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LX80 upgrade LX85.

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#51 exparrot

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 06:05 PM

Mike, I just stumbled upon this thread. You are certainly a main force behind this moving forward and I commend you, sir! Wow, I hopes this pans out!

Jerry

#52 Mkofski

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 06:17 PM

Thanks Jerry. It really has been a group effort because Meade has been watching the threads.

Mike

#53 ur7x

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 08:23 AM

ur7x,

I don't intend to diminish the impact CN has on the astro community as a whole but I do think that there are more users out there than ones aware of what goes on here. I think that's why I couldn't find 10 happy users. The number of LX80 users, happy and unhappy, wasn't all that big... maybe 15 or 20 tops. Just an educated guess. Meade had to have sold a lot more more mounts than that. I may not have approached it in a very smart way, but when I started buying equipment, I bought a C8 on eBay without knowing anything more than what I remembered from many years ago.

Finding 10 happy users of the LX200, CGEM or the new AVX shouldn't be hard. Even the AVX, here on CN, seems to have lots of users. From the post, there seem to be a fair number of users having problems with the AVX also. I know that that's probably because of the newness of the AVX and the problems are nothing like the LX80 has had.

I have had 2 problems with the LX80 and both were caused, in part, by my mistakes. To their credit, the problems were fixed quickly without talk of charging me because of user error. AP still isn't working for anything over 30 second subs. That again is due in part to my inexperience. I doubt if an experienced astrophotographer could do much better. The mount has a lot of problems and, with exception of the tripod, you wouldn't notice it if your payload is under 20 or 30 pounds and your not doing AP. I suggested that any upgrade offered to users be offered as 2 options. 1. A complete upgrade of the mount and tripod and, 2. upgrade of just the tripod. That way users that are happy with the mount can still get a more reliable tripod. Don't know what will become of that suggestion.

How the "fix" for the LX80 will be implemented is still to be seen, but at least Meade is making an attempt. Whatever the final procedure is for getting the upgrade into the hands of users probably won't make everyone happy.

And remember, almost everything I "think" with regards to the LX80 is opinion not based on hard facts. I'm not privy to much in the way of "inside information"!

Mike


We can agree to disagree on much of that. The fact that your tripod top split into two pieces when you twisted one of the legs was not a problem caused by you... Both my CGEM and my smaller ASGT have seen way worse action than that and neither have suffered a catastrophic failure. In fact neither have failed in any way.

Sub 30 second exposures on a PEC mount is also a huge fail in just about anyone book. A properly polar aligned mount that is strong enough to hold up an OTA without it bouncing all around and has even close to properly cut gears should easily put out 60-90 second subs. Both of my mounts will do what with my 9.25 all night long, with nice round stars the result. I've seen way over loaded LX200's do the same.

The problem with the LX80 is not your inexperience; sadly, it has more to do with the fact the mount was under engineered out of the gate. That is not inside information either, that is pretty much a proven fact now.

#54 SDTopensied

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 08:08 PM

I had an LX80, had problems with it, and ultimately ended up with a CGEM that I'm very happy with.

That being said, I really enjoyed using the AutoStar firmware and I liked the mount concept. I hope that Meade pulls it off and the end result is a contender worth comparing to competing products.


-Steve

#55 Mkofski

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 10:08 PM

Yep... 2 years ago the LX80, on paper, looked to be the mount for me. The price was in my budget of under $1000. A GEM and a replacement for my SkyTee 2 AltAz mount. GEM capacity of 40 pounds. Accurate enough for AP. Wow - too good to be true. A fantastic mount for only $800.

Well, if Meade survives and if Sunny goes through with the upgrade started by Jerry Gonzales, it can still be a great product at a good price. Some big ifs but we should see soon.

#56 ur7x

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 10:32 AM

Wow - too good to be true.


And that turned out to be exactly the case.

#57 brokenwave

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 07:08 PM

Hopefully there should be some activity on this soon, the merger vote is happening this Thursday, Sept. 12th. Just looked at part of the proxy statement dated Aug. 16th.

#58 Whichwayisnorth

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 02:05 AM

The folks running the show down in Mexico are doing a fantastic job. The recent problems with Meade mounts wasn't their fault at all from what I can tell. The LX80's were bought by Meade directly from the manufacturer based on that manufacturer's word that they would perform as specified AND Meades marketing department pushed the specs aside and invented their own to sell more. Meade was desperate for cash after all. The people running the factory in Mexico didn't design or build them. When people started talking about the problems and sending them back to Meade that is when they really tore into it and identified all the issues. As a stop-gap fix they tightened it up and sent them back out because that was all they could really do without any money. In the mean time they called up that supplier and told them to stop sending them as they would not be buying more.

Now that there has been an influx in cash, they are proceeding to re-design the whole thing. You've seen the list of improvements. New gears, new worm, new motors, new tripod etc.

My understanding is that they are pacing the floor waiting for the firmware to be finished so they can test and release to beta but the firmware is taking forever. (I personally strongly believe they need a new guy so... Submit your resume!)

Again I want to say that most if not all of the information I have is based on casual conversations I've had with people that know a lot more than I do. Second or third hand information at best.


I really think that Meade's best days are ahead of them if they can get past this next week.

#59 Mkofski

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 02:18 AM

That is exactly the take I have on the situation. Shouldn't be long now before we can see the first redesigned mounts coming out of Mexico.

Mike

#60 cn register 5

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 02:20 AM

The LX80 problems became Meade's responsibility when they put a Meade label on it.

Chris

#61 Stew57

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 07:42 AM

Not the first product that was released not quite ready and won't be the last. In fact it seems Celestron has one out they are scrambling to fix. It is how the company responds to these missteps they results in either positive or negative reactions.

#62 rmollise

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:57 AM

Not the first product that was released not quite ready and won't be the last. In fact it seems Celestron has one out they are scrambling to fix. It is how the company responds to these missteps they results in either positive or negative reactions.


If you are talking about the StarSense, you are wrong. One worked very well indeed at the just completed AHSP. ;)

#63 Whichwayisnorth

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 01:13 PM

Meade never said it wasn't their responsibility Chris. That is why, now that they have some cash to spend, they are fixing it. If you do not have any money you don't have any money. You can't buy parts and materials and you don't really have much of a leg to stand on with your suppliers. Whoever made the mount for them had a "what are you going to do about it" attitude. Meade did not. Mistakes were made for sure but it wasn't made by the people at Meade who actually build stuff. That's all I am saying. You know I own both Meade and Celestron. I don't play favorites.

#64 Mkofski

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 02:48 PM

I had a call this morning from Jerry Gonzales, Meaded's VP of Operations at the Mexico facility. He told me that they are within days of shipping the first FEW reworked LX80's to beta testers. I got the impression that the beta testers are already lined up so if you wanted to be one and don't know if you are, you probably are not. I did pass names along of those of you that wanted to test the mount - so much for any pull I have!

From what he told me of performance, it should be very good for a $1,000 mount. Also, the "upgrade" when it is available should be offered in 3 flavors. You will be able to upgrade the mount and tripod, just the mount or just the tripod. That sounds to me like a good way to take care of users that are happy with the performance but worried about the tripod as well as those of use that want everything upgraded. I guess if you have the mount on a pier you may not need the tripod upgrade. he did not share with me any dollar figures on the upgrades other than they won't be making any money on the project.

More as I know anything.

Mike

#65 rmollise

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 03:01 PM

Meade never said it wasn't their responsibility Chris. That is why, now that they have some cash to spend, they are fixing it.


Where in pea-turkey did they get cash to spend? :question:

#66 cn register 5

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 03:05 PM

Meade never said it wasn't their responsibility Chris. That is why, now that they have some cash to spend, they are fixing it. If you do not have any money you don't have any money. You can't buy parts and materials and you don't really have much of a leg to stand on with your suppliers. Whoever made the mount for them had a "what are you going to do about it" attitude. Meade did not. Mistakes were made for sure but it wasn't made by the people at Meade who actually build stuff. That's all I am saying. You know I own both Meade and Celestron. I don't play favorites.


You seem to be suggesting that they should be excused because it's their supplier's problem, or their own marketing department, or they really need the money.

If you were mugged, would you let the mugger off because he really needed the money?

Chris

#67 Mkofski

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 03:10 PM

Meade never said it wasn't their responsibility Chris. That is why, now that they have some cash to spend, they are fixing it.


Where in pea-turkey did they get cash to spend? :question:


Rod,

Don't know about that but the mass availability of the upgrades are not available for now, just a few. They were working on this back before Sunny was in the picture when Explore Scientific was till the prime candidate for the takeover.

Mike

#68 Mkofski

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 03:19 PM

Meade never said it wasn't their responsibility Chris. That is why, now that they have some cash to spend, they are fixing it. If you do not have any money you don't have any money. You can't buy parts and materials and you don't really have much of a leg to stand on with your suppliers. Whoever made the mount for them had a "what are you going to do about it" attitude. Meade did not. Mistakes were made for sure but it wasn't made by the people at Meade who actually build stuff. That's all I am saying. You know I own both Meade and Celestron. I don't play favorites.


You seem to be suggesting that they should be excused because it's their supplier's problem, or their own marketing department, or they really need the money.

If you were mugged, would you let the mugger off because he really needed the money?

Chris


I don't think a mugger is a good analogy. A mugger intended to do the mugging. Meade is responsible for the mount because their name is on it. The problems with materials that seems to be a big part of the overall state of the mount was because of the builder. Meade is not blameless but has done what was in their power to make the mount right. Giving them credit for that, IMO, isn't excessive.

A better analogy may be a car accident that was Meade's fault. Meade did not leave the scene of the accident.

#69 rmollise

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 04:05 PM


Rod,

Don't know about that but the mass availability of the upgrades are not available for now, just a few. They were working on this back before Sunny was in the picture when Explore Scientific was till the prime candidate for the takeover.

Mike


Thanks, and I sure hope this works out for the LX80 owners. :(

#70 Whichwayisnorth

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 05:17 PM



Rod,

Don't know about that but the mass availability of the upgrades are not available for now, just a few. They were working on this back before Sunny was in the picture when Explore Scientific was till the prime candidate for the takeover.

Mike


Thanks, and I sure hope this works out for the LX80 owners. :(


My understanding is that Sunny gave them some money to cover operating costs but if the deal falls through they owe it back. That is what I meant. I learned about it in the 100 page long Meade thread we had a month ago.

#71 JimMo

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:18 PM

Well, that's good new for me if it happens. I upgraded my tripod with a Jack's astro accessories tripod hub. He made two and I got one of them so I'd just need to send back the mount.

I had my LX80 out last night and was still impressed with alt/az mode carrying a TV85. I put every object into the center of a 60x eyepiece and I'd never had been able to find them star hopping with the LP around here. New gears that will be able to get the mount up to specs will be welcomed. Hope it happens. :fingerscrossed:

#72 Gvs

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:38 PM

LX85 with starlock and I dive right in. If it can handle 12 inch OTA, it would be impressive.

Don't you all understand? It's to our benefit to save Meade, without them competition dies then you will pay more than 1500 for some of the stuff you can purchase under 1000 now.

You can be part of the problem our part of the solution. I chose the later.

#73 Starhawk

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 10:50 PM

There are always iOptron, Explore Scientific, Astro Tech, Orion, and Antares running around to keep Celestron on their toes. And in effect they've been the only ones in the marketplace in force the past few years to do it.

-Rich

#74 neilson

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 11:06 PM

I wasn't under the impression there was any competition going on.

Neilson Shepard

#75 rmollise

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 07:26 AM

LX85 with starlock and I dive right in. If it can handle 12 inch OTA, it would be impressive.

Don't you all understand? It's to our benefit to save Meade, without them competition dies


I don't want to see Meade go, but you are wrong about this. Meade dies and someone else will fill the void. ;)






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