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LX80 First Use in Dual Scope Mode

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#1 Jmax

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 11:26 AM

I reported awhile back about using the mount in equatorial mode. Weather has been horrible here this winter, but I finally had another night to use the mount. Saturday before last was supposed to have been my astronomical society's Messier Marathon. It was, as expected, cancelled because of weather. But this Saturday night turned out to be lovely, and we had an impromptu 'make up' for the marathon. I set up my LX80 with my C9.25 riding on one side for the smaller targets and my 8" f/5 Newtonian riding on the other for the wide field stuff. All in all, it was somewhere around 50lbs, counting eyepieces, diagonals, etc. It took me a little while to get the balancing right. That was the most difficult thing. I then aligned, and for some reason it was 180 degrees off. I parked things and found that the scopes were pointing to the vertical when they should have been horizontal. I manually moved them and again aligned. Everything was good this second time. During the night, I just casually went through objects as they became visible. In all, I hit about 40 or so of the Messiers. I had used the 9.25 for aligning, and the Newt was just slightly off of the targets. But by carefully moving the scope manually in altitude on the first target, using the finder scope, I only had to adjust things with one arrow on the Autostar, should I wish to take a peek in the Newt for the rest of the night. It was nice having the SCT and Newt together on the same mount. It was windy, and there was some shakiness at the eyepiece of the 9.25, until I removed the dewshield, and then everything settled down nicely. All in all it was a good night where my LX80 really showed its merits! I do wish that it had some way to align the scopes in azimuth so that they would both be able to point to the exact same spot. But this was only a minor complaint. I really love the mount after this weekend and am so glad I didn't let the naysayers convince me to cancel my order back in the fall.

#2 Mkofski

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 12:45 PM

Jmax,

Thanks for the report! It great to hear that you were able to use the 50 # load successfully on your mount. Someday we'll have a clear night that isn't below freezing. I've found that I don't enjoy being out when it's that cold.

#3 Jmax

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:10 AM

Haven't had any replies, so I assume people may not believe me about how well it worked. Well, here is a picture of the mount with scopes from Saturday night.

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#4 geminijk

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 07:58 PM

Congrats on a setup that is working out for you. I'm still contemplating a mount option suitable for dual scopes but versatile enough to permit ap.

John

#5 brokenwave

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 08:25 PM

That's pushing it, I've only tried mine up to a 8"sct and my ES102apo (about 35lbs). Mine is ok but the RA worm spring starts to show it's weaknesses. With a 102 and my 90mm only, it does much better.
For a dual scope mount that is easy to set-up the LX80 is hard to beat.

#6 Jmax

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:09 PM

Mine never even sounded strained. It was smooth and quietly and every goto was spot on. I have absolutely no fear of using this setup from now on. In fact this will be my star party rig I am now sure.

#7 Mkofski

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:51 PM

John,

That's good to hear. My maximum load will be about 30#... I guess I need to look for a replacement for the 8" Newt I sold last summer.

#8 timmbottoni

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 07:22 AM

Nice setup

#9 MawkHawk

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 08:01 AM

Great, I love that. I so want this to be a decent mount. I've been thinking about the LX80 as a replacement for my LXD55 to mount my AR6 someday.

#10 frolinmod

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 10:20 AM

For a dual scope mount that is easy to set-up the LX80 is hard to beat.

Certainly it is when you take the price into account, i.e., bang for the buck. I suspect the Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ6 GT (aka Orion Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G) beats it in every way except that one.

#11 Starman27

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 10:26 AM

Thanks for your information. I haven't tried mine in dual mode yet, due to weather. I intend to use a 102mm refractor and a 6 inch CAT for star parties and other outreach events.
The mount works wonderfully in single scope use. Looks like a good replacement for my LXD75.

#12 brokenwave

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 11:32 AM

Herman, I had that same set-up on my LX80 and it worked great.
Jmax- only when I loaded it with more did the dampening time rise from 1-2 seconds to 3-4 seconds, it didn't strain at all. You should like it a lot for visual.

#13 Fred1

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 03:12 PM

.... I do wish that it had some way to align the scopes in azimuth so that they would both be able to point to the exact same spot. ....


Agreed. I thought about shims but there are dovetails with adjustable screws for doing just that. When I do mine in dual mode it's my Comet Hunter (or my C8) and 80mm. Nice rig.

PS: I'm looking into the ADM adjustable tube rings for my 80mm. If I can confirm that they'll hold the scope without gravity making it slide, then....

PPS: I decided to try an 8" Orion Dovetail with Adjustment Screws attached to a plain 8" dovetail that is attached to my 80mm apo. The plain dovetail will act as a base for the adjustment screws to press against so I can align my 80mm with the main scope.

#14 exparrot

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 03:22 PM

PPS: I decided to try an 8" Orion Dovetail with Adjustment Screws attached to a plain 8" dovetail that is attached to my 80mm apo. The plain dovetail will act as a base for the adjustment screws to press against so I can align my 80mm with the main scope.


Please let us know how this works out, Fred. I've been using the shim solution with my LX80 for many months, so I've gotten comfortable with it. But, I'd still like something easier. Another solution mentioned on the Yahoo group was to drill holes in the secondary saddle and insert adjustment screws.

Jerry

#15 Fred1

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 09:24 PM

PPS: I decided to try an 8" Orion Dovetail with Adjustment Screws attached to a plain 8" dovetail that is attached to my 80mm apo. The plain dovetail will act as a base for the adjustment screws to press against so I can align my 80mm with the main scope.


Please let us know how this works out, Fred. I've been using the shim solution with my LX80 for many months, so I've gotten comfortable with it. But, I'd still like something easier. Another solution mentioned on the Yahoo group was to drill holes in the secondary saddle and insert adjustment screws.

Jerry


Yeah, I thought of that, too, as the metal is pretty soft but I hate doing such mods cause I get only one chance to do it right. It'll be sometime before I can report 'cause I'm recovering from a knee injury with 4 weeks of therapy ahead of me. The adjustable dovetail is only $20, so if anyone is anxious, the worse that could happen is that you'd end up with an extra dovetail with adjustment screws. :p

#16 ldesign1

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 04:13 AM

.... I do wish that it had some way to align the scopes in azimuth so that they would both be able to point to the exact same spot. ....


I just picked up one of these from ADM Accessories.

http://admaccessorie...cts/DUAL-CW.jpg

I haven't had the chance to try it out yet.

#17 brokenwave

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 12:39 PM

Ralph,
Does ADM actually have a saddle available for the LX80?
Pic looks like it is for a Ioptron Mini Tower Pro.
It would be great because the Meade saddles are so-so at best.

#18 ldesign1

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 12:56 PM

Ralph,
Does ADM actually have a saddle available for the LX80?
Pic looks like it is for a Ioptron Mini Tower Pro.
It would be great because the Meade saddles are so-so at best.


The only difference is the shaft size. You hand to measure it and let him know at the time of order. FYI, mine measured 29.95mm exactly. Depending on Meade's tolerances, you may want to double check hiya to be shuts. It's probably safe to say 30mm.

#19 brokenwave

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 08:39 PM

Perfect, would you tell us how much adm charged for it.
Thx

#20 exparrot

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 10:56 PM

The only difference is the shaft size. You hand to measure it and let him know at the time of order. FYI, mine measured 29.95mm exactly. Depending on Meade's tolerances, you may want to double check hiya to be shuts. It's probably safe to say 30mm.


I'd be interested in this, too. Does the saddle fit far enough onto the shaft so the mounting screws clear those threads used for adding another extension piece? It looks like it might be okay.

Jerry

#21 ldesign1

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 04:11 AM

Perfect, would you tell us how much adm charged for it.
Thx


$139.00 plus shipping.

#22 ldesign1

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 04:28 AM

I'd be interested in this, too. Does the saddle fit far enough onto the shaft so the mounting screws clear those threads used for adding another extension piece? It looks like it might be okay.

Jerry


The bore hole is flat on the inside. Nothing touches the threads of the bar. The side screw that locks onto the bar fits into the recessed part of the bar extension. The adapter is 1/4" deeper than it needs to be so you can slide it an extra 1/4" if you want it to be flush to the end of the bar. But the lock screw will be on the main surface of the bar instead of the recess. I put a 1/4" thick rubber grommet inside the hole as a stop do that the lock screw fastens to the recessed part upon insertion.

#23 exparrot

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 02:43 PM

The bore hole is flat on the inside. Nothing touches the threads of the bar. The side screw that locks onto the bar fits into the recessed part of the bar extension. The adapter is 1/4" deeper than it needs to be so you can slide it an extra 1/4" if you want it to be flush to the end of the bar. But the lock screw will be on the main surface of the bar instead of the recess. I put a 1/4" thick rubber grommet inside the hole as a stop do that the lock screw fastens to the recessed part upon insertion.


Thanks for sharing this with us. I'm going to give it a try. I don't have a caliper, so I took the best measurement I could. Came out to be 30.2mm. Just placed an order - hopefully this will work out!

Jerry

#24 Fred1

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 09:01 PM

PPS: I decided to try an 8" Orion Dovetail with Adjustment Screws attached to a plain 8" dovetail that is attached to my 80mm apo. The plain dovetail will act as a base for the adjustment screws to press against so I can align my 80mm with the main scope.


Please let us know how this works out, Fred. I've been using the shim solution with my LX80 for many months, so I've gotten comfortable with it. But, I'd still like something easier. Another solution mentioned on the Yahoo group was to drill holes in the secondary saddle and insert adjustment screws.

Jerry


Yeah, I thought of that, too, as the metal is pretty soft but I hate doing such mods cause I get only one chance to do it right. It'll be sometime before I can report 'cause I'm recovering from a knee injury with 4 weeks of therapy ahead of me. The adjustable dovetail is only $20, so if anyone is anxious, the worse that could happen is that you'd end up with an extra dovetail with adjustment screws. :p


Did it. I saw that my Comet Hunter already had an adjustable dovetail with it so all I had to do was adjust that and then align the 80mm's saddle in altitude. Took some time to do it as I had to dismount/remount the Comet Hunter several times to get the dovetail adjustment screws right.
But it works. :waytogo:

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