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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
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Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5847375 - 05/08/13 09:22 AM

Quote:

Same with Maxim/DL?

Essentially their are drivers for both applications? ASCOM drivers?




To measure tracking, Maxim/DL needs only to talk to the camera (as I said above, for that purpose it doesn't need to know what mount is being used). Maxim/DL does, however, communicate with my mount and control it for target selection and slewing using existing ASCOM drivers.


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JSnuff1
sage


Reged: 12/29/04

Loc: NY
Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5850603 - 05/09/13 06:23 PM

When I had the LX800 pepmro was working fine with it. I don't remember correctly, but I think I got it to work with the the ASCOM Meade MAX 20 drivers.

Not sure if this is still the case, but the electronics seem unchanged so i dont see why not.


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Astronomiser.Com
member
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Reged: 01/13/08

Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: travelenfree1952]
      #5862727 - 05/15/13 05:56 PM

Hello Whichwayisnorth:

Saw yesterday where you posted your LX850-14 on Cloudy Nights "For Sale". Don't see it today. Have you already sold it?


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Astronomiser.Com]
      #5863319 - 05/15/13 10:13 PM

Quote:

Hello Whichwayisnorth:

Saw yesterday where you posted your LX850-14 on Cloudy Nights "For Sale". Don't see it today. Have you already sold it?




Should still be there. I have a date friday night with a potential buyer. FYI, to head off any speculation, selling this because
1) Just too heavy and cumbersome for me to take down and set up often. I don't have a great spot for it in the back yard where it is secure and doesn't kill my grass. I've tried a few options but they don't work for my situation. A smaller, lighter, quicker setup is what I need. Not trying hard to sell it. Won't negotiate.

2) I use The SkyX Pro with T-point. I find that when I do set it up for a week at a time I run 200 point calibrations and I turn off Starlock HPP and for my 3nm narrow band filters I am typically taking exposures of 30+ minutes in which case I am using an OAG as part of my QSI camera so often I have Starlock off anyways.

So at this point I could have pretty much any mount in its class and be perfectly happy. I am probably going to down-grade to a 11" OTA and a lighter mount. The mount I'll probably buy straight from Ed at DSP.

Then again if nobody bites, I'll just keep on keeping on.


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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5863646 - 05/16/13 01:26 AM

Let me add something to what whichwaynorth is saying.

The LX850 is designed to be a heavy duty, rock solid telescope to facilitate high end astrophotography and very steady visual work (whatever that means to you). This means it is very heavy! +260 lbs and up!

The LX850 is about as transportable as other telescopes in its class. This means it is NOT a quick load in car telescope and take the 1 hour drive for observing at your favorite dark site for a few hours. Heck, it is not a quick setup for your back yard. I take that back. We get our LX850 setup in an hour - and the family gets quite a work out! My 10" LX200, I can set that up easily by myself.

For a telescope of this size and weight plan on:
-- putting it on dollies or wheelie bars from your shed or garage if practical, and/or
-- An observatory, and/or
-- Leaving it protected somehow outside, and pray the critters don't make a home in it!

If you plan to be mobile with it, set your expectations. And this is not just for the 14" LX850. If you have a Mach 1, or other mount with a 14" OTA, or CGE Pro with 14", etc you have a large telescope plain and simple. We were planning a big road trip with this telescope (5000+ miles). Ain't happening now. Most pros with the big heavy stuff probably fully realize this, and laughed at me.

We might transport our LX850 once a year to Chaco Canyon or White Sands, but that is it. It is too heavy to move. And even though it is a well built heavy duty telescope (very well built!), we are scared of breaking it even driving 50 miles (I don't want to ruin "my precious"). Yeah, we can do the high end cases, but there is too much invested in this thing to risk constantly shipping it around. The good news I have the go ahead from the wife unit to get an observatory. Not everyone can do this, nor do folks live in locations where it is practical.

The LX850 is a WONDERFUL telescope. Whichway has no need to negotiate. If anything you could ask for more money since you have something ready to sell...NOW! No waiting!

For our more mobile operations I am now looking at a 10" LX600. Not selling the LX200 or ETX-125. They are too integrated in the family (I am kicking myself for selling my RV-6).

200 point calibrations??? Yikes!


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Astronomiser.Com
member
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Reged: 01/13/08

Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5864062 - 05/16/13 09:54 AM

Appreciate the info gentlemen. I am planning on upgrading my mount for couple of road trip star parties this summer. I was leaning toward the 850, but the portability issues have convinced me to go with a CGEMDX. I'm an old guy, and the DX is probably heavy enough in itself.

Good luck on sale. Sounds like the 850 mount is doing well, and I'm sure a place exists for it in the astronomical community.


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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Astronomiser.Com]
      #5864084 - 05/16/13 10:09 AM

Astronomiser,

The LX850 is portable - for a massive telescope! Of course this is all relative. It is a wonderful telescope, but I was imagining when my wife and I are 65 setting it up in the field. It could not be done. BUT if you want rock solid AP and a great turnkey solution with great optics, this is 110% the way to go.

CGEMDX is definitely a lighter mount, but if you are going on the road I am convinced a smaller OTA is critical. Yes, people have 14" scopes and larger at Star Parties, but I am convinced this is a total pain in the butt to haul around. I see no advantage taking very large telescopes to Star Parties unless selling something, showing off, sharing with others to test a big scope, or a person's only chance to go to dark skies. (Boy this will get the flames going!).

My new grab and go plan - Meade 10" LX600, ED 6000 APO (TBD mount), and/or my Canon 60Da with an iOptron Skytracker (a tad lighter!).

For our needs - research, high end AP, shared video (I will have a dedicated video server), and fun viewing the heavens from a big telescope, the 14" LX850 is the only way to go.


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Astronomiser.Com
member
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Reged: 01/13/08

Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5864345 - 05/16/13 12:01 PM

Andrew:

I agree with your comments on age/portability. Obviously at the major star parties, Texas, Okie-Tex etc., you see the full range of equipment. I usually go by myself, and weight is a issue now, due to my age. The days of man-handling refigerators are over. Ha !

I'm upgrading from LXD-75 to the DX, as I need more capacity. Have Asto Tech 111 and Astro Tech 80 for guiding. Canon T2i mod., and rig weighs 33lbs. I'm happy with stacking 2-3 min subs, so hope the DX will do the trick.

Sure a new AP-1100 would be nice, but retired and those big spending days are over.

Gary in Dallas


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rcdk
super member


Reged: 11/13/10

Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Astronomiser.Com]
      #5865731 - 05/16/13 07:54 PM

Seems like it would be more appropriate for a star party because you take an hour to set up and then get to spend a week using it.

I have a lot more motivation to reduce setup time when I am spending one night at a dark sky site or just going out to my front yard for a couple of hours.


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GlennS
member


Reged: 06/19/12

Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: rcdk]
      #5891792 - 05/30/13 04:23 AM

Not sure how to start new (but related)topic here. I have seen that Meade has released a firmware update for the LX850 AutoStar and StarLock that includes a utility for PEC training/refinement. The inmstructions are pretty thin -- it says you can sharpen, smooth, or scale the training, but doesn't really tell you much about why you would do any of those things, and what it means to the PEC training. I'm guessing it does the sort of stuff PEMPro does, but I have never used it either.
Any suggestions on how to use the new PEC Utility?


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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: GlennS]
      #5891822 - 05/30/13 05:52 AM

Quote:

Not sure how to start new (but related)topic here. I have seen that Meade has released a firmware update for the LX850 AutoStar and StarLock that includes a utility for PEC training/refinement. The inmstructions are pretty thin -- it says you can sharpen, smooth, or scale the training, but doesn't really tell you much about why you would do any of those things, and what it means to the PEC training. I'm guessing it does the sort of stuff PEMPro does, but I have never used it either.
Any suggestions on how to use the new PEC Utility?





Hello Whichwayis...

I had one night of experience with the software. A great add on, but it is a version 1.0 program. I agree documentation would be great (should we volunteer this task, lol). Here is what I got from using the software:

* You can see the raw PE in the plot. As noted elsewhere, my LX850 came in at approximately 6 arcseconds peak to peak, and 2.5 arc seconds or less RMS (rough estimate to my engineer's eyes). It would be nice to also have this in table format to get exact values.
* You can download your PE correction info. Values are in terms of correction values (what ever that is), vs arcseconds.
* Scale - not clear how I want to use it. It does change the plot scale, lol.
* Smooth - this seems pretty cool. It allows for smoother corrections vs. sharp jumps. You just select smooth after training. This then can be uploaded to the LX850.
* The arrow keys move you left to right on the plot.

That is more brief understanding of the software. Others are a better expert than I on this.

Also, I am not an expert on PEMPro (don't own it), but near as I can tell it is beginning to provide some of the features of PEMPro (or that is the direction it seems to be going). I can imagine with this software being only 1.0a there will be a loooooong road of updates and features coming out. Still, I think it is great having a free utility like this for us LX850 owners!


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orlyandico
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5891829 - 05/30/13 06:00 AM

the smoothing is nice to have, because the PE correction from starlock (or any other guiding system) would have perturbations due to the seeing, gear noise, etc.

the left-right is to adjust the PEC phase.

scaling the PEC plot is simply to adjust the magnitude of the PEC curve. I've seen that many mounts have greater PE when west-heavy than east-heavy. You can't always be east-heavy (unless you remember to rebalance after a meridian flip, or you have one of those string-with-a-weight tricks).

If you did your PEC training when the mount was west-heavy, your PE curve will be "too much" and scaling it would be a way to correct it without re-training.

the Celestron PECTool provides smoothing and scaling but I don't think it does phase correction.

both of these things are handled already by PEMPro.


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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5891833 - 05/30/13 06:05 AM

Quote:

the smoothing is nice to have, because the PE correction from starlock (or any other guiding system) would have perturbations due to the seeing, gear noise, etc.

the left-right is to adjust the PEC phase.

scaling the PEC plot is simply to adjust the magnitude of the PEC curve. I've seen that many mounts have greater PE when west-heavy than east-heavy. You can't always be east-heavy (unless you remember to rebalance after a meridian flip, or you have one of those string-with-a-weight tricks).

If you did your PEC training when the mount was west-heavy, your PE curve will be "too much" and scaling it would be a way to correct it without re-training.

the Celestron PECTool provides smoothing and scaling but I don't think it does phase correction.

both of these things are handled already by PEMPro.




AH HA!

Thanks orlyandico!

The advantage of Phase adjustment is?????


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orlyandico
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5891840 - 05/30/13 06:22 AM

If there is a periodic error, this will get corrected on the next guider update.

So the corrections are always going to be delayed (by some amount) compared to the actual PE.

In the case of PEMPro, the recording and training are separate workflows (unlike when you use a guider like StarLock to train the PE, where recording and correcting are done at the same time).

So PEMPro takes care of the phase delay, but a guider-based training does not. So adjusting the phase would allow you to "move forward" the correction by just the necessary amount to "perfectly" correct the PE.

That is the theory, at least.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5891879 - 05/30/13 07:18 AM

Gday Andy

Quote:

So PEMPro takes care of the phase delay, but a guider-based training does not. So adjusting the phase would allow you to "move forward" the correction by just the necessary amount to "perfectly" correct the PE.




Yes and no.
I always liken it to gaffa taping a micrometer to the end of a wooden ruler.
The LX850 PEC data storage has been changed radically in this latest firmware.
It gives much ( much ) more precision for the available adjustments, but you still only have 60 pec bins per turn of the worm, so about one correction every 10 clock seconds.
I cant see phase adjusting the curves will provide much benefit in this scenario,
tho for a given bin count, the new system is a definite improvement over the old system.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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galaxy_jason
Vendor


Reged: 05/22/07

Loc: Texas
Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5892001 - 05/30/13 09:10 AM

Dont expect much change in PECtool. It's just a simple little utility that has existed without change for many years. I was recently updated to support the new data structure of the latest version of Starlock training.

The new training is not your typical autoguider training. Starlock watches the star then calculates the PE and updates the PEC table. It works very well.


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5892060 - 05/30/13 09:57 AM

Are there two PECTool programs? I know of, and like, the one that Celestron provides to automate PEC training for their scopes but I doubt this what Jason is referring to.

As for phase adjusting, AIUI each PEC measurement is delayed by half the camera exposure time plus the time taken to download the image from the camera. Shifting the phase will move the correction to the time it happened instead of the time when it was measured.

Chris


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galaxy_jason
Vendor


Reged: 05/22/07

Loc: Texas
Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5892172 - 05/30/13 11:05 AM

There is a PEC tool and now a Starlock PEC tool. They are the same execpt for data structure. No need to do any phase adjustment. Just Starlock train, do 2-3 updates to average out any seeing efffects then go take photos.

If you want to do one "smooth" in PECtool then upload the data back to the mount it can smooth it a bit more but its not a requirement.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5892852 - 05/30/13 04:38 PM

Gday Jason

Quote:

Dont expect much change in PECtool.




I dont, ( and i dont use it as its too vague )
i will modify my own PEC Editor to suit shortly.

I was just pointing out that the whole data storage mechanism has changed, but the added refinement probably wouldnt help if someone wanted to "manually" phase adjust data.
Better to just run updates over time to smooth that out.

Quote:

The new training is not your typical autoguider training. Starlock watches the star then calculates the PE and updates the PEC table.




I can see that new serial functions have been added for Starlock to update data one element at a time, but what happens if someone wants to train without starlock??? I look at all cases.
Also, i havent looked at the averaging mechanism yet, to see how it handles bad data, so will limit comments till then.
That said, it does look like an improved mechanism at first blush.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5984916 - 07/22/13 06:27 PM

Any LX850 owners have a 365 outdoor cover for it yet? I am in the market and would like to know what fits and what doesn't. I have the 14" Fyi. Also I am going to get some sort of wheeled contraption for it so I can leave it set up and just move it around. Advice in that area would be appreciated.

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