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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: neilson]
      #5515604 - 11/12/12 08:25 AM

Neilson,

As you have found out, imaging or using a astronomical video camera like a MallinCam on the LX80 are problematic due to the vibration in the scope assembly. There were breezes blowing on Saturday night and when I had the 3mm-6mm Nagler set at the 6mm position (about 250X)in the scope looking at Altair, I could see the star moving around without touching the scope. This would affect imaging.

Several commented on the quality of the replacement tripod top I had fabricated and they said they would like to see the tests repeated with the stock tripod top in place as they are convinced that the beefer top help make visual observing with the LX80 better.

A cold front is coming through right now and it is supposed to clear up this week. Hopefully I will get a chance to test further the EQ mode setup.

Jack Huerkamp


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DuiA1
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5526061 - 11/18/12 12:48 PM Attachment (26 downloads)

Well finally got my plate. Tested it inside also in double scope mode. Kept the setting at slow slew and my first impression is that with both scopes on the motor definitely sounded that it was under more strain.... Will test it tonight in single polar mode with the AR6 weather permitting. The play was still there but again only when wiggling the cw bar. Total weight here is about 40 lbs. There was a bit a jiggling when tapping the tripod or scope. Will check real damping time tonight.

Edited by DuiA1 (11/18/12 12:54 PM)


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DuiA1
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5529428 - 11/20/12 06:14 AM

Tested the AR6 with the mount last night in eq mode. Damping time was about 8 seconds. There was a bit of wind and with gusts you could definitely see the vibration especially at high power. Noticed Jupiter slowly moving out of the field of view. I'm running A3S1 firmware. Slewing was definitely better set at the slower speed. Neilson thanks for the tip as the changes in direction would have been hard on the motors and gears. I believe that the firmware update should fix the tracking correct? Would you guys consider this report normal for this mount and this load?

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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5529514 - 11/20/12 07:30 AM

Maybe...IF your drift was not due to polar misalignment...

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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5531937 - 11/21/12 10:49 AM

Eight seconds damping time is an eternity. The AR6 is so long and heavy that it can be difficult on many mounts and I would expect it to be particularly challenging on the LX80 considering everything that has been said. If you can't change directions without causing damage, then the mount is simply overloaded.

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: EFT]
      #5531986 - 11/21/12 11:06 AM

From Andrew and Mkofsi's work, the firmware update didn't correct the tracking bugs, and added new ones.

If it even enters your mind the mount is in danger from common maneuvers, you're overloaded. From what you have described, it is dangerously overloaded- especially in light of the tripod leg separations seen on highly loaded copies.

I think it's time to call it like it is: the LX80 is really more like the larger versions of the ioptron cube than anything else. Keep the scopes to the size of a C8 or physically smaller and lighter, keep to visual use, and treat it gingerly. Forget astrophotography. Forget payloads over 12-15 lbs. Forget equatorial tracking. Everyone reporting satisfaction is staying in that bracket.

Ignore what the raving lunatics in marketing put in the ads. This is a visual only, 15 lb. payload, alt/az only mount.

-Rich


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5532095 - 11/21/12 11:52 AM

Quote:

From Andrew and Mkofsi's work, the firmware update didn't correct the tracking bugs, and added new ones.

If it even enters your mind the mount is in danger from common maneuvers, you're overloaded. From what you have described, it is dangerously overloaded- especially in light of the tripod leg separations seen on highly loaded copies.

I think it's time to call it like it is: the LX80 is really more like the larger versions of the ioptron cube than anything else. Keep the scopes to the size of a C8 or physically smaller and lighter, keep to visual use, and treat it gingerly. Forget astrophotography. Forget payloads over 12-15 lbs. Forget equatorial tracking. Everyone reporting satisfaction is staying in that bracket.

Ignore what the raving lunatics in marketing put in the ads. This is a visual only, 15 lb. payload, alt/az only mount.

-Rich




Rich,

I've never installed the firmware update. All my test were on the last version. I'm out of commission for a few more days but trying out the new firmware is the next step.

My last night out wa with just over 20 pounds and it was stable.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5532474 - 11/21/12 03:19 PM

Gday Rich

Quote:

From Andrew and Mkofsi's work, the firmware update didn't correct the tracking bugs




Just to clarify here.
The only unconfirmed "bug" in Mikes data was the occasional jump in DEC.
All other problems were ( i suspect ) due to bad gears in the gearbox.

I have done a lot of testing of A3S4 and if polar and PEC is turned ON,
it "should" track OK, and may pulseguide OK.
If PEC is OFF, there is a definite variability in tracking, and DEC pulseguiding looks like it may be broken.
The new code is really weird here and will also affect AltAz pulseguiding, but in essence, under certain conditions, if you do pulseguide in the opposite direction to which the motor is currently going, the backlash mechanism just grabs you and pulls you back to your start point. Almost like micro "rubberbanding". Very annoying.

Andrew


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: EFT]
      #5532658 - 11/21/12 05:05 PM

Ed,

In EQ mode with a C9.25 and 22# Celestron Counterweight, the visual damping time was about 10 seconds. And when the wind blew, the scope vibrated noticeably.

This is with an LX80 that just returned from Meade servicing for too much play in the RA(AZ) axis.

Jack


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5532703 - 11/21/12 05:29 PM

Most people complain about mounts/tripods that have 1 to 2 second damping times. Ten seconds would simply be unworkable when it comes to centering or focusing. Where is all this vibration coming from, the mount, the tripod or both?

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DuiA1
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: EFT]
      #5532741 - 11/21/12 05:59 PM

Jack/Ed, I think it's coming from both. I have the legs fully extended for the Ar6 to take advantage of its length and comfort in viewing. It may be better if I shorten the legs. Is there any point in updating firmware if it is still not working? It drifted off slowly only visible at high power viewing. I'm considering the new skywatcher mount if I can get a refund from my vendor. Do I or any lx80 owners have a case for misrepresentation? This scope is only 23 lbs. I hope they are not counting the cw in their load specifications .

Edited by DuiA1 (11/21/12 06:07 PM)


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5532790 - 11/21/12 06:36 PM

DuiA1,

I don't think you'll have a problem returning the mount for a refund. Everyone that has written about returning a mount got a full refund. I checked on that before taking delivery of mine.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5532903 - 11/21/12 08:13 PM

Andrew did, hence the term "And."

Anyway, the long and short appears to be time spent using it hoping the full list of specs will be met is time spent in frustration.

Back down on the load and don't ask much from the mount and it's sort of OK. Of course, Jack's right- the support hasn't really helped. The constructive feedback has all been from CN folks.

I know you're annoyed- but projecting that to people here who've tried to help is a mistake.

-Rich

Quote:

Quote:

From Andrew and Mkofsi's work, the firmware update didn't correct the tracking bugs, and added new ones.

If it even enters your mind the mount is in danger from common maneuvers, you're overloaded. From what you have described, it is dangerously overloaded- especially in light of the tripod leg separations seen on highly loaded copies.

I think it's time to call it like it is: the LX80 is really more like the larger versions of the ioptron cube than anything else. Keep the scopes to the size of a C8 or physically smaller and lighter, keep to visual use, and treat it gingerly. Forget astrophotography. Forget payloads over 12-15 lbs. Forget equatorial tracking. Everyone reporting satisfaction is staying in that bracket.

Ignore what the raving lunatics in marketing put in the ads. This is a visual only, 15 lb. payload, alt/az only mount.

-Rich




Rich,

I've never installed the firmware update. All my test were on the last version. I'm out of commission for a few more days but trying out the new firmware is the next step.

My last night out wa with just over 20 pounds and it was stable.




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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5532910 - 11/21/12 08:22 PM

If the tripod is not steady, you might be able to add an aftermarket spreader to it to add stability, but I would be worried about the weak connection of the legs to the central hub if you do since the spreader that I am thinking of pushes the legs out a bit to form a solid foundation.

Anything coming from the mount must either be from it connection with the tripod, its azimuth adjustment system, or the "spring" loaded gearing.


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5532926 - 11/21/12 08:35 PM

Rich,

I'm not annoyed with anyone here and I know that the members here have been helpful where Meade has been absent.

I was just trying to keep the record straight. The 'And', to me would indicate that Andrew and Mkofski(that's me) both had trouble with the new firmware and I haven't installed it yet.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5532942 - 11/21/12 08:55 PM

Gday Rich

Quote:

Anyway, the long and short appears to be time spent using it hoping the full list of specs will be met is time spent in frustration.




Yes and no.
The new firmware will more than likely become the default firmware
for ALL Audiostars, hence its not just LX80 based.
The stuff i am looking at isn't really checking if it complies with a load specification, i'm just seeing if it works at the simplest level
So far, i have to say the changes made to allow pulseguiding in AltAz
have broken the process overall, but i think i can now see why.
Unfortunately, there are three layers of bugs on top of the latest one.
All par for the course ( and more fun than Sudoku ).

Andrew


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: EFT]
      #5532951 - 11/21/12 09:07 PM

Gday Ed

Quote:

Anyway, the long and short appears to be time spent using it hoping the full list of specs will be met is time spent in frustration.




You forgot about how the RA axle itself is supported.
It is acting as a cantilevered beam anchored to a flat baseplate with three bolts.
Under heavier loads, i suspect there will be flexure in this assy as well,
like a big spring.

Andrew


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: EFT]
      #5534594 - 11/22/12 10:56 PM

Well my movement is NOT coming from the tripod. I replaced the weak tripod top with a machined aluminum assembly that eliminates any possibility of the legs popping off of the tripod.



My movement/vibration is coming from the RA drive system itself. It is too springy. The spring loaded worm and worm gear were designed to keep them in contact, but this allow the worm to ride out of the worm gear.

Jack Huerkamp


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5534612 - 11/22/12 11:10 PM

Quote:

Well my movement is NOT coming from the tripod. I replaced the weak tripod top with a machined aluminum assembly that eliminates any possibility of the legs popping off of the tripod.

My movement/vibration is coming from the RA drive system itself. It is too springy. The spring loaded worm and worm gear were designed to keep them in contact, but this allow the worm to ride out of the worm gear.





I think that you could still be getting vibration from the tripod, even with substantial improvement to the hub if the legs are not well braced lower down. However, you are most likely correct that much of the problem stems from the RA axis design. Unfortunately, as discussed before, that appears to be a no-win situation, at least in regards to heavier loads. Obviously, your CGE Pro in the background is the winner here.


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: EFT]
      #5534974 - 11/23/12 08:01 AM

Ed,

I had considered getting one of you spreader bar attachments for the tripod to help stiffen the tripod further. But in looking at the mount while tapping the focuser, all the movement appears to be at or above the RA (azimuth) base plate. I wanted a portable mount that I could use with my C9.25 and MallinCams in both Alt-Az and EQ modes. The LX80 will work with my MallinCams when lighter OTAs like my Lunt80 with DSII and my 6SE with HyperStar are employed. Due to the vibration issues with the LX80, especially in EQ mode, I will have to search out other options.

The CGE PRO is going into Waning Moon I - my observatory with ExploraDome II. It is not exactly a portable str party mount - at least not for me.

Jack Huerkamp


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