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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: Why me? new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5407223 - 09/06/12 08:18 PM

I bought a floor demo CGEM from my local Meade dealer. It was about the same price as the new price of the LX80. It worked (and continues to work) great right out of the (previously opened) box) I was so impressed with this mount that I bought a new CG5 for portable work. The CGEM is a heavy beast and not the best (IMO) for trucking around. The CG5 is fine and is good for visual use, I have not yet tried it for AP, not sure if I ever will.

As I have posted before, I really wanted the LX80, though I knew that 90% of the time I would use the mount in polar mode, I liked the idea of having Alt/Az if I ever used my OTA for terrestrial work. (though there not much to look at in my neighborhood ) I also liked the promise of a guide port and a PEC capability at a bargain price.

Turns out that the mount does not work in the mode that I would have used it, PEC is still broken as we await another software patch and the guide port option may never be delivered though there are some workarounds for this.

Some people like to tinker with their gear, and some people like to take things apart and MacGyver their toys. I confess that I'm in that camp too. But its one thing to take a mount that is rated for 30 pounds and make it silky smooth at 35 pounds with some micro adjustments and better quality grease...

Its another thing to repetitively rebuild a brand new mount without any improvement while you wonder about your OEM warranty. At a certain point this stops being a hobby and is just a point of frustration.

IMO Neilson is way past what any customer should be expected to do. I would have returned the second mount, when I discovered that it was shipped without any grease in either axis...

His "stick-to-it-ness" must be applauded. And we can all learn from his experience.


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Why me? new [Re: ur7x]
      #5407239 - 09/06/12 08:32 PM

Quote:

I bought a floor demo CGEM from my local Meade dealer. It was about the same price as the new price of the LX80. It worked (and continues to work) great right out of the (previously opened) box) I was so impressed with this mount that I bought a new CG5 for portable work. The CGEM is a heavy beast and not the best (IMO) for trucking around. The CG5 is fine and is good for visual use, I have not yet tried it for AP, not sure if I ever will.

As I have posted before, I really wanted the LX80, though I knew that 90% of the time I would use the mount in polar mode, I liked the idea of having Alt/Az if I ever used my OTA for terrestrial work. (though there not much to look at in my neighborhood ) I also liked the promise of a guide port and a PEC capability at a bargain price.

Turns out that the mount does not work in the mode that I would have used it, PEC is still broken as we await another software patch and the guide port option may never be delivered though there are some workarounds for this.

Some people like to tinker with their gear, and some people like to take things apart and MacGyver their toys. I confess that I'm in that camp too. But its one thing to take a mount that is rated for 30 pounds and make it silky smooth at 35 pounds with some micro adjustments and better quality grease...

Its another thing to repetitively rebuild a brand new mount without any improvement while you wonder about your OEM warranty. At a certain point this stops being a hobby and is just a point of frustration.

IMO Neilson is way past what any customer should be expected to do. I would have returned the second mount, when I discovered that it was shipped without any grease in either axis...

His "stick-to-it-ness" must be applauded. And we can all learn from his experience.




Well. If I had a chane to get a CGEM for what I paid for the LX80, I wouldn't still be waiting on the LX80. I'll keep my CG5 for portability.

I know I wouldn't have had the patience of the early LX80 users but I'm glad thy are still in there pitching!

I'm also glad to see that Ed Thomas is going to get a first hand look at,the innards... Even though it is a new mount, I'd add a Supetune kit if it improved the mount.

Edited by Mkofski (09/06/12 08:34 PM)


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Lee Jay
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 02/27/08

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: Why me? new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5407453 - 09/06/12 10:56 PM

Quote:

The issue is the “pitch” of the worm gear.




The angle you're showing in the images isn't called "pitch" (which is the number of teeth per unit of length along the worm's axis), it's called the "pressure angle". This matters because a steep pressure angle like you are showing applies more separating force between the two gears. If one is spring-loaded, that could be an issue.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5407495 - 09/06/12 11:26 PM

Gday LeeJay

Quote:

If one is spring-loaded, that could be an issue.




The worm carrier is spring loaded,
and its a really BIG spring, with a lot of preload.
I am suspecting this is why the testing with a heavy OTA
wasnt working well, due to the worm disengaging.
Also, with a higher spring pressure ( to prevent disengaging ), the sliding friction goes up and may account for some of the "jerking" seen in the piccies taken at high focal lengths, esp if the worm isnt well polished.
It looks like a std 60deg toothform at 16TPI
Just need to get the OD of the worm.

Andrew


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blueman
Photon Catcher
*****

Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: Why me? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5407530 - 09/06/12 11:51 PM

The chances are that if you preload a worm with a lot of pressure, you will see a lot of errors that are not periodic in fact they may be totally random. This will make PEC fairly ineffective. Plus, it can cause rapid changes in the error, which of course can be impossible to guide out.
Blueman
Quote:

Gday LeeJay

Quote:

If one is spring-loaded, that could be an issue.




The worm carrier is spring loaded,
and its a really BIG spring, with a lot of preload.
I am suspecting this is why the testing with a heavy OTA
wasnt working well, due to the worm disengaging.
Also, with a higher spring pressure ( to prevent disengaging ), the sliding friction goes up and may account for some of the "jerking" seen in the piccies taken at high focal lengths, esp if the worm isnt well polished.
It looks like a std 60deg toothform at 16TPI
Just need to get the OD of the worm.

Andrew




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ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: Why me? new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5407562 - 09/07/12 12:12 AM

Quote:


Well. If I had a chane to get a CGEM for what I paid for the LX80, I wouldn't still be waiting on the LX80. I'll keep my CG5 for portability.

I know I wouldn't have had the patience of the early LX80 users but I'm glad thy are still in there pitching!

I'm also glad to see that Ed Thomas is going to get a first hand look at,the innards... Even though it is a new mount, I'd add a Supetune kit if it improved the mount.




If I were you I would watch for a used CGEM in nice condition. 3 of these came up for sale on the Classifieds here for around $1000 last month. Last Spring Celestron was selling them "on sale" for $1200, maybe they will offer a sale next spring too...

When you consider how much pain and annoyance that Neilson has gone through, you have to consider how much that is worth to you. If you get personal enjoyment re-engineering a brand new mount, then go for it. But as I read Neilson's posts his mount is not much better then the CG5 that you already have (maybe not even as good as that old timer). You are likely to end up with two mounts that have very similar capacities.

If you have a second OTA looking for a mount then your purchase might make some sense, or if you are looking for something for terrestrial use... Otherwise I would either wait for Meade to fix this mount or save up for a better "proven" mount.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: blueman]
      #5407654 - 09/07/12 01:57 AM

Hi Everyone,
Finally I see Lee, Andrew, and Blueman Just came up with answers that I can understand and accept as the cause of my imaging problems. Andrew had told me off line, yesterday I believe, that he suspected exactly what you all just said but he was still obtaining proof. This and other info we shared off line is proof enough to me. I can't speak for Andrew as he is still obtaining proof. I will check that worm diameter for you tomorrow.
I could reduce the spring pressure alot and it should help this problem alot but then my ota will bounce.

This is the kind of results I can understand, but I also know that this will not be good. It is something that to fix I will need to replace the worm and ring gears. Actually the entire drive. Or maybe its time to give up.

My imaging results tonight actually verify what they said. I tightened the pressure of the worm and it did helped the bouncing. But it made tracking worse.
I took 46 images tonight. Most were around 30 sec but a few were longer. I had a lot of upside down "V" trails and the rest were squiggly lines.
And yes Andrew I did an easy alignment then iterations then the one star. But I synced on it. After many bad ones I redid the one star alignment. but it didn't help. Then later I synced again. It looks like mine keeps tracking in Dec. also.

I did actually have one good image. I know its not much but after weeks of crummy images I am kind of proud of it. I have taken this image in the past years many times. But it was along with other good ones. This one is after so many bad ones. I tried a few more times after this but it was a one time deal.

This is M13 star cluster. Its only a 25 seconds exposure. I did not crop it but I adjusted the contrast and saturation just a little. The ISO was set at 1600 at F/10 and white balance set to automatic. The quality was set to poor to keep MB down so I could post my test results.
neilson

I decided not to post any of the 45 bad images tonight because they are just like all the last ones.

Edited by neilson (09/07/12 12:47 PM)


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5407694 - 09/07/12 03:06 AM Attachment (27 downloads)

Just for others info,
i have attached a piccy of the LX80 spring system and the equivalent spring from an LX200.
The LX200 requires very little spring pressure to stay engaged, even under load.

Andrew


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mmalik
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5407705 - 09/07/12 03:24 AM

Quote:

Its only a 25 seconds exposure.




Status quo remains; 25 sec. really doesn't qualify as guided image as you have said (you might as well have taken unguided for that duration). Thanks for your efforts though; keep trying and post "real" guided results of 5-10 min if/when you can.

I am afraid this mount isn't built for acceptable guiding of any sort. Even if you folks are able to collaborate together and work something out for EQ Guiding, that really doesn't help LX80 customers at large or even Meade. Mount’s inherent guiding capabilities and very workmanship & quality control are in question. Meade really needs to get back to the drawing board on this one just like LX800 as far as astrophotography is concerned.


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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: Why me? new [Re: mmalik]
      #5407818 - 09/07/12 07:37 AM

MMalik you can see 8min long guided image I did of M27 on (page 43) of this thread and 5min long image of M57 on (page 44).
Not good images at all.

My mount is going back to Meade today not sure why others can get parts but they tell me no parts are available?
I have been asked to return the mount and tripod because of a stripped out Latitude lock screw!

I talked to Lewis at Meade and Asked about Envisage not being able to guide the mount with DSI pro camera. so this is Meade's software using Meade's camera and talking to Meade's mount he told me that the DSI pro camera is no longer made and was put out before the LX80 and no plans on supporting Meade's DSI camera to guide with using Envisage software for the LX80! WHAT!!!!!!!
I said I want to use this mount as AP platform and have had some luck using PHD in guiding but the best I can do is get the tracking Error down to 10 arcsec guided (page43) and about 40 arcsec unguided(page30). he said he would have to get back with me on that.

Dennis and I was the first to report the tracking error in RA or (RA Bug) and the Meade patch is just that A PATCH not a fix the mount still has a tracking error it speeds up and slows down in RA causing your stars to look like Dashes in Images Only(page43) but watching the tracking this movement is slow and steady so you may not be able to see this error unless you have and 12mm Illuminated Reticle EP. So if you wanted a grab and go portable mount for Alt/Az and two OTA or Polar and one (light) OTA for visual use this mount will work great.(visual Only)

Astro-photography (AP) my experience is that your looking to piggyback your DSLR use wide field lens or even a zoom up to maybe 200 mm, I think much more would be pushing it the Mount would work for long exposures.(Piggyback DSLR) But If you looking to use 300mm FL and longer at with long 5min or 8min subs you need to keep looking. this is not the mount for you. With guiding being the issue that is needed for Long exposures you are not going to be happy with this mount. That is my personal experience but I haven't seen any long exposure that I would be willing to stack to get the end result you are looking for doing AP.

I hope Meade will fix this mount they have a great Ideal with the Alt/Az and Polar combo right now it's just not ready. (my personal opinion)
But its not all bad news about the mount I have a list of things I like. One the heavy legs with fine tune level adjustments for each leg, the second coming from the LXd55 the LX80 polar set up adjustments is so easy with lot of adjustment in Azimuth and the geared Latitude adjustment is so much easier to use than my LXd55. Built in bubble levels on the tripod and on the mount head. the duel mode being able to put two OTA on each end this would be a great outreach mount for doing public viewing two line twice as many people can be worked through an event.

But with all that said my Lxd55 will out guide the LX80 at this point.
............................................................

I do want to Thank Andrew ,Neilson, David, and Ed for all their efforts in trying to fix the issues with LX80 and we all have been the bunt of the jokes for our efforts. I have even been told I'm making up the issues with this mount.
The main reason I posted on the site was to learn from the experience of others, I know in this hobby we have a vast amount of knowledge that is ready to be tapped into.To bad you have to walk through the torn bushes to get to the apple trees. I just wanted to say Thanks to all your input.


My hat goes off to neilson for tearing down his mount no less than 20 times Wow most folks would have just called it quits. Keep up the good fight!

I hope in a week or two I will have a new LX80 mount and all my AP problems will be a thing of the past. If this happens I will be posting loud and proud AP pic. But I'm not holding my breath. I have been kicking the tires on CGEM DX WOW that
mount looks very beefy. I will let you know how the new mount works or doesn't


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Why me? new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5407967 - 09/07/12 09:58 AM

Huh?

What are you doing and expecting a different result, Kevin?

-Rich


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Why me? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5408186 - 09/07/12 12:06 PM

Tonight is the night I am going to get this thing out and go a few rounds. I'll post results tomorrow

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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5408232 - 09/07/12 12:28 PM Attachment (11 downloads)

Hi Kevin,
I'm sorry your having to go through all this with Meade and I hope you get better results with your new mount.

As for me, I am really upset right now. I have a mount that is useless to me. I prefer AP and this mount is just incapable at least with more than 10lbs and that's guided only. And at 500mm fl. And just on one persons mount that we know of.
I was going to return my mount today and buy the CGEM DX. But this has gone on so long that the price is back up to $2,000. I only have $1,800. like it was. I thought the price drop was permanent since most telescope stuff never goes on sale. Now I am out of luck. I dont want a CGEM and will not buy one. I expected this LX80 to work. I expected Meade to step up and fix this thing. Well Meade we are all waiting. We can't fix this for you. You designed it poorly so you need to recall them and replace the poorly designed wormblock. And fast. TODAY. Or better yet send me the new part. because I am tired of images like this one. And I am tired of doing your job for you.

neilson

Edited by neilson (09/07/12 01:18 PM)


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5408275 - 09/07/12 12:51 PM

The CGEM and DX are basically the same mount with the DX having a bigger tripod and conterweight shaft. If you don't like the CGEM I would advise you to pass on the DX also. Sorry for your troubles. Wish Meade could have had an easyfix but it lokks like the problems may be deeper.

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blueman
Photon Catcher
*****

Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5408355 - 09/07/12 01:32 PM

If you are trying to buy the new mount from the same vendor that sold you the LX-80, ask them if they would give you the price you could have bought it when you bought the LX-80. They might help you out, maybe.
Good luck. I think you are doing the right thing, there is no way you will be happy with the LX-80 the way it performs now.
Blueman
Quote:

Hi Kevin,
I'm sorry your having to go through all this with Meade and I hope you get better results with your new mount.

As for me, I am really upset right now. I have a mount that is useless to me. I prefer AP and this mount is just incapable at least with more than 10lbs and that's guided only. And at 500mm fl. And just on one persons mount that we know of.
I was going to return my mount today and buy the CGEM DX. But this has gone on so long that the price is back up to $2,000. I only have $1,800. like it was. I thought the price drop was permanent since most telescope stuff never goes on sale. Now I am out of luck. I dont want a CGEM and will not buy one. I expected this LX80 to work. I expected Meade to step up and fix this thing. Well Meade we are all waiting. We can't fix this for you. You designed it poorly so you need to recall them and replace the poorly designed wormblock. And fast. TODAY. Or better yet send me the new part. because I am tired of images like this one. And I am tired of doing your job for you.

neilson




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Lee Jay
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/27/08

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5408387 - 09/07/12 01:47 PM

Quote:

Hi Kevin,
As for me, I am really upset right now. I have a mount that is useless to me. I prefer AP and this mount is just incapable at least with more than 10lbs and that's guided only. And at 500mm fl. And just on one persons mount that we know of.
I was going to return my mount today and buy the CGEM DX. But this has gone on so long that the price is back up to $2,000. I only have $1,800.




What's wrong with an Atlas?


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: Stew57]
      #5408468 - 09/07/12 02:28 PM

Hi Everyone,
I guess with me being so upset I made it sound like I had a problem with the CGEM. I don't. I just wanted the DX version because of the heavier duty tripod and its rated at 50lbs and I know it will handle any of the ota's that I own with guide scope and cameras.
I spoke with Mike West at OPT and told him of my concerns. He hadn't heard of any success imaging yet either but most of his customers are just using the LX80 in Alt/Az for visual. But he said he even had to send their demo mount back. It seams many people are having to send the first one back. I am on my second mount right now.

I just ordered myself a new CGEM DX from OPT. I am sending the LX80 mount back. I am sorry for giving up on you all but enough is enough. My mount tracked in dec even after a one star alignment. I even re did the one star alignment several times but mine kept giving me upside down "V" star trails. Nobody wanted this mount to work more than me. I am sure these pages have proven that. I have taken this mount apart close to 40 times between the two just to make adjustments and grease the dry bearings in both drives. I even bought a smaller lighter ota. I feel there is nothing left that I can do. Meade has done nothing to help the problem. The wormblock design is too light for what they claim it can handle. I have no desire to replace the RA drive with something better at my expense.

I am sure Meade will be celebrating that I will no longer be using their mount. My advice is if you plan to do imaging then stay away from this mount. At least until Meade fixes it, if they ever do. First they will have to admit it doesn't work, but if they do some might be out of a job. I gave them plenty of time and tried everything I could to help show them whats wrong. There are many out there who think its not working because of something they are doing wrong. I feel sad for them because they might be too embarrassed to call and complain. And the ones that do call wont be given a resolution to the problem.

I have taken plenty of images of the insides of this mount and some are posted in the LX80 group photo section. I will stick around for a while in case anyone has a question about my attempts at imaging or about the adjustments I tried. Or that just want to give me a hard time about going through all of this. Plus I hope to see how Meade fixes it. If they do. Again I am sorry for quitting but I want to do some imaging. And Meade, I am disappointed you took so long to release this mount then it didn't even work right. And you haven't even fixed it yet. I am going to cancel the other mount that I have had on back-order since last year.
Mike gave me the CGEM DX at the $1,799. sale price. Thanks Mike.

neilson

Edited by neilson (09/07/12 02:35 PM)


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Jason B
Proud father of 5!!
*****

Reged: 06/21/04

Loc: Mid-Michigan
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5408491 - 09/07/12 02:43 PM

Congrats on the new mount and sorry for your frustration! BTW, I have a regular CGEM. I had to upgrade to a larger tripod to handle by 10" Newt but it guides easily up to 10min using my 8" F8 RC. I think you will enjoy the DX but it is a heavy bugger!

Good luck!


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Tanchistu
member


Reged: 01/04/12

Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5408496 - 09/07/12 02:48 PM

Neilson, you are a hero. I will wait for the new thread documenting your experience with CGEM DX.

According to OPT, I am 25th on the list, by the way things are going probably I will receive mine early next year. If there is no solution until then, I will cancel my order. So Meade, you do have some time left, but not much.


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Why me? [Re: neilson]
      #5408542 - 09/07/12 03:16 PM

Neilson,

Congratulations on the new mount - tried and true, you should be in good shape now. Thanks your work on trying to get the LX80 performing AP properly. Not a chance, but Meade owes you consultant's pay for the last several weeks.


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