the home observatory user. So
stay tuned.

I will post part 2 after I get this scope outside under the night sky.

Steven S Tuma
Deepsky Astronomy Software




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