Well, I didn't get one of the first Paramount MX's, but I did get pretty much the last one before the "real" production run. Mine differs from yours (you did order one, right?) only in the control board electronics, and I'll be getting a production version in a bit, but first we have some anxious customers who'd rather have theirs. Mine works great in the mean-time!
Psst... don't ask me when yours is shipping... (George, you know who you are)... They don't tell me these things either. All I know is... "soon".
So, I've been planning this week long road trip with the MX, up through some dark sky sites in Georgia and North Carolina to give her a shake down as a portable imaging mount (remaining arsenal includes Canon T1i, and a 190mm f/5.3 Mak-Newt).
First UPS "lost" pretty much the only free available MX in existence, and it finally shows up four days late. Talk about sweating bullets. First night out was in Georgia at a state park. There was some entropy involved too because for the second time in a month, I got run off from a state park due to a brush fire.... this time before I even arrived! Well, first night out, I found out the MX is not an ME... it's a bit smaller. It's quick to set up, quick to polar align, and well, just darn cute. Personal imaging trips in the future will always be the MX... and the ME will remain at home unless I'm showing it off at a star party. Oh, won't that be cool, I can't wait until my first star party when I have an MX and an ME set up next to each other... imaging on both of them of course! Talk about dual core multi-tasking! Oh, shoot. I need two cameras now... I digress.
If you know how to use an ME, you know how to use an MX.... mostly. A lot of refinements I really like. It rained most of the week too (dang'ed my luck). But I did get two half nights in, the last I actually did some imaging rather than playing with it and TPoint/SuperModel. Yeah, I took pictures the first night but all test images. The last night I was at PARI (Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute) in Rosman, North Carolina, up on their "Optical Ridge". Gorgeous inky black skies. The attached picture I snapped of my set up just before it got dark.
Well, it appears the next issue of Astronomy Technology Today is going to have an article recounting my adventures to some degree and a blow by blow of the new mount. I don't want to steal too much of their thunder, but I will say that for those of you waiting, it's worth the wait ;-)
07-06-2011 6:17 PM