I was worried about the cabling on the mount. Everything looked good, but I had heard so many horror stories about the cables failing. I ordered a cable upgrade kit from Gary Bennett in Canada and couldn’t be happier. I added a few more upgrades to the mount (leg levelers and a sturdy spreader). Now we’re talking.
I spent the month of January inside. I had the rig set up in my den and started trying to learn how to get everything working together. Slowly, I was beginning to learn! The SN8 was not the proper scope to learn on as it requires very careful collimation and goes out of whack easily. I also got some advice that learning on an SCT is even harder and that a 5″ refractor is still a bit big for a novice. I had to work with what I had. I started looking for a used 80mm refractor, as was recommended. They have a wide field and are very forgiving when it comes to guiding, needing only the 50mm guide scope.
At this time, ZWO was having a 15% off sale, combined with a $50 gift certificate per camera at Woodland Hills. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pick up a cooled mono camera and filter wheel. Mono cameras have much better sensitiity than color cameras (called one shot cameras or OSC’s). The do, however need a set of filters in order to create color images. Boy, I had just learned to use the DSLR!
Tip#4: No matter what rig you have, there will always be something to improve it. Bear this in mind when you start building your rig.