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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Hilmi
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5342751 - 07/30/12 02:43 AM

Another thing to consider is that the alignment model got corrupted and needed to be redone. Sometimes these issues are simple intermittent software glitches .

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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5342860 - 07/30/12 06:06 AM

I looked for anything loose in the image train and found nothing, but It also did this east to west back and forth when we wasn't sending guide correction to the mount just watching PHD graph unguided mount, so that tells me its in the mount. The mount was balanced in RA and in Dec. A thought was it might be teeter toddering on the warm gear so we made the Ra a little heaver to the east so it would have take out any slop but that didn't change the results still run fast then slow down in RA only. We did our normal set up for alignment see the very first post for details. We did go back to Meridian And took a 5min exposure with mount on terrestrial at 3mins we used the hand controller to move the mount back and see if the star trails was on top of each other and it was good.

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mmalik
Post Laureate
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Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: Wigleydh]
      #5342867 - 07/30/12 06:19 AM

Quote:

Last night we never had it jump out of the PHD guide box like David did. It just wasn't steady enough, it moved around in RA to the point I was't happy with any of the resulting 5 minute frames from the imaging camera. We run 5 minute guided frames consistently with the LXD55.




Dennis, if I understand correctly, you/Kevin are not getting steady 5 min subs when using PHD. And David is having a different flavor of the problem... occasional "jumping out of the PHD guiding box". Keep us all posted what you both find out and/or are able to resolve.


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: mmalik]
      #5343258 - 07/30/12 11:54 AM

Good Morning everyone...

It was a busy night. First, the noise of a couple helicopters flying around, then the smell of smoke. Just over that ridge to my west there was some smoke coming up, and flowing down into the valley here. Hmmmmmm. A forest fire. If the full(ish) moon is not enough to insire you to put your gear away, and get ready for travel, then this will do it! The good news is that they got to it in time, and apparently knocked it down. Whew !!!

The bottom line of that story is that all the gear is now packed away, and we will do some running around this week. Maintenance, and maybe a little "fish and chips" down at the coast (Bandon). Probably won't have things set up again for a week or so.

When i do have it setup again, i will use the DSI-2 on the SC-6 and build a 15-30 min graph using PHD, and we shall see what we see. The other evening, i was doing 7-8 frames of 2-min on 5 targets. So, the "problem" was only showing up in maybe every other target. Thus, I believe my "problem" is not that frequent, as Kevin/Dennis are describing. We shall see with the long graphs.

[Ed: (Add).. I will try to figure out a way to gather data for both guided and un-guided, and display as graphs. I know PHD will do a graph for guiding, but not sure how i will do un-guided. I will study on that for the next couple of days...]

I have had several PM's regarding my observing form. Thank you all for looking that closly. It is a self generated "page" using MS Digital Image Suite 2006 (aka Picture IT), which unfortunately, is no longer in production. I am a "lousy" sketcher, so I try and document all my observations by imaging. Instead of a written "observation log book", i use Images, and these pages, and store things electronically, as well as most on the web, sorted out by the various "observing programs" of our club, East Valley Astronomy Club (EVAC), of Mesa/Gilbert, Arizona.

Edited by dmdouglass (07/30/12 11:58 AM)


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5343272 - 07/30/12 12:02 PM

disable guide commands in the brain and it will give you unguided data. you can use PECPrep for graphing the data.

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jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5343283 - 07/30/12 12:06 PM

David, I'm glad to hear you are out of harms way. A fire is amazing given all the rain you get this time of year.....

Joe


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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: jmiele]
      #5344814 - 07/31/12 08:28 AM

Ok I'm going to try a new test I put the DSI proI in the 80mm Main scope leaving the 66mm guide scope on top with eyepiece just if I need to align anything.
The test
I'm going to run two test both running about 30min long.
1st test 30min guided with all the same setting on both runs
the 2nd test back the scope up in RA only about 30min then do a run unguided both runs I will use PHD logging the data to see what the mount is doing. Both test will take place in the same area of sky. any other thoughts on information I should log?


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5345125 - 07/31/12 11:48 AM

Hi Kevin and Dennis...

That sounds good. It is about the same as i was going to do.
We are going to be down at the coast for a couple of days, but "should" be back here Friday afternoon. I will probably get set up again then, and will duplicate that, and we can compare results.

We have not heard for neilson for awhile. You still out there ?? I do not recall if you have a camera that could be set up in PHD, and you too could duplicate this test. That would give us three sets of data to compare...

Anyone else able to do this ??


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shadowpdiggity
member


Reged: 07/23/12

Loc: new haven, indiana
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5347488 - 08/01/12 06:38 PM

I was aksed to post the serial number and vendor that i purchased my LX80 mount and here it is. Serialnumber 12150. Date Code: 4977 051 12. I know its not much info, but thought it was worth sending if some body thought it would help.

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shadowpdiggity
member


Reged: 07/23/12

Loc: new haven, indiana
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: shadowpdiggity]
      #5347497 - 08/01/12 06:44 PM

Forgot to include the vendor i purchased from and time I purchased. Ordered on June 10th to 15th and recieved on 6-28-2012 from Astronomics.com.

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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5348032 - 08/02/12 01:00 AM

Hi Guys, I hadn't disappeared its I have been dealing with a few problems then Tuesday night I was all set up in polar with a good alignment but I couldn't get my PHD to hook up then I checked and I needed to update to a newer version and newer ascom platform and driver. So I updated everything outside by my telescope but it still wouldn't work. So I gave up and came inside and was up until 3:30 am researching these posts and found my problem. I had not unchecked "use newer guiding pulse".
I setup everything today inside and my camera and scope both connected fine.
So tonight I set up and tried and tried but couldn't get a successful polar alignment. I reset and still had no luck. I had a feeling something was loose and moving a little. I had my hand on the base of the mount while slewing and felt it move. I found my problem. The Azimuth lock lever wasn't locking completely. It was out of adjustment, so I pulled my mount and adjusted it and now the problem is fixed but I gave up and will try again tomorrow.Sorry guys.
Neilson


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: neilson]
      #5348425 - 08/02/12 09:58 AM

Hi Neilson... good to see you are still with us.

For the checkbox.... Leave it checked.
You WANT to USE NEWER GUIDING PULSE.
All other "settings" should be able to be left "default" except you need to populate the "focal length" and "aperture".

Are you using the new(er) ASCOM Platform 6 ?
And the "driver" should be Meade Classic and Autostar 1 (5.0.2)
I am not sure about the German Equatorial (GEM) box... i did not have it checked on the first round, but i think it need to be checked also. Again.... Not Sure.


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zerro1
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/02/09

Loc: Smokey Point , 48.12°N 122.25...
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5349443 - 08/02/12 10:29 PM

Quote:

I am not sure about the German Equatorial (GEM) box... i did not have it checked on the first round, but i think it need to be checked also. Again.... Not Sure.




Yes the GEM box must be checked if the mount is configured as a GEM. When you configure Alt/Az, uncheck the GEM. I'm a regular user of PHD on Autostar #497/LXD75.

Would have got one of these but just picked up an Atlas right before meade anounced.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5349703 - 08/03/12 03:25 AM

Hi David, I wasn't much help. I just had the worst polar alignment night ever. I have my driveway marked where to put my tripod legs. I have a green laser on my ota to aim between kochab and polaris. I even have animated software called Polar Finder scope that tells me where to point my scope at that minute.
I re aligned so many times with no luck. There was nothing loose. I rechecked balance and level and even did a reset and re entered my lat. and long. re trained drives and set percents. There would be times it was pointing the wrong way. I did have success 2 different times but never after that. It would be way off the first star then fairly close on the second one. Then way off on both. It was really wacky. Even in Alt/Az the alignment stars were way off some tries but close on others. It was very inconsistent. I re entered times/date several times.
But I did try PHD guiding one time. It wouldn't work at first but after several tries It finally started working real good it seamed. Then I tried many more attempts at polar alignment.
I would get successful alignments but not within 5' of the pole. so I consider that a failure even though it said alignment successful.
Normally I get within 5' of the pole within 2 attempts with my LXD75.
After getting successful alignments but not within 5', I would try to slew to stars and it would get some in the eyepiece, but on the other side of the mount the stars picked weren't in the eyepiece or even in the finder scope field of view. My alignment stars were one on each side but that didn't help.
Even after adjusting the slop out of the wormblocks I don't feel this mount can handle my 10"ota that came with it in polar mode.
I sure would like to hear from anyone who is using a 10"ota or 11"ota with the LX80 mount, especially in polar mode. So I can find out if the mount just cant handle that weight or if there's just something wrong with mine that I am missing.
At the end of my polar alignment nightmare I started noticing that I would focus on a star then pick a star on the other side and it would be seriously out of focus, a round donut. I have never seen mirror flop this bad ever. This is bad mirror flop but the amount the stars are out of the field of view on the opposite side of the mount is much worse.
Oh yesterday I tried indoor dummy polar alignments with just pressing enter. a number of times it would have me off in ra and dec. But finally it was putting me less than 5' from the pole.
Recently I had gotten my mount in Alt/Az to where it was placing the alignment stars almost centered for me. And everything I had my mount goto was very near center no matter where in the sky it was located. All that stopped and it is acting poorly like it was when I got it.
I will fix the flop in the new ota first then see if there is something wrong in the drives again.
It did appear it was guiding very good with PHD.

neilson

Edited by neilson (08/03/12 09:29 AM)


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: neilson]
      #5349965 - 08/03/12 10:14 AM

Hi Neilson...

Wow !! You had yourself an experience. And not a good one !
I'll bet you will find something, and fix it...
Things will go better tonight.
We just must remember. It is a hobby, and we all love it!


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mmalik
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: neilson]
      #5350404 - 08/03/12 03:47 PM

Quote:

At least Meade could of asked me if I would be a BETA tester in advance. I would of said yes.




Thanks Neilson for your detailed post; and sorry for your troubles. Among you (Neilson), David, Dennis/Kevin and shadowpdiggity (Patrick) we have four LX80s if my count is correct? It's been over a month LX80 testing has been going on, extensively on three of them. While testing continues, I think it would be worthwhile to reflect upon production readiness/worthiness (and not a critique per se) of LX80? It just can't be ignored in the name of hobby and how much we love it.


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: mmalik]
      #5350708 - 08/03/12 07:07 PM

Quote:

Quote:

At least Meade could of asked me if I would be a BETA tester in advance. I would of said yes.




Thanks Neilson for your detailed post; and sorry for your troubles. Among you (Neilson), David, Dennis/Kevin and shadowpdiggity (Patrick) we have four LX80s if my count is correct? It's been over a month LX80 testing has been going on, extensively on three of them. While testing continues, I think it would be worthwhile to reflect upon production readiness/worthiness (and not a critique per se) of LX80? It just can't be ignored in the name of hobby and how much we love it.




First I'd like to thank all of you that have been testing and reporting here. For those of us that have not yet received out mounts you are all saving us a lot of frustration! I've only been a member here on CN for about a year but it is a fantastic resource.

There has been so much information it would be nice to see a summary of where we stand at this point. If my LX80 arrives before all the problems are resolved, I'll be happy to help out with test, etc.


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Peter D.
super member
*****

Reged: 02/09/12

Loc: Central New York
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5351398 - 08/04/12 09:27 AM

Hi,

Hi; I need some advise on AP with the LX80. I've got an LX80 on order, but reading these forums I'm starting to get cold feet on completing that purchase. I've got a lot of experience with visual observing but I'm just starting in AP using a DSI and a Canon Rebel XS. I've been using a C8 (with f6.3 reducer, standard fork and spur drive) and a 109mm f9 achomat on an CG5-ASGT for my initial attempts at AP using Nebulosity. I'm getting a lot of trailing problems with 1 minute subs using both of these rigs (throwing out over 90% of my subs) and have determined that I need to guide. The C8 can't be guided in DEC and the spur drive is hopeless for AP so I'm concentrating on the CG5, but it doesn't seem to work with my new StarShoot autoguider: the guider appears to work fine, but the mount doesn't respond. I've determined that the Starshoot's output to the CG5 is OK; the CG5 just doesn't respond to guiding commands on its guide port (ST-4 compatible, I think). The CG5 otherwise works OK, but it's probably too small for AP with a bigger scope I'm restoring (a Meade 10" f/4 Schmidt-Newtonian).

The only decent pictures I've got so far used a 135mm f2.7 camera lens unguided piggyback on the C8 for up to 1 min subs, but I want more focal length and longer subs.

Besides the guiding issues that I've seen here in these forums regarding the LX80 in polar mode, I wonder if the LX80 is enough to handle the 10" Meade Schmidt Newtonian (it weighs about 31 Lbs), and if the LX80 is any better than the CG5 for AP use.

I had hoped that the LX80 would be a good upgrade, but after reading this forum and the other one on AP with the LX80 I'm wondering if I should cancel the order and get a bigger mount, like an Atlas. But I hate to cancel since I placed my order before the price increase and it appears that the LX80 is a pretty good visual mount in alt/az mode.

What do you guys think I should do at this point: go ahead with the LX80, get the CG5 repaired, or change my order to an Atlas, a CGEM, or even bigger (but not over $3K).


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: Peter D.]
      #5351543 - 08/04/12 11:38 AM

Greetings Peter... and welcome to the discussion.

You have mentioned two very important parts of equation to answer your question. If you have read this thread, and the other LX80 thread too, then you know that i am a strong defender of this mount. But in your case, i would suggest that the LX80 is NOT the mount for you.

The first is the ST-4 guider. the LX80 is NOT ST-4 compatible. At least not in a configurable arrangement that can be put together today. There is talk of a device (external) to use it, but that is simply not available now.

The other point is your desire to use a large OTA. The maximum rated payload in Polar is 40 lbs. When you add your camera, and any other equipment, you will be pushing the rated limits of the mount. There is another LX80 user here, being Neilson, who is trying to use a 10", and is having problems. Ultimately, i feel it will be determined that the size and weight of his OTA will play a large role in explaining his problems. And Meade sold him that combination. But also remember that this mount is rated at much high load capacity in Alt/AZ.

Should size and weight be important considerations. Well, if you are following both threads, then you know that my tripod "snapped" a leg off yesterday. And that was with no OTA.

I still really like the mount, and am anxious to get the tripod repaired, and using the mount again. But in your case, and as you have outlined your intended usage, i would go a different way, with a stronger mount designed for that load, and capable of using that equipment.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5351936 - 08/04/12 04:10 PM

Hi David, I didn't realize there was another thread going but I just looked it over and saw your broken tripod leg. I'm sorry to see it broken. It looks like Meade should of made the castings of the mount head thicker. My mount fell while I was setting it up but I caught it in time. I felt the legs should of been spread out more. I have been having to be careful when I set it up in polar. I thought it was because of my latitude 28deg but your no where near that. Its just because the legs should be spread out more to handle the weight.
I noticed one of my tripod legs was scratched up real bad when I opened the box and That's one of the things I have been trying to get replaced. But I was told about it being a new product and they might not have one. I haven't been able to get one thing taken care of for weeks now. A few days ago they just gave me the excuse the manager has been on vacation all this time and wont be back until next Thursday.
Don't let them make you wait. Your problem is not cosmetic like mine are.
My Meade 10" Ota is useless right now because all the grease melted out making the mirror flop around so I'm going to have to use my Explore Scientific AR152mm refractor for now. Its lighter at 23lbs so my mount should be able to handle it.But it is longer.
Good luck with Meade.
Neilson


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