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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5335123 - 07/25/12 04:03 PM Attachment (32 downloads)

doing calibration run it moves east then brings the star back to center which is west then moves north and the same brings the star back to center. FyI when we change objects to another part of the sky we will calibrate again click brain force calibration. here are a few of the setting I'm working with now it a good place to start you may have to play with ra aggressiveness and a few others

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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5335179 - 07/25/12 04:44 PM

Thank you. I will try those settings tonight.
Hopefully, i will be able to try in both polar, and alt/az.


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mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5335205 - 07/25/12 05:09 PM

Could you take a pic of your setup, guiding and all, if possible; I am interested in seeing all the cable connections/connectors for serial guiding if you could capture that? Thanks in advance.

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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: mmalik]
      #5335229 - 07/25/12 05:25 PM

David

these numbers are not set in stone so play around with them Max Ra duration was 1000 and Dec was also I changed them to 500 because it didn't seem to work as well then split that so 750 is where I ended up. The seeing will effect the values you need. hope that helps


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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5335310 - 07/25/12 06:16 PM Attachment (28 downloads)

mmalik

I have taken down the scope due to weather here but I try to explain it. If you have a newer computer you will need a USB to Serial male adapter you can find these for as little as 10 bucks you will need a 505 Meade cable that plugs into your USB to serial adapter and the other end plugs into your Meade hand controller 20 bucks or you can build one [url] http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/as_cable505.html[/url]

then you will need a camera to use guiding we use DSI pro II they are a older camera they don't make any more, but others will work as well. and a USB cable to run from camera to laptop and software to guide with we use PHD it free but if you like the program send a donation he is always doing updates as well as adding more cameras the program will support[url] http://www.stark-labs.com/phdguiding.html [/url]


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5335356 - 07/25/12 06:50 PM

Gday David

Quote:

Now.... if we can just get Guiding going......

I got my first response back from Craig (PHD)...
I had mentioned to him that i was trying to guide in Alt/AZ.




Just for others benefits.
"Pulseguiding" does not work in 497 type firmwares "unless Polar".
( This also applies to the ST4 input,
as it is treated as if it is a pulseguide internally, and the ST4 "lump" ( APM909 ) cannot be used unless polar anyway )
There is a specific block in the firmware to prevent it.

You "can" guide in AltAz but must use the original Move then stop command set.
The main reason behind this is tied into how "pulseguides" actually get sent to the motors, which isnt the standard "run motor at guide speed for a set time.
It uses a totally different mechanism, that wont always work if altaz.

Andrew


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Craig
Vendor (Stark Labs)
*****

Reged: 09/16/03

Loc: Irvine, CA
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5335458 - 07/25/12 07:52 PM Attachment (22 downloads)

Quote:

Early morning report (its midnight here).

PHD would not guide. Not sure why. It performed calibrations (or so it said), but i don't think it really did as it should. The target star would always be going "down", when it was reporting W, E, S, N. And then when it would start "guiding", the star would drift "down", and out of the box (in short order). As soon as it left the box, PHD would turn off commands (disconnect), and the star movement would stop. I did create logs, so will analize them in the morning.

Interestingly, this is the same pattern that Envisage displayed.





Folks -- David provided me with a log file by e-mail, but this quote here says it all. If the star goes one direction at all times, it is drifting. If it is drifting, you're off the pole. If say, "No - I'm on - my GOTOs work great and I did a 3 star sort of alignment", well then yes, you're off the pole (The several-star alignment fixes GOTOs to account for polar misalignment but doesn't fix tracking).

Have a look at Box 2 here: http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=2755

That's what the calibration should look like. If you're off the pole, it'll have a constant line to it and going back (e.g, E) won't unroll the going forward (e.g. W). The attached doesn't show that nice L...

Now, it's possible to be on the pole perfectly and still hit this. But, it would mean a motor is stuck on -- something then clearly being amiss. While just looping and no guiding or calibrating going on, is there drift? If it goes one way and comes back smoothly, that's PE. If it keeps going and going one way, that's drift from misalignment. (Also, if you know that RA is say X on the image, PE will be in X and drift will have Y bits too).


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Lee Jay
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/27/08

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: ur7x]
      #5335481 - 07/25/12 08:12 PM

Quote:

The truth here is this mount did NOT work as advertized out of the box. PERIOD.. and to fix it YOU have to buy more product from the manufacture to fix HIS error.




There's an expression that goes something like, "if you want to be on the bleeding edge, you have to be prepared to bleed a little".

Reality is, our industry is very, very small, both in dollars and in units. This means the manufacturers have a hard time justifying sending out the first few hundred off the assembly line for extensive testing, and they have little budget for not bringing a product to market quickly. What that means for us is embodied in the expression above.

And don't pretend this issue is limited to Meade's mounts. I've had exactly this sort of problem with other products and have heard of it from a host of other products, many from highly-reputable sources. Just look at what's going on with Nikon D800 focusing right now or what did happen with Canon 1DIII focusing when it was new. And those are products that sell in the hundreds of thousands and come from billion-dollar companies.


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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5335535 - 07/25/12 08:45 PM

I have no problem with that, and I completely agree with you, the issue is not about being on the bleeding edge, the issue is why bother to warranty the mounts, if it means nothing?

We can now all see that many of these mounts were shipped with a manufacture defect. To fix it, you are on your own... another customer had a mount shipped with missing parts... And after being promised the parts, he was told, forgetaboutit.

Lets be very clear here, the update does not make the mount work faster, or more efficient, or quieter, simpler set up, or add new features... No, the patch simply brings the mount in line with what was originally promised by the manufacture. That is not an update, that is a repair, I know that is subtle, but they are different.

This is not bleeding edge, this is simply not standing behind your product.

Oh and you and I both know that the cable needed to "fix" your Nikon Camera is in the box that came with the SLR body... Apples and Oranges.


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Lee Jay
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/27/08

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: ur7x]
      #5335554 - 07/25/12 08:58 PM

Quote:

Oh and you and I both know that the cable needed to "fix" your Nikon Camera is in the box that came with the SLR body... Apples and Oranges.




Actually, no. You have to ship it back to Nikon (and Canon, in the previous case) at your own expense, which tends to be considerably more than $20 (more like $50 with suitable insurance).

Edited by Lee Jay (07/25/12 09:00 PM)


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: Craig]
      #5335621 - 07/25/12 09:44 PM

Gday Craig

Quote:

(The several-star alignment fixes GOTOs to account for polar misalignment but doesn't fix tracking).




Not so sure about that now.
As part of fixing the RA drift,
the firmware does now appear to "track in DEC" if reqd.
( I have confirmed this on my motorcards )
Ie if a two/three star align is done and reports >5' from pole
then the DEC motor may indeed be running to try and track
based on the align error matrix.
I have no idea how this would affect your DEC calibrations
esp when lash gets mixed into the process.

Doing a polar one star align will not invoke this process.

Andrew


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Craig
Vendor (Stark Labs)
*****

Reged: 09/16/03

Loc: Irvine, CA
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5335874 - 07/26/12 01:11 AM

It won't affect the calibration, but it will much with the guiding. If sending RA commands causes the Dec motor to move... that's a real problem as you'll be fighting backlash.

Craig


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deepskyguy
member


Reged: 12/16/09

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: Craig]
      #5335900 - 07/26/12 01:42 AM

I have to say that I agree with ur7x on this issue. This is a manufacturer's defect that they are forcing you to spend more money to fix the issue. IMHO this is just not right and is a slippery slope. Meade should be held responsible for the fix. What is next, sending you half the mount, then expect you to spend more money to buy rest of the parts? I'm only joking about this, and using this example to extreme. I applaud all of you doing Meade's work, as it is fun to tinker with things.

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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: Craig]
      #5335908 - 07/26/12 01:49 AM

Gday Craig

Quote:

It won't affect the calibration




It "may" affect DEC calibration, and certainly may affect DEC guiding.
As i mentioned in an earlier post, the way "pulseguiding" is actually carried out in the 497 firmwares is "non standard"
The system doesnt use a "move at guide speed for X milliseconds"
It uses burst forwards or stop tracking modes.

In RA polar, this is not a problem, but DEC could get hairy
if the DEC motor is running at a glacial pace.
Ie the burst fwds will always work, but the stop till the delta is taken up may take ages.
I need to rewalk exactly how it now works but,
if im right, the DEC cal will only show a move in one direction
RA should behave as previous.

Andrew


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5335950 - 07/26/12 02:53 AM

Post 1 of 4 on GUIDING and PEC results...

My, my,… what a difference a day makes. Proper planning, and understanding what to expect. And we have results. POSITIVE RESULTS !! This post will be the first of 4 which will address the issues of GUIDING, and PEC for the LX80.

GUIDING. If you have been following all the posts…. I can now confirm what has been happening. Long story short…. WE CAN GUIDE THE LX80 in POLAR mode ONLY, and so far, ONLY using PHD! And… I might just add that it works VERY well.

The evening started with a single star Polar alignment. That went very smoothly. I then picked an alternate star, SAO 125122 (Rasalhague), which was about AZ 157, and elev 57 degrees, and began the process of the Iterative Method of Polar Alignment. I went back and forth between Rasalhague, and Polaris, for about 30 minutes, each time tightening the alignment. I then selected yet another star, trying for close to the Meridan, and 0 declination, with a 5th to 7th Mag for the PEC test. I selected SAO 141665, with an RA of 17 26 37, and a DEC of -05 05, and was 4.5 Mag.

I started Pempro, attached the mount, and attached the camera. I synced the worm, and started collecting data. At this point, I must admit, I am way over my head, and will not try to comment on the data. I collected about 2.5 worm cycles, when an interesting thing happened, and the test ended. I captured three screens, which will appear below. I will let others try and explain what we are seeing.

The interesting thing was that the collection of data stopped. I think I know what happened. Later, I was testing autoguiding with PHD (which works well ). Suddenly, the target star jumped out of the box, and landed about half way down the screen. But then….. it came back. And PHD picked it up. This also happened when I was doing some 30 sec shots of the target (UNGUIDED). I had to throw 3 frames out of 10 away. But it came back. Overall, from the time I centered the target, about 10:00 PM, the target stayed in the center of the camera FOV for over an hour. And it remained there, until I started Envisage, and tried to GUIDE (track). At that point, the process of the star strolling down the screen started again, and continued until I turned off Envisage. I restarted Envisage, and there was my star, right where it had left it (bottom area of screen), and holding steady. Envisage is NOT a candidate for guiding with this mount. I used TheSkyX Pro to plate resolve the stacked image to verify I was “on target”. By the way, it was “on target” with the GOTO. No aiming adjustment needed.

The point I would like to make before talking about the charts is that the central star stayed in the center of the camera FOV for over an hour --- UNGUIDED ! I think that speaks to the polar alignment, AND the tracking of the mount. Now everyone can tear into that with PEC discussion.


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5335952 - 07/26/12 03:00 AM Attachment (48 downloads)

Post 2 of 4 GUIDING and PEC.

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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5335956 - 07/26/12 03:01 AM Attachment (39 downloads)

Post 3 of 4 GUIDING and PEC.

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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5335958 - 07/26/12 03:02 AM Attachment (33 downloads)

Post 4 of 4 GUIDING and PEC.

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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5335969 - 07/26/12 03:08 AM

Current Conclusion of the Meade LX80 mount.

At this point, i think we know....
The mount in Alt/AZ works well. That has not been an issue.
The mount in Polar, now with the new Meade firmware, works well. See my comments above about pointing accurracy, and holding "on target" with NO GUIDING for over an hour....

Guiding is a NO GO in Alt/AZ for the time being. Bummer ! I will continue working on that.
Guiding in Polar is very clean and works, but you must use PHD (which stands for "Push Here Dummy" -- interesting story). PHD is freeware, but i think a "Thank You" to Craig (donation) would be in order.

As to the PEC results.... I'll leave that to the techies. But i was very impressed with holding "on target" that way it did.... UNGUIDED.

OK FOLKS.... have at it! I am going to sit back and follow the commentary. Oh yes.... the data package for the PEC run is available, if needed. Send me a PM, and include your regular email address. The file is about 14KB.


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jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5336200 - 07/26/12 09:01 AM

Well, thanks for the effort David! Not a ton of cycles there so it's hard to come to any definite conclusions. I'm sure Alph will want at the data file.

Did you use the PemPro polar alignment routine? It works very well and might actually save time for you. If you make another attempt, let it run as many cycles of the worm as you can. The more data the better. At that point, maybe Ray will even take a look see and give us his thoughts.

Once again though, I applaud ALL of your efforts. Much has been uncovered and even corrected, throughout this effort.

Joe


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