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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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George Methvin
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/30/06

Loc: Central Texas
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: neilson]
      #5333553 - 07/24/12 05:59 PM

Sorry guys just tried of the little guy getting step on. Wish I could be of some help but I am not too smart when it comes to fixing mounts. I will cheer you all on and wish you the best.

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neotesla
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/18/10

Loc: Canada
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: George Methvin]
      #5333571 - 07/24/12 06:08 PM

Quote:

Your right Jay I don't know of one. All I know if I bought a new car and it did not run or drive off the lot I would not set there and try to fixs it myself while the car dealer seat there and watched with my money in his pocket.




I'd say the situation is not like your car analogy... This is more like a new computer you take home. To get it working the way you want, install all the software and drivers etc. Everything is there but you make it fit your needs.


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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: Griffin!]
      #5333647 - 07/24/12 07:02 PM

Everyone is comparing this $1000.00 mount to a purchase of Car that Cost $15,000.00 or more.

I don't think that's a fair comparison but we think nothing of taking a $1000 laptop and taking it home and doing 30 minuets of updates and installing more software to wake it run right.

I think the price point is great and that's what keeps people trying to make it work. And remember Meade gives you 30 days called First Light you can return it no question asked. I think for the money you cant beat it. as a portable
grab and go mount.


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5333689 - 07/24/12 07:33 PM

I don't buy a $1000 laptop and expect the dvd drive has to be worked on to make it work. The analogies are thin on both sides and the comparisons to other mounts are thin also. I have absolutly NO desire in an alt/az EQ combo mount. I am interested in a cheap lighter EQ mount that will do some live video without needing guiding. I waiting patiently for PE numbers and graphs. They will have to be good as meade's service especially the policy of not selling any parts to customers is a strike against them.

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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: Stew57]
      #5334137 - 07/25/12 03:05 AM

Early morning report (its midnight here).

PHD would not guide. Not sure why. It performed calibrations (or so it said), but i don't think it really did as it should. The target star would always be going "down", when it was reporting W, E, S, N. And then when it would start "guiding", the star would drift "down", and out of the box (in short order). As soon as it left the box, PHD would turn off commands (disconnect), and the star movement would stop. I did create logs, so will analize them in the morning.

Interestingly, this is the same pattern that Envisage displayed.

I did try to do the Polar PEC test, and that did not go well either, but for different reasons. I did a one star alignment, and then pointed at the target "area". The dew was so heavy that i was unable to see through the spotter, and the camera was having trouble seeing through the scope. I'm not even sure i had a good polar alignment, as the target star i selected drifted out of the FOV within about 5 min. I did collect some data, but not worthy of sharing. I will need to see what the heck i am doing.

All in all, an interesting evening. Nothing worked right. And everything is VERY wet. Much cleanup will be in order tomorrow. Hopefully the sun will shine.


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Hilmi
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5334182 - 07/25/12 05:05 AM

Did you make sure you had the latest version of ASCOM installed?

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mmalik
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5334226 - 07/25/12 06:21 AM

I presume you installed ASCOM Platform 6SP1?

What I am not sure if following is needed and/or was installed in addition to ASCOM Platform 6SP1?
•Driver for mounts using #497 Handbox (link...)

Also worth looking into following:
•Microsoft .NET Framework updates (link...)

Last but not least, could it be another bug?


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jgraham
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Soci...
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: mmalik]
      #5334268 - 07/25/12 07:24 AM

You can also use the manual guiding functions from within PHD to see if PHD is actually communicating with the mount.

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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: jgraham]
      #5334357 - 07/25/12 09:15 AM

David
I was able to guide with PhD 1.13.0b using Ascomp 6sp1 using a DSi pro II camera make sure you have your com port set to what your USB to serial is set at. Oh if you are using Autostar suite to control mount you will need to disconnect Autostar in the program goto Telescope click protocol click none or use F5 to disconect, make sure you use Ascomp meade classic drivers found at.
http://ascom-standards.org/Downloads/ScopeDrivers.htm

hope that helps


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jgraham
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Soci...
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5334404 - 07/25/12 09:49 AM

"Are you folks hearing what you are saying $1.00 or $10.000 dollars if I buy something I expect it to work."

True, but we can either discuss business philosophy at length our we can try to help our fellow Cloudy Nighters solve real problems. I see nothing here that hasn't happened over and over and over with version 1.0 of practically anything. It's unfortunate, but it happens. The best way to avoid it is to wait for version 3.3.


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ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: neotesla]
      #5334432 - 07/25/12 10:09 AM

Quote:


I'd say the situation is not like your car analogy... This is more like a new computer you take home. To get it working the way you want, install all the software and drivers etc. Everything is there but you make it fit your needs.




And the situation is nothing like your PC example either.. It is more like this: You buy a brand new PC, that comes preloaded with a brand new OS that is supposed to do all kinds of cool things, when you get it home you discover that the the OS has a serious bug (a few actually).. After first denying the problem, then after a few weeks the manufacture recognizes this, and mails you a patch on 3 1/2" floppies... Funny thing... to load the patch you need to now buy their proprietary 3 1/2 floppy drive...

THAT is the analogy. And frankly, the PC is not much better than the car one.

The truth here is this mount did NOT work as advertized out of the box. PERIOD.. and to fix it YOU have to buy more product from the manufacture to fix HIS error. This is not "customizing it so it fits your needs" This is fixing a manufactures defect and this is - Shameful, and brutally bad customer service... (whether that cable will be of use to you in the future or not)


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ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: jgraham]
      #5334438 - 07/25/12 10:12 AM

Quote:

"Are you folks hearing what you are saying $1.00 or $10.000 dollars if I buy something I expect it to work."

True, but we can either discuss business philosophy at length our we can try to help our fellow Cloudy Nighters solve real problems. I see nothing here that hasn't happened over and over and over with version 1.0 of practically anything. It's unfortunate, but it happens. The best way to avoid it is to wait for version 3.3.




AND we can FURTHER help our fellow cloudy nights members, by convincing Meade to either ship them RS232 cables for FREE or offer a patch upgrade at any dealer (again for free), or offer free return shipping of the hand set to perform the upgrade directly by meade... any of those options would be helping our fellow cloudy night members.

Anything less than that is just making excuses for a telescope manufacture.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: ur7x]
      #5334565 - 07/25/12 11:42 AM

I wouldn't expect that Meade is going to send anything free to anybody. I have been fighting with them over the handle that's missing on the back of my 10" ota and the Meade stickers on the sides. They agreed to send them for me to install myself, that made me happy. A week later they called me and refused to send them claiming all the other size otas come with them but the 10" doesn't need a handle or stickers on the side. They agreed the pictures on their website and my instruction book showed them but still said no. I have left several voice messages to the manager but no reply. I had emailed them also and got a reply that Meade has the right to not include items shown. No they don't.
But If they are not going to send me my Meade stickers and handle costing probably $2. I wouldn't expect them to give anyone that PC connector to load the new firmware. A few years ago I paid $29. for my Meade connector for my LXD75, then had to buy the other end to adapt it to usb. I don't expect they will pass up this opportunity to make whatever they charge for it now.
And I don't think its right that I am having to make repairs to my mount. In fact any time I get something that doesn't work as advertised I send it back requesting a new one that works right because I paid for a new unused unrepaired item that works as advertised. I don't believe in paying full price or an extra $200. for a repaired item. Or one I have to repair. But Meade wont replace them now unless you are willing to wait many months.
I just paid the extra $200 plus an OTA because I was tired of waiting since last year for the one I pre ordered that's not coming until next year now. And now I have to repair it just to use it.
Meade's website description talks about the great PEC this mount has "providing performance only available on much more expensive mounts"... I guess they feel they have the right to not include items listed too, or at least not working.
Neilson


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ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: neilson]
      #5334611 - 07/25/12 11:59 AM

Just wondering...
How much more Meade gear will you be buying in the near future?


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: ur7x]
      #5334627 - 07/25/12 12:04 PM

Really folks, this thread, and this forum, is not about Cars, nor is it about Computers. Its about telescopes, and this thread is specific to the LX80. The LX80 is not a prototype that can have things added (guide ports). This is not about wishing Meade (or any manufacturer) would please include extra goodies. The manufacturer made what they made! We are trying to learn how we can use it.

The current “theme” of the thread is in two parts. One… GUIDING, the other… PEC. The case of the TRACKING ERROR in POLAR is done, and over. It is solved! Meade released a fix, and you can upgrade your mount IF YOU WISH TO.

Repeated RANTS and Meade bashing serve no useful purpose. Espeially those that are repeated OVER and OVER. All that accomplishes is a disruption of the active conversation, and production of an ANTI MEADE mentality, that is NOT shared by the people who are buying their products, and trying to use them. Please take your RANTS and Meade bashing somewhere else. It is not useful here, nor is it appreciated, and it is counterproductive to the continuing dialog on this mount.

Now….. back the main discussion. The setup I am trying to make work is as follows:

Computer In Use
.. Windows 7 Ultimate, 64bit
PHD Guiding
.. Current Download from Stark Labs Web Site. Version 1.13.0
ASCOM Platform 6
..Version 6.0 SP1 – Build 6.0.10028.2207
Mount Driver from ASCOM site:
..Meade Classic – LX200 Classic and AutoStar 494-495-497 Version 5.0.3
ASCOM settings (other than default)
..Focal Length and Aperture set for 80mm ED APO
..Only other Change was UNCHECKING the box which would otherwise USE NEW PULSE GUIDING.

I had made several “runs”, trying to get it to work. Originally, the “USE NEW PULSE GUIDING” was checked. The program failed in calibration every time, using 60 frames to try the W only. Once I unchecked that option, it “looked” like it was working. As I mentioned though, during calibration, the star field would always move the same direction (down). I “think” it should have moved in each of the directions being checked in the calibration run. Once GUIDING, the star field again moved DOWN, and once “out of the box”, PHD stared beeping, and (I think) disconnected from the scope. At that time, the star field stopped moving. If I manualy moved the target star back into the box (using handbox), then the beeping would stop, but the cycle simply repeated.

I did make a log, and I am writing to Craig, to see what he “sees”, and to get clarification if the target should move in the direction of the check ( W – E – N – S).

Apparently, Dennis and Kevin MAY have PHD working on their LX80. I am trying to communicate with them, the verify the various settings, and see if they have something different.

IS ANYONE ELSE USING PHD AND THE LX80 ??? Or for that matter, is anyone else guiding the LX80 (in Alt/AZ or Polar) with any program??


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5334679 - 07/25/12 12:23 PM

Hi Neilson...

Sorry about that. Apparently you were posting at the same time I was. I did not see your post. Please understand my comments were not addressed to you.

Everyone needs to be able to state their displeasure with a situation. Everyone has the right to complain. Its the repeated rants and repeated #!*@ over and over that drive me nuts. And it is generally from people not even vested into the discussion, nor are they owners of the equipment, nor do they expect to become same.

I just don't get it! Very simply, we have a bunch of trouble makers who like to disrupt. RUDE RUDE RUDE !!!

OK, I think I am calm now...


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: neilson]
      #5334754 - 07/25/12 01:00 PM

After adjusting all the slop out of each drive as described earlier I retrained the drives and all that stuff. Then I setup for my polar alignment.
Before I had tried polar alignment around 20+ times over 2 nights without ever getting very close. All because of the ota flopping around in 5-8mph wind gusts. Last night after the repairs I was able to get a good alignment, "less than 5'from the pole", after only the second try. And get this the wind was 13mph with gusts of 22mph. It was windy but my ota was solid.
I enjoyed looking at many objects like M-51, M-8, M-22, Mars, Saturn and more and all items slewed in the eyepiece except one. M-13 star cluster. I used "High Precision" and it was the first thing I slewed to after Vega. It chose a star on one side of the mount then slewed to the other side of the mount for M-13. It was not in the eyepiece. I wouldn't expect it to be. But it hit everything after that dead on, in the wind and without using "High Precision" I only used it on M-13.
Before the adjustments my 30 second picture of Vega looked like a child drawing big figure eights over and over each other. I took a 30 second picture of Vega last night and it had no figure eights but just a little alignment drift because I didn't do a drift alignment. It was great, no movement even in these winds. I also did a 56 sec. and 90 sec. and they looked like a small scribble dot caused by the strong winds. I took a 120 sec. and this time blocked the wind with my canvas chair. This pic. was a solid short line just from imperfect polar alignment. No movement from the wind. I also got a great 1 sec. shot of Saturn.
I am very pleased with the performance of my LX80 mount now. It handles my 10" ota with no problems in polar mode now. There is slight movement in RA when I try to focus but it goes back to center quickly without vibration. I have no complaints about this, its just nitpicking.
I dont have to buy a CGEM now.
I want to thank all you guys for your help.
Neilson


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: neilson]
      #5334823 - 07/25/12 01:30 PM

I wonder if Meade doesn't like to send out parts because they don't have a parts inventory. Because only full products in boxes come over from China, not parts. Getting parts means taking a mount out of a box and cannibalizing it, which they loathe to do? I hear that's the Orion MO, but Meade too?

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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA Tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5334869 - 07/25/12 01:47 PM

Hi David,
I took no offense, and I do know what you were referring to.
Although it did make me realize I was just adding fuel to the fire. Sorry everybody. Back to the LX80 problem at hand.
Sincerely, Neilson


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA Tracking [Re: frolinmod]
      #5334878 - 07/25/12 01:49 PM

Neilson...

Congratulations ! This is one neat report.
Now.... if we can just get Guiding going......

I got my first response back from Craig (PHD)...
I had mentioned to him that i was trying to guide in Alt/AZ.
His quick response...

" Alt-Az, of course, will not work as well as a wedge / EQ setup in PHD. Not only do you have the field rotation issue, but some of PHD's assumptions do not hold. For example, in EQ modes, the RA gear never reverses - it only speeds up or slows down. Also, Dec drift is only in one direction (until you cross the meridian). Neither of these hold in alt-az and so backlash becomes more of an issue.
Craig"

He did not get into any conclusions yet regarding the log. Hopefully, that will come later today.

Basically, the LX80 is working well now, then, in both Alt/AZ, and Polar. I guess you would call that "Visual Operation". For pictures (longer than 20-30 sec) we still need the guiding. But that, apparently, was not provisioned for in the released mount. We are trying to "get around that".... time will tell. We know that Meade mentioned a future external "guiding port".... but now we have rumors that such an item is not yet available.

And there is the issue of PEC. That will affect the Polar mode only, and "if operational" would steady the mount. Tonight, "weather permitting", i will try and start out in Polar (much esier to "set up" in the daylight and early evening)... i will do a one-star, and then spend maybe a half hour on iteractive alignment, and then try the Pempro routine again. It seems to work, but i know my initial alignment last night was wrong. We shall see. And if successful, we must remember that this is just "looking" at the mount. We "think" that we can't set the PEC table (Andrew's comments), but I know that he is working on that.

Still work to do....


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