Jump to content


Photo

Sphinx SXD with v2.1 software?

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
9 replies to this topic

#1 SilentLight

SilentLight

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 189
  • Joined: 29 Nov 2008

Posted 24 July 2009 - 01:49 PM

I have read here on CN that SXD had a lot of guiding error. The Starbook update information points to these problems as having been addressed in 2.1, but has it?

Here's my dilemma: I am a newbie and picked up a used LXD75/SN8, upgraded the focuser to feathertouch, then spent more time struggling to keep the scope on the mount than looking thru the scope!! So I like to get a more stable mount. And I have to carry everything from apartment to car to dark site, and then reverse the process as soon as I get home. The light weight of SXD appeals to me (after getting over the sticker shock!) as opposed to the heavier CGEM.

I like to do 90% visual, 10% AP at the moment and slowly increase to 10% visual and 90% AP as I gain experience. So guiding (either auto or via my Meade LPI attached to a smaller scope and laptop) is important. And if I outgrow the scope, I like to be able to change OTA (perhaps a Russian MCT or Newt or a C9.25), but keep the mount.

So should I get the SXD or should I save the $$ and frustration, and instead, fight the weight of a CGEM?

Apologies for bringing up yet another CGEM vs. Sphinx subject!

#2 amys

amys

    Mercury-Atlas

  • *****
  • Posts: 2582
  • Joined: 12 Jun 2006

Posted 24 July 2009 - 04:44 PM

Have you checked out the Sphinx Yahoo users' group here: http://tech.groups.y...Sphinx/messages ? I have an SXW, not an SXD, and I do only visual so I can't answer your questions but you should be able to glean a lot of info from the posts there?

#3 donsinger1

donsinger1

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 307
  • Joined: 28 Oct 2007

Posted 26 July 2009 - 11:50 AM

The CGEM is not too bad to transport if you break it into its components. If you are starting in AP, the one thing you do not want is to struggle with the mount. Autoguiding on the Vixens has been problematic, and the starbook has been plagued with problems...just check out all the chatter on the Yahoo groups. Probably ok for visual, but guiding has had issues.

I considered the Vixen but went CGEM as the software is proven, reliable, and has the polar alignment routine that is easy and works. You should maybe look at the CG5 Goto...it is inexpensive, uses the same software as the CGEM and has excellent goto and polar align routine, and lightweight. Further, many are getting very good guiding with this setup.

Just my two cents.

Don

#4 Fred1

Fred1

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2037
  • Joined: 19 Sep 2007

Posted 26 July 2009 - 07:14 PM

I mostly agree with Don, especially since you are on the 90/10 side of visual vs AP. I don't do AP. I love my CG5. You can get one for under $600. Best bang for the buck in mounts IMHO and many others. Although 24 lbs of OTA plus accessories probably rules out AP, but the mount should handle the SN8 fine for visual use. Then again, it might also amount to basically a lateral move from your LXD75, except I think the CG5 is a better and more stable mount based on the 2 LXD75s I've encountered.

Be sure to check out the Sphinx Yahoo Group. I had a Sphinx SXD for about a year and sold it. Not fond of the Starbook at all. Look for Miguel Lopes in the Sphinx Yahoo Group and on CN. He knows his stuff about the Sphinx. If I wanted the kind of load capacity you're in the market for I'd consider the CGEM (because the I like the HC software), Orion Atlas or Losmandy G11.

#5 SilentLight

SilentLight

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 189
  • Joined: 29 Nov 2008

Posted 26 July 2009 - 07:42 PM

Thanks for the inputs. From the little info I found on Vixen yahoo groups, it seems like SXD software issues are somewhat resolved. But it's a $2800 risk to find out it's not compatible with certain autoguiders or software.

Yup, switching to CG5 is going sideways for me. As a matter of fact when I first was looking for a mount, Woodland Hills Telescopes talked me into LXD75 instead of CG5 as being the better of the two. Haven't shopped there since.

CGEM/Atlas seems to be rated only 5 lbs more than LXD75. Can it handle a future C9.25 or Mead 10" SCT for AP, or should I bear the weight and get CGE?

How much do CGE parts weigh? I can't find any info on the web.

#6 Fred1

Fred1

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2037
  • Joined: 19 Sep 2007

Posted 26 July 2009 - 09:56 PM

I considered a CGE at one point. One my club buddies has one. The electronics pier and mount head each weigh about 40 lbs. (That's 80 lbs). The tripod is about another 25-30, I think.

I have to leave it to the APers among us to reply regarding your questions about the CGEM & Atlas load capacity for AP.

#7 GaryML

GaryML

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 348
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2009

Posted 26 July 2009 - 09:59 PM

Thanks for the inputs. From the little info I found on Vixen yahoo groups, it seems like SXD software issues are somewhat resolved. But it's a $2800 risk to find out it's not compatible with certain autoguiders or software.

Yup, switching to CG5 is going sideways for me. As a matter of fact when I first was looking for a mount, Woodland Hills Telescopes talked me into LXD75 instead of CG5 as being the better of the two. Haven't shopped there since.

CGEM/Atlas seems to be rated only 5 lbs more than LXD75. Can it handle a future C9.25 or Mead 10" SCT for AP, or should I bear the weight and get CGE?

How much do CGE parts weigh? I can't find any info on the web.


I recently read that the CGE mount weighs about 40 lbs. and the tripod weighs about 40 lbs. (It was either in Phil Harrington's Star Ware or Uncle Rod's CAT book.)

EDIT: The weight figures are from Rod Mollise's book _Choosing and Using a New CAT_.

(FYI, before I bought my CG-5 ASGT I spoke with two local dealers about the mount. Both said it was superior to the LXD75 and I should not even consider the Meade as an alternative.)

#8 Taylor

Taylor

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 829
  • Joined: 10 Jul 2005

Posted 26 July 2009 - 11:23 PM

I used to have the Meade LXD75, after I Hypertuned it the mechanics were actually really good, it still had PE but for the price I wouldn't complain, and I wasn't trying to do AP back then.

I never did grow to like the Autostar software though.
Both my old Nexstar GPS and my new Sphinx's Starbook have software much ahead of what I experienced with the Autostar.

#9 Miguel Lopes

Miguel Lopes

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 913
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2007

Posted 27 July 2009 - 08:17 AM

Go CGEM, Vixen support is the worst I ever found. The mechanics are good, the PE is very, very low, but the starbook is what it looks like: a child toy.

#10 Fred1

Fred1

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2037
  • Joined: 19 Sep 2007

Posted 27 July 2009 - 10:11 AM

I just checked the CGE manual on-line.
It states the following on page 57:
Tripod and Pier 41.5 lbs.,
EQ Mount Weight 42 lbs.,
counterweight bar 5 lbs.






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics