First night with the LX200

Well after a rushed assembly tonight in my conservatory at around 8.30pm, I managed to get my LX200 turned on whilst I got familiar with the hand controls.

After about 30mins I just had to get outside, as the sky was fairly cloudless, so out I went. The first thing that I had problems with was to screw in the bolt under the tripod, even though I have a deluxe locator plate, so heck knows what it would be like without one!

I finally got the tripod screwed into the telescope after what seemed like 15 minutes, I think the problem was that the legs of the tripod were not spread out evenly, even though they were all spread out, as the spacer kept knocking on one of the legs stopping me from connecting the bolt thread with the telescope.

If any body has any tips on how to easily and quickly connect the bolt thread to the LX200 then please tell me, like using the ‘C’ clip or using nuts etc.

I then set the scope off into its automatic alignment, although it kept asking me to identify stars (I thought it was fully automatic with GPS?), and when it did there were no “brightest stars” around, so I think I just unlocked the RA and Dec and manually moved it – which I now know is wrong and you should just use the keys on the handset instead (hey don’t blame me – I didn’t read the manual!).

So obviously when I asked for Andromeda then GOTO – it found me blank sky, and went completely the wrong direction when I asked for the Ring Nebula via GOTO. So for the rest of the evening I gave up on the GOTO until I have read and mastered the manual, instead I manually used the Dec and RA to find Andromeda etc myself.

The LX200 is a cool machine – I just wish I knew how to use it. I think practice will make perfect.

Any tips on setting up the LX200 would be welcomed.