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#1 msalganik

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 10:00 PM

I'm looking for reasonably priced GEM to put a 100mm f10 refractor on. I've heard that with certain mounts you can actually see small jerks of the image at high power from the tracking motors. Is this related to the type of motor used (servo/stepper) or just over-all quality of mount and would this be something I should expect from the lxd75... I will mainly use this as my quick-ish look setup (vs my 10" dob) and will eventually want to do some piggy back AP with fast lenses from 21mm up to ~400mm in focal length. Is the lxd-75 a good performer (I don't expect a tak or AP mount here...and I cant pay for one) or is it garbage and I should look at something else (an old vixen GP, celestron asgt or something else comparable in price?) I've been in dob-land for quite a while so thanks for any insight.
best
Max

#2 RandallK

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 10:55 PM

I'd get an Orion Sirius (a.k.a. SkyWatcher HEQ5-Pro). It's a great mount for doing astrophotography an will take a payload of up to 30 lbs. Think about your future requirements. Either the Orion Atlas or Sirius are more "beefier" than the LXD75.

#3 avarakin

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Posted 26 February 2011 - 11:41 PM

msalganik,
If you are on budget and $600 for LXD75 (or 475 refurbished from Meade outlet) and $1150 for Sirius make a lot of difference, then LXD is a good choice.
For the purposes your are describing, LXD is more than good enough. If bug of AP ever bites you, you would be better off with Atlas, but at the same time you can keep LXD as a basis of portable setup.
With careful balancing and extension CW shaft, I was able mount OTA of my 10" DOB (about #40) on top of LXD and it worked not bad at all. I ran into other issues with this setup which had nothing to do with the mount itself - EP was too high to my taste and I did not have Wilcox rings.

Alex

#4 msalganik

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 08:30 AM

thanks for the input guys... i've considered the sirius and atlas but I feel they might be getting a bit heavy for the casual quick grab... could anyone comment on how the vixen gp or gp-dx compares to the lxd-75? I'm thinking of how smooth and accurate the tracking would be (if I got one of the vixen mounts it would probably be without go-to)... also, is the celestron mount worth considering (as-gt?) or is the lxd-75 superior to it?

#5 Al Canarelli

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:25 AM

Have you considered the Celestron Advanced GT? This is a very good mount and in my opinion has a lot more consumer miles than the LXD75. This is not to say that there is anything wrong with the Meade mount but I think you may be happier with the Celestron. In my opinion, it has more to offer.

#6 msalganik

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:47 AM

al canarelli.... could you elaborate on what you think is better in the celestron mount v the meade... just curious for opinions hear (especially from those who have used them).

#7 rmollise

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 10:00 AM

al canarelli.... could you elaborate on what you think is better in the celestron mount v the meade... just curious for opinions hear (especially from those who have used them).


I'm not Al...but I will give you my opinion: reliability. Meade _may_ have improved the 75 in the last little while, but I still see way too many of 'em having trouble--or even disassembled--at star parties. The CG5 has a few faux pas of its own...but they are minor. It's accurate and dependable.

#8 jimb1001

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 11:47 AM

thanks for the input guys... i've considered the sirius and atlas but I feel they might be getting a bit heavy for the casual quick grab... could anyone comment on how the vixen gp or gp-dx compares to the lxd-75? I'm thinking of how smooth and accurate the tracking would be (if I got one of the vixen mounts it would probably be without go-to)... also, is the celestron mount worth considering (as-gt?) or is the lxd-75 superior to it?


I've owned both and now use the Celestron. When working properly, there's not a lot of difference between them in terms of performance. The Celestron may get a slight edge in tracking. Goto work reasonably well. The hand controllers are different but work well, here I would give a slight edge to the Celestron, its really a matter of personal preference. Updating and downloading are about the same. Reliability - I never had a problem with the lxd, its probably a little worse than the Celestron in that respect. The Celestron will give you power connection problems with either the power switch or the power port but these are easily solved. Price - the Celestron will set you back about $600 whereas you can get a "refurbed" lxd for $475 the last time I looked. I bought a refurb and it looked like new to me, all the plastic in place, etc.
I do a little AP with my set up and the Celestron works fine with a 90mm imaging scope and a ST 80 guider. If I were going to use anything heavier I'd want an Atlas or CGEM.
As I said, I've owned both and now own the Celestron.

#9 GraySkies

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 01:13 PM

I was looking at the LXD75 but decided in the end to get a HEQ5

Room to expand and was the heaviest mount I wanted to carry (plus there is quite a price jump from the HEQ5 to a NEQ6 or CGEM)

#10 msalganik

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 02:00 PM

not to complicate things further but I've been also eyeing the vixen sphinx SXD.... it claims 50lb capacity but seems like a fairly portable mount... my question is, does this mean 50lb instrument capacity (example 30lb instrument capacity for GM8) or is this with counter weights (if it is, what's the actually instrument capacity then)... if the sphinx is really 50lb instrument capacity it might be worth stretching/saving for (heck that's almost as much as a G11 but in a smaller package).

#11 rmollise

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 03:20 PM

not to complicate things further but I've been also eyeing the vixen sphinx SXD.... it claims 50lb capacity but seems like a fairly portable mount... my question is, does this mean 50lb instrument capacity (example 30lb instrument capacity for GM8) or is this with counter weights (if it is, what's the actually instrument capacity then)... if the sphinx is really 50lb instrument capacity it might be worth stretching/saving for (heck that's almost as much as a G11 but in a smaller package).


The Sphinx will not carry 50 pounds...and before buying one I _strongly_ suggest you take a stroll through the archives of the Sphinx Yahoogroup. ;)

#12 msalganik

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 03:41 PM

thanks :)

#13 avarakin

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 04:37 PM

I had the same dilemma couple of months back and decided to go with lxd, reasons:
1. lxd allows to have reduced slew speed to avoid waking up neighbors
2. lxd has ball bearing in both ra and dec vs dec only in cg5
3. cost - 475 vs 695 at the time I was shopping
4. lxd can be guided with simple serial cable, cg5 requires ST4 adapter which is another $50

Alex

#14 orlyandico

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 06:24 PM

There's a non-Goto atlas for under $600 on the other site.

I was kicking myself for not seeing it till after i'd paid for my CGEM...

of course the atlas was missing its tripod or counterweight bar or counterweights...

it's funny that both Meade and Celestron rate their mounts at 30lb capacity (CG-5 and LXD75) while the GP-DX / GP-D2 is only rated at 22lb... I'd put more faith in Vixen's figure though. GP-DX ain't cheap even today ($800 for a motor-less used one) so that should give an idea of its relative value.

#15 rmollise

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:41 PM

4. lxd can be guided with simple serial cable, cg5 requires ST4 adapter which is another $50

Alex


Negative. The CG5 can be guided with a serial cable as well, and an ST4 cable _hardly_ costs "50 dollars."

#16 avarakin

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 09:53 PM

Cable costs couple of bucks, but ST4 adapter is a different story - cheapest I am aware of comes from AstroGene for around $50.
Well, if CG5 can be guided with serial, then I agree, there is no difference

#17 PHampson

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 11:09 PM

The ST4 adapter is only needed if your guide camera doesn't already do ST4 output. Has nothing to do with the mount really.

Paul

#18 rmollise

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 05:45 AM

Cable costs couple of bucks, but ST4 adapter is a different story - cheapest I am aware of comes from AstroGene for around $50.
Well, if CG5 can be guided with serial, then I agree, there is no difference


What ST-4 adapter? You plug your camera's guide output into the mount and are done. If your camera does not have a guide output, you'll need a Shoestring type adapter, but that's the fault of the camera, not the mount, and most guide cameras, even Orion's simple Starshoot have it built in.

#19 jgraham

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 07:48 AM

All of the above mounts should work fine, it's a matter of how fine you wanna split the hair. I own two LXD75 mounts; an older one for imaging and a newer one primarily for visual. I've put several telescopes on my mounts including an 8" f/5.6 homebuilt Newtonian and an f/10 SC8, the LXD75 should have no problems with a 100mm f/10 refractor.

Have fun shopping around!

#20 bardo

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 08:34 AM

i think theres some confusion. its the lxd75 that needs an st-4 adapter if you what to guide that way, but usually you use pulse guiding through the 497. the celestron can do both without any adapters needed.

#21 jgraham

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 11:05 AM

Hmmmm, I wasn't sure how the ability to guide fit into the theme of "...I will mainly use this as my quick-ish look setup..." You can guide most (all?) of these mounts.

#22 DL Sharp

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 12:26 PM

I had the same dilemma couple of months back and decided to go with lxd, reasons:
1. lxd allows to have reduced slew speed to avoid waking up neighbors.


Celestron added that capability with the GEM 4.19 HC firmware.

Also, the all-star polar alignment feature negates the need to have a direct line of sight to Polaris, if that's a factor for you.

#23 hfjacinto

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 04:50 PM

I had both and both work fine. Neither is what I would call an AstroPhotography class mount. They will work, but are not really designed to do long term exposures. I mean they work and I did some shots, that I was proud off, but I had blurred stars in 25% + of my images and needed pretty good polar alingment to get that.

The differences are minor, the Meade was more accurate with 3 star alingment and more realiable to me.

The ASGT had a dedicated guide port, better hand controller but mine had to go back to Celestron for several months and gave me random errors.

I kept the LXD 75 as it worked day in, day out.

Whichever you pick will work fine.

#24 rmollise

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 05:44 PM

i think theres some confusion. its the lxd75 that needs an st-4 adapter if you what to guide that way, but usually you use pulse guiding through the 497. the celestron can do both without any adapters needed.


Meade made an "Astrophoto Module" for a while for the LX90 that provided an ST-4 port for that telescope and some people tried to use it (with little success) with the 75, but it is long out of production, anyway.

#25 bardo

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 06:19 PM

yes the 909. it worked just fine, i used it. you can get a 909 clone now that plugs into the aux port and makes it into an st4, works perfectly as well.

astrogene






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