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Celestron VX mount

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#1001 kirscovitch

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 10:21 AM

Was having some issues in April with the VX and was super frustrated with it. Then for over 3 weeks the weather was horrible and wasn't able to get out and figure out where I was going wrong. Finally last weekend the skies cleared and I was able to get out. Sunday was the best of the 2 nights. After the 2 star alignment +3 calib stars then ASPA, I was able to get 190 second subs unguided with just a slight hint star trailing. Very pleased with the mount so far. Any issues have been operator error. Only gripe I have is once in a great while one of the clutch levers loosens and the scope will "stall" as the motors continue to slew so I have to stop and re-align. It has happened 2x since I've had it so not a major issue Just an inconvenience.
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#1002 Live_Steam_Mad

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 02:21 PM

Was having some issues in April with the VX and was super frustrated with it. Then for over 3 weeks the weather was horrible and wasn't able to get out and figure out where I was going wrong. Finally last weekend the skies cleared and I was able to get out. Sunday was the best of the 2 nights. After the 2 star alignment +3 calib stars then ASPA, I was able to get 190 second subs unguided with just a slight hint star trailing. Very pleased with the mount so far. Any issues have been operator error. Only gripe I have is once in a great while one of the clutch levers loosens and the scope will "stall" as the motors continue to slew so I have to stop and re-align. It has happened 2x since I've had it so not a major issue Just an inconvenience.


Never seen clutch slippage and OTA stalling on my CG-5 with moderate weight 7" Meade Mak in tube rings. I hope that isn't common for an AVX. The only 3 issues I have on my CG-5 are 1) Latitude adjustment is via a very cheesy bolt making it overly difficult, but I got it within a couple of arc minutes in the end, 2) Dec axis sticktion / backlash (although I didn't bother yet to try tuning it out with the handset) and 3) noisy Dec motor in slews.

Regards,

Alistair G.

#1003 cturek

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 02:59 PM

This weekend, I read all 51 pages of posts on the AVX and didn't really see any dealing with the tripod. Is it safe to assume, due to the lack of complaints/issues, it's adequate for the job? I ordered my AVX earlier this morning and it would be nice to think that I won't have to move the mount to a more stable tripod like you have to do with many stock set ups.

#1004 mclewis1

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 03:28 PM

The AVX uses a tripod very similar to the Advanced series (CG-5) and the heavier CGEM (only the area where the mount attaches to the tripod is really different). The Advanced series tripod is generally considered very adequate and to some even over engineered for the job. IMHO the AVX tripod certainly isn't a limiting point for that mount.

#1005 nodalpoint

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 03:46 PM

AVX ships with a very sturdy 2" tripod. You likely won't find any limitation with it.

#1006 cturek

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Posted 15 June 2014 - 08:54 AM

Happy to report that I received the AVX in good shape. Friday evening was my first chance to use it under the stars during our club's weekly open house outreach event and I already know that I am going to love this mount. I just did a two star alignment with no calibration stars and the mount was putting Jupiter, Mars and Saturn very close to the center of the field on every goto. And to think that it can improve by adding calibration stars! Based on this first experience, I am very impressed with the AVX mount and the tripod.

And about the sturdiness of the tripod - no issues there. It is rock solid. I had my old C8 with the radius blocks and Vixen bar that ADM sells up on the mount. Very solid. I could focus with literally no vibration.

#1007 SunBlack

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 03:41 PM

anyone tried to disassemble dec axis?
and there s on the market an adapter for a lighter tripod (ie eq5 4.5kg tripod?)

#1008 Joe Bergeron

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 06:36 PM

For those who are unnerved by the bogeyman of the sleeve-bearing Dec axis, here's a picture I made with my AVX and my 92mm f/6.6 refractor at Cherry Springs this past weekend. I made a few hundred exposures and had no problems that looked like stiction.

I did have some issues with strange oscillations in Dec, but I think that was due to backlash in the gears when trying to reverse direction. and polar alignment that was a little too perfect for my own good. It rarely materially affected the images though. It went away when I moved the mount a tiny bit in azimuth.

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#1009 oldstargazer

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 07:43 PM

Way to go Joe!

#1010 torsinadoc

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 05:01 AM

I have used my VX mount several dozen times for AP. The biggest issue has been balancing in dec. Polar alignment is fairly simple with ASAP and takes minutes. I can do 10 min subs with guiding (testing, light pollution will not allow me to image with it). There are times that it will do some odd things and just not track after several hours like it is drifting a little. Still havent figured that out but as with most of the issues I had, it will likely be user error.

I leave mine outside covered by a telegizmo 360 cover (not the scope just the mount) and seems to hold up fine.

#1011 siriusastro

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 03:35 PM

Are the counterweights for the AdvancedVX usable on the Great Polaris and vice versa?
Clear skies and skinny moons,
Tom W
Barnard Astronomical Society
Chattanooga, TN

#1012 Jeff Lee

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 01:31 PM

Seriously thinking of replacing my Meade LXD75 with the VX. I've had great performance with the 75, I use a Nikon D7000 and the built in intervalometer for 30 second subs - nice round stars from the LXd75. With an external time I'm wondering if I could get good unguided 60-90 subs from the VX using just the software alignment.

#1013 bmyers12

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 12:31 PM

This is the sort of guide log I get, I'm using PHD with an ATK16 camera and a ST80 scope, this has a scale of about 4.3 arc sec per pixel

This is with PEC on and guided. I've measured the PE and the RMS error with PEC on and no guiding seems to be +- 2.6 arc seconds.


Proof is in the pudding. I can't validate the background
on these PHD graphs but there is not much in these forums
to compare mounts directly. The ZEQ25 PHD screen shot is
from another topic here in CN. If there is some apples to
apples in these graphs it looks like the ZEQ has much
better tracking accuracy for about the same cost and in this
same class of mount.

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#1014 nodalpoint

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 01:34 PM

Lol.

#1015 Dwight56

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 05:56 PM

Hey Joe I was wondering if you did some multiple exposures but dither them move scope camera combo around the target at random points then merge the images together the idea is to eliminate the motling effect without having to do darks. :jump: :jump: :roflmao:

Dwight

#1016 Joe Bergeron

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 08:12 PM

Nope. I've tried dithering a couple of times, but it seemed to take forever to settle down and start guiding again, and I'm not sure it ever would with this mount. So far I've been too lazy to make darks, and often too impatient to get enough sub-exposures to really minimize noise...my Cocoon image is evidence of that. All I do is remove the worst hot pixels manually with the Photoshop healing tool.

#1017 bmyers12

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 12:54 PM

I posted the comparison of the AVX and ZEQ PHD graphs not
to torment any AVX enthusiasts but to get some validation
on the tracking accuracy capability of the AVX. I am in
the market for a mount in this class and the AVX would be
at the top of my list if I can get good images with a long
focal length scope, 8" SCT specifically. I have not seen much evidence of images
or data on these posts so if anyone has some to share it
would be greatly appreciated. Bruce

#1018 nodalpoint

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 01:28 PM

I own both the mounts you mention and neither would be ideal for a long focal length. That doesn't mean either won't work, however. There's a lot to like about each but the ZEQ has issues that should have been worked out in the design process and some QC concerns. The AVX can be stiff to balance and needs more aggressive settings to smooth the guiding.

If you want to see some of what the AVX is capable of, try asking this guy http://www.astrobin....seasonzhang813/. He also posts on CN but with a different username.

Putting up graphs from different people made who knows how to prove something doesn't really help. Trying to buy a new scope, I spent hours browsing hundreds of posts on a number of forums and found little more than opinions. Many helpful but still only opinions.

#1019 torsinadoc

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 01:36 PM

I posted the comparison of the AVX and ZEQ PHD graphs not
to torment any AVX enthusiasts but to get some validation
on the tracking accuracy capability of the AVX. I am in
the market for a mount in this class and the AVX would be
at the top of my list if I can get good images with a long
focal length scope, 8" SCT specifically. I have not seen much evidence of images
or data on these posts so if anyone has some to share it
would be greatly appreciated. Bruce


I use the AVX with 714 fl refractor. IF it is balanced (not easy), I can get 10 min subs with guiding. I typically dont shoot those long subs due to LP. I shoot between 180-480 sec on average. I dither with 10 second settle period.

#1020 bmyers12

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 02:55 PM

Thanks for the quick responses and good info.
I checked out seasonzhang813 images using the AVX..Wow!
Assuming the AVX is unmodified that is quite impressive
but the images are less than F10 which is reasonable.
I fully understand imaging at F10 with a portable mount is
pushing the limit but I have had limited success with my
hypertuned LXD75, which is far from a high quality mount
even hypertuned, so upgrading to a newer better design, and
hopefully higher quality, I should be able to get better
results. I do use an F6.3 focal reducer for most of my
imaging but it would be nice to push the envelope once in
a while. I had high hopes for ioptron but as stated there
seems to be a lot of tinkering and adusting to get them to
work and the newer mounts have a number of quality and
design issues. That's why I'm interested in the AVX which
seems to be a solid design and just need some reassurance
it can produce good images guiding at reasonably high FL.
I don't push the LXD75 more than 5min subs but it sure
would be nice to get to 10min with few tossed frames!

#1021 nodalpoint

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 03:14 PM

With the reducer, careful balance plus experimentation with PHD settings and good guiding, I think the AVX will work out. It comes with a much heavier tripod than the Z ( the 2" tripod is a $100 option on the Z) and overall seems more solid. But you already know going into into it neither is ideal.

The reason I have both is, besides getting them at reduced prices, is the ZEQ is super portable while the AVX can be used at home with ASPA where I cant view Polaris and it's just better overall if I want to do visual with my 8" SCT.

#1022 bmyers12

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:12 PM

I own both the mounts you mention

nodalpoint. Since you own both mounts (ZEQ25/AVX) that I am
trying to narrow down which would work best for me I think
you could be my best source for hopefully unbiased info.
I am in no hurry to buy a mount so would you recommend
waiting to see if ioptron fixes the most significant ZEQ
flaws or even if they do would the AVX even then be the
best choice for long term ease of use and reliability.
Your best guess would be fine with your hands on experience
of both.

Which do you think has the best quality construction?

If you needed any support for either or both what was your
experience?

Any additional pros and cons would be a great help ;)

Bruce

#1023 nodalpoint

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 12:47 PM

Bruce, will pm you with my thoughts in the next couple days when I get a chance.

#1024 TCW

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 05:26 PM

I am likely beating a dead horse but I can't find a pier extension for the AVX. What do you AVX owners do when using a refractor?

#1025 grcameron

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 05:30 PM

I'd like to hear your thoughts about how they compare too. I've got the ZEQ25 but was thinking about the Celestron VX too at one time.






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