Observing: Sirius Shakedown
Sirius Mount + TV85 tonight. Tried something different this time: I chose 3-star alignment, then tweaked the mount's RA & dec to center on the first star (Altair), then completed alignment with Vega and Arcturus. Not perfect, but it it puts M29, M27 and M57 in the FOV of my LVW13! Beats the hell out of the so-called polar alignment scope which is a joke. I think this is the first time I've ever gotten decent alignment with the Sirius without multiple attempts (and associated hair-pulling and colorful language).
The Sirius/TV85 combo is really great. Even on the deck, I see hardly any shake while focusing or moving around. With tripod legs fully extended, the eyepiece is a little to high for comfortable seating on my trusty kitchen stepladder, but I think it would be perfect if I had real observing chair, so that's item #2 on my wish list, just after the camera adapter and accessories needed to properly connect the DSLR to the TV85.
GOTO'd through the usual suspects. Found that the farther west, the worse the GOTO accuracy. M13 and M92 completely out of the field of the LVW13, but easily found by slewing a bit. Left the rig pointed at M57; returned a half-hour later to find gone from the FOV. There's clearly work still to be done. Before breaking down for the night I turned off the power and tried to spot Polaris through the alignment scope. Not a chance through the tree.
Miscellaneous: Temp at 10pm: 70 deg F, 53% humidity, winds calm from the South. Orion 2" diagonal works like a champ. Whining noise from mount that was very noticeable during indoor tests isn't heard at all outside. Marked the position of the tripod vibration pads on the deck for future setup.