Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | >> (show all)
Wigleydh
member


Reged: 10/26/07

LX80 RA tracking
      #5301281 - 07/03/12 09:31 PM Attachment (250 downloads)

Asking for some help. Sorry this is long.

There are three of us that have a combined equipment setup for astrophotography. One of us has ordered and received a LX80 (we have been using his LXD55 ). During first light Friday night, we found an issue with it not tracking properly in RA, which I’ll explain. The issue has only been not tracking properly in RA. The DEC has been good. The gotos have been good. The LX80 seems fine except for the RA tracking. Also it is much more solid/stable than the LXD55.

The guy that bought the mount called Meade Monday. He told them what it was doing. He also asked what the RA ratio value should be as default, in attempt to verify that. Meade told him that they would have to call him back. Didn’t hear back on Monday, he called again this morning, got no call again so called back very late today. He was now told to e-mail the issue to them. He had to go to work and will have to e-mail them after he gets off work.

We discussed it and he wanted me to ask here - Can someone that has a LX80 please check their hand controller to see what value the RA ratio is? I hope it isn't wrong to post what ours is showing. Ours had +2.75075 as the RA ratio and +2.75077 for the DEC ratio. After having absolutely no luck, as a debug step we did temporarily change the RA to see if it affected the situation. We set it about +8 and the drift then went the other way. When we set it to about +6.75 that caused the star to be just about steady then. The RA ratio has now been re-entered to +2.75075 as it originally showed. We did see a value close to that on another site. The value they showed listed it as being LX90 & LX80. Is that correct for both? The reset of the audiostar hand controller still showed +2.75075 but it has huge drift at that.

Also, I don’t believe we’re overlooking something but please say so if anyone notices something we might be overlooking.

Friday night, the mount was physically setup in EQ/polar mode, verified the hand controller also showed polar/EQ mode. The mount was balanced in both axis - picture is attached (80mm F7.0, 66mm F6.0, flip mirror & DSI pro, diagonal & eyepiece).

We did the same alignment routine we’ve been doing with the LXD55. Polar align roughly eyeballed. Then one star alignment (which goes to Polaris first), physically adjust the mount to center Polaris. It then picked Arcturus. It went near Arcturus (goto was better than the LXD55 usually does). Arcturus was then centered using the hand controller = successfully alignment. We then did gotos back and forth between Polaris and Arcturus. Each time when at Polaris - physically adjust the mount to remove out about half the error. Then on Arcturus center with hand controller and sync. Once we get the alignment error out enough that both stars are in the field of view with a 12.5mm eyepiece in the 80mm F7.0, we would then focus cameras and do a drift align using PHD guiding and really nail the alignment, then guide and image (that has been working well on with the LXD55 – see the FLI8300C gallery of starsabove.net).

After getting alignment close going between Polaris and Arcturus, when we went to near the meridian to do the 1st part of the drift alignment, the LX80 was not tracking worth a hoot in RA. The DSI pro through the 66mm F6.0, showed the stars drifting left to right across the screen about 3/16 to 1/4 of an inch every two seconds exposure with the DSI. We’ve never seen drift like that on the LXD55 at that same step in our routine – the star has always been mainly steady while just looking at it on screen. PHD would not calibrate due to the star kept drifting out of the star search box.

We have reset the hand controller, verified the hand controller also showed polar/EQ mode,motor calibration routine has been run a couple of times, trained the drive a couple of times, Started all over on polar aligning several times. Verified the hand controller set for sidereal tracking rate. Turned targets to terrestrial to see if the LX80 was tracking at all in RA – it was – the star drift got worse as it should have when set to terrestrial targets , then turned targets back to astronomical – back to same bad amount of drift. We did set it up in alt/az and did an alignment. That showed the star drifting the other direction – right to left (but some less drift and the star would move slightly up a couple of frames then down a couple of frames then repeat while drifting left – we don’t normally do alt/az but wanting to try it to see how stable that tracking was)

Sunday morning, Venus was put in the field of view on the eyepiece with the mount set up as EQ and Venus did drift out. When it did the DEC was still good – only off in RA. I wasn’t there helping Sunday morning, so this time the other guy did all the setup/balancing/alignments, so more than one person has set it all up with the exact same results.

As mentioned earlier, the gotos have been good. The mount I didn’t think was very noisy on normal slew and goto was very quiet with the quiet slew mode turned on. The LX80 fit and finish is good. Much easier to balance as both axis are much smoother than the LXD55.

I would think that if there was some big mechanical issue, gotos would be off but they are good.

We would appreciate someone letting us know the default RA ratio value their LX80 shows. Let us know if we’re being brain dead and overlooking something obvious or other ideas on the issue that might help isolate what's happening. Maybe there are something more that could be tried before he gets feedback from Meade.

Once it is acting properly, we plan to pulse guide it through the hand controller with PHD like we've done with the LXD55 and I'll let everyone know how that goes.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Wigleydh]
      #5301540 - 07/04/12 12:05 AM

Gday Dennis

First things first, what firmware version does the Hbx have?

The LX90, LX80 and LT scopes all use the same "ratio" in the code,
but change sign as required for direction.

The signs for Az/Alt ratios are
LX90 -/+
LT and LX80(AltAz) +/-
LX80(GEM) +/+

The correct absolute value based on the LX90 is 2.75074479,
and that has been independently confirmed by doing a mechanical cross check.

I havent seen/heard any details of whats in the LX80s to allow a similar check to be done.
If gotos were good, then the ratio sounds like it is probably OK.

There is a bug in the handbox where the ratio values can automatically increase if you use the edit screen,
but that wont show as much error as you are seeing in tracking.
( If you open the ratio edit screen and then hit enter,
then repeat several times, you will see the data changes
even tho you never changed it )

Also Pls confirm if you have used PEC or turned it ON??

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Dwight J
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5301601 - 07/04/12 12:45 AM

Had the same problem with a LXD 55 mt when I got it. It was the first run of mounts and RA tracking was not right until about the fifth update of the firmware. Prior to that I adjusted the RA rate by watching a guide star and adjusting the RA tracking rate until there was no drift. The difference was variable but generally 3 - 5 percent. This, of course, was using Autostar. The rate can be varied from 0 to 100 percent and to -100 as each step was a 1 percent change in tracking speed. This may be what you will have to do until a later firmware update fixes the rate.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5301607 - 07/04/12 12:53 AM

Gday Dennis

And after a quick squizz at the code, there is a new bit in the motor speed setting section, that only applies to an LX80 when set up as a GEM.
In this case, the base tracking rate is multiplied by 1.01155, ie your drive would be running fast.
I have an idea why its there, but its only a guess at present.
Firstly, can you do a test to confirm the encoder ratio.
Set the scope up AltAz and point at a terrestrial target.
Press and hold mode to bring up the display screens and scroll down to the AltAz one.
Now slew slowly in one direction till you can mark a target.
Log the current Az reading.
Now slew 360deg until almost back at target then slow down the rate and recentre the target ( without reversing the drives )
Relog the AZ. Is it the same????
If so ( within an arcmin or so ), the ratios are correct.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Wigleydh
member


Reged: 10/26/07

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5302058 - 07/04/12 11:06 AM

I'm not sure about the PE is showing as on or not. We did not even look at that Friday night. He had setup the mount in his living room Thursday but only did a quick two star alignment (accepting were it pointed) to see if things worked for that and slewing. I doubt he even looked at PE then.

I forgot what firmware version it is. I did look at the version Friday but I don't think I wrote it down, as I can't find it.

The mount is at his house, so I'll have to have him check to see if the PE is showing on or off and firmware version. Same for the suggested test. I'm not sure what he and his family are doing today for the holiday but he'll likely be able to check it.

We both thought the LX80 was nicer in making adjustments to the mount than the LXD55 during polar alignment. The DEC adjustment on the LX80 is a good improvement in my opinion. It was much easier and smoother than the way the LXD55/LXD75 mounts adjust the DEC axis, which was effected more by how much weight that mount was carrying. That should help make drift aligning the LX80 easier, once we get the tracking issue corrected.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Wigleydh]
      #5302569 - 07/04/12 04:24 PM

Since none of the owners are reporting similar, I'm not sure it can be a code problem. What was the _direction_ of the drift? The magnitude in minutes or arc? _How far off was your POLAR ALIGNMENT_?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: rmollise]
      #5302726 - 07/04/12 06:23 PM

Gday Rod

Not many users have reported doing "proper" polar tracking tests with an LX80 yet either??
All i'm pointing out is the user reported seeing a large "drift" when tracking in Polar.
I had a quick look at that part of the code and i can see a new bit of code that specifically applies to an LX80 when set up as a GEM ( and nothing else ).
It appears to speed up the drive by 1.155%.

If that matches the symptoms, then its a smoking gun to be pursued.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5302747 - 07/04/12 06:30 PM

And you may be entirely correct. But the first thing for the OP to do is confirm they had a good polar alignment. I, for example, have been known to align on Kochab instead of Polaris on occasion.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: rmollise]
      #5302759 - 07/04/12 06:46 PM

Gday Rod

Nahhh...
The first test is to confirm the encoder ratio matches
the gearing in the units ( as that's a daylight test ).
We need to get as much info as possible to pin it down,
ie piccies and toothcounts for gearing/encoders etc would be nice.
Also,
a) i think you would need a pretty severe polar error
to get "RA" drifting "at the rate" reported,
b) the report that "gotos were good",
indicates a reasonably good "mechanical" polar alignment

All good fun

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5302794 - 07/04/12 07:21 PM

Quote:

the report that "gotos were good",
indicates a reasonably good "mechanical" polar alignment



Nahhh...
Two star alignment does not require accurate polar alignment.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Alph]
      #5303052 - 07/04/12 10:57 PM

Gday Alph

Quote:

Nahhh...
Two star alignment does not require accurate polar alignment.




Agreed, but I can only go on what i read, ie

Quote:

Polar align roughly eyeballed. Then one star alignment




If they were polar one star aligning, there is no correction matrix used in gotos, ie all other things being OK, accuracy of gotos is a function of how well mechanically polar aligned the scope is.
If the gotos were OK, i suspect the polar align was close enough to
remove that as a reason for the "RA drift" they see,
esp when you reread the magnitude of drift they report.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5303668 - 07/05/12 12:03 PM

I'm one of the three guys that share equipment.

first and foremost Thanks for all the good information and thing to double check.

firmware version A3S1

I know we are on the Pole I took a green laser and taped it to the top of RA box and rotated the scope in RA and it arced around Polaris.

As far as PEC it is turned off.As stated the mount was aligned using One star and then sync and back to Polaris and take half of the error out using mount screw adjustments this was done until both stars would be in 12.5mm close to center without adjustment. Which I know is not dead on but very close and at that point using DSI pro and PHD to drift align.

A New problem happen last night
on first start up doing alignment the mount was totally lost
it was about 4:00am and Vega was west of the meridian but still very high in the sky doing alignment it wanted to point near the ground, Power down return to Home polar double checked site, date and time it was right, power up and it did the same. power down again return to home polar power on and it was in the right area of sky moved the scope with hand controller wanted to change the slew speed the display was showing 8x or 16x when I changed it but the slew was still in guide speed even though the display showed other wise, very strange after it was all done the scope acted right. Goto was dead on with objects being in 20mm EP centered and then Sync with 12.5mm EP I tracked Venus for a while it would drift out in RA only each time after asking the scope to move to Venus it would put it in 12.5mm EP. The scope is only moving west in RA no noticeable change in the DEC.

The direction of drift is to the east, Its slow in RA tracking and moves west each time when asked to Goto object

I will do a two star setup tonight to see how close we are to the pole and get some numbers for you guys.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5303671 - 07/05/12 12:06 PM

Does anyone know if the hand controller has a diagnostic test maybe a button combo that runs a test on the unit?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
tejasdragon
sage
*****

Reged: 09/08/11

Loc: Garland, Texas
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5303797 - 07/05/12 01:34 PM

Quote:

I know we are on the Pole I took a green laser and taped it to the top of RA box and rotated the scope in RA and it arced around Polaris




It may not be your main issue but, If Polaris was in
the center of the arc you are not polar aligned.
At least not enough to do AP. The first thing
I would do is get it polar aligned. I don't
know what Meade has for stuff in there firm
ware these days if they have a something to do
a good polar align with use it, or learn to drift
align, personally I prefer a visual drift alignment.

A laser pointer is nice but it will not align your
scope good enough for AP in my opinion.

And remember Polaris is not on the NCP.

Henry

Edited by tejasdragon (07/05/12 01:36 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Wigleydh
member


Reged: 10/26/07

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: tejasdragon]
      #5303865 - 07/05/12 02:21 PM

As decribed in my originaly post, we've been doing an iterative alignment method. We've used that method for several years now on a LXD55 mount. Always have gotten very close using that. We've usually then tweeked that using PHD to drift align. Using PHD to drift align is much faster than just visually drift aligning - the PHD graph show the error quickly. We're doing the exact same iterative method on the LX80. The thing is once done, there has been a huge drift in RA - unlike when we've setup the LXD55 using the same method.

Once Kev ordered the LX80, I even started setting up the LXD55 not even using it's polar alignment scope only using the iterative method & had no issue - I wanted to get ready for the LX80, since it doesn't have a polar scope - have not had any issue.

The 497 autostar and the LX80's audiostar have the same routines in them. We are using the same one star alignment then the same iterative method, that we've been using successfully with the other mount.

I believe that Kev did the laser thing just to ensure that it wasn't point way the heck off - after having so much trouble, start 2nd guessing oneself. We've never seen drift before in such a large amount after aligning. I was there on Friday night but Kev has setup the mount several times since and keeps getting the same results. I don't believe it is an alignment issue - don't think the same amount of misalignment would be done over and over, when we've had very good luck using iterative alignment on the LXD55.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5303888 - 07/05/12 02:36 PM

Quote:


The direction of drift is to the east, Its slow in RA tracking and moves west each time when asked to Goto object






If the drift is east, your tracking can't be slow. It would have to be too _fast_.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: rmollise]
      #5304023 - 07/05/12 04:23 PM

Hello Kevin D.....

I am following this thread very closely. I too have a new LX80 mount. I operate my mount in the Alt/Az dual scope configuration. Initially, for the first series of tests, everything was working smoothly. That was with the single scope (Meade 6" SC).

Then i modified the configuration for dual scopes. I was testing indoors to see about balance and overall operation. I started experiencing strange slewing movement during the alignment procedure. Sort of what you described. I will try and put it my words...

The mount starts out normal. Then, it will stop. It might think about things for a sec or two, but then start up again, in VERY SLOW motion. It might also start up again, in regular speed, but then stop again, and resume in VERY SLOW motion. Both descriptions occurred with me. It will ultimately make it to the target, and resume normal operations.

I also noted that after calibration, if i set the speed up to "9" (max), and just used the slewing buttons to move the scope (in az direction) around for awhile, it would suddenly stop. It would not resume motion until i released the button, and repressed it. This went on for a day or so (of testing indoors....). I was looking for the problem.

All of a sudden, the control box (Audiostar) went dark. As in not working any more. Dead.

I also have a Meade ETX-90. I found out that the Audiostore controller is compatible with the ETX-90.. Thus the reverse should also be true. I tried that controller with LX80, and everything was working fine.

Meade is sending me a new Audiostar controller, which i should have tomorrow evening. I will verify it works correctly, and then look to see what the settings are, and post back -- probably Saturday sometime.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5304257 - 07/05/12 07:40 PM

Gday Kev

Good info, but like Rod, I am a little confused by the drift direction.
If the star is drifting to the East, then the scopes tracking is too fast, which is what my initial code analysis predicts. Can you reconfirm the direction of drift?
Just for a second simple test, can you do your std iterative/drift align.
Now, set the scope model to LX90 and Polar, then change the RA ratio to have a -ve sign.
Reboot the scope, and after the date/time is set, the scope will start tracking in RA.
Now, "manually" slew to a star near the equator/meridien and let it settle.
Do you still see the same rate of drift?
( By selecting LX90 Polar, you still invoke the standard polar base tracking rate, but it excludes the LX80GEM multipication factor, and any GEM specific code )

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5304745 - 07/06/12 01:35 AM

I'm floored.

-Rich


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5304857 - 07/06/12 04:27 AM

Quote:

I'm floored




Why???
It may just be a bad encoder ( similar to what one early poster had )
or it may be that no-one has tested in polar properly until now.
Until we get more details, we dont really know whats happening.
( I suspect some bench testing code has been left active,
in which case its an easy fix, but if so, it shouldnt have happened )

Irrespective of that, the new Audiostar firmware is basically the same
as that issued with the LX90s, LTs, ETXs etc, so we know the basics work,
notwithstanding there are several other bugs continued through.
I suspect its just one of the new "one line changes" associated
with the LX80s that may be biting.

Andrew

Edited by OzAndrewJ (07/06/12 05:08 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5304879 - 07/06/12 05:46 AM

Not sure if I'm explaining this the right way.
Once you have target I was using Venus I would sync on that target with 12.5mm EP and let the scope do it thing "track" after 30min to hour. Now not looking through the eyepiece just looking at the mount, The mount would move to the west only to re-center Venus.I would thing that if the mount was running fast it would over take Venus and have to back up to the east to recenter . But its moving to slow in RA letting Venus get ahead of the mount.So each time I select Venus and tell the mount to GOto Venus the mount moves to the west only.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5304897 - 07/06/12 06:31 AM

David and Andrew

It good to know that Meade ETX-90 Hand controller will work on The LX80. I talked to Meade Thursday evening with some luck I will be getting a new Hand controller. So I hope this will solve the problem I do like this mount and with the tapered roller bearings it makes life so much easier to balance. And easy to polar align. I also like the fact one Set up tool does everything that was well thought out. Two things I don't like about the mount One all the cables plug into the box that is in motion in RA so cable management will need to be address. The other is the sectional Counter weight rod.I know why Meade did that for all of the different configuration Alt/Az , Duel Ota and Eq this might not be a big issue but while doing Astro Photography you always fighting flexure. In the dark if you grab the counter weight to loosen the RA clutch it could loosen the counter weight sections as well, this happen once already. While I don,t see loosing the weight each section has lots of threads. I might look into having one machined.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Wigleydh]
      #5305256 - 07/06/12 11:45 AM

My LX80 is en route and hopefully by the time it arrives next week, the RA tracking issue will have been resolved. I initially wanted a replacement for my iOptron MT (lots of problems) and then MT PRO (o problems) that I owned. And the thought of being able to use one mount for both Alt-Az and EQ modes was the primary motivation to purchase the LX80. Throw in the increased weight carrying capacity and it was a no brainer.

Jack


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5305473 - 07/06/12 02:05 PM

Kevin.. (and everyone else following this)

I am working with Meade this morning. The new Audiostar controller arrived, and the problem now is determining which "Mount" to select, as the LX80 is not included in the list. Apparently, Meade's training to the support personnel is saying to use the ETX-90.

My main operation is in Alt/AZ. Although the mount is slewing to the correct direction (AZ), it is now pointing DOWN instead of UP. We are trying to figure that out now.

As to the DEC lock, and the counterweight issue you mentioned, try using the "tool" into the holes in the dec lock. You can gently tighten and loosen the lock with that.

More later when Meade calls back.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5305493 - 07/06/12 02:18 PM

So, is this to be the next saga in the Meade release debacle? More bad firmware and faulty tracking rates. It's really unfortunate they would allow another miscue following the LX800 tragedy. More important, is the money and time of our astro friends being tied up to fight through summer heat and technical problems. I enjoy learning about new gear as much as the next person. I also don't mind working through "some" issues. However, there is a continued pattern of neglect here. No LX80 to select from the LX80 drop down menu? Really Meade..? Really?

David I hope this works out for you. Sorry for your trouble.

Best, Joe


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5305524 - 07/06/12 02:36 PM

UPDATE UPDATE

Well, Meade did not know the correct answer (at least not in Tech Support...), but ANDREW DID !!!!

I had included Andrews post (#2 in this thread), and in the settings, on the third line, he (Andrew) is saying that the LT and the LX80 are the same.

Sure enough. While i was waiting for Meade's callback, i decided to go try them all (again). There are really only 4 mounts. Each performs differently, but the LT works correctly.

I called Meade back, and they could not believe it. Well, i think they finally did, and hopefully, they are spreading the word, as i am sure they will be others trying to do the same.

THANK YOU ANDREW !!!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5305540 - 07/06/12 02:49 PM

LX-80 Ratios:

Up above, in the 2nd post, Andrew said:
"The LX90, LX80 and LT scopes all use the same "ratio" in the code,
but change sign as required for direction."

Well..., sort of correct. I agree with the "signs".
During the tests this morning, i was making notes like crazy, looking at all of this.

The "Ratio" for the LX-80 is 02.75075 for both RA and DEC. (-) for Alt, and (+) for AZ.

The "Ratio" for the ETX-90 is 01.36889 for both RA and DEC. (+) for both.

At least, that is what is coming up on my new Audiostar box.
Hope that helps.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5305738 - 07/06/12 05:09 PM

Dennis - Kevin - and Andrew

Well, now that my problem is solved, i have been going back over this thread, and trying to think about the original problem stated in the OP message. Tracking.

Kevin and Dennis.... if i read your posts correctly, this is what i am hearing. You slew to a target (planet). You then wait for awhile.... (maybe 30-60 min) and come back to find the target is no longer in the fov, or very much not centered. You then press the GOTO button, and the mount recenters the target. Did i get that right ??

Are you familiar with the readings you can get when you press and hold the MODE button. It will list for you several things, including current RA/DEC as well as AZ and ELEV. You have indicated that the mount is in EQ mode (hopefully, you changed the setting to EQ in the handbox).

When reading the AZ/Elev, you should see a steady count change in the AZ, with no change in Elev. Also, the RA/DEC should NOT CHANGE.

What puzzles me is that the mount is re-centering the target. If oprating properly, it should think it is already centered. Why is it moving at all with a press of the GOTO. Now if the RA/DEC is also changing......

Andrew... am i "on track" here, or have i missed something. I do not proclaim to be an expert, but the mount is supposed to report its RA/DEC. If it is not changing ???

Maybe we can all learn something with this one. I will not be able to put my scope onto a real target until Sat evening. But i will, and i will try the same (but in Alt-Az) and also try some imaging, to see the change. I will use different exposure times, but would expect somet "trailing" after about 20 sec or so (not guided)...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5305867 - 07/06/12 06:44 PM

Gday David

Quote:

Well, Meade did not know the correct answer (at least not in Tech Support...), but ANDREW DID !!!!

I had included Andrews post (#2 in this thread), and in the settings, on the third line, he (Andrew) is saying that the LT and the LX80 are the same.




NO THEY ARE NOT
Sorry to shout, but the LT and LX80 are the same "ratio wise"
but you cannot use polar mode if LT is selected.

Based on "your " symptoms, my first guess is you have old firmware.
( It really helps if new posters list their firmware )
There is new firmware A3S1 that came out with the LX80
Earlier firmwares dont know about the LX80,
hence wont allow it to be selected.
I strongly suspect in your case ( if LX80 isn't presented in the lists )
is that you have pre A3S1 firmware.
Can you confirm that.

Edit
Just a bit more info on why.
There are three modes the Hbx can operate in
a) AltAz
b) Polar
c) GEM ( which implies Polar )

Each mode has specific bits of code associated with it
with reference to home positions, meridien flip, clash detection etc.
ONLY the "LX80_GEM" model selection should be used with an LX80 in polar
as only that model/setting has code that is designed to work in that mode.
Ie its not Polar operation, its GEM.

I suggested using LX90 Polar mode to do a tracking test earlier
as it was a simple tweak "for testing only".
For normal use, the LX80 should use its predefined models only.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5305895 - 07/06/12 06:55 PM

Gday David
Quote:

Andrew... am i "on track" here, or have i missed something. I do not proclaim to be an expert, but the mount is supposed to report its RA/DEC. If it is not changing ???




Sort of but not quite.
It reports RA/DEC "no matter what"
When you "select" a target, its coordinates are registered in memory.
When you hit "goto" the scope compares current position to target.
If different, it slews to target.
If the encoders are working, the gotos will work accurately.
Once on target, the scope starts tracking "at a nominated speed".
If this speed is true sidereal, the calculated RA/DEC displayed
will stay as that of the target, ie the display wont change.

If the tracking speed is different to true sidereal,
the scope will "drift" relative to target.
The encoders still know where the scope is, so if the tracking rate is wrong,
you would see the reported RA slowly change on the handbox.
( and thats an excellent cross check to test drift direction )

On hitting "goto" after say 1/2 hr, the scope knows its no longer pointing at the predetermined target, hence it will slew back.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5305945 - 07/06/12 07:39 PM

Gday David

last one

Quote:

Up above, in the 2nd post, Andrew said:
"The LX90, LX80 and LT scopes all use the same "ratio" in the code,
but change sign as required for direction."

Well..., sort of correct. I agree with the "signs".




Ye of little faith

Quote:


The "Ratio" for the LX-80 is 02.75075 for both RA and DEC. (-) for Alt, and (+) for AZ.
The "Ratio" for the ETX-90 is 01.36889 for both RA and DEC. (+) for both.

At least, that is what is coming up on my new Audiostar box.




As it should
I mentioned LX90 not ETX90.
The ETX-90/105/125 cannot be used in lieu for the LX80
as there is even more code associated with ETXs
to deal with the internal AZ hardstops,
which dont exist in the LX90 or LX80.

Simple, isnt it

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5305967 - 07/06/12 07:53 PM

Gday Kev
Quote:

Not sure if I'm explaining this the right way.
Once you have target I was using Venus I would sync on that target with 12.5mm EP and let the scope do it thing "track" after 30min to hour. Now not looking through the eyepiece just looking at the mount, The mount would move to the west only to re-center Venus.I would thing that if the mount was running fast it would over take Venus and have to back up to the east to recenter . But its moving to slow in RA letting Venus get ahead of the mount.So each time I select Venus and tell the mount to GOto Venus the mount moves to the west only.




Now im confused.
I will rewalk some more of the code
to see if i can see anything else hidden away under rocks.
As mentioned earlier tho,
can you try the pressn hold Mode to bring up the RA display
and log what happens. This can be done indoors.
Ie just start the scope and do a faked one star polar align.
Bring up the Hbx Display and watch what happens to the RA display over say 1/2 Hr.
Do it as an LX80GEM then as an LX90 in Polar mode,
to see if they differ.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5305976 - 07/06/12 08:02 PM

Hello Andrew...

You SCORE AGAIN....
The new Audiostar was firmware version A2S6.
To others... to upgrade to the A3S1 firmware, you need to update ASU to 5.9.3 (available on Meade site).
Made sure i had 5.9.3, and did the upgrade of firmware.
Note: There are 3 sections, with each requiring a Y/N answer.

Finished the firmware upgrade, and confirmed that it took. Went to the Telescope Models secion, and GUESS WHAT ???
The Meade LX80 is there -- for the Alt/Az and also for the Polar configurations. That, apparently, is where you make the change, when changing the mount configuration.

Way to go Andrew. You are an absolutely valueable asset to the Meade community. Thank You.... Thank You...

Would you believe the Meade customer support had "no clue" to any of this ?? I am sending my contact there a copy of these last couple posts. They need that info....


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5306043 - 07/06/12 09:08 PM

Joe you seem dis hearten don't be. As with any new product there will be a few bugs. Meade is trying hard to stay on top of this,The mount is solid and the tripod very beefy I like so many things about this setup, far more than things I dislike. and the fine tune leveling at the top of each leg that's great!The Adjustment for Az and Elev when setup for the pole in EQ mode is leaps above the LX55. built in Bubble in the tripod and the mount head that's great. The tapered roller Bearings in both RA/DEC very smooth and buttery.In all I'm happy with the Fit and Finish of the LX80. After a new hand controller gets here I think that will solve my problems.

David

I noticed the ratio you given for the LX80 ours was R/A +2.75075 and DEC +2.75077 and both (+) and we reset the hand controller. So that value was in Eprom as (+) for both.
so to confirm You are reading the values on your new hand controller and one is (-) and one (+) or they both (-)

We did have the mount setup in EQ mode and the hand controller was set in EQ mode as well.

Target drift, I work nights so when I was off work it was early in the morning about 4:00am so after alignment I was using I could use a few stars for a short time but mainly Venus because I was loosing the sky fast and I could track Venus until I crash out around 11:00am. The Drift was very fast out FOV I was tracking so long because I wanted to confirm that it was moving in RA just not keeping up. See the LX80 Manuel page 10 Figure 4 the AZ/EQ arrow I was centering Venus taking a pencil and making a mark on the edge on the ring next it. To confirm that the mount was moving in RA and it was just not enough each time the mount would move more west to re- center Target (Venus).

Hope everything works well for you Sat. night let us know how it goes.

Thanks Kevin


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5306057 - 07/06/12 09:27 PM

my firmware A3S1 but the HBX is on the way back to Meade. I believe the HBX has issues because of the slew rate speed. I would push a button to change the slew rate and the display would show the selected slew rate I just asked for but the mount was still in Guide rate this happen no mater what slew rate speed you picked 8x,16x,64x even key 9 the max rate display would show the correct rate selected but still move at guide speed.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5306187 - 07/06/12 11:48 PM

Gday Kev
Quote:

But its moving to slow in RA letting Venus get ahead of the mount.So each time I select Venus and tell the mount to GOto Venus the mount moves to the west only.




I'm still concerned whats happening here ( direction wise ).
I just loaded A3S1 onto a Hbx and linked it to my LX90 bench test unit.
Faked a one star align, then did a goto to a star near the equator/meridien.
After about 50 mins of tracking, i have seen a "drop" in my RA readout
of 5 decimal points, which indicates i am tracking fast.

Warning following bit contains maths
Std tracking in polar is approx 15arcsec/sec
The speed factor in question for an LX80_GEM is 1.01155
which equates to a drift of about 0.17325 arcsec/sec
The Hbx RA readout uses an RA format of HH:MM.m
ie it can only display to 0.1 RAmins which is 6 RAseconds = 90arcsec
To get 90arcsec of drift ( based on 0.17325 arcsec/sec )
takes 520 clock seconds, ie about 8.66 clock minutes
The drop in RA i have seen roughly matches this rate,
so i will now do a proper timed test,
then I will retry with it set as an LX90.
However, i am using LX90 motorcards here ( ie i know they work ).
What i dont know, is if the LX80 motor cards have something special in em.
Soooo, if anyone else has an LX80 and nothing else to do if its cloudy,
Set it to GEM and do a fake one star align.
Goto a star near the equator/meridien
and then log the RA/DEC from the Hbx, as well as the time.
Come back after say an hour and 5 mins and have a look at the readout.
The RA should have dropped by 7 decimal points.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5306211 - 07/07/12 12:16 AM

Kevin...
I reported a (-)/(+). That is because i am in Alt/AZ.
Tomorrow, i will change the Audiostar to LX80 - Polar, and check, but based upon other comments, i would expect a (+)/(+). Will advise.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5306272 - 07/07/12 01:58 AM

And after a 1 hour test as an LX90, i see no drift in RA.
After 1 hour as an LX80_GEM i see 0.6 RA minutes of drift.
Based on that, something is wrong
( Note! my test is purely a Hbx readout test,
i have no way to confirm against the sky as i dont have a suitable mount )

Need feedback from real LX80s now,
to see whats going on when they are set to GEM mode.

Andrew
edit ( i meant RA minutes instead of RA hours )

Edited by OzAndrewJ (07/07/12 02:40 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5306273 - 07/07/12 02:04 AM

Andrew...

I will set up and do this tomorrow. I will not be able to do it until late morning, but will do it then, and report back. I understand the setup, and where the values are read at.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5306276 - 07/07/12 02:07 AM

What's going on, in my personal, totally unqualified and not supported by access to the mount opinion is that somebody with butter fingers made a mistake with their calculator, excel sheet or whatever it is they used and nobody tested the mount in GEM configuration before shipping. I love the idea of the LX80 and will probably be getting one in the future as my portable mount, that doesn't stop me from thinking that such mistakes are silly and could have easily been caught.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Griffin!
sage


Reged: 09/12/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5306287 - 07/07/12 02:28 AM

I don't recall tmohr36 having this issue, and haven't seen it mentioned in any of the early reviews (unles I missed something).

Would be interesting to hear from some of the users who have been using the mount for a while to see if they had any drift problems.

Edited by Griffin! (07/07/12 02:28 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Griffin!]
      #5306301 - 07/07/12 03:02 AM

This is the first time anyone tried to run it in equatorial mode, yet. Everyone else has been running in alt/az

This seems to indicate 2 out of 2 new Meade mounts shipped without a checkout of what was being delivered.

-Rich

Edited by Starhawk (07/07/12 03:06 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5306611 - 07/07/12 11:37 AM

Andrew

my HBX is in Route to Meade but your test is very interesting.

David has a new HBX and if all goes well we get more information. I hope his works well.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5306646 - 07/07/12 12:03 PM

David
I was reading over all the post and I have a Question about the strange slewing that you experienced. What was your power source? We started using the 8 on board AA's battery pack and quickly changed to a car battery ie thinking that tracking was slow and not sure if the battery pack was up to the test we changed to what we use in the field. I think if we was doing a one hour outreach astronomy event for a school the on board pack would be fine. But even with the Car battery it was still not tracking right. voltage on car bat was 12.5


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Wigleydh]
      #5306778 - 07/07/12 01:30 PM

My LX80 was one of the first shipped and has LX80 listed in both AZ/Alt and Polar modes. Same firmware listed earlier.
I haven't tried it in EQ mode yet.
October time frame when it cools off here in AZ.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: brokenwave]
      #5307116 - 07/07/12 05:33 PM Attachment (47 downloads)

OK.... Test Results as promised.
I work in the world of Alt/Az, but can use Polar as well, so I decided to do the test in BOTH Polar AND Alt/Az to see if the problem (if there is one) shows up in one or both or none.

The test perform a "fake" alignment, simply accepting slews as correct. I did the Polar one first. During each test, I would link TheSkyX to the mount, with TheSkyX synced to the mount for time/date. Thus, I was able to also "watch" for drift, if present.

Wow !! Was it ever present (in Polar). I had to restart the procedure a couple of times, because the target was drifting right out of the FOV indicators, and i was sure something must be wrong. Nope !! That is what is happening.

The original posters said they thought the drift was large. I forget their actual statement. Andrew reported a large drift also. As you can see from the results, you would not want to do any imaging here..... actually, i don't think i would want to do any visual with that much drift.

I was very concerned. I re-configured for Alt/AZ and started the testing. To my amazement, little-to-no drift was showing up. As shown, my starting variance from calculated at the start is about the same as my ending variance.

Man.... am i glad i work in Alt/AZ !!!

Not sure what the problem is in Polar, but IMHO, that is not acceptable. So..... where to from here.

Andrew.... is this something that is correctable in the "settings" ?? Or does Meade need to do a patch ?? What are your thoughts please.

As i am seeing it, it appears that the hardware is working correctly. The RA (AZ) function should be the same in either configuration -- Right ?? And it appears to be working fine in Alt/AZ.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5307122 - 07/07/12 05:37 PM

If Andrew or any of our readers can check my math, I "think" i did it right. The variances were calculated by hand, not by the spreadsheet. If there are any errors in calculating the variances, my apologies.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5307234 - 07/07/12 07:55 PM

Gday David

Quote:

OK.... Test Results as promised.




Excellent, but not expected.

Quote:

During each test, I would link TheSkyX to the mount, with TheSkyX synced to the mount for time/date. Thus, I was able to also "watch" for drift, if present.




I would have preferred you hadnt done that for starters.
There are bugs in the serial setting of date,
and i also dont know if the SkyX polling for data may affect the results.
The only thing to watch, to determine whats happening, is the RA display on the Hbx.
If you are tracking correctly ( in altaz or Polar ) this will hold steady.

Quote:

Wow !! Was it ever present (in Polar). I had to restart the procedure a couple of times, because the target was drifting right out of the FOV indicators, and i was sure something must be wrong. Nope !! That is what is happening.





And its not what i see with my LX90 cards????

Quote:

The original posters said they thought the drift was large. I forget their actual statement. Andrew reported a large drift also.




My drift was nothing like this, and mine went the other way???

Ie when i did my tests, i got a "speed up" and by a small amount.
Ie my RA went from 13:25.1 down to 13:24.4 over about 1 hour
ie 0.7 RA mins ( which lines up with what i see in code )

Your results show your RA went from 13:25.8 up to 13:43.0 in one hour
ie 17.2 RA mins ( so nearly 25x faster than mine )

Quote:

Andrew.... is this something that is correctable in the "settings" ??




Based on your numbers, i no longer ( think I ) understand whats going on.
Either way, i know of no setting that could do this, other than PEC.
( and if that was the case, i should have seen it )
The original bug i see re the 1.155% increase is a Meade only fix
( until i can patch it ), but i am utterly confused as to whats really happening.

Quote:

As i am seeing it, it appears that the hardware is working correctly.



The 360 deg spin test i mentioned earlier will confirm the ratios/mechanicals.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5307300 - 07/07/12 08:32 PM

I am going to do some visual tests this evening. I have it set up with two OTA's now (which will be my normal mode).

Tomorrow morning, i will re-configure, and re-run the tests to see if it duplicates. No settings were changed other than the "Telescope Model" (i.e. Alt/AZ vs Polar). Since you mentioned it, i will not connect TheSkyX to the mount during the tests. Will post back tomorrow.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5307630 - 07/08/12 01:11 AM

Gday David

I still cant understand whats going on,
but if you do rerun the tests and the drift is the same rate,
can you pls confirm what settings your handbox shows for
a) Tracking rate ( what shows under custom )
b) Targets ( ie Astro/Terr )

Looking at your numbers, you are running at approx 70% of sidereal.
( Ie you lost 17.2 RA mins in one hour so did 42.8 vs expected 60 )
This is too neat a number, as the std "guide rate" for the scope is 70%.
Ie normally in polar, the scope tracks in RA at 15arcsec/sec
The guide rate then applies +/-10.5 arcsec/sec based on key pressed.

Its almost as if the scope is tracking at 0 + "Guide rate"
Ie with no underlying "Tracking Rate".
( Thats just a wild guess based on the neat fit of the numbers,
but i cant see why it doesnt happen to my test bench???? )
Need other owners to confirm the one hour test
to see if they all get the same slowdown you do.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5307654 - 07/08/12 01:39 AM Attachment (41 downloads)

Test Run #2 for Alt/AZ –

Well, I was set up anyway, and this time for real (no fake alignment). The configuration was Alt/AZ with two (2) OTA’s. I purchased the LX80-SC6 combination, and already had a Meade 80mm ED-APO. The mount was balanced for both axis, and properly aligned. This was after adjusting the spotter scope to align with the SC, and the 80mm to align with SC. Alignment went very smooth. I pointed the mount to SPICA, and had it dead center on all three eyepieces. Took the readings, and let it sit for an hour. No computer hookup.

At the end of an hour, SPICA was still well centered in all three eye pieces. I would like to add here that I am really impressed with this mount (in Alt/AZ). I purchased it as our “travel” mount, and am very satisfied at this time. As I have said, 95% or more of my usage will be in Alt/AZ. I image all of my observations. Depending on image framing, I use one of the OTA’s for imaging, and the other for guiding. And YES, you can guide with this set-up. I use a Meade DSI-2 Pro for guiding, and Meade ENVISAGE software for guiding. The Computer (and guiding) feed is through the Audiostar serial port.

For Kevin and Dennis, I did re-read the Ratios. (Note: This is for Alt/AZ Only) They were:
Alt/Dec Ratio - 02.75075
AZ/RA Ratio + 02.75075

I will re-configure the mount for polar in the morning, and do a “fake alignment”, and re-run the test.
Results we be posted late tomorrow morning.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5307926 - 07/08/12 09:22 AM

David
Glad everything went well with new HBX. If we can get our drift down to that It will guide great. Looking forward to seeing test results from Polar set up.

Clear Skies


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Wigleydh
member


Reged: 10/26/07

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5308167 - 07/08/12 12:09 PM

Andrew your mentioning tracking at guide rate without any underlying tracking rate (as a guess) does make sense compared with what I saw the night I was there with Kevin, even though it didn't show in your test with your LX90.

We didn't actually measure anything that first night. As I decribed, the star was drifting in the field of view every two second exposure with the DSI pro. The drift was so large that I first thought of the targets. I verified the targets were astronomical and should be tracking. I turned off any tracking by setting the targets to terrestrial and the amount of drift with each two second frame increased. I then turned the targets back to astronomical and also verified the tracking rate set to sidereal. The drift went back to the same amount of drift each frame, so we were tracking with the targets set to astronomical but just not at the correct rate. What you mentioned may not be what is happening but that is the best match so far to what I saw on the screen (I haven't thought of anything that comes that close to explaining the amounts of drift I saw). With no actual measurement at that time, the amount of movement change I saw with the tracking on, off, and back on again could have been close to what you were talking about.

It will be interesting to see if David's retest repeats the result.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Wigleydh]
      #5308434 - 07/08/12 03:12 PM Attachment (31 downloads)

Test Run #2 – Polar Alignment

The setup is the single OTA (SC-6) in Polar configuration. The mount is balanced, and properly aligned for Polar Home (but the alignment is fake as it is being done in the kitchen !!). Pre-test readings as requested, as follows:

Tracking Rate = Custom (??)
Custom = -1
Now a question… there are 3 tracking rates. These are Custom, Lunar, and Sidereal. I am wondering why it is set to Custom (I did not change it…). I would have expected to find Sidereal.

Target: Astronomical
I am aware of this “trap”… I have to go through the same thing with my ETX-90 every time. You forget to check it, and after alignment, your target just slowly drifts out of the FOV…. I have learned that this is the first thing to check before alignment. Well, now the 2nd for the LX80… first would be for the correct configuration (Al/AZ vs Polar).

For Dennis and Kevin..
Alt/Dec Ratio +02.75075
Az/RA Radio +02.75075

Another interesting observation. I did the default alignment (2 star). I simply accepted the slew with no adjustment. The Audiostar reported (17 Up) (11 Left). I would have expected a 0/0 report based on no adjustments. That does not enter into play here, except to explain why calculated is not equal to readings (I think…). But it is an interesting question, at least to me.

Well, the test results produce more questions than answers. I was curious about the difference between the “Custom” vs “Sidereal” Tracking rate, and decided to run the test yet again, this time in Sidereal. Interestingly, the results for “Custom” and “Sidereal” are pretty much the same, but both are different from the first test… I cannot explain why. No setting were adjusted, other than those stated here.

I sure am glad I operate in Alt/AZ….


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5308471 - 07/08/12 03:34 PM

I have been thinking some more. When the first test was done, the mount was connected to the computer, running TheSkyX. I was "watching" the drift...

Andrew commented about some kind of possible "bug" in that configuration. Could that be a part of this ?? I am interested in this "bug", and i normally operate with the computer attached. In the "for what its worth" department, the first Alt/AZ test was also done with the computer attached, and running TheSkyX. The second Alt/AZ test (last night), and the two Polar tests (today) did NOT have a computer connection.

Interesting situation. Interesting questions. I will try and be available for any other "tests" if needed.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5308643 - 07/08/12 05:12 PM

Gday David
Quote:

I have been thinking some more. When the first test was done, the mount was connected to the computer, running TheSkyX. I was "watching" the drift...

Andrew commented about some kind of possible "bug" in that configuration. Could that be a part of this ??




Not based on your second set of tests.

I have no answer to drift at that rate at present,
esp since i cant replicate it.
My next suspicion has to be the motorcards programming
but if thats the case, i dont understand why AltAz works.
I dont see any new commands yet, but i havent looked everywhere.
But then again, your numbers now show a drift of 50%
which is the guide rate asserted by the APM909 type moves.
Ie you are tracking at normal sidereal - 50% now.
Im wondering if they have added something extra related
to how the APM909 code works?????
but again, i should see that on my testbench.
We need others to independently cross reference the tests.

As to the 17up 11 left etc results from 2 star aligning,
the system gets rounding errors etc when doing the calcs
as the hbx only has limited computing horsepower,
esp when doing sine/cosine/tan calcs.
I never believe those numbers

Lastly, there is no need to report Alt/Az stuff here,
just RA/DEC deltas will suffice.

Second lastly, grasping at straws here,
can you set the scope to be a polar LX90 as mentioned earlier.
Swap the sign of the Az ratio and then repeat the test.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5308682 - 07/08/12 05:43 PM

Also, perform your test outside on a real star after a polar alignment. Doing a fake polar align and fake go-to align and then watching what a planetarium program does is no kind of test.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: rmollise]
      #5308751 - 07/08/12 06:22 PM

Greetings Uncle Rod...

If you read my posts, that is what i did last night in the Alt Az test. Loved the results !

However, when you remove the element of "Watching", then the test is valid, considering we are simply reading the Audidostar handset. We already know (positively) that the drift is real... observation (real) and planetarium. So, this is a "numbers" game... trying to figure out what it is doing.... which is "something" wrong.

If we can get some numbers that look realistic, then i will set it up and do a "real" alignment and "watch" the star... (as i did in Alt/AZ).


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5308758 - 07/08/12 06:27 PM

Greetings Andrew...

First.... I must tell you that I chuckle everytime I read one of your posts. I love the Gday.....

OK, yes, i will do that. Recall that Meade was trying to get me to use the LXD mount selection (before we upgraded the firmware). I am going to try that also. In fact, that test is currently running. And yes, had to change the (-) to a (+) there too.

Results of the LXD will be available in about an hour. I will post them as soon as available. Then i will re-configure as an LX-90 and do that one.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5308820 - 07/08/12 07:09 PM

Quote:

Greetings Uncle Rod...

If you read my posts, that is what i did last night in the Alt Az test. Loved the results !

However, when you remove the element of "Watching", then the test is valid, considering we are simply reading the Audidostar handset. We already know (positively) that the drift is real... observation (real) and planetarium. So, this is a "numbers" game... trying to figure out what it is doing.... which is "something" wrong.

If we can get some numbers that look realistic, then i will set it up and do a "real" alignment and "watch" the star... (as i did in Alt/AZ).




Well, yeah, but alt-az ain't the problem is it?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5308894 - 07/08/12 08:03 PM

Gday David
Quote:

OK, yes, i will do that. Recall that Meade was trying to get me to use the LXD mount selection




That will only work if you also changed the Az ratio to match the LX80, as the LXD75s use a different absolute value, and that will affect the tracking rates.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: rmollise]
      #5308902 - 07/08/12 08:07 PM

Gday David
Quote:

Well, yeah, but alt-az ain't the problem is it?





I agree with Rod here
Your truesky test was reported as altaz only, which appears to work.
You need to do a Polar/GEM test as well for true confirmation.
Based on the the fact that the first report of this drift was based on realsky testing, i assume it will still be the same for you, but its the absolute test, to confirm real drift.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5308995 - 07/08/12 09:22 PM

Well, I have results to report. Sorry for the delay in reporting. Some things came up.

First, the LX-90 test did NOT work. The LX-90 comes up with (+)(-) ratios. We knew that, and I was to change them to (+)(+), which I did. As the alignment started, I realized that it was going to “point” the right direction, but the OTA was pointing DOWN instead of UP. It would have been about the right angle too, just down instead of up. I tried all four possible combinations, and none of them worked correctly. The LX-90 test was a lost cause.

The LXD mount was much better. Well, at least it pointed in the right directions(s). It too came up as (+)(-), and was changed to (+)(+). The one hour test produced the following (RA and DEC only as requested):

RA DEC
Start of Test: 13 25.1 -11 09
End of Test (1 Hr) 13 43.6 -11 08

Yes, the absolute value of the ratio is different. The LXD uses 2.53715.
The Tracking rate was (default) Sidereal.

Sorry Uncle Road and Andrew…. I cannot agree with you. The mount is reporting RA and DEC, as well as AZ and Elev in real time. In Alt/AZ it does the same, but is staying steady with the RA and DEC. In Polar, it does not. I have no reason to question that. However, to satisfy all, I will give it a whirl tonight (clouds willing). I fully expect the target to slew right out of the eyepiece. If it doesn’t, then there would be another problem, in that the mount would not be reporting correctly.

Andrew…. Could this whole thing be nothing more than a change needed in the ratio value ??
I would not change the value in Alt/AZ, but apparently changing it in Polar does change the results.
Now, if we only knew what it was using as a basis for developing the number… (Andrew probably does…)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5309033 - 07/08/12 10:00 PM

Gday David

Quote:

Sorry Uncle Rod and Andrew…. I cannot agree with you. The mount is reporting RA and DEC, as well as AZ and Elev in real time.




Ahhh, but is it correct???? ( Sometimes the Hbx lies )
There are enough bugs in all versions that i dont always trust the numbers.
( I do in this case, but a sky test is an absolute verification )

Quote:

Andrew…. Could this whole thing be nothing more than a change needed in the ratio value ??




I strongly doubt it, as if the ratios were wrong, gotos wouldnt work.
However, on more digging, i can see Meade have modified the tracking rate code to save the rate into EEProm, which wasn't done before.
The way the code is written, i dont think it will work properly
but i need to look a bit more yet before confirming that.
If you have corrupt data in your EEProm, that could explain what we are seeing.
Can you grab the beta version of my PEC editor and use it to connect to yr Hbx.
http://members.optusnet.com.au/johansea/ Get the 4100beta near the bottom.
On connecting, it will ask if you want to go into download mode to read data,
so just say yes as prompted.
Once you have done that, it will read the data and reboot the Hbx.
Now go to the lists tab and scroll to the bottom of the lower list
( to entry 94 "Unused" )
In the field alongside it, you should see FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
but i think you may have different values for the first 4 characters.
Can you tell me what you have for that field.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5309073 - 07/08/12 10:41 PM Attachment (48 downloads)

I am currently set up outside, awaiting darkness. Very cloudy (monsoon season). Here is the info you requested...

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5309089 - 07/08/12 10:53 PM

Gday David

Drat.
The L9E42 region is where the tracking rate is now stored
( or is supposed to be )
xFFFF converts to -1 for the purposes of tracking Rate,
and i see that number on my Hbx when i try to edit tracking rate.
Selecting sidereal etc "appears" to change the data
but on next boot, its back to -1.
( So thats a new bug for the list but not i wanted to see in respect of the current problem )
Ah well, it was worth a shot, but -1 would only slow you down by 0.1% not the 30-50% you are seeing.
I'll keep digging and see if i can see anything else odd.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5309133 - 07/08/12 11:36 PM

It seems the clouds win tonight. we went from 50-60% cloud cover to 90-100% The sat images say that it will only get worse as the evening goes on. Oh well, tomorrow.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5310226 - 07/09/12 06:11 PM

David
I would like to see test results of one star alignment. from my understanding of two star alignment it uses correction matrix in the tracking.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5310254 - 07/09/12 06:22 PM

Gday Kevin

Quote:

from my understanding of two star alignment it uses correction matrix in the tracking.





Nope.
The error correction mechanism is only used for gotos.
In polar, any misalignment is totally ignored for "tracking".
Polar tracking is purely defined by a hardcoded motor rate
which is modified by ratio, tracking rate and PEC.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5310992 - 07/10/12 08:02 AM

Looking for you thoughts
I have a new HBX coming from Meade should be in my hands Thur or Fri, I also have a 497 controller we use on Lx55 If the new AudioStar doesn't fix the tracking. Should I try the 497? If so what is the chance that the LX80 mount head would damage the 497? And what about the settings.I can live with out the thing talking to me I just want it to work.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5311203 - 07/10/12 10:50 AM

Greetings to Keven and Dennis...

I guess it got sort of "quiet" here...

Andrew and I are still doing some tests, but working back and forth via emails. Nothing to report just yet. I guess that is a report in and of itself. We have tried several things, but still have questions. He is modifying his test software to attempt to get better data.

One of the tests i did was to set the scope (LX-80) to LXD. We needed to modify the "signs" to (+)(+), and it works there.... still some drift (according to the readouts), but not as much. The absolute number for the ratios is different in the LXD, and during the test, we just left that "as is". That reduced the error. I asked if we could just modify the value to where it works. Andrew says no, as changing that value would also affect the "go to's", which otherwise seem to be working just fine. The problem is the drift.

Wish i had better info for you. But the best info is that Andrew is working on it.

There has been a request here to "validate" the error in polar by using "real sky", as opposed to "faking" the alignment inside. I am sure you read all that above.

You actually saw the "drift".... and Andrew and I have only seen the numbers. The numbers seem to confirm what you saw. If i were to do a "real sky" test (in polar), and there were no drift, then there is another (seperate) problem... The mount would not be reporting its position correctly. I am confident that the drift is there.

We are all clouded up here, so have been unable to do that yet. It is on the list of "to do" items.

Be sure and check the firmware version when the new Audiostar arrives. If you need "help" or "guidance" on upgrading, so my post above regarding version of ASU. If other questions, let me know, and i will send you a PM with my phone. I can guide you through it if needbe.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5311444 - 07/10/12 02:20 PM

David and Andrew

Thanks for all the help , I haven't received the new Audiostar as of yet. I will check the Firmware when I get the HBX in. Well all of my test have been under real sky expect the un-boxing 1st night. The drift was so bad that auto guider was loosing the star in the guide box. I'm not sure if I'm happy or sad that you guys see the same drift. At least I know I'm not crazy. Some good news is the set scope to LDX works better at least that makes me think its a Firmware coding issue and I hope can be fixed through an up date. Right now just waiting for new HBX, I'll let you'll know when it get here. Did you have to update the Firmware on your new HBX?

Thanks again, Clear Skies


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5311826 - 07/10/12 06:59 PM

Gday Kev

Quote:

I also have a 497 controller we use on Lx55 If the new AudioStar doesn't fix the tracking. Should I try the 497?




Only the A3S1 firmware knows about the LX80, so if you used an earlier model handbox
it would need to be "tweaked" after selection of a suitable model.
For AltAz use, you could select an LT model "as is", or an LX90 ( but you would need to swap the signs of the ratios ). That should then work normally.
For GEM usage, you would need to select an LXD75 model, but you would have to edit the ratios values AND signs to suit.
That said, Daves tests indicate that his scope was drifting just as badly when set as an LXD75, as it was when in the LX80-Polar setting.
My bench test LX90 doesnt show this drift under the same settings.
This makes me suspect the motor cards, but i want to hear more feedback from other users before firming in on that.
I made a quicky "peek" patch last night and am just testing it before i send to David.
It reads out the actual motor rates being sent to the motors, and also logs the raw encoder readout over time. This will allow me to see if
a) The correct speeds are being sent and motor card isnt working properly.
b) Incorrect speeds are being sent ( in which case i have no idea anymore )

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5311911 - 07/10/12 08:11 PM Attachment (43 downloads)

Greetings all...

Andrew:

Ready, willing, and able. It is going to be a totally cloudy night again tonight, and it may stay that way for awhile. We will be leaving on an extended trip in a day or so, but not to worry, as we are taking the LX80 with us. That is what i got it for. I maintain internet connectivity while traveling, so we will still be in touch, and able to respond. It just might take a few hours....

Kevin and Dennis:

My "NEW" Audiostar controller did NOT come with the current firmware. I had to upgrade it to A3S1. There is a post or two on this above in this thread.

Also.. you had asked earlier about what i do about power. I have several Meade scopes, and use a Meade Universal Power supply. Below is an image showing two Meade 12V supplies. I have both, and they both work fine.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
hypergolic
super member


Reged: 11/27/07

Loc: Home
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5312813 - 07/11/12 01:31 PM

Bottom line as a new scope with the 8" SCT? Go for it or PASS.

Is this product ready for prime time?

Tnx

Philip Neidlinger


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: hypergolic]
      #5312923 - 07/11/12 04:25 PM

Quote:

Bottom line as a new scope with the 8" SCT? Go for it or PASS.

Is this product ready for prime time?

Tnx

Philip Neidlinger




Hard to say, as I've been reading this... as an Alt/Az mount it is hard to beat, easy/fast to set up, strong like ox, and works as advertized out of the box... But in polar/GEM mode, or as an imaging mount, the jury is still out.

Given that we have had amateur astronomy Goto software/systems for something like almost 30 years now, with one of the first adopter of the technology being Meade, it is a bit surprising to read of software issues and the need to go in a basically hack controllers and fiddle with Hex tables.

It is also not clear if this is a problem isolated to just a few of these mounts, (maybe some faulty controllers) or if they all do this and need a flash update...

If I were to speculate, I would say, countdown at least a software recall on the LX80 in 5...4...3...


Watching, waiting, wondering, learning...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: ur7x]
      #5312961 - 07/11/12 04:56 PM

Greetings to: Philip Neidlinger (and all others...)

Well, the above post from ur7x pretty well sums things up right now. I am an Alt/AZ user, and I love it !!!

Andrew Johansen (Australia) and I are still doing tests, and he is studying the results. I just sent him some new data this morning. This, of course, is studying the Polar alignment issues...

I am sure this will all work out. The interesting part will be what is done when Andrew figures it out. So far, we have not had Meade in the loop (unless they are following this thread).

If you are looking for a polar mount, then i would suggest a little patience for a few more days, and lets see what Andrew comes up with. We have an active user here (Dennis and Kevin) that are polar users. And their new (replacement) Audiostar should be to them in a day or so, and we should then acquire some more data. Then we will all know more.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5313162 - 07/11/12 06:41 PM

Gday All

Well, after analysing Davids first few runs, i am still confused.
The system appears to be creating and sending the correct motor speed commands, but the distance actually moved does not correspond with this request.
( For Meade, if you are listening, i am peeking the last read absolute encoder positions, prior to any conversions for float/training etc. This allows monitoring of the Az axis at arcsec level, and removes any conversion/display errors )
In most cases, only 2/3 the expected distance is showing up as being done.

I have run identical scripts over my bench test LX90 motors
( as LX90 and LX80 models ), and get consistent and expected numbers.
Sooo, Kev/Dennis, ( or anyone else with an LX80 that can do a true sky test ), i guess we will await your true sky testing in polar to see if the problem is still there for others.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dr.who
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 01/05/12

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: hypergolic]
      #5314211 - 07/12/12 12:25 PM

Quote:

Bottom line as a new scope with the 8" SCT? Go for it or PASS.

Is this product ready for prime time?

Tnx

Philip Neidlinger




As an alt/az...? Yes! As a dual OTA Alt/Az...? Yes! As an EQ...? I don't know yet.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dr.who]
      #5315444 - 07/13/12 04:01 AM

Ok I have a new HBX and will check firmware and do so more test under real sky

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5315469 - 07/13/12 05:25 AM

Gday Kev

Quote:

Ok I have a new HBX and will check firmware and do so more test under real sky




Ripper.
Just for fun, you can do a dry run indoors if reqd.
Just remove the OTA etc and start the scope
Select LX80-Polar mode then reboot the scope,
( as some stuff only sets correctly during startup )
Once started, do a dummy polar one star align
by just accepting the defaults as presented.
Once it says its aligned, pressnhold mode for 3 or more seconds to bring up the RA/DEC display. Note the RA
Wander off and do some gardening/ironing etc for an hour
After one hour, go back and reread the RA.
What does it say???

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5315619 - 07/13/12 09:07 AM

I need to update firmware looking on Meade site I see Autostar updates but no Audiostar updates. Need to get with Meade or David to find the right file. I search Meade site for A3S1 but no luck

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5315688 - 07/13/12 09:49 AM

I just have to ask, why do you keep referring to autostar as "audio star?"

-Rich

Quote:

Greetings to: Philip Neidlinger (and all others...)

Well, the above post from ur7x pretty well sums things up right now. I am an Alt/AZ user, and I love it !!!

Andrew Johansen (Australia) and I are still doing tests, and he is studying the results. I just sent him some new data this morning. This, of course, is studying the Polar alignment issues...

I am sure this will all work out. The interesting part will be what is done when Andrew figures it out. So far, we have not had Meade in the loop (unless they are following this thread).

If you are looking for a polar mount, then i would suggest a little patience for a few more days, and lets see what Andrew comes up with. We have an active user here (Dennis and Kevin) that are polar users. And their new (replacement) Audiostar should be to them in a day or so, and we should then acquire some more data. Then we will all know more.




Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5315700 - 07/13/12 09:54 AM

And for the love of Galileo, can't anyone just do a star trail PE test on one of these things?

All you have to to is plop it down in equatorial mode with a lousy polar alignment, point at a star overhead, hook up a camera and let it go for 30 minutes with the shutter open. That's it. When you look at the image, the stars will have been drifting north as a result if the poor polar alignment. Periodic error gets recorded as wiggle in the star trails. See, it's easy.

-Rich


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5315726 - 07/13/12 10:02 AM

Quote:

I just have to ask, why do you keep referring to autostar as "audio star?"




Audiostar is an enhanced Autostar controller provided with several newer mounts, including the LX80. It's very similar to Autostar but it is not identical.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5315748 - 07/13/12 10:09 AM

Does it talk to you now. I don't get it.. but I am getting old. BTW, Thanks for asking Rich, I thought I was the only boob out there that didn't know.


Best, Joe


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jmiele]
      #5315765 - 07/13/12 10:15 AM

So does it have Johnny Depp describing the wonders of the night sky?

-Rich


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jmiele]
      #5315813 - 07/13/12 10:41 AM

Quote:

Does it talk to you now.




Yes.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
idealistic
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 12/31/10

Loc: massachusetts
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5315850 - 07/13/12 11:07 AM

Please tell me its Morgan Freeman.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: idealistic]
      #5315908 - 07/13/12 11:52 AM

LOL

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5315978 - 07/13/12 12:46 PM

HBX in up to date going to do a couple test

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tmohr36
member


Reged: 09/27/10

Loc: Nevada
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5316001 - 07/13/12 01:00 PM

Quote:

And for the love of Galileo, can't anyone just do a star trail PE test on one of these things?

All you have to to is plop it down in equatorial mode with a lousy polar alignment, point at a star overhead, hook up a camera and let it go for 30 minutes with the shutter open. That's it. When you look at the image, the stars will have been drifting north as a result if the poor polar alignment. Periodic error gets recorded as wiggle in the star trails. See, it's easy.

-Rich




Rich,

I did a 315 second exposure (5:15) with my t2i and a 120 second Drift checking exposure with Arcturus (and surrounding stars). Results are here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/56510505@N04/7166696732/in/set-72157629942853026

bumps in the star trail = PEC the fact that the trails are not on top of each other indicate distance from proper polar alignment (I believe anyway)

BTW, I only use this mount in Polar mode, I have an LS-8 for Alt-Az and CGEM for AP.

Tom Mohr


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tmohr36
member


Reged: 09/27/10

Loc: Nevada
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Tmohr36]
      #5316042 - 07/13/12 01:21 PM

Andrew,

You'll forgive me for posting this here (I hope), but I did the 1 hour test after doing a 1 star fake alignment this morning. Here are my results.

Local time: 0910
Star: Sirius
RA: 06:45.0
DEC: -16 degrees 41'

Local time: 1010
RA: 06:44.4
DEC: -16 degrees 41'

I guess that shows the small amount of drift you discussed earlier in the thread.

I'll add a note here, during the Venus transit and the solar eclipse this past May and June, I had the mount set up, pointed north, accepted the two stars during alignment. After alignment successful, slewed and centered the Sun and let the mount go. Over the 4+ hours of Venus transit, I only made minor corrections every 30 minutes or so to recenter the Sun at 50x magnification through the 8" SCT.

Tom Mohr


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Tmohr36]
      #5316100 - 07/13/12 01:47 PM

This is progress! What was the focal length? What we want is image angular size per pixel. So that means figuring out how wide the field of view is in your telescope, then rotate the image to line up with a vertical or horizontal marker, then find the coordinates of high and low peaks and multiply by the angular size of the image width divided by the pixe size of the width.

Longer trails are needed, though. It's best if you can get three revolutions of the worm, and that makes it possible to see what the periodic element is.

-Rich


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5316129 - 07/13/12 02:14 PM

Test before firmware update

A2S6 firmware using LX55/75 ra rate +2.75075 Dec rate +2.75075


4.07.30am ra 18:38.1 Dec +38.47'

4.19.11am ra 18:43.4 Dec +38.47'

4.32.35am ra 18:49.4 Dec +38.47'

4.41.55am ra 18:58.2 dec +38.47'

4:52.19am ra 19:05.4 Dec +38.47'

5:01.08am ra 19:09.4 Dec +38.47'

5:05.36am ra 19:11.2 Dec +38.47' alt +44.28.15 Az 292.13.36

After letting the mount track for hour selected the star again Goto

5:0812am ra18.37.4 dec +38.47' alt +37.42.15 az 294.55.53


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5316139 - 07/13/12 02:25 PM

Both test was done using (fake) One star
test data after firmware up date

A3S1 firmware unsing LX80 at default rates ra +2.75075 dec +2.75075


4.06.05am ra 18.37.2 dec +38.47' alt +49.18.03 az 290.32.34

4.16.33am ra 18.41.8 dec +38.47' alt +48.18.22 az 290.52.55

4.23.30am ra 18.45.6 dec +38.47 alt +47.18.50 az 291.12.40

4.36.20am ra 18.52.6 dec +38.47' alt +46.39.09 az 291.26.04

4.46.50am ra 19.03.01 dec +38.47' alt +46.34.20 az 291.28.27

5.01.45am ra 19.10.08 dec+38.47' alt +45.12.10 az 291.57.20

asking the mount to center in Goto

5.05.59am ra 18.37.5 dec+38.47' alt +38.12.20 az 294.42.05


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
exparrot
member
*****

Reged: 02/13/12

Loc: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5316218 - 07/13/12 03:24 PM

Here's my fake 1-star test data.

Firmware: A3S1
RA/DEC ratios: +02.75075

START - 13:07 CDT
RA 06:45.1 / DEC -16*41'

FINISH - 14:07 CDT
RA 07:14.9 / DEC -16*41'

Jerry


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Tmohr36]
      #5316391 - 07/13/12 05:54 PM

Gday Tom/All

Quote:

Andrew,

You'll forgive me for posting this here (I hope),




Absolutely. The more in the one thread, the merrier.
Also Thks to Kev and Jerry for cross checks.
Now it gets interesting.
David was reporting about a 20 to 30 RAmin "increase" in RA
over a one hour test when polar. Ie running horribly slow.
My bench tests using LX90 motors, (but LX80 selected in the Hbx)
gave a 0.6 RAmin "decrease" in RA over one hour.
Ie i "sped up"
This 0.6 RAMin perHr lines up with the 1.01155 factor i saw in the code.

Getting Toms results this morning cheered me up a bit
as his numbers agreed with mine.

However
both Kev and Jerrys results agree with David
ie they show an RA "increase" of about 30 RAmins per hour
ie running at 50% speed.

The fact the "gotos" appear to work would indicate the
encoders are working correctly, so all i can think of now
is there are different motorcards out there,
and one lot has a problem with its internal motor speed loop.
That sorta gets destroyed by the fact that Davids scope ( at least )
tracks perfectly in AltAz.
I guess the next step is for Kev and Jerry to do real sky
altaz then polar tests, to confirm the results,
ie AltAz works but Polar keeps track of position, but tracks slow.

Edit.
To test the encoder theory under a real sky, do a proper polar setup/ align then do a goto and centre the target.
If it is clearly drifting after that, just let it go for say 10 minutes or more.
Now, without doing anything else, just hit goto again.
The scope will still have its prev targets coords loaded, so if it detects a delta between current and target, it will slew back to target.
If the scope slews back and recentres the target correctly, that proves that the scope still knows "where it is" ie the encoders etc are working, just its not tracking.

It is certainly looking weird.

Andrew

Edited by OzAndrewJ (07/13/12 08:01 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Wigleydh
member


Reged: 10/26/07

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5316496 - 07/13/12 07:32 PM

Tom thank you for providing more data.


I notice that Tom mentions using his during the the Venus transit, which was almost a month prior to Kevin getting his LX80 on (06/28 I think as the 1st test was the night of 06/29). I don't see any solid info about when the rest were received. Can we list data on that?

We might want to compare when Tom, David, Jerry, and Kevin got their mounts. Could the ones having the issue of slow RA in polar, all be mounts from the 2nd batch shipped?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
exparrot
member
*****

Reged: 02/13/12

Loc: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Wigleydh]
      #5316566 - 07/13/12 08:31 PM

I got mine on 7/3. I've only been able to log about 3 real-sky hours in AltAz. No problems with gotos or tracking in that mode.

Jerry


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: exparrot]
      #5316579 - 07/13/12 08:38 PM

Gday Kev/Jerry

Just for info, can you redo a dummy polar align
and then let it track as before.
Once stable, use a stethoscope, or put your ear against the scope housing, so you can hear the RA motor.
Does it sound like its running smoothly, or do you hear ragged or stop/start operation???
The system "should" reset/resend its speed every 2 seconds (IIRC )
so listen over about a 20 second interval.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5316695 - 07/13/12 10:20 PM

Dennis.... your question was:
<<We might want to compare when Tom, David, Jerry, and Kevin got their mounts. Could the ones having the issue of slow RA in polar, all be mounts from the 2nd batch shipped?>>

My LX80 Ordered from OPT on June 20 - in stock and shipped that day (it came with the 6" SC), and received on June 20.

I am currently in travel status, and am now in Northern Arizona. It is more cloudy here than back home in Tempe, and its raining there !!! (Actually - it is raining here too.) So...... no visual opportunity. It will come.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tmohr36
member


Reged: 09/27/10

Loc: Nevada
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5316817 - 07/14/12 12:05 AM

Dennis,

I ordered a mount only back in December 2011, decided to just go for a full set up listed in-stock at OPT at the end of April. Mount and 8" SC arrived on May 2, 2012.

oh, and it's raining here too....probably got our annual accumulation today.

Edited by Tmohr36 (07/14/12 12:08 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
exparrot
member
*****

Reged: 02/13/12

Loc: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5316965 - 07/14/12 02:58 AM

Andrew

I did another indoor test and listened up against the underside of the mount since it was tilted for EQ. That's about the only spot I could hear anything. The drive noise was faint, but steady - no change in pitch, or anything like that.

I also had a small window of opportunity to go outside, so I hauled everything out to the backyard and set up for polar. Did the one-star, got Polaris aligned and then it selected Arcturus. The goto was close enough. I centered it in a 25mm EP (about 80x with the Meade 8" SC). 18 minutes later, it drifted totally out of view.

Jerry


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: exparrot]
      #5316998 - 07/14/12 04:38 AM

Gday Jerry

Quote:

I did another indoor test and listened up against the underside of the mount since it was tilted for EQ. That's about the only spot I could hear anything. The drive noise was faint, but steady - no change in pitch, or anything like that.




Drat. That blows another guesstimate theory.
Did you happen to retry the goto after it had drifted out of view???
Just to see if it went back to target????

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
exparrot
member
*****

Reged: 02/13/12

Loc: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5317569 - 07/14/12 02:25 PM

Hi Andrew

No, I didn't do another goto. The wind was knocked out of my sails when I saw the drift, so I was bummed. I practiced a couple of more polar aligns and then packed it in. That's a good question, though, so I'll do it next chance I get.

Jerry


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: exparrot]
      #5317986 - 07/14/12 07:51 PM

Gday Dennis/Kev/Jerry

Just another thought.
I see a lot of photos have been posted on the LX80 Yahoo site
showing the guts of the units.
I like the worms etc in this beast :-)

However, i see they have a semi exposed encoder,
like in the LX90s.
I dont think it will help but it cant hurt, sooooooo.
Have you tried doing a calibrate motors???
I'm pretty sure it wont have much effect with this type of encoder, but doing the process will eliminate it from the possible causes.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Wigleydh
member


Reged: 10/26/07

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5318044 - 07/14/12 08:42 PM

Andrew,

Calibrate motors has been done multiple times, with no improvement. That first night it got done a couple of times. We started completely over a couple of times that night attempting to make sure we hadn't missed something. We've also redone the train the drive routine several times as well.

The gotos have been good just slow RA tracking.

Let us know if there is other stuff that might be done to help isolate what is happening.

I was planning on going to Kevin's house later to double check stuff again but I'm not sure that the clouds will cooperate - not looking good at the moment.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Wigleydh]
      #5318148 - 07/14/12 10:16 PM

Gday Dennis

I didnt think it would help, but it has to be done to prove it wasn't the cause.
I currently cant understand how it can run slow in one mode only
whilst still knowing where it is in both modes.
If i had access to one, the next step i would be doing is putting a logic analyser onto the motor cards, but thats not possible for remote users.
I guess if a few more people pop up and corroborate whats happening, its time for everyone to put it back on Meade.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tmohr36
member


Reged: 09/27/10

Loc: Nevada
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5318179 - 07/14/12 10:42 PM

Quote:

This is progress! What was the focal length? What we want is image angular size per pixel. So that means figuring out how wide the field of view is in your telescope, then rotate the image to line up with a vertical or horizontal marker, then find the coordinates of high and low peaks and multiply by the angular size of the image width divided by the pixe size of the width.

Longer trails are needed, though. It's best if you can get three revolutions of the worm, and that makes it possible to see what the periodic element is.

-Rich




Rich,

this was taken with Meade's 8" SCT so that's 2034mm from info off Meade's site.

hmmm, 3 revs of the worm I don't know how long that would be. (21 minutes?) I'll try anything though, so as soon as the monsoonal moisture moves out of Vegas and those dark billowy things in the sky move away again, I'll give it another go.

I'll need to account for the 1.6x crop sensor in my camera too, right? or is that covered by finding how wide the FOV is in my telescope?

I would certainly love to find out what the PE is of this mount.

thanks for the guidance,


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Tmohr36]
      #5318286 - 07/15/12 12:28 AM

Andrew

Dennis and I set up the LX80you was wanting to know what the motor sounds like. We recorded the sounds that the drive makes for two minuets.If you would PM me I'll send it to you.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5318375 - 07/15/12 02:41 AM

Andrew / David
Digging around in the HBX we see Ra percent 10 and Dec percent 10 does anyone know what these setting do and how it works.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5318387 - 07/15/12 02:55 AM

Gday Kev

No need to send a file of the noise,
i was more interested in if the motors were intermittently stopping while polar, hence giving the perceived slowdown, whilst still maintaining correct encoder counts.
To get a 50% slowdown in tracking, these stops would be easily heard.

As to percentages, when you do a drive train, the scope measures the amount of slop in the geartrain on reversing direction.
The percentage tells the system how much of this to apply as a rapid burst, with the residual being melded into the tracking until it's all used up.
For RA guiding in Polar, it's irrelevant, as the motors never reverse,
but in AltAz or DEC in Polar, correct percentage setting can assist in how long it takes to reverse direction at low speeds.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5318389 - 07/15/12 03:02 AM Attachment (32 downloads)

Also I noticed the saddle has a wider gap for the dovetail plate which it pushes the OTA off axis by a 1/4" so if you are on the east side meridian pointing north at Polaris during alignment now you go to shot something in the south on the west side your error in OTA over axis will be a 1/2" off.Using a F/7 80mm as our primary Scope it has a nice FOV someone with a longer focal length OTA this is going to be more critical. Dennis and I was talking about using some flat stock Aluminum 1/8 thick to center the OTA above the axis.

Edited by TALK2KEV (07/15/12 11:45 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5318916 - 07/15/12 01:52 PM

Movement parallel to the axis doesn't cause error in finding polaris on this scale. You'd need to be off a distance close to the diameter of earth's orbit to cause the parallax to be wrong.

-Rich


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5319993 - 07/16/12 10:05 AM

I do have to say though, that's the crudest looking dovetail clamp I've seen come from a major manufacturer.

-Rich


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5319999 - 07/16/12 10:08 AM

Quote:

I do have to say though, that's the crudest looking dovetail clamp I've seen come from a major manufacturer.

-Rich





+1


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mclewis1
Thread Killer
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jmiele]
      #5320248 - 07/16/12 12:32 PM

From that picture it looks like the saddle and the mounting point (cylinder) are a single piece. Am I seeing things or is that really a single piece casting?

If so that means that you can't replace the saddle if you wanted to use something better or larger. I would have expected the saddle to be bolted to a flat surface at the top of the shaft.



Edited by mclewis1 (07/16/12 06:36 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5320459 - 07/16/12 02:13 PM

Well, that's kind of a bummer, but you can use a Vixen-Losmandy adapter to allow Losmandy format dovetails to be used, at least.

I do hope all this (LX80) turns out OK, because a mount of this type would be a boon for me.

If not, well there's the Synta AZ EQ-6... If they would hurry up and release the cotton picking thing stateside it might be a better fit for me anyhow.

Edited by rmollise (07/16/12 02:16 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: rmollise]
      #5320488 - 07/16/12 02:28 PM

I agree Uncle Rod. As I posted in another thread, I think they should have put all their energy into this design and made it robust, and work super accurately. It could have been a game changer.

Best,
Joe


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jmiele]
      #5320491 - 07/16/12 02:30 PM

Yeah, Joe... I hate to be a naysayer without having laid a hand on the mount... But recent events have given me that Star Wars thing: "I've got a bad feeling about this."

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
exparrot
member
*****

Reged: 02/13/12

Loc: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5320755 - 07/16/12 05:24 PM Attachment (22 downloads)

Mark

The primary dovetail is a single piece, but there's 4 bolts that can be seen on the bottom of the shoe. The assembly does not fit flush against the housing, so it can rotate freely with the DEC lock released. There's been mention that these bolts are used for alignment with a second OTA, but I have not seen that officially specified in the doc. My guess is that they are used to attach it to the cylinder. As yet, I have not attempted to loosen or remove them. FYI, the Meade tool does not fit them which is why I don't think they are for alignment purposes.

Jerry


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: rmollise]
      #5320789 - 07/16/12 05:45 PM

Have we confirmed that none of the LX80's work properly in polar mode? Or is this an isolated incident?

Or in other words... Do they ALL have this problem?

How is it possible that the mount can work perfectly and track fine in Alt/Az... (which is somewhat harder to do) and then fail miserably in Polar mode. This makes no sense. Meade has been developing and selling Goto systems since when? In theory this should just be a simple software port.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: rmollise]
      #5320813 - 07/16/12 05:59 PM

Quote:

Yeah, Joe... I hate to be a naysayer without having laid a hand on the mount... But recent events have given me that Star Wars thing: "I've got a bad feeling about this."




I get ya Han, "don't get cocky".

Joe


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: ur7x]
      #5320815 - 07/16/12 06:00 PM

Quote:

Have we confirmed that none of the LX80's work properly in polar mode? Or is this an isolated incident?

Or in other words... Do they ALL have this problem?

How is it possible that the mount can work perfectly and track fine in Alt/Az... (which is somewhat harder to do) and then fail miserably in Polar mode. This makes no sense. Meade has been developing and selling Goto systems since when? In theory this should just be a simple software port.




Nobody said is didn't work. It just doesn't appear to work "well". Yet..
Joe


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mclewis1
Thread Killer
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: exparrot]
      #5320846 - 07/16/12 06:36 PM

Jerry,

Thanks for the picture and post ... now that makes much more sense. Meade did it correctly.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jmiele]
      #5320887 - 07/16/12 06:58 PM

Did Meade ever define "work well"?

I guess greater men than you or I once sat around with a grand jury considering the definition of "is"


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: ur7x]
      #5320945 - 07/16/12 07:38 PM

NO comment. I promised myself I'd behave in this thread.

Joe


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Orionis91
sage
*****

Reged: 03/01/10

Loc: Maryland USA
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jmiele]
      #5321019 - 07/16/12 08:35 PM

Well, the clock hasn't ended, and I still believe in the mount, it can be a game changer, but, only if we put the correct expectations against it. There are problems, but, without problems there would never be solutions.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tmohr36
member


Reged: 09/27/10

Loc: Nevada
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: exparrot]
      #5321233 - 07/16/12 11:49 PM

Quote:

Mark

The primary dovetail is a single piece, but there's 4 bolts that can be seen on the bottom of the shoe. The assembly does not fit flush against the housing, so it can rotate freely with the DEC lock released. There's been mention that these bolts are used for alignment with a second OTA, but I have not seen that officially specified in the doc. My guess is that they are used to attach it to the cylinder. As yet, I have not attempted to loosen or remove them. FYI, the Meade tool does not fit them which is why I don't think they are for alignment purposes.

Jerry




Jerry,
I've removed these four bolts and you are correct, they are only there as attaching bolts. There isn't enough "play" if you will, to allow for alignment of the second dovetail.

Here are two more pictures showing what's underneath.

Flickr Photo2

Flickr photo

Edited by Tmohr36 (07/16/12 11:53 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
exparrot
member
*****

Reged: 02/13/12

Loc: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Tmohr36]
      #5321317 - 07/17/12 01:06 AM

Tom,
Thanks for those shots. With this design, I guess Meade could sell different types of saddles at some point. The more I use and learn about this mount, the more I love it.

Hopefully we can get this RA drift issue resolved. I need to get off my can and give Meade Support a call. I just haven't had time during work hours. The fact that yours doesn't have the problem tells me it can ultimately be resolved. And, I'm holding out that Andrew will solve the mystery single-handed! Andrew?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: exparrot]
      #5321328 - 07/17/12 01:27 AM

Gday Jerry

Quote:

And, I'm holding out that Andrew will solve the mystery single-handed! Andrew?




Hope you have a big bladder
Not having "physical" access to a unit means i cant use some of my normal tools to poke and prod deeper.
What we really need are a few other LX80 owners to do the Polar tests ( or just try to use the mount as a GEM ) and chime in, to see if we can see a pattern.
I have just found another bug?? associated with calibration, but its been in the firmware since the Audiostars came out, so unless its tripping up something very specific in the newest LX80 cards, i have to discard it
( Ie I Asked Tom to do a recalibrate on his unit and it still worked afterwards )

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5321342 - 07/17/12 01:54 AM

Hi, Andrew my LX80 mount arrived about 2 weeks ago from OPT with the 10"OTA. I just tried polar mode for the first time and it tracks good on stars like deneb and on saturn but on Anteres it will not track. Its completely out of the 26mm eyepiece in 1.5 minutes. I tried setting the RA percent to 50% then 80% and it was out of the eyepiece in maybe 2 minutes. I tried re doing the polar alignment about 8 times but I still got the same results. My mount is very level and balanced. Alt/Az mode almost centers the stars during alignment and it seams to track good. My latitude is 28.58 and I use the easy 2 star alignment. I posted this on LX80 yahoo group but it hasnt shown yet. I hope this info helps.
Neilson Shepard


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: neilson]
      #5321381 - 07/17/12 02:54 AM

Gday Neilson

Quote:

I hope this info helps.




Its useful for reference, but its also just made my head explode

From what you say, in Polar, it works on some targets, but not others???

Just to keep sweet with all our other datasets,
Can you try the indoors 1hr dummy polar one star test listed earlier.
( just so we get a real baseline of how much RA drift you see. )

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5321613 - 07/17/12 09:41 AM

I'll give that test a try but just so you know when I was looking at Anteres it was to the south southwest low in the horizon. I know that probably doesn't matter since the OTA was balanced. Last night from 9:30pm until 11pm.
I dont know if this matters but during alignment if I didn't click enter right away after centering the star it would start drifting right away,and I would have to re center it.
Neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5321623 - 07/17/12 09:47 AM

Greetings all... I think that my wife and I are finally out of the storm. We are currently at Great Basin National Park, just east of Ely, Nevada, at an elevation of about 7,500 feet. Although it was still raining on us yesterday evening, and through the night, this morning is clear, and the forecast is for more clear weather today and tonight.

Interestingly, according to the NPS, "this area is one of the last dark sky sites in America". We shall see !! Sounds like a good place to set up the LX80 and do some tests tonight. We are, of course, going to lay over to take advantage of this unique opportunity.

Andrew... correct if i am wrong, and i am thinking "on the fly" as it were, but i have always heard that planets, the sun, and the moon, are not good for alignment, and/or tracking tests. Neilson referenced Saturn.

If I recall correctly (looking for confirmation here…), I think there are actually four different tracking rates for these objects. The normal tracking rate (sidereal) is for “everything else”, while there are specific rates for Lunar, Solar, and Planets.

I plan on doing the polar tests, and will slew to several targets, allowing “drift time” between slews. Is there any other specific test that you would like to see? I could image a few targets, but I think we already have enough data, once the drift is confirmed on multiple targets.

Let me know.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5321656 - 07/17/12 10:12 AM

I am thinking that we are confirming severe drift in polar alignment. To be clear though, I think we are also confirming virtually excellent tracking in Alt/AZ, which is part of the mystery. I also believe that we are reporting good “go-to’s” in both modes. Again, part of the mystery. A key question will be, at what drift rate is the LX80 operating while in polar alignment?? Andrew has reported that his study of the raw data seems to indicate that the expected (proper) speed commands are being given to the motors.

It is interesting to read “it drifted out of my FOV (xxmm eyepiece) in x minutes”, but what was the FOV ??? In my case, The OTA is a Meade 6” SC, with a focal length of 1524. The eyepiece is a Meade Series 5000 26mm, which has an apparent FOV of 60 degrees. Mag = 1524/26 or 58.6. True FOV = 60/58.6 or 1.0238 degrees. I will call it 1 Degree. The observation will start off centered (visual), so we have about one-half degree range before drift will remove object from FOV. That fact, combined with the “time” (which is of course not precise) will help determine the approximate rate.

The 1 hour tests we were doing before, reading the RA/DEC from the Audiostar, provide a better picture of the drift rate. I believe that what we are doing with the visual tests is simply trying to confirm that what we “see” in the numbers, is actually happening.

Needless to say (but I shall say it anyway…) the drift in polar alignment is not acceptable. Not to usage in imaging, and not acceptable to visual obersers either. This is a major problem, and needs to be fixed. Hopefully in a firmware update for the Audiostar…. At some time (soon), one of us probably needs to report all this to Meade, and get some feedback from them.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5321670 - 07/17/12 10:19 AM

I guess that settles it, then. There's no point in trying to measure PE under those circumstances; it's just wrong.

Thanks for giving it another try, Dave.

-Rich


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5321671 - 07/17/12 10:19 AM

Quote:

It is interesting to read “it drifted out of my FOV (xxmm eyepiece) in x minutes”, but what was the FOV ???




Even more important is the question, "In what axis was the drift?". If it's dec drift then the tracking rate has nothing to do with the issue; it's just polar misalignment.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jmiele]
      #5321682 - 07/17/12 10:26 AM

They're at the point where they cleared their inventory for these new products and none of them work. And apparently they are still shipping these non-working LX 80s.

This is really depressing.

-Rich

Quote:

I agree Uncle Rod. As I posted in another thread, I think they should have put all their energy into this design and made it robust, and work super accurately. It could have been a game changer.

Best,
Joe




Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5321698 - 07/17/12 10:35 AM

Read the rest of this thread. I'll summarize:

(1) The LX80's RA axis doesn't run at the right speed when in polar mode.

(2) The error is big- easily visible in moments.

(3) The hand controllers have been shipped with a random hodgepodge of Autostar variants and versions. None of them work.

(4) Updating to the latest firmware for this mount does not solve the problem.

(5) No one has been able to generate a new rate to obtain propper tracking.

(6) The problem is completely reproducible.

(7) Meade has been silent on a fix.

Pipe up if I've left out anything significant.

-Rich

Quote:

Quote:

It is interesting to read “it drifted out of my FOV (xxmm eyepiece) in x minutes”, but what was the FOV ???




Even more important is the question, "In what axis was the drift?". If it's dec drift then the tracking rate has nothing to do with the issue; it's just polar misalignment.




Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5321743 - 07/17/12 10:57 AM

Yes, you left out the the hardest working person engaged in this problem isn't at Meade, it's Andrew! From Oz. He is pouring through 1's and 0's remotely and finding more data than most. If Meade was smart, they'd ship him a mount and let him sort it out.

Oh well, I broke my promise to myself.

Joe


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jmiele]
      #5321786 - 07/17/12 11:22 AM

Rich...

The issue with the Audiostar controllers is not quite what you are saying. Yes, there have been two (2) known defective ones shipped with the new units. One was mine. The other was Dennis/Kevin. But Meade has replaced these units.

As for Meade being "silent on the fix....", well, we need to consider a very important question. Has anyone reported it to them yet ?? I have not. Not yet. I don't know of anyone who has reported it to them yet. I think we are all trying to get our ducks in a row, and make sure it is not an individual problem. Reporting to Meade will come, and probably in the next couple of days.


Unfortunately, they replaced them with Audiostar controllers "from stock", which do not have the latest firmware update, which is what is needed for the LX80. That too is something they need to consider, but not a "part of the problem".

And , yes i agree. Andrew is one of Meades strongest technical advisers (for us....), and I think Meade should step up to the plate, and ship him a mount. Actually, i think they should ship him an evaluation mount from each series. He is, in my opinion, probably one of the best, if not THE best (beta) tester available to Meade.

And I am not sure, but i don't think he makes any money from his efforts. I'll let him address that.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Thomas Karpf
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/09/09

Loc: Newington, CT
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: neilson]
      #5321894 - 07/17/12 12:33 PM

Quote:

I just tried polar mode for the first time and it tracks good on stars like Deneb and on Saturn but on Antares it will not track.




Deneb and Saturn both have a declination that's positive. Antares is negative. I wonder if that's the key???


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
exparrot
member
*****

Reged: 02/13/12

Loc: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #5321939 - 07/17/12 12:52 PM

My outdoor test was a quick one to see if things acted in accordance to what the indoor test was saying. I did a one-star alignment, it chose Arcturus. I centered Arcturus, got the alignment successful message and left it in the EP. I was using a Meade 8" SCT and a 25mm EP. I displayed the coordinates via the HBX by pressing the Mode key for 3 seconds. RA numbers slowly increased, DEC did not change. This was pretty much the same behavior as the indoor test. I noted the start time as 00:01. By 00:19, Arcturus was no longer in my EP.

Jerry


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Lee Jay
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/27/08

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5322090 - 07/17/12 02:48 PM

Quote:

As for Meade being "silent on the fix....", well, we need to consider a very important question. Has anyone reported it to them yet ?? I have not.




This amazed me, so I just did.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5322118 - 07/17/12 03:04 PM

They gotta know, they are a vendor on this site and regularly post here. They announced the LX800 recall here for example.

I think the +/- Dec issue is the best bet as to what is going on here... If that is the case it is a simple software fix, and we can return to evaluating the mount, rather than debating just how broken it is, and what it takes to fix it.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #5322121 - 07/17/12 03:09 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I just tried polar mode for the first time and it tracks good on stars like Deneb and on Saturn but on Antares it will not track.




Deneb and Saturn both have a declination that's positive. Antares is negative. I wonder if that's the key???




In polar mode you should be at sidereal rate and it shouldn't change. Ever.

I WONDER if the alt-az drive rate system is somehow being carried over to polar mode. In alt-az, the drive rate WILL change depeneding on where you are in the sky...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Thomas Karpf
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/09/09

Loc: Newington, CT
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: rmollise]
      #5322149 - 07/17/12 03:28 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I just tried polar mode for the first time and it tracks good on stars like Deneb and on Saturn but on Antares it will not track.




Deneb and Saturn both have a declination that's positive. Antares is negative. I wonder if that's the key???




In polar mode you should be at sidereal rate and it shouldn't change. Ever.





I know, I know. SHOULD and ARE are not always the same thing, however.

I write and debug code for a living. Seeing the patterns in errors is a big part of figuring out why something went 'weird'.

Most code is written by copying another chunk and modifying it. I'm just wondering if a chunk from 'if you are in the southern hemisphere' got copied to 'if declination <0' and the appropriate modifications weren't made because the coder got a phone call or email or it was the end of the day and he would get to it tomorrow. Meade is a (relatively) small company; testing may NOT have been as thorough as it should have been.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: exparrot]
      #5322158 - 07/17/12 03:35 PM

Hi, Here are my results from the 1 hour indoor test. I entered date and time to last night at 9:30pm because Arcturus was straight up. One star alignment then selected Arcturus starting RA 14:15.9 one hour 5 min RA 14:41.9 came to +26.0
I also tried Anteres at +11.4
I tried Deneb starting RA 11:03.6 after 30 min. RA 11:04.8 but one hour was RA 11:03.3 This didn't make sense to me so I might of wrote down a wrong number but I didn't think so. 30 min. +1.2 but after one hour -0.3
Also the pictures I posted on Yahoo LX80 group, I put the grease shown on the ring gears. My mount was extremely far off the alignment stars in Alt/Az so I opened up my mount and the RA ring gear had a small amount of dark grease on 1/4 of the gear only. The Dec ring gear had a small amount of clear grease on 5 teeth only. The rest of the gear was clean. I cleaned off their grease and applied a dark blue synthetic grease and wiped off the excess. I had also noticed 3/16" movement in the RA but found out it was the spring loaded worm gear causing it. I did not make any adjustments because if the spring tension is increased it will cause wear on the brass ring gear and it will keep the worm from disengaging when needed to prevent damage to the plastic/nylon gears and the motor. Now every time during Alt/Az alignment the mount places each alignment star almost in the center of my eyepiece for me. After that said, I do not recommend opening your mount, if somethings wrong contact Meade. And don't mess with the adjustment screws.
Neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jmiele]
      #5322165 - 07/17/12 03:40 PM

You Need to call Meade

I just got off the phone with Meade, they said I was the first to call and report the problem and only one that has reported this problem. If you don't call about the issue of RA tracking when used in Polar Mode Meade thinks this is a one off issue and not a problem but reading the post on Cloudy Night I know of 4 mounts that have the same problem. just imagine the guy that buys this mount to use in Alt/Az only and after a year or so down the road he wants to start doing AP only to discover that the mount doesn't work and now it out of warranty. Call Meade so they will know others have the same issue, If down the road its a firmware upate anyone can get the fix but if they have a bad batch of motor controller cards that is something that Meade will have to fix not the end user!

Call Meade if you have one of these mounts.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #5322168 - 07/17/12 03:42 PM

Quote:


I know, I know. SHOULD and ARE are not always the same thing, however.




Well, yeah. Did you not read the rest of my post?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: rmollise]
      #5322251 - 07/17/12 04:27 PM

<sigh>

-Rich


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5322252 - 07/17/12 04:28 PM

We know that at least Lee Jay called Meade about an hour before you so I would say that either Meade is not doing a very good job tracking this problem (bad pun intended) or they are blowing smoke.

But I agree, its long since past time when owners started calling Meade.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Lee Jay
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/27/08

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: ur7x]
      #5322254 - 07/17/12 04:31 PM

Quote:

We know that at least Lee Jay called Meade about an hour before you ...




I emailed someone there. I didn't call.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
exparrot
member
*****

Reged: 02/13/12

Loc: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5322296 - 07/17/12 05:00 PM

I called in and spoke to Jose at Meade Support just now. He was familiar with this thread and the issue and told me it was being analyzed, that a fix would be forthcoming once the root cause was determined.

Jerry


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jonbosley
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/19/05

Loc: Texas
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: exparrot]
      #5322315 - 07/17/12 05:21 PM

Call me old fashion but I like the days when you got volunteers to beta test your products not the good paying general public.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5322328 - 07/17/12 05:29 PM

I called them a few minutes ago and he said that he was going to have to look into it and would get back to me.
I'm still waiting on them to get back to me because my OTA is missing the Meade sticker on the sides and the handle on the back. Its shown in the pictures on the website and in the owners manual. They tell me they put it on the other sizes but the 10"OTA doesn't need it. I told them just send the stickers and a handle and I'll install them and that I wasn't expecting them to. They refused. I'm waiting for the Manager to call back. I also need 1 new tripod leg, they tried to buff out scratches with a wire wheel and messed up the entire length of one leg. The left latitude lock(allen bolt) just spins but the right works fine. Despite the problems I still really like this mount.
Neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jonbosley]
      #5322354 - 07/17/12 05:41 PM

Meade should put Andrew on the pay roll, send him a mount.

My main problem with Meade is that I have called 5 or 6 times and every time I get the same thing, Give me your Name and Number and Meade will call you back But I have never been contacted By Meade every call I called them only to hear the same spill Name number we will get back with you.

Its like having a mad girl fiend she not talking to you!

Edited by TALK2KEV (07/17/12 05:43 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Lee Jay
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/27/08

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jonbosley]
      #5322413 - 07/17/12 06:11 PM

Quote:

Call me old fashion but I like the days when you got volunteers to beta test your products...




I do that for another (non-astro) company. It's actually quite a bit of work to do the job well.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: rmollise]
      #5322549 - 07/17/12 07:43 PM

Mornin All

Gday Rod

Quote:

I WONDER if the alt-az drive rate system is somehow being carried over to polar mode. In alt-az, the drive rate WILL change depeneding on where you are in the sky...





I suspected that,( as there IS a way for a Polar aligned scope to revert to AltAz tracking for short bursts ), but i dont think it could give the drift being seen,
and more importantly, it doesnt explain TOM.
Also,we should see low level DEC creep and we dont

However, to test the motor speed theory anyway,
i had sent David a "special" rom with a quicky "peek" patch loaded,
and a little app to script a known peek sequence over time.
His data showed the correct motor speeds were being calculated and sent to the scope. Ie the rate was always peeked as being the "polar rate".

I am working on a new "higher frequency peeking" version for him to test with that will do more diagnostics, but it only works if the firmware has been patched.
Again, none of this explains Toms results.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: neilson]
      #5322550 - 07/17/12 07:43 PM

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As for Meade being "silent on the fix....", well, we need to consider a very important question. Has anyone reported it to them yet ?? I have not.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This amazed me, so I just did.
.......

Not sure why it amazed you. If you have been following the thread, then you would know that i have not been able to do a visual confirmation. All of my readings, and tests, have been from a "dummy" alignment, indoors, with controlled time and target. This in and of itself is valid from my point of view, however, visual confirmation is still needed before i report to Meade. AND.... that will happen tonight.

My world is in Alt/AZ. And that is working beautifully. I have lots of test numbers from both "dummy" alignments, as well as long term real sky visual observation. This situation is NOT a serious problem for me...... However, there was a user (Kevin and Dennis) who reported visual problems (drifting), but did not have the numbers.

Since there were no other owners checking in, i entered the discussion, mostly from a technical curiousity point of view. Additionaly, i may want to do something with polar, and i wanted to check it out.

Had i called this one into Meade without a visual confirmation, i am sure i could generate their response. Andrew, also is not the right one to report it... especially since he did not have a mount in hand.

We were getting there... it needed to be reported (and apparently now has been), and in the interim, we have several more users checking things out. This is good. Of course, the results are BAD ! But we needed to confirm it.

I will continue my personal tests tonight, and report back tomorrow. I am confident there will be no surprises. And it will be interesting to monitor Meade's responses, and finally learn the outcome for resolution. I just hope it is not a RECALL, like the LX800.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: neilson]
      #5322579 - 07/17/12 08:01 PM

Gday Neilson

Quote:

Hi, Here are my results from the 1 hour indoor test.
I entered date and time to last night at 9:30pm because Arcturus was straight up.
One star alignment then
..Arcturus starting RA 14:15.9 one hour 5 min RA 14:41.9 came to +26.0
..Deneb starting RA 11:03.6 after 30 min. RA 11:04.8 but one hour was RA 11:03.3
This didn't make sense to me




Me either, but its a good clue.
The Arcturus result shows the current 50% slowdown problem.
The Deneb result shows the 1.01155 speed up i see in the code.
I cant see how the sign of the targets DEC can affect tracking
( as it simply uses a hardcoded RA rate for motor )
but it gives me some thoughts.
Just for fun, if would be nice the other testers could do a dummy align using the same time etc and select similar targets with +ve then -veDEC
to see if they replicate your data???

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5322633 - 07/17/12 08:45 PM

OOhhh, had another thought
Kev and Dennis mentioned having a real LXD75 as well
Can you connect the A3S1 handbox to your LXD75.
Now reselect the mount as an LX80-GEM.
It should allow it.
If so, just do the dummy one star align test
as before and see what happens.
If it works OK, then its another pointer towards the problem
being in the LX80 motorcards.
If it fails, it points to something subtle in the A3S1 firmware.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5322728 - 07/17/12 09:47 PM

I have an LXD75 as well and I put the LX80 handbox on it. Mine only has LX80 Alt/Az and LX80 polar. No GEM choice. So I used polar. It initialized I put in yesterday at 9:30pm then tried one star alignment, pressed enter and the mount turned in RA to the right until it was upside down trying to tear off my handbox connector. I turned power off. I tried again but with easy alignment and it turned to the left this time upside down until I turned power off. It didnt work on mine.
Neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: neilson]
      #5322852 - 07/17/12 11:24 PM

Gday Neilson

My apologies, i wasnt expecting you to do it

The firmware shows LX80-Polar, but that really just defaults to GEM mode,
and the LXD75s are the only other GEMs in the Hbx list.
Thus they make good cross test baselines, as GEM processing is different to Polar.
The problem you saw was probably due to ratios ( which Kev/Dennis are up to speed on )
The LX80-Polar has its ratios set to +2.7507 for both the Az/RA and Alt/DEC motors.
The sign controls which direction it goes.
The LXD75s default is Az = -2.5371 and Alt = +2.5371
Sooo, after connecting to a "real" LXD75, but with the Hbx selected to LX80-Polar
your Hbx will report both Alt and Az ratios as +2.7507
You need to manually edit the sign of the Az/RA ratio from +ve to -ve.
It should then work OK for dummy testing.
To do real sky testing ( with a "real" LXD75 but selected as an LX80-Polar) ,
you would need to set the Alt and Az ratios to -2.5371 and +2.5371 respectively.
Soo if yr happy to try again with a -ve Az ratio ( it should work )

I have tried my LX90 cards now with A3S1 using a Nth and Sth Hemi location
with gotos to targets with +ve and -ve DECs and in all cases, i see the
expected 1.0115 fast factor.

Andrew

Edited as i had my directions mixed up

Edited by OzAndrewJ (07/17/12 11:39 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5322996 - 07/18/12 01:57 AM

Gday All

Found a new clue that may explain part of it.
Every 2 seconds ( under stable tracking )
the firmware is supposed to recalc the required motor speed
and send it to the motor cards.
The data returned by Davids peeking indicated the correct values were sent,
( but were they ?? )
I have just been looking at reality,
ie what "really" happens on the actual data lines
between the Hbx and the motorcards.
The initial data is confusing.
In AltAz, i clearly see the speed data being resent every 2seconds.
In Polar, i see NO speed calcs being sent within 30sec timeframes.
Thus something appears to be blocking the resending of speeds when polar.
If in polar, a wrong speed some how got sent ( or got corrupted),
on the very first speed setting command
this may explain why polar fails and AltAz doesnt
ie AltAz is self repairing within 2 secs.

So now for some more fun.
We know PEC recording is stuffed and some of the playback also may not work correctly
but if PEC is ON, it forces a resend of speed data.
Soooooo, just to see what happens,
can users who have done the dummy drift tests
do another dummy align etc and get it driting as before.
Then, using the Hbx, set PEC to ON
See what happens.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5323036 - 07/18/12 03:01 AM

I promised the results of tonights observations. I also said i did not expect any surprises. On that point, i was wrong....

In polar:
Arcturus was the selected star for the one-star alignment.
Decided to stay with it.....
All centered, and started test.
Original RA 14 15.5
Dec 19:10
At 20 min, Arcturus was leaving my field of view (recall - about 1 degree overall, thus about one-half degree center to exit.)

Final RA 14 17.4 (+1.9 in 20 min)
Dec 19 10
Selected a GOTO to Arcturus, and it recentered.... The mount knows where it is.... confirmed !!!

Did a GOTO to Deneb (since it was mentioned in the thread..).
Good slew.
Centered, and started test.
Original RA 20 41.3
DEC 45 15
After 15 min, star was still at center of FOV (Interesting !!)
Final RA 20 41.2
DEC 45 15

Did a GOTO to Altair...
Good slew.
Centered and started test.
Original RA 19:50.6
DEC 08 51
After 15 min, star was still at center of FOV (Still Interesting !!)
Final RA 19 50.6
Dec 08 51

Deneb and Altair were to my East and SouthEast and high.
Arcturus (and in the past tests...Spica, which I used for all indoor tests) is to my SW and high)

I had planned on using Spica and Denebola, and thus a + and - DEC.... but local vegetation sort of prevented that.
Arcturus was the same general azimuth, (slightly more westerly) and higher.

So.... I did NOT get a + and - dec. All three targets are + Dec.

But for sure, Altair and Deneb stayed more or less centered, and the RA stayed good in the reading.
And both of these targets are in the opposite (more or less) part of the sky....


End of testing for the evening...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5323130 - 07/18/12 06:41 AM

Andrew

I did two star without touching the mount from last setup it picked Vega within 12.5mm I centered Vega then it picked fomalhaut just outside on 12.5mm centered that star. Alignment Successful 1^ 11< goto Altair. Slewed in FOV,20mm centered with 12.5 then Sync watched it drift with 2min.45sec in 12.5mm on 80mm f/7 on edge of FOV turned on PEC centered Altair (with PEC On) and still drift out it was slower took about 4min Ok now to Deneb see if it had drift. And 5:10am centered went in to write this went back out to the scope at 5:30am it was out of FOV in 20mm this also had PEC on .

so No luck


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5323303 - 07/18/12 09:40 AM

Andrew
Hi, I changed the Az/Ra to neg. on my LX80 handbox and put the date/time to the 16th at 9:30 pm again and selected day lights saving time yes and immediately the LXD75 mount started slowly chattering turning to the left in a slow pulsating movement so I tried again same thing happened but I selected easy alignment right away and it selected Arcturus and was turning to the right. the dec turned to the correct place pointing straight up but the RA just kept going up side down until I turned it off. I'm going to start my indoor dummy tests on the LX80 turning PEC on now.
Neilson

Edited by neilson (07/18/12 10:30 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
exparrot
member
*****

Reged: 02/13/12

Loc: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5323547 - 07/18/12 12:39 PM

Hey Andrew

Results of a dummy test w/PEC enabled

Polar 1-star alignment
Alignment star - Sirius

START 10:29
Coordinates: RA 06:45.2 / DEC -16*41'
PEC ON 10:31
Coordinates: RA 06:45.6 / DEC -16*41'
END 11:30
Coordinates: RA 07:39.2 / DEC -16*41'


Jerry


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: exparrot]
      #5323586 - 07/18/12 01:08 PM

So PEC is making tracking adjustments/mis alignment corrections? If so, is it even possible for it to perform the desired PEC function?

Curious... Joe


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jmiele]
      #5323704 - 07/18/12 02:29 PM

Andrew
Hi, I set the 16th at 9:30pm lx80 indoor dummy test.Aligned selected Arcturus then turned PEC on and after 1 hour 5 min. +8.6 yesterday without pec it was +26.0 Then tried Anteres and got +22.6 with pec on. yesterday without pec it was +11.4 Then I tried Dabih(I said deneb yesterday by mistake) I started without pec RA 11:03.6 for 20 minutes RA 11:04.0 then turned pec on and checked it 20 minutes later and it was back at RA 11:03.6 and stayed there for the remainder of the hour. (yesterday it started at 11:03.6 then 30 minutes it was 11:04.8 then at one hour 5 min. 11:03.3 with no pec.)
I noticed Anteres and Dabih the scope was on the west side of the mount. I thought the night of the 16th when Anteres kept drifting out of my eyepiece the scope was on the east side of the mount. So right now I am testing Spica which places the scope on the east side of my mount. I am testing without pec then with pec. I will post the results when I am done.
Neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
scott4comp
super member
*****

Reged: 01/23/08

Loc: Boston, MA
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: neilson]
      #5323734 - 07/18/12 02:56 PM

I think its awesome how you guys are tracking this down !

Kudos !



Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Lee Jay
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/27/08

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: scott4comp]
      #5323743 - 07/18/12 03:02 PM

Could this be a side-of-the-meridian thing?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tmohr36
member


Reged: 09/27/10

Loc: Nevada
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5323821 - 07/18/12 04:18 PM

I'm not going to bore you with too many details, but I (TOM) did several RA Tracking tests this morning. Recall that my mount arrived in hand on 2 May 2012 (I think that's the earliest in the group). All my tests were done with PEC off but I did turn it on and back off for the last two tests. During earlier testing PEC was erased as some tests were done with Andrew back in May. AZ/RA Alt/Dec percent set to 55% (I think this is backlash and hasn't been changed since receiving the mount). I've done Train Drives in Alt/Az mode but not Germ Mt Adj (equivalent of train drive in GEM mode). I've done a couple Calibrate Motor (should do this when attached equipment changes (ie. different camera, heavy diagonals/eyepieces). Andrew asked me to note the change in a couple registers, but as you'll see below, that hasn't effected my normal 1.0115 drift.

I set the time at 21:30 on 17 July 2012, DST Yes, 1 star align (first to Polaris {no adjustments made}, then to the single star) PEC was off and tracking is Sidereal. Additional stars were selected via the handbox and goto. Mount was allowed to track 30 minutes on each star. I did not document final values because what I saw was the normal drift documented previously not the Super Drift experienced by others.

Arcturus:
RA 14:15.5 Normal drift (as documented by Andrew's tests)
DEC 19*10'
Deneb:

RA 20:41.3 Normal drift
DEC 45*16'

Altair
RA 19:50.6 Normal drift
DEC 8*52'

Antares
RA 16:29.3 Normal drift
DEC -26*24

Spica
RA 13:25.0 Normal drift
DEC -11*09'

Spica: PEC On just for S & Gs @1230 local PDT
RA 13.24.5
DEC -11*09'

after 5 minutes with PEC on, I noticed more drift than before and I'm almost certain this is due to my ERASE PEC operation done months ago.
Spica
RA 13.23.7
DEC -11*09'

After 10 minutes PEC on, even more drift
Spica
RA 13.21.7
DEC -11*09'

Turned PEC off again, goto commanded to Spica, slew to target 35 min track watch
Spica
RA 13:25.1
DEC -11*09'

Spica Final Values
RA 13.24.6 Normal drift
DEC -11*09'

I can only imagine how much alcohol it takes for Andrew to process this information. My head is spinning just thinking about it.

Keep at it Andrew, I'm sure you're going to find the culprit code somewhere...

Edited by Tmohr36 (07/18/12 04:22 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Tmohr36]
      #5323835 - 07/18/12 04:27 PM

My confidence has grown that the readings we take at the Audiostar Handbox during off hour “fake” alignment tests are accurate, and are providing accurate data. This has been proven now via various visual observations, including my own. When the target appears to be “drifting”, the Audiostar is actually reporting that drift acccurrately. This is confirmed in two ways. First, a simple “GOTO” at the end of a timed observation, back to the target star, re-centers the target. Secondly, in either the case just described, or without the return GOTO, the mount slews correctly to the next target. Bottom line here is that the mount “knows” where it is.

The oddity that has developed, is that the “drift” does not always appear. It does, it the same part of the sky, but in some parts of the sky, it seems to stay locked on. This has now been reported by multiple users, including myself, based upon visual observations over 15 min or more, as well as Audiostar RA/Dec reading.

This evening, we are once again clouded. However, with strong confidence in the Audiostar readings, I will conduct a series of timed “observations” of 15 min on 9 targets spaced apart by about 40 degrees azimuth, keeping the elevation between 30 degrees to 47 degrees, with one exception at 17 degrees. The sampling will include both +/- Dec values.

Once the test (Polar alignment) is complete (about 2.5 hours), I will re-run the test in Alt/AZ, with the same time settings, and same targets. This should be interesting. I will post results when available.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5323837 - 07/18/12 04:29 PM

Andrew
Hi, I just finished testing Spica. started RA 13:25.4 after 57 minutes RA 13:34.4 thats +9.0 but it was dropping and 3 minutes later RA 13:33.6 At that point I turned PEC on. After 10 minutes it was the same. After 20 minutes more it was RA 13:31.5 At that time I did another goto to Spica and it slewed back to Spica's original location Pec still on RA 13:25.2 After 20 minutes it was still at RA 13:25.2 After 25 more minutes RA 13:24.8
Neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: neilson]
      #5323853 - 07/18/12 04:43 PM

Meade should be handing out some kind of medal/reward for the effort that you all are putting into this.

Kudos's to you all!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jmiele]
      #5323995 - 07/18/12 06:46 PM

Gday Joe
Quote:

So PEC is making tracking adjustments/mis alignment corrections? If so, is it even possible for it to perform the desired PEC function?




As i mentioned earlier, PEC is severely broken, and has been since the 497EP/Audiostar handboxes came out.
There are 150 PEC bins per rev of the worm, and the first 127 of them should work correctly during "playback". I was hoping that in this period, speeds would get resent every bin change and users would see tracking stabilise.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5324024 - 07/18/12 07:21 PM

Andrew

Is that true for all mounts (broken PEC)? I was wondering as PEC has not really worked even with the patch you sent me, but I balmed it on being an usupported ETX80.

@everyone else sorry for the temporary hijack


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Stew57]
      #5324072 - 07/18/12 08:02 PM

Gday Stew

It works in the old 497s and i put out a patch for 5CE1 and A1F7
( which appears to fix it )
but in all others its stuffed.
Yours is a real oddball, as your type of scope is not supposed to have PEC, but Meade coded for it.
Have you grabbed a copy of your "as trained" data
to see if the stored model looks sensible????

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5324109 - 07/18/12 08:39 PM

Thanks Andrew I will give it another go then when I get a chance.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Stew57]
      #5324187 - 07/18/12 09:50 PM

I don't mean to disrupt the thread. I also don't want to appear ignorant. Well, at least not more than normally. But I have to ask, who is Andrew? Does he, do you, work for Meade? Or have you just taken all this on out of interest in helping of your follow astronomers? Because it restores my faith in mankind to see others so willing to assist those in need.

A little back story would be most welcome.

Joe


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jmiele]
      #5324253 - 07/18/12 10:48 PM

See;

http://www.stargps.ca/StarPatch.htm


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jmiele]
      #5324259 - 07/18/12 10:55 PM

Gday Joe

Quote:

But I have to ask, who is Andrew? Does he, do you, work for Meade?




Me, No
Many years ago Dick Seymour ( aka AutostarETX on the Yahoo forums ) started poking into Meades 497 firmwares to try and understand how some stuff worked, esp drive training.
Many years later, i bought an LX200GPS and its PEC was stuffed for Sth hemi users.
Meade wouldnt ( still havent ) fix it, so i worked with Dick on ways to "externally" modify the data for us "downunder".
Part of that process involved digging into the firmware, and its just rolled on from there. For me, its more fun than Sudoku, and more of a hobby,
plus i hate not knowing whats happening, because it may also affect me.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5324268 - 07/18/12 10:59 PM

Just a follow up re using PEC to reset tracking rates
Looking at the data on the motorcard datalines,
having PEC ON belts the bejeezus out of the motor cards.
Sooo, if any users whos mount shows drift.
Can you start the dummy one star align test
and wait till the Hbx shows its drifting.
Turn PEC ON and wait 30secs then turn PEC off.
See what happens after that.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
exparrot
member
*****

Reged: 02/13/12

Loc: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5324317 - 07/18/12 11:51 PM

Hey Andrew

Just happen to be checking in on the forum before hitting the sack. Ran a quick 20-minute indoor test, enabling PEC after RA drift starts, then disabling it.

Star was Altair (east of Meridian)

START @ 22:08 RA - 19:50.6 / DEC - 08*51'

DRIFT START @ 22:11
PEC ON @ 22:14
PEC OFF @ 22:15 RA - 19:51.8 / DEC unchanged

STOP @ 22:28 RA - 19.54.0 / DEC unchanged

GOTO Altair - set it back to 19:50.8

Seems like it took longer to start drifting. Typically, on these indoor test, I observe RA coordinate change within 30 seconds after accepting alignment. This time, it was about 3 minutes.

Jerry


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: exparrot]
      #5324425 - 07/19/12 02:49 AM Attachment (26 downloads)

As promised, here is the data from the 9 point dual test, being ... 9 targets, first in Polar, then in Alt/Az.
Basically, a 40 degree (azimuth) separation, around the compass, with mid-range elevations. We have been saying that Alt/AZ is tracking very well, from both “dummy” alignment (indoor) tests, AND visual confirmations, running the same tests. The problem has been in polar, as the original post to this thread by Kevin and Dennis illustrates. We have had many, many posts with “dummy” alignment (indoor) tests, AND visual confirmation of many tests. My personal observations include all of the above.

In the last 2 days, we have become aware of some targets tracking correctly. This raised some questions. I personally saw and reported on this issue as well. That is what let to tonight’s test. The results are posted below. Additional commentary will follow in the next post.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5324427 - 07/19/12 02:51 AM Attachment (17 downloads)

Here are the final 4 of 9 Targets from the dual test. I was unable to get all nine to appear in a single image, so had to split it up....

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5324428 - 07/19/12 02:55 AM

The results do not show patterns that have been discussed here in this thread. By that I mean that it does not appear to be a “+/-“ declination situation, nor does it appear to be East/West Hemisphere situation. In an exchange of emails tonight between Andrew and myself, he made the following comments:
…..

David: The main reason I am doing the alt/az here also, is to validate our thinking of ... "Alt/AZ is working just fine..."

Andrew: I'm pretty sure i understand that bit now. As i mentioned, my analyser traces show the correct speeds are getting sent to the motorcards every 2 seconds in AltAz, hence it will always recalc any drift and build it back into the next speed set. Ie it works.

Where i think the problem in Polar is cutting in is it "appears" that a speed is only sent once, then forgotten about. If that speed was wrong ( for whatever reason ) the peeking of the Hbx will say one thing, but the actual speed sent will be another. Plus, i want to know why the Polar speed setting isnt happening.

I'm more and more honing in on something going wrong with the I2C comms between the Hbx and Motorcard ( timing wise?? ) As it would neatly explain all we are seeing.

Next lot [ed. Test requested by Andrew ] will be a simple indoors test to start it running and then peek the status of a whole pile of flag bytes to see why the speed isnt getting resent.
…..

I will probably receive the new script tomorrow, and run the requested series sometime tomorrow afternoon, or evening. Andrew will post results after he has reviewed the data.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5324487 - 07/19/12 05:40 AM

Just to add to Davids post
I have been digging into why in polar, the RA motor speed doesn't get resent every 2 seconds (even on my LX90 benchtest cards).
I think i now see why, and will test it a bit more tomorrow,
then send David a modified rom to load and test.
Basically ( for Jose if yr still reading the posts )
in AltAz, the system recalcs and sends speed requests to the motorcards every 2 seconds. My analyser traces of the motor lines show this is happening.
In Polar, the RA motor speed only appears to get sent once
so if its wrong at that point, it doesnt get resent,
and nothing appears to check if current speed is correct.
Many of the commands used "assume" an operation worked
vs test afterwards, so whatever got sent first is what
the system is using.
This would explain the symptoms currently being seen.

My current (latest) guess ( very rough ) is that in the second release of LX80s, there are new motorcards that have different firmware that is not handling the motor line I2C comms correctly, and as the Hbx doesnt check if the data took, we see what we are seeing.

More tomorrow

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Lee Jay
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/27/08

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5324692 - 07/19/12 09:55 AM

It shouldn't be necessary to send it more than once if the motor cards are closing the loop on the encoder pulses, correct? The fact that the handbox knows its drifting seems to indicate that the data about the encoder pulses is getting read and communicated back so, as you said, that point to a comms problem. These are digital comms though, and should be reliable.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5324918 - 07/19/12 12:00 PM

*** AN IMPORTANT NOTE ON UPGRADING THE FIRMWARE (rom) ON THE AUDIOSTAR ***

As Andrew has said above, he "thinks" he "may" have a fix for the LX80 Polar tracking problem. It is important that we all understand that this is a "tracking" problem, and not a "drift" problem. Anyway, i will be testing that new code as soon as he ships it (meaning probably this evening).

***IMPORTANT***. If you have an LX80, and might consider wanting to upgrade the Audiostar firmware, then there some HARDWARE and SOFTWARE dependencies.

First, the Hardware. You need a Meade serial cable that will go from the Audiostar Serial port on the handbox, to a Serial connector (NOT USB). Meade makes two versions of a “serial cable”, being the 505, and 507. You will need the 505 (Meade part number 07505) which has a list price of $19.95 This will leave you with an RS-232 9pin connector. Most modern computers no longer have a serial port. Thus, you will need a USB to Serial converter. There are many available, with lots of stories on many of them. Meade does sell such a converter, the Meade 07507, which carries a list price of $45

Next, the Software. You will either need the Meade version (free download from the Meade website) of ASU (Autostar Software Upgrader). Or, you can use a program known as StarPatch (also a free downloadable program), which Andrew and I would both recommend. StarPatch shows a price of $79, but that is only if you want a “license” and the ability to add GPS capability to your AudoStar (AudioStar) controller. Information of StarPatch can be found here: http://www.stargps.ca/StarPatch.htm

Andrew’s “possible” solution is not yet tested, but I am sure we are all hopeful. I thought I would post this information for those that were not aware of what might be necessary to upgrade the AudioStar.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5325082 - 07/19/12 01:41 PM

I would like to know if this is a single production run problem or is it spread out of many production runs on the side of the box the mount head came in. you will see a date code mine is 4977 051 12 and Carton # mine is 42 of 60 also my ser# 12153. I believe the 4977 is Assembly infor like plant and shift information the 051 is the 51st day of 2012 not totally sure and production run mine was 42nd unit of 60 made that day. It would be interesting to see if the mounts was made all in the same batch.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5325099 - 07/19/12 01:49 PM

Amazing and well done!...

Though I have to ask, am I the only one here wondering how it is that two or three guys working in their garage, one of whom doesn't even own one of these mounts, appear to have solved this problem in less than two weeks, While Meade claims(ed) that they didn't even know there was a problem until yesterday afternoon (local time Meade HQ)

Time for Meade customer service to step up, create a authorized software patch and offer a free flash upgrade at any and all Meade dealers, (or offer a free RS232 cable)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
exparrot
member
*****

Reged: 02/13/12

Loc: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5325163 - 07/19/12 02:27 PM

Hey Kevin

Mine has the same date code as yours. It's carton 24 of 60, SN# 12109.

Jerry


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: exparrot]
      #5325201 - 07/19/12 02:47 PM

Hi Guys,
Mine has the same date code and number 31 of 60 with a serial number of 12129. This is getting interesting.
Neilson


------------
LX80 10"OTA
LX200ACF 10"
LXD75 SN10"
LX3 2120 10"
Explore Scientific AR152mm
C-70AZ,C-60AZ
Canon T1i 18-55mm, 800mm, 650-1300mm
DSI PRO, DSI-IIC



Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: neilson]
      #5325340 - 07/19/12 04:00 PM

Well, let’s not get too excited yet. The problem is not "confirmed" solved. That would come after visual observations, and that would come after bench testing on the actual mount, and that would come after bench testing on Andrew's test bench. We are not "done" yet.... only hopeful at this point.

Now, as to your "three guys working in their garage...". Hmmm, well let’s expand that. One guy working out his home in Australia (without the real mount) [That would be Andrew]… one guy who normally resides in Arizona, but is currently traveling on an extended roadtrip in his motorhome, and currently in Northern California (where it is very cloudy..) [That would be me…], and SEVERAL other volunteers who are taking their personal time to test and report their findings.

Yup…. Quite an effort. A true world-wide effort ! I stopped at a rest area for lunch, and picked up the current thread status, and will check back in later this afternoon (evening) when I get off the road. Will check the carton date code then too….


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
mclewis1
Thread Killer
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5325378 - 07/19/12 04:26 PM

"three guys working in their garage..."

Sorry, couldn't resist.


Seriously though ... I'm really impressed by what just a few folks have been able to uncover and document.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5325411 - 07/19/12 04:48 PM

Gday Lee
Quote:

It shouldn't be necessary to send it more than once if the motor cards are closing the loop on the encoder pulses, correct?




Other than when PEC is on, yes.

Quote:

The fact that the handbox knows its drifting seems to indicate that the data about the encoder pulses is getting read




There are three scenarios,and meade uses its own proprietary I2C with variable clocking.
"Reading" encoder data back uses different clocking to "sending" speed requests.
Maybe the motorcard is tripping up on the second???
Ie losing one bit mid stream "could" be construed as a div 2 ie track at half rate.
Dunno, just a guess at present, but its the only thing that fits what we see.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5325485 - 07/19/12 05:34 PM

Unfortunately, I keep wondering what this skill level could do if applied to something other than trying to fix gimpy mounts.

-Rich


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5325496 - 07/19/12 05:39 PM

Meade autostar 497 update patches maybe?

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5325531 - 07/19/12 06:02 PM

Quote:

Unfortunately, I keep wondering what this skill level could do if applied to something other than trying to fix gimpy mounts.

-Rich




Wellll... If they were hired by Meade, even money says they would have the LX800 fixed by now too... and would have resolved any and all LX600 issue before this forum is littered with threads about that mount too...

Or if they were hired by the State Department, we would likely have World Peace before Labor Day!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
cheapersleeper
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/22/10

Loc: Sachse TX
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: ur7x]
      #5325550 - 07/19/12 06:18 PM

I read this entire thread. It's really fascinating. Only thing is, I have never owned an equatorial mount in 35 years of astro.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: ur7x]
      #5325566 - 07/19/12 06:25 PM

Gday Ur7x

Quote:

and would have resolved any and all LX600 issue before this forum is littered with threads about that mount too...




Not necessarily
Just think if anyone had got Toms scope for testing,
They wouldnt have seen this problem,
but everyone would still be calling them mugs for not testing properly.

Whilst we ( Dick Seymour and myself ) have a better than average ability to track down bugs, a lot of bugs we patch for etc are based on one user somewhere doing something or noticing something odd.
Then, as big Arnie once said, (paraphrased)
"if its repeatable, we can kill it".

The art of testing wont always detect all problems.
The crux is how they get fixed when found.

Quote:

Or if they were hired by the State Department




Would i need a green card???
( being an alien and all that )

Andrew

Edited by OzAndrewJ (07/19/12 06:54 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5325638 - 07/19/12 07:07 PM

You have States in Australia? No? If you have States you must have a State Department

Been to a few Ozzie States myself... Really enjoyed a fair bit of VB in my day... Queensland is truly God's country, if you ignore all of the things that can kill/eat/poison you there. Breathtaking country side there though....

Oh and I too have a history in IT and bug fixes, so I know first hand what you are doing... My Forum ID is in fact my old IBM RACF ID from my first job. At one point I actually got to run/manage one of the largest System 390's in Western Canada.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: ur7x]
      #5325680 - 07/19/12 07:33 PM

Gday Ur7x

Quote:

If you have States you must have a State Department




Yr a funny man.
We are a federation of states and territories, who cant get on with each other, let alone our "federal" govt.
Who in their right mind would work within that????
Esp when you can go to the beach and get
sunburnt, bitten, poisoned, stung or eaten,
all in the same afternoon .

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5325993 - 07/19/12 10:54 PM

Well, we have news. Unfortunately, it is not the news we wanted to hear. As Andrew would say.... "Drats !!"

Andrew asked me to try a specific test before loading the new AudioStar code, and measure the affect. Unfortunately, there was none. Which was a clue as to the outcome of the new code.

I proceeded to load the new code, and test on three targets (from the above list), with the same parameters, and the tracking errors repeated the same results. Thus, although the new code may be sending motor speed commands, similar to the Alt/AZ configuration, the lack thereof does not appear to be the problem that we are chasing.

Keep in mind that Andrew does NOT have an LX80 mount to work with. Although he does have some Meade mounts, the motor control boards that he connects with (for this issue) are from (I think) an ETX-90. Although the code from the controllers “should” be interchangeable, the actual hardware that is on the boards is not the same. Thus, although Andrew can “test” at his bench, it is not to an LX80. That is where I have been coming in. I can run his code, and report back to him.

At this time, we must conclude that we do NOT have a fix. I am sure Andrew will be chiming in here in a little while, and will post his thoughts on this matter. I wish he were in the USA…. I would FedEX my mount to him overnight, so he could get a handle on it. Unfortunately, FedEX overnight to Australia is a completely different matter.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5326005 - 07/19/12 11:00 PM

Hello Kevin....

Your comment above:
"you will see a date code mine is 4977 051 12 and Carton # mine is 42 of 60 also my ser# 12153 "

Mine is the same date code. The box is currently stored back in the storage area of the motorhome. I could see the date code, but not the Box # of # statement. Must be on another side.

As to serial number, yours was/is 12153. Mine is 12123.
Looks like we are from the same (days) run.....


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5326298 - 07/20/12 03:58 AM

Just for others info, i sent a patched rom to David that removes the internal block on sending motor commands to the RA motor when in Polar "tracking" mode.
I tested on my bench, and i can see the commands are now getting sent every 2 seconds, however Davids tests indicate it didnt work. As such, i now have no idea why altaz works and Polar doesnt,

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5326324 - 07/20/12 05:09 AM

Tom

If your still reading the post what is your date code info and serial Number

I would be surprised If it the same day.

Andrew / David
sure glad you guys are up to doing all testing and trying to patch the firmware. You guys are great even though we don't have a fix yet I just cant thank you enough for all the time
and effort that you have volunteered. Folks David the guy that's running patches stated he work in Alt/Az all the time
so fixing the polar mode wouldn't directly effect him. and Andrew the guy writing code and looking at 1's 0's rubbing the hair off his head doesn't even own a Lx80. My hat is off to both of you guys.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Texas
super member


Reged: 01/14/08

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5326458 - 07/20/12 08:16 AM

<<My hat is off to both of you guys.>>
Absolutely.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Texas]
      #5326720 - 07/20/12 11:15 AM

Are we chasing a ghost ??
I don't know. But my mind keeps asking me the same question.

Is a “dummy” polar alignment (just accepting the position of Polaris, and then accepting the slew to a single point) really going to give accurate base alignment for the mount? You still need to set the mount up “more or less” correctly… The OTA needs to be aligned with the mount for proper positioning.

I am not a "polar alignment" user, but i do understand it. I have played with it. But drift alignment, Pempro, and all the other polar alignment software exists for a reason. And every serious astronomer that I know (there are many) that works in polar mode, use that software, and those techniques.

Here is the question that needs answered. If a Meade mount, which uses the autostar controller, and is able to be acceptably polar aligned, is "dummy aligned", will the RA/Dec readings stay "aligned" ?? These are the handbox readouts that are displayed, after holding the MODE button down for about 5 seconds. They are “real time” updated with what the mounts thinks its position is.

There is a difference between “drift” and “tracking error”.
. Tracking error is where the mount actually moves to a known incorrect (sidereal) position. It looks like drift, but the mount “knows” where it is. It is just not moving at the speed we want. The object moves in the eyepiece, and we think “drift”.
. Drift, on the other hand, is where the mount “thinks” it is doing the right thing, and reports the correct position (for sidereal) but the target moves out of the eyepiece. This could be caused by many variables, including improper alignment.
. As I say, I am not a “polar alignment” expert here. The above is my understanding, and I am certainly open to others input on these definations.


The reason i am wondering, is that from what I have studied, the "pattern" illustrated in my 9 point table above, shows the characteristics of a improperly alinged scope (I think) .

Kevin and Dennis have access to a LXD mount. That would do for a starter. How about someone else too who might have an LX200 (I would qualify for that, but it is 1000 miles away…). Maybe someone with an ETX… Set the handbox time for 8:00 PM for your location, and then After the fake single star alignment (as described), try a couple of the stars from my table (all SAO numbers shown). Pick a good one, and then a bad one. Let us know. If using an LX200 (or other “wedge required OTA), you do not need to concern yourself with the “tilt” (produced with the wedge…). Just aim the OTA straight up (assuming you are putting the mount on the kitchen table).

Like everything else with this project, “things” just need to be checked out to “keep us on track”.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5326866 - 07/20/12 12:52 PM

I see where you are going with that, but the whole issue still makes no sense.

Consider that (unless you live at the north pole) the most "un-polar-aligned" mount is an Alt/Az mount (OK maybe not technically "the most" but still pretty bad). And in that mode the mount seems to work.

How can the mount be fine in a mode that basically makes it harder for the mount to track, requires constant "significant" adjustments on both axises ... and yet in a mode that should be easier, (a perfectly aligned mount in polar mode, should, in theory only need to tell the RA motor to turn at a sidereal rate and all should be good) it clearly fails.

I think we can see in the Excel charts that the mount is doing something different. The fact that it works fine in Alt/Az mode and fails in polar would lead me to think that at best, there is a fundamental programming flaw in how it calculates the adjustment for minor polar misalignment. At worst, the whole "polar mode" software routine was ported in some mad, untested, rush and needs to be redone from the ground up (which of course also makes no sense) Meade has been building "successful" polar mode GOTO mounts for how long? Decades? A Couple of Decades?

Has anyone tried a "living room" test where you set up the mount inside, tell it that you live at 90* 00' 00" North and compare how it tracks on a few of "virtual" stars in Alt/Az and Polar modes?

That would show directly if there is something different/weird between the Alt/Az and Polar modes since they should produce identical results. If I were a software tester, that's what I would try.

Keep going! Keep looking! Good Luck!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
John Miele
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/29/05

Loc: North Alabama
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: ur7x]
      #5326990 - 07/20/12 02:15 PM

I want to order one of these mounts but after reading this thread, I believe I need to hold off for the time being if I want full functionality as advertised. Is that a correct statment? Thanks...John

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: John Miele]
      #5327035 - 07/20/12 02:56 PM

the mount doesn't know if its fake alignment or under real sky you can do a fake alignment with the scope point any direction and one star it tells you to adjust out the error off the pole using mount adjustment but for a fake align it thinks you nailed the pole so even if you are pointed west on a fake alignment it swings everything from know Ra/Dec from the pole so at that point it's all mechanical and the hand controller is reading the encoders so it know where it is in relation to where it should be.

So iF the mount is off it's not your polar alignment


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tmohr36
member


Reged: 09/27/10

Loc: Nevada
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5327062 - 07/20/12 03:20 PM

Quote:

Tom

If your still reading the post what is your date code info and serial Number

I would be surprised If it the same day.






My mount arrived in an "improvised" box shipped down the road from Meade HQ to OPT, in their haste to get it out. That said, I don't have an original box for the mount and I didn't think to check the tripod box when I was looking this morning. I'll check that tomorrow morning (12hr shift started 20 min ago) and post my findings here.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: John Miele]
      #5327108 - 07/20/12 03:52 PM

Quote:

I want to order one of these mounts but after reading this thread, I believe I need to hold off for the time being if I want full functionality as advertised. Is that a correct statment? Thanks...John




Yes you are correct.

In Alt/Az mode the mount works as advertized...
In Polar mode the results are at best "mixed"...

Its your money and your decision, but if it were me, If you plan to ever use this mount in Equatorial/Polar mode... I wouldn't buy this mount until Meade either comes clean on what the problem in polar mode is (good luck with that)... Or even better that they announce a software update for this. (More waiting for Godot).

Given the challenges that Meade is also having with the LX800 (and the strong probability that those mounts and those customers are a priority) I think it will be a while before Meade gets around to figuring out what is wrong with these mounts...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5327155 - 07/20/12 04:28 PM

A real polar alignment must be done under real sky because you are trying to match a theoretical sky to the real sky the closer you are to the pole the better your match will be to the computer generated sky that is just numbers in the Hand controller but under a fake alignment the mount believes that the Celestial sky or pole is nailed.

I hope I did a good job explaining that. I'm not a word smith.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: ur7x]
      #5327172 - 07/20/12 04:40 PM

I was recently told rather straightforwardly by a Meade representative that the way things are going now it could potentially take until December or even January before all the currently known issues are cleared up and all the mounts currently on order have been delivered. It sounds like everyone involved needs to have a large dose of patience. I know, I know, not possible here.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5327254 - 07/20/12 05:50 PM

Gday Kev
Quote:

and Andrew the guy writing code and looking at 1's 0's rubbing the hair off his head doesn't even own a Lx80




Part of this is i know the latest A3S1 will probably become the default firmware that Meade supply for ALL Autostar type scopes,
ie ETX/DS/DSX/LX90/LT/LXD75/LX80 etc.
If the bug is in the firmware, it may end up biting anyone with those types of scopes as well ( incl me ).
And i was really looking at getting an LX80 to replace my EQ6 as its more flexible for what i do, so learning about its quirks early helps me out as well.
The fact it affects some users and not others in the LX80s doesnt give me a good feeling yet as to whats causing it,
but my money is still on the motorcards.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Meade Instr.
Vendor Meade Instruments


Reged: 09/13/11

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5327259 - 07/20/12 05:52 PM

We have released an update for the LX80 that fixes the RA tracking bug some users experienced while in German EQ mode.

The new version is A3S2 and is available through the AutoStar Updater.

Edited by Meade Instr. (07/20/12 05:53 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: ur7x]
      #5327288 - 07/20/12 06:09 PM

Gday Ur7x

Quote:

The fact that it works fine in Alt/Az mode and fails in polar would lead me to think that at best, there is a fundamental programming flaw in how it calculates the adjustment for minor polar misalignment.




As i mentioned earlier, the polar misalignment matrix ( if generated ) only affects gotos, it has nothing to to with tracking rate,
In the 497s, for "polar" tracking rate is calculated by
Hardcoded BaseRate * Ratio * Tracking Rate * PEC * 1.01155
Thats it

Now, as you will probably understand the process
I have confirmed on both my handbox and Davids handbox ( via peeking the working RAM ) that this value is being calculated correctly and the system says that is the value that gets sent to the motorcards.
By peeking "MY" motorcard lines with a logic analyser, i can see these commands are being correctly sent.
I cant do this latter test on users with failing LX80s.
This motorline peeking was what showed me in polar, the "track" commands were only sent once ( or until any RA backlash was taken up ), then the commands stop.
( That was new to me, but i dont do much polar stuff )
If the last command was corrupted, it could explain the problem.
Soooo, I made a rom for David that forcibly resends the commands every 2 seconds ( as in AltAz ). David reports this didnt work.
Sooooooo, thats where we are.
One thing i did note in Davids last posts is i gave him an extended set of peeks to run to look at a whole range of settings in RAM.
In that, the data was only for two targets in real life, one drifted, one didnt.
The one that drifted was in a negative position relative to the Az encoder datum, the other was positive.
Sooo maybe the motorcard plays up in that scenario??? Dunno yet.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tmohr36
member


Reged: 09/27/10

Loc: Nevada
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Meade Instr.]
      #5327315 - 07/20/12 06:23 PM

Quote:

We have released an update for the LX80 that fixes the RA tracking bug some users experienced while in German EQ mode.

The new version is A3S2 and is available through the AutoStar Updater.




dammit, still have 9 hours of work left....

Thanks for the post Meade Instr.!



Edited by Tmohr36 (07/20/12 06:24 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Tmohr36]
      #5327323 - 07/20/12 06:37 PM

Gday Tom

Why worry, yours works already
Just grabbed the rom so will see whats changed.
( as its driving me nuts now )

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Tmohr36]
      #5327332 - 07/20/12 06:44 PM

Hopefully, everyone has seen the post above from Meade.
Hopefully, this fixes the problem... will do some tests here in a few minutes.

I remind everyone also of the post i made yesterday, reference the hardware and software requirements to do the AudioStar Upgrade.

And lastly..... THANK YOU to Meade for posting this informtion.
If ever you think Meade does not care, or does not read these threads..... well, think again!
And also remember that they are "buried" in the LX800 mess, but still had the time to address this matter.

"Thank You" also to all that have worked with us on this thread.....
Now to go get that update, and try it out....
I will report back later this evening.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5327333 - 07/20/12 06:44 PM

Quote:

Gday Tom

Why worry, yours works already
Just grabbed the rom so will see whats changed.
( as its driving me nuts now )

Andrew




Beat me to it...

I'm dying to know what Meade changed... I suspect most of us on this thread are... This is a weird one.

Of course the next obvious question, if I just bought a new $800 mount that has an obvious (and now rectified) software problem is this covered under the warranty? or do I need to shell out another $20 to buy a cable to fix the software bug?


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: ur7x]
      #5327387 - 07/20/12 07:49 PM

Quote:

And i was really looking at getting an LX80 to replace my EQ6 as its more flexible for what i do, so learning about its quirks early helps me out as well.



Hah, me too. I have one on back order. Have no idea when it will actually ship. Not in a big hurry. It ships when it ships.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5327495 - 07/20/12 09:12 PM

Early Results for the A3S2 code.... (and they are good) !!!

I am half way through the polar process, with 4.5 objects complete. The polar variances are looking just like the prior Alt/AZ results.... 00 00 to 00 01 .
[ed: oops.... meant 00 00 to 00 00.1 ]

It is looking like we have a winner !!!! Full details for Polar in about 90 minutes or so....

After that, i will re-run the Alt/AZ just to make sure nothing got broken there.... That will take another 2.5 hours to do.... Probably won't have those results posted until very late tonight, or early tomorrow night.

Edited by dmdouglass (07/20/12 09:22 PM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tmohr36
member


Reged: 09/27/10

Loc: Nevada
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5327508 - 07/20/12 09:24 PM

Quote:

Gday Tom

Why worry, yours works already
Just grabbed the rom so will see whats changed.
( as its driving me nuts now )

Andrew




Call it SLFA "Sympathetic Love for Fellow Astronomers" I'm still keeping my , but initial tests by David seem very promising for those affected. I want that fix to work just as much as the guys with the issue.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
exparrot
member
*****

Reged: 02/13/12

Loc: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Tmohr36]
      #5327563 - 07/20/12 10:13 PM

Did the indoor test on two stars. My results look great, too. No more than +1" of variance after an hour each on both targets. Looking forward to David's further results.

Jerry


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tmohr36
member


Reged: 09/27/10

Loc: Nevada
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: exparrot]
      #5327573 - 07/20/12 10:21 PM

Quote:

Did the indoor test on two stars. My results look great, too. No more than +1" of variance after an hour each on both targets. Looking forward to David's further results.

Jerry




That's great Jerry, thanks for reporting your results with the A3S2 update.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Tmohr36]
      #5327581 - 07/20/12 10:24 PM Attachment (29 downloads)

Polar Test Results of the A3S2 code... Now that's more like it !!!
Here are the first 5 targets:


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5327586 - 07/20/12 10:27 PM Attachment (21 downloads)

And here are the final 4 (making a total of 9 objects).
I will now do the Alt/AZ, to verify nothing got broke there...
It will take about 2.5 hours to do that part of the test.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: exparrot]
      #5327589 - 07/20/12 10:29 PM

Gday All

Early days yet, but some stuff has changed.
Prior to now, just starting a "Polar" style scope and
entering Date/Time etc invoked tracking
( ie for doing drift align etc )
Now, the scope appears to stay in Terrestrial mode,
so to get it tracking requires manually changing from Terr to Astro mode.
No biggie, but different.

Also, looking at the encoder traces, i now see the firmware IS sending RA motor commands every 2 seconds but they arent a common number like before, so i suggest something may have changed there.

Sadly, Saturday morning jobs are cutting into funtime

Andrew

PS good to hear its working, no matter what the cause.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5327660 - 07/20/12 11:45 PM

Hi Andrew,
Do I understand correctly that after entering date/time its still in terrestrial. And I can just switch it to astro mode and it might work. Or is there more needed to get it working right.
I want to congratulate you guys for figuring this problem out. I know you have been working on this all month and If you wouldn't noticed it I might of tried messing with mine thinking it was just mine. But I am glad you guys put the word out this was happening to others. Thanks guys.
Neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: neilson]
      #5327667 - 07/20/12 11:51 PM

Oh sorry Andrew, I missed the Meade post above, I will try it, that's great news.
Neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
autostaretx
newbie


Reged: 01/10/09

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5327691 - 07/21/12 12:11 AM

Meade has posted an updated Audiostar firmware ( A3S2 )
ASU should offer to fetch it for you, or you can use this link:
http://www.meade.com/support/auto/BuildEPAS.rom

(added: whoops! I was stuck on the previous forum page, so hadn't seen Meade's notice. But the link above may be handy)

good luck
--dick

Edited by autostaretx (07/21/12 12:14 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: neilson]
      #5327693 - 07/21/12 12:14 AM

Gday Neilson

Quote:

Do I understand correctly that after entering date/time its still in terrestrial




Thats what i am now seeing with my LX90 testbench.

Quote:

I want to congratulate you guys for figuring this problem out




Not us ,
We still dont know whats changed to make it work
but i have enough disassembled now to know there is a major rewrite
of the speed "calculation" section of the code.
That in itself doesnt explain what was happening before,
so there's still something extra in there, but it will take a day or two
to see what else has changed.
As per before, it appears to work, so be happy.

Andrew

PS The fact Toms scope always worked still really confuses me.
Wont it be funny if his scope stops working now


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5327709 - 07/21/12 12:45 AM Attachment (22 downloads)

Well, the testing is done. And....
Everything is working as it should !! This adventure is over.
Here are the first 5 (of 9) as a total report...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5327714 - 07/21/12 12:47 AM Attachment (18 downloads)

And the last 4 (of 9).

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tmohr36
member


Reged: 09/27/10

Loc: Nevada
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5327717 - 07/21/12 12:49 AM

Quote:

PS The fact Toms scope always worked still really confuses me.
Wont it be funny if his scope stops working now




Now you "gone and done it"! I'm sitting here at work feverishly thinking about the same thing....and what if I return to A3S1 and it doesn't work then either.... On another forum I've seen posted "if an update doesn't contain useful changes, don't update!" hmmmm, what to do....In the end, you know I'm going to update...I'll report here in the morning if there are changes that (sorry Andrew) "stuffed" my mount's operation.

@Dick, thanks for posting in the LX80 group with that link. I hope that fixes Jack's problem getting the update.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5327725 - 07/21/12 12:56 AM

If you want to use your LX80 in Polar mode, you need to upgrade the AudioStar to rom version A3S2. The "how to" has been covered before. Don't forget the software and hardware requirements.

Some have been concerned about having to purchase the Meade cable and/or USB to serial adapter. For what it is worth, this is the same cable (and adapter) you will need if you want to control your mount from a computer. And in todays astronomy, i think most users will want that capability.

This is really a good mount. Especially now that the firmware is fixed. As a result of this adventure, i have had the opportunity to use it in all 3 modes. Single OTA in Alt/AZ, Dual OTA in Alt/AZ, and Single OTA in Polar. I have found it to be very easy to work with, including configuration, balancing, and ultimately, using the mount.

If you have ordered one, but not received it yet, you will be pleased when it comes. If you have been considering it, well, it seems to be everything advertised.

I think Meade has a real winner with the LX80. I sure am glad i have one!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5327738 - 07/21/12 01:22 AM

Andrew,
Back on page 7 post 5321613 In the second sentence I was concerned about why the star kept moving when I was trying to align. I would center a star then it would move so I had to re center it and click on it real fast. That is explained now, the scope was in terrestrial and wasn't moving but the star was. That's a great relief it shouldn't do that any more. When aligning my LX200 I usually check my collimation with one of these stars during alignment and now I will be able to do that on the LX80. It helps if the star isn't moving.
Also do you think this fix might help the PEC. I was really planning on using it. I didn't know it was broke until you mentioned it the other day.
Well I think you guys had a lot to do with the Meade fix. Because of all the detailed information provided here it should of given them a much better idea of what to look for. And Meade deserves thanks for taking care of this problem so quickly, They have their hands full with the LX800 recall and could of made us wait, but they didn't.
Neilson


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: neilson]
      #5327793 - 07/21/12 03:14 AM

Gday Neilson
Quote:

Back on page 7 post 5321613 In the second sentence I was concerned about why the star kept moving when I was trying to align. I would center a star then it would move so I had to re center it and click on it real fast. That is explained now, the scope was in terrestrial and wasn't moving but the star was.




I dont think so.
When you do an align, the scope does a lot of initialisation of datums, then puts you into astro mode and starts tracking.
When it stops on the align star, it reverts to std tracking until you hit enter.
ie the star should hold steady in the EP.
The bug under discussion meant the scope was probably only tracking at half the rate it should have, hence you would see massive drift through the EP.
It should be OK now.

Quote:

Also do you think this fix might help the PEC.




This tracking fix specifically??? Nope.
The PEC bug is a totally different problem.
I havent looked to see if its been fixed or not yet,
more in about 12hours after i finish disassembling the new romfile.
Unlike the tracking bug, we do know exactly whats wrong with PEC and how to fix it if required. ( I am hoping Meade would fix it so we dont need to patch it )

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Tmohr36]
      #5327797 - 07/21/12 03:23 AM

Gday Tom

Quote:

"if an update doesn't contain useful changes, don't update!" hmmmm, what to do....




Trust the force



I do lots of upgrades/downgrades etc
In this case, i suspect its worthwhile.

Andrew


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
cheapersleeper
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/22/10

Loc: Sachse TX
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5327902 - 07/21/12 08:36 AM

A lot of folks who have been enjoying chanting "Down with Meade!!" are going to be quite disappointed.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: cheapersleeper]
      #5328059 - 07/21/12 10:59 AM

Wrong. I (I'm sure at least one of those your are referring to) don't feel that this getting corrected is a bad thing. I do however, believe it only been corrected do to the efforts of those here. If you recall, Meade said they weren't aware of the issue. In no small part because of the Lousy testing. So while I'm overjoyed for the owners of these mounts, I still DO NOT see this as a Meade is awesome moment. Lest we forget the "other" thread and the "Thanks Meade your so great for being nice to me on the phone when I called because my new mount doesn't work" comment. Them fixing their screw up is NOT something to be overjoyed about. Just pleased we have folks able to enjoy the money they've spent.

Joe


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jmiele]
      #5328063 - 07/21/12 11:02 AM

BTW, when you buy your next car and it doesn't work for two months and sits in the driveway and the dealership doesn't give you a loaner or take it back.....tell me you'd be Okay with that. An LX800 is as much as some vehicles and should work out of the gate. While the LX80 is less the point is the same.

Joe


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jmiele]
      #5328154 - 07/21/12 12:04 PM

Ok, now that it runs, is there any hope of a PE measurement?

-Rich


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: cheapersleeper]
      #5328199 - 07/21/12 12:31 PM

I don't see how, it seems that if you have one of these "broken" mounts you have to spend another $20 to buy a cable to make it work... Meade needs to recognize this problem and fix it at no cost.

As a self proclaimed cheap-scape you have to see the irony on having to spend another $20 to fix a brand new (still under warranty) mount, that was, without question, a manufacture defect. No, the proud moment will be when Meade makes these mounts right at no (additional) cost to the customer.

And they haven't fixed the PEC bug (yet).


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: ur7x]
      #5328213 - 07/21/12 12:38 PM

Touché ....

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: ur7x]
      #5328235 - 07/21/12 12:48 PM

Oh GOOD GRIEF !!!!!
Chill out people. This is a happy time. It is a time to celebrate.
The LX80 is working, and working well !!

Joe…. Please don’t ruin this thread with your ranting. People are tired of it. I know I am tired of it. If you don’t like Meade, then go sit on a Celestron forum, or wherever you are happy at. Please don’t make this another LX800 thread. Do you get the hint yet ??? NO MORE !!! (Please…)

Ur7x… Relax about the cable. You will want one anyway. It is the path to computer control of your mount. I do agree that it should be included in the basic mount package though…. That is what is known as “room for improvement”.

Rich… Lets work on that. PE is a Polar function, and there is some curiousity there. Andrew is even asking. But he gets to look at the code. Maybe this is a new thread….. “LX80 and PE testing”. I have the setup for it, and maybe even some clear skies to work with. And yes…. I have Pempro (V2). Andrew says he knows how to fix it…… maybe that is the next “patch” that could lead to a Meade fix for all the mounts with the problem.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5328246 - 07/21/12 12:56 PM

Quote:

Oh GOOD GRIEF !!!!!
Chill out people. This is a happy time. It is a time to celebrate.
The LX80 is working, and working well !!

Joe…. Please don’t ruin this thread with your ranting. People are tired of it. I know I am tired of it. If you don’t like Meade, then go sit on a Celestron forum, or wherever you are happy at. Please don’t make this another LX800 thread. Do you get the hint yet ??? NO MORE !!! (Please…)

Ur7x… Relax about the cable. You will want one anyway. It is the path to computer control of your mount. I do agree that it should be included in the basic mount package though…. That is what is known as “room for improvement”.

Rich… Lets work on that. PE is a Polar function, and there is some curiousity there. Andrew is even asking. But he gets to look at the code. Maybe this is a new thread….. “LX80 and PE testing”. I have the setup for it, and maybe even some clear skies to work with. And yes…. I have Pempro (V2). Andrew says he knows how to fix it…… maybe that is the next “patch” that could lead to a Meade fix for all the mounts with the problem.




That's curious because I receive many PM's all thanking me for fighting the good fight. I'm sorry you feel that way, however, it's not going to deter me. "We all". ? There's no need to good emo on us. You'll just end up getting the thread locked. I understand your frustration getting a non working mount and all. So I'll assume that's the reason for your outburst.


Joe


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: autostaretx]
      #5328282 - 07/21/12 01:17 PM

I posted to YouTube a few days ago 2 short videos showing that the LX80 while in EQ mode did not track with the version of the firmware that it was delivered with. This morning I upgraded to the latest version and ran another test to see if in fact the tracking error had been resolved. I faked a one star alignment in my living room, and then I had the LX80 go to Jupiter. I monitored the position of Jupiter realative to the target circle that appeared on Sky Safari. Here is a link to the video I posted showing that the mount now tracks in EQ mode:

http://youtu.be/gvuCwRdmw1c

Jack


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tmohr36
member


Reged: 09/27/10

Loc: Nevada
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5328291 - 07/21/12 01:24 PM

Quote:

Gday Tom

Quote:

"if an update doesn't contain useful changes, don't update!" hmmmm, what to do....




Trust the force



I do lots of upgrades/downgrades etc
In this case, i suspect its worthwhile.

Andrew




Hello Everyone,

Good to hear that your mounts are working now that this update has been released. Of course I didn't really think about NOT upgrading. I will say that update process is time consuming and since I still have another 12hr shift today, I'll keep this brief. Suffice it to say, My working mount is STILL working after the update!!! Actually, watching Betelgeuse this morning (10:00 PDT)

RA 05:55.1
DEC +07*23'

No change in RA at all over the past 20 minutes. I have just switched to Alphard with Neg DEC to see if that's OK still too.
Alphard
RA 9:27.5
Dec -08*38'

Will post later on that outcome, but SO FAR SO GOOD!

To those wondering what lot and manufacture date my mount is, I still have no clue. I thought maybe the tripod box would lend a hand there, but nothing discerning on the box, sorry.

Do any of you know if the mount serial number is stenciled on the unit itself somewhere?

cheers and clear skies,


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
yweln
member


Reged: 08/05/11

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5328302 - 07/21/12 01:34 PM

Quote:

Joe…. Please don’t ruin this thread with your ranting. People are tired of it.




Amen.

And now I'm going out to continue playing with my working-very-well-with-the-new-firmware-thank-you LX80.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: yweln]
      #5328374 - 07/21/12 02:36 PM

Ok, kids...let's stop the sniping. It isn't becoming and will do nothing to help the thread along.

David


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tmohr36
member


Reged: 09/27/10

Loc: Nevada
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Tmohr36]
      #5328422 - 07/21/12 03:19 PM

Quote:

I have just switched to Alphard with Neg DEC to see if that's OK still too.
Alphard
RA 9:27.5
Dec -08*38'






Happy to report that even after 45 minutes of tracking Alphard no change in RA or DEC. Prior to the update the mount would have slowly decreased in RA. I'm satisfied.
RA 9:27.5
DEC -08*38'

Now to the PEC request. A little guidance is needed as I have yet to find a guiding solution that works with this mount (maybe the update has corrected that? Andrew, maybe you have something that works? For a fee is ok too.). I'll have to see over my "weekend".

Suggestions??


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Tmohr36]
      #5328438 - 07/21/12 03:32 PM

One method of "guiding" for the LX80 that works now....
and that I have used, successfully...

If you happen to have a Meade DSI Camera, and are equipped with the Autostar Envisage (Camera) software, then guiding is done through the same serial cable we have been discussing for "upgrading the rom", and/or "computer control".

I cannot address other "options". I have noticed, however, that Meade has been talking about a "guiding port add-on" that will be released sometime later. Apparently, a seperate box will be required. No further information known.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Tmohr36]
      #5328469 - 07/21/12 03:48 PM

I guess I'll take the high road and apologize to the thread for the distraction(s). It wasn't (exactly) my intent. However, the best laid plans...yada yada..

As to the question of current PE. I would think getting a look at where it stands would be paramount as:

1) It stands to reason if in Eq folks may be looking to do some photography.
2) As PEC is currently out of commission, it's important to understand the potential impact.

Joe


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Tmohr36
member


Reged: 09/27/10

Loc: Nevada
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5328484 - 07/21/12 03:56 PM