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Decided to Stick With LX-80

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#1 Jmax

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:22 AM

I had been on the waiting list since Spring, when the price increase was announced. Well, last week I got a call that my LX-80 was in and asking if I still wanted it. I've read bunches over the months, including most of the negative things said here and most of the positive things said on AF. I was torn and spent all weekend thinking about things. I also happened to get a new Orion catalog with the new Atlas convertible mount. But with my LX-80 costing 1/3 of the the price of the new Atlas, that pretty much made my decision for me.

I'm not a first class imager. In fact, I'm a total beginner, but the problem with improving my skills has always been lack of time to devote to imaging. Therefore, everything I have been purchasing has been with the goal of making it easier to take pictures.

That said, I am going to put my LX-80 inside my new Skyshed POD and get it aligned good, so I don't have to do that each time out. Then I am going to put my three imaging scopes on it. They aren't huge, and this is how I plan to do this. I have a dual saddle mount which, on one side I will put my AT6RC. On the other, I will mount my f/5 5" Newtonian with my 66mm refractor piggybacked as a guide scope. These two together are pretty much identical in weight to the AT6RC, so that should make balancing pretty simple. Altogether, the three scopes weigh just over 25 lbs. Counting my camera and guider, the weight should be no more than 30lbs. I think it is doable, and I will have three scopes ready to go at all times, when I am able to get the opportunity to image.

We'll see how it goes, but I am doing all this so I can take pictures. That is what I plan to do, so as soon as I get the mount, you WILL be seeing some results posted.

I will not be able to try guiding for now, because the autoguider port attachment promised by Meade is still not available. My vendor confirmed this when I called to tell him I wanted the LX-80. He said that even though it shows as available on the Meade store, that in reality the dealers are the ones who will supply it, and that no vendors have it.

Anyway, it seems the LX-80 has finally reached mass availability, and for those who have been waiting to see pictures taken with one, I will be doing so in short order, so stay tuned...

John

#2 herrointment

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:14 AM

You could buy a lot of candy bars.........

Good luck and have fun!

#3 DuiA1

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:25 PM

I too am a beginner and trying to get into ap. My ar6 is 23 lbs and has caused the mount to have excessive vibration due to play in the az axis. I am sending mine back for repair. I will use my tv85 for ap and weighs in at 13 lbs. The collective experience to date suggests that 23 lbs is excessive for ap work. I hope you have better luck. All the best.

#4 Jmax

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:39 PM

I can always just have one of the two main scopes mounted, without using the dual scope setup, and using the little 66mm as a piggybacked guide scope (only 3.7 lbs.). But I do want to try it first with everything on board. Then I'll really have an idea what the mount will handle. I hope the observatory will help by blocking most wind. Also, if it works this way, then I will know I should be able to use my C9.25 in the future. We will see, and I will keep everyone posted. I hope it arrives next week.

#5 budman1961

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:48 PM

I would be sure that you can return it, if your expectations aren't met.

Andy

#6 Jmax

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:56 PM

I'm pretty sure that will not be an issue. I doubt I would return it, even if it can't handle the weight in Equatorial mode. I like that you can use it in Alt-AZ as well. My vendor also told me on the phone to let him know if I had any problems at all. Still, I have had pretty good imaging success with a Skywatcher EQ5 Pro mount, and I feel pretty good that the damping issues can't be that much worse with the LX-80, especially since it has bigger tripod legs and is supposed to 'in theory' be able to hold a lot more than the EQ5P.

#7 Jack Huerkamp

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:03 PM

Based upon my experience, even after my LX80 was serviced by Meade to eliminate excessive vibration and play in the Azmuth axis (which servicing did not eliminate and which Meade now says is "normal"), the mount will not handle my 21# Celestron 9.25 with 22# counterweight. 5 second damping time when set up in alt-az mode and 10 second damping time when in EQ mode made use with my MallinCam video cameras impossible. When I dropped down to a 14# Celestron 6" SCT with HyperStar system and 11# counterweight or my 14# Lunt 80, the mount behaved well in A/A mode.

Meade's advertised load carrying capacities are grossly inflated.

Jack Huerakmp

#8 Lorence

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:22 PM

But with my LX-80 costing 1/3 of the the price of the new Atlas, that pretty much made my decision for me.


That's one big ball park your in. Big enough for a couple of leagues to play at the same time. Why not compare the LX-80 to a new Paramount? Think how much you'd save then.

#9 Jmax

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:18 PM

Well that was one snide comment. For some of us the difference between $800 and $2400 is a big deal. I have one kid in college, another who is about to be and a third in high school.

And no I am not poor, I just have other priorities that must come before my own personal hobby... like my new $50000 swimming pool that was just installed for my whole family to enjoy, not just me!

#10 rmollise

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:33 PM

That's not what he is saying. He is saying that that's an out of the ballpark comparison. A better comparision would be the 700 - 800 dollar CG5, which doesn't have an alt-az mode, but which is far, far more stable and imaging capable than the poor LX80.

#11 Jmax

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:49 PM

That's not what he is saying. He is saying that that's an out of the ballpark comparison. A better comparision would be the 700 - 800 dollar CG5, which doesn't have an alt-az mode, but which is far, far more stable and imaging capable than the poor LX80.


Well that's not how it came across. Why not just mention a Cg5 and not a multi-thousand dollar mount? I'm sorry if I misunderstood, but I stated that I already have an Eq5p that is exactly the same as a Cg5. I bought this because I wanted something that could possibly hold more and also is convertible.

#12 Mkofski

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:27 PM

John,

I'm a happy LX80 user and would like to do some AP in the not too distant future. I've had more luck with visual use of the mount than many of the other CN members but don't think that this will be my AP mount... hope it will be, but I'm not counting on it. If I had to, I guess I could spend another $2000 to $10000 on another mount but I won't. If I need another mount, I'll go back to a CG5 and stick with a 80 or 100mm refractor. My only real problem with the LX80 is how much it weighs. Moving it around has agrivated my arthrits. Guess that's a good reason for an observatory!

#13 Lorence

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:23 PM

That's not what he is saying. He is saying that that's an out of the ballpark comparison. A better comparision would be the 700 - 800 dollar CG5, which doesn't have an alt-az mode, but which is far, far more stable and imaging capable than the poor LX80.


Well that's not how it came across. Why not just mention a Cg5 and not a multi-thousand dollar mount? I'm sorry if I misunderstood, but I stated that I already have an Eq5p that is exactly the same as a Cg5. I bought this because I wanted something that could possibly hold more and also is convertible.


This was the comparison I wanted to make initially

https://www.astronom...unt_p19999.aspx

but it wouldn't be fair to iOptron. iOptron delivers.

#14 David Pavlich

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:20 PM

The evidence is overwhelming that every thread concerning the LX80 or LX800 is going to go off the rails. We've heard it all, gang. Meade's new mounts are having problems; IT'S OLD NEWS. LX80/800 threads have a real short leash. If you don't like the Meade mounts, fine. Write Meade a letter, but hijacking these threads with old news ain't cutting it. Get it on topic or it's gone. :mad:

David

#15 brokenwave

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:52 PM

Mike, try using a hand cart with a piece of 2" angle iron/alum or wood platform bolted to the hand cart and tied down with a strap to move the LX80 around. I have seen it in a post in one of the LX80 threads. It makes moving a LX80 pretty easy. And if you mark the tripod leg positions where you usually set it up it would be a real easy set-up. Without a re-leveling every time. Just have to mount and orient the scope and off and observing after handset input.

#16 Mkofski

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:52 AM

Mike, try using a hand cart with a piece of 2" angle iron/alum or wood platform bolted to the hand cart and tied down with a strap to move the LX80 around. I have seen it in a post in one of the LX80 threads. It makes moving a LX80 pretty easy. And if you mark the tripod leg positions where you usually set it up it would be a real easy set-up. Without a re-leveling every time. Just have to mount and orient the scope and off and observing after handset input.


Thanks for the tip! I have one of the 3 wheeled carts but it isn't any good on my grass or gravel. I'll give a hand cart a try in a few days. I had leg surgery and will be out of commission for a little longer. Just got an old orange C8 set up. I forgot how little they weigh even with wedge and tripod.

#17 rmollise

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:52 AM

Well that's not how it came across. Why not just mention a Cg5 and not a multi-thousand dollar mount? I'm sorry if I misunderstood, but I stated that I already have an Eq5p that is exactly the same as a Cg5. I bought this because I wanted something that could possibly hold more and also is convertible.


Well, your EQ5 is not the same as a CG5 in quite a few respects. And my observation from using Jack's 80 at the DSRSG is that the CG5 can hold more weight than the LX80. Just saying... ;)

I liked some things about the mount...but it is just not ready for prime time yet.

#18 Jack Huerkamp

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:15 AM

Rod,

I got impatient with the LX80 and ordered a SkyWatcher AZ EQ-6 from KWTelescopes in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. I will be doing side by side testing with the two and my MallinCams once it arrives and I recover enough from my latest surgery.

Jack

#19 Starhawk

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:51 AM

This is a complete mischaracterization of this discussion.

Jack is doing new work with the mount today.

I understand the desire to avoid hateful letters and worse from the lawyers, but this thread hasn't produced one reference as you describe. If you want people to conceal contrary data they are having in real time and comment with something other than their own experiences and the public record, then we have a real problem.

-Rich

The evidence is overwhelming that every thread concerning the LX80 or LX800 is going to go off the rails. We've heard it all, gang. Meade's new mounts are having problems; IT'S OLD NEWS. LX80/800 threads have a real short leash. If you don't like the Meade mounts, fine. Write Meade a letter, but hijacking these threads with old news ain't cutting it. Get it on topic or it's gone. :mad:

David



#20 brokenwave

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:04 AM

The hand cart tires have air in them so it will make rolling the mount over small terrain changes or even steps easily.

#21 Mkofski

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:05 PM

The hand cart tires have air in them so it will make rolling the mount over small terrain changes or even steps easily.


Any specific hand cart that you would recommend? Thanks.

#22 Starhawk

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:41 PM

I have been able to play with a scope-buggy. Those things really work well since the large tires give good flotation.

-Rich

#23 rmollise

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:37 PM

Rod,

I got impatient with the LX80 and ordered a SkyWatcher AZ EQ-6 from KWTelescopes in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. I will be doing side by side testing with the two and my MallinCams once it arrives and I recover enough from my latest surgery.

Jack


Get well soon...and I will eagerly await your results!

#24 brokenwave

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:21 PM

Any hand cart with Pneumatic tires, Home Depot/Lowes/Ace Hardware, Harbor Freight, $30-60 will give you 5 different models. Add a 36-48" wide 1x4or6, or a 2"angle iron piece bolted to the cart base and a ratcheting strap. Poor man set-up.
Or $350ish for a scope buggy, which looks nice, BTW.

#25 Jack Huerkamp

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:51 AM

Rod,

The mount is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday. It will be ready to use before me I am afraid. I had my gall bladder removed on Wednesday - had enough with those unscheduled attacks at the most inoppertune time.

Jack






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