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LX80 is the bee's knees - so far

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#1 JimMo

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 11:11 PM

Received my LX80 mount today. I was surprised when I got the call from Skies Unlimited as they told me a month ago that it would be September or even later until they shipped. Anyway, I got lucky and got off work early today and have the next three days off. With clearish skies forecast for the week no less, there's no way I could have planned it better.

No real problems putting it together except a couple of the threaded holes in the base that the captive bolts go into were a little tight, but I'm sure with use it will loosen up a bit. The tripod is heavy although I can see how the legs could be broken off with too much torque to the spreader knob so I won't do that, problem averted. Mounted my TV85, did the balancing routine, and now just waiting for first dark.

It remained clear and I did a two star alignment, and it slewed to every object or star I chose. Going out to darker skies tomorrow night and so far it's one heck of a mount. Hope my luck holds. :cool:

#2 Mkofski

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 11:40 PM

Jim,

Great to hear you like the mount. Still waiting on mine but it's raing here anyway.

#3 johnC

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 03:05 AM

pic please

#4 Waxing Gibbous

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 05:13 AM

pic please

+1
Not due here in Oz until "3rd quater 2012" (read 2nd quarter 2013). :(

#5 Joe Ogiba

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 08:23 AM

Does it come with all of the parts to mount two scopes ?

#6 Fred1

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 08:39 AM

No real problems putting it together except a couple of the threaded holes in the base that the captive bolts go into were a little tight, but I'm sure with use it will loosen up a bit.


Picked up mine on Saturday from Skies. Put some Super Lube on those threads. Mine were rough, too, but the Lube smoothed them so they tighten down easily.

#7 Fred1

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 09:01 AM

Not trying to hijack your thread, JimMo, just passing along another user's experience. I had it out only briefly Sunday and without the owner's manual. I still have to "Train the Drive" which should only take a few minutes so the GoTos were only So-So but within my 13Ethos FOV in my Comet Hunter and now that I know about the Spiral Search feature it should be fine.

I found lifting the mount head rather easy for its 35 lbs and placing it on the tripod but it's not the one hand lift I do with the CG5 mount head. Just jiggling it a bit on the tripod locks it into some tabs so the lock-down screws can engage. As I already mentioned, I put some Super-Lube on the screws and thread holes so they tighten down easier. The head fits fairly well in the rolling suitcase I used for my CGEM head.

There's no place to put the Hand Controller so I'm going to rig up a pouch/cradle with some velcro like I did for the ServoCat HC on my Dob and the cable is way too short.

The tripod feels almost twice as heavy as the CG5's and the legs tend to swing out when handling, so I banded them together with a velcro strap which makes the tripod easier to wield when packing and unpacking from my field tripod case.

I'm only going to use it in Alt/Az mode, and mostly with my Comet Hunter or 8" SCT side by side with my 80mm SV80ST. I'm visual only and waited a long time for a heavier payload affordable Alt/Az mount to come to market.

The 2 Star alignment is stupid simple. The mount does it almost all by itself. I just had to center the stars and hit enter but I'll customize the locations which should give better pointing accuracy along with the drive training.

The Astronomer Inside is a hoot. Sandy Wood's soothing voice with spacey background music should be a hit at star parties.

Calm down time was just a second or two after I finished focusing.

Balancing the scope in Alt/Az was a puzzle until I realized that to unlock the Az I had to use the Hex Tool to move the mount slightly into an EQ mode angle to grab the lock lever, do the balancing act and then screw it back into Alt/Az position. Fortunately, I was able to figure that out while testing the mount at Skies Unlimited before taking it home on my 2 hour round trip drive.

Hopefully, ADM will come up with spring loaded replacement saddles for it. Also, it comes with only 1 CW, so I bought an extra one while I was at Skies because the CG5 CWs don't fit the LX80's shaft. I should have the time to play with it in the garage this afternoon for some fine tuning.

I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with this set up. :jump:

#8 JimMo

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 09:15 AM

Hi Fred, I just woke up and had a fun night. No worries about hijacking the thread, I enjoyed your report. I just wanted to let folks know they are shipping again and what my first impressions were. I do plan to use it in EQ mode, but I'm not in a hurry. I eventually want to mount a DSLR someway and do some wide angle shots with camera lenses, mostly when at star parties while using my dob. I also plan to use the dual OTA mode with my Lunt and my refractor with a white light filter to observe the Sun.

Now to spend the day with my wife so she won't mind me going out tonight. She's been awesome lately and even encouraged me to get the new mount. First time that's ever happened.

Cheers,

#9 fldba

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 06:48 PM

It's great hearing positive reports on the LX80 finally. I was considering it as the ideal mount for me but was wondering if they would ever get it right and when they would start shipping again. Sounds promising...

#10 Starhawk

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 10:21 PM

They've consistently done alt-az just fine in the reports. The voyage of discovery has come when people tried to make it do the other functions.

-Rich

#11 JimMo

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 08:42 AM

Yes, I haven't tried it in polar yet. Last night I got to use it under darker skies and had a lot of fun. I should have tried polar mode but I was getting tired and still had the drive home. Set up and breaking it down was much faster than my dob, not quite grab and go but I was on the road in 10 minutes after deciding to quit for the night. It'll be easier to try out polar mode at home in the next couple of weeks while the Moon is around.






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