Wow! This scope is big! It's very nicely thought out. The movements are very smooth, and the box seems sturdy and holds the scope well. The handles and wheels are very convenient. The focuser is nice. The Telrad is aimed aright. When I found that the Telrad batteries had juice left, I figured the scope had been cared for. In fact, it is in excellent condition, a testament to the care of its first and only other owner.
The optics appear first-rate! I was going to wheel it out right when I got home, but I found I couldn't get it out the back door! Whoops! (I had no idea the back door was too narrow. Now I have to figure some other way to get it into the backyard: around the side, probably, but I'll have to change the landscaping.) The next night I asked one of my daughters to carry the lighter end out.
Wow! First up was Luna, for the kids. Everyone came to have a look through Dad's new scope. The moon was high overhead, so everyone had to stand on something to reach the eyepiece. The moon was stunning. It's the view just as you approach the orb for a landing!
Next was M42. My daughter asked, "What's all that green glowing stuff?" I though I saw green and brown, and perhaps blue and pink, but I am biased by seeing too many published images. I will say, though, that I could see the E and F stars of the Trapezium with wide space between them and the other stars. It's a view I won't forget. I'm anxious to go back with a better eyepiece and more time and see what else I can tease out.
It was time to invite my neighbor (who keeps his lights off for me, thank you) to share the happiness, so I went next door and asked if he wanted to see. For the next half-hour we scanned through the real estate south of Orion. My favorite here is NGC 2362. It is awesome in the big scope! My first visual on this cluster was in 1994 through 80mm binoculars. It was so small, but very nice. Through the big scope, the cluster is stunning. The contrast between the central star and all her attendants is just enhanced. We also looked at M41, Sigma Orionis, and Rigel. Then family duties called, my neighbor helped me carry the scope in, and I wheeled it back to its storage area.
What a great first light! Figures it would cloud up after that and stay cloudy. The forecast today shows nothing but clouds for a week. It's ok, though. The memory will carry through. I look forward to many happy hours and years with this fine instrument.