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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5560023 - 12/07/12 09:51 PM

Thanks for posting, Jason.

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: n2dpsky]
      #5560152 - 12/07/12 11:24 PM

It's good to hear something from what is happening. Is this a delta version of the mount then with different components in gears and bearings as had been reported?

-Rich


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sphelps
member


Reged: 07/03/10

Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5560379 - 12/08/12 03:14 AM

Thanks Jason. I am feeling more confident now about purchasing an LX800 when they are finally re-released. Can't wait to see the final version.

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Bowmoreman
Clear enough skies
*****

Reged: 09/11/06

Loc: Bolton, MA
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5560631 - 12/08/12 10:26 AM

Jason, thanks for your very detailed and on topic post. Btw, as a vendor you ARE allowed to post like this, you simply have to follow the CN TOS for vendors. As long as you don't comment on competitors stuff, nor push yours, generally things go just fine.

Anytime you have questions about that, just contact a mod (David or I on mounts for example).

Again, this was a valuable and information dense post, thanks.

Please consider more active participation.


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DanlB
member


Reged: 03/29/10

Loc: Indiana
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Bowmoreman]
      #5560732 - 12/08/12 11:29 AM

Jason, thanks for the great update. It is encouraging to read, and see, some positive results for the LX800 mount.

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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5560829 - 12/08/12 12:41 PM

Quote:

I have suggested a few more enhancements, like reducing the stiffness of the unlocked clutches and more travel in the azmuth adjustment. Not show stoppers but fixing these would make a great product even better.




The clutch stiffness has been addressed few months ago. I did not see much difference though. However, one user disagreed with me. I was told by Meade that there isn't much else they could do about it. Some A-P mounts have very stiff clutches too and that was done on purpose. A mount with stiff axes can withstand wind gusts better.

Travel in the azimuth is not an issue. Just release the bolt underneath the tripod base plate and rotate the mount head 360 degrees. This is a great feature which Meade failed to advertise/document.

Edited by Alph (12/08/12 01:37 PM)


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Jared
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/11/05

Loc: Piedmont, California, U.S.
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5560923 - 12/08/12 01:48 PM

Thanks for the post, Jason. Very helpful. Also, interesting that you weren't involved in beta testing the original LX800 product. I think having a stronger testing program for that initial rollout might have helped a great deal.

If your seeing conditions the past few weeks/months were limiting you to 2.9" on focus frames, that by itself is enough to explain much of what I see in the linked images. Images at 2,400mm focal length just aren't going to look their best if the seeing is poor.

Frankly, the only thing disappointing in the material you provided is that you are seeing 1-2 pixels of trailing on guided subs even with the mirror locked down. I wish Meade had gone with an OAG solution rather than a small guide scope. But, as you mentioned, one could always switch to an OAG after the fact. And I suppose a lot of people would rather have the flexibility of more guide stars that comes with a smaller guide scope.


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

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Jared]
      #5561201 - 12/08/12 04:55 PM

Quote:

I wish Meade had gone with an OAG solution rather than a small guide scope. But, as you mentioned, one could always switch to an OAG after the fact. And I suppose a lot of people would rather have the flexibility of more guide stars that comes with a smaller guide scope.




Yes...I've wondered about this since Starlock was announced. Wouldn't it be cool if a scope was like Hubble - with integrated "fine guidance sensors" (essentially off-axis guiders) outside the normal imaging frame. Of course, as you mentioned, there are downsides to that.


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n2dpsky
member


Reged: 05/01/12

Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5561273 - 12/08/12 05:56 PM

It's funny you said that, Lee Jay. I sometimes read these posts and feel like that is what people expect from these small telescope manufactures. I actually commend Meade for being bold enough to really innovate. Of course, that comes with downsides as well, but they could have just repackaged another GEM and called it a day. They're really trying to do something that's never been done. I think we'll all benefit from that effort in the long run. If this works, future products will most assuredly follow. Having to worry about guide star selection and pairing guiders to optics will be a thing of the past.

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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Jared]
      #5561341 - 12/08/12 06:58 PM

Quote:

I wish Meade had gone with an OAG solution rather than a small guide scope



Hmm? As if finding a guide star with OAG could be easily automated.


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andysea
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Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Alph]
      #5561472 - 12/08/12 08:40 PM

The clutches on my Mach1 are pretty stiff and that's just normal. The Njp axes spin completely loose when the clutches are released. It's just different designs but there is nothing wrong with either one, at least nothing that I am aware of.

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andysea
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5561488 - 12/08/12 08:52 PM

In my experience an OAG gives the best guiding possible, however I am not sure how an OAG could be integrated into a mount/OTA. The OAG needs to be setup in such a way that the guide camera comes into focus at the same point as the imaging camera. Backfocus of DSLR's and CCD cameras varies a lot and it would be nearly impossible to provide an integrated OAG that works out of the box with any imaging system. Not to mention the high price tag of a decent guide camera that is sensitive enough to work with the OAG.

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korborh
professor emeritus
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Reged: 01/29/11

Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Alph]
      #5561714 - 12/08/12 11:53 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I wish Meade had gone with an OAG solution rather than a small guide scope



Hmm? As if finding a guide star with OAG could be easily automated.




One can Calibrate FOV in TheSky and use a Rotator with one of the many automation programs. I have never used a rotator so not sure how easy this is in practice.
I rotate manually and the guide star is there because my FOV and OAG angle is calibrated.


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andysea
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 09/03/10

Loc: Seattle, WA
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: korborh]
      #5561729 - 12/09/12 12:07 AM

So far with my lodestar, in over a year of imaging, I never had to rotate the oag to find a guide star.

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Peter in Reno
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: andysea]
      #5561730 - 12/09/12 12:11 AM

Same here. Never had to hunt for guide star with OAG and Lodestar using C-8 at 2000mm focal length.

Peter


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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: korborh]
      #5561808 - 12/09/12 01:52 AM

Quote:

One can Calibrate FOV in TheSky



How would you automate it? Is the Meade LX200 controller able to run TheSky?


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Hilmi
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Alph]
      #5561885 - 12/09/12 05:09 AM

I think that should they be able to resolve all the problems before their financial troubles drown them, starlock could prove very popular with people who would like to get into Astro-photography but are intimidated by coming up with a package and integrating it and working out the bugs. I also believe it will be a huge hit with DSLR imagers. 100% PC free imaging out of the box, no extra gadgets needed.

Looking at the resutls so far, maybe it will work better wit slightly shorter focal lengths.

At this price range, the lure is in the simplicity, that is what you are paying a premium for. And honestly, even if the first generation of the technology might not be perfect, the second generation might hit the sweet spot and be a major game changer in the industry.


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freestar8n
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/12/07

Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5561914 - 12/09/12 06:30 AM

I am not optimistic about any system that guides a large sct with a separate guidescope because differential flexure is fundamentally difficult to overcome due to the ota itself and its two reflecting surfaces. On the other hand, the system could work very well for guiding a refractor, and the 130mm apo version of the lx800 at the same price as the 12" ($9999) makes perfect sense as an integrated system that should do well out of the box, and be easy to use. None of the images I have seen with lx800 and a large sct show any benefit of the greater aperture and I think better results would be achievable with a well-focused 130mm refractor - and it would be much easier to operate.

If there are compelling results guiding a large sct with a guidescope system, then the performance can be summarized in two numbers: the achieved fwhm (arc-seconds) in longish exposures (preferably 5-15m) and the flexure rate in arc-seconds per minute. Anyone characterizing the performance of such a system should be measuring those numbers, and if the results are good - I would prefer to see the numbers and example sub-exposures rather than just a final processed image with no measurements.

The measure of a well guided image at long focal length isn't just "round" stars, but small and round stars. If the stars are large and round, it could be due to poor focus and/or guiding, and the size of the stars will mask both flexure and field curvature. If the stars are very small, then the effects of flexure and field curvature become much more noticeable.

Regarding OAG, I think it is essential if you want to realize the full potential of a large aperture sct. I don't think it could be easily offered in some automated form, mainly because of the difficulty in maintaining focus on the guide chip. At the same time it is not that difficult to use once the system is configured, particularly with a sensitive ccd guide camera and a smooth mount that can tolerate long guide exposures.

Regarding the helix image - I have never imaged it myself because it is at -20 declination, and not an easy target from mid-northern latitudes. Even from Dallas it's an odd choice if seeing conditions aren't optimal, and the other examples of pac-man and crab make more sense.

Frank


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

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: freestar8n]
      #5562141 - 12/09/12 10:23 AM

Quote:

I am not optimistic about any system that guides a large sct with a separate guidescope because differential flexure is fundamentally difficult to overcome due to the ota itself and its two reflecting surfaces.




I am, but they've got to produce the f/5 reducer. Even with the f/8 scopes and the lower read noise sensors we're starting to get, shorter subs are becoming more and more practical. They don't need to get rid of differential flexure, they just need to keep it to a low enough level during the sub exposure, and if the subs are getting down into the 30-300 seconds area, it shouldn't be too difficult to make that happen.


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Peter in Reno
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Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5562280 - 12/09/12 11:40 AM

What about narrow band imaging? It usually requires a significantly longer sub exposure at a minimum of 15 minutes up to 30 minutes. NB imaging is getting very popular especially for light polluted skies.

Peter


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