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new lx 850 owner

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#1 maugi88

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 03:20 PM

I am a new 12" lx 850 owner. owned it a month only had two nights of viewing. It came without one of the two counter weights. This being the case I missed the last new moon with low humidity and smooth air. I was a little ticked. Anyway, when I did finally get to use it I too was impressed. My only other reference is a etx 90. So naturally this is a huge improvement. I was a little surprised during polar alignment that the mount cants off to the east about 30deg to make final Polaris alignment.
Book says nothing about that. At first I thought something must be wrong. Just went with it and mount and scope worked fine.
Is a little heavy for setting up myself. Finding it doable though.

Looking forward to next new moon. Although it is hot and humid here now.

#2 jrcrilly

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 03:37 PM

I was a little surprised during polar alignment that the mount cants off to the east about 30deg to make final Polaris alignment.
Book says nothing about that.


It will rotate to whatever angle Polaris is from the pole at the time (360 degrees in about 24 hours) so it could be any angle.

Congratulations on the new acquisition! There are a few experienced users here so any questions you pose should find answers.

#3 maugi88

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 05:41 PM

Yah but I already had the scope point right at Polaris with the ota directly above the mount. It surprised me to have it cant the ra axis to the right standing behind it when it was already pointed at Polaris
water under the bridge.

I really like the fact that people actually respond on this site. great forums, happy to have found it.

#4 nitegeezer

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 10:21 PM

Polaris is not the true north point, but it is very close. For normal visual with a manual scope, just pointing to polaris is good enough, but to get added precision for gotos it slews slightly off and changes ra to the correct setting. When this happened to me with my wedge mount I had to scratch my head a bit but after thinking it all made sense.

#5 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 10:26 PM

I am a new 12" lx 850 owner. owned it a month only had two nights of viewing. It came without one of the two counter weights. This being the case I missed the last new moon with low humidity and smooth air. I was a little ticked. Anyway, when I did finally get to use it I too was impressed. My only other reference is a etx 90. So naturally this is a huge improvement. I was a little surprised during polar alignment that the mount cants off to the east about 30deg to make final Polaris alignment.
Book says nothing about that. At first I thought something must be wrong. Just went with it and mount and scope worked fine.
Is a little heavy for setting up myself. Finding it doable though.

Looking forward to next new moon. Although it is hot and humid here now.


Hello Maugi88 and Welcome to the LX850 club!

You have a great mount and telescope! Between weather and travel I have not been able to put my LX850 to use the last two months (I should be able to access it by mid-September again), but between all of us we should be able to lend some advice and a helping hand, so to speak!

Yes, the LX850 is a bit heavy, however it is great exercise!

And Polaris...what a trouble maker!

#6 maugi88

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 10:37 AM

Andrew,
I must admit that I have read some of your posts before I purchased my lx850. I googled lx 850 and there were links to your threads. The descriptions you gave and pictures you posted of M51 or M101, maybe were part of the reason I went ahead with getting it. You should get a commission from meade. Anyway thanks to all.

#7 galaxy_jason

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 11:30 AM

That's normal with any computer drive system to rotate from the initial home position to the proper hour angle of polaris. When you then move the mount to center Polaris you are now pointing at the pole.

#8 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 02:59 PM

Andrew,
I must admit that I have read some of your posts before I purchased my lx850. I googled lx 850 and there were links to your threads. The descriptions you gave and pictures you posted of M51 or M101, maybe were part of the reason I went ahead with getting it. You should get a commission from meade. Anyway thanks to all.


maugi88,

Lol thank-you for the commission suggestion, but I am just plain ol' happy with the LX850! Like I said, it is the real deal.

Yes, the live view of the M51 via the MallinCam X2 from the LX850 was simply breathtaking. My kids and I just stared and stared at the screen. My kids said the view was just like it was out of a text book (their friends were also amazed too and actually were suddenly VERY interested in Astronomy!). And actually when that test picture was taken I accidentally left the StarLock lens cap on - I was so excited with the LX850 I forgot to take it off! So this image was taken on with the mount crudely aligned, no StarLock, no PEC training! (I have remembered to take the cover off now, lol).

The only pain I have is with all my travel and poor weather (Monsoons in New Mexico), I have been unable to use the LX850 since early June, boooo. :bawling: Fall should remedy all this. I am looking forward to sharing our experiences with the LX850!

Congrats on your new telescope!

#9 jrcrilly

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 03:11 PM

It does a pretty nice job with conventional CCD imaging also.

Larger version: http://www.lx-850.co.../rgb-5-1200.jpg

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#10 maugi88

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 03:35 PM

Wow, great pic John C. That is just gorgeous. I doubt I will be able to buy a 16 mg camera any time soon. That really looks nice. Is that a planetary neb? I don't recognize it off hand.

#11 maugi88

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 03:38 PM

Andrew, I am looking forward to it too.

#12 jrcrilly

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 05:23 PM

I don't recognize it off hand.


Sorry; that's IC5146, informally referred to as the Cocoon nebula. It was captured with a QSI683 camera binned to 2MB through a 12" LX850.

#13 maugi88

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 06:02 PM

You binned that down to 2mb. I live in a high light polluted area and would have to bin down images to get contrast. It's nice to know what can be achieved.
Do you have formal training or did you just teach yourself. I just started reading "the new ccd astronomy" by ron wodaski. Don't have a ccd yet.

#14 jrcrilly

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 06:27 PM

You binned that down to 2mb.


Yes. At these focal lengths it would take a night of very good seeing to benefit from the smaller unbinned pixels. FWHM was around 3 arcseconds that night. There are better recent images on my blog but I hadn't posted that one on CN so I used it here.

"The New Ccd Astronomy" by Ron Wodaski is excellent (I still have my copy). It's fairly old but except for some references to obsolete equipment it has aged very well and the principles it explains haven't changed. Good imaging is a matter of some study and lots of practice.

p.s. I'm in a red zone myself but bin only when seeing makes it appropriate or when I'm in a hurry and want to keep exposures short. On a good night I shoot unbinned luminance.

#15 maugi88

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 06:53 PM

I checked out your gallery, very nice. I noticed you are using a rc ota. My acf will need some field flattening to get results like yours will it not?

#16 jrcrilly

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 07:15 PM

I noticed you are using a rc ota. My acf will need some field flattening to get results like yours will it not?


The last couple of sessions used a borrowed 12" LX850 OTA and no flattener. Neither is truly flat but the curvature seems to be bearable with either across the 8300 chip. I believe that the shallower curves of both secondaries compared to that in a standard SCT provide flatter fields than a conventional SCT. I have old images captured with a 12" F/10 around here somewhere and I intend to compare them at some point. If I have the ACF long enough I'll fiddle with some flatteners I have on hand.

#17 maugi88

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 07:25 PM

I have preordered a meade flattener and focal reducer for the acf, that was supposed to be released with the lx800 but I suppose with all that happened they have not had time to refine it. I doubt I will ever see it. I don't want the one available for the sct because I don't need coma correction.

#18 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 08:03 PM

It does a pretty nice job with conventional CCD imaging also.

Larger version: http://www.lx-850.co.../rgb-5-1200.jpg


Nice pictures as always!

#19 maugi88

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 11:56 AM


spacetravelerx,

Or do you prefer Andrew? Do I remember reading you use sky safari connected to you 14" lx850? I just downloaded it and it seams really cool at first glance.

#20 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 11:00 PM

spacetravelerx,

Or do you prefer Andrew? Do I remember reading you use sky safari connected to you 14" lx850? I just downloaded it and it seams really cool at first glance.


Andrew is fine! Most folks call me that ;)

Yes, SkySafari is really cool and it plays really nice with the LX850. The key is make sure StarLock is pointing to the same object as your telescope/SkySafari; Even with everything snug, Starlock might be pointing at one spot of the sky while you telescope might be looking 0.2-2 deg off. Also per the manual - "Whenever you change eyepieces, diagonals or cameras, the center field of view may shift slightly. Starlock can compensate for this slight difference". This is an easy fix - "When slewing has been completed, re-center the star in the eyepiece or camera. Then hold the “ENTER” key for 2 seconds. Then press “ENTER” again to confirm your position."

Once done, SkySafari, Starlock and the eyepiece view should be in sync.

BTW, HPP is amazing to watch in action and it nails the target dead on every time. I will record a video of this operation (using my MallinCam) once I get home AND I get clear skies!

#21 maugi88

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 01:49 PM

Andrew,

I will be watching for the video, I assume you'll post it. I like the high precision pointing too. As long as you sync, right in the middle every time.

#22 Whichwayisnorth

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 01:58 PM

Congrats on the LX850! Very very nice system. I am also glad that Andrew is willing to take the time to show videos etc. I have been promising to do that for a year now and haven't ;)

#23 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 02:14 PM

Congrats on the LX850! Very very nice system. I am also glad that Andrew is willing to take the time to show videos etc. I have been promising to do that for a year now and haven't ;)


Two conditions for me to do the videos - I need to get home to New Mexico, and I need a break from the monsoons. We need the rain, but a break in the nightly cloud cover when I am there would be nice!

:cloudy:

#24 maugi88

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 04:46 PM


Two conditions for me to do the videos - I need to get home to New Mexico, and I need a break from the monsoons. We need the rain, but a break in the nightly cloud cover when I am there would be nice!

:cloudy:



Whaaaat? you mean you cant control the weather? You call yourself a rocket scientist? :)

I can wait. Of course conditions must be right, and you will need the time to do it. By all means take your time, zero pressure.

I am wondering how you connected your telescope with the sky safari on your phone. Are you using a serial connection to a computer and then blue tooth to the phone?

#25 Whichwayisnorth

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 07:28 PM

I use a network connection. When you plug in the skyfi module it creates a network address. Go into your smart device where you set up your network connections and select the network. Once connected, fire up sky safari and choose that method of connection. Really simple and easy.






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