First attempt with MX

Last Monday, Leo delivered the cut-down pier. This allows the MX to successfully park so the roof can open/close. I immediately ran down and installed the mount, OTAs, cables, etc.

Now I wait for some clear time to align the mount.

Today (Friday) the forecast was for 3-4 hours of clear time in the early evening. I ran down to the observatory and started.

Hmm, ACP won’t connect to the MX. It wants to connect via Sky6, not SkyX. OK, I will deal with that later.

I managed to do the Quick Align procedure using Jupiter. I also managed to get the Edge and Tak lined up (with Telrad) so they point to the same spot. Defined a good park position.

This all took about 35 minutes – at this point, the Fates intervened and the clouds rolled in.


Paramount Progress

I put a 25 pound weight with the other counterweights, and now I can get the system to balance. I ordered the counterweight extension shaft, hopefully that will allow the 2 weights alone to balance things.

Can now connect from theSkyX. Played with moving it around, etc. It is cloudy, of course, so I can’t sync or start getting polar aligned.

Problem:  to close the roof, the park position needs to be with the OTA below the counterweights. The Paramount/TSX does not like this. I can set that park position, but when I park it realizes this is a bad position and puts the OTA on the other side of the mount, above the counterweights. This is too high – roof cannot clear.

I contacted Leo to get the pier cut off. It looks like if I remove 6 inches, this will give me some room. 10 inches willl allow the home position to clear, but it lowers the mount quite a bit. In the end, he took the pier back to the shop to remove about 7 1/2″ from the pier. It may be a few days before I can get the pier back.


Serial numbers found

Aha – finally found the serial numbers. They were in an envelope under the styrofoam of the Big Box. I had even looked under the foam of the Accessory box, even though it seemed silly to do so. Had not looked under the Big Box.

Registered the software. Don’t know how I use the MultiCopy serial.

Tried to register the serials at Bisque, and got a message “Serial has already been registered”. ?

Paramount is Here!

The MX showed up today, and I am off to the observatory to install it.

OK, here we go with issues:

1) The plate I had made to receive the mount on my pier doesn’t fit. I hd specified within 0.0001 inches tolerance; the bolt holes are about 1/16 inch off.

To get it to work, I put in 1/4-20 screws. Oops, I don’t have washers. Off to the store for washers. The mount now looks nice and level on the bubble mount. The bottom washers barely fit – they are up against the pier collar.

2) rotated the Versa plate. Odd that you can only use 4 of the bolts to remount it. Unclear what I am supposed to do with the wiring – I just ran it outside the head to the instrument panel. They provide a bunch of wrenches, but not one of a size to fit the Varsa plate.

3) No serial numbers? The manual says the serial numbers for the software are on the packing slip. No numbers are on the slip. There is a serial for the mount itself on the outside of the main box. Maybe that is supposed to get the numbers from the Bisque site or something?

Called OPT, they say call Bisque. Bisque is closed:(

4) through the mount cabling – you have to be kidding. I think one might be able to run raw wires through there, but all my cables have connectors on them. There is no way a connector is going through that tiny area. Looks like my wires will hang off the mount like they always have off the G11.

5) This is a problem – it turns out the two counterweights, all the way down the shaft, do not counterbalance my OTA. I have an 11″ Edge and 2 small refractors, with ST2000XM, Canon EOS, and Starfish cameras. These apparently weigh too much – I will need to either a) figure out how to add more weights, b) but a $250 counterweight, or c) buy the shaft extension $150. Irritating, and is going to hold off doing anything until I can get the extra weight on there.