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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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austin.grant
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 10/18/10

Loc: Shreveport, LA
Re: Why me? new [Re: ur7x]
      #5409816 - 09/08/12 10:24 AM

Quote:

You can't guide with it, cause it bounces all around, and the bouncing makes visual use just as painful.

A>B... B>C... Therefore....




Oh cool, transitive properties! I love a good math lesson mixed in with my astronomy....

You asked me if I'd read this entire thread, and I have. Now, did you even read his entire post? If you'll hearken back to the original statement and read it carefully, maybe this time you'll be able to choke down all that wisdom. Let's look:

Quote:

This is a good strategy on Meade's part to ask for all of you folks' mounts back; they need to recall all of them in my opinion. Meade really needs to address astrophotography/guiding aspect of LX80. Plus this perception of “it is good for visual” is misleading; if it can’t guide it is useless for visual in my opinion. Guiding comes first as a good “test” of what’s good for visual where objects just wouldn’t be drifting off the FOV and where pointing will be precise.




I especially like the part about guiding being a good "test" of good visual by not allowing objects to just drift out of the FOV. Doesn't that sound like another issue? Perhaps POOR POLAR ALIGNMENT?

Now, let's look at the next part of that same line. Tell me again how guiding is a good measure of pointing precision. I'm dying to know that trick, as it would make my upcoming astrophotography setup far more useful. I'm planning to put a C11 on an Orion EQ-2 and shoot 30-minute NB exposures.

Step off man...Just as this thread doesn't need people tirelessly supporting Meade, it also doesn't need people running around screaming about how poor this thing is. There are 40+ pages of documentation of how bad it's doing...

Edited by austin.grant (09/08/12 10:26 AM)


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Why me? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5409823 - 09/08/12 10:28 AM

Hi Andrew,

Yah this was all done in Alt/AZ mode. I never made it to polar.
Pointed north leg north using my iPhone to line up towards Polaris. I use the iPhone to get an idea of where Polaris is in relation to a physical landscape feature so I can get a pretty good idea of where to point the north leg. This gets me pretty close. I then typically use alignmaster to do a drift alignment or I use PEMPRO. Next I set Alt/az both to their marks. Balanced OTA front to back with equipment attached. Moved into polar mode and balanced East to West. Decided not to balance east heavy since I wasn't going to remain in GEM mode. Set everything back to marks and tightened everything up.

Waited for sun set. Used distant object (power line towers about 4 miles away) to do a drive train. Made sure to only go one way on the arrows. Don't overshoot and go back. Then I did a drive calibration and curious if I should have done it the other way around I repeated the drive training just to be safe.

Waited until dark. Slipped in my target eyepiece, turned on my telrad, flipped the switch. First alignment target was Arcturus. Slewed in its general direction but was not even close. Centered it in Telrad, put eye to the eyepiece and noticed several issues.

A) at 16x speed (4) it wouldn't move. B)at 64x speed (5) it would LEAP and then settle. At 8x (3) it would take me all day to move it and it seemed that the drift was faster that could be compensated for. C)Changing direction the mount would move one way then back the correct way. D)Once I centered object and released the button it would drift BADLY out. Possibly related to "C". Would seem to settle for a short bit and then proceed to leave field of view. E)It would make little W or M motions along the line of the cross hairs. Up and down as the object moved North in the eyepiece. If I center the star and press enter to go on to the next one it would be reasonably close on the go-to compared to the first alignment star. I would then center second star and hit enter. I'd get the align successful message. I then went to tour mode and selected stars and told it to slew back to arcturus. It would get very close to centering arcturus but again it would slew out of the field of view within about 15-20 seconds. I tried picking some targets and they were never in the field of view after that. Frustrated I turned the system off and was planning to go to bed. Then I thought I would reset everything, re-enter all the information and try one last time. As I was at the computer typing out the first part of the above message at 9:12pm, I started to hear noises coming from the motors. When I turned the system back on before doing a reset they were much much worse. That is when I decided to grab my phone and make a video. I also have a video showing its behaviour when I slew to arcturus. I'll post that here shortly.

Again, this is not in Polar mode. Hand controller is set in Alt/az as well as the mounts physical configuration. Drive training and calibration both had been performed.


Here is a video of what happens after I centered Arcturus. I didn't get the first few seconds of the video as I was looking for my phone but you get the idea. http://youtu.be/jy_DpRz1VBI

Just wanted to edit quick and make a note: As usual I use PHD and either my DSI or Orion SSAG to show a cross hair bullseye so that I can shoot video of the screen. There is no autoguiding going on in these films. Telescope is not even connected.

Quote:

Gday Micheal

Quote:

You did a good job on your video. That sounds terrible. It is not supposed to make those noises. If you have it balanced good then I would say your worm is kicking out really bad.




Yuk.
I agree its horrible, but i suspect its more an overloaded or dry worm???
Ie, in Polar when tracking at a sidereal rate, the motor only spins at 10.4rpm,
so one rev of the motor takes approx 5.75seconds.
The frequency in the clip is much higher than that when its tracking,
so are we hearing the rapid sticking/freeing as it attempts to move slowly?
Not sure about the noise when its slewing fast tho,
that sounds odd.

As a simple low speed test, set it up as altaz in the Hbx, and with no OTAs or weights loaded.
Then start it up with no alignment, ( so it stays as terrestrial ) and select speed 1 on the Hbx.
Now use the slew keys to move the Alt then Az axes.
If it still makes the same noises, i would be saying a way overloaded worm to wormwheel pressure.
The fact you mentioned getting bad retrograde motion on reversing also indicates this as a probable cause.

Andrew




Edited by Whichwayisnorth (09/08/12 10:48 AM)


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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: Why me? new [Re: ur7x]
      #5409851 - 09/08/12 10:50 AM

Quote:

I think the biggest issue that most here have with this mount, is that Meade promised it would do a whole bunch of things and the mount delivers nothing near to those promises.




Yes, I agree completely.

But anyone who takes Meade's claims as fact either haven't been paying attention to how Meade's marketing works, or are out of touch with the capabilities of equipment in this class.

And to address other points recently in this thread, making the thing in China is not some kind of magic wand that makes things work for free.

To use a bad car analogy, taking a Hyundai and dressing it up with fancy options does not make it a Mercedes Benz. This is not a slam on Hyundai; they actually make some really nice cars. But if what you want is a Mercedes, you will be disappointed with one.

And I maintain that if you want to image with an 10" F/10 SCT and have a reasonable experience, you need to be looking for a G11 or CGE class mount. Sure, you can probably do it with an Atlas/CGEM, but expect to spend lots of time tinkering. If you want to do it without having to think about the mount at all, you need to look even higher, to a Mach1 or comparable. And that won't change even after Meade sorts out the problems with the LX80.

The best case scenario is (and always was) that the LX80 would compete head to head with the Atlas/CGEM. And that would be a huge win for us because, even after the price hike, the LX80 is significantly cheaper than those mounts. At this point, the concern should be that it ends up competing with the CG5/LXD75 market. In hindsight (to me at least), it looks like that might have been the most likely outcome all along.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5409933 - 09/08/12 11:42 AM

Hi Micheal,
During alignment most of what you described sounds right. The first star is farther away, then the second one is much closer. I was able to get mine closer by making sure level and balance were exact but what helped the most was putting in my Longitude and Latitude instead of city or zip code for location. As for the drifting out of view, ever since they updated the firmware it does that. You have to hit enter fast, or back it up then just as its getting to the centered point hit the enter button. I think its a pain and is more noticeable with stronger eyepieces but I still like to use my 12mm illuminated retical eyepiece to get my alignment exact. But even after all that when I slew to something it isn't centered exact. And eyepiece strength effects that. Using High Precision will improve that alot. The telescope points to a bright star near the item you want and asks you to center the star. After you center and press enter it goes there and usually centers it pretty good. This is mostly used for deep space objects. As for the slow speeds not moving, alot of times you need a strong eyepiece to see them move. Also if your spring is set to loose making your worm kick out then its going to mess up your backlash more than your train drives can compensate for. If the motor noises are the worm kicking out then its going to mess up your alignment because the encoders are on the motor and it tells the computer your in one place but the worm kicking out is like a gear slipping so its not in the same place as the encoder thought it was. So from that point on your telescope will not put the star in the eyepiece unless you redo the alignment. And it doesnt slip again. Hope this helps. I know you hate to hear this, but. The mount has to go back. Reset will not help. neilson


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5409995 - 09/08/12 12:16 PM

I assume that the encoders are on the motor, so when the worm jumps or slips you would lose your alignment. Is that correct?

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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5410009 - 09/08/12 12:26 PM

Neilson,

I understand that during initial alignment the stars are not supposed to be close. My comment was more directed to how far off they were vs. how far off I expect. FYI I also do not use zip code but instead enter in my location manually using my gps.

All that having been said I will not accept that it is ok for the star to start drifting when I am trying to center it to do the alignment. This idea of over shooting and waiting for it to come back and hitting enter really fast doesn't sit well with me. This is not how it is supposed to work. Also what I meant about pushing the direction and not noticing movement. Let me clarify. #3 is 8x, #4 is 16 and #5 is 64x. At 8x I can see movement. at 64x it leaps with a motor on full power noise and then settles. At 16x it doesn't seem to move at all. Therefore the power of the eyepiece doesn't matter if I can see it moving at 8x and 64x but not 16x. The problem at 16x seems to happen about 75% of the time. I haven't messed around with any internal adjustments. The first night I had it out I didn't experience any noises. Just bad drift during alignment and bad drift during polar drift alignment where I used alignmaster. Getting it closer and closer doing the "hit enter fast" method did not reduce the drifting as it should have. This was in polar mode because I wanted to test mine against yours and see if I had the same problems. Last nights tests were in Alt/az mode.

Going to return it. The question though is should I try a third time or just give up. I am inclined to throw in the towel. I listed my OTA on AM.

Edited by Whichwayisnorth (09/08/12 12:30 PM)


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Why me? new [Re: Stew57]
      #5410010 - 09/08/12 12:27 PM

Quote:

I assume that the encoders are on the motor, so when the worm jumps or slips you would lose your alignment. Is that correct?




Correct. Although I was experiencing the issue before the jumping was occuring. The noises etc were just the last straw. Neilson says that ever since the latest firmware patch the drifting is typical. Not acceptable to me however.


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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: Why me? new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5410056 - 09/08/12 12:57 PM

Quote:

All that having been said I will not accept that it is ok for the star to start drifting when I am trying to center it to do the alignment.




In polar mode, your expectation makes sense (assuming a decent polar alignment). But if I understand correctly, you are aligning in alt-az mode. If true, how is the mount supposed to know how to track until you complete two alignment stars? Until then, it doesn't know how it's oriented relative to the sky.

It's been quite a few years since I owned an alt-az tracking mount, but if I remember correctly, they all started tracking only after I completed two alignment stars.


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edl
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/24/04

Re: Why me? new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5410083 - 09/08/12 01:10 PM

My CPC mount tracks fine for visual after a one star alignment.
There is some drift but it takes a long time (hours) for a star or planet to move out of the FOV at higher magnifications.

Best,
Ed L.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5410085 - 09/08/12 01:12 PM

Hi Wade,
We are talking performance, not styling or quality. Both cars you mentioned can carry the same amount of people. Both cars can go 70mph, and probably well over 100mph if they don't have governors in their computers. They can get good mileage, the Hyundia can probably get much better. They should both last well over 100,000. miles. The differences are in taste. And price. Now the Hyundias from the late 80's were junk and rarely made it to 100,000 miles and would have a hard time of reaching 100mph but not anymore. They have become a really nice dependable car that performs well. Just like things made in China have increased in quality.
I dont know if you just dont like Meade or things from China. But I like both, And I don't know why Meade chose to use such a bad factory in China or if they just hired someone who doesn't have a clue about how to run a factory and quality control. But this mounts bearings can handle hundreds of pounds. So I think 40lbs is no problem.So the only limiting factors are tripod strength, which Meade is addressing, and wormblock design. I think Meade will correct that problem also. The motors are geared to handle the weight. But the angle of the worms teeth are causing it too kick out too easy. Thats why its bouncing and I had to tighten the spring. If they would of used a worm similar to they're other mounts like the LX200 then this problem might not even exist. It wouldn't look like a G-11 but it would handle that 10"ota. Meade already announced on this thread that they were fixing the PEC. But when they did the last update they made the DEC track in polar also. Making it almost impossible to image. So they will have to correct that too.
Meade has a quality control problem in China and a design flaw that they could fix. Then they would have a mount that lives up to their advertised ratings. I dont think they did this on purpose. And they might not even fix it. But I think they will. And when they do they will have a mount that can handle a 10"ota and do AP just fine. They have been overwhelmed because of these problems, quality control problems and the recalled LX800's so they just aren't fixing things as fast as we would like. But give them time. Just because its made in China doesn't mean it cant work. Meade can make this product meet their advertised capabilities and sell it at any price point they chose, there is no rule or law that regulates that a goto mount that can handle a 10"ota has to cost around $3,600. Meade can price it where ever they want. Its called competition. If they fix this right fast enough, they could win over alot of customers that were going to buy Celestron or Orion. And they could open up AP with a larger ota to alot of people that could otherwise never afford it. I'm done discussing this particular subject.
By the way I decided not to cancel my back ordered LX80 mount because its not going to be here until Dec or Jan and I think Meade might have these issues resolved by then. If not then I'll give up on it. By the way, the CGEM had alot of problems when it came out and they were all fixed.

Micheal, I heard the same thing Wade just stated about your alignment star as to why its moving like that.
neilson

Edited by neilson (09/08/12 01:19 PM)


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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: Why me? new [Re: edl]
      #5410091 - 09/08/12 01:18 PM

Interesting.

To do that, it would need to know its latitude, how level it is, and have some reference to compass direction.

If I remember right, the CPC has a GPS, so it knows its latitude. Does it have a compass and electronic level, or do you have to level it manually and orient it with a certain part north?


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ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: Why me? new [Re: austin.grant]
      #5410106 - 09/08/12 01:34 PM

While you might get math and transitive properties, I'm not sure you understand how guiding works.

If it was a slow drift problem, then guiding can resolve that. And a slow drift would be ok for Visual work, that is not what this mount is doing. If the stars move around slowly then the optic, computer and mechanical guide systems can work together to gently nudge the telescope back to where the guide star should be.

Guide systems fail when the stars "bounce around" if the guide star suddenly jumps then the guide system has no idea where it went and which way to push the scope. Anyone who has spent any time with a guide system, either manual or electronic knows this.

So if a telescope is unable to hold a star "steady" enough for software like PHD or what have you to track it, then it also makes for a less than satisfactory visual experience.

Nothing is more annoying than looking into an OTA that is bouncing all around, that is what several here are reporting, just about everyone in polar mode, and now some honest brave soles in Alt/Az mode.

I think you are simply confusing the issue that the LX80 lacks a guide port and Meade has "unofficially" announced that they are likely never to provide this promised option. With how guiding works. IMO the lack of a guide port is one of the most minor issues with this mount since, as others have posted, there are cheap (essentially free) workarounds to add guiding to this mount without a guide port.

The issue with guiding and visual problems is NOT the lack of a guide port, or slow drift, or alignment.. it IS the "violent" mount bounce that we can now see is as a result of an odd design on the worm screw, a cheap/inadequate/poorly designed/all of the abovr (take your pick) pressure spring and a partially engaged plastic motor gear.

The more owners here try to re-engineer this mount to make it just as good as a cheaper CG5 the more we can see that this mount has serious engineering flaws and like it LX800 big brother should be recalled - and fixed (by the manufacture)


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edl
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/24/04

Re: Why me? new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5410109 - 09/08/12 01:36 PM

Quote:

Interesting.

To do that, it would need to know its latitude, how level it is, and have some reference to compass direction.

If I remember right, the CPC has a GPS, so it knows its latitude. Does it have a compass and electronic level, or do you have to level it manually and orient it with a certain part north?



It does have GPS, but will map the sky as long as it accurately knows your location, date, and time.
You are completely correct that it must be level though. I just use the built in bubble on the HD tripod before I attach the skeleton. Two and three star alignment modes apparently have some leeway in this regard, but I've never tried them without first levelling the tripod.
BTW, have the HD Pro Wedge coming, so am curious how the alignment holds with that thing.

Best,
Ed L.


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edl
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/24/04

Re: Why me? new [Re: edl]
      #5410121 - 09/08/12 01:43 PM

I should quickly add that I had an LX80 mount for short time. It would not track or work in goto mode near as well compared with the CPC, no matter what the alignment chosen. That combined with other issues (many clearly shared here) forced me to return it.
I am amazed and impressed with the expertise and stamina of those who have tried to make this mount work as advertised.

Best,
Ed L.


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Why me? new [Re: edl]
      #5410170 - 09/08/12 02:14 PM

I have identified the problem. The way the motor is attached it does not line up correctly so that the small plastic gear that is attached to the motor does not mesh correctly with the first adjacent gear. There is enough play in it as to introduce significant back lash and it will jump out. If you grab the rear of the motor housing and pull out so that it forces the gear in tighter, it eliminates both issues. I am currently uploading a video that shows what it is doing. The question is how do I solve it? I do not see any adjustment at all whatsoever. I would need to design a bracket and JB-Weld it under the motor to keep outward pressure towards the rear. I'll post a link shortly.

Edit: Here is the link. http://youtu.be/81ol6wO_BHc

Edited by Whichwayisnorth (09/08/12 02:26 PM)


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Why me? new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5410177 - 09/08/12 02:20 PM

So when aligning in Alt/az it is expected that there is fast drift out (as shown in above video) and it is expected that I play whack-a-mole alignment? The thing is when I tried polar mode earlier in the week I was having the same issue. This is why I decided last night to get alt/az working first and actually get to use it before I tackled polar mode again. I am working on a solution to the current issue with the gear noises and gear skipping. If I can correct that I will get back out there tonight and give it another go.

Question: Once initial 2 star alignment is completed could I then expect to be able to do a new alignment without resetting old alignment and have tracking working? eg, no fast drift while centering star.

Quote:

Quote:

All that having been said I will not accept that it is ok for the star to start drifting when I am trying to center it to do the alignment.




In polar mode, your expectation makes sense (assuming a decent polar alignment). But if I understand correctly, you are aligning in alt-az mode. If true, how is the mount supposed to know how to track until you complete two alignment stars? Until then, it doesn't know how it's oriented relative to the sky.

It's been quite a few years since I owned an alt-az tracking mount, but if I remember correctly, they all started tracking only after I completed two alignment stars.




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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: Why me? new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5410185 - 09/08/12 02:25 PM

Hi neilson,

I don't have a problem with China, and my only problem with Meade is that their marketing has a terrible track record of overpromising or outright misrepresenting their products (like selling an aplanic SCT as a Ritchey-Cretien).

In truth, I would very much like to see Meade succeed here. They've made some interesting breakthoughs that have advanced amateur astronomy. Their aplanic SCT is actually a really nice scope. I have an 8" ACF and have only good things to say about it. Their work here even pushed Celestron to improve their SCT optics.

But you have to be realistic about what's possible. People don't buy more expensive mounts just because they have money they want to throw away. The CGEM and the Mach1 are both rated by their manufacturers as 40lb capacity, but they are light years apart in performance. I know many people who have made this upgrade and every single one of them says that the Mach1 is worth every penny of its cost over the CGEM. And make no mistake, the difference is not at all about how the mount looks. It is all about performance and usability.

It is simply not reasonable to think that Meade will be able to release a $1000 mount that comes anywhere close to delivering Mach1 performance. It would have been a breakthrough to even match the CGEM at this price point.

I know that I probably won't be able to convince you, but I'll drop just one more observation that I find interesting.

Did you know that, at least visually, the LX800 appears to be a copy of the Mach1, right down to the place on the casting where AP puts its logo? I think that it's fair of me to say that the precision in AP's fabrication and assembly are far superior to Meade's (if you have a problem with this statement, I can back it up, but would rather do so offline so as not to get further off topic). So why is it that Astro-Physics rates the Mach1 at 40lb, but Meade rates what appears to be a copy at 90lb? Answering that question would go a long way towards understanding how to interpret Meade's marketing.

To close (and let this thread resume its course), I am pulling for Meade here. I think that the LX80 is a neat idea and if it could compete with the Atlas and CGEM at a lower price, it would be a huge success. Another possible outcome is that, after resolving release issues, it could end up competing with the CG5. I am hoping that the former, and not the latter happens.

I wish you much success with whatever direction you go for your next mount. Your contributions to this thread have been quite valuable. I have learned a lot from your experience and I think that I speak for a lot of folks when I say thank you for your efforts.

Clear skies,
-Wade


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5410203 - 09/08/12 02:40 PM

Hi Micheal,
You need to talk to David. He is having that motor mounting up problem. There were screws missing. His was not repairable though. There is one screw that has to be put in before a small circuit board is glued on. Also there were screws under the encoder and gear.
neilson


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5410237 - 09/08/12 02:56 PM

Haysoos Christmas! Designing replacement motor brackets now? I'd return this mount if at all possible for a refund. I wanted the LX80 to work; I'd have loved an alt-az/EQ setup. I will now definitely wait for the Synta/SkyWatcher AZ EQ-6.

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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5410279 - 09/08/12 03:24 PM

Ok well I am not going to further tear into this. I already broke my promise not to tear it down as much as I did. I have adjusted a few things, cleaned off the old grease and re-lubed it. Without load it seems to be behaving. I am going to install all my equipment and see if it still wants to slip. I am convinced the slipping is the root cause of the issues I was having. The encoders expect object to be at this location but due to a few teeth jumped along the way it loses it.

Meade: Change out the plastic gears, make the motor mount adjustable to close up the gap. Those two changes will make all the difference.

@UncleRod Yah. That is my plan now. I am just seeing what I can see while I still have it. Hopefully it'll help someone.

Quote:

Hi Micheal,
You need to talk to David. He is having that motor mounting up problem. There were screws missing. His was not repairable though. There is one screw that has to be put in before a small circuit board is glued on. Also there were screws under the encoder and gear.
neilson




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