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LX850 14"

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#1 galaxy_jason

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:54 PM

Meade sent me a 14" to test the mount. Looking good.

10 minute sub exposures 5 hours in HA..

http://galaxyphoto.c...00_14_horse.jpg

I miss named it "800", mine still has an 800 badge but it has all the 850 upgrades.

#2 dmdouglass

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:21 PM

That is an impressive image! Well done.

#3 budman1961

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:23 PM

Wow, that is super Jason!

#4 korborh

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:41 PM

Excellent image and resolution!
Any details on how this was auto-guided ?

#5 galaxy_jason

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:45 PM

No external auto guider. Starlock did the guiding

#6 korborh

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:58 PM

That is impressive!

#7 Whichwayisnorth

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:09 AM

And at F/8 too! Very nice Jason!

#8 oo_void

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:51 AM

Not quite flat, but for that focal length, wow! Hopefully, they'll continue to refine this tech so it reaches us poor people in a couple of years.

#9 orlyandico

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:15 AM

Yes I did notice a tiny bit of elongation, but these are 10 minute subs at a pretty long focal length.

There is a Horsehead of similar image scale at the top of this page -
http://www.princeton.../NJP/ic434.html

but Rob Vanderbei's image was taken with a 10" RC and only using 5-minute subs.

If the LX850 can do perfectly round stars at 5-minutes, then it could be argued that the LX850 can match a Takahashi NJP. Which is really saying something...

Trouble is even at $6000 it's a lot of coin. If Meade could have the same technology in a $2000 class mount, I'd bet there would be a lot more adopters. I might even check it out..

#10 mmalik

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:25 AM

Image looks good; more tests are needed by other users. LX850 has its work cut out at Mach1GTO... pricing.

On a side note, SCTs primarily being visual platforms, I would like if someone could test imaging with a decent APO on LX850 mount. Thx


My Horsehead....

#11 ahopp

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:35 AM

mmalik, not sure that the Mach1GTO is a direct comparison on price. Add mounting plate, tripod and you are close to $9K, add a guide scope and other accessories for guiding and you are way up, over $10K. Also, the load capacity of the Mach1GTO is 45#s, 1/2 that of the LX850 at 90#s. I guess it remains to be seen if the LX850 can bare that load, but, even if it only can perform at 1/2 capacity, that equals the Mach1GTO at +$4K cheaper.

Do not get me wrong, the Mach1GTO is a great mount and a known entity, let's just take a step back and give the LX850 a chance, I think Meade has something here.

And, great Horsehead shot.

Tony

#12 David Pavlich

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:50 AM

Yep...the 14" Meade with all the goodies attached is well over the capcity of the MachI. Let's compare dollars to the AP900. Perfomance would in all likelyhood, be better than the 850, however the cost reflects that improvement in performance.

And that's a terrific image, Jason!

David

#13 mmalik

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:00 AM

Let's compare dollars to the AP900


I agree; probably better $ comparison.

#14 ahopp

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:06 AM

So, how will the LX850 compare to the AP900 in performance/value?

Tony

#15 orlyandico

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:55 AM

Why is there this persistent story going around that a Mach1 is "well over $9K..." it definitely scared me back when I was thinking of buying one..

In the other thread I pointed out that a decked-out AP900 is $10.6K -

900GTO - 8750
900RPA - 325
Robin Casady 31012226-AP3-22lb-S x2 - 466
Robin Casady Dove12 - 179
Rob Miller Tri36M - 900

= 10620.

Of course if you get the AP Eagle then that's definitely much more spendy. With a Mach1, all you really need are a saddle, a couple of weights, a tripod, and an ADATRI. Heck, in my case I put the Mach1 on an old Celestron tripod that cost $75.. you can put it on an Atlas or CGEM 2" steel tube tripod and it will be stable, and the cost will be much less than $8K.

People don't say "I need X pounds of payload and I'll spend whatever." They say "I have X dollars to spend" - and people with $6K to spend won't be looking at the AP900. Hence even though in theory the LX850 carries much more than the Mach1, it is a valid comparison.

#16 orlyandico

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:23 PM

Gotta add.. the LX850 14" ACF is 2.5m focal length. Don't know what it weighs. I can get round stars with 10-minute subs on my Mach1 with a C9.25 (which is 2.35m focal length) and external guide scope. Although that's only about 35lb of payload. But it's severely off-balance (I have 25lb of CW which isn't enough) and I'm using aforementioned $75 Celestron tripod.

Thing is Meade is selling the LX850 14" tube for $6K. And $10K including the mount. If you include the OTA in the equation, I think a lot more folks would go for the Meade (the mount is now only $4K! and at $4K a lot of sins can be forgiven - not that the LX850 has many).

Another issue is weight - the CGE Pro has been around a long time, costs $5K, and carries 90lb. It never was an option for me because it's too heavy. Ditto for the Losmandy Titan.

#17 galaxy_jason

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:38 PM

About the weight, I have the 14", an Apogee U9, IFW filter wheel and Meade focuser. This requires 100 lbs of counter weight and the mount is handling it just fine. I little more wiggle than the 12" of course which required 74 lbs.

The raw PE went up a bit with the load, from 13" to 19" but with the latest firmware it is PEMPro corrected to 2" PP

#18 orlyandico

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:55 PM

That is a huge amount of counterweights! so more CW is needed than the actual payload? that puts the LX850 squarely in the "permanent installation" category.. which means it should really be compared to the Losmandy Titan and CGE Pro.

#19 Pak

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:49 PM

What can you tell us about your conditions? Seeing and wind etc.

Is there any way we can see a few detailed shots of your setup? I know that may be slightly off topic but your comment about the weights has me thinking about it. Seems like your equipment has to be hanging way back with all that attached. What is the optimum back focus at F/8?

On my CGE-PRO I had at one time 88 pounds of counter weights and I thought that was insane but the mount handled it all pretty well with little "wiggle". Have you identified where the wiggle is coming from? From what I recall when I got to see the LX800 in person at a show I went to, the pivot point at the Alt adjustment seems really weak and when I grabbed the bottom of the dove tail and moved the OTA back and forth I couldn't figure out if the movement was more in the motors or in that spot. I think it was a tie. Lots of weight being channeled down to the ity bity spot. A permanent pier won't help it unless it is also in a observatory where the wind won't bother it. But 99% of us don't have either option.

Obviously results are what matters but I am curious how it will hold up in the wind or even a breeze with a big 14" on there.

#20 galaxy_jason

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:48 PM

By wiggle I mean overal movement of the mount. That is a
lot of moment arm. Overall it holds up better in the wind
than any previous Meade fork mount I have used. I don't have much experience with other mounts.

#21 MeadeSquared

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 05:16 PM

We've all been watching this opera for so long and now this is getting fun to watch. Thanks for the post.

#22 Hilmi

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:02 AM

Actually, now that the mount is working, its no longer that exciting for people. Did you notice how fast the discussion on this topic dwindled out?

#23 Raginar

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 03:45 AM

I'm really glad someone is posting images. I don't think Meade has figured out how important the 'grass roots' advertising is on a mount of this caliber. No one impulse buys a 6.5k mount.

Jason is doing a good job :D

#24 orlyandico

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:13 AM

the results look great - Tak NJP class as i said - but i think a few brave souls will have to put it through its paces before the 850 will gain widespread acceptance.

if the variability in quality is too high, people are still gonna be scared. anybody who buys a 6.5k mount would not want to be rolling the dice.

#25 Raginar

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:49 AM

I agree completely. Wish they'd send me one to beta test :).






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