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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5360081 - 08/09/12 03:02 PM

David

Don't forget to rename the phd log file between runs as phd will overwrite the first one.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5360120 - 08/09/12 03:21 PM

Hi David,
Don't worry the UPS truck will be late today lol.
I am sorry I haven't been able to get some guiding done. I really wanted to get my 10"ota to work well in polar but its just not going to happen.
I have a real bad back and other related health issues so some days I'm just unable to get out there, but last night we had 15mph with gusts to 20mph so it would of been a waste of time. Tonight it says 7mph winds and I can block that with my van, so I will be out there. In fact I'm ready now, can PHD guide on the sun. lol.
I am going to use my AR152mm refractor and one of my DSI cameras. I might try to image with my Canon T1i also. Good luck with your mount and guiding.
Oh, the manager is supposed to be back today from vacation hopefully they will address any issues soon.
neilson


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5360276 - 08/09/12 04:53 PM

Gday Kevin

Sorry to hear it didnt work, but interesting info.

Quote:

So if I was to replace both motor controller boards with ones from a LX75 or Lx55 and use a old HC as set in the above test would everything work like a LX75 but in the LX80 and used a old 497 hc? just a thought!




Nope. The LXD75 motor cards have an integrated encoder reading LED/receiver, hence there is no way to plug in the LX80s external encoder. LX90/LT motor cards would probably work.

Quote:

So just as Andrew said the firmware update is a work around to deal with a issue in the motor controller boards.




I am still 99% sure something is different in the motor cards, but until i get my hands on a set, i cant be sure.
I know the internal I2C bus clocking is totally different between the 497 and Audiostar, for both the motors and the Aux busses, but that has been the case since the 497EP came out, and it hasn't manifested as problems in any of the older scopes being run by the new firmwares.
Ahh well, just have to wait till one makes it to Oz and someone is happy to let me play with it

Andrew


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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5360524 - 08/09/12 07:17 PM

David you have not been reading the post I did your test one OTA now I didn't do the a full test due running out of time its been cloudy here the last few days last night was the first night I had to even set up the mount. I believe the last test was right before your tripod leg broke and the Forum took a new direction. I work nights when I get home I can set only for a few hours from 3:30am to sun up that why in the first post I was using Venus.

If you don't believe the mount has some kind of issue send me a Cashiers check for the total cost of the mount and I will pay for shipping a UPS truck will make it your mount!

Why would someone make up a problem, I would e showing off AP from the new set up.

Edited by TALK2KEV (08/09/12 07:18 PM)


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5360600 - 08/09/12 08:02 PM

Easy Kevin...

Somewhere, we fell out of sync. I just did not understand.

Still not sure i do, but no problem. Using different controllers, and/or swapping boards just is not what i was looking for. Caught me sort of off guard. Hope we do not have to try that. If you have given up on the mount, then probably a call to your dealer or Meade would be in order.

I will run my tests, and if you run yours when you can, then we will compare, and figure things out.

Hopefully, Neilson can run some too, and then we will at least have 3 sets of data.


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Wigleydh
member


Reged: 10/26/07

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5360713 - 08/09/12 09:22 PM

David,

Kevin has been using what time he has from when he gets off work until sunrise to do testing. I do know that he would have done more the other night if the old 497 had worked better and if he had more time prior to sunrise.

My schedule only allows me to help on weekends. I don't know if I'll be able to help this weekend or not, as I have been ill this week.

We are frustrated. We knew that having an early mount would have issues such has the firmware change that has already happened and I thank all that had help in getting that to happen. We had hoped to be further along toward using the LX80 for AP. Currently from what I've seen on Kevin's mount, it has not been usable for that (meaning duplicating the 5 min guided subs we get with the LXD55 - as we believe it should). At the moment, we are getting better results from that old mount. I realize you got good two minutes unguided that I thought were very good for the focal length you were using. At this point, I'm not sure why Kevin's mount isn't doing as well as your LX80 in regards to that. We thought we would be able to work through the issues quicker than what has happened.

With some luck, we'll get to try some more soon


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: Wigleydh]
      #5360921 - 08/10/12 12:07 AM

Well, looks like I've stepped on the LX80 land mine as well. My last post came off quite differently on rereading than when written. I've deleted it. I hope I haven't lost friends over these threads.

There just doesn't seem to be any good coming of these things.

-Rich


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5361098 - 08/10/12 04:16 AM Attachment (26 downloads)

Well, an interesting evening. Yes, the new tripod arrived, and I was ready. A common expression we seem to hear in the astronomy world, is that “we can certainly get photon starved…”. And I was there. Time for some viewing, and imaging.

The alignment went well, and I proceeded to slew to the evening’s target. I did several 1-min exposures (for reference), and then several 2 -min exposures for confirmation of good alignment, and ability to image at 2-min unguided. Below is the final of the 2-min exposures (4 images stacked) of SAO 141665. It is 40x30 Arc Minutes in size. The cluster off to the left is NGC 6366. I am very happy with this image.

During the process of taking the exposures, I again witnessed the “jump out of the box and then recover” incident. One of the 2-min frames captured the event very well. I will post it in the next message. The frame(s) before and after were perfect. And the target items in the image all align as they should. So the mount really does “recover”. The “jump” happens in an instant, and the recovery process takes somewhere between 5-10 seconds. I have not confirmed that the “event” is at the worm period rate (about once every 10 min).

The guiding tests with PHD, and the Pempro run did not go well. When the “jump” occurs, the program loses the assigned target, and it does NOT recover. Thus, the data is useless. I think there is also a problem somewhere in the ASCOM driver. Things just don’t look right. But when I stop the programs from running, and open my imaging software, the targets are right where they are supposed to be. Very frustrating. So I am sorry, but no data to report tonight.

I will post a closing conclusion after the two images.

Edited by dmdouglass (08/10/12 04:29 AM)


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5361100 - 08/10/12 04:19 AM Attachment (24 downloads)

This is what the "Jump and then Recover sequence" looks like. the exposure was 2-min. the incident occurred somewhere in that time frame. The frame(s) before and after were fine, and aligned per normal. Thus, there was a "true" recovery.

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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5361108 - 08/10/12 04:27 AM

This will be my “closing and final” conclusion….

First (and very important)… there has never been a problem with the mount (LX80) working in the Alt/AZ configuration, either with single OTA, or Dual OTA. My personal experience has proven that to myself.

The original thread dealt with a real problem in RA Tracking in Polar mode. That was confirmed and fixed (by Meade).

The dialogue continued into guiding. PHD “seems” to be the answer, but not for me. The “Jump” incident forces a loss of target for PHD and it does not seem to recover. Pempro also loses target with the “Jump”, thus I cannot provide meaningful data from either program.

I sense that my ability to provide meaningful data to the continuing dialogue here on this thread has reached a conclusion.

For me, my LX80 is working well within my performance requirements. My picture above (the good one) is proof of that. My normal exposures for DSO objects is normally 2 min, and I can do that now. When I get a “Jump”, I just throw that frame away. The mount was purchased not as a primary mount, but rather a “travel” mount. I have a home observatory, with a pier mounted LX200-8 as my main observing platform.

Yes, my tripod broke. I have studied the new one, and I can see where over tightening the spreader puts excess and unneeded stress on the legs at the top-plate. Is that what caused the problem? Unknown. But I will certainly be more careful about that.

And lastly, I think we homed in on the fact, that in Polar, if you want good (or reasonable) performance, you need to keep the OTA payload weight down to under 20 lbs. More than that, and things just do not seem to go well. This conclusion is based upon reporting from Dennis/Kevin and Neilson. My OTA weight is 13 lbs + camera . The 20 lb value is half of the rated capacity of 40 lbs, but this is what we have been seeing.

There have been 4 main working participants in this thread. Kevin/Dennis started it. Andrew pitched in and helped. I volunteered to help, and Nielson joined later. Many others have been involved, but only these 4 were part of the working group. Their task (and thus mine too) has been complicated by numerous other posters. Some have been helpful. Many have produced needless negative commentary, offering confusion, and causing consternation with the working group of 4, as well as many of the others who have been trying to follow the threads progress. I will never understand the motivation of these posters. They certainly did not do anything positive for the community in my opinion.

I am going to withdraw from this thread. My mount is working well, and I am very pleased with it. It will serve me well. Yes, there are limitations. But I think I know them now, and I can live within the working parameters.

I wish everyone clear skies.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5361158 - 08/10/12 06:23 AM

Gday David

Quote:

I am going to withdraw from this thread. My mount is working well,




You dont get off that easy

Firstly, some feedback, good or bad on AltAz pulseguiding would be nice.
I know its not supposed to work, but it may,
so if it does, some feedback there would be nice. ( not urgent )

Secondly, when the new LX90 "GPS" motor cards came out,
there was a problem in them,
where the system would give violent adjusts during tracking.
The jumps were very frequent,and easily measured.
This was fixed by new motor cards.
I am only guessing, but maybe there is also a problem in the LX80.
Dunno, but its something to check.
Have you done a PHD "unguided" track on RA/Az whilst in AltAz????
Ie, does the kick also occur in AltAz????

Andrew


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5361227 - 08/10/12 07:48 AM

Andrew is right. If it is in the gearing it will show uo in alt az also. An unguided run with phd will reveal some things. Glad your happy with your mount..

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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: Stew57]
      #5361256 - 08/10/12 08:21 AM

Gday Stew

Quote:

Andrew is right. If it is in the gearing it will show uo in alt az also.




I wasn't thinking gearing here.
The original LX90 "GPS" cards had a firmware bug that manifested as
"jumps" whilst tracking, but it was at a freq of every few seconds
vs several minutes, as being reported now.
I still suspect the LX80 motor cards have their own little quirks, but thats my opinion, not fact.
We are still in a a "kick it in the guts and see which end barks" mode at present.
The kicks seen may be mechanical or firmware, but that's still unknown at present.
Need more info to corroborate what it really is.

Andrew


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5361267 - 08/10/12 08:29 AM

It is either in the mechanicals or electronics. For mechanicals it will be independant of the mode, while the electronics may change with polar vs AltAz.

I hope meade works out the problems with this mount as not everyone will be as forgiving as David. the LS mounts had lots of prblems when they came out and one does not hear much about that now.

Anyway if it is in the motor card meade does have acjance to fix this problem if they want to.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: Stew57]
      #5361297 - 08/10/12 08:51 AM

Gday Stew

Quote:

I hope meade works out the problems with this mount




Dunno yet if the problem is the mount or the motorcard firmware.
So far, i like the look of the mount itself,
the mechanicals and worm / wormwheel look good,
the tripod scares me,
and the Hbx firmware has most of the old/existing bugs ( that can be overcome if reqd ).
I still cant tell what effect the motor cards have,
but i'm not sure i like the new way the firmware works for a polar mounted scope.
There is still something going on there i dont understand yet,
and im not sure how well it will work for precise guiding.
Thats still a a gut feel comment based on nothing tho.



Andrew


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flyingwarbanana
newbie


Reged: 08/10/12

Loc: NC
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5361404 - 08/10/12 10:02 AM

I am a newbie and just ordered an LX80 with 8-SC. It will be arriving next week.

Out of the box do I need to do a firmware upgrade on AudioStar to do basic AltAz viewing? Is there a way to check which firmware version I have?

Also wanting to use SkySafari and Skywire to control it. Would I need to update the firmware to do that?

Would like to order the serial cables I need to do the update now so I have them on hand next week when the scope arrives...if I need to update.

Any info would be great. thanks

Edited by flyingwarbanana (08/10/12 10:06 AM)


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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: flyingwarbanana]
      #5361434 - 08/10/12 10:22 AM

For FlyingWB,
For Alt/AZ viewing original firmware is good.
After powering on the LX80 you should see A3S1 (firmware rev #) in upper rh corner of 497 contoller window (it happens quick within 2 seconds and is only there for 1 second, you might need to restart the LX80).
Don't know about SkySafari and Skywire yet.
If you need the Meade 505 serial cable for upgrading, Scopestuff has them for under $20.(probably generic brand).


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jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5361594 - 08/10/12 12:01 PM

Quote:

Well, looks like I've stepped on the LX80 land mine as well. My last post came off quite differently on rereading than when written. I've deleted it. I hope I haven't lost friends over these threads.

There just doesn't seem to be any good coming of these things.

-Rich




Rich, I still love ya. They are happy to work with there gear. I say we let them be. Listen, if it wasn't for Doc G. back in the day with all his hacks and fixes I would have been lost with my 8,10 and 12" Meade LX's. I guess I looked at things differently then. I had less options and made do. I think I should have considered that more when I comes to folks here working through their challenges.

I will say David has been very open with any and all of the challenges he encounters. Even though he's sure us vultures are ready to pounce. Ya gotta respect that. So I've taken to just monitoring. But for all I know they've got me on ignore.

Best, Joe


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blueman
Photon Catcher
*****

Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: LX80 RA Tracking [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5361684 - 08/10/12 01:02 PM

This does not look very good for imaging. The mount will probably work fine for visual, but for imaging I am not convinced that you can consider it adequate based on these images.
The 2 minute images show a lot of side to side movement, all the stars are effected. The amount of movement in the longer image would be totally unacceptable.
Blueman
Quote:

Well, an interesting evening. Yes, the new tripod arrived, and I was ready. A common expression we seem to hear in the astronomy world, is that “we can certainly get photon starved…”. And I was there. Time for some viewing, and imaging.

The alignment went well, and I proceeded to slew to the evening’s target. I did several 1-min exposures (for reference), and then several 2 -min exposures for confirmation of good alignment, and ability to image at 2-min unguided. Below is the final of the 2-min exposures (4 images stacked) of SAO 141665. It is 40x30 Arc Minutes in size. The cluster off to the left is NGC 6366. I am very happy with this image.

During the process of taking the exposures, I again witnessed the “jump out of the box and then recover” incident. One of the 2-min frames captured the event very well. I will post it in the next message. The frame(s) before and after were perfect. And the target items in the image all align as they should. So the mount really does “recover”. The “jump” happens in an instant, and the recovery process takes somewhere between 5-10 seconds. I have not confirmed that the “event” is at the worm period rate (about once every 10 min).

The guiding tests with PHD, and the Pempro run did not go well. When the “jump” occurs, the program loses the assigned target, and it does NOT recover. Thus, the data is useless. I think there is also a problem somewhere in the ASCOM driver. Things just don’t look right. But when I stop the programs from running, and open my imaging software, the targets are right where they are supposed to be. Very frustrating. So I am sorry, but no data to report tonight.

I will post a closing conclusion after the two images.




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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 RA Tracking [Re: jmiele]
      #5361685 - 08/10/12 01:02 PM

Joe,

This is, of course, true. I've done a lot of making due, and was pretty happy to get photos with just the 2-diameter stretch in the first photo on my old Vixen polaris with an old-school clock drive. So, you've got to start somewhere, and if the optic has a short enough focal length, I'm sure some good photos will come from this mount.

And it's a toy to play with. Most of my playing with hardware is in the form of machining various types of adapters, these days. Control system malfunctions are something I don't want to have wasting my rare imaging opportunities.

-Rich


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