Takahashi TSA-120 & Explore Scientific 102mm APO Refractors
Lunt 60mm PT Ha
Celestron Edge 800 & Edge 1100 SCT's
Celestron AVX & CGEM Mount's
Televue Ethos 100* 21mm, 17mm, 13mm, 10mm and 6mm & Explore Scientific 82* 4.7mm Canon Rebel T3i DSLR SBIG STF-8300M, FW5-8300, OAG-8300, ST-Ic guide & planetary camera
SCOPES: CPC1100; AT66ED; EdgeHD 8";SVR90T RAPTOR
MOUNTS: CGEM; Vixen GP2; iOptron Sky Tracker; Celestron AVX
CAMERAS: Canon 60D;Lodestar
EYEPIECES:TV N31T5;Delos14;Delos8;Pan27; PL20;PL25;PL32;TMB9
The Lord sits enthroned above the circle of the earth...He stretched out the heavens like a canopy.
Home-built Newt: 10" f/4.5 Royce conical primary, Skywatcher NEQ6 (Astrotroniks tuned) iEQ45, Duo-T, 8" f/4 Skywatcher Quattro CF 120 ED f/7.5 Skywatcher Black Diamond 80ED Stellarvue
SVR90 Raptor QHY9C OSC Camera ZEQ25 EQ Mount Porta II Alt-Az
Celestron 8SCT ES102APO Orion 90ST CGEM LX80
Quote:Can't do PEC yet because I don't have a guider but if someone want's to loan me one...
I lost count of my scopes. Now I just want mobility. I came, I saw, I bought some interesting accessories, and put names to faces: NEAF 2012, ASAE 2012, SWAP 2013, ASAE 2013.
Quote: Also, please explain more about this hex bolt needed to go between EQ and Alt Az. Do you mean a locking bolt to hold it in position, like I think I saw in one of your photos, or do you mean some sort of drive screw?
Homemade 14.5" f4.3 Truss Dobsonian
"I'd like to remind you at four in the morning my world is very still, The air is fresh under diamond skies, makes me glad to be alive." Randy Bachmann "Blue Collar"
“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open.” ― Frank Zappa
Quote:Took 2 hours off work today to drive out to Woodland Hills Telescope and Camera to pick up my LX80. Jon is the man to speak to there by the way. Great customer service. Anyway... This post will be my initial impressions on the mount as well as the initial test we ran. I will follow up with photos (and if possible a movie of it in action as well as it and my CGEM for reference) as soon as I have a chance. I doubt I will be able to get too many for the next two days thanks to work getting in the way (I *HATE* it when that happens!) but plan to put it through it's paces this weekend. Speaking of which if anyone is in the Los Angeles or surrounding area's, is good or at least proficient at AP under light polluted skies and would be willing to meet me and use their AP Fu on my mount I would like to put it through it's EQ/AP chops but don't think I have the skill yet to do so. So... Please PM me if you are interested.He and I were both interested to see the bloody thing so he cracked it open for me. Sorry no photos. It's been done though so I will spare you the standard opening the box sequence. My first thoughts... Good Engineering. And for the record for me that is high praise where as Bad Engineering is one of the most insulting things I can say. The mount is very ergonomic and compact with far less moving and movable parts when compared to the CGEM. With the handles it actually felt lighter than the CGEM (It is 5 lbs lighter per published specs) and much easier to move around. From the tripod on up the unit is very solidly built with an eye to ergonomics and good engineering practices. I say an eye to because there are some things that are needlessly complex and typical (myself included) of an Engineer going "Hey! Wouldn't it be really cool if we...!" Instead of saying "Hey! Wouldn't it be best if we made this a simple as possible!?!" Specifically moving it from Alt/Az to Eq and back. You must use a hex tool, either the one included or a substitute, to do this. The tool fits nicely in its own spot on the mount (but should have been attached by some means to the mount instead of screwing in and out where it can get lost) and all but this function could have been accomplished in a much simpler fashion with a knob like on the CGEM. Making the weight bar not standard size was also a no no in my book. You are going to need 1" plus sized weight holes for this. The other that stands out the declination clutch serves a dual purpose of being where you screw in the counter weight bar so you are screwing in the weight bar forever and at first I thought there was a problem because I kept turning and turning without it stopping plus the place it screwed into also tightened and loosened further confusing the issue.The tripod is built like a tank compared to the CGEM and almost twice as heavy but I am hoping that means better stability. The weight bar coming apart is nice and the ability to mount dual OTA's but said mounting has me worried. Specifically if I need to mount weight on it plus the other OTA. Not sure of this yet because I haven't RTFM. I know I know shame on me. But hey I am a guy... its what we do. What worries me is the weight will have to be higher up on the bar then the OTA and if that weight goes sliding down then its going to hit the additional OTA mount plate which may end up with the additional OTA getting the bad end of that deal. Not sure yet and hope they didn't do that. If they did then it would be a case of Bad Engineering for sure.Also in it's favor are that it very clearly marks what needs to point where for what function and three attachment knobs to mount the mount to the tripod for a bit higher level of stability instead of the central pole like on the CGEM. One of my pet peeves on the CGEM is that the EP holder and tripod stabilizer are on the same bolt. Why? Not simple and turning it the wrong way can mean you are loosening the mount from the tripod instead of the EP holder.I did an initial setup with the mount in EQ position and the hand controller set for Alt/Az which put the theoretical OTA upside down and pointing the wrong way for the star it was syncing to which was a moment of concern but a factory reset and restore to Alt/Az as well as putting the mount in the right direction for North, setting it for Alt/Az and changing the location from Alameda to my local zip had it close to pointing the right way. On reflection my location was over one degree (47 miles) of Lat/Lon to the North and West of where I had the mount set for which would probably account for why it wasn't closer to where it was supposed to be.Last observation for now is that it is quieter and smoother in terms of motor movement/noise than the CGEM but that was unloaded. Loaded up may be a different animal.
Quote: Doing so with my C9.25 on the Giro is scary.
Pentax PF-80ED,Meade 102ED APO,Orion EON 72,120ST Apex 127,C6 XLT,C6R,C9.25,XT10 ,Celestron Regal 100 F-ED, CT152 Zeiss 7x42 FL,Canon 10x42L IS WP,15x50 IS 12x36 IS II , Pentax 8x32 ED Garrett Optical 28x110 HD-WP Signature Series Oberwerk BT-80 45, Apogee RA-88-SA Denk II Power x Switch binoviewer w/13mm Ethos, 20mm Pentax XW's, 20mm Widescan III's. 21mm Ethos,17mm Ethos, 22mm Nagler, 40mm Pentax XW, 14mm Pentax XL, 5.2mm Pentax XL, 8-24mm Pentax XL Zoom, 31mm Axiom LX
Quote:How long an ota can be mounted? i have a 12" newtonian 1500 focal do you think it would be okay alt/azm mode and/or gem. i too got mine but since im not experienced enough i dont want to attempt until i read more. i didnt like that it only comes with 10" max. I am not to good yet at polar align but i like the ability to unscrew and manually adjust if its goto is off a bit. Thanks for you review.
Quote: I know what you mean about trying to put a heavy OTA on side saddle in alt az mode. Doing so with my C9.25 on the Giro is scary. As to the LX80 it sounds like a nice mount but too much of a production and too heavy for me. I fear my dream of a stand alone LS type mount will remain just that. David