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Equipment Discussions >> Reflectors

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LunarRover
journeyman


Reged: 11/03/09

Loc: Arkansas
Orion XT*g tracking
      #5913494 - 06/10/13 04:14 PM

Would like to get some input from owners of the Orion XTg goto dobs, if you've had issues with motor induced vibrations causing image "bounce", especially with high power viewing, as mentioned in the S&T test report?

Also, has goto accuracy been satisfactory?


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Tiebreaker
member
*****

Reged: 10/12/09

Loc: Texas/Maine
Re: Orion XT*g tracking new [Re: LunarRover]
      #5913647 - 06/10/13 05:36 PM

I have the XT10g and it's been a pleasure to use. I've not noticed any motor induced vibrations but I rarely use anything higher than 167x (Explore Scientific 6.7mm eyepiece). GoTo accuracy has been very good. I do use an illuminated double reticle eyepiece to center the alignment stars. Hope this helps a little.

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Billytk
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/22/12

Loc: Lake Mary, Fl.
Re: Orion XT*g tracking new [Re: Tiebreaker]
      #5913704 - 06/10/13 06:08 PM

Go To on mine is usually spot on and I have never seen any vibrations. Had the ES 8.8mm and 6.7mm with 2x barlow in it last Fri night.

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Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: Orion XT*g tracking new [Re: Billytk]
      #5913979 - 06/10/13 08:43 PM

I first-lighted my XT8g on 6/8. GoTo was spot on for the few targets I chose (all close to my alignment stars) and tracking was solid. I tried the 'Auto-Tracking' feature and it did NOT work. I was on the phone with Orion just an hour ago and the support tech did not have a solution.

I only had my Baader Zoom so the max power was 150x and of course, no vibrations. What smooth slewing at all speeds!


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TexasRed
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/17/11

Loc: East Texas
Re: Orion XT*g tracking new [Re: Starman81]
      #5914648 - 06/11/13 08:41 AM

I've never noticed the slightest vibration, even at 300X.

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Jarrod
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/20/13

Loc: SE USA
Re: Orion XT*g tracking new [Re: TexasRed]
      #5916157 - 06/12/13 12:19 AM

255x is stable here.

Gotos are good. Usually gets the object within ~0.2º of the center.

Edited by Jarrod (06/12/13 12:25 AM)


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debrady
member


Reged: 02/29/12

Loc: Fairfield County, Connecticut
Re: Orion XT*g tracking new [Re: Jarrod]
      #5916565 - 06/12/13 09:21 AM

XT10g: Occasionally the GoTo will be off, but I'm certain it can be traced back to a bad alignment. PAE usually fixes that when it does rarely happen. When it's on, it's on.

Haven't noticed any vibration even with a ES82º 6.7 with a 2X barlow.


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Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: Orion XT*g tracking new [Re: debrady]
      #5916619 - 06/12/13 09:55 AM

How many of you XTg owners use the 'Auto-Tracking' mode and how successful has it been?

Sorry for sounding like a broken record, but after hearing Orion's lack of a solution for this problem I am left searching for answers.

Thanks in advance.


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debrady
member


Reged: 02/29/12

Loc: Fairfield County, Connecticut
Re: Orion XT*g tracking new [Re: Starman81]
      #5917321 - 06/12/13 04:41 PM

If you mean "level it and point it north" mode, never tried it. I can't see Polaris from my usual observing location. Plus, the two star setup is just so easy.

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Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: Orion XT*g tracking new [Re: debrady]
      #5917327 - 06/12/13 04:44 PM

Quote:

If you mean "level it and point it north" mode, never tried it. I can't see Polaris from my usual observing location. Plus, the two star setup is just so easy.




I've only done the two-star procedure once so far (my 1 night out with the scope) but I can already tell it is much easier and trouble-free compared to my Nexstar 8SE's 3 star alignment. BUT, this 'Auto-Track' feature is an advertised feature and I definitely see value in it, so it SHOULD work and if it doesn't, that is a failure that needs to be addressed. Not yelling at you debrady, but at Orion.


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Billytk
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/22/12

Loc: Lake Mary, Fl.
Re: Orion XT*g tracking new [Re: Starman81]
      #5917494 - 06/12/13 06:32 PM

The only value I see in auto-tracking is if you wanted to observe the moon in daytime or solar with the proper filter when you can't see alignment stars. Other than that I see no use for it.

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Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: Orion XT*g tracking new [Re: Billytk]
      #5931307 - 06/20/13 01:28 PM

Well I have an admission to make, which is a bit embarassing but I don't want Orion getting any bad press on my part based on a user error. In regards to my issue with the 'AutoTracking' feature not working and Orion not having a fix for it, here is what actually happened. In my excitement during the setup of the scope, I swapped the coordinate numbers for my location while entering it into the handset. So instead of 83* W 42* N, I put in 42* W, 83* N which put my location at basically the North Pole! If you're curious how the constellations move through the sky at the North Pole, open up Stellarium, change your location accordingly and fast-forward the time-step and you'll see--Polaris is at the zenith and constellations dance around you like a merry-go-round. Nothing is really rising or setting (don't quote me on that part though). So of course my Autotracking would not work because the movement of the stars at my location on the equatorial grid is obviously much different. I had a chance to get the scope out after figuring this out and the AutoTracking worked PERFECTLY throughout the night!

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Chaz659
sage


Reged: 12/08/12

Loc: Islip, NY
Re: Orion XT*g tracking new [Re: Starman81]
      #5931575 - 06/20/13 04:03 PM

Well please let us all know how well the scope works out for you now. A first light report would be welcome, thanks!

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Billytk
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/22/12

Loc: Lake Mary, Fl.
Re: Orion XT*g tracking new [Re: Chaz659]
      #5932149 - 06/20/13 10:04 PM

Quote:

Well please let us all know how well the scope works out for you now. A first light report would be welcome, thanks!




+1


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Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Potential vibration issue with tracking? new [Re: Billytk]
      #5932961 - 06/21/13 12:57 PM

I had only observed DSOs thus far with this new scope and last weekend was the first time I did any planetary observing. I put it on Saturn at medium-high power (171x). The seeing was not great, the Cassini Division being barely discernable, but what made it worse was the image of Saturn was jumping around! Not a lot, but enough to be a bother. I thought at first it was my cooling fan, but the 'jumpiness' continued even after I turned it off. There was a very slight breeze and just to be sure that was not the cause, I waited until it died down and still observed the jumpiness. I then turned off the tracking and it went away and when I turned it on, it came back--not a good sign. Tracking is more crucial for high-power viewing but if that results in jumpiness to the point that it detracts from observing fine details, that is problematic, especially for planetary, double stars and lunar observing. When I observed a few nights before, all I observed was DSO and thinking back now, I did observe this happening a little bit while observing M11 at medium-high power (184x). But for 95% of my DSO observing I did not notice it.
Any thoughts on how to migitate this issue? Have others experienced it with their XTg's? I am thinking it is possible that this is less of the problem in the XT10g because of its greater tube weight and even less with the XT12g's massive tube, assuming the motors are the same in all 3.

Edited by Starman81 (06/21/13 01:15 PM)


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Billytk
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/22/12

Loc: Lake Mary, Fl.
Re: Potential vibration issue with tracking? new [Re: Starman81]
      #5933297 - 06/21/13 04:41 PM

I have never seen that with my scope. Smooth tracking here.

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CounterWeight
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: Potential vibration issue with tracking? new [Re: Billytk]
      #5938599 - 06/24/13 07:43 PM

Good to hear it's a 'non-issue'. I am going to be joining the XXG Club after an almost 5 year stint of 'lenses only'. What did it for me - as I'd previously been a 'Cat' fan, is the goto and tracking.... well and the new mirror design (at least new for Orion). It takes me time to save up for these things(astro-toys) unless I want to sell something I already own - and so I've been able to keep an eye on the posts and reports from launch date and overall seems it's going to be what I'd like. Starman81 thanks a lot for the update! everyone else thank you as well as I've been very interested in this.

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debrady
member


Reged: 02/29/12

Loc: Fairfield County, Connecticut
Re: Potential vibration issue with tracking? new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5939046 - 06/25/13 01:31 AM

Same here. Never seen it. Even using the ES 6.7 with a 2x Barlow.

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my_universe
member


Reged: 01/07/10

Re: Potential vibration issue with tracking? new [Re: Starman81]
      #5942064 - 06/26/13 08:03 PM

Check to see if the right side bearing on the OTA is rubbing agaqinst the right side panel. There should be a small gap of a couple millimeters at least. If it is rubbing, that could be causing some stiction, resulting in jumpy tracking. Some lithium grease or graphite powder between the two parts might solve it, or you could add a thin shim (maybe 1/16") between where the right side panel attaches to the front panel, as this would move the right side panel slightly outward, creating the needed gap.

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Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: Potential vibration issue with tracking? new [Re: my_universe]
      #5942147 - 06/26/13 09:14 PM

Quote:

Check to see if the right side bearing on the OTA is rubbing agaqinst the right side panel. There should be a small gap of a couple millimeters at least. If it is rubbing, that could be causing some stiction, resulting in jumpy tracking. Some lithium grease or graphite powder between the two parts might solve it, or you could add a thin shim (maybe 1/16") between where the right side panel attaches to the front panel, as this would move the right side panel slightly outward, creating the needed gap.




Thanks, I will look to see if this is the potential cause of the jumpy tracking I think I am seeing.

Billytk and debrady, glad to hear that you have not experienced this issue.


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Jarrod
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/20/13

Loc: SE USA
Re: Potential vibration issue with tracking? new [Re: Starman81]
      #5943048 - 06/27/13 12:39 PM

I may have noticed this for the first time the other night. The conditions were:

a) Viewing an object near zenith.
b) High magnification
c) A heavy EP installed
d) Scope not sitting on level ground

In particular, (d) is something that I had not done before. I was setup on the sidewalk in the front yard and we live on a reasonably steep grade. Based on the fact that I have not noticed this before, but have viewed with at least two of the other three variables in place simultaneously, my current hypothesis is that the sloping ground was a big contributor.

Edited by Jarrod (06/27/13 12:43 PM)


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Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: Potential vibration issue with tracking? new [Re: Jarrod]
      #5944157 - 06/28/13 02:14 AM

Quote:

I may have noticed this for the first time the other night. The conditions were:

a) Viewing an object near zenith.
b) High magnification
c) A heavy EP installed
d) Scope not sitting on level ground

In particular, (d) is something that I had not done before. I was setup on the sidewalk in the front yard and we live on a reasonably steep grade. Based on the fact that I have not noticed this before, but have viewed with at least two of the other three variables in place simultaneously, my current hypothesis is that the sloping ground was a big contributor.




The conditions when I observed it compared to yours were quite different, see below in italics:

a) Viewing an object near zenith. - nope I had it on Saturn which we all know doesn't rise very high at all at this point in time.
b) High magnification - I was only at 171x, that is more like medium-high
c) A heavy EP installed - the EP was Pentax XW 7, relatively not a heavy EP
d) Scope not sitting on level ground - scope was on a level sidewalk

I had a very short session a few nights ago, but the seeing was so bad that star images were jumping all over the place, tracking on or not. Still waiting for a decent night that I am able to observe to make some more observations in regards to this supposed problem.


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Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: Potential vibration issue with tracking? new [Re: Starman81]
      #5973083 - 07/15/13 08:39 PM

I am still looking for a night with good seeing and one that I can actually get out early enough to get my scope acclimated in order to investigate the 'jumpiness' in my tracking. I had a session a few nights ago that more or less had the same result, so I am kind of bummed for now, but really hoping for a fix/mod/adjustment of some sort. There are plenty of other XTg owners out there and I have never read of this type of issue yet, so I am hoping it is resolvable. This time around, I was using 184x on the Wild Duck Cluster and could see bright stars at the edge of field bouncing around. Turning off the fan did help a bit, so I am still looking to see how much that is playing a part.

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dan777
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 11/16/07

Loc: Indiana
Re: Orion XT*g tracking new [Re: LunarRover]
      #5973297 - 07/15/13 11:06 PM

Quote:

Would like to get some input from owners of the Orion XTg goto dobs, if you've had issues with motor induced vibrations causing image "bounce", especially with high power viewing, as mentioned in the S&T test report?

Also, has goto accuracy been satisfactory?



My XT8g as delivered had a very noticeable stepping motion in ALT movement. It was obvious at 170x. Orion replaced the scope.

The goto accuracy is excellent. My XT8g is more accurate than the Intelliscope I used to have.


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TexasRed
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/17/11

Loc: East Texas
Re: Orion XT*g tracking new [Re: dan777]
      #5973649 - 07/16/13 07:08 AM

The fan shouldn't make the view jittery either. I can't tell when my fan is running. Orion needs to take that one back and replace it. There's something seriously wrong with it that isn't wrong with the others.

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Chaz659
sage


Reged: 12/08/12

Loc: Islip, NY
Re: Orion XT*g tracking new [Re: TexasRed]
      #5974601 - 07/16/13 04:54 PM

Quote:

The fan shouldn't make the view jittery either. I can't tell when my fan is running. Orion needs to take that one back and replace it. There's something seriously wrong with it that isn't wrong with the others.




I would have to agree. This thread started more than a month ago and there has been nothing resolved. I would begin the process of requesting a replacement. I have been doing a great deal of reading regarding these scopes, here and other forums, and I am sorry to say I have never seen anyone with this issue, therefore haven't seen a way in which to resolve the problem either. Get it replaced. Best of luck and please let us know how things work out for you.


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kharrison
member


Reged: 10/16/12

Re: Orion XT*g tracking new [Re: Chaz659]
      #5975016 - 07/16/13 09:04 PM

I have started having the same trouble with my XX16g. In my case I was using high power (300x). It was on the grass but I leveled it with shims. The eyepiece was a 6mm Delos, which weighs 1 lb. I was at a public observing event so I didn't have much time for testing. Since I bought it through a telescope store here in Dallas and it is still under warranty I just dropped it off with them. I'll post something as soon as they get back to me.

BTW, has anyone besides Dan contacted Orion about this?


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Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: Potential vibration issue with tracking? new [Re: my_universe]
      #5975816 - 07/17/13 11:35 AM Attachment (8 downloads)

Quote:

Check to see if the right side bearing on the OTA is rubbing agaqinst the right side panel. There should be a small gap of a couple millimeters at least. If it is rubbing, that could be causing some stiction, resulting in jumpy tracking. Some lithium grease or graphite powder between the two parts might solve it, or you could add a thin shim (maybe 1/16") between where the right side panel attaches to the front panel, as this would move the right side panel slightly outward, creating the needed gap.




Well, you were right--the right side bearing IS rubbing against the right side panel. Not all the way around but towards the back, definitely. On the front side there is a healthy gap of 2-3mm at least. I don't have any shim stock on hand, how about some double-sided foam tape between where the right side panel attaches to the front panel, that should work I think (?).


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kharrison
member


Reged: 10/16/12

Re: Orion XT*g tracking new [Re: kharrison]
      #5978702 - 07/18/13 09:16 PM

Well, it turns out there was a considerable amount of west Texas regolith contaminating the grease in my drives (mainly azimuth). The guys at The Observatory cleaned it up and put in fresh grease. They tested it as best they could in the store but I'll have to take it out someplace to be sure. We also checked the gap on the right alt bearing and it was clear.

Anyone else with this problem go to TSP this year?


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thetortoise
super member
*****

Reged: 07/25/12

Loc: Longmont, CO
Re: Potential vibration issue with tracking? new [Re: Starman81]
      #5993851 - 07/27/13 11:07 PM

I am always amazed at how smoothly my XT10G tracks, even at high powers. I always expect to see something from the motors but I never do. On the other hand, when I don't have the tracking on, and am trying to nudge the thing, that's when the view bounces all over the place.

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Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: Potential vibration issue with tracking? new [Re: thetortoise]
      #5994053 - 07/28/13 02:09 AM

Quote:

I am always amazed at how smoothly my XT10G tracks, even at high powers. I always expect to see something from the motors but I never do. On the other hand, when I don't have the tracking on, and am trying to nudge the thing, that's when the view bounces all over the place.




Thanks for sharing, Jarad, we need all the data points we can get. I wish so badly that this was my experience as I really do like this scope. Can you check your right side bearing to see of there is any contact? On mine, you could not even slide a piece of paper in i.e. there was full contact.


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thetortoise
super member
*****

Reged: 07/25/12

Loc: Longmont, CO
Re: Potential vibration issue with tracking? new [Re: Starman81]
      #5994665 - 07/28/13 12:34 PM

I had never checked this before but I can confirm that there is no contact on the right bearing. A thick card-stock slipped right in there no problem with room to spare. Ok, potentially really bad idea, but what if you just sort of pulled outward on the right side to loosen it up? A bit of mechanical manipulation "might" work (just don't break it of course...)

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Billytk
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 04/22/12

Loc: Lake Mary, Fl.
Re: Potential vibration issue with tracking? new [Re: thetortoise]
      #5994914 - 07/28/13 02:59 PM

I would try some carnuba wax where it rubs to make sure that is where the issue is. You can always wipe the wax off. If that does solve the issue then you can either keep the wax there or find a way to loosten the gap.

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Jeffgg
newbie


Reged: 07/30/13

Re: Potential vibration issue with tracking? new [Re: Starman81]
      #5998536 - 07/30/13 02:18 PM

Starman, were you able to correct the bearing issue? I was about to purchase a XT10G but now a little apprehensive....
Best luck


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Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: Potential vibration issue with tracking? new [Re: Jeffgg]
      #5998827 - 07/30/13 05:29 PM

Jeff, welcome to Cloudy Nights! Though we've had a nice stretch of clear nights recently, work and life combined have kept me away from observing. I have applied the mod of adding a shim in between the front and right side panel and did indoor testing. With just that 1/16" shim in place, the bearing *eventually* ends up moving back into contact with the right side panel. I will double that thickness up and see if the result is better, but keep in mind, it has not been concluded yet that this is the cause of the jumpiness in tracking.

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Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: Potential vibration issue with tracking? new [Re: Starman81]
      #6054309 - 08/30/13 12:10 PM

I've had a few opportunities now to test the scope out further. The 1/12 inch shim did not make a difference and even when I move the OTA ever so slightly to make sure that the bearing was not touching the side board, there was still vibration. I guess is just something you have to live with. It can be exacerbated by poor seeing and thermals, but when those two issues are at bay, the tracking is "good". Now Saturn is a bit too low or already has set by the time I am able to observe nowadays, so high power planetary testing can't be done, but I had the Moon at 144x with BV'ers and there was no noticeable vibration.

So overall, I have not quite nailed down the cause. But I will still test with perhaps adding weight to the base or maybe adding to the shims and re-test, in case my first test was flawed and then I'll try whatever else comes to my mind. But I won't worry sooo much about it. While using this scope, I've had a lot of fun. It combines the capability of my XT8i and Nexstar 8SE in one tidy package (those two scopes are gonna hit the selling block!). I find the software/controller on this unit is more user friendly than either the XT8i or the 8SE (though not perfect) and doing the alignment is a snap. Even if I have to turn off the tracking and 'hand-track' with the controller for high-power planetary/double star observing I am ok with that since I am mainly a DSO observer anyways and this scope does well in that regard.


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