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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Ray Gralak
Vendor (PEMPro)


Reged: 04/19/08

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5362705 - 08/11/12 12:07 AM

Quote:


Last night I posted that I did not think I could offer any data that would be useful, due to the collecting programs (PHD and Pempro) “stopping” when the “jump out of the box” incident occurs, which seems to be at the rate of the full worm period.





In PEMPro, there are two things you can go to try to capture this event:

1) Use the largest possible sub-frame (100x100 pixels). You can find this option on the "Acquire Data" tab.

2) Since the error seems to be in the RA axis you can choose a pointing position near the meridian with a high declination value (say 65 or 70 degrees). The high Dec location will reduce the apparent size of the RA jump on the CCD. PEMPro can correct for the declination and provide a true value in arc-secs for the jump.

Note however that a jump of this magnitude is not a sign of a normal mount. Even if you can get some good images I suggest that you look into having Meade repair it.

-Ray Gralak


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5362739 - 08/11/12 12:34 AM

Andrew,
Sorry I cant image tonight because a big storm rolled into my clear skies at 8pm and stopped overhead.
I saw that you said the jump's possibly mechanical and I wonder if there could be some kind of molding bump or dent every so many teeth since it occurs every 10 minutes. I wont be able to open it up until morning to inspect the drives. I will look at RA first. I can make any inspections anyone thinks of.
neilson


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: neilson]
      #5362844 - 08/11/12 03:55 AM Attachment (18 downloads)

Well, another interesting evening. Tonight, for some reason, the "Jump From The Box" has not been a problem. It may have surfaced one at the end of a 4 turn of the worm PemPro Run. But we got 4 got turns...

My polar alignment was not the best, but thank goodness PemPro can detect that, and correct for that. Note that the adjust for drift boxes are checked, and the PemPro calculated values are accepted. The "data" will be in a following post.

I also got 4 good turns on PHD (over 40 min - unguided). That data too will be below...


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5362846 - 08/11/12 03:58 AM Attachment (14 downloads)

Here is the PemPro PE curve...
Note the rating at +10.2 / -12.7
I think that is good (I hope).... I'll listen and see what others have to say.


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5362848 - 08/11/12 04:00 AM Attachment (14 downloads)

Here is the PECPrep display on the PHD unguided run for over 40 min - unguided (wish i would have tried guided now...)

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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5362851 - 08/11/12 04:04 AM Attachment (35 downloads)

As promised, here is the Pempro data log file (it is an attachment).

Remember, my polar alignment was not that good. I let PemPro make the adjustment for drift.


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5362853 - 08/11/12 04:06 AM Attachment (33 downloads)

And here is the PHD log.
Same caution on the polar alignment.
However, PECPrep seemed to know what to do...
Now it is time for some sleep......


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5362979 - 08/11/12 08:28 AM

David

Your numbers look very good for this class mount. If meade gets the PEC fixed it should reduce pretty well. The only fly in the ointment will be the spring loaded worms popping out that Neilson has had with his mount. What camera did you use to capture your data and what oya, your SC6?
If it turns out that Meade does get this mount to guide and your mount is the norm (we need more users to post data) and not an outlier, I will have to rethink buying one.

Neilson

I really hate to break it to you but Meade has had a habit of putting a little too large a ota on it's mounts at times. While some have had a modicum of success with the SN10 on the LXD most will tell you the SN8 was even marginal for AP. Celestron does the same thing. Try a C14 on a CGEM (even with a heavier tripod DX). Can be done but....

Edited by Stew57 (08/11/12 08:35 AM)


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: Stew57]
      #5363139 - 08/11/12 10:45 AM

Mark
Does your 11" work on your CGEM? for visual, yes. for imaging even with a guidescope, its camera and an imaging camera,yes. The rated capacity is 40lbs for a CGEM.
The rated capacity of the LX80 mount in polar is 40lbs, yes. Does mine work for imaging with its included 10"ota,a guidescope and cameras, no. Does mine work for visual, no. I was only able to get 50% of its targets in the 26mm eyepiece. That's not acceptable. And that was only after I tweaked it. I had to tweak mine in order for my 23lb refractor to work visual and AP. My 10"ota only weights 29lbs. I am not expecting a 45lb 14"ota to work on a mount rated at 40lbs. I'm expecting a 29lb ota to work on mount rated at 40lbs. Any consumer out there would.

The reason the SN10" didn't work for many for AP on the LXD75 was because the mount was rated for 30lbs, the ota weights 29lbs and most use a guidescope and 2 cameras putting it well over 30lbs. But the SN10" did work in visual just fine. And there were even some that got it to work really well with all the guidescope equiptment attached for AP. But not me. And if someones LXD75 won't image with an 8"ota then its set up wrong.

You might be the kind of person who buys a CGEM with an 11"ota and it doesn't work at all for AP and it doesn't work at all for visual unless you tweak it and then it just gets 50% in the edge of the eyepiece. And be happy and say nothing. And there are plenty that just put it in a closet and forget about it. But not me. And Most would take some kind of action to correct this.
I spent $2,200.00 on this and waited since last September for one. I am not rich. It was hard to save all this up. And Meade has known from me in writing and still states 40lbs in polar. That would be very irresponsible for them to still list 40lbs as rated capacity. When mine just has about a 25lb visual capacity. Unless there's something wrong and they intend to correct it. I don't think that was Meades intention to make a mount that only handles 25lbs, that would be stupid since its replacing the LXD75 rated at 30lbs. Meade rated it at 40lbs and they will find the problem and correct it. Meade is doing a good job of correcting the problems on this mount as they are finding out about them. They corrected the polar drift problem days after it was reported to them. They just announced they are working on the PEC and Env. guiding problem as well as looking to Davids broken mount problem. So its doing no good to belittle this mounts ability to handle the 40lbs its rated at for in polar mode. Meade has been/is correcting all the problems brought to their attention to make this mount meet all the specifications they have claimed in writing on their website and advertisements, there is no reason to believe they wont correct this problem as well. It would be very much to their advantage. If this mount couldn't compete with the CGEM, and could only handle half its capacity for AP Meade would stand to loose alot.
neilson

Edited by neilson (08/11/12 11:18 AM)


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: neilson]
      #5363197 - 08/11/12 11:22 AM

Nielson

The C11 really does not work well on a CGEM. I would say the AP capacity for the CGEM is 30 lbs MAX counting cameras and guide scope. That said I do use a mallincam and guide scope on the cgem. It is overloaded in my opinion. I think Meade and celestron both are optomistic and give visual capacities. I know it stinks but many companies do this. That is why there is the 1/2 rule of thumb for doing AP. I do think with careful setup and if you are not easily frustrated a 75% rule may be used instead. Remember this is for real quality work. If you are like me and not after real quality but just "snap shots" or live video viewing you can get by with more weight.

To be perfectly I would not recommend anything over the C8 for AP work on the CGEM no matter the rating by Celestron. The longer FL and weight conspires to make for a frustrating time. That said if the LX80 can't handle the SC10 visually without the worms disengaging then I would send it back. Seems defective to me.

I did send 2 CGEMs back for replacement before I got one that actually worked. Sometimes things happen.

Edited by Stew57 (08/11/12 11:24 AM)


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: Stew57]
      #5363241 - 08/11/12 11:56 AM

I having been trying for about a month to get some kind of satisfaction from meade but they refuse to let me speak to anyone above themselves. the manager refused to return my voicemails but now they claim hes been on vacation all this time. Even though David claims to have talked to him. By the way David I do believe you. And they refused to let me speak to any other manager or supervisor.
My vendor (OPT) has gotten involved and the manager contacted Meade last week and had me put in writing with pictures of the defects cosmetic and mechanical (pictures dated the day I received the mount)that he forwarded to them. Now that the manager has returned I am hoping to get some results. My expectations are for this ota to work perfectly for visual and reasonable for AP, not at f/10 with a DSI but more like your using yours. I do use an f/6.3 focal reducer and a Canon T1i with a pretty big 15.1Mp cmos. And I would also like to be able to image with my 29lbs SN 10" f/4 and Canon T1i.
And I would find 30lbs for AP reasonable. I am not expecting 40lbs AP but I'm not even getting 30lbs visual
neilson

Edited by neilson (08/11/12 11:59 AM)


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: Stew57]
      #5363652 - 08/11/12 05:37 PM

Hello to Stew57 (Mark)...

Sorry for the delay in answering your question.
The data was collected using the SC-6, and a DSI-2.
The SC-6 has a focal length of 1534mm and an aperature of 153.4 (f/10).
Based upon TheSkyX Pro Plate Solve, the image would be 1.29 ArcSec/Pixel, with pixel count at 748x577.
The FOV would be 16x12 Arc Min.
Of course, no images were "captured", just the data. But, those are the numbers.


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jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5363719 - 08/11/12 06:14 PM

Dave, If the PEMPro data was collected with the same FL instrument the PEMPro config was wrong. It shows your pixel scale as 1.0. That would meant the PE is actually 30% worse than you reported. If it was really 1.0, what scope was used when the PEMPro data was collected?

Joe


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: jmiele]
      #5363771 - 08/11/12 06:52 PM Attachment (7 downloads)

Drats ! I try to catch everything, and i missed that. I have two Pempro configurations for the LX80. One i did manual, and the other using the wizard. I forgot to change that on the wizard version, and that is where i was at. See below.

The data was collected with the configuration show in the post just above yours. I tried to change settings, and then reload the log file, but apparently that is part of the log, and does not allow for change of settings.

Oh well, that is what i did, and what i got. I guess the data is off by what you are saying. Good catch!


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5363817 - 08/11/12 07:33 PM

David
You could double those numbers and it is not bad for that class mount. For meade to have a competative mount they have to fix the guiding issue. If it can't be guided it is no good for most of us. they have to make sure the "jumping" issue is not common to the mounts. lastly assure the community that the tripod issue is solved and safe. PEC would be nice but guiding is more important. The worm block may be a problem also but I have a feeling that Neilson's is a one off defect. there may be hope yet!


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: Stew57]
      #5363843 - 08/11/12 07:59 PM

I'm kind of exhausted on this. The mount would make a lot more sense to me if it was coming from some company new to making mounts. But our newbies like iOptron have been kicking a-- compared to what's been seen, here.

I saw the note from Meade. It's better late than never, I suppose. It's pretty clear they never took a first article and tried it out. The software fix won't help burrs on gears, so hope that isn't an element of this problem.

I'm seriously wondering what will happen for other people getting an LX80. Celestron had a history with the CGEM where some would have things like runaways because of faulty encoders and such, but if the mounts weren't actually broken, they did work. It was clear someone had wrung out the design details, even if there were teething manufacturing issues to track down. This business where the LX80 as originally delivered could not possibly have worked if Meade had done even the most cursory checkout of a prototype is quite disheartening, and as follow-on issues have presented themselves, has become more so. With the amount of gear they have in service, they should know better than anyone how to get this sort of equipment right on the first try. It's pretty obvious they didn't try.

I know I'll have people standing in line to tell me how unfair I am for saying this, and may see this get deleted, anyway. I have a family to look after- in the long run it's better for me to put my energy there, and let others worry about the ethics of major vendors claiming performance they haven't verified then crowd-sourcing checkouts on $1000+ pieces of equipment.

I feel helping them out this way is enabling a really bad practice to continue.

I didn't post this to entertain people or just to be contrary. I don't expect everyone agree with much of what I've said here. I would like to have a path forward, though.

-Rich


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: Stew57]
      #5363848 - 08/11/12 08:02 PM

Mark
It sure would be nice if it was a one off defect. And even nicer would be if it was changed into an undefect.
neilson


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5363864 - 08/11/12 08:17 PM

Rich

I hear you and agree that Meade has dropped the ball on both launches. The question remains if they can step up and deliver what they claim these mounts can do. has to be a busy time at meade right now. I can't believe that anyone was allowed vacation much less a higher up at meade during this debacle. let's hope they get serious and fix these problems pronto.


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jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking [Re: Stew57]
      #5364118 - 08/12/12 12:00 AM

Stew
Actually someone posted two days ago that they calling customer service for a problem with their LX80 and were told to call back next week as the manager was on vacation. It may have been in the now locked LX80 astrophotography thread.

David, it's easy to miss that. I've done it myself which is why I looked for it. I've often become overly excited with results only to realize later I was only half as good as I thought.

Best, Joe


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking [Re: jmiele]
      #5364192 - 08/12/12 01:15 AM

Hi guys,
When attempting to mess with settings in PHD today it just wouldn't hook up to my scope, but after reinstalling PHD and Ascom I got it working great. This evening I set up to guide and it was dead calm. After difficulty with my polar alignment I started to guide then more bad luck, the winds started blowing hard. I kept up futile attempts for over an hour but the wind just wouldn't give me a break. Now, an hour and a half after everything's put up the winds only 4mph. Sorry guys I really hoped to get some numbers for once.
I do have one question, every time I try an indoor dummy alignment, I set it up with no ota or weights, leveled. Then I do the "easy" alignment using times of 9 or 10pm at night. It slews to the stars and I press enter but it gives me numbers of 7' and 8' off the pole or 8' and 9' off the pole. I might have to redo it 2 or 3 times before I get "less than 5'from the pole. Shouldn't I always get less than 5' from the pole? Especially since I don't make adjustments, I just press enter. Its no big deal to me but I just wondered if I need to inspect anything or if it's normal.It was like that when we were doing that drift testing before also. I would just retry and it would work and I would forget about it. Should I be concerned?

It was Mr. Hernandez, the customer service manager that was on vacation. But he returned Thursday. I would guess that's why we got that great notice from Meade on Friday.
It might of inconvenienced some of us, but I completely understand because everyone needs a vacation, and it was probably planned some time in advance.
neilson


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