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Orion XT*g tracking

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#1 LunarRover

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 03:14 PM

Would like to get some input from owners of the Orion XTg goto dobs, if you've had issues with motor induced vibrations causing image "bounce", especially with high power viewing, as mentioned in the S&T test report?

Also, has goto accuracy been satisfactory?

#2 Tiebreaker

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 04:36 PM

I have the XT10g and it's been a pleasure to use. I've not noticed any motor induced vibrations but I rarely use anything higher than 167x (Explore Scientific 6.7mm eyepiece). GoTo accuracy has been very good. I do use an illuminated double reticle eyepiece to center the alignment stars. Hope this helps a little.

#3 Billytk

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 05:08 PM

Go To on mine is usually spot on and I have never seen any vibrations. Had the ES 8.8mm and 6.7mm with 2x barlow in it last Fri night.

#4 Starman81

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 07:43 PM

I first-lighted my XT8g on 6/8. GoTo was spot on for the few targets I chose (all close to my alignment stars) and tracking was solid. I tried the 'Auto-Tracking' feature and it did NOT work. I was on the phone with Orion just an hour ago and the support tech did not have a solution.

I only had my Baader Zoom so the max power was 150x and of course, no vibrations. What smooth slewing at all speeds!

#5 TexasRed

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 07:41 AM

I've never noticed the slightest vibration, even at 300X.

#6 Jarrod

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 11:19 PM

255x is stable here.

Gotos are good. Usually gets the object within ~0.2º of the center.

#7 debrady

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 08:21 AM

XT10g: Occasionally the GoTo will be off, but I'm certain it can be traced back to a bad alignment. PAE usually fixes that when it does rarely happen. When it's on, it's on.

Haven't noticed any vibration even with a ES82º 6.7 with a 2X barlow.

#8 Starman81

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 08:55 AM

How many of you XTg owners use the 'Auto-Tracking' mode and how successful has it been?

Sorry for sounding like a broken record, but after hearing Orion's lack of a solution for this problem I am left searching for answers.

Thanks in advance.

#9 debrady

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 03:41 PM

If you mean "level it and point it north" mode, never tried it. I can't see Polaris from my usual observing location. Plus, the two star setup is just so easy.

#10 Starman81

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 03:44 PM

If you mean "level it and point it north" mode, never tried it. I can't see Polaris from my usual observing location. Plus, the two star setup is just so easy.


I've only done the two-star procedure once so far (my 1 night out with the scope) but I can already tell it is much easier and trouble-free compared to my Nexstar 8SE's 3 star alignment. BUT, this 'Auto-Track' feature is an advertised feature and I definitely see value in it, so it SHOULD work and if it doesn't, that is a failure that needs to be addressed. Not yelling at you debrady, but at Orion.

#11 Billytk

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 05:32 PM

The only value I see in auto-tracking is if you wanted to observe the moon in daytime or solar with the proper filter when you can't see alignment stars. Other than that I see no use for it. :shrug:

#12 Starman81

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 12:28 PM

Well I have an admission to make, which is a bit embarassing but I don't want Orion getting any bad press on my part based on a user error. In regards to my issue with the 'AutoTracking' feature not working and Orion not having a fix for it, here is what actually happened. In my excitement during the setup of the scope, I swapped the coordinate numbers for my location while entering it into the handset. So instead of 83* W 42* N, I put in 42* W, 83* N which put my location at basically the North Pole! If you're curious how the constellations move through the sky at the North Pole, open up Stellarium, change your location accordingly and fast-forward the time-step and you'll see--Polaris is at the zenith and constellations dance around you like a merry-go-round. Nothing is really rising or setting (don't quote me on that part though). So of course my Autotracking would not work because the movement of the stars at my location on the equatorial grid is obviously much different. I had a chance to get the scope out after figuring this out and the AutoTracking worked PERFECTLY throughout the night!

#13 Chaz659

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 03:03 PM

Well please let us all know how well the scope works out for you now. A first light report would be welcome, thanks!

#14 Billytk

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 09:04 PM

Well please let us all know how well the scope works out for you now. A first light report would be welcome, thanks!


+1

#15 Starman81

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 11:57 AM

I had only observed DSOs thus far with this new scope and last weekend was the first time I did any planetary observing. I put it on Saturn at medium-high power (171x). The seeing was not great, the Cassini Division being barely discernable, but what made it worse was the image of Saturn was jumping around! Not a lot, but enough to be a bother. I thought at first it was my cooling fan, but the 'jumpiness' continued even after I turned it off. There was a very slight breeze and just to be sure that was not the cause, I waited until it died down and still observed the jumpiness. I then turned off the tracking and it went away and when I turned it on, it came back--not a good sign. Tracking is more crucial for high-power viewing but if that results in jumpiness to the point that it detracts from observing fine details, that is problematic, especially for planetary, double stars and lunar observing. When I observed a few nights before, all I observed was DSO and thinking back now, I did observe this happening a little bit while observing M11 at medium-high power (184x). But for 95% of my DSO observing I did not notice it.
Any thoughts on how to migitate this issue? Have others experienced it with their XTg's? I am thinking it is possible that this is less of the problem in the XT10g because of its greater tube weight and even less with the XT12g's massive tube, assuming the motors are the same in all 3.

#16 Billytk

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 03:41 PM

I have never seen that with my scope. Smooth tracking here.

#17 CounterWeight

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 06:43 PM

Good to hear it's a 'non-issue'. I am going to be joining the XXG Club after an almost 5 year stint of 'lenses only'. What did it for me - as I'd previously been a 'Cat' fan, is the goto and tracking.... well and the new mirror design (at least new for Orion). It takes me time to save up for these things(astro-toys) unless I want to sell something I already own - and so I've been able to keep an eye on the posts and reports from launch date and overall seems it's going to be what I'd like. Starman81 thanks a lot for the update! everyone else thank you as well as I've been very interested in this.

#18 debrady

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 12:31 AM

Same here. Never seen it. Even using the ES 6.7 with a 2x Barlow.

#19 my_universe

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 07:03 PM

Check to see if the right side bearing on the OTA is rubbing agaqinst the right side panel. There should be a small gap of a couple millimeters at least. If it is rubbing, that could be causing some stiction, resulting in jumpy tracking. Some lithium grease or graphite powder between the two parts might solve it, or you could add a thin shim (maybe 1/16") between where the right side panel attaches to the front panel, as this would move the right side panel slightly outward, creating the needed gap.

#20 Starman81

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 08:14 PM

Check to see if the right side bearing on the OTA is rubbing agaqinst the right side panel. There should be a small gap of a couple millimeters at least. If it is rubbing, that could be causing some stiction, resulting in jumpy tracking. Some lithium grease or graphite powder between the two parts might solve it, or you could add a thin shim (maybe 1/16") between where the right side panel attaches to the front panel, as this would move the right side panel slightly outward, creating the needed gap.


Thanks, I will look to see if this is the potential cause of the jumpy tracking I think I am seeing.

Billytk and debrady, glad to hear that you have not experienced this issue.

#21 Jarrod

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 11:39 AM

I may have noticed this for the first time the other night. The conditions were:

a) Viewing an object near zenith.
B) High magnification
c) A heavy EP installed
d) Scope not sitting on level ground

In particular, (d) is something that I had not done before. I was setup on the sidewalk in the front yard and we live on a reasonably steep grade. Based on the fact that I have not noticed this before, but have viewed with at least two of the other three variables in place simultaneously, my current hypothesis is that the sloping ground was a big contributor.

#22 Starman81

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 01:14 AM

I may have noticed this for the first time the other night. The conditions were:

a) Viewing an object near zenith.
B) High magnification
c) A heavy EP installed
d) Scope not sitting on level ground

In particular, (d) is something that I had not done before. I was setup on the sidewalk in the front yard and we live on a reasonably steep grade. Based on the fact that I have not noticed this before, but have viewed with at least two of the other three variables in place simultaneously, my current hypothesis is that the sloping ground was a big contributor.


The conditions when I observed it compared to yours were quite different, see below in italics:

a) Viewing an object near zenith. - nope I had it on Saturn which we all know doesn't rise very high at all at this point in time.
B) High magnification - I was only at 171x, that is more like medium-high
c) A heavy EP installed - the EP was Pentax XW 7, relatively not a heavy EP
d) Scope not sitting on level ground - scope was on a level sidewalk

I had a very short session a few nights ago, but the seeing was so bad that star images were jumping all over the place, tracking on or not. Still waiting for a decent night that I am able to observe to make some more observations in regards to this supposed problem.

#23 Starman81

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 07:39 PM

I am still looking for a night with good seeing and one that I can actually get out early enough to get my scope acclimated in order to investigate the 'jumpiness' in my tracking. I had a session a few nights ago that more or less had the same result, so I am kind of bummed for now, but really hoping for a fix/mod/adjustment of some sort. There are plenty of other XTg owners out there and I have never read of this type of issue yet, so I am hoping it is resolvable. This time around, I was using 184x on the Wild Duck Cluster and could see bright stars at the edge of field bouncing around. Turning off the fan did help a bit, so I am still looking to see how much that is playing a part.

#24 dan777

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 10:06 PM

Would like to get some input from owners of the Orion XTg goto dobs, if you've had issues with motor induced vibrations causing image "bounce", especially with high power viewing, as mentioned in the S&T test report?

Also, has goto accuracy been satisfactory?


My XT8g as delivered had a very noticeable stepping motion in ALT movement. It was obvious at 170x. Orion replaced the scope.

The goto accuracy is excellent. My XT8g is more accurate than the Intelliscope I used to have.

#25 TexasRed

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 06:08 AM

The fan shouldn't make the view jittery either. I can't tell when my fan is running. Orion needs to take that one back and replace it. There's something seriously wrong with it that isn't wrong with the others.






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