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Finally, after being unable to get out and image for several months (tropical weather compounded by work and my son's football season) I was able to get out last night for a quick test imaging session. Since I last had a chance to get out, I added a couple of toys to my toolbox and desperately wanted to try them out.

First, the telescope wheelie bar. Charlie has upgraded to his skyshed and perm pier, and had no use for his, so he sent it my way…what a difference. I actually set it up a week ago..the scope that is, and it had been sitting in my garage since then. I got clear skies last night….rolled the bad boy out…even over grassy uneven ground…and was imaging in minutes. Incredible. Normally, would need to construct my setup every time I go out, which can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. Not anymore…just wheel it out, plug everything in and presto…good to go!
Second, I purchased a focuser, crayford type, for my old Skyview Deluxe F4 8" Reflector. I went against my own rules, and bought the "low" end Orion "drop-in" crayford. I swore never to buy from them again due to their poor customer service, but did not really as I bought it from OPT. But I digress…this is not a "drop-in" for the SVD. The hole in the tube needs to be 3 5/8th inches to accommodate the focuser. The SVD is like 2 3/4 inches. So I had to go to Home Depot, buy a new bit for my drill and drill it out. Easier than it sounds. I have to report, other than that, the focuser works well. Very smooth, the lock is solid and easily accommodated my ST2000xcm. The scope still needs a coma reducer to get rid of my "arrow-head" stars, but other than that, very nice.
Third, I purchased a LPR filter. The filter, which is the subject of another discussion, I purchased can be found here. Very impressed with this bad boy. If you use this filter, you do not need a separate IR cut filter. I was concerned about the color…but after using it, over the street lights…I must say I am very impressed.
Sadly, I must say, my session was short…school night and all, but very productive. All the new toys worked, some better than expected. Now I am hoping that the weather gods smile on me and let me get out again soon to try all this fun stuff with my refractors!

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