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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5308894 - 07/08/12 08:03 PM

Gday David
Quote:

OK, yes, i will do that. Recall that Meade was trying to get me to use the LXD mount selection




That will only work if you also changed the Az ratio to match the LX80, as the LXD75s use a different absolute value, and that will affect the tracking rates.

Andrew


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: rmollise]
      #5308902 - 07/08/12 08:07 PM

Gday David
Quote:

Well, yeah, but alt-az ain't the problem is it?





I agree with Rod here
Your truesky test was reported as altaz only, which appears to work.
You need to do a Polar/GEM test as well for true confirmation.
Based on the the fact that the first report of this drift was based on realsky testing, i assume it will still be the same for you, but its the absolute test, to confirm real drift.

Andrew


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5308995 - 07/08/12 09:22 PM

Well, I have results to report. Sorry for the delay in reporting. Some things came up.

First, the LX-90 test did NOT work. The LX-90 comes up with (+)(-) ratios. We knew that, and I was to change them to (+)(+), which I did. As the alignment started, I realized that it was going to “point” the right direction, but the OTA was pointing DOWN instead of UP. It would have been about the right angle too, just down instead of up. I tried all four possible combinations, and none of them worked correctly. The LX-90 test was a lost cause.

The LXD mount was much better. Well, at least it pointed in the right directions(s). It too came up as (+)(-), and was changed to (+)(+). The one hour test produced the following (RA and DEC only as requested):

RA DEC
Start of Test: 13 25.1 -11 09
End of Test (1 Hr) 13 43.6 -11 08

Yes, the absolute value of the ratio is different. The LXD uses 2.53715.
The Tracking rate was (default) Sidereal.

Sorry Uncle Road and Andrew…. I cannot agree with you. The mount is reporting RA and DEC, as well as AZ and Elev in real time. In Alt/AZ it does the same, but is staying steady with the RA and DEC. In Polar, it does not. I have no reason to question that. However, to satisfy all, I will give it a whirl tonight (clouds willing). I fully expect the target to slew right out of the eyepiece. If it doesn’t, then there would be another problem, in that the mount would not be reporting correctly.

Andrew…. Could this whole thing be nothing more than a change needed in the ratio value ??
I would not change the value in Alt/AZ, but apparently changing it in Polar does change the results.
Now, if we only knew what it was using as a basis for developing the number… (Andrew probably does…)


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5309033 - 07/08/12 10:00 PM

Gday David

Quote:

Sorry Uncle Rod and Andrew…. I cannot agree with you. The mount is reporting RA and DEC, as well as AZ and Elev in real time.




Ahhh, but is it correct???? ( Sometimes the Hbx lies )
There are enough bugs in all versions that i dont always trust the numbers.
( I do in this case, but a sky test is an absolute verification )

Quote:

Andrew…. Could this whole thing be nothing more than a change needed in the ratio value ??




I strongly doubt it, as if the ratios were wrong, gotos wouldnt work.
However, on more digging, i can see Meade have modified the tracking rate code to save the rate into EEProm, which wasn't done before.
The way the code is written, i dont think it will work properly
but i need to look a bit more yet before confirming that.
If you have corrupt data in your EEProm, that could explain what we are seeing.
Can you grab the beta version of my PEC editor and use it to connect to yr Hbx.
http://members.optusnet.com.au/johansea/ Get the 4100beta near the bottom.
On connecting, it will ask if you want to go into download mode to read data,
so just say yes as prompted.
Once you have done that, it will read the data and reboot the Hbx.
Now go to the lists tab and scroll to the bottom of the lower list
( to entry 94 "Unused" )
In the field alongside it, you should see FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
but i think you may have different values for the first 4 characters.
Can you tell me what you have for that field.

Andrew


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5309073 - 07/08/12 10:41 PM Attachment (48 downloads)

I am currently set up outside, awaiting darkness. Very cloudy (monsoon season). Here is the info you requested...

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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5309089 - 07/08/12 10:53 PM

Gday David

Drat.
The L9E42 region is where the tracking rate is now stored
( or is supposed to be )
xFFFF converts to -1 for the purposes of tracking Rate,
and i see that number on my Hbx when i try to edit tracking rate.
Selecting sidereal etc "appears" to change the data
but on next boot, its back to -1.
( So thats a new bug for the list but not i wanted to see in respect of the current problem )
Ah well, it was worth a shot, but -1 would only slow you down by 0.1% not the 30-50% you are seeing.
I'll keep digging and see if i can see anything else odd.

Andrew


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5309133 - 07/08/12 11:36 PM

It seems the clouds win tonight. we went from 50-60% cloud cover to 90-100% The sat images say that it will only get worse as the evening goes on. Oh well, tomorrow.

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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5310226 - 07/09/12 06:11 PM

David
I would like to see test results of one star alignment. from my understanding of two star alignment it uses correction matrix in the tracking.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5310254 - 07/09/12 06:22 PM

Gday Kevin

Quote:

from my understanding of two star alignment it uses correction matrix in the tracking.





Nope.
The error correction mechanism is only used for gotos.
In polar, any misalignment is totally ignored for "tracking".
Polar tracking is purely defined by a hardcoded motor rate
which is modified by ratio, tracking rate and PEC.

Andrew


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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5310992 - 07/10/12 08:02 AM

Looking for you thoughts
I have a new HBX coming from Meade should be in my hands Thur or Fri, I also have a 497 controller we use on Lx55 If the new AudioStar doesn't fix the tracking. Should I try the 497? If so what is the chance that the LX80 mount head would damage the 497? And what about the settings.I can live with out the thing talking to me I just want it to work.


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5311203 - 07/10/12 10:50 AM

Greetings to Keven and Dennis...

I guess it got sort of "quiet" here...

Andrew and I are still doing some tests, but working back and forth via emails. Nothing to report just yet. I guess that is a report in and of itself. We have tried several things, but still have questions. He is modifying his test software to attempt to get better data.

One of the tests i did was to set the scope (LX-80) to LXD. We needed to modify the "signs" to (+)(+), and it works there.... still some drift (according to the readouts), but not as much. The absolute number for the ratios is different in the LXD, and during the test, we just left that "as is". That reduced the error. I asked if we could just modify the value to where it works. Andrew says no, as changing that value would also affect the "go to's", which otherwise seem to be working just fine. The problem is the drift.

Wish i had better info for you. But the best info is that Andrew is working on it.

There has been a request here to "validate" the error in polar by using "real sky", as opposed to "faking" the alignment inside. I am sure you read all that above.

You actually saw the "drift".... and Andrew and I have only seen the numbers. The numbers seem to confirm what you saw. If i were to do a "real sky" test (in polar), and there were no drift, then there is another (seperate) problem... The mount would not be reporting its position correctly. I am confident that the drift is there.

We are all clouded up here, so have been unable to do that yet. It is on the list of "to do" items.

Be sure and check the firmware version when the new Audiostar arrives. If you need "help" or "guidance" on upgrading, so my post above regarding version of ASU. If other questions, let me know, and i will send you a PM with my phone. I can guide you through it if needbe.


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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5311444 - 07/10/12 02:20 PM

David and Andrew

Thanks for all the help , I haven't received the new Audiostar as of yet. I will check the Firmware when I get the HBX in. Well all of my test have been under real sky expect the un-boxing 1st night. The drift was so bad that auto guider was loosing the star in the guide box. I'm not sure if I'm happy or sad that you guys see the same drift. At least I know I'm not crazy. Some good news is the set scope to LDX works better at least that makes me think its a Firmware coding issue and I hope can be fixed through an up date. Right now just waiting for new HBX, I'll let you'll know when it get here. Did you have to update the Firmware on your new HBX?

Thanks again, Clear Skies


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5311826 - 07/10/12 06:59 PM

Gday Kev

Quote:

I also have a 497 controller we use on Lx55 If the new AudioStar doesn't fix the tracking. Should I try the 497?




Only the A3S1 firmware knows about the LX80, so if you used an earlier model handbox
it would need to be "tweaked" after selection of a suitable model.
For AltAz use, you could select an LT model "as is", or an LX90 ( but you would need to swap the signs of the ratios ). That should then work normally.
For GEM usage, you would need to select an LXD75 model, but you would have to edit the ratios values AND signs to suit.
That said, Daves tests indicate that his scope was drifting just as badly when set as an LXD75, as it was when in the LX80-Polar setting.
My bench test LX90 doesnt show this drift under the same settings.
This makes me suspect the motor cards, but i want to hear more feedback from other users before firming in on that.
I made a quicky "peek" patch last night and am just testing it before i send to David.
It reads out the actual motor rates being sent to the motors, and also logs the raw encoder readout over time. This will allow me to see if
a) The correct speeds are being sent and motor card isnt working properly.
b) Incorrect speeds are being sent ( in which case i have no idea anymore )

Andrew


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5311911 - 07/10/12 08:11 PM Attachment (43 downloads)

Greetings all...

Andrew:

Ready, willing, and able. It is going to be a totally cloudy night again tonight, and it may stay that way for awhile. We will be leaving on an extended trip in a day or so, but not to worry, as we are taking the LX80 with us. That is what i got it for. I maintain internet connectivity while traveling, so we will still be in touch, and able to respond. It just might take a few hours....

Kevin and Dennis:

My "NEW" Audiostar controller did NOT come with the current firmware. I had to upgrade it to A3S1. There is a post or two on this above in this thread.

Also.. you had asked earlier about what i do about power. I have several Meade scopes, and use a Meade Universal Power supply. Below is an image showing two Meade 12V supplies. I have both, and they both work fine.


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hypergolic
super member


Reged: 11/27/07

Loc: Home
Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5312813 - 07/11/12 01:31 PM

Bottom line as a new scope with the 8" SCT? Go for it or PASS.

Is this product ready for prime time?

Tnx

Philip Neidlinger


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ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: hypergolic]
      #5312923 - 07/11/12 04:25 PM

Quote:

Bottom line as a new scope with the 8" SCT? Go for it or PASS.

Is this product ready for prime time?

Tnx

Philip Neidlinger




Hard to say, as I've been reading this... as an Alt/Az mount it is hard to beat, easy/fast to set up, strong like ox, and works as advertized out of the box... But in polar/GEM mode, or as an imaging mount, the jury is still out.

Given that we have had amateur astronomy Goto software/systems for something like almost 30 years now, with one of the first adopter of the technology being Meade, it is a bit surprising to read of software issues and the need to go in a basically hack controllers and fiddle with Hex tables.

It is also not clear if this is a problem isolated to just a few of these mounts, (maybe some faulty controllers) or if they all do this and need a flash update...

If I were to speculate, I would say, countdown at least a software recall on the LX80 in 5...4...3...


Watching, waiting, wondering, learning...


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: ur7x]
      #5312961 - 07/11/12 04:56 PM

Greetings to: Philip Neidlinger (and all others...)

Well, the above post from ur7x pretty well sums things up right now. I am an Alt/AZ user, and I love it !!!

Andrew Johansen (Australia) and I are still doing tests, and he is studying the results. I just sent him some new data this morning. This, of course, is studying the Polar alignment issues...

I am sure this will all work out. The interesting part will be what is done when Andrew figures it out. So far, we have not had Meade in the loop (unless they are following this thread).

If you are looking for a polar mount, then i would suggest a little patience for a few more days, and lets see what Andrew comes up with. We have an active user here (Dennis and Kevin) that are polar users. And their new (replacement) Audiostar should be to them in a day or so, and we should then acquire some more data. Then we will all know more.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5313162 - 07/11/12 06:41 PM

Gday All

Well, after analysing Davids first few runs, i am still confused.
The system appears to be creating and sending the correct motor speed commands, but the distance actually moved does not correspond with this request.
( For Meade, if you are listening, i am peeking the last read absolute encoder positions, prior to any conversions for float/training etc. This allows monitoring of the Az axis at arcsec level, and removes any conversion/display errors )
In most cases, only 2/3 the expected distance is showing up as being done.

I have run identical scripts over my bench test LX90 motors
( as LX90 and LX80 models ), and get consistent and expected numbers.
Sooo, Kev/Dennis, ( or anyone else with an LX80 that can do a true sky test ), i guess we will await your true sky testing in polar to see if the problem is still there for others.

Andrew


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dr.who
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 01/05/12

Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: hypergolic]
      #5314211 - 07/12/12 12:25 PM

Quote:

Bottom line as a new scope with the 8" SCT? Go for it or PASS.

Is this product ready for prime time?

Tnx

Philip Neidlinger




As an alt/az...? Yes! As a dual OTA Alt/Az...? Yes! As an EQ...? I don't know yet.


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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: dr.who]
      #5315444 - 07/13/12 04:01 AM

Ok I have a new HBX and will check firmware and do so more test under real sky

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