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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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gary-sue69
sage
*****

Reged: 07/19/07

Loc: Maybee MI.
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: sphelps]
      #5195288 - 04/28/12 04:57 PM

'whichwayisnorth' glad to hear everything worked out and it was an easy fix, i knew mine didn't move like that.
back to my saga...chris from meade called me back today,from the N.E.A.F show. he told me how to fix my problem. he said to do a one star polar alignment, then it should slew to a bright star at which time, i should align my OTA with that star using my hand controller, and not manually using screws on the dovetail as the manual says. the mount should remember the alignment of the starlock and my OTA to the star. so next time i start it up, i should just have to do an easy polar alignment, which is default alignment on the mount. it may clear up enough at 1am to try it. i told chris that this process is not in the manual, he said they would take a look and revise if necessary. i am very happy with meade support and hope this fixes my problem. i have confidence it will.

Edited by gary-sue69 (04/28/12 05:03 PM)


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Griffin!
sage


Reged: 09/12/10

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: gary-sue69]
      #5195295 - 04/28/12 05:04 PM

Glad to hear that gary, I hope you get some clear skies tonight so you can verify it works.

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gary-sue69
sage
*****

Reged: 07/19/07

Loc: Maybee MI.
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Griffin!]
      #5195305 - 04/28/12 05:13 PM

thanks griffin...i am sure it will work. i hope it takes some worry off your decision to order, i think it is a good mount. by the way...have you ever heard of night skies network, it is free to view. rock, the guy that makes the mallincam, has a lx800 set up. hopefully he will be broadcasting tonight so we can see how it works.

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Griffin!
sage


Reged: 09/12/10

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: gary-sue69]
      #5195308 - 04/28/12 05:16 PM

I saw someone post that earlier but when I went to the website I didn't see anything about the 800, I wasn't registered so that may have been it. I'll take a look tonight.

Edited by Griffin! (04/28/12 05:16 PM)


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yweln
member


Reged: 08/05/11

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: gary-sue69]
      #5195318 - 04/28/12 05:22 PM

Quote:

night skies network, it is free to view. rock, the guy that makes the mallincam, has a lx800 set up. hopefully he will be broadcasting tonight so we can see how it works.




That sounds great. I've been waiting for some solid input on that mount.


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gary-sue69
sage
*****

Reged: 07/19/07

Loc: Maybee MI.
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Griffin!]
      #5195323 - 04/28/12 05:28 PM

there is a "visitor" tab on the upper left side. you will be able to view, but not chat as a visitor. by the way, rock is suppose to be using a different OTA, then the one that came with his mount to look at the moon. there may be multiple options to view, click on the one that says astronomy day ottawa ca.

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JSnuff1
sage


Reged: 12/29/04

Loc: NY
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Griffin!]
      #5195335 - 04/28/12 05:36 PM

I just got back from NEAF and after I grilled the Meade guys there, and checked out the mount in person this is what I got...

The mount itself is beautiful and larger in person than I thought...it looks and feels well made which is one of the reasons I want to love this mount and buy it even though intellect tells me to go with the tried and true.

Anyway as "which way" has already said the issue with the counterweight shaft must have been a fluke (which is concerning since the first mounts to ship should have been checked over 100 times). None of the two production model lx800s they had exhibited this issue and the shaft was solid.

What does have slight play are the threaded countershafts. There is no quick release or locking mechanism as some had hoped, just a simple threaded counterweight. The weights wiggle a bit on the thread, it's not a lot and I hope the weight sloping a bit as the mount moves won't be an issue.

As Gary mentioned the issue with alignment of third party OTAs should not be an issue. There is a routine to aligned the OTA with star lock that Gary must have missed which is why he got that error (FYI Meade DOES read these posts and they new exactly what I was talking about when I asked them about it).

Now here is where things got disappointing. I got one of the Meade reps to tell me that the mechanical Periodic Error they measured during testing was around 15-20 arc-seconds. Of course he immediately went on to say that it did not even matter how much mechanical PE the mount has because the star lock system is so advance it guides to 1 arc-sec accuracy.

I'm not sure I buy this, nor do I feel good about shelling 6k for a mount that has 20 arc-sec of native PE. I wasn't expecting AP accuracy from this mount but was hoping in the range of 5-10. They can say all they want about their glorified auto guider but what sets apart mounts in this class is how good their internals are. I don't care how good star lock works, if it's fighting 20 arc seconds of PE there will be dropped frames, but I hope I'm proven wrong.

I really hope Meade realizes they are dealing with a different class of customers when it comes to higher end imaging equipment, and we won't take short cuts and hope that an auto guider and software will make up for it for an answer.

Overal it's a great concept, and I'm still considering one after seeing it in person. I really hope that star lock does work "magic" and more than make up for the sub-par mechanical performance of a 6k(7.3k) mount.


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Griffin!
sage


Reged: 09/12/10

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: JSnuff1]
      #5195355 - 04/28/12 05:53 PM

Hm, that PE number is a bit troubling, hopefully they were just playing it safe or stating a worst case. Lets see what numbers people post (with starlock and without) when they test them over the next couple weeks.

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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Griffin!]
      #5195359 - 04/28/12 05:56 PM

I am not sure what to think about the lack of need for starlock to be physically aligned with the ota. How faw off can they be and stalock still work and how does being off effct it's accuracy? PE while not great would be acceptable if extremely smooth.

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Griffin!
sage


Reged: 09/12/10

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Stew57]
      #5195470 - 04/28/12 07:44 PM

I think I found the web cast for the lx800 on the night skies network website. It's not showing the view through the scope yet but you can see it setup.

Here's the link for it:

http://www.nightskiesnetwork.com/live/channel.php?n=Astronomy Day Ottawa CA

EDIT: Ok that doesn't seem to work. The channel is called "Astronomy Day Ottawa CA" so look for that.

Edited by Griffin! (04/28/12 07:45 PM)


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: JSnuff1]
      #5195554 - 04/28/12 08:49 PM

Quote:

Now here is where things got disappointing. I got one of the Meade reps to tell me that the mechanical Periodic Error they measured during testing was around 15-20 arc-seconds. Of course he immediately went on to say that it did not even matter how much mechanical PE the mount has because the star lock system is so advance it guides to 1 arc-sec accuracy.




What is interesting is that they told me "a little less than 10" arc-sec accuracy when I asked them a few months ago. I will try my best to get some numbers.

Right now I have clear skies but wind at 12mph. Supposed to get down to 2mph by 10pm. I plan to set it up tonight.

Those of you with Meade mounts. Do I have to go through the alignment routine before I can get a connection from my computer? I got an error back "invalid alignment" when I tried it earlier. Of course I just turned it on in the house and tried to connect.

No ASCOM drivers yet? The LX200 generic and the LX200ACF/R ones don't work nor does the maxmount ones as far as I can tell.

Unless I am doing something wrong. I figure user error.


Edited by Whichwayisnorth (04/28/12 08:53 PM)


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gary-sue69
sage
*****

Reged: 07/19/07

Loc: Maybee MI.
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5195566 - 04/28/12 08:56 PM

i am excited that you will get to test the mount. it is cloudy and rainy here. i was looking forward to see it broadcast on nightskiesnetwork, but that has been cancelled. you're my only hope now..go man go..lol

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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5195699 - 04/28/12 10:43 PM

Almost ANY mount _must_ be aligned before you connect the computer.

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sphelps
member


Reged: 07/03/10

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: rmollise]
      #5195757 - 04/28/12 11:25 PM


Ok, any updates?


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gary-sue69
sage
*****

Reged: 07/19/07

Loc: Maybee MI.
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: sphelps]
      #5195779 - 04/28/12 11:35 PM

i found clear skies, i did a one star alignment like meade said. found polaris in the view finder, manually adjusted to center and hit enter. it slewed to the first star. i used the key pad to center that star and it said successful alignment. i slewed to first galaxy m104. it was within the field of view. guider stayed red which means it locked onto a guider star, then would blink, then solid again. m104 slowly drifted out of field of view. i tried a few times with no more luck. done for the night. will call meade again for more info.

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JSnuff1
sage


Reged: 12/29/04

Loc: NY
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: gary-sue69]
      #5195812 - 04/29/12 12:02 AM

Gary did you try the Automatic Drift Alignment? Maybe your polar alignment was to far off.

To access this routine select "Drift Alignment" under the Setup Menu.


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sphelps
member


Reged: 07/03/10

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: gary-sue69]
      #5195841 - 04/29/12 12:45 AM

Quote:

i found clear skies, i did a one star alignment like meade said. found polaris in the view finder, manually adjusted to center and hit enter. it slewed to the first star. i used the key pad to center that star and it said successful alignment. i slewed to first galaxy m104. it was within the field of view. guider stayed red which means it locked onto a guider star, then would blink, then solid again. m104 slowly drifted out of field of view. i tried a few times with no more luck. done for the night. will call meade again for more info.



Oh oh!
My itchy trigger finger is moving again towards that cancel button.
I would try the drift alignment routine and if that doesnt work, I would set the scope up with the OTA it was shipped with which I believe was a 12" you ordered?
Hope you have better luck.


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: sphelps]
      #5195864 - 04/29/12 01:15 AM

Ok some thoughts before I go to bed.

I got it out side, leveled the mount and started working on balancing. Noticed something weird. Loosen the clutches all the way and it seems that it doesn't matter where the balance is at all. Meaning if you swing the OTA so that the bar is parallel with the ground it doesn't swing down or up on its own. It acts like it is in perfect balance. Move the weights quite a bit and still the same thing. Same with the OTA balancing. Doesn't seem to matter where you place the OTA (forward or back). It acts as though the clutches are still engaged even if you remove the clutch bolts all the way out. I don't get it. You can move it with your hand and swing it every which way. There is some resistance like you are doing it under water but I'd think that if I was out of balance it would be easy to see. I am comparing this to balancing my CGE-Pro which if a fly landed on one of the weights you would see it swing down if the clutches were loose. Well maybe not but you get the idea. Moved very freely and it was easy to balance it. *shrug* no clue what this means. Working as intended? Of course I'll shoot some day time video tomorrow showing what I mean.

Finally was dark enough where the stars started popping out. Did an alignment. Fixed on Polaris and then told me to adjust the mount manually to center it. Pressed enter. It went to another star. Keypad to center it, hit enter. Congrats you are aligned. Go to object, auto centering.....
Done. Look through the finder scope (which we aligned earlier). WAY OFF. Look through the eyepiece, WAY OFF. Went into the utilities and found calibrate OTA. Tells me once it found a star that I need to adjust the OTA on the dovetail to center it. I'll do that tomorrow night. I guess the starlock and the OTA are not aligned so even if the starlock finds the target and starts tracking there is no reason to assume the telescope is pointed at it. Same issue Gary was having. So I suppose I have my task for tomorrow night.

I thought at first there was some image shift but later on there wasn't any. Not sure what was going on at the beginning. Was centering polaris and I noticed it was out of focus as a donut shape. So when I focused the star was moving out of FOV. But like I said later I didn't notice that problem at all.

Mount seems very stable. As stable as my CGE-Pro was. Maybe more so. *thumbs up!*

I have a cable to hook it to my computer but it is one I bought for my CG5. My belief is that they should be compatible but my visitor for this evening swears that Meade's cables are different than celestrons so I need to get one for Meade. If someone can please verify it either way that would be super neato.

My seeing was bad. High wispy clouds came in. Moon, while less than half, was still very bright and it was diffused in the high clouds making the whole sky brighter than it needed to be. It simply wasn't worth staying up late fighting with this thing tonight. Tomorrow I'll focus on aligning the OTA with the Starlock so at least they are pointed at the same object. I am going to use PHP guiding and a guide camera at the eye piece and turn on cross hairs. Then I'll go through the aligh OTA routine so I can make the physical adjustments to the dovetail while watching the computer monitor. Once I have that done I'll go ahead and try some starlock guided imaging. Just to see how it goes.

If the cable is not compatible there isn't a whole lot of testing I can do until I get one that works. Which means no results until middle of next week. Hopefully someone else like Gary could provide some info.

Overall things seem to be doing well. I need to get this thing out to dark skies asap. From what I could tell the mount was stable, the OTA worked well. The optics seemed fine from what I could tell. If anyone is in Southern California and wants to drop by for a look please PM me. I'll have it set up all week.

Edit: It looks like OPT is open tomorrow so I'll probably go down there and pick up a cable if they have one in stock. then tomorrow I can communicate with the mount and have some results for you folks.

Edited by Whichwayisnorth (04/29/12 01:22 AM)


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5195894 - 04/29/12 02:09 AM

My meade cables are different than my celestrons. I would not mix them.

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sphelps
member


Reged: 07/03/10

Re: Meade's new LX800... new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5195950 - 04/29/12 03:00 AM

Thank you Mr. North for the update. Im hoping the fix for your problem is a simple calibrate. I wanted this scope for its ease of setup and use. If it turns into a nightmare, I may rethink my purchase as I'm a person with not enough patience and time to fool around with setting up a scope all night long to take a couple photos. I hope Meade is reading this thread and takes notice.
Thanks again for your updates.


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