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Meade's new LX800...

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#551 ewave

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 10:43 AM

Somehow, I hope everything works out for Meade and its customers. But I smell something fishy when they market and offer a product where you can only buy the OTA/Mount combo. Seems they decided this was the only way to convince their shareholders (or bank loan officers) to pick things up. Please give the community some good reports. It is a better thing overall to have competition and of course, newer better technology through R&D.
 

#552 Griffin!

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 10:58 AM

But I smell something fishy when they market and offer a product where you can only buy the OTA/Mount combo.


The LX80 and LX800 are offered mount only so you can put whatever you want on it.
 

#553 Whichwayisnorth

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 11:01 AM

Here is a photo of one of the clutch bolt holes with the bolt removed. (see my video in about 30 minutes). I noticed on the side there are two adjustments? that look like with a special tool I can adjust something. Perhaps these were set a little tight at the factory? I don't want to mess with them until I know more.

Attached Files


 

#554 nemo129

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 11:05 AM

that look like with a special tool I can adjust something.



Spanner wrench?
 

#555 Whichwayisnorth

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 11:39 AM

that look like with a special tool I can adjust something.



Spanner wrench?


Gazuntite!
 

#556 Whichwayisnorth

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 11:41 AM

Ok here is the clutches video.

Also a FYI. The 14" F/8 OTA bare is 56 pounds.


http://youtu.be/eXqv3HZa2cM
 

#557 sphelps

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:00 PM

Ok here is the clutches video.

Also a FYI. The 14" F/8 OTA bare is 56 pounds.


http://youtu.be/eXqv3HZa2cM


Thanks for the update. One thing I noticed is that you might want to put a rubber bumper on the starlock counterweight so it doesn't scratch up your tripod head if it gets away from you and swings down all the way like in the video. It does seem as though the factory has the clutch preset a little stiff. This might be so it doesn't get away from you and hit the tripod head.
 

#558 Whichwayisnorth

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:13 PM

Could be. I like the rubber bumper idea. I'll try to source something. I already re-purposed some iPad screen protectors for the North leg because when removing the counter weights it is difficult to control the sudden weight and they hit the leg and take chunks out of the paint. I only had that happen once (small scratch) so I put on two layers of packing tape for a temp fix. Now I use the thicker screen protector material instead.
 

#559 Stew57

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:29 PM

How is the DEC axis?
 

#560 BlueGrass

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:44 PM

The stiffness in balancing reminds me of the Mach1. While not as stiff as your video shows for the 800, AP basically says don't worry too much about it. Get it in the ballpark and the Mach1 will track fine. And for AP mounts, that 'fine' translates to extremely well ... How do the axis move without any weight on them? Do they turn freely, i.e. much easier without any load?
 

#561 Stew57

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:54 PM

If it was the same all the way around I would not worry at all. Some preload would keep the worm in contact with the worm gear. Would take up the backlash without having to move weights to maitain east heavy. If it is not bearing preload but poor machining, bad bearings, or poorly designed clutch that is another matter. The proof in the pudding will be PE numbers and how well it performs.

I think the only real probelm is meade did not anticipate 3rd party otas not being factory aligned as drop in. They say that won't make a difference anyway.
 

#562 Alph

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:56 PM

The stiffness in balancing reminds me of the Mach1. While not as stiff as your video shows for the 800, AP basically says don't worry too much about it. Get it in the ballpark and the Mach1 will track fine. And for AP mounts, that 'fine' translates to extremely well

Hmm? That comes as a surprise too me. So what AP says is east heavy, west heavy, or just well balanced does not matter at all - interesting. Nevertheless I think there is something amiss here with the LX800. The threaded shaft supposed to help to fine balance the mount. Meade, my head is spinning.
 

#563 Whichwayisnorth

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 01:01 PM

How is the DEC axis?


Same as RA axis.
 

#564 BlueGrass

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 01:26 PM

:grin: ... Of course, the more accurate the balance the better the performance. Their point being balance doesn't have to be 100% accurate for the mount to perform well...

North: The amount of CW shift your video shows before there is axis movement does seem excessive. I don't see how you can get the balance in the ballpark much less accurate? Hopefully Meade can give you some answers or adjustments to be made.
 

#565 mmalik

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 01:29 PM

Thanks for the update. One thing I noticed is that you might want to put a rubber bumper on the starlock counterweight so it doesn't scratch up your tripod head if it gets away from you and swings down all the way like in the video. It does seem as though the factory has the clutch preset a little stiff. This might be so it doesn't get away from you and hit the tripod head.


Looking at the video, looks like a bad design especially the starlock counter weight. It is going to take lot more iterations for Meade to get lot of things right; and lot more unknowns yet to be discovered. Hard stops could be an option but that has its own disadvantages!
 

#566 Peter in Reno

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 01:30 PM

The stiffness in balancing reminds me of the Mach1. While not as stiff as your video shows for the 800, AP basically says don't worry too much about it. Get it in the ballpark and the Mach1 will track fine. And for AP mounts, that 'fine' translates to extremely well

Hmm? That comes as a surprise too me. So what AP says is east heavy, west heavy, or just well balanced does not matter at all - interesting. Nevertheless I think there is something amiss here with the LX800. The threaded shaft supposed to help to fine balance the mount. Meade, my head is spinning.


Astro-Physics specifically said that it's perfectly normal and was designed that the mount may feel tight even with the clutches loose. Their mounts use very high torque Swiss servo motors and they are so strong that they can easily handle mis-balanced setup.

Peter
 

#567 mmalik

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 01:43 PM

Hmm? That comes as a surprise too me. So what AP says is east heavy, west heavy, or just well balanced does not matter at all - interesting. Nevertheless I think there is something amiss here with the LX800. The threaded shaft supposed to help to fine balance the mount. Meade, my head is spinning.


Given the play, threaded shaft doesn't seem like good idea in retrospect. That might explain why AP and the likes didn't go with that. Not having locking/tightening mechanism on CWs is another issue.
 

#568 WadeH237

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 02:02 PM

I just watched the video and noticed that the declination axis is not at 90 degrees during the balance test.

If the declination axis is not perfectly in balance (and it looks to me like it might be heavy on the mirror end), it would be normal to see the behavior where one side falls easier than the other.

How does the RA balance behave when the declination axis is at 90 degrees?
 

#569 Steven

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 02:39 PM

I believe the clutch stiffness is a safety design. You achieve good balance when you can easily turn it "in the center". i.e. use your palm to turn on the center axis. Not at the end of the CW shaft or the OTA.

Steven
 

#570 mclewis1

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 02:55 PM

A simple fix for the loose CW issue would be a large thin nut on the CW shaft that would lock the CW in place unless it's loosened. You could probably even just hand tighten it to provide the necessary locking force against the CW.
 

#571 Steven

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 03:00 PM

Or cut 1/2" long of PVC pipe of correct diameter as spacer. Will need two CW to works by compressing the spacer to remove play.

Steven
 

#572 Stew57

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 03:11 PM

I was thinkng more along the lines of a plastic ring about the diameter of the weight afixed to the weight. The weights are not the real problem to me. Being to physically align a 3rd party ota to the starlock system is important to me. It looks like an oversight to me but maybe Meade will have a good explanation for why this is unimportant.
 

#573 Griffin!

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 03:17 PM

As far as the alignment with 3rd party OTAs goes, i'm almost certain the mount is designed to work with whatever OTA you want.

What Meade probably needs to do is look back over the manual and add an addendum with clearer directions on how to do that.
 

#574 Steven

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 03:27 PM

... Being to physically align a 3rd party ota to the starlock system is important to me...


I though a few posts back this issue is resolved. Meade suggested "a one star alignment"?

Steven
 

#575 nemo129

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 05:13 PM

Hi All,
Well this has been a long and glorious thread. It started on 09/15/11! Over 570 replies and over 33,000 views! Lots of speculation, good advice and information. Now that the product(s) are in the hands of several folks, the moderator staff thinks it is time that threads regarding the actual "hands on" user experience take over from here. I would ask that any mount related topics go over to Mounts forum. There is a small LX800 thread there already, but actual owners/potential owners and anyone else with a vested interest in the topic should feel free to create their own thread to address their particular experiences and or questions. Threads regarding the OTA's should of course should be created here in Cats & Casses. This thread will be locked, but will remain available for reference.

As always please direct any comments or concerns to the moderators or admins.

Thanks for your understanding.

Edit: The moderator staff decided that since this was such an information filled thread that we would make it a sticky until further notice.
 






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