Thursday, 26 May 2011 | Tom
I bought this from FLO when it was first available in the UK.
It arrived in three huge boxes, one containing the OTA, one the 14" mirror and one the parts for the Dobsonian mount. It was easily assembled in about an hour, with the only "sweaty" bit being the mounting of the mirror onto the mirror support in the OTA. This wasn't difficult, just nerve wracking.
First light was at a reasonably dark sky site and I was simply blown away.
Get the Dob base horizontal (use a bubble level and some wooden chocks to get this) and the OTA horizontal and pointing North (Home position). Then do a 2 star align. After that the GoTo is accurate to within about 0.3 degrees after a 120 degree slew.
I can fully resolve M13, right to the core. M57 seems to have colour and the "ring" has structure - it isn't a simple ring.
Views of lunar craters are simply awesome!
This 'scope can be used for simple astrophotography of the moon or planets. Long exposures are not possible, but I can (and do) take 100 images of a lunar crater using a Canon 500D, stack and process these, ending up with a pretty pleasing image.
The mount weighs about 26 kilos and will not go through a doorway. The OTA weighs about 17 kilos. The 'scope can be moved and set up by one person, but it is at the upper limit.
Overall it is an excellent 'scope, with good optics, awesome light gathering and accurate goto. Tracking is fine for observing, keeping Saturn in the FOV for an hour at x100.
A good observer's "light bucket", but Dobsonian mount is not suited to more than simple Lunar astrophotography.
This 'scope is a keeper.