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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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James Cunningham
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Reged: 08/07/10

Loc: Maryland
Lx80 Multi-mount
      #5450308 - 10/01/12 02:59 PM

Has anyone tried the Meade Lx80 multi-mount? What are your impressions?

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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: James Cunningham]
      #5450390 - 10/01/12 03:55 PM

James,

I've had an LX80 for about 3 weeks now and love it - for visual use. The test done to determine its usefulness for astrophotography, by other owners, are just about all bad. I'm in the process of trying to learn enough of AP to do some test on my mount but am not there yet. The first units that shipped had a number of mechanical problems that I have not seen. My only real problem is that the tripod and mount is at the limit of what I can carry, but I know that going in.

I wanted to edit this just to add that during my tests the last 3 weeks, I've been using the mount in Polar mode only. I wanted to get a good feel for the configuration that has appeared to be the "weak link" in the design. Hopefully in the next few days I will start working with it in the dual scope AltAz mode which is what I'm primarily interested in.

Right now I would say that for visual work it is a great mount but for AP work look elsewhere.

Edited by Mkofski (10/01/12 09:44 PM)


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jgraham
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Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Soci...
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5450440 - 10/01/12 04:21 PM

That's pretty much what I've gotten out of the discussions so far; okay visual mount, not well suited for advanced imaging. I say advanced imaging because I suspect that it would work okay for basic entry level imaging. However, in the interest of full disclosure, I actually enjoy imaging with an ETX-60 and I started with a DS-2000.

Once upon a time I was interested in this mount as it looked like Meade was replacing the LXD75 with the LX80, but as a GEM the LX80 doesn't seem to be up to par with the LXD75, so I went another way. (I wasn't really attracted to the altaz capability.)

If'n it were me I'd shop around and compare prices unless you were specifically interested in the multi-mode feature of this mount. Besides, shopping is the fun part.


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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: jgraham]
      #5450452 - 10/01/12 04:32 PM

There are lots of threads about this mount, the good, the bad and the disassembled.

Consensus is that the mount is over rated by Meade and if you sick more than 25# on it in Polar Mode you are in for a long disappointing night.


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greju
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/13/05

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: James Cunningham]
      #5450463 - 10/01/12 04:43 PM

Quote:

Has anyone tried the Meade Lx80 multi-mount? What are your impressions?




You don't get into the Mount threads much do you?


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Fred1
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Reged: 09/19/07

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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: ur7x]
      #5450491 - 10/01/12 05:08 PM

I only use it in Alt/Az mode and don't intend to use it in EQ (I have 2 CG5's that blow away the LX80 for my EQ visual use in ease of set up and user friendly firmware, especially with the catalogs. (I'm an admitted Nexstar spoiled observer.) It's not a Grab-n-Go as the tripod is too heavy and the unit as a whole takes too long to set up. For example, balancing the scope in Alt/Az was a puzzle until I realized that to unlock the Az I had to use the Hex Tool to move the mount slightly into an EQ mode angle to grab the lock lever, do the balancing act and then screw it back into Alt/Az position. I found lifting the mount head rather easy for its 35 lbs and placing it on the tripod but it's not the one hand lift I do with the CG5 mount head. Just jiggling it a bit on the tripod locks it into some tabs so the lock-down screws can engage. I put some Super-Lube on the screws and thread holes so they tighten down easier. The head fits fairly well in the rolling suitcase I had used for my CGEM head. Although I'm 62 I can still keep up with it for vehicle transport, but it's not for the faint of heart or weak of arm.

The 2 Star alignment is stupid simple. The mount does it almost all by itself. GoTos are excellent when using "High Precision" mode. e.g. for M57, it slews to near Vega, you center Vega, then hit enter, then it slews to M57 near dead center. Did likewise for M56, it slewed near to Albireo, I centered Albireo, hit enter, M56 came up near dead center. Without using High Precision mode the GoTos are akin to the most mediocre of the two star alignment process with my ArgoNavis. Tracking is very good... for my visual use. I'm not an APer.

My Comet Hunter(CH) is fine on it (but the CH is terrible on my CG5 due to eyepiece position too often being too awkward). The wiggles are there when focusing. Calm down takes about 4 seconds. Otherwise steady when observing. Haven't used it in wind or with binos. Backlash seems OK, I ended up setting it to "0%" which eliminated the jump factor (factory default was 10%).

Setting up the C8 SCT and the 80mm apo in tandem takes too long for me, especially when aligning both scopes which is VERY time consuming with the stock saddles. Rumor has it that ADM might be working on something for it.

The Astronomer Inside is a hoot. Sandy Wood's soothing voice with spacey background music should be a hit at star parties.

Bottom Line: After about a dozen times out with it, I say it's a keeper. It's a $1k mount (and a good bargain for those who got it for $799) that for the most part, for visual, probably performs more like a $1500 mount. If you want something better... then cough up the scratch. Does pretty much what I wanted which was to give me good eyepiece position for my Mak-Newt Comet Hunter, good GoTos and tracking and portable enough for my local use. YMMV


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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Fred1]
      #5450840 - 10/01/12 08:49 PM

I have one of the first ones shipped and it's very good in Alt/AZ mode for visual.
Here are my observations.
Easy to align.
Alt/AZ-1 scope under 100mm rock solid and tracks well.
Alt/AZ- 1 scope 102-127mm pretty decent but RA slop starts to show, but it tracks well.
Dual scopes under 23lbs handles this well and tracks nicely.
Dual scopes over 30-35lbs it becomes very sensitive to vibrations and takes a couple of seconds to settle down.
Haven't tried it in EQ mode yet.
But for $799 it is a nice visual mount, at $1000 I would look at the Ioptron Mini Tower Pro at $1299 for a dual scope visual GOTO mount.
At $799 I'm pretty happy.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: brokenwave]
      #5451310 - 10/02/12 03:37 AM

Hi'
I have had 2 LX80 mounts and the first one had way too many defects from bad quality control. The second one looked much better but forget the 10"ota mine came with. Meade greatly exaggerated the load capabilities. So I bought a 9.25 but 20lbs was too much for it in Polar mode and barely worked for visual. I did lots of tweaking the spring loaded worm trying to minimize the RA slop. And put grease on both the RA and DEC bearings, they had none. It helped a little but nothing worked for AP in polar. Not even with my refractor. The mount works good for visual with a lightweight ota, even in duel mode. But forget guided imaging in Polar. Not to mention Meade hasn't fixed the PEC. And There has been one mount break its leg off posted in C/N and another broke a leg off in yahoo LX80 group. So be prepared to catch your ota if a leg shears off.

Today Astronomics called to tell me my LX80 preordered last year came in. I told them I didn't want it. As for the one I bought from OPT, I returned it for a refund and bought a CEGM DX and already got 10 minutes guided imaging at f/10.(round stars)

If Meade ever fixes the LX80 I might buy one. But I gave up on believing they will. As it is, its only good for lightweight visual. But not for $1,000. The polar mode is useless. Its only an Alt/Az with duel scope mode, and its not easy to line up the 2 ota's together. Meade should recall them like the LX800 and fix it right. I really want one, but I want it to work as advertised.

neilson


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dksolar3294
member


Reged: 08/22/12

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: neilson]
      #5454961 - 10/04/12 11:49 AM Attachment (175 downloads)

For visual use, I have found the LX80 to be far better than an equatorial mount because the user doesn't have to align with Polaris. My astro club does frequent star parties in conjunction with a local college planetarium which is surrounded by street lights. An Az/Alt mount is just simpler to use in this situation with the public. For this reason alone, my new LX80 is a keeper.

However, one can immediate see that the tripod top mounting plate is structurally inadequate due the thin cast aluminum metal. Reports of tripod legs detaching confirm this. The mount motor unit weights 32#. Add a 20+ #s of telescope plus equal counterweight and the total weight begins to add up - too risky for a $1+K telescope &/or camera. The attached photo show my solution to this problem - laminated 3/4" oak wood. This will hold 100# easily.

Edited by dksolar3294 (10/04/12 11:52 AM)


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RodgerHouTex
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Reged: 06/02/09

Loc: Houston, Texas, USA
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: dksolar3294]
      #5455054 - 10/04/12 12:52 PM

REPORTS OF LEGS DETACHING!!! OH MY! AND CRUNCH GOES YOUR SCOPE.

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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5455061 - 10/04/12 12:59 PM

Quote:

REPORTS OF LEGS DETACHING!!! OH MY! AND CRUNCH GOES YOUR SCOPE.




Rodger,

I believe that there was 1 report (maybe 2) of the leg detaching. Not much of a sample yet... I have an LX80 and don't know if I'd panic just yet.

Edited by Mkofski (10/04/12 01:09 PM)


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5455064 - 10/04/12 01:03 PM

I think there was a second report on the group.

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Griffin!
sage


Reged: 09/12/10

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Stew57]
      #5455067 - 10/04/12 01:05 PM

I thought that was the same guy? I could be wrong, I haven't been on the LX80 group in a while.

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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Griffin!]
      #5455077 - 10/04/12 01:12 PM

I know Neilson had one - maybe 2 mounts fail. He said in one post that he may have been over tightening the spreader. I think that this is one thing we don't know much about yet and only time will tell.

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Stew57
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Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5455125 - 10/04/12 01:44 PM

I hadn't been there in a while either so I checked it out. it wasn't neilson but another user with a collapsed tripod. he sent his back for a refund.

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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Stew57]
      #5455201 - 10/04/12 02:33 PM

I tried my LX80 in Alt-Az mode only while at ECVAR (East Coast Video Astronomy Rendezvous) and used two OTAs on it. The first worked very well - a C6 with HyperStar and my MallinCam Xtreme video camera - about 14# plus 11# Meade counterweight. I got up to 75 seconds on the Helix and most other targets tracked well with 40 to 60 second exposures. One night I tried my C9.25 (22#) with 22# Celestron counterweight and MallinCam Xtreme. The mount vibrated and the live images on the monitor were trailed. Very few integrations provided round stars. When I got back from ECVAR, I contacted Meade and they paid to have the mount head and controller sent back for analysis. It arrived at Meade on Monday. I will let the group know how the returned mount behaves once I get a chance to try it out.

Regarding the flimsy tripod top, I may have a source for machined aluminum replacement tripod tops. If there is an interest, I may start making them available on my website.

Jack Huerkamp


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mclewis1
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Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: dksolar3294]
      #5455203 - 10/04/12 02:35 PM

Quote:

For visual use, I have found the LX80 to be far better than an equatorial mount because the user doesn't have to align with Polaris. My astro club does frequent star parties in conjunction with a local college planetarium which is surrounded by street lights. An Az/Alt mount is just simpler to use in this situation with the public. For this reason alone, my new LX80 is a keeper.



There are plenty of EQ mounts (from Celestron and Synta for example) that don't require a view of Polaris to perform a polar alignment (ASPA - all star polar alignment). Plus those same mounts (and many others) don't need anything close to a polar alignment to get great goto accuracy. The LX80 while a nice little mount is certainly not any better or easier to setup than many other alt az or EQ goto mounts.

I'm not even going to comment on the wooden tripod head "upgrade".


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5455266 - 10/04/12 03:24 PM

Jack,

I'd be interested in how things work out with your returned mount. Also would be interested in price of a replacement top for the tripod. I had planned on talking to our local custom metal shop about a pier adapter... Any source for somthing like that?


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dscarpa
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Reged: 03/15/08

Loc: San Diego Ca.
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: James Cunningham]
      #5455273 - 10/04/12 03:32 PM

Given the weight of of the mount and tripod I'm surprized it doesn't work that well with a C-9.25-the scope I had in mind for it-and that there may be an issue with a too thin top plate. David

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JimMo
I'd Rather Do It Myself


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Under the SE Michigan lightdom...
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5455304 - 10/04/12 04:02 PM

Quote:

Regarding the flimsy tripod top, I may have a source for machined aluminum replacement tripod tops. If there is an interest, I may start making them available on my website.

Jack Huerkamp




Hi Jack, I'd be interested in one.

I haven't used mine in a while, but for the $799 I paid I'm keeping it, too. This one came from the second batch and the RA or azimuth bearing is tight with no wobble. I had it in Polar mode only twice and it worked well keeping stars centered in the eyepiece for visual, but I don't have the capability to auto guide so mine could be messed up in that respect, too. I also follow the rule of cutting the weight limit in half and don't plan to mount a heavy telescope on it anyway.

I plan to have it tracking the Sun next week at the Peach State Star Gaze.


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: dscarpa]
      #5455314 - 10/04/12 04:09 PM

A gentleman in the same town as I am in has an LX80 with a 10" SCT and he hasn't had any problems with the weight. I purchased mine without an OTA but have used it with my 180mm MAK and am happy with it in AltAz and Polar modes.

Edited by Mkofski (10/04/12 04:11 PM)


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5455333 - 10/04/12 04:20 PM

Exactly why are people putting themselves through this for this mount?

-Rich


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5455364 - 10/04/12 04:40 PM

Quote:

Exactly why are people putting themselves through this for this mount?

-Rich




Rich,

Putting themselves through what? I've had the LX80 for 3 weeks now and have been happy with it in Polar and AltAz modes. No test results for AP yet as I still don't know what I'm doing. For under $800 I'm real happy user. Purchased through Astronomics, there is a small and appreciated discount.


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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5455552 - 10/04/12 06:55 PM Attachment (64 downloads)

I bought one at 799 and going to keep it as outreach mount I wanted a small AP platform THIS MOUNT WILL NEVER BE GREAT FOR AP! now that's out of the way it is a great grab-n-go mount for visual my OTA set up weighs 23 lbs The machine top plate is a good ideal and I really like the wooded replacement,strong and cheap. I bought a CGEM-DX as my AP mount very happy with the CGEM so far, that mount is double in price but worth it in my opinion.

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laconicsax
super member


Reged: 10/05/10

Loc: Portland, OR
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5455568 - 10/04/12 07:06 PM

Quote:

Putting themselves through what?




Did you miss the epic LX80 thread?


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: laconicsax]
      #5455590 - 10/04/12 07:21 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Putting themselves through what?




Did you miss the epic LX80 thread?




If I'm thinking of the right thread, I had a number of post there. From the entries here, most owners are happy with their mounts. Only 2 or 3 early owners put themselves through anything. There have been problems with other user's mounts but they have not been somthing I'd characterize as "putting ourselves through something".

Some of the early shipping units had problems that seemed couldn't be fixed and the mount may never be a good one for AP but the longer they ship the better they look... IMHO.


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5455600 - 10/04/12 07:29 PM

Kevin,

Great looking kit! That carbon fiber OTA is a beautiful. That mount's ok too...

ps. I'm still waiting for clear skies and haven't given up on the PEC. With all your tips, I'll get there.

Mike


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5455724 - 10/04/12 09:01 PM

I hope to get a prototype tripod top froom the machine shop soon - hopefully by the time I get the LX80 mont back from Meade. Once I am satisfied with both the repaired mount and the beefed up tripod top, I will get back with those interested in a replacement top for their mounts.

Jack Huerkamp


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5455938 - 10/04/12 11:41 PM

Ummm, have you read any of the current thread you are posting to?

-Rich

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Putting themselves through what?




Did you miss the epic LX80 thread?




If I'm thinking of the right thread, I had a number of post there. From the entries here, most owners are happy with their mounts. Only 2 or 3 early owners put themselves through anything. There have been problems with other user's mounts but they have not been somthing I'd characterize as "putting ourselves through something".

Some of the early shipping units had problems that seemed couldn't be fixed and the mount may never be a good one for AP but the longer they ship the better they look... IMHO.




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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5455983 - 10/05/12 12:36 AM

Yes

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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5456187 - 10/05/12 08:03 AM

Quote:


If I'm thinking of the right thread, I had a number of post there. From the entries here, most owners are happy with their mounts. Only 2 or 3 early owners put themselves through anything. There have been problems with other user's mounts but they have not been somthing I'd characterize as "putting ourselves through something".

Some of the early shipping units had problems that seemed couldn't be fixed and the mount may never be a good one for AP but the longer they ship the better they look... IMHO.




The problem with the mount is that unless something changes it does not appear it will be as good for imaging as a CG5. If it can't even manage that, there's not much reason for _having_ an EQ mode.


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dksolar3294
member


Reged: 08/22/12

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: dksolar3294]
      #5456518 - 10/05/12 12:50 PM Attachment (79 downloads)

Wood is an excellent low cost material for amateur experimentation. I have been using it for years for mounting multiple scopes and accessories. This may look rather odd, however during night star parties, no one is looking at the mount.

On the original LX80 tripod, the legs are limited in their spread when the leg top vertical flat surface abuts to the mount plate. This is a high stress point when the Spreader Bar is tightened. I could not cut the wood with the same level of required tolerance, so I used 1/16" wire rope to limit the leg spread. With this in place, I can tighten the Spreader Bar as much as needed. The end result is a secure mount which alleviates my safety concerns.

I consider this wood alternative as temporary. There are numerous enterprises making after market telescope parts. It is my expectation someone will recognize the need for a stronger mount plate and bring it to market - hopefully, at a reasonable and affordable price.


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blueman
Photon Catcher
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Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: dksolar3294]
      #5456539 - 10/05/12 01:07 PM

Though you have several pieces of wood laminated together, the top part is 3/4" straight grain wood. It is the strength of the whole piece because it is just grain in one direction.
There are three holes lined up in that piece of wood that are all along the same grain line and there is bending force on that like when the legs are spread and weight is placed on it.
Wood will spit along the grain, so this is not exactly safe in my opinion.
Blueman
Quote:

Wood is an excellent low cost material for amateur experimentation. I have been using it for years for mounting multiple scopes and accessories. This may look rather odd, however during night star parties, no one is looking at the mount.

On the original LX80 tripod, the legs are limited in their spread when the leg top vertical flat surface abuts to the mount plate. This is a high stress point when the Spreader Bar is tightened. I could not cut the wood with the same level of required tolerance, so I used 1/16" wire rope to limit the leg spread. With this in place, I can tighten the Spreader Bar as much as needed. The end result is a secure mount which alleviates my safety concerns.

I consider this wood alternative as temporary. There are numerous enterprises making after market telescope parts. It is my expectation someone will recognize the need for a stronger mount plate and bring it to market - hopefully, at a reasonable and affordable price.




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MikeV
member


Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Long Island, NY
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5456636 - 10/05/12 02:03 PM

I have one of the early run LX80 mounts and it works just fine for my requirement as a dual-scope solar viewing rig. On the primary side I have a Lunt LS100THa/B3400 and the second scope is a Celestron Onyx 80mm ED refractor with a Baader filter. The 80mm Celestron is mounted in rings attached to a vixen dovetail (both by ADM) which makes aligning it to the primary scope as easy as aligning a finder. This setup makes for nice comparative chromosphere – photosphere views of the sun and it tracks reasonably well given the alignment is done during the day.

With the equipment costing almost 10x as much as the mount, it would be a very bad day indeed if the mounting plate on the tripod cracked and my gear came crashing to the ground. As this rig will be used for public outreach from time to time (through our club and the NEAF SSP), even the remote chance of someone getting injured is totally unacceptable.

Jack – sign me up when those machined plates are ready!

MIke V.


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dksolar3294
member


Reged: 08/22/12

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: blueman]
      #5456694 - 10/05/12 02:47 PM

The grain in the three main 3/4" pieces is in a different direction for each piece. Between these pieces are some 1/4" oak plywood layers used for spacers. Two of these are glued to the 3/4" layer which has the leg bolt holes. The whole thing is then squeezed together with 1/4" bolts to form an integral unit.

Weight force from the motor unit & scope(s) is pretty much all vertical, so the leg bolts are being pushed near straight up. Unlike the original metal mount plate, the leg top exerts no inward pressure. Since the lower legs are restricted due to the wire rope, the Spreader Bars forces the leg bolts up & outward, probably at an angle perpendicular to the legs. However, this force is much less than that of the motor/scope weight. So, I feel that the major stress is from the leg bolts being forced straight up.

I will be the first to admit this design can be improved upon. When I started this, I had no design in mind and just started cutting & drilling as needed to make things fit. With that experience, the next version will have a 1/4" aluminum plate sandwiched above the wood layer with the leg bolt holes.


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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: dksolar3294]
      #5457127 - 10/05/12 09:22 PM

cool project can you take pic under side of the mount plate

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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: dksolar3294]
      #5457730 - 10/06/12 10:39 AM

Quote:

Wood is an excellent low cost material for amateur experimentation. I have been using it for years for mounting multiple scopes and accessories. This may look rather odd, however during night star parties, no one is looking at the mount.

On the original LX80 tripod, the legs are limited in their spread when the leg top vertical flat surface abuts to the mount plate. This is a high stress point when the Spreader Bar is tightened. I could not cut the wood with the same level of required tolerance, so I used 1/16" wire rope to limit the leg spread. With this in place, I can tighten the Spreader Bar as much as needed. The end result is a secure mount which alleviates my safety concerns.

I consider this wood alternative as temporary. There are numerous enterprises making after market telescope parts. It is my expectation someone will recognize the need for a stronger mount plate and bring it to market - hopefully, at a reasonable and affordable price.




If anyone wants know "where we are at" with the LX-80.

This (quoted) post, and the attached photo, says it all..

This would be acceptable if the mount had had three owners, had been abused for 10-15 years, or was one of those woefully inadequate mounts that some of us bought in the 80's when we were students and had no money.

Understand that this is a brand new freshly designed $1000 mount that people are having to re-engineer with plywood and home depot wire rope to keep it together.

I know for some, this is considered fun. I would say that it is unacceptable and inexcusable.

It is my expectation that Meade gets off of their collective backsides and fixes a clearly faulty product. Why are we constantly point to the aftermarket for solutions to this mess?


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blueman
Photon Catcher
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Reged: 07/20/07

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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: dksolar3294]
      #5457830 - 10/06/12 11:53 AM

You miss the point,the pieces that you have laminated are in the part the legs attach to not the upper plate that you place the mount upon.
The upper plate of 3/4 is the only piece of wood in your part that is bearing the load. The other pieces are mearly glued to it.
Whn you place the legs out there is now force being applied across this piece of wood. If you look at your top part you will see the three holes drilled in it that I mention. They are in a line and that line is on the grain line. This compromises the strength of the 3/4" wood.
It is your mount, I am only trying to point out the flaw in the design.
If you had made it all of plywood then the upper piece would have had cross strands and that would have increased the strength of it.
However, wood is not that great of a material for this purpose.
Blueman
Quote:

The grain in the three main 3/4" pieces is in a different direction for each piece. Between these pieces are some 1/4" oak plywood layers used for spacers. Two of these are glued to the 3/4" layer which has the leg bolt holes. The whole thing is then squeezed together with 1/4" bolts to form an integral unit.

Weight force from the motor unit & scope(s) is pretty much all vertical, so the leg bolts are being pushed near straight up. Unlike the original metal mount plate, the leg top exerts no inward pressure. Since the lower legs are restricted due to the wire rope, the Spreader Bars forces the leg bolts up & outward, probably at an angle perpendicular to the legs. However, this force is much less than that of the motor/scope weight. So, I feel that the major stress is from the leg bolts being forced straight up.

I will be the first to admit this design can be improved upon. When I started this, I had no design in mind and just started cutting & drilling as needed to make things fit. With that experience, the next version will have a 1/4" aluminum plate sandwiched above the wood layer with the leg bolt holes.




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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: blueman]
      #5458410 - 10/06/12 08:30 PM

Blueman is absolutely right- the plain wood top plate has strength in one direction, only. The top is a bracket for all intents and purposes, and the changing load directions in such parts are much easier to deal with in an isotropic material like metal.

I'm sorry I can't think of a gentle way to say this. The entire concept of having to make a new top piece for the tripod is ridiculous. If someone reading the history of these mounts can't figure out they are just flat out defective, it's willful ignorance.

-Rich

Edited by Starhawk (10/07/12 12:53 AM)


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dksolar3294
member


Reged: 08/22/12

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5458685 - 10/07/12 12:39 AM Attachment (44 downloads)

The underside of the wood substitute is just solid wood with a few holes, so I assume you mean the original metal plate - too much hollowed out space.


Quote:

cool project can you take pic under side of the mount plate




Edited by dksolar3294 (10/07/12 12:46 AM)


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dksolar3294
member


Reged: 08/22/12

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: blueman]
      #5458716 - 10/07/12 01:33 AM

OK, Re: first picture, there are 3 holes in the top 3/4" piece aligned with the wood grain. However, this is not a problem. In order to snap this piece, substantial differential pressure would be required - much like snapping glass along a score line. Weight from the motor unit is fairly evenly distributed in & inside the circular grove. The motor unit rest directly on the wood and not the screws used to secure the motor in place. This wood does not bend and the multiple laminated pieces makes sure of it. This is oak, not balsa. The wood high stress & weak points are directly above the leg bolts. However, it should easily hold 100#, which is adequate for the motor unit, scope & counterweight.

The real danger with this arrangement is not when the tripod is setup, but when it is being moved about or transported. The tripod legs are heavy and if one leg was to be suddenly twisted, impacted or dropped, then that could be a problem.

By the way, I'm not selling these. For my needs, I like this mount's design as an alternative to my two EQ mounts. I'm just showing how I'm making it more useable for me.


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blueman
Photon Catcher
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Reged: 07/20/07

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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: dksolar3294]
      #5458725 - 10/07/12 01:46 AM

This is 3/4" oak wood and that is fairly strong, but it is weak compared to aluminum when stress is applied along the grain.
The holes you drilled in a row along the grain are compromising the strength of the wood along this grain.
Wood is not that strong along the grain, it has strength across the grain and that is why lumber is cut the way it is at the mill. When you use a flat piece of wood with no other support like a under frame of gussets, then the wood is subject to breaking along the line of the grain.
The other pieces of wood do nothing to strengthen the top piece, there is the gap between them where there is only the 3/4" piece of wood and the grain runs through this gap.
It is your mount so no skin off my nose.
Blueman
Quote:

OK, Re: first picture, there are 3 holes in the top 3/4" piece aligned with the wood grain. However, this is not a problem. In order to snap this piece, substantial differential pressure would be required - much like snapping glass along a score line. Weight from the motor unit is fairly evenly distributed in & inside the circular grove. The motor unit rest directly on the wood and not the screws used to secure the motor in place. This wood does not bend and the multiple laminated pieces makes sure of it. This is oak, not balsa. The wood high stress & weak points are directly above the leg bolts. However, it should easily hold 100#, which is adequate for the motor unit, scope & counterweight.

The real danger with this arrangement is not when the tripod is setup, but when it is being moved about or transported. The tripod legs are heavy and if one leg was to be suddenly twisted, impacted or dropped, then that could be a problem.

By the way, I'm not selling these. For my needs, I like this mount's design as an alternative to my two EQ mounts. I'm just showing how I'm making it more useable for me.




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mmalik
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Reged: 01/13/12

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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: ur7x]
      #5458895 - 10/07/12 07:44 AM

Quote:

Understand that this is a brand new freshly designed $1000 mount that people are having to re-engineer with plywood and home depot wire rope to keep it together.




Agree with ur7x.

Folks, wouldn't 'NOT buying' be a simpler fix than re-engineering it?


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: mmalik]
      #5459125 - 10/07/12 11:19 AM

This chapter of the LX80 saga is like a sequel to _Waiting for Godot_.

Estragon: I read about users who went through eight of these, and I don't quite understand what some of the issues were. I just need to fix the tripod head so my scope doesn't suddenly crash to the ground when it breaks.

Vladimir: Godot should be here soon to fix all of the problems.

Estragon: It is fortunate Godot gave me a one year warranty. Now I just need to fix all the problems I find with my brand new mount while I wait for Godot to come and fix the ones I can't.

Vladimir: I'm hungry. It's cloudy at my place, so I don't know if my LX 80 works or not. Godot will know what to do.

Estragon: I need a wrench. I have a bag of m&ms in my pocket. I'll give them to you if you'll lend me a wrench.

Vladimir: I just have some pliers. I'll lend them to you if you'll give me your m&ms.

Estragon: OK. I need to get something fixed so I can try to use my LX 80 while we wait for Godot to fix the problems no one else can.

Vladimir: look, someone is coming! Perhaps we don't have to figure out how to fix our mounts!

Pozzo [Dragging Lucky with a hand controller]: So, you have everything fixed?

Estragon: No, we're just playing with some ideas for fixing the most serious structural defects while we wait for Godot to fix the insides with new motors, gears, and a revised control system.

Vladimir: Do you work for Godot? Do you have our new motors, gears, and control systems? And some of us have dry bearings. Will you fix that, too? I'd like to use my brand new mount to do what the specifications promise.

Pozzo [handing hat to Lucky]: Tell them what you know. But be careful! If you say one harsh word about Godot, I'll erase everything you've ever said!

Lucky: The core performance characteristic of any powered mount is its drive's uniformity; even though the LX 80 has shown multiple structural issues, it's the drive performance which has been causing people to return them, as it has turned out no LX 80 has ever had its tracking tested and documented to meet the specification, even with half the rated payload installed, which means this hasn't been a case of finding a few bad mounts amongst good ones, so returning makes sense especially since a little research shows non-Godot mounts from iOptron, Orion, Celestron, or Vixen all can be bought with documented superior performance for less money; which may be the biggest issue of all since Godot must know the replacement structural parts, motors, gears, and control systems needed to make these mounts meet specification will cost more than they made when they sold them; so to wait for Godot seems [cut off as Pozzo yanks the hat back].

Pozzo: That is quite enough! Now move along! [Pozzo leads Lucky away]

Estragon: I'm hungry now. Do you have any m&ms left?

Vladimir: I'm sure Godot will have a snack for you.

-Rich


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David PavlichAdministrator
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Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5459242 - 10/07/12 12:35 PM

Get it back on topic!

David


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jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5459944 - 10/08/12 12:04 AM

Happy Birthday Dave!

Joe


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: dksolar3294]
      #5460279 - 10/08/12 09:29 AM

Here is a picture of a machined tripod top replacement for a Meade LT or LS. I am working with the machinists on getting a replacement made for the LX80.



Jack Huerkamp


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5460280 - 10/08/12 09:30 AM

Here is the view of the bottom of the aluminum tripod top replacement for the Meade LT/LS.



Jack Huerkamp


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jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5460302 - 10/08/12 09:49 AM

Jack, That's super stuff! However if you start machining custom parts that cost 25% of the original unit (LX80) price, you quickly push into the area of higher cost gear.

Believe me, I remember being young enough and healthy enough to enjoy the effort of taking something (ok) and making it (GREAT). I understand the thrill and enjoyment of - the hunt. However, back in the day way knew what we had. What we were starting with was well documented and unchanging. They weren't so much "defects" but product limitations.

I don't think purchasers should have to come up with fixes to product flaws and "not as described" limitations. But that's just me.

Best, Joe


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/19/11

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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5460438 - 10/08/12 11:14 AM

Jack,

When you get price, I'd like to know. Also, this looks like it could be adapted to a pier. Any interest in that?


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5460603 - 10/08/12 12:53 PM

Mike,

The gentleman who is making the tripod top plates also makes piers for them. I will try to get some information on them once he has a prototype LX80 tripod top plate.

Jack Huerkamp


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5460882 - 10/08/12 03:58 PM Attachment (56 downloads)

Gday Jack

You havent used anywhere near enough aluminium for that
Have attached piccies of how much plate ( and time) i wasted on my adapter for the LS.
If you loosen the three tripod screws, you can rotate the triangular top plate, thus allowing the tripod to be set up any way you want. The three screws allow the scope ( when fitted ) to be easily levelled.
There is a new plate attached to the base of the LS to
a) Act as a base for the three point support
b) Act as an adapter to allow it to be fitted to my LX200 wedge.

It does vibrate a little, but not noticable for visual work.

Andrew


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5460889 - 10/08/12 04:02 PM Attachment (49 downloads)

And heres the base of the scope.
The plate is the size it is
a) to allow neat/solid fitting to the wedge
b) To stop the 6" version of the LS toppling over when bumped, due to it being side heavy.
( I suspect thats what the little skirt under the fork arm is for )

Andrew


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
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Reged: 05/18/05

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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: jmiele]
      #5460890 - 10/08/12 04:03 PM

Quote:

Happy Birthday Dave!

Joe




Thanks, Joe! And Jack...you bringing that to the next meeting? We'd like to see it.

David


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Meade Instr.
Vendor Meade Instruments


Reged: 09/13/11

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5461199 - 10/08/12 08:12 PM

We have released a new firmware update for the LX80, and are now shipping the APM module.

For more information please read the following thread in the Vendor forum:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=5461197&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=all&fpart=&vc=#Post5461197


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Meade Instr.]
      #5461219 - 10/08/12 08:28 PM

Dang !!

Now why did they not come out with that earlier. Oh well, better late than never. If only they would have done a complete thorough checkout of all functionality before they shipped the first ones.

If you follow the link, and read what they fixed (hopefully), then you will see that they say they are addressing everything, including guiding via Envisage, and including support now for ST4 guiding. And they say they have fixed the PEC problem. Now THAT would be nice.

Congratulations to Meade on this release.


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5461227 - 10/08/12 08:31 PM

David,

As soon as I get one, I will be sure to bring it to one of our meetings.

Jack


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5461234 - 10/08/12 08:36 PM

David,

I guess there are advantages of it taking 10 months to have my order filled... I just came in from setting up to try to test PE. Looks like I should upgrade first.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5461243 - 10/08/12 08:41 PM

Gday Mike

You are trying to register the unguided PEC off characteristics first
Get to PEC training after you find out what your starting datum is like.

Andrew


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5461267 - 10/08/12 09:01 PM

G'day Andrew.

I had just decided to go ahead with the test tonight. If I don't screw it up again, we can have some before and after data.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5461363 - 10/08/12 10:18 PM

Geez,
Meade Why didn't you test this mount before you sold the thing in the first place. Turning the mount on and off and slewing it with no ota on it is not testing. Oh and that was slick calling and talking me out of my $799. mount I had preordered for so long just several days before you fixed all the problems. Don't tell me you didn't plan that. I was wondering why all the sudden they had my mount in when I had recently been told it wouldn't be until Dec. or Jan. sometime, before it would be in. I had kept it on backorder hoping they would fix it by then but they called the other day saying we know you weren't sure if you still wanted it because of the problems but its in. Now I know why the guy kind of laughed and acted glad when I said no. I'm not the only one they did that to.

Well at least I am glad I was able to be one of the ones that brought all these problems to Meades attention. And to help pressure them into fixing these problems with countless hours of testing and tweaking and testing along with all the other guys on this thread. Otherwise there's no telling how long it would have taken them to fix this or even admit there was a problem. But I'm not mad because I still have all my other Meade telescopes/mounts I love. And they work great. And I am happy with my brand new CGEM DX that got 12+ minutes guided images with nice round stars at f/10 friday night.YEA!

On the LX80 I hope they fixed the weight problem because 10 or 15 pounds max isn't even close to the 40lbs rated. But I do have faith that the newer models will have that fixed also. But I do tend to hope that companies will do the right thing given the chance. Even if it takes a little nudge. Well you guys be sure and test it out and don't let people tell you "its good enough for this price point". But I do believe its going to work like its supposed to this time. And good luck to all you guys. And All you guys that were satisfied with it unable to image and were just going to buy another mount to image with since this one couldn't, Well now you don't have to.

neilson


I always thought Beta testers were given their mounts for all the testing work they performed.


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

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5461369 - 10/08/12 10:22 PM

Quote:

If you follow the link, and read what they fixed (hopefully), then you will see that they say they are addressing everything, including guiding via Envisage, and including support now for ST4 guiding. And they say they have fixed the PEC problem. Now THAT would be nice.




They really need to address the mechanical issues people have reported, like dry bearings. Shipping unlubricated bearings is just crazy.

Meade?


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: neilson]
      #5461384 - 10/08/12 10:36 PM

Neilson,

I got my mount from Astronomics and canceled a $799 preorder and then contacted them to see if I could keep the order. They let me do it. That was all in the same day but you could try of you still want it. No guarantee that all the problems are fixed.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5461411 - 10/08/12 11:09 PM

Mike,
I would be better off If I wait until all the mechanical issues are taking care of and verified. I am enjoying my CGEM DX so much. And while I enjoy working on things, I am really enjoying not having to right now.
neilson


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: neilson]
      #5461427 - 10/08/12 11:30 PM

Yes, you ended up with a much better GEM. Wish I had another $800 to spend, I would have tried to get yours when you canceled the order. The CGEM DX or even the CGEM were out of my price range. I will say this about Astronomics, the offered me a good price on a CGEM when I was going to cancel my LX80 order and I got the CN discount off the $799 price on the LX80.

I can't help but believe that you and a few others were instrumental in getting Mead to look at the problems with the LX80. Meade owes you something - at least a thank you here on the forum.


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mmalik
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Meade Instr.]
      #5461616 - 10/09/12 05:24 AM

Quote:

We have released a new firmware update for the LX80, and are now shipping the APM module.




This is good news; but not sure if mount's mechanical infrastructure, tolerances, and weight carrying capacities are up to par with what guided astro-imaging demands. Serial guiding results have been disappointing thus far; not sure what ST-4 guiding will achieve that will be different. Real guided images of 5-10 min subs will tell the story. Let the ST-4 guided testing begin... any takers?


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5461881 - 10/09/12 10:38 AM

Hi Mike, I think that's the last thing Meade wants to do is thank us. But now its time to do some testing.

I noticed the APM module is $39.99 then it goes on to say if you have the 497 handbox you can pay another $149. and buy the audiostar handbox because for some reason they setup up the apm so it wont work with the 497 handbox. I have an LXD75 and I dont feel its worth spending $149 + $39.99= $188.99 plus the cost of an autoguider just to autoguide. They could of made the apm work with the 497 handbox and should have. In fact I bet they had to do something extra to keep it from working with the 497. Thanks alot meade but I'll just stick with PHd and my laptop.

Edited by neilson (10/09/12 11:32 AM)


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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5462008 - 10/09/12 12:18 PM

Quote:

Yes, you ended up with a much better GEM. Wish I had another $800 to spend, I would have tried to get yours when you canceled the order. The CGEM DX or even the CGEM were out of my price range. I will say this about Astronomics, the offered me a good price on a CGEM when I was going to cancel my LX80 order and I got the CN discount off the $799 price on the LX80.

I can't help but believe that you and a few others were instrumental in getting Mead to look at the problems with the LX80. Meade owes you something - at least a thank you here on the forum.




We have gone over this a few times. Mint condition second hand CGEMS can be had for only a couple of hundred more than your iffy LX80... and on top of that you have to spend more on cables and adapters and now a custom made tripod top/pier adapter to have this mount so the legs don't snap off.

I think now that PEC is "working" on these mounts, we will start to see data coming in for the mount that will demonstrates just how much issue there is with the mechanicals.

The choice is simple, do you want a mount that just works, or do you want a mount that you have to make parts for out of scrap plywood and your neighbors band-saw?


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Lee Jay
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: ur7x]
      #5462046 - 10/09/12 12:36 PM

Quote:

The choice is simple, do you want a mount that just works, or do you want a mount that you have to make parts for out of scrap plywood and your neighbors band-saw?




The choice is simple - there are currently no other mounts available that can do the jobs this one can do. Maybe in a month the AZ-EQ6GT will be available at twice the price (and probably twice the performance), but it's not available yet.


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ur7x
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5462071 - 10/09/12 12:55 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The choice is simple, do you want a mount that just works, or do you want a mount that you have to make parts for out of scrap plywood and your neighbors band-saw?




The choice is simple - there are currently no other mounts available that can do the jobs this one can do. Maybe in a month the AZ-EQ6GT will be available at twice the price (and probably twice the performance), but it's not available yet.




Sadly, it is very clear, even this mount can't do what this mount is supposed to do.


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Lee Jay
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: ur7x]
      #5462083 - 10/09/12 01:00 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

The choice is simple, do you want a mount that just works, or do you want a mount that you have to make parts for out of scrap plywood and your neighbors band-saw?




The choice is simple - there are currently no other mounts available that can do the jobs this one can do. Maybe in a month the AZ-EQ6GT will be available at twice the price (and probably twice the performance), but it's not available yet.




Sadly, it is very clear, even this mount can't do what this mount is supposed to do.




To me, it's not an AP mount, and reports are that it works just fine for basically everything else.


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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Lx80 Multi-mount Guide port clarification new [Re: neilson]
      #5462224 - 10/09/12 02:25 PM

Mistake on Meade's part. The 07640 controller is the same one that ships with the LX80.
Guess Meade doesn't proof read as well.


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Griffin!
sage


Reged: 09/12/10

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount Guide port clarification new [Re: brokenwave]
      #5462236 - 10/09/12 02:29 PM

Quote:

Mistake on Meade's part. The 07640 controller is the same one that ships with the LX80.
Guess Meade doesn't proof read as well.




Um, they posted that for people who don't have an LX80, and currently have a 497 handbox.

Edited by Griffin! (10/09/12 02:31 PM)


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brokenwave
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount Guide port clarification new [Re: Griffin!]
      #5462276 - 10/09/12 02:53 PM

My bad, but there will be some who will think they need to buy a new hand controller for their LX80. Someone in the Yahoo group is already complaining about.

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ur7x
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5462526 - 10/09/12 05:06 PM

Quote:


To me, it's not an AP mount, and reports are that it works just fine for basically everything else.




You have to ask yourself, if its not an AP mount, what is PEC for? What is the guide module for? And to a lesser degree why even use it in polar mode?

Why is it good news that Meade fixed these AP problems on a mount that is useless as an AP mount?


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: neilson]
      #5462612 - 10/09/12 06:12 PM

Gday Neilson

Quote:

I noticed the APM module is $39.99 then it goes on to say if you have the 497 handbox you can pay another $149. and buy the audiostar handbox because for some reason they setup up the apm so it wont work with the 497 handbox.




In the 497s, even the original APM909 was also blocked from working with certain scopes based on motorcard type fitted.
This test was bypassed by the std 497 patches put out by Dick Seymour.
As far as i can tell, the new 909 from Meade should work with the old 497s if that patch is loaded.
If not, there is always the clones.

Andrew


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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: ur7x]
      #5462823 - 10/09/12 08:27 PM

Last warning: Get the snark out of the posts. If you have nothing of substance to add, leave it at the door. Next bit of snark and it's locked.

David


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Stew57
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5462873 - 10/09/12 09:04 PM

Is there any advantage of the 909 over serial guiding? If there is something to be gained the 909 and update patch is cheap/easy enough.

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OzAndrewJ
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Stew57]
      #5462912 - 10/09/12 09:35 PM

Gday Mark

For pure guiding, using a 909 lump means the rs232 port is free for other use, and you can operate without a PC if you have a self contained guide unit.
If you have a full 909, you also get focus and reticle control via the Hbx.

However, in the 497s, the 909 lump is a "polled" device, and approx 50% of the processor time is devoted to this polling.
It doesnt seem to affect anything ( that i have seen so far ), but it does reduce CPU availability for other processing.

Andrew


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Mkofski
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5463115 - 10/09/12 11:42 PM

Quote:

However, in the 497s, the 909 lump is a "polled" device, and approx 50% of the processor time is devoted to this polling.
It doesnt seem to affect anything ( that i have seen so far ), but it does reduce CPU availability for other processing.




Andrew,

Do I understand you correctly? The reduced CPU availability does not seem to effect real world use?


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5463219 - 10/10/12 01:18 AM

Gday Mike

Quote:

Do I understand you correctly? The reduced CPU availability does not seem to effect real world use?




Correct.
I have not seen any visible effects associated with this during normal usage. I was just pointing out the differences between rs232 and ST4 guiding for Mark.

One other thing to note.
The way guiding is applied appears to have changed in the latest firmware.
It used to be done by applying a high speed "burst" adjust or a motor stop.
ie it could not reverse ( which is one of the reasons AltAz pulse guiding didnt work )
Now it appears to just start the motors and guide at normal guide speed till a timer trips.
Sooo, with serial pulseguiding
sending :Mge2000# involves one motor adjust set, ie apply guide speed then revert to tracking after 2 secs.

The 909 lump gets polled once every 100ms ( and it takes 50ms to actually read it).
As such, if you held down the west slew direction for say 2 seconds
then in theory, there will be 20 apply/revert operations at 100ms each.

I dont know yet how well that will work.

Andrew


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TALK2KEV
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5463405 - 10/10/12 08:19 AM Attachment (64 downloads)

wow this would be great if it works, I still have my LX80 I known the payload is light. but it just might be OK with my 80mm which I Wanted an replacement for my aging LXD55.I picked up another OTA 8" Mak f/12 its heavy 22lbs without camera and guide scope that will have to stay on CGEM-DX if I can only get a break in the weather! you can see in the photo the 8" Mak beside the 8" RC

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Lee Jay
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: ur7x]
      #5463437 - 10/10/12 09:08 AM

Quote:

Quote:


To me, it's not an AP mount, and reports are that it works just fine for basically everything else.




You have to ask yourself, if its not an AP mount, what is PEC for? What is the guide module for? And to a lesser degree why even use it in polar mode?




My ETX-125 has a polar mode option. Do you think a 5" f/15 Mak with no guiding is a good AP platform? Yet, I've loved using it in polar mode at times for a number of reasons. It prevents having to deal with field rotation during planetary photography and stacking. When viewing targets that go straight overhead, it prevents that annoying rapid acceleration as the target approaches zenith. When a satellite is passing straight overhead, you can follow it. You can even set the polar mode up so that tracking the satellite is nearly a single-motor operation. It's also been nice for wide-field using the piggy-back approach.


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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5463473 - 10/10/12 09:31 AM

Still curious what you think PEC is for, or what Guiding is for on a mount that is not an AP mount.

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Lee Jay
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: ur7x]
      #5463541 - 10/10/12 10:22 AM

I don't think it's not an AP mount, I think it's not a long-focal-length long-exposure AP mount. PEC is still useful for planetary (video) photography and wide field, and the thing doesn't even come with the ST4 guide port. Since they obviously didn't test is using the internal guiding (or they would have caught those bugs before shipping), it seems to me that this mount isn't really intended for this purpose.

It seems to me that long-focal-length long-exposure guided astrophotography starts at Atlas and iEQ-45 and proceeds up through the mid-range of CGE-Pro and LX800, and on up to AP and Software Bisque and above at the higher end. People seem to be expecting this mount to perform like an Atlas or CGEM-DX, when this is a convertible mount (not a dedicated GEM) that doesn't even come with a guide port.


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Starhawk
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Reged: 09/16/08

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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5464033 - 10/10/12 03:23 PM

Lee, are you serious? For short focal length with short exposure, you don't need a mount at all. A camera tripod works for that.

-Rich


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Mkofski
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5464036 - 10/10/12 03:27 PM

Kevin,

What brand is your 8" Mak? I have an Orion 7" that is f/15 but wold like somthing a little bigger and a shorted FL.


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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5464056 - 10/10/12 03:45 PM

Its Astro-Tech AT8M I have a 6" Russian Mak F/15 very heavy built like a TANK! I need to get wide dovetail plate on the 8" Mak .I need some clear sky so I can test some Equipment! Have you updated your firmware yet for the LX80? So $40.00 to have the port ready for ST4 guiding and PEC working, very interested in playing around with that to see if everything is working or not! I would love to have a three mounts set up imaging, I know at some point the LXd55 will get a rest but the LX80 is going to have prove its self before cob webs collect on the Lxd55.

Edited by TALK2KEV (10/10/12 04:23 PM)


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Lee Jay
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5464098 - 10/10/12 04:23 PM

Quote:

Lee, are you serious? For short focal length with short exposure, you don't need a mount at all. A camera tripod works for that.

-Rich




Yeah, sometimes. By "short focal length" I mean 200mm or less, and by "short exposure" I mean up to 30 seconds or so, and you do need tracking for that.


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5464116 - 10/10/12 04:39 PM

Gday Kevin

Quote:

wow this would be great if it works,




After a bit of digging, i can see lots of stuff has changed re guiding and PEC.
ST4 guiding "appears" to work on my bench units ( using a late version full APM909 clone ), but true sky testing with a long FL scope will prove how good it is.

The PEC has had a major rework, and i'm not sure there yet.
The method of calculating errors appears better, but the resolution appears to have been reduced. Ie it was 150 bins per rev of the worm and it is now 50.
( Ie for an LX80, the bin time is now around 11 seconds )
Also, not sure re playback processing.
Gotta do a bit more diggies.

Andrew


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Starhawk
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5464183 - 10/10/12 05:45 PM

If that's the plan, save some money and get one of those funky iOptron cubes.

-Rich

Quote:

Quote:

Lee, are you serious? For short focal length with short exposure, you don't need a mount at all. A camera tripod works for that.

-Rich




Yeah, sometimes. By "short focal length" I mean 200mm or less, and by "short exposure" I mean up to 30 seconds or so, and you do need tracking for that.




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Lee Jay
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5464242 - 10/10/12 06:36 PM

Quote:

If that's the plan, save some money and get one of those funky iOptron cubes.





Way too little. I want to use the same mount for a big SCT.


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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5464294 - 10/10/12 07:14 PM

Andrew

I will do some PE test as soon as I'm able, the weather here sux. 11 sec, wow bin time.

Let me know what you dig up


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Starhawk
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Reged: 09/16/08

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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5464760 - 10/11/12 01:34 AM

Uh, yeah, that's been tried with the LX 80; it didn't work worth beans.

-Rich

Quote:

Quote:

If that's the plan, save some money and get one of those funky iOptron cubes.





Way too little. I want to use the same mount for a big SCT.




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Mkofski
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5464770 - 10/11/12 01:51 AM

Quote:

Uh, yeah, that's been tried with the LX 80; it didn't work worth beans.

-RichL

Quote:

Quote:

If that's the plan, save some money and get one of those funky iOptron cubes.





Way too little. I want to use the same mount for a big SCT.







Not everyone is unhappy with the performance of this mount with a 10" SCT.


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Lee Jay
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5465044 - 10/11/12 09:42 AM

Regardless, I'm now interested in the AZ-EQ6GT. It's not out yet, but the latest estimates on practical load capacity are 25kg for visual and 18kg for imaging. It has dual encoders and the Atlas/EQ6 history behind it, but it'll likely cost twice as much as the LX80. Comes with dual saddles though, and probably comes with lubricant in the bearings.

Now to figure out how to purchase an LX800 f/8 12" OTA, which all the early-adopters loved. The mounts might have been troublesome, but the scopes appeared to be solid from early reports.


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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5465049 - 10/11/12 09:44 AM

True, we have people who are unhappy with this mount with 8 and 9.25" SCT's as well as people who are unhappy with the 10's...

Is a non-AP mount that can be used as an AP mount (if you have the right OTA, likely not the one that it was shipped with), that has a whole bunch of AP features, that so far no one has posted any AP pictures with...

We no longer need to defend this mount, It still has several known mechanical issues and QA/Manufacturing issues.. Till Meade makes it right, it will just be a footnote in the history of Amateur Astronomy.


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Mkofski
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: ur7x]
      #5465916 - 10/11/12 08:01 PM

Quote:

We no longer need to defend this mount, It still has several known mechanical issues and QA/Manufacturing issues.. Till Meade makes it right, it will just be a footnote in the history of Amateur Astronomy.




ur7x,

Thanks for your input. If I had paid attention to your earlier post I would have realized that there is no point of any further discussion on this mount. All of us that are happy with our "footnotes" should just return them and buy AP900s.


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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5466164 - 10/11/12 11:37 PM

Quote:

Quote:

We no longer need to defend this mount, It still has several known mechanical issues and QA/Manufacturing issues.. Till Meade makes it right, it will just be a footnote in the history of Amateur Astronomy.





ur7x,

Thanks for your input. If I had paid attention to your earlier post I would have realized that there is no point of any further discussion on this mount. All of us that are happy with our "footnotes" should just return them and buy AP900s.




Neilson and others tried to help you with your purchase decision. It is not hard to see and document the numerous issues with this mount. You even tried a "lets find 10 happy LX80 owners" thread... and you couldn't even find 10 happy customers. You found 7ish people who are "OK" with the mount and zero, that have had any AP success with it.

The mount has great promise and someday could make for a great mount at a fair price, right now, it isn't.


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David PavlichAdministrator
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Reged: 05/18/05

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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: James Cunningham]
      #5466513 - 10/12/12 08:52 AM

This thread needs to be locked for a while. No further good information is being posted, so I'm going to give it a little vacation.

David


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5483606 - 10/22/12 12:49 PM

Saturday I received the machined aluminum replacement LX80 tripod top. The machinist did a first rate job. It was easy to swap components from the factory top to the new one. The only issue I had was in removing the E-Clips that retain the mount head bolts in the tripod top. They are NOT made out of spring steel and one broke during bolt removal. I posted several photos of the conversion process to my PhotoBucket site:

http://s25.beta.photobucket.com/user/jhuerkamp/library/LX80

Each leg trunions is made out of solid 2"x1.5" aluminum and is attached to the 3/8" thick aluminum top with 3 stainless steel bolts.

Jack Huerkamp


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dmdouglass
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Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5483838 - 10/22/12 03:23 PM

Now that is what i would call a "Serious Aftermarket Upgrade". And i am certainly qualified to say that is major improvement ! Well done!

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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5484465 - 10/22/12 10:52 PM

Hi Jack,
You did a real nice job on that tripod top. Your OTA's are safe from tripod failure now.

neilson


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Raginar
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/19/10

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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: neilson]
      #5484744 - 10/23/12 02:49 AM

That's beautiful. Your machinist is good!

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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Raginar]
      #5484890 - 10/23/12 08:47 AM

The machinist did a great job on the top replacement. Hopefully Meade does just as good a job at tightening up the play in the drives. I should get the mount back from Meade in a week or two. They have had it since the first of October.

I will be ordering more tripod tops from the machinist if anyone is interested in converting their tripods.

Jack


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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5485157 - 10/23/12 12:10 PM

Jack, What would the cost be for one?

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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5485165 - 10/23/12 12:18 PM

Hi Jack,
I'm interested in seeing if they figure a way to tighten those drives myself. That was the biggest problem I had and was never able to get resolved.
neilson


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: neilson]
      #5485893 - 10/23/12 07:16 PM

I really hope they do, as I like the mount. IT does work well with lighter scopes - 6" Celestron and Lunt80. I just hope it works with the C9.25.

Jack


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: brokenwave]
      #5485896 - 10/23/12 07:19 PM

I received two prototypes on Saturday, installed one on my tripod and sold the other one for $200 plus $12 USPS Priority. These two tops were shipped to me by Rock Mallin with an order of cameras and accessories, so there was no additional S/H from Canada to me. I hope to keep the next ones close to the $200 price plus postage.

Jack


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5485914 - 10/23/12 07:31 PM

Well, at there will be at least one competently made part on an LX 80 or two.

-Rich


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JimMo
I'd Rather Do It Myself


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Under the SE Michigan lightdom...
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5495127 - 10/29/12 06:35 PM Attachment (41 downloads)

Quote:

The machinist did a great job on the top replacement. Hopefully Meade does just as good a job at tightening up the play in the drives. I should get the mount back from Meade in a week or two. They have had it since the first of October.

I will be ordering more tripod tops from the machinist if anyone is interested in converting their tripods.

Jack




Hi Jack,

I just received the replacement tripod top. It took all of 20 minutes to swap out the cast metal one for the aluminum machined one. Looks pretty cool and it'll be next to impossible to snap off a leg. I still want to mount the hand control somewhere but I've been using velcro for the time being. Here is a pic. Thanks Jack, I think it looks very nice.


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: JimMo]
      #5495143 - 10/29/12 06:45 PM

JimMo,

That top does look nice! Guess I'm too old and cheap! But then again, I don't have a $3,000 OTA on the tripod.

I don't have any play in the drives on my mount. Meade must have found someway to eliminate it.


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brokenwave
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5495192 - 10/29/12 07:31 PM

JimMo,
Nielson came up with using the controller bracket from a LX90 or LX200, Meade Product Number: 07580 ($20).

Just have to add a piece of velcro around the rail, because the clamp is slightly larger than the hand grip rail diameter. Not perfect but does the job. Again Thx, Nielson.


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JimMo
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: brokenwave]
      #5495241 - 10/29/12 08:06 PM Attachment (44 downloads)

I just mounted the LX80 and have to comment on the machining. Don't know how much more stable it is than the original but I was able to put more pressure on the spreader knob as I wasn't afraid it would break. The mount indexed with the top precisely with the three bolts holes perfectly aligned with the bottom of the mount and the bolts easily threaded in. With the original one they were alway hard to turn and I was always afraid I was cross threading them.

The mount feels rock solid, more so than before due to the leg spreader being tighter. Anyway, I'm a sucker for doing modifications as it gives me an excuse to hang out in my shop. I don't think this tripod will need any more mods, though, at least for strength. I was going to make another leg spreader lower down to keep the legs from expanding too far but with the new top that's not necessary.

One thing I'd suggest to Jack on future runs is to round over the three square leg mounts a little bit on the top edge so they are not so sharp. I might take it apart and do this, just enough to make it less likely to catch on something or scratch it.

Edited by JimMo (10/29/12 08:24 PM)


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: JimMo]
      #5495304 - 10/29/12 09:02 PM

Jim,

You coment mimics what I passed onto the machinist when he sent me images of the two units he sent to me. He did put a slight chamfer on the edges to avoid sharp corners; but I think rounding off at least the top edges of the trunions with a 1/4" radius would be preferred. If there is enough interest in this replacement tripod top, I will see if I can convince the machinist to add this tweak to his design.

Jack Huerkamp


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5495311 - 10/29/12 09:04 PM

Jim,

I am glad that the LX80 head dropped precisely onto the replacement top. My LX80 is still at Meade Service - been there since the 1st. Hopefully I will get it back soon so I can see if the combination of the stronger top and whatever they are able to do to the mount will allow me to use my C9.25" OTA on it.

Jack Huerkamp


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mmalik
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5495748 - 10/30/12 04:28 AM

Quote:

Hopefully Meade does just as good a job at tightening up the play in the drives.




Thanks for your efforts on custom mod; it looks great.

I am a bit leery though if mount’s infrastructure is worth the mod of this caliber. I wish it was just the matter of tightening up the play, precision tracking and especially guiding remains to be tested. Claimed weight bearing capacities remains un-tested as well.

If nothing else, mod would give few "visual" observers peace of mind.


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: mmalik]
      #5496249 - 10/30/12 02:13 PM

Start a sideline making full tripods, I say. It's not like there aren't any mounts needing them.

-Rich


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5496281 - 10/30/12 02:33 PM

Rich,

The only part of the tripod that I see as an issue is the top plate. It is inadequate to handle the loads exerted on it. I thought about making a spreader assembly to keep the legs from being able to be opened too much. But replacing the top with one like the machinist made for me provided the security I was looking for.

Jack


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5496342 - 10/30/12 03:04 PM

My wife notified me that UPS just delivered the LX80 mount head. Tonight I will unpack it and see if Meade figured out how to eliminate the looseness in the axes.

Hopefully the mount will now prove useful form my Celestron 9.25" OTA.

Jack Huerkamp


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5496377 - 10/30/12 03:25 PM

I was thinking beyond the LX 80- a general purpose tripod.

-Rich


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5496564 - 10/30/12 05:35 PM

Rob Miller sells tripods. But they cost about as much as an LX-80 mount.

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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5496628 - 10/30/12 06:17 PM

When I got home from work, I quickly unpacked the LX80 mount head to see what Meade Service had been able to accomplish. Before placing the mount onto the tripod, I read the service ticket to see what they had done to the mount. I had reported too much play in the axes (especially the Azimuth axis) and had sent them links to the YouTube videos I posted clearly showing the problem. Their service tech reported "Motor's were to tight, forced motor's" and "Adjusted motors". I also found an "RGA Traveler/Checklist" that stated "Flag for Mexico". I don't know if this means that servicing was done in Mexico.

So to correct play in the axes, the technician losened up the motors. As a mechanical engineer, this seems to me to be the opposite of what was needed.

I set up the mount and C9.25" OTA with Celestron 22# counterweight and check the play in RA. It was basically the same as when I sent the mount in for servicing.



I assume that the mount is incapable of carrying a 20# OTA and will have to limit the mount's use to Alt-Az with either my Lunt80 or my Celestron 6".

Maybe one day Meade will get the issues with the LX80 corrected. But at this time, that is not the case.

Jack Huerkamp


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JimMo
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5496707 - 10/30/12 07:03 PM

That's too bad Jack. I'll be interested in what they'll say this time.

My mount still has no play whatsoever in the RA bearing, although the heaviest scope I've mounted so far is a TV85. AFAIK I'm one of only a few that can say that.


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: JimMo]
      #5496736 - 10/30/12 07:16 PM

Jim,

I have had about 20 pounds on my mount with out problems with play in either AltAz or Polar mode. It looks as if some have a problem and some don't. When did you receive your mount?


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5496756 - 10/30/12 07:33 PM Attachment (70 downloads)

Gday Jack

Quote:

So to correct play in the axes, the technician losened up the motors. As a mechanical engineer, this seems to me to be the opposite of what was needed.




I cant find where i posted these piccies earlier ( as it was a really long thread ) so am reposting here.
Whilst i still havent seen/measured a real worm, we now have enough pictures to prove the worm used is closer to a precision UNC thread than a true worm.
Ie its pressure angles appear far greater than should be used for a worm.
Thus under load, it will spring out far more easily than a proper worm thread.
The current design should work OK under low load, but any reasonable inertial loading is going to spring the worm.

Andrew


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5496983 - 10/30/12 09:59 PM

Andrew,

Well that makes it clear why there is so much play - especially since the gears are spring loaded. Thanks for posting the comparison photos.

I wonder why Meade chose to go with this gear design for the LX80 - especially when they were advertising it with up to a 75# load capacity. In my case I will have to keep the load down to my C6 with 11# counterweight in A/A mode. It seems to handle that setup well enough.

Jack


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5496992 - 10/30/12 10:07 PM

Hi Everyone,
Looks like the dreaded worm is causing problems again. Sorry to hear about your mount not getting fixed Jack. I was hoping that since they did the firmware update they might of addressed the wormblock problem. I really wanted my LX80 to work out for imaging. If anyone ever gets the LX80 to work for long imaging I would recommend making modifications to make the tripod real sturdy and solid. I returned my LX80 for a CGEM DX and that tripod is solid and it really makes a difference for imaging.
neilson


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5497116 - 10/31/12 12:15 AM Attachment (41 downloads)

Gday Jack

Quote:

I wonder why Meade chose to go with this gear design for the LX80 - especially when they were advertising it with up to a 75# load capacity.




No idea. I was hoping they might have reused something like in the LS.
Thats really rock solid in RA and no cheap plastic gears in sight.

Andrew


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5497365 - 10/31/12 07:17 AM

Andrew,

So it appears Meade went with a better worm/worm gear combination in a mount that supports a much lower load! No wonder the LX80 has drive related issues.

Jack


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5497389 - 10/31/12 07:47 AM

Quote:

Jim,

I have had about 20 pounds on my mount with out problems with play in either AltAz or Polar mode. It looks as if some have a problem and some don't. When did you receive your mount?




In August, one of the first to ship as mount only, I believe from the second batch shipped from overseas. Got it from Skies Unlimited.


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neilson
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5497512 - 10/31/12 09:57 AM

Hi Andrew,
That's an impressive looking setup. When you have something that works great you don't change it. That setup looks like it has a nice size motor too. Maybe they figured they could use a bunch of plastic gears in the LX80 and get away with a smaller motor to reduce their production costs by a few dollars. I have never owned an LS but I'm guessing that they have had few mechanical problems in the drive if any. A nice simple but solid design.

neilson

Edited by neilson (10/31/12 10:17 AM)


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Starhawk
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: neilson]
      #5497545 - 10/31/12 10:28 AM

Given what just happened on that "Repair," it would appear Meade has no idea there are any issues with the LX80 drive.

-Rich


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5497688 - 10/31/12 12:28 PM

Quote:

Given what just happened on that "Repair," it would appear Meade has no idea there are any issues with the LX80 drive.

-Rich




You may be right, Rich, but how could they not know?

Reading about Jack's repair experience is troubling, so pardon my little rant. As a vocal proponent of the mount, I am trying not to loose faith, but that's growing more difficult when I hear about Meade's obliviousness to these well-documented mechanical issues.

I have hung in with them this long because they appeared to be addressing all reported issues, slowly, but surely. Now, I'm not so certain about that.

Regardless of whether or not I ever do AP, or hang a heavy OTA off the thing, I expect it to perform as advertised. If that means recalling it and upgrading the worm assembly, or flat out replacing the entire mount, then so be it. But, no matter what, Meade should not pretend ignorance of the issue. Indeed, there has been an abundance of reports to Meade regarding issues with capacity/RA-slop/tracking/etc. with this mount. What is the recall hold up?

I'm no engineer, but it seems clear that firmware updates are not going to alleviate improper/faulty mechanicals, so Meade needs to address this. Hopefully, this is not going to require the "squeaky wheel gets the grease" process.

Jerry


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5497720 - 10/31/12 12:51 PM

Quote:

Gday Jack

Quote:

I wonder why Meade chose to go with this gear design for the LX80 - especially when they were advertising it with up to a 75# load capacity.




No idea. I was hoping they might have reused something like in the LS.
Thats really rock solid in RA and no cheap plastic gears in sight.

Andrew




You meant the LX, right?


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: greju]
      #5497992 - 10/31/12 03:49 PM

Quote:

You meant the LX, right?




No, I think he meant "LS" for "LightSwitch" which is what the photo looked like to me. I've had several "LX" and they don't resemble the photo.


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: neilson]
      #5498136 - 10/31/12 05:32 PM

Gday Neilson

Quote:

When you have something that works great you don't change it.




Sadly, it doesnt work great "as a system" for all things.
The LS has a rock solid RA axle and drive, but the DEC axle is iffy, and with the design as is, there are no clutches. Anything goes in the electronics ( which are ALL on one massive PCB ), and you are dead, unless you dismount the OTA.
That said, when it all works in AltAz, it IS impressive.

Also, the LS code has very little ability for a user to do anything "manually", like pick your own stars if in a confined area.
You cannot create tours or add user data like you used to be able to.
Sooo swings and roundabouts,
but the RA wormwheel and motor is nice .

Andrew


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5498138 - 10/31/12 05:36 PM

Gday Jack

Quote:

So it appears Meade went with a better worm/worm gear combination in a mount that supports a much lower load!




Looks like it, but then again, the drive system in the LS wont fit into an LX80, so i guess it was a standard size vs cost vs capability tradeoff.
I still would have expected the LX80 to use a gearhead motor and a proper worm tho, even if it meant a different wormwheel.

Andrew


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: DaveJ]
      #5498155 - 10/31/12 05:44 PM

Gday Dave

Quote:

No, I think he meant "LS" for "LightSwitch" which is what the photo looked like to me.




Correct. The picture was of a Lightswitch RA drive, which has plenty of space for a good sized wormwheel.
I havent seen an LT drivetrain, but my understanding is it may be similar to the LX80.
Ie the LX80 motor/geartrain appears almost identical to the LX90, but just uses a different final worm/wormwheel assy.

Andrew


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5498400 - 10/31/12 08:22 PM

I would like to hack that RA drive into an etx. Looks very nice.

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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: DaveJ]
      #5498426 - 10/31/12 08:40 PM Attachment (76 downloads)

My bad. There are some similarities though.

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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5499313 - 11/01/12 12:05 PM

It seems to me that the reason for the shallow pressure angle on the LX80 teeth is due to the very small diameter of the worm wheel. Higher pressure angle teeth would not be able to mesh properly. Looking at a worm from something like a CG-5 or LXD mount, they appear fairly similar. The difference is that the small GEM mounts use solid-mounted worm assemblies which then don't allow for slop other than simple backlash. Combining the same shallow pressure angle gears with a spring loading system will essentially never work without needing to apply far too much pressure with the spring assembly which causes its own problems and will never eliminate the slop problem with a heavier load.

I think that is what this comes down to. In presumably an attempt to eliminate backlash, they created a system that will not work with heavy loads. There is no way to put larger gears in that mount, so if possible, I would mod (or redesign) the worm assembly to be mounted solid. While you might have to leave some backlash, that would be better than uncontrollable slop. The problem is, with all the plastic in there, this might not be possible either.


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: EFT]
      #5499382 - 11/01/12 12:49 PM

Ed,

Is the current state of the gearing somthing that a guy that offers hyper tuning service could address as an after market mod?


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5499404 - 11/01/12 02:16 PM

Quote:

Ed,

Is the current state of the gearing somthing that a guy that offers hyper tuning service could address as an after market mod?




I don't really know. The ones that I was going to have a chance to tear apart got returned and without one right here to really get a good hand-on look at, I can't say. However, the pictures I have seen don't leave me very hopeful in regards to a different worm mounting option. In regards to changin the worm and wheel, it is hard to tell how much improvement could be made and cost (probably about $500 per axis) is difficult to justify.

It's difficult to get into this kind of thing with new mounts that are still under warranty and still have a lot of people questioning their purchase. Once you start tearing into them, and especially if you make physical modifications (i.e., not just tuning, lubing, etc.), then you are pretty much committed to keeping it, good or bad and $1000 is not pocket change for a lot of people who looked to the LX80.


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: EFT]
      #5499693 - 11/01/12 06:38 PM

Gday Ed

Quote:

It seems to me that the reason for the shallow pressure angle on the LX80 teeth is due to the very small diameter of the worm wheel.




So why does the ETX work???
That has a low pressure angle worm and a much smaller dia worm wheel.
( It doesnt track as well as a large dia wormwheel, but it does fit )

Ie the pressure angle could be achieved easily enough by selecting a worm "pitch" and diameter and then matching that to a proposed wormwheel dia and reverse engineering a suitable toothcount using industry standard tooth designs and sizes.
The Autostar code allows for different geartrain ratios in software, so the wormwheel toothcount could be anything that fits.

Quote:

I think that is what this comes down to. In presumably an attempt to eliminate backlash,




99.9% of backlash i have seen, ( where the worm is springloaded ), comes from the geartrains, not the worm to wormwheel interface. If they were trying to remove lash, the plastic geartrain would have been the first thing to re engineer.
( and that would also help reduce the PE being seen as well )

Andrew


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5499927 - 11/01/12 09:01 PM

I think one of the reasons for the setup besides reducing backlash is to prevent damage to the plastic gears. When you have a larger OTA and you slew on high the spring and angle of the wormgear teeth allows it to disengage some. And when you stop slewing all that inertia is absorbed with the spring and the wormgear disengaging. Otherwise it might damage the plastic gears. This would mostly be true when slewing manually because it should slow down first if using the goto. Thats my thought anyways.

neilson

Edited by neilson (11/01/12 09:05 PM)


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: neilson]
      #5500028 - 11/01/12 10:01 PM

Gday Neilson

The pitch angle used on the worm pretty much means it is "non reversible". Ie any inertial loads coming from the OTA etc cannot ( normally ) flow back into the plastic gears.
The worm carrier would have to break before the plastic gears got any appreciable load transferred into them.
I reckon its just a result of a design choice based on cost,
that has been overhyped by the advertising dept.
( tho i must admit, i cant see how the two criteria ( advertising vs reality )
could be so far apart )

Andrew


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5500120 - 11/01/12 10:55 PM

Hi Andrew,
Yes, I stand corrected. I think you told me this some time back but I had forgotten until now. I like your answer better anyways.

neilson


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5500229 - 11/02/12 12:22 AM

Quote:

Gday Ed

Quote:

It seems to me that the reason for the shallow pressure angle on the LX80 teeth is due to the very small diameter of the worm wheel.




So why does the ETX work???
That has a low pressure angle worm and a much smaller dia worm wheel.
( It doesnt track as well as a large dia wormwheel, but it does fit )

Ie the pressure angle could be achieved easily enough by selecting a worm "pitch" and diameter and then matching that to a proposed wormwheel dia and reverse engineering a suitable toothcount using industry standard tooth designs and sizes.
The Autostar code allows for different geartrain ratios in software, so the wormwheel toothcount could be anything that fits.

Quote:

I think that is what this comes down to. In presumably an attempt to eliminate backlash,




99.9% of backlash i have seen, ( where the worm is springloaded ), comes from the geartrains, not the worm to wormwheel interface. If they were trying to remove lash, the plastic geartrain would have been the first thing to re engineer.
( and that would also help reduce the PE being seen as well )

Andrew




I've never been inside an ETX. Are the worms spring loaded? Certainly the loads are a lot less than what were anticipated with the LX80 which is why I would expect the ETX to work better even if the worms are spring loaded. I would say that the lower pressure angles work on the small GEM mounts because the worms are not spring loaded. I think that the problem with engineering becomes that, while you can make a better designed worm and wheel of small diameter, the teeth become smaller and smaller if you want to increase the pressure angle while maintaining reasonably high resolution and the machining becomes more difficult requiring greater precision and thus higher cost.

I think that we got out lines crossed on the second part. I think that they went with the spring loading to eliminate the worm/wheel backlash that is always present with a static worm system. The ideal spring loaded worm system would have no backlash from the worm and wheel leaving all of the backlash to result from the geartrain. The problem is that it may have been a bad choice in this case (I am actually finding spring loaded worms to be a pain in "better" mounts like the CGE Pro). The difference is that backlash in the worm/wheel can be compensated for by off-balancing to remove the gear slop whereas the backlash in the gear train becomes more complex and will usually require a firmware fix unless antibacklash gears are used (which take up too much space and are not in consumer telescope mounts to my knowledge).


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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: EFT]
      #5500349 - 11/02/12 02:23 AM Attachment (55 downloads)

Gday Ed

Quote:

I've never been inside an ETX. Are the worms spring loaded?




Sort of. The worm is held in nylon bearings which sit in Orings then the worm carrier. The Orings act as a spring. Ref the piccy
The milky coloured washer has an internal sleeve which has an ORing around it.
This slides into the housing. Under load, the whole lot "floats" on the ORings.
The whole lot is "preloaded" by adjustment of the carrier.
Just for scale, the wormwheel is only 1.3inches in dia and has 60 teeth,
so a proper wormwheel for the LX80 size should be no problems.

Quote:

I think that we got out lines crossed on the second part. I think that they went with the spring loading to eliminate the worm/wheel backlash that is always present with a static worm system.




Understood, but up till now, ALL Meade worms ( that i have seen ) use a proper tooth profile and a very light spring load to ensure they stay in contact, not the massive spring used on the LX80.

Quote:

The difference is that backlash in the worm/wheel can be compensated for by off-balancing




But that too has its tradeoffs.
ie with a fixed wormcarrier, any eccentricity in the wormwheel creates differences in the tooth contact points, and as they change this can affect PEC.
Also, most GEMS dont really care about the lash as they only ever go one way during normal operation, and guiding is a simple slow down or speed up exercise . The LX80 also has to do double duty as an altaz mount, and for it to work correctly, the backlash has to be "consistent", even if it is large.

Andrew


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Starhawk
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5500659 - 11/02/12 10:20 AM

Elastomers aren't true springs, and change properties with temperature. A lot of the "ETX works" would appear to be not asking much from it.

-Rich


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5501171 - 11/02/12 04:05 PM

Gday Rich

Quote:

Elastomers aren't true springs, and change properties with temperature. A lot of the "ETX works" would appear to be not asking much from it




Fully agree, but i was just answering Eds comment re how the ETX worm was preloaded. In reality, the ORing method is not very "responsive", but it does "ooze during operation" thus keeps the gears in contact.


The main point of the piccy was to show a low pressure angle worm could be made in the sizes we were discussing.

Andrew


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Starhawk
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5501879 - 11/03/12 01:03 AM

Gday Andrew,

I'm with you there. Going from the way the details are designed, I can't imagine the same engineering authority was behind all of these designs. What does that mean? I'm really not sure. The LX80 has been profoundly difficult to account for.

-Rich


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dksolar3294
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Reged: 08/22/12

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5524956 - 11/17/12 07:32 PM

Jack, Now that your machinist has made a LX80 tripod top plate replacement, is he interested or willing to make more? at what $cost for a single?

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Starhawk
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: dksolar3294]
      #5527094 - 11/18/12 11:50 PM

I think Jack is working on determining the efficacy of his new plate, and using the mount in any case- see the other LX80 thread active at the moment.

-Rich


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: dksolar3294]
      #5527648 - 11/19/12 10:34 AM

The machinist is ready to make more of them for me. And the final price depends on how many I get and the shipping from Canada.

Regarding the mount, I tested it at DSRSG a few weeks ago. Rod Mollise was there and has commented on what he saw on his new blog. Its contained in his report of the DSRSG. His blog can be found at:

http://uncle-rods.blogspot.com/

If anyone is interested in getting a tripod top replacement, contact me directly.

Jack Huerkamp


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Axle
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: James Cunningham]
      #5562641 - 12/09/12 03:25 PM

Well, I bought a LX80 by accident because I ordered it last April, kind of forgot about the order and then received it about a month or so ago. I've used it a few times now and actually have enjoyed it.

I've read all the LX80 threads and was concerned about the lightweight tripod top. Also, upon first inspection and use, I sort of thought that this particular LX80 might not have much of the AZ slop being discussed.

Thus, in order to avoid a tripod failure and to try and gain some tripod stability and minimize vibration, I asked a machinist friend to make a beefier top.

Here's our version the LX80 tripod top:



The top is billet aluminum and the leg lugs are steel. The dull finish is from bead blasting.



The new top width is the same width as the attachement bolt posts on the OEM top. The allen bolts are about 2 1/2 inches long.



The little hole by my thumb is for the OEM bubble level; LOL...



The new top basically has the same dimensions as the original top.



Although the center rod attachment lowers the tripod spreader triangle a little, it still fits fine.



Everything assembles perfectly using the homemade top.



Inlcuding counterweights, the above is about 50 pounds or so.

My only use is visual and outreach. Although I've used the LX80 several times in alt/az, I have not set it up in EQ yet. Last night was the first use with the new top.

The new top definitely removes any worries that a leg might break away. But maybe there was only slight gain in overall vibration removal, if any.

To be honest, last night was the first time I really checked the LX80 az slop being discussed in the other thread. I now better understand the issue but am not really worried about it since I am visual only.

Anyway, I wanted to share my solution to the LX80 tripod top weakness. Before I asked my friend about machining a new top, I was going to install small diameter tie bolts on the OEM top for increasd strength and fill the whole underside area with epoxy resin.

So far, I like the LX80 because it is relatively easy to set up and I like Sandy Wood LOL... Next I will try the EQ configuration to see how stable that is.

thanks,
Axle


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Mkofski
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Axle]
      #5562650 - 12/09/12 03:32 PM

Axle,

Thanks for the information. That top is nice looking. Is your friend interested in making any more? If so, let us know the price.


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Axle]
      #5563167 - 12/09/12 09:27 PM

Axel,

I noticed that when I added the replacement tripod top that my machinist developed, the mount was more steady than with the stock top. But some of that may have come from not having to fear overtightening the spreader and having a leg snap off. If you are going to use the LX80 for purely visual observing, you may find it satisfactory in Alt-Az mode. The damping time for mine when using a C9.25 was about 5 seconds if I tapped the diagonal. I don't know how heavy your refractor is, but it's longer than my SCT, so it may result in slightly higher vibration. My damping time doubled when I set the scope up in EQ mode.

Yours truly,

Jack Huerkamp


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DuiA1
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5563225 - 12/09/12 10:00 PM

The new top looks very substantial. Nice. What js your damping time in az and equatorial mode? What's the thickness of the material behind the Allen bolt on the U section?

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Axle
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5563385 - 12/10/12 12:09 AM

Thanks for your replies.

I do not have an exact damping time yet because the wind was a little breezy. So really, my previous comments regarding vibration are very loose because the wind was enough to affect the dampening. In fact, the wind eventually ended the session.

The material thickness behind the bolt head is about 3/16" - 1/4" or so. i do not have the exact measurement. We were going to make it thicker by cutting a deeper notch into the disc and leave more material on the back side of the U. But that extra material was not necessary to attain the strength needed. The bolts will never pull through in any scenario in this application. Interestingly, this specific aspect was discussed several times to ensure it would be enough. Another option we were considering was to remove some material off the front of the bolt head and having a shallower cup.

Unfortunately, there are too many other projects in the que to make any more of these at the moment.

I will try and get some dampening times the next time out.


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Jack Huerkamp
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Axle]
      #5563693 - 12/10/12 08:06 AM

Axel,

At the last star party I was at with the LX80 and C9.25, I did notice the scope being shaken by light breezes while in EQ mode. It was enough to wash out any detail visible on Jupiter. The view of Jupiter was much better in A/A mode as the damping time was 50% less.

My load on the mount was the 22# OTA and I was using a 22# Celestron counterweight.

Jack Huerkamp


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ldesign1
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5728737 - 03/12/13 06:20 PM

Has anyone physically counted the amount of teeth on the LX80 worm gear? I can't find any specs on it to input the data in PemPro.

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OzAndrewJ
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: ldesign1]
      #5728851 - 03/12/13 07:26 PM

Gday Ralph

Toothcount wise, the LX80 is the same as an LX90
ie 154 teeth

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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ldesign1
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5729036 - 03/12/13 09:19 PM

Thank you Andrew!

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ldesign1
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: ldesign1]
      #5729666 - 03/13/13 04:13 AM

Does anyone know if there is a fuse inside the mount to protect the pc board from burning out if a cable gets snagged? Just wondering because I had a bit of a scare today when my mount all of the sudden stopped in the middle of a slew from a cable snag. I couldn't get it to power back on so I started to disassemble it then I decided to check the cables and connector first. I had a short 6" right angle cable extension connected to the main power cable. When I connected the main cable, the power light came on. But when I connected the short extension to it, no power. So I took apart the extension cable instead and discovered that the snag had caused the wire to separate fron the solder connection so power wasn't reaching the mount. That was a relief. I re-soldered the connection and everything worked fine again.

I know that the hand controller has a selection for cable snag, but I don't know what that does or how it works. I just enabled it as an assumption that it offers some sort of protection. Does any one know for sure?


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: ldesign1]
      #5729670 - 03/13/13 04:32 AM

Gday Ralph

There are NO internal fuses,
ie if you fry, you die with a Meade scope.

Quote:

I know that the hand controller has a selection for cable snag,



No it doesnt, it has a "cord wrap" function

Quote:

but I don't know what that does or how it works.




Cord wrap ON merely limits how many revs the scope will go one way or the other in RA when doing a goto.
It provides NO protection against cables getting caught whilst in the allowable slewing regions.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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ldesign1
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5729788 - 03/13/13 07:30 AM

No fuse huh! I guess I will start using my old extension with an in-line fuse. At least that will prevent the mount from trying to draw too much current when a snag does occur. Do you think that will work?

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rmollise
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: ldesign1]
      #5730053 - 03/13/13 10:34 AM

Most cigarette lighter style plugs have fuses. Will that save your scope? Maybe. Remember: fuses are designed to protect the power source and prevent fires, not to save delicate ICs.

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chemman
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Reged: 06/21/11

Loc: Colorado
Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: ldesign1]
      #5741929 - 03/18/13 10:17 PM

So I will be doing some experimentation with amperage loading soon. I am going to figure what fuse it will take to protect the thing from physical damage. Has anyone done this already?

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rmollise
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: chemman]
      #5742467 - 03/19/13 09:05 AM

Quote:

So I will be doing some experimentation with amperage loading soon. I am going to figure what fuse it will take to protect the thing from physical damage. Has anyone done this already?




I'd be awful careful with that.

As above, that's not the purpose of a fuse. May save the gear, may not.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: rmollise]
      #5762639 - 03/28/13 04:06 PM

FYI I noticed on OPT's website it looks like there is a $200.00 off on these now. Back to the intro price of 799US

Edited by Whichwayisnorth (03/28/13 09:16 PM)


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rmollise
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5762641 - 03/28/13 04:08 PM

The question I have is "has anything been improved"? A couple of people seem to have received 80s that perform better...

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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: rmollise]
      #5762748 - 03/28/13 05:16 PM

I suspect that the people had different expectations thats why they feel it performs well. My gut feeling is that Meade would re-brand it as an LX85 if they where to improve the mount so as to distance it from the badly received first edition.

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rmollise
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5762917 - 03/28/13 06:35 PM

Dunno...there was one post that a mount received back from Meade had had various springs removed and no longer exhibited the dreaded "play."

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Hilmi
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: rmollise]
      #5762942 - 03/28/13 06:45 PM

Ohh, I missed that part, I kinda lost interest on around page 5 of this discussion. Came back in to see what has changed.

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OzAndrewJ
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: rmollise]
      #5763018 - 03/28/13 07:17 PM

Sooooooooo, who's going to open theirs up and have a look
Be interesting to see if the worm wheel has changed design.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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DuiA1
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5767981 - 03/31/13 01:08 AM

Does anyone on this forum have the lx80 autoguiding successfully? The module is on back order so how is one to test autoguiding before warranty expires?

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Hilmi
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5768005 - 03/31/13 01:33 AM

You test via pulse guide if ASCOM drivers are available for the mount, the specificss of how to set it up depend on the software you use to guide, but basically, in your guiding software you will find the option to choose guide via telescope or via ST4. Choose via telescope.

Some mounts guide better via pulse guiding while others guide better via ST4. That is a long winded and boring debate. The best way to find out for your specific mount it to try out both methods.

I hope this helps.


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Cameron McCarty
member


Reged: 07/13/12

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5817398 - 04/23/13 12:52 PM

I will chime in that as far as the legs detaching goes, I had the leg fall off of our LX80 scope just the other day. Luckily I was by my scope and able to catch it and Meade was able to replace it for free.

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Mkofski
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Cameron McCarty]
      #5818046 - 04/23/13 05:27 PM

Quote:

I will chime in that as far as the legs detaching goes, I had the leg fall off of our LX80 scope just the other day. Luckily I was by my scope and able to catch it and Meade was able to replace it for free.




Cameron,

Did the top plate of the tripod break? I assume that's what you mean.


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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5818455 - 04/23/13 07:14 PM

Very sad, how many is that now? 4? 5?

Interesting that no one has had an OTA die in the failure...


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JimMo
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: ur7x]
      #5818647 - 04/23/13 09:09 PM

Quote:

Very sad, how many is that now? 4? 5?

Interesting that no one has had an OTA die in the failure...




How do we really know if that has never happened? Not everyone posts online.


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Mkofski
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5820135 - 04/24/13 04:09 PM

Quote:

Does anyone on this forum have the lx80 autoguiding successfully? The module is on back order so how is one to test autoguiding before warranty expires?




I just checked again and the Autoguider Post Module is still back ordered on Meade's site.


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ur7x
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: JimMo]
      #5820156 - 04/24/13 04:20 PM

I stand corrected, based on forum reported LX80 tripod failures, no one has "lost" an OTA... yet...

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highertheflyer
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: JimMo]
      #5822730 - 04/25/13 06:12 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Very sad, how many is that now? 4? 5?

Interesting that no one has had an OTA die in the failure...




How do we really know if that has never happened? Not everyone posts online.




Are those legs breaking as a result of an owner wrongly tightening the upper leg bolts to pinch and to thus crack the ears of the base casing?
The ear bolts are adjusted properly on my mount, and I doubt the casting would fail EXCEPT by over-stressing caused by over-tightened leg attach points.


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rmollise
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: highertheflyer]
      #5822740 - 04/25/13 06:18 PM

There's no indication anybody has overtightened anything. One poster did NUDGE his tripod, but having a casting on a tripod head break for that reason is pretty strange and something _I've_ never heard of before the coming of the 80. Were I you, I'd keep a close eye on it.

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Mkofski
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: highertheflyer]
      #5822770 - 04/25/13 06:40 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Very sad, how many is that now? 4? 5?

Interesting that no one has had an OTA die in the failure...




How do we really know if that has never happened? Not everyone posts online.




Are those legs breaking as a result of an owner wrongly tightening the upper leg bolts to pinch and to thus crack the ears of the base casing?
The ear bolts are adjusted properly on my mount, and I doubt the casting would fail EXCEPT by over-stressing caused by over-tightened leg attach points.




Mine broke because I tried to move the mount in azimuth on grass. The others that I've seen reason for were because of tightening the spreader. I think that either should be able to be done without failure. I wont be moving the replacement tripod without picking it up in the future.

Meade has been great about replacing failed tripods but what's going to happen after the warranty runs out.


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highertheflyer
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Re: Lx80 Multi-mount new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5823320 - 04/25/13 10:53 PM

As this new tripod is less than a week old I'll pay attention to the fellows suggestions and thanks.

It would be good to safety the top of each leg, perhaps with a loop of cable secured to the underside of the mount head. This so if the casting should fail, the cable would captured the released leg and the scope would not tumble.

I've used thin cables to safety the secondary's to spiders in the event the secondary lets go. Happened once years ago and I still have the chip dead center on the primary to remind me of that day!

Jim


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