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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: mmalik]
      #5329479 - 07/22/12 09:22 AM

Gday Mr Malik

Quote:

Re-issue a guider unit "at some stage"... that would be now!




As far as i can tell, you dont own an LX80 yet????
so that is moot ( for you ). Is it not???
And before you comment re me not having one either,
i do have a clone ST4 unit and would be happy to try it

Quote:

LX80 may be good for entry level, casual visual observing. I just don’t see it used for any kind of advanced and/or astrophotographical work.





So dont buy it???

Its a simple cost benefit equation.

After watching yr history of posts on the LX800 threads,
i cant help but feel you want a porsche for the price of a trabant.
Dont get me wrong, i think the tracking bug shouldnt have occurred
but i dont think a "decades old" integrated ST4 port
is the be all and end all in the design of a mount.
Even if it was built into the mount itself, it would still be limited
to access over the Aux bus, so would have no "performance" benefit
over a "plug in" unit.

Andrew
( gotta go back and watch the F1 )


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Lee Jay
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/27/08

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5329492 - 07/22/12 09:35 AM

Quote:

... and that now in polar,
it uses the same mechanisms as AltAz tracking.
I have tested this on my bench using a fake 2 star, with a lot of misalignment,
and can see that even when polar, the scope now tracks using BOTH motors.




So, you're saying that a bad polar alignment will no longer cause dec-drift, but just field rotation?


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5329530 - 07/22/12 09:57 AM

Gday Lee

Quote:

So, you're saying that a bad polar alignment will no longer cause dec-drift,




Not sure. It depends on how well the error matrix is generated,
but assuming that it is generated correctly, then the answer would be yes.
This is something that must be tested against a real sky,
hence my request.
I can now clearly see DEC commands being issued via my bench test unit
but i cant tell if it is correct or not.

Andrew


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5329554 - 07/22/12 10:12 AM

Does the intial alignment let ths mount know how far off the polar alignment is , and how much to compensate the drift for? Or are we talking guided?

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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Stew57]
      #5329689 - 07/22/12 12:19 PM

Sounds like it is time to convince Meade to fix all the currently known hand controller bugs at this time. If anyone knows how to convince them to do this, please do so. Also, if anyone has a complete list of them, please post it here.

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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Stew57]
      #5329701 - 07/22/12 12:27 PM

There is an old saying that goes something like this:
"Assumptions can make an axx out of......"
Well, i almost got bit last night.

I was set up in Alt/AZ, cameras (2) configured, and was setting up auto-guiding. Hmmmmmm 10 min job, what can go wrong ??

The auto-guiding camera was/is a DSI-2 Pro, which i had on the 2nd OTA (80mm), and that camera was controlled by Autostar Envisage, which then performs the auto-guiding function. With my LX200, when I "connect", there is a message saying "LX200 xxxxx Can AutoGuide". Last night, when I connected (to the LX80 mount) I see the message, and it ids the AudioStar, and version, and then says... "Autotracking Only"..... ???????

That threw me off. I never heard of that. Did some research this morning (Google is a wonderful thing !), and found this thread from Sept 5, 2005 on AutoStarSuite.Net.
Just in case some of you never of heard of this, I thought perhaps it might be good to repost it here...
....................

AutoStarSuite.Net
Sept 5, 2005
Re: auto track vs autoguide

"You'll also need to have a Meade telescope with Autostar for the "Auto-Guiding" function to work. The software does NOT support any other manufacturers telescope(s) or even the Meade (classics)."

This is partially true, but can be somewhat misleading.

It is unfortunate that Meade chose to use the term "Tracking" in two different ways. Your description of how the tracking box works is correct. This is the box that is used by the software to identify a reference feature for stacking images.

When it comes to the guiding function, Meade makes a distinction between the newer guide command set used by the GPS scopes and the original command set used by the Classics. The difference is the Classic uses a "move/stop" command, where the GPS uses a "move/direction/duration" command. The software polls the scope upon connecting with the Envisage software. If the scope says "Hi, I'm a GPS", the software displays "Can Autoguide". If the scope says "Hi, I'm a Classic", the software displays "Can Autotrack". Both work the same, just using the different command sets as is appropriate for the scope.

So - the Envisage software will talk to the Classic scopes as well as any other package does. It's just a slightly smaller vocabulary than the GPS uses.

Both commands work fine with their respective scopes, and a number of Classic users do report successful "guiding" with Envisage. I put "guiding" in quotes because when using this feature & imaging at the same time with the same camera, the guide commands are only issued between exposures - not during the exposure as we normally think of guiding. To do that, one needs two cameras.

Chuck Reese
CDIP Certified: Nebula, Galaxy, Solar System, Stars & Clusters Imager
CDIP Mentor: Nebulae & Solar System Categories
For information on the Certified DSI Imager Program, see:
http://autostarsuite.net/forums/1427/ShowForum.aspx


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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5329702 - 07/22/12 12:27 PM

Quote:

for the price of a trabant.



Known in some countries by the name of soap-dish.


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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: autostaretx]
      #5329719 - 07/22/12 12:36 PM

Quote:

good luck
--dick



Welcome to CN. We need your support.
Have fun


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Alph]
      #5329759 - 07/22/12 01:00 PM Attachment (35 downloads)

Well, as I said above, that message threw me completely off.
I wasn’t sure what was going on. Of course, now I understand, but then Monday Morning Quarterbacking is always better. But the evening got even more interesting.
Below is a picture of my setup from last night.

What you have to remember here, is that I am an Arizona Desert Rat…. And my wife and I are currently visiting with some of her family here in Oregon. Below is a picture of my setup last night. I was prepared to enjoy the evening. Did I mention that it does not get dark her until 9:30 PM ??

So there I am, playing with my new toys, getting confusing messages (Autotracking), and then…..
Where is all this water coming from ??
And I mean WATER !!! Not just a drop or two. LOTS of WATER !!

That, I was not prepared for. Did I mention that they get heavy DEW in Oregon ??
DEW…. What the heck do you do about that ???
Needless to say, the evening did not go as planned!
Thought you all might enjoy. Tonight, I will be prepared !!


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mclewis1
Thread Killer
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5329784 - 07/22/12 01:16 PM

David,

Thanks for a great post "autotracking only". It's nice to see folks explain things a bit (with the great reference) rather than making simple blanket statements.

Enjoyed the dew comments too (to some of us this is 2nd nature when observing) ...


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Tmohr36
member


Reged: 09/27/10

Loc: Nevada
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5329842 - 07/22/12 02:09 PM

[quoteWhat you have to remember here, is that I am an Arizona Desert Rat….
Where is all this water coming from ??
And I mean WATER !!! Not just a drop or two. LOTS of WATER !!




I'm right there with you David. With all the monsoonal moisture moving through Sin City, I'm tempted to put on my SCUBA gear just to breath properly!

Love the comments and thanks for the comic relief!

Clear skies to you in Oregon,


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Tmohr36]
      #5329853 - 07/22/12 02:13 PM Attachment (41 downloads)

Last night was not a total loss. I did get a couple of images. Keep in mind please, that my setup was Alt/AZ (where I live…). I still have a lot to learn about Polar. Anyway, for my target, I picked Yed Posterior in Oph (SAO 141086), as it is a very bright, identifiable star, with a good grouping of small background stars. The Fov for the 6”SC, with the SBIG ST8300M is about 40x30 Arc Min, and should produce a good “picture” of how steady the mount is… For those interested in Details, I did plate resolve the image (TheSkyX Pro), and here is the information.

******** ASTROMETRIC SOLUTION RESULTS ********
Center RA: 16h 18m 26.4s
Center Dec: -04° 39' 25.3"
Scale: 1.44 arcseconds/pixel
Size (pixels): 1676 x 1266
Angular Size: 0° 40' 13" x 0° 30' 23"
Position Angle: 264° 55' from North
RMS: 0.69 (X: 0.42 Y: 0.55)
Number of Stars Used in Solution: 97 (100%)
FWHM: 4.08 pixels, 5.88 arcseconds

This image is a 5 frame – 30sec/frame stack. To comply with CN guidelines, I have compressed the image, but the full image (4 Meg FIT file) is available is any “techies” out there would like to see it.
I was VERY PLEASED with the exposure, looking at the smaller stars for shape and drift. Normally, when I image galaxies, and nebulae, I increase exposure out to 2 min (guided). For clusters (open), I usually expose for about 30-45 seconds, depending on detail.


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5329855 - 07/22/12 02:14 PM Attachment (39 downloads)

I increased exposure time to 45 seconds (still unguided), and was quite surprised. I took 10 exposures (frames), and threw 3 of them out. But the remaining 7 produced this. The target was at Az 191 Degrees, and Elv 41 Degrees. It is my understanding that N and S targets will show drift and rotation earliest in Alt/AZ, with E/W targets being able to stay “steady” longer. Thus, I am more than a little pleased with the result. These images are processed through CCDSoft, with simple alignment and stacking only. No special processing. The LX80, IMO, is shaping up to be a VERY good mount.

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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5329993 - 07/22/12 03:51 PM Attachment (36 downloads)

One last image from last night. This is M52, a very nice star cluster which is useful in evaluating the performance of the mount (LX80), and the new OTA (SC-6”). I had imaged this object last May from my back yard in Tempe, with my LX200(8”). Last night, I captured it again, using the LX80-SC-6”. The camera was the same. The focal lengths of the two OTA’s are different. The LX200 is 2000mm, and the SC-6 is 1540mm, thus the FOV will be wider for the SC-6. The more I use this new mount, the more I like it. Hopefully, if the fog clears off today, the skies will clear, and “maybe” I will be able to get the guiding going, and try for some 2 min exposure (or more) of a couple of nebulae or galaxies……..

I know…. I know…. There are many of you out there that want Polar information. Sorry. That has not been my world. I have very much to learn there. I was going try and do some tests in Polar (PEC), using Pempro… but as I read the manual, it is a very mount specific piece of software. I am writing to the author to find out if it can be used with this mount. Not sure yet. More on that later. Hopefully, some of the more knowledgeable Polar users will start reporting some results soon.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5330116 - 07/22/12 05:03 PM

Hi guys,
Those are great pictures David.
I just wanted to let everyone know that I just posted two photo albums in the LX80 yahoo group. One is called "Helps keep power wire out of the way". Its opening the magnet on the power wire and sliding it up until the back of the connector is in the magnet. Then snap it closed. It makes the wire stick out past the sides of the mount. It helps a lot in Alt/Az mode.
The other photo album is called "Handbox holder for LX80". You put a piece of the soft side of velcro about 1" from the end on the handle near the latitude lock on the side with the indicater. Then purchase a handbox holder for the LX200 sold by OPT. Called the "Meade Autostar II bracket" part # ME-07580. Then clamp it to the handle on the soft velcro, this keeps it from sliding or turning. Tilt it so the handbox is tilted slightly back from strait up with the tightening knob against the side of the mount. It works great.
I bought mine from Rod at OPT. I could not find it on their web site but if you yahoo search on line under "meade autostar hand controller holder" it will list one for the OPT website, click it and it will take you to the OPT page you can order it from. Lists for only $19.95.
Neilson


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5330145 - 07/22/12 05:29 PM

I was asking how the mount would know what dec corrections were needed in EQ mode without guiding. I am sure my feeble minsd has indeed assumed something, the donkey that i am.

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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Alph]
      #5330317 - 07/22/12 07:48 PM

Gday Alph

Quote:

Known in some countries by the name of soap-dish.




I preferred the jokes myself
Ie
Did you hear about the man who walked into a garage and asked the owner if he had a set of windscreen wipers for a trabant.
The owner went and looked carefully at the condition
of the whole car and replied
that seems a fair trade

Andrew


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Stew57]
      #5330322 - 07/22/12 07:53 PM

Gday Stew

Quote:

Does the intial alignment let ths mount know how far off the polar alignment is , and how much to compensate the drift for? Or are we talking guided?




If i am interpreting what happens correctly, the base (unguided) tracking would now appear to include any DEC drift due to polar misalignment.
Accuracy of this will depend on how good the model is.
Doing a polar one star should have no DEC component.
Ie the effect should only show after doing a polar 2 star
where the scope doesnt report being <5' from pole.

Andrew


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5330576 - 07/22/12 10:51 PM

Andrew,

Thanks makes sense. It should be no problem for Meade to put some kind of polar alignment routine then. It would be real helpful with no polar scope. I will be interested in seeing some "under the stars" results as well as some PE numbers. Anyway thanks


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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: LX80 Auto guide port [Re: mmalik]
      #5331295 - 07/23/12 01:05 PM

I was at the OPT SCAE event last weekend and spoke with the Meade Rep's there. When the ST-4 guide port ship date came up, I was told it's not happening anytime soon. It seems that because of the different electronics in the LX80 and LX800 that Meade has put the LX80 guide port developement on hold.

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