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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: OzAndrewJ]
      #5304879 - 07/06/12 05:46 AM

Not sure if I'm explaining this the right way.
Once you have target I was using Venus I would sync on that target with 12.5mm EP and let the scope do it thing "track" after 30min to hour. Now not looking through the eyepiece just looking at the mount, The mount would move to the west only to re-center Venus.I would thing that if the mount was running fast it would over take Venus and have to back up to the east to recenter . But its moving to slow in RA letting Venus get ahead of the mount.So each time I select Venus and tell the mount to GOto Venus the mount moves to the west only.


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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5304897 - 07/06/12 06:31 AM

David and Andrew

It good to know that Meade ETX-90 Hand controller will work on The LX80. I talked to Meade Thursday evening with some luck I will be getting a new Hand controller. So I hope this will solve the problem I do like this mount and with the tapered roller bearings it makes life so much easier to balance. And easy to polar align. I also like the fact one Set up tool does everything that was well thought out. Two things I don't like about the mount One all the cables plug into the box that is in motion in RA so cable management will need to be address. The other is the sectional Counter weight rod.I know why Meade did that for all of the different configuration Alt/Az , Duel Ota and Eq this might not be a big issue but while doing Astro Photography you always fighting flexure. In the dark if you grab the counter weight to loosen the RA clutch it could loosen the counter weight sections as well, this happen once already. While I don,t see loosing the weight each section has lots of threads. I might look into having one machined.


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Wigleydh]
      #5305256 - 07/06/12 11:45 AM

My LX80 is en route and hopefully by the time it arrives next week, the RA tracking issue will have been resolved. I initially wanted a replacement for my iOptron MT (lots of problems) and then MT PRO (o problems) that I owned. And the thought of being able to use one mount for both Alt-Az and EQ modes was the primary motivation to purchase the LX80. Throw in the increased weight carrying capacity and it was a no brainer.

Jack


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5305473 - 07/06/12 02:05 PM

Kevin.. (and everyone else following this)

I am working with Meade this morning. The new Audiostar controller arrived, and the problem now is determining which "Mount" to select, as the LX80 is not included in the list. Apparently, Meade's training to the support personnel is saying to use the ETX-90.

My main operation is in Alt/AZ. Although the mount is slewing to the correct direction (AZ), it is now pointing DOWN instead of UP. We are trying to figure that out now.

As to the DEC lock, and the counterweight issue you mentioned, try using the "tool" into the holes in the dec lock. You can gently tighten and loosen the lock with that.

More later when Meade calls back.


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jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5305493 - 07/06/12 02:18 PM

So, is this to be the next saga in the Meade release debacle? More bad firmware and faulty tracking rates. It's really unfortunate they would allow another miscue following the LX800 tragedy. More important, is the money and time of our astro friends being tied up to fight through summer heat and technical problems. I enjoy learning about new gear as much as the next person. I also don't mind working through "some" issues. However, there is a continued pattern of neglect here. No LX80 to select from the LX80 drop down menu? Really Meade..? Really?

David I hope this works out for you. Sorry for your trouble.

Best, Joe


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5305524 - 07/06/12 02:36 PM

UPDATE UPDATE

Well, Meade did not know the correct answer (at least not in Tech Support...), but ANDREW DID !!!!

I had included Andrews post (#2 in this thread), and in the settings, on the third line, he (Andrew) is saying that the LT and the LX80 are the same.

Sure enough. While i was waiting for Meade's callback, i decided to go try them all (again). There are really only 4 mounts. Each performs differently, but the LT works correctly.

I called Meade back, and they could not believe it. Well, i think they finally did, and hopefully, they are spreading the word, as i am sure they will be others trying to do the same.

THANK YOU ANDREW !!!


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5305540 - 07/06/12 02:49 PM

LX-80 Ratios:

Up above, in the 2nd post, Andrew said:
"The LX90, LX80 and LT scopes all use the same "ratio" in the code,
but change sign as required for direction."

Well..., sort of correct. I agree with the "signs".
During the tests this morning, i was making notes like crazy, looking at all of this.

The "Ratio" for the LX-80 is 02.75075 for both RA and DEC. (-) for Alt, and (+) for AZ.

The "Ratio" for the ETX-90 is 01.36889 for both RA and DEC. (+) for both.

At least, that is what is coming up on my new Audiostar box.
Hope that helps.


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5305738 - 07/06/12 05:09 PM

Dennis - Kevin - and Andrew

Well, now that my problem is solved, i have been going back over this thread, and trying to think about the original problem stated in the OP message. Tracking.

Kevin and Dennis.... if i read your posts correctly, this is what i am hearing. You slew to a target (planet). You then wait for awhile.... (maybe 30-60 min) and come back to find the target is no longer in the fov, or very much not centered. You then press the GOTO button, and the mount recenters the target. Did i get that right ??

Are you familiar with the readings you can get when you press and hold the MODE button. It will list for you several things, including current RA/DEC as well as AZ and ELEV. You have indicated that the mount is in EQ mode (hopefully, you changed the setting to EQ in the handbox).

When reading the AZ/Elev, you should see a steady count change in the AZ, with no change in Elev. Also, the RA/DEC should NOT CHANGE.

What puzzles me is that the mount is re-centering the target. If oprating properly, it should think it is already centered. Why is it moving at all with a press of the GOTO. Now if the RA/DEC is also changing......

Andrew... am i "on track" here, or have i missed something. I do not proclaim to be an expert, but the mount is supposed to report its RA/DEC. If it is not changing ???

Maybe we can all learn something with this one. I will not be able to put my scope onto a real target until Sat evening. But i will, and i will try the same (but in Alt-Az) and also try some imaging, to see the change. I will use different exposure times, but would expect somet "trailing" after about 20 sec or so (not guided)...


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5305867 - 07/06/12 06:44 PM

Gday David

Quote:

Well, Meade did not know the correct answer (at least not in Tech Support...), but ANDREW DID !!!!

I had included Andrews post (#2 in this thread), and in the settings, on the third line, he (Andrew) is saying that the LT and the LX80 are the same.




NO THEY ARE NOT
Sorry to shout, but the LT and LX80 are the same "ratio wise"
but you cannot use polar mode if LT is selected.

Based on "your " symptoms, my first guess is you have old firmware.
( It really helps if new posters list their firmware )
There is new firmware A3S1 that came out with the LX80
Earlier firmwares dont know about the LX80,
hence wont allow it to be selected.
I strongly suspect in your case ( if LX80 isn't presented in the lists )
is that you have pre A3S1 firmware.
Can you confirm that.

Edit
Just a bit more info on why.
There are three modes the Hbx can operate in
a) AltAz
b) Polar
c) GEM ( which implies Polar )

Each mode has specific bits of code associated with it
with reference to home positions, meridien flip, clash detection etc.
ONLY the "LX80_GEM" model selection should be used with an LX80 in polar
as only that model/setting has code that is designed to work in that mode.
Ie its not Polar operation, its GEM.

I suggested using LX90 Polar mode to do a tracking test earlier
as it was a simple tweak "for testing only".
For normal use, the LX80 should use its predefined models only.

Andrew


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5305895 - 07/06/12 06:55 PM

Gday David
Quote:

Andrew... am i "on track" here, or have i missed something. I do not proclaim to be an expert, but the mount is supposed to report its RA/DEC. If it is not changing ???




Sort of but not quite.
It reports RA/DEC "no matter what"
When you "select" a target, its coordinates are registered in memory.
When you hit "goto" the scope compares current position to target.
If different, it slews to target.
If the encoders are working, the gotos will work accurately.
Once on target, the scope starts tracking "at a nominated speed".
If this speed is true sidereal, the calculated RA/DEC displayed
will stay as that of the target, ie the display wont change.

If the tracking speed is different to true sidereal,
the scope will "drift" relative to target.
The encoders still know where the scope is, so if the tracking rate is wrong,
you would see the reported RA slowly change on the handbox.
( and thats an excellent cross check to test drift direction )

On hitting "goto" after say 1/2 hr, the scope knows its no longer pointing at the predetermined target, hence it will slew back.

Andrew


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5305945 - 07/06/12 07:39 PM

Gday David

last one

Quote:

Up above, in the 2nd post, Andrew said:
"The LX90, LX80 and LT scopes all use the same "ratio" in the code,
but change sign as required for direction."

Well..., sort of correct. I agree with the "signs".




Ye of little faith

Quote:


The "Ratio" for the LX-80 is 02.75075 for both RA and DEC. (-) for Alt, and (+) for AZ.
The "Ratio" for the ETX-90 is 01.36889 for both RA and DEC. (+) for both.

At least, that is what is coming up on my new Audiostar box.




As it should
I mentioned LX90 not ETX90.
The ETX-90/105/125 cannot be used in lieu for the LX80
as there is even more code associated with ETXs
to deal with the internal AZ hardstops,
which dont exist in the LX90 or LX80.

Simple, isnt it

Andrew


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5305967 - 07/06/12 07:53 PM

Gday Kev
Quote:

Not sure if I'm explaining this the right way.
Once you have target I was using Venus I would sync on that target with 12.5mm EP and let the scope do it thing "track" after 30min to hour. Now not looking through the eyepiece just looking at the mount, The mount would move to the west only to re-center Venus.I would thing that if the mount was running fast it would over take Venus and have to back up to the east to recenter . But its moving to slow in RA letting Venus get ahead of the mount.So each time I select Venus and tell the mount to GOto Venus the mount moves to the west only.




Now im confused.
I will rewalk some more of the code
to see if i can see anything else hidden away under rocks.
As mentioned earlier tho,
can you try the pressn hold Mode to bring up the RA display
and log what happens. This can be done indoors.
Ie just start the scope and do a faked one star polar align.
Bring up the Hbx Display and watch what happens to the RA display over say 1/2 Hr.
Do it as an LX80GEM then as an LX90 in Polar mode,
to see if they differ.

Andrew


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5305976 - 07/06/12 08:02 PM

Hello Andrew...

You SCORE AGAIN....
The new Audiostar was firmware version A2S6.
To others... to upgrade to the A3S1 firmware, you need to update ASU to 5.9.3 (available on Meade site).
Made sure i had 5.9.3, and did the upgrade of firmware.
Note: There are 3 sections, with each requiring a Y/N answer.

Finished the firmware upgrade, and confirmed that it took. Went to the Telescope Models secion, and GUESS WHAT ???
The Meade LX80 is there -- for the Alt/Az and also for the Polar configurations. That, apparently, is where you make the change, when changing the mount configuration.

Way to go Andrew. You are an absolutely valueable asset to the Meade community. Thank You.... Thank You...

Would you believe the Meade customer support had "no clue" to any of this ?? I am sending my contact there a copy of these last couple posts. They need that info....


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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5306043 - 07/06/12 09:08 PM

Joe you seem dis hearten don't be. As with any new product there will be a few bugs. Meade is trying hard to stay on top of this,The mount is solid and the tripod very beefy I like so many things about this setup, far more than things I dislike. and the fine tune leveling at the top of each leg that's great!The Adjustment for Az and Elev when setup for the pole in EQ mode is leaps above the LX55. built in Bubble in the tripod and the mount head that's great. The tapered roller Bearings in both RA/DEC very smooth and buttery.In all I'm happy with the Fit and Finish of the LX80. After a new hand controller gets here I think that will solve my problems.

David

I noticed the ratio you given for the LX80 ours was R/A +2.75075 and DEC +2.75077 and both (+) and we reset the hand controller. So that value was in Eprom as (+) for both.
so to confirm You are reading the values on your new hand controller and one is (-) and one (+) or they both (-)

We did have the mount setup in EQ mode and the hand controller was set in EQ mode as well.

Target drift, I work nights so when I was off work it was early in the morning about 4:00am so after alignment I was using I could use a few stars for a short time but mainly Venus because I was loosing the sky fast and I could track Venus until I crash out around 11:00am. The Drift was very fast out FOV I was tracking so long because I wanted to confirm that it was moving in RA just not keeping up. See the LX80 Manuel page 10 Figure 4 the AZ/EQ arrow I was centering Venus taking a pencil and making a mark on the edge on the ring next it. To confirm that the mount was moving in RA and it was just not enough each time the mount would move more west to re- center Target (Venus).

Hope everything works well for you Sat. night let us know how it goes.

Thanks Kevin


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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5306057 - 07/06/12 09:27 PM

my firmware A3S1 but the HBX is on the way back to Meade. I believe the HBX has issues because of the slew rate speed. I would push a button to change the slew rate and the display would show the selected slew rate I just asked for but the mount was still in Guide rate this happen no mater what slew rate speed you picked 8x,16x,64x even key 9 the max rate display would show the correct rate selected but still move at guide speed.

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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5306187 - 07/06/12 11:48 PM

Gday Kev
Quote:

But its moving to slow in RA letting Venus get ahead of the mount.So each time I select Venus and tell the mount to GOto Venus the mount moves to the west only.




I'm still concerned whats happening here ( direction wise ).
I just loaded A3S1 onto a Hbx and linked it to my LX90 bench test unit.
Faked a one star align, then did a goto to a star near the equator/meridien.
After about 50 mins of tracking, i have seen a "drop" in my RA readout
of 5 decimal points, which indicates i am tracking fast.

Warning following bit contains maths
Std tracking in polar is approx 15arcsec/sec
The speed factor in question for an LX80_GEM is 1.01155
which equates to a drift of about 0.17325 arcsec/sec
The Hbx RA readout uses an RA format of HH:MM.m
ie it can only display to 0.1 RAmins which is 6 RAseconds = 90arcsec
To get 90arcsec of drift ( based on 0.17325 arcsec/sec )
takes 520 clock seconds, ie about 8.66 clock minutes
The drop in RA i have seen roughly matches this rate,
so i will now do a proper timed test,
then I will retry with it set as an LX90.
However, i am using LX90 motorcards here ( ie i know they work ).
What i dont know, is if the LX80 motor cards have something special in em.
Soooo, if anyone else has an LX80 and nothing else to do if its cloudy,
Set it to GEM and do a fake one star align.
Goto a star near the equator/meridien
and then log the RA/DEC from the Hbx, as well as the time.
Come back after say an hour and 5 mins and have a look at the readout.
The RA should have dropped by 7 decimal points.

Andrew


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5306211 - 07/07/12 12:16 AM

Kevin...
I reported a (-)/(+). That is because i am in Alt/AZ.
Tomorrow, i will change the Audiostar to LX80 - Polar, and check, but based upon other comments, i would expect a (+)/(+). Will advise.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5306272 - 07/07/12 01:58 AM

And after a 1 hour test as an LX90, i see no drift in RA.
After 1 hour as an LX80_GEM i see 0.6 RA minutes of drift.
Based on that, something is wrong
( Note! my test is purely a Hbx readout test,
i have no way to confirm against the sky as i dont have a suitable mount )

Need feedback from real LX80s now,
to see whats going on when they are set to GEM mode.

Andrew
edit ( i meant RA minutes instead of RA hours )

Edited by OzAndrewJ (07/07/12 02:40 AM)


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5306273 - 07/07/12 02:04 AM

Andrew...

I will set up and do this tomorrow. I will not be able to do it until late morning, but will do it then, and report back. I understand the setup, and where the values are read at.


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Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5306276 - 07/07/12 02:07 AM

What's going on, in my personal, totally unqualified and not supported by access to the mount opinion is that somebody with butter fingers made a mistake with their calculator, excel sheet or whatever it is they used and nobody tested the mount in GEM configuration before shipping. I love the idea of the LX80 and will probably be getting one in the future as my portable mount, that doesn't stop me from thinking that such mistakes are silly and could have easily been caught.

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