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FYI for LXD75/LXD55 owners

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#1 yock1960

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 10:27 AM

I thought that I'd share this for those who may not already know. If your goto's are spot on, read no further! Up front I'll say that this is for folks who connect the mount to a computer. I do for guiding purposes and now for scope control.

In general I'm pretty happy with my mount, it works well for a ~$400 used mount. However; the goto's were not always what I could wish. Part of that is under my control of course, but I always just use the polar alignment scope & easy align and off I go. Even with high precision turned on sometimes the DSO was nowhere to be seen. It can be difficult trying to figure out a star pattern on the 'realtime' screen and a computerized atlas!

Within the last 2 months or so, I learned about ASCOM's POTH interface. This allowed me to use PHD for guiding and Cartes du Ciel, the wonderful & free planetarium package, simultaneously. Using Cartes du Ciel to drive, I can now choose any bright star to sync to, that is close to my real target and my DSO's are now always on my CCD which has approximately a 57' x 42' FOV. Being able to choose your bright star is a big help, because sometimes the star chosen by Autostar isn't all that close and sometimes is on the other side of the meridian, which usually kills the accuracy.

I do still use the Autostar alignment; I'm not sure it has any benefit though, other than giving me an approximate distance my polar axis is from true celestial north.

If you use a computer with your LXD75/55 mount and have goto issues, give this a try.

Steve

#2 Jimmy2K63

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 12:47 PM

Thanks Steve. Mine is a bit off when I have to flip the meridian and although I have a bit of lash, I think it has to do with the way it picks the alignment stars, plus my polar alignment is a little off too. I have only had my laptop hooked up once using Autostar Suite but I could control everything just fine, but it's good to have a backup plan.

I've not turned high precision pointing on at all to even find out how it could help me, and maybe I don't even know how to sync it properly (just center it and hit enter??). Oh well, right now it works accurately enough. Maybe I am just too picky because I think it should be dead center.

James

#3 Jeff Lee

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 03:56 PM

Jimmy:

I used high precision for all three days of the oregon star party. I did a quick polar align just through my finder scope (not the alignment scope in the mount).

Using high percision, my finding ep became a 20mm, everything,say 200 objects in three days was in a 20mm. It does take an extra step, but well worth it for accuracy IMHO.

#4 kw6562

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 08:48 PM

Thank you for the tip, Steve. I have used the ASCOM interface with CdC but I chose "Meade Classic and Autostar 1" for the driver - should I choose "POTH Hub" instead? --Keith

#5 yock1960

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 10:36 AM

Keith,

Using POTH allows more than one program to communicate with the mount at the same time. In my case, using PHD for guiding with ASCOM and the LX200/Autostar driver and then trying the same with CdC, results in a communications conflict. POTH is a server application that sits between the software and hardware allowing all to work together.
If you aren't trying to use more than just CdC and it's working for you, you don't need POTH.

Steve

#6 kw6562

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 08:36 PM

Thank you again Steve. Actually that would be perfect for me because I am using PHD. I'll try it tonight. --Keith

#7 jim_m

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 09:50 PM

Stwve,
What is P H D ?

Jim

#8 yock1960

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 10:05 AM

Jim,

PHD is free guiding software, for use with a guidescope/camera to give guiding commands to the mount to make it more accurately track. It's made by Stark Labs and is made to be simple to use (PHD = Push Here Dummy).

Steve






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