Return to the Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews home pageAstronomics discounts for Cloudy Nights members
· Get a Cloudy Nights T-Shirt · Submit a Review / Article

Click here if you are having trouble logging into the forums

Privacy Policy | Please read our Terms of Service | Signup and Troubleshooting FAQ | Problems? PM a Red or a Green Gu… uh, User

Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | (show all)
Lee Jay
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/27/08

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5558371 - 12/06/12 10:10 PM

Quote:

I do not belong to Facebook and I have no interest in joining. It would be nice if Jason joined Cloudy Nights and share his experiences with LX800 here.

If he was using Starlock, then it may prove that the internal Crayford style focuser inside Meade's new SCT scope is working well.

I do not understand why Jason is the only one successful with LX800 unless his mount is the first to be fixed from the recall.

Peter




He's Beta-testing the fixes for Meade.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Raginar
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5558559 - 12/07/12 12:36 AM

I'd be pretty happy with that at native focal length. The only one with stars that were really elongated was image 4 (helix). I could fix that with a quick mask/PSF in PI.

I want to know if it's repeatable . Can you just walk out and have it all work or was their tinkering involved?

I'm really glad to see some products out of this mount!


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Jared
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/11/05

Loc: Piedmont, California, U.S.
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Phil Wheeler]
      #5558627 - 12/07/12 02:25 AM

Quote:

A very tough crowd -- "His stars aren't round" & "I'm not impressed".

Those shots at Links 1 thru 4 look really good to me, and the stars look acceptably "round".

I'm not highly motivated to post images here.




The standard being applied to these images is NOT what you could expect if you posted your own images. These are being judged harshly because the LX800 on initial release failed rather dramatically to live up to expectations.

Jason is one of Meade's "goto" testers for new equipment--has been for a very long time--so anything short of perfection is not going to be smiled upon. There are a fair number of people who either bought or were thinking of buying LX800's with the expectation of an integrated, simple, well matched astrophotography platform. Personally, I don't think that is possible at these focal lengths--especially "simple".

As far as the quality of the images themselves... Frankly, it is very hard to know how the system is doing without looking at raw data. Are stars bloated because of poor seeing? Por optical quality? Focus shift? Bad focus? Poor tracking? Poor registration? Or just from ordinary processing and stretching? think these images look pretty decent for an experienced astrophotographer working the kinks out on a long focal length setup. I say working the kinks out primarily because there appear to be some minor tracking errors on the Helix.

To really know how the system is performing--to be able to judge I without bringing in our own preferences in processing techniques--we would need FWHM numbers for the guided sub frames and some comparison shots from very short exposures (a few seconds) so we could appropriately account for seeing conditions. I'm not expecting Jason to provide that--not his job.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
freestar8n
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/12/07

Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Jared]
      #5558695 - 12/07/12 05:51 AM

I am interested in conveying autoguiding performance with novel systems, and I use a combination of 1) a processed final image 2) stated measurements of fwhm (") in sub exposures, and 3) raw, linearly stretched views of sub-exposures. An example for the Crab nebula can be found here.

People sometimes compare results to Hubble images, but the Helix nebula is unusual because it is huge and somewhat unique as a "Hubble" result because it is a giant montage and includes data from ground images. A description of the source images can be found here. Note that the ability to spend so much time on a huge montage was partly motivated by the need to point the 'scope away from the incoming Leonid storm of Nov. 2002.

A more representative view of the true resolution capability of the HST can be found in this image. You would need to find and magnify a very tiny piece of the lx800 image and do a side-by-side comparison at the same scale to judge the difference.

Frank

Edited by freestar8n (12/07/12 05:52 AM)


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: freestar8n]
      #5558891 - 12/07/12 09:25 AM

The LX 800 is specified as 1 arcsecond tracking. At that level, there should be no tracking errors.

Jason has been using SCTs for a while, so I wouldn't anticipate newbie results like focusing errors.

On the bloat on the stars, it has been my impression the entire point of ACF was to avoid that. The stars should be tight pinpoints, shouldn't they?

Now, it would be possible to make tracking errors less visible by purposely processing the stars to bloat them out some. But that would seem to defeat the purpose of even testing the mount.

As for the ad hominem attacks in responses up to now, that's really cheap. The mount and telescope are not only sold as a complete high end imaging system, they've been advertised as that for over a year, and are priced as such. Exactly what should their results be compared with, if not that standard? Software Bisque claims performance only almost as good as the LX 800 and the images from their mounts have tight stars and no bloat.

Just saying it like it is.

-Rich


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Peter in Reno
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5559070 - 12/07/12 11:06 AM

Meade's web site says 1 arcsecond GUIDING using Starlock depending on sky conditions, not tracking of the mount. I am not sure of autoguiding has anything to do with quality of the mount.

Peter


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5559109 - 12/07/12 11:25 AM

1" guiding is great but certainly not groundbreaking, I have "heard" that 0.5" RMS guiding is commonplace with the Mach1 (although it supposedly can do 0.1" if the seeing allows)

I've been using my CGEM a lot since I fixed the encoders. It has 40" of PE and I routinely do 1.8" - and can do 1.1" if I'm really lucky - this only happens once in a while, only at certain mount positions, and doesn't last long. (note this is RMS and not peak-to-peak!)

so 1" from the LX800 should be doable... but if I can get 1.8" from my CGEM, I would expect a CGE Pro would handily beat that, and cost less than the LX800. Celestron claims about 12" p-p for the CGE Pro (3.39" RMS) and 0.91" RMS with PPEC.

Peter - mount quality will affect autoguiding performance. The CGEM has a huge PE so I don't expect guiding performance to go below 1" in fact I've never achieved 1" - only 1.1" when I'm lucky. The lower the native PE, the tighter the guiding will be.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
blueman
Photon Catcher
*****

Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5559162 - 12/07/12 11:54 AM

If the mount is selling for the cost of a Mach1 or mount of that caliber, then it should be judged by results from mounts of that caliber.
Blueman


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
JSnuff1
sage


Reged: 12/29/04

Loc: NY
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: blueman]
      #5559289 - 12/07/12 01:18 PM

What most people have not realized is that these are 5 minute subs. The real value of systems in this price range is that they can do excellent guiding and do this over a 15 or even 30 minute time interval.

People that can buy this system also have cameras that can expose for over 15 minutes. This is an area Meade has never entered, and I had a LOT of discussions with them that if they wish to be successful here this mount HAS to be able to guide accurately for more than 5-10 minutes.

One of the reasons for the recall was because of this issue, and that fact that native PE was so high any exposure over 10 minutes would be riddled with elongated stars and guiding errors.

I have yet to see a single successful exposure over 10 minutes from this system. I know from my tests anything over that I had to throw out. I hope the changes have fixed this but that is yet to be seen.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
orlyandico
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: JSnuff1]
      #5559318 - 12/07/12 01:38 PM

Well I didn't know those were 5-minute subs. If anything over 10 minutes, even guided, has to be thrown out, and given the 30" (is it?) native PE... then there is a big disconnect about the price.

1" RMS guiding is not bad as I've said - but you don't need $7K equipment to get that level of performance. And as for not needing a PC for the guiding, I think this is a false economy - there is no 15-minute camera out there that does not need a PC. So you will be hauling the PC around anyway.

If the market was "drop it, let it align, take 5-minute subs with a DSLR" then yes the Starlock is good for that. I don't see that market dropping $7K for a mount though...


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Peter in Reno
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5559351 - 12/07/12 01:57 PM

I assumed these images were 10+ minutes subs because they appear to be taken with narrowband filters.

I do not belong to Facebook and have no interest. Can anyone copy Jason's text from Meade's facebook and paste the text here so we all can read more information about the images?

I agree that 5 minute subs is not long enough to make a judgement of this new mount. I take narrow band images at 15 to 30 minutes per sub with my Mach1 and C-8 EdgeHD at 2000mm focal length with reasonable success and round stars. I would like to see that with LX800. At five minute subs, I can easily do that with my previous CPC0800 mounted on Mitty wedge. I even imaged at 30 minute subs with CPC0800 with fairly reasonable round stars.

This is a combination of 15 and 30 minute subs totaling 570 minutes of NGC7331 taken with CPC0800 with Mitty wedge. Not bad for costing less than $3K including Mitty wedge. This was taken at f/10 at 2000mm without focal reducer so the stars are typically elongated at the corners.

NGC7331-CPC0800

Peter


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Lee Jay
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/27/08

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5559391 - 12/07/12 02:17 PM

Quote:

I do not belong to Facebook and have no interest. Can anyone copy Jason's text from Meade's facebook and paste the text here so we all can read more information about the images?




I also have no interest in belonging to Facebook, but you don't need to belong to see the posts.

"This is the longest exposure so far with the 12" Meade LX800. Total of 8.3 hours in HA, SII and OIII. The seeing was a little soft so the stars are not as sharp as I would like but not bad."

Facebook page link


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Peter in Reno
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5559404 - 12/07/12 02:26 PM

That's as far as I can go but when I want to look inside more of Jason's images or information, it prompts me to login.

Where does it say "5 minute subs"?

Peter


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Lee Jay
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/27/08

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5559472 - 12/07/12 03:10 PM

Quote:

That's as far as I can go but when I want to look inside more of Jason's images or information, it prompts me to login.

Where does it say "5 minute subs"?

Peter




It doesn't. His last one did.

http://galaxyphoto.com/jw_lx800_eline_m42.htm


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Peter in Reno
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/15/08

Loc: Reno, NV
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5559538 - 12/07/12 04:09 PM

Thanks for the link. It looks like Jason is a very experienced astro-photographer. Many of his images look fantastic.

Peter


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
crow
sage


Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: BC, Canada
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: Peter in Reno]
      #5559613 - 12/07/12 05:05 PM

Rich, you know saying it like it is, isn't allowed anymore, get with the program. You may hurt the telescopes feelings.

And while you're at it, dump your common sense down the drain too.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: crow]
      #5559675 - 12/07/12 05:50 PM

Being the moderator here since the LX80/800 introduction, it is very evident that these threads go downhill because of the adverse reaction to the Meade's lack of success. HOWEVER, WE'VE HEARD IT ALL BEFORE...MANY, MANY TIMES. Snark is not going to get anyone anywhere, especially with the LX80/800 mount threads.

I've said it before, if you have nothing to add constructive or if you feel the need to rehash old, worn out news, leave it at the door. Nothing will get this thread locked quicker than snarky, rehashed information.

David


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
crow
sage


Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: BC, Canada
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5559707 - 12/07/12 06:04 PM

Well, I'd withdraw my comment but it was said in jest and kind of a comment on society not CN or Meade. Probably a bit out of place on a scope forum, apologies.

Personally I hope Meade sort their issues out, competition is good. I was always going to get a Meade scope, orange isn't really my colour.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
galaxy_jason
Vendor


Reged: 05/22/07

Loc: Texas
Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: crow]
      #5559933 - 12/07/12 08:36 PM

Hi, I have watched this thread and thought I would answer some of the questions. I hope this gets through. I was a long time contributor to Cloudy Nights until several years ago the moderators started deleting my posts because was named a “vendor”. I sell a few prints a year and somehow that disqualifies me from referencing my website in any post. But I digress.

I have been a Meade beta tester for over 20 years, however, I was not a part of the first round testing of the LX800. I received a 12” LX800 after the recall which already had some enhancements beyond what was first released. I have provided feedback on several issues, some of which have already been addressed. The mechanics of this telescope and mount are first rate in my opinion compared to earlier Meade products. Can you find better? Yes, but at a much higher cost. It represents a good compromise between price/availability and performance. 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 majority of the testing has been with regard to the Starlock software. Guiding is hard. Quite frankly I was very skeptical of the idea of a self guiding telescope but as I am using the system I am beginning to believe. The biggest hurdles are flexture in the system. This is a concern anytime a separate guidescope is used. But Meade has done a good job in this respect. The last bit of flex I can see is coming from movement of the main mirror which Meade tells me they are working on. Although the new Crayford focuser is OUTSTANDING, there is some movement. I have been able to eliminate it by locking the mirror with a ¼-20 long-bolt and nut in the shipping bolt hole.

Once the mirror is locked I use a Meade zero image focuser to fine focus. It works well although I found a bit of a light leak that was eliminated with a.... sock.

As for the images. The wide field Helix and PacMan were done with early version of the Starlock firmware and without locking the mirror. I am currently doing 10 minute subs and the guiding is very good. I never do longer then 10 minute subs, I find this is a good compromise between readout noise and number of subs. I want more subs to eliminate cosmic ray hits, affect of any polar misalignment and to take a advantage if dithering.

I also use a non-antiblooming gate camera so I often drop back to 5 minute subs to avoid blooms. The Hubble Helix comparison was with the newest firmware and is much better guided, but still a little trailing. See below.

Meade claims a guiding accuracy of about 1”. This is based on the resolution of the guide scope. All my images are done prime focus with an Apogee U9 6303. With this combination the image scale is about .76”/pixel. What I am finding with the current firmware is a 1-2 pixel elongation which is pretty much within spec, this may improve with upcoming firmware revisions but is not bad considering the Starlock
is about 1/5 the focal length of the 12” f8 OTA. Those desiring better guiding can use an off axis guider and supplemental software. Starlock will shut off when outside guiding is received, it does not fight it.

As for the optics, they are very good. I do most of my imaging from Plano, about 25 miles due north of downtown Dallas. A Metroplex of 6 million people. For the last few months we have had very bad seeing. The Clearsky clock is light blue most nights. The best I can get when focusing is a FWHM of around 2.9” at 2400mm f.l.

The field is almost flat across the 6303 chip with some elongation at the corners. The M42 shot was a mosaic so you can see some elongation at the center since that is the pane boundary. Again, the built in focuser is kick-*BLEEP* but I lose that capability when locking the mirror . Life is full of engineering trade-offs.

All and all this project is shaping up. I was seeing some pointing, initialization errors in the HPP pointing mode and I have received a new firmware version that is supposed to address this. Have not had time to test it yet. Forecast is for snow on Sunday, maybe. (Yes it does that sometime in North Texas).

Hope this answers some the questions and “speculation” (most of it wrong). If you want to ask more questions send an email through my web site since I don’t post here very often.


Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
n2dpsky
member


Reged: 05/01/12

Re: Jason Ware's LX800 new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5560016 - 12/07/12 09:48 PM

Thanks, Jason. Awesome work. I know it's easy for everyone to bash you, Meade and the product development, but the absence of other 10-hour Helix photos on the part of the bashers is not all that surprising. Those who do, do. Those who don't, criticize. Come on, boys. Post your shots along with your comments. I spent an hour looking for Helix shot through a Celestron that is even close to your shot and came up empty.

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | (show all)


Extra information
22 registered and 31 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  Dave M, richard7, bilgebay, iceblaze 

Print Thread

Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled


Thread views: 6406

Jump to

CN Forums Home


Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics