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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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galaxy_jason
Vendor


Reged: 05/22/07

Loc: Texas
LX850 14"
      #5637943 - 01/22/13 10:54 PM

Meade sent me a 14" to test the mount. Looking good.

10 minute sub exposures 5 hours in HA..

http://galaxyphoto.com/tmp_800/lx800_14_horse.jpg

I miss named it "800", mine still has an 800 badge but it has all the 850 upgrades.


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5637997 - 01/22/13 11:21 PM

That is an impressive image! Well done.

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budman1961
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/25/11

Loc: Springfield, MO
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5638002 - 01/22/13 11:23 PM

Wow, that is super Jason!

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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: budman1961]
      #5638031 - 01/22/13 11:41 PM

Excellent image and resolution!
Any details on how this was auto-guided ?


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galaxy_jason
Vendor


Reged: 05/22/07

Loc: Texas
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: korborh]
      #5638042 - 01/22/13 11:45 PM

No external auto guider. Starlock did the guiding

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korborh
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 01/29/11

Loc: Arizona
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5638061 - 01/22/13 11:58 PM

That is impressive!

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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: korborh]
      #5638084 - 01/23/13 12:09 AM

And at F/8 too! Very nice Jason!

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oo_void
professor emeritus
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Reged: 11/13/09

Loc: San Francisco, CA
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5638182 - 01/23/13 01:51 AM

Not quite flat, but for that focal length, wow! Hopefully, they'll continue to refine this tech so it reaches us poor people in a couple of years.

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orlyandico
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: oo_void]
      #5638190 - 01/23/13 02:15 AM

Yes I did notice a tiny bit of elongation, but these are 10 minute subs at a pretty long focal length.

There is a Horsehead of similar image scale at the top of this page -
http://www.princeton.edu/~rvdb/images/NJP/ic434.html

but Rob Vanderbei's image was taken with a 10" RC and only using 5-minute subs.

If the LX850 can do perfectly round stars at 5-minutes, then it could be argued that the LX850 can match a Takahashi NJP. Which is really saying something...

Trouble is even at $6000 it's a lot of coin. If Meade could have the same technology in a $2000 class mount, I'd bet there would be a lot more adopters. I might even check it out..


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mmalik
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Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5638324 - 01/23/13 07:25 AM

Image looks good; more tests are needed by other users. LX850 has its work cut out at Mach1GTO... pricing.

On a side note, SCTs primarily being visual platforms, I would like if someone could test imaging with a decent APO on LX850 mount. Thx


My Horsehead....


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ahopp
sage


Reged: 05/24/12

Re: LX850 14" new [Re: mmalik]
      #5638510 - 01/23/13 09:35 AM

mmalik, not sure that the Mach1GTO is a direct comparison on price. Add mounting plate, tripod and you are close to $9K, add a guide scope and other accessories for guiding and you are way up, over $10K. Also, the load capacity of the Mach1GTO is 45#s, 1/2 that of the LX850 at 90#s. I guess it remains to be seen if the LX850 can bare that load, but, even if it only can perform at 1/2 capacity, that equals the Mach1GTO at +$4K cheaper.

Do not get me wrong, the Mach1GTO is a great mount and a known entity, let's just take a step back and give the LX850 a chance, I think Meade has something here.

And, great Horsehead shot.

Tony


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
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Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: ahopp]
      #5638648 - 01/23/13 10:50 AM

Yep...the 14" Meade with all the goodies attached is well over the capcity of the MachI. Let's compare dollars to the AP900. Perfomance would in all likelyhood, be better than the 850, however the cost reflects that improvement in performance.

And that's a terrific image, Jason!

David

Edited by David Pavlich (01/23/13 10:51 AM)


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mmalik
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5638667 - 01/23/13 11:00 AM

Quote:

Let's compare dollars to the AP900




I agree; probably better $ comparison.


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ahopp
sage


Reged: 05/24/12

Re: LX850 14" new [Re: mmalik]
      #5638683 - 01/23/13 11:06 AM

So, how will the LX850 compare to the AP900 in performance/value?

Tony


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orlyandico
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: ahopp]
      #5638780 - 01/23/13 11:55 AM

Why is there this persistent story going around that a Mach1 is "well over $9K..." it definitely scared me back when I was thinking of buying one..

In the other thread I pointed out that a decked-out AP900 is $10.6K -

900GTO - 8750
900RPA - 325
Robin Casady 31012226-AP3-22lb-S x2 - 466
Robin Casady Dove12 - 179
Rob Miller Tri36M - 900

= 10620.

Of course if you get the AP Eagle then that's definitely much more spendy. With a Mach1, all you really need are a saddle, a couple of weights, a tripod, and an ADATRI. Heck, in my case I put the Mach1 on an old Celestron tripod that cost $75.. you can put it on an Atlas or CGEM 2" steel tube tripod and it will be stable, and the cost will be much less than $8K.

People don't say "I need X pounds of payload and I'll spend whatever." They say "I have X dollars to spend" - and people with $6K to spend won't be looking at the AP900. Hence even though in theory the LX850 carries much more than the Mach1, it is a valid comparison.


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orlyandico
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5638825 - 01/23/13 12:23 PM

Gotta add.. the LX850 14" ACF is 2.5m focal length. Don't know what it weighs. I can get round stars with 10-minute subs on my Mach1 with a C9.25 (which is 2.35m focal length) and external guide scope. Although that's only about 35lb of payload. But it's severely off-balance (I have 25lb of CW which isn't enough) and I'm using aforementioned $75 Celestron tripod.

Thing is Meade is selling the LX850 14" tube for $6K. And $10K including the mount. If you include the OTA in the equation, I think a lot more folks would go for the Meade (the mount is now only $4K! and at $4K a lot of sins can be forgiven - not that the LX850 has many).

Another issue is weight - the CGE Pro has been around a long time, costs $5K, and carries 90lb. It never was an option for me because it's too heavy. Ditto for the Losmandy Titan.


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galaxy_jason
Vendor


Reged: 05/22/07

Loc: Texas
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5638851 - 01/23/13 12:38 PM

About the weight, I have the 14", an Apogee U9, IFW filter wheel and Meade focuser. This requires 100 lbs of counter weight and the mount is handling it just fine. I little more wiggle than the 12" of course which required 74 lbs.

The raw PE went up a bit with the load, from 13" to 19" but with the latest firmware it is PEMPro corrected to 2" PP


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orlyandico
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5638878 - 01/23/13 12:55 PM

That is a huge amount of counterweights! so more CW is needed than the actual payload? that puts the LX850 squarely in the "permanent installation" category.. which means it should really be compared to the Losmandy Titan and CGE Pro.

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Pak
super member
*****

Reged: 09/15/12

Loc: The Great Arc
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5638971 - 01/23/13 01:49 PM

What can you tell us about your conditions? Seeing and wind etc.

Is there any way we can see a few detailed shots of your setup? I know that may be slightly off topic but your comment about the weights has me thinking about it. Seems like your equipment has to be hanging way back with all that attached. What is the optimum back focus at F/8?

On my CGE-PRO I had at one time 88 pounds of counter weights and I thought that was insane but the mount handled it all pretty well with little "wiggle". Have you identified where the wiggle is coming from? From what I recall when I got to see the LX800 in person at a show I went to, the pivot point at the Alt adjustment seems really weak and when I grabbed the bottom of the dove tail and moved the OTA back and forth I couldn't figure out if the movement was more in the motors or in that spot. I think it was a tie. Lots of weight being channeled down to the ity bity spot. A permanent pier won't help it unless it is also in a observatory where the wind won't bother it. But 99% of us don't have either option.

Obviously results are what matters but I am curious how it will hold up in the wind or even a breeze with a big 14" on there.

Edited by Pak (01/23/13 01:51 PM)


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galaxy_jason
Vendor


Reged: 05/22/07

Loc: Texas
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Pak]
      #5639042 - 01/23/13 02:48 PM

By wiggle I mean overal movement of the mount. That is a
lot of moment arm. Overall it holds up better in the wind
than any previous Meade fork mount I have used. I don't have much experience with other mounts.


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MeadeSquared
member


Reged: 03/06/11

Re: LX850 14" new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5644764 - 01/26/13 05:16 PM

We've all been watching this opera for so long and now this is getting fun to watch. Thanks for the post.

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Hilmi
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: MeadeSquared]
      #5645347 - 01/27/13 01:02 AM

Actually, now that the mount is working, its no longer that exciting for people. Did you notice how fast the discussion on this topic dwindled out?

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Raginar
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5645429 - 01/27/13 03:45 AM

I'm really glad someone is posting images. I don't think Meade has figured out how important the 'grass roots' advertising is on a mount of this caliber. No one impulse buys a 6.5k mount.

Jason is doing a good job


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orlyandico
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Raginar]
      #5645493 - 01/27/13 05:13 AM

the results look great - Tak NJP class as i said - but i think a few brave souls will have to put it through its paces before the 850 will gain widespread acceptance.

if the variability in quality is too high, people are still gonna be scared. anybody who buys a 6.5k mount would not want to be rolling the dice.


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Raginar
Postmaster
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5645517 - 01/27/13 05:49 AM

I agree completely. Wish they'd send me one to beta test .

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orlyandico
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Raginar]
      #5645526 - 01/27/13 06:27 AM

That's an idea... if at least 5 people got to beta-test the things, and the results were uniformly good, that would be a much-needed boost.

as it is - aside from the LX800 buyers who will now be getting 850s - someone wanting to try this out would have to buy one. quite a bit of a gamble...

another thing - Jason is a very accomplished astrophotographer. we all know that folks who are more experienced, can get even a not-so-great mount working great. so if some of the beta testers would be less experienced, that would be a realistic indication of what an average user might experience.


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ahopp
sage


Reged: 05/24/12

Re: LX850 14" new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5645582 - 01/27/13 08:05 AM

I have very basic experience with astrophotography. I purchased the LX800 14", so will get the LX850 back from recall sometime in the near future. If someone could get me a list of things to test/check out, I can report back with the results.

I am purchasing a copy of TheSkyX Professional so if there are any routines or scripts that I can run let me know.

Tony


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orlyandico
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: ahopp]
      #5645793 - 01/27/13 10:48 AM

well basic stuff... how easy/hard is it to set up. any special tricks or gotchas. is balance critical.

do you get round stars at X focal length and Y exposure time. what is % of keepers and throwaways among the subs...


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Pak
super member
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Reged: 09/15/12

Loc: The Great Arc
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5645843 - 01/27/13 11:15 AM

Quote:

snip...
another thing - Jason is a very accomplished astrophotographer. we all know that folks who are more experienced, can get even a not-so-great mount working great. so if some of the beta testers would be less experienced, that would be a realistic indication of what an average user might experience.




This is it exactly.

Jason is two things that I can tell so far. First, he is an accomplished Astrophotographer with a lot of experience and a lot of credentials.

Second, when you look at his website it is all Meade. Meade banners and logos and equipment. He has been beta testing Meade stuff for years.

So he is a Meade guy who is an experienced and talented AP.

Who better to showcase your product? Reading between the lines I see someone who is loyal to Meade who will make sure not to show us all the bad subs he had to throw out due to tracking errors. He will not show us graphs or charts or talk to us about the PE curves in PEMPRO. He will not take longer than 10 minute subs and if someone asks him to do it so we can see how well the mount tracks at 20 minutes or 30 minutes, he comes up with some good excuses about not needing to and not having an anti-bloom camera.

How about a 30 minute unprocessed, unstretched, unmodified, unmolested image of a star field? Oh but then if we see elongated stars etc it'll be because of bad seeing or wind or both.

I think we need to know how long it takes to set up as an imager who is just starting out. How easy it is to polar align, drift align, point, find focus and shoot. Above all, how good it tracks and autoguides. How many subs are throw aways. We won't know any of this until these get back into the hands of folks who are willing to stick it out with Meade and haven't gotten their money back yet. When will that be? We are already at the end of January 2013 and these went back when? June 2012?

Edit: I wanted to add that Jason is using the F/8 OTA's that Meade sends him. What about the person who just wants the mount only and plans to stick a longer FL telescope on there? Will they have the same results?

Edited by Pak (01/27/13 11:17 AM)


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orlyandico
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Pak]
      #5645854 - 01/27/13 11:18 AM

i don't think there is some vast conspiracy going on.. simply put, Meade leanings aside, Jason would know how to get the best out of the equipment.

something most of us cannot do.


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ahopp
sage


Reged: 05/24/12

Re: LX850 14" new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5645905 - 01/27/13 11:49 AM

Pak, I think you are off a bit on your comment that we need to know how long "an imager just starting out" will take to get setup and going. I am I think an outlier in that I jumped from a 90mm to a 14", from no major imaging to going for the gold!!!

Most guys move up in the ranks so will have quite a bit more experience than someone just starting out.

Tony


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Pak
super member
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Reged: 09/15/12

Loc: The Great Arc
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5645939 - 01/27/13 12:11 PM

Quote:

i don't think there is some vast conspiracy going on.. simply put, Meade leanings aside, Jason would know how to get the best out of the equipment.

something most of us cannot do.




Well the idea behind the marketing on the LX800/850 is that it is designed to take the most complicated aspects and reduce them to pushing enter.

In other words, vastly reducing the experience in correctly aligning a mount and choosing the best guiding system to the point where it is all automatic. Just press enter.

So the only thing left to learn is your imaging software and post processing.


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Pak
super member
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Reged: 09/15/12

Loc: The Great Arc
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: ahopp]
      #5645950 - 01/27/13 12:18 PM

Quote:

Pak, I think you are off a bit on your comment that we need to know how long "an imager just starting out" will take to get setup and going. I am I think an outlier in that I jumped from a 90mm to a 14", from no major imaging to going for the gold!!!

Most guys move up in the ranks so will have quite a bit more experience than someone just starting out.

Tony




I don't think I am off at all. Experienced imagers will be looking at AP or PM. The complications that this mount helps with are non-issues for people with lots of experience. Therefore, this mount is aimed at people that have difficulty setting up, aligning, calibrating, finding guide stars, selecting the correct guide settings and getting perfectly round stars at long exposures. Not someone who has never owned a telescope or taken an astro image before but someone who is still a beginner in this area. Perhaps Beginner means something different to you than it does to me. I am not talking about a newbie who has never done it. Broken down it looks like "Beginner, intermediate and advanced. Jason is Advanced. I would consider myself a beginner having imaged with a DSLR a dozen times or so.


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Gord
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/06/04

Loc: Toronto, ON, Canada
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Pak]
      #5646025 - 01/27/13 01:03 PM

I think Pak actually has a very good point about the system that is still an unknown at this time. Jason is extremely experienced and very talented. Are the results he's getting due to the system, or him? Would any person be able to buy one of these and get the exact same results? That's how the marketing message has sounded to me so far BTW.

However looking at it from another angle, is the system doing it's thing just right and as good as what we are seeing, but this is as good as it can ever get? Is it actually holding Jason back, that he would have even better results on another setup?

The first scenario would actually be pretty bad. If it takes that level of skill to get the result, well, it kind of fails. The second scenario is actually quite good, in some cases. For example for someone starting out new, though it would then not such a good solution for the advanced crowd, and it could be argued that it would be a very small market it caters too (newbie imagers with lots of money).

Just an observation...

Clear skies,


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hectar
member


Reged: 12/24/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Pak]
      #5646071 - 01/27/13 01:25 PM






..Therefore, this mount is aimed at people that have difficulty setting up, aligning, calibrating, finding guide stars, selecting the correct guide settings and getting perfectly round stars at long exposures. Not someone who has never owned a telescope ....



That would be me. May be Mead sould consider sending me one like that.


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

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5646080 - 01/27/13 01:29 PM

Quote:

i don't think there is some vast conspiracy going on.. simply put, Meade leanings aside, Jason would know how to get the best out of the equipment.




Yes, and that's why he is the ideal beta tester. If something isn't working, Meade doesn't have to try to figure out whether it is pilot error or an equipment problem. He can tell Meade that it works or that it does not and they can rely on the report. It isn't surprising that he has used a lot of Meade gear; he's been a tester for years. If he hadn't used the equipment he'd have been doing a poor job as tester!


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kepler22
member


Reged: 12/31/12

Re: LX850 14" new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5646180 - 01/27/13 02:37 PM

hello everybody my name is Celestron CGE PRO im
nearly four years old i use to be 6500$ now im
only 5000$ my payload is 90lbs i work first time
out of the box i dont need to be given back fixed
up and redesigned and my name changed i have many
other brothers like me who are four years old and
still going strong like my other little brothers
cgem and cgem dx i had a new baby brother called
VX he will work first time out of the box too.


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hectar
member


Reged: 12/24/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5646195 - 01/27/13 02:46 PM

Quote:



Yes, and that's why he is the ideal beta tester. If something isn't working, Meade doesn't have to try to figure out whether it is pilot error or an equipment problem. He can tell Meade that it works or that it does not and they can rely on the report. It isn't surprising that he has used a lot of Meade gear; he's been a tester for years. If he hadn't used the equipment he'd have been doing a poor job as tester!



I dont agree with it. It's an insult to others who are experts on AP but they are (somehow) not associated with Mead. Was this mount built by NASA and only their space pilots have the ability to understand it or operate it??..

If Mead wants to build their reputation, they should consider non-vendors too. Get their honest opinion and improve it if required.

Btw, based on reputation of LX80, Would anybody who owned it, consider buying any Mead mount regardless how many good things their salesman is spelling out???. Just an opinion. Criticism is a good and healthy thing, you must not shut it down.
(Now I have zero chance of getting one.... )


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

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: hectar]
      #5646241 - 01/27/13 03:13 PM

Quote:

I dont agree with it. It's an insult to others who are experts on AP but they are (somehow) not associated with Mead. Was this mount built by NASA and only their space pilots have the ability to understand it or operate it??..




It's a lot of work to test a mount. I used to do some testing myself. It isn't reasonable to expect someone who would never buy a mount in this class to tear down their setups to use this mount for an extended period. That's why most big guns (who already use Tak, AP, or Bisque gear) don't get involved as Meade beta testers. They are certainly capable, but have no interest in doing it. I'd be interested myself, but spend so little time in the observatory that it would take far too long to get the required hours in.


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hectar
member


Reged: 12/24/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5646264 - 01/27/13 03:25 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I dont agree with it. It's an insult to others who are experts on AP but they are (somehow) not associated with Mead. Was this mount built by NASA and only their space pilots have the ability to understand it or operate it??..




It's a lot of work to test a mount. I used to do some testing myself. It isn't reasonable to expect someone who would never buy a mount in this class to tear down their setups to use this mount for an extended period. That's why most big guns (who already use Tak, AP, or Bisque gear) don't get involved as Meade beta testers. They are certainly capable, but have no interest in doing it. I'd be interested myself, but spend so little time in the observatory that it would take far too long to get the required hours in.



Cool!. I am glad you didnt get offended by my opinion. I would rather highly recommend Mead to send you a one like that. Honestly, I would trust your results/testing than a vendor's testing/results .


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Hilmi
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/07/10

Loc: Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: hectar]
      #5646277 - 01/27/13 03:34 PM

Hector,

You do realize that the only reason Jason is listed as a vendor is because he sells prints of his photos don't you?

He doesn't sell Meade mounts. So how does selling prints of his photos make him biased?


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: LX850 14" new [Re: hectar]
      #5646376 - 01/27/13 04:28 PM

As a beta tester for the AVX mount I see the problem. Companies need experienced people to do beta testing, people who are able to test and provide them with good, reliable information about problems. The last thing they want is pollyannas who tell them that everything is OK if it isn't.

I believe that if we post here we also have a responsibility to the denizens of CN. We must be honest with you. We must present our opinions truthfully.

In my case if I thought that the AVX was a POS I would have told Celestron in no uncertain terms - and kept very quiet publicly. I would absolutely not have made any statement here that I did not honestly believe was not true. I can't speak for Jason but I expect he would have done the same.

Chris


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kepler22
member


Reged: 12/31/12

Re: LX850 14" new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5646424 - 01/27/13 04:46 PM

celestron is now light years ahead of meade celestron
is now becoming med-high grade astronomy company
their mounts are just so far ahead in quality never
mind their telescopes the edge hd is better and lighter
and im a apo refractor guy even before the lx-80 and
lx-800 almighty cluster they were known for very bad
electronics in the last five years celestron has laid
waste to meade.


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WadeH237
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5646436 - 01/27/13 04:53 PM

Jason Ware has been a high profile Meade user for many years. He's provided many of the images that Meade uses in their marketing going back at least as far as the RCX400s (from my personal recollection). His own web site says that he's used exclusively Meade telescopes since 1989.

Even though his vendor status is for his image sales, he's been closely associated with Meade for a very long time.

None of this invalidates the impressive images that he's posted from the LX850. But it's helpful to understand that he's a very accomplished astrophotographer and has produced lots of very high quality images with earlier Meade equipment.

I will be curious to see the results people get by slapping a DSLR on their LX850, pointing at the Trifid, or Whirlpool, or Dumbell and taking a 5 minute shot. This is how I interpret the promise of the LX850.

-Wade


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Pak
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5646508 - 01/27/13 05:35 PM

Quote:

snip...

I will be curious to see the results people get by slapping a DSLR on their LX850, pointing at the Trifid, or Whirlpool, or Dumbell and taking a 5 minute shot. This is how I interpret the promise of the LX850.

-Wade




Only 5 minutes?

Edited by David Pavlich (01/27/13 06:22 PM)


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Pak]
      #5646791 - 01/27/13 07:48 PM

Quote:

Edit: I wanted to add that Jason is using the F/8 OTA's that Meade sends him. What about the person who just wants the mount only and plans to stick a longer FL telescope on there? Will they have the same results?




He's shooting at 2800mm, which is challenging enough. My Tak NJP can't do that without additional, external hardware. That's the point of the LXD850.

For the first time, I'm giving serious thought to making the switch myself. I could use the increased payload capacity.


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orlyandico
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5646849 - 01/27/13 08:11 PM

Hi John, like I said its Tak NJP class performance.

With presumably better pointing and GoTo...

If the 850 typical performance is what Jason is getting, then yes its worth considering. But if the sigma is too high.... Then maybe not.

I'd also wait and see if Meade survives the next two quarters.....


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TxStars
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5647229 - 01/28/13 12:18 AM

Quote:

He's shooting at 2800mm, which is challenging enough. My Tak NJP can't do that without additional, external hardware. That's the point of the LXD850.

For the first time, I'm giving serious thought to making the switch myself. I could use the increased payload capacity.




I'm not sure you could get increased payload capacity with the Meade LX850 over the Tak NJP.


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orlyandico
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: TxStars]
      #5647251 - 01/28/13 12:32 AM

true. 70 "real" pounds vs. 90 "claimed" pounds.

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johnnyha
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5647273 - 01/28/13 12:51 AM

Trading a Tak for a Meade is sheer madness.

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orlyandico
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: johnnyha]
      #5647279 - 01/28/13 12:56 AM

might be cheaper to just buy an SG-4 for the Tak..

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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5647285 - 01/28/13 01:01 AM

Quote:

might be cheaper to just buy an SG-4 for the Tak..




I have shot with that kind of load weight and up to 3900mm with the Tak - but I had to add hardware (OAG, guide camera) to make it work.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: TxStars]
      #5647295 - 01/28/13 01:09 AM

Quote:

I'm not sure you could get increased payload capacity with the Meade LX850 over the Tak NJP.




That's one possible concern. I've looked at one but wasn't serious at the time; I'd want to take a closer look. I may be already over the weight rating on the NJP; there are more than 70 pounds of counterweight on there now.

I'd also be concerned about Meade being there in the next few years. Still, we've been hearing about their imminent demise for many years, during which Celestron was the one to be sold off by a bankruptcy trustee.

I haven't decided to do it; I'm just considering it. I usually don't keep stuff forever; I sold the four Tak refractors and the Tak Cassegrain already so the mount could easily be next. I note that I haven't been in the observatory since April; I need to stir things up a little in there to make it fun again.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5647311 - 01/28/13 01:31 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I'm not sure you could get increased payload capacity with the Meade LX850 over the Tak NJP.




That's one possible concern. I've looked at one but wasn't serious at the time; I'd want to take a closer look. I may be already over the weight rating on the NJP; there are more than 70 pounds of counterweight on there now.

I'd also be concerned about Meade being there in the next few years. Still, we've been hearing about their imminent demise for many years, during which Celestron was the one to be sold off by a bankruptcy trustee.

I haven't decided to do it; I'm just considering it. I usually don't keep stuff forever; I sold the four Tak refractors and the Tak Cassegrain already so the mount could easily be next. I note that I haven't been in the observatory since April; I need to stir things up a little in there to make it fun again.




I know what you mean about making it fun again. Are you involved in any sort of live broadcasting on a site such as NSN or Google Hangouts? I've been considering that since I can do it all from in the house where it is warm and there are no bugs.


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mmalik
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5647801 - 01/28/13 10:56 AM

Quote:

I'd also be concerned about Meade being there in the next few years.




Between this... and now, there is a well-documented record of what transpired in between; that kind of track record alone is reason enough it went away. LX800/850 is a mediocre technological effort when one looks at the equivalently priced high-performing mounts in the market. While automatic guiding is a fancy concept, its development has been nothing but trial and error at the expense of unsuspecting/prospective customers. Thx


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WadeH237
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Pak]
      #5648430 - 01/28/13 03:02 PM

Quote:

Only 5 minutes?




Sure. In a light polluted area, you probably would not want to go longer than this. 5 minutes is long enough to be a credible subexposure. On a sufficiently bright object, you would also get a decent (albiet noisy) image. Certainly, there would be enough data in the stars to see how the mount is doing.

Now if you live in a sufficiently dark area, it'd be really interesting to see a single 30 minute DSLR exposure.


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RodgerHouTex
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5648505 - 01/28/13 03:32 PM

The discussion "dwindled" because every time someone created a post it was deleted by the admins.

I still wonder what happened to all of the folks that returned their mounts and ...

Edited by RodgerHouTex (01/28/13 03:33 PM)


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5648623 - 01/28/13 04:23 PM

Quote:

The discussion "dwindled" because every time someone created a post it was deleted by the admins.

I still wonder what happened to all of the folks that returned their mounts and ...






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blueman
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: RodgerHouTex]
      #5649274 - 01/28/13 09:13 PM

I too am curious about what happened to those who bought the LX800 and sent them in and waited. Now after all these months, what has happened?
Blueman
Quote:

The discussion "dwindled" because every time someone created a post it was deleted by the admins.

I still wonder what happened to all of the folks that returned their mounts and ...




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rigel123
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5649359 - 01/28/13 10:10 PM

Looking good Jason!

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Awesomelenny
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: rigel123]
      #5651204 - 01/29/13 09:28 PM

Man is this cool reading!

By the way folks, John C. lives about 30 miles south of me and he's right when he says he only has like a few days a year to really work with something with all the clouds we have here. Now look at that smiley. See the space between the two clouds that roll by? that's the equivalent of a clear night in N.E. Ohio!!!


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hectar
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5653634 - 01/31/13 05:49 AM

Quote:

Hector,

You do realize that the only reason Jason is listed as a vendor is because he sells prints of his photos don't you?

He doesn't sell Meade mounts. So how does selling prints of his photos make him biased?




If you Read carefully what has been said here, you will find your answers. I am not the type of person who buys everything which glitters and starts posting questions about it.


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Bowmoreman
Clear enough skies
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: hectar]
      #5653689 - 01/31/13 06:47 AM

Just a general comment to all to keep it friendly and civil here... Has been thus far, but sometimes these LX threads can wander as we've all seen...


Thanks all!


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Pak
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Bowmoreman]
      #5656361 - 02/01/13 01:22 PM

High-Tech Telescopes
Defining Terms Used in Marketing
By Allen Hwang

ALL NEW - The power supply, connectors, and software
are not compatible with previous versions. Even the
screw threads are different.
ADVANCED DESIGN - Salespeople don't understand it.
BREAKTHROUGH - It nearly worked on the first try.
DESIGN SIMPLICITY - It was developed on a
shoestring budget.
EXCLUSIVE - We're the only ones who have the
directions telling how to use it.
FIELD TESTED - The manufacturer has no way to test
it.
FOOLPROOF OPERATION - It's unrepairable, short of
sending it back to the factory (which can't fix it either).
FUTURISTIC - It only runs with the help of a nextgeneration computer, which isn't available yet.
HIGH ACCURACY - The screw threads match the
threads of the holes they're supposed to mate with.
IT'S HERE AT LAST - We've released a 26-week
project in 48 weeks.
MAINTENANCE FREE - see Foolproof Operation.
MEETS OR EXCEEDS OPTICAL STANDARDS - We
haven't the foggiest idea about the total wavefront
accuracy.
NEW - It comes in a different color than the first version.
PERFORMANCE PROVEN - It worked through beta
test.
QUALITY STANDARDS - It works most of the time.
REVOLUTIONARY - Everything that's supposed to go
round and round actually goes round and round.
SATISFACTION GUARANTEED - We'll send you
another manual if this one fails to work.
STOCK ITEM - We shipped it once before and we can
do it again, probably.
UNMATCHED - No one else wants to copy our design.
UNPRECEDENTED PERFORMANCE - May mean two
different things:
1.Actually worked the first time right out of the box.
2.Nothing before ever ran so erratically.
YEARS OF DEVELOPMENT - We finally got one to
work.


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TxStars
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Pak]
      #5656410 - 02/01/13 01:50 PM

You forgot one:

"Thuroghly Tested"
a)Two people have used it
b) One person used it two times


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rockethead26
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: TxStars]
      #5656580 - 02/01/13 03:24 PM

Pak,



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Pak
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: TxStars]
      #5656639 - 02/01/13 04:00 PM

Not my list so blame the author.

Quote:

You forgot one:

"Thuroghly Tested"
a)Two people have used it
b) One person used it two times




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Awesomelenny
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Pak]
      #5656786 - 02/01/13 05:08 PM



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TxStars
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Pak]
      #5659118 - 02/02/13 11:29 PM

I stand corrected.
Is that why the included instructions for a product are incorrect?


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Mantis707
member


Reged: 08/14/12

Re: LX850 14" new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5675051 - 02/12/13 12:20 AM

That is one of the nicest horse heads I have seen! I'm drooling.....Cant wait to see more and read more about the testing of the new system!

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mpgxsvcd
Carpal Tunnel


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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Mantis707]
      #5675095 - 02/12/13 01:00 AM

That is a good image. I wouldn't be disappointed with it. What camera was used?

Edited by mpgxsvcd (02/12/13 01:00 AM)


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ahopp
sage


Reged: 05/24/12

Re: LX850 14" new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5675375 - 02/12/13 07:59 AM

I am going to call this image the 'Horse' nebula instead of 'Horse Head'. With a little imagination you can make out an entire horse!

Tony


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DeanG
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5704392 - 02/27/13 10:12 PM

Jason,
Can you send me the dimensions of the 14" OTA? I need to know the width of the OTA and the width including the Losmandy mounting plate. I am building a fork mount and I am trying to calculate the distance between the fork arms.

Dean


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Hilmi
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: DeanG]
      #5704673 - 02/28/13 01:50 AM

Any body received the LX 850 yet? Seems like a very long time to be in transit

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Griffin!
sage


Reged: 09/12/10

Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5704681 - 02/28/13 02:00 AM

The only one I know of is the guy on 4M. Though, I did see a short 2nd-hand report from someone on another forum:

"I spent over 2 hours with an 850 mount/12" OTA user, over Google+, I saw what he saw. I have to say, I am impressed, starlock works, and works well. Automated Drift alignment, no problem."

Has anyone with a 14" on order gotten a tracking number yet?


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ahopp
sage


Reged: 05/24/12

Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Griffin!]
      #5704803 - 02/28/13 07:19 AM

My 14" in being processed for shipment now, Carlos Hernandez, in support, promised tracking number by the end of this week.

He said this last week, but, it was not promised last week, this week it was promised.

Tony


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Hilmi
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: ahopp]
      #5704824 - 02/28/13 07:49 AM

Best of luck. Keep us posted

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corpusse
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5705114 - 02/28/13 11:08 AM

I'm surprised they are taking so long to ship out. A local store apparently has them in stock. If only they would test them they'd sell out right away or never depending on the results...

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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: corpusse]
      #5705156 - 02/28/13 11:35 AM

I am waiting on my 14" too. I have just been told "soon". Right now I have a 12" that I've been testing so they want to swap out the OTA with the 14", add on a counter weight and they are replacing the (mount only) since there was a physical change between when I got the beta example and when they started shipping the real deal.

Hopefully "soon" is sooner than what I predict.

Edited by Whichwayisnorth (02/28/13 11:37 AM)


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ahopp
sage


Reged: 05/24/12

Re: LX850 14" new [Re: corpusse]
      #5705439 - 02/28/13 02:26 PM

If I had any other size; 10" or 12", I would have it. The 14" is going thru the line last.

Tony


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DeanG
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5707561 - 03/01/13 05:51 PM

When you get your OTA, could you do me a favor and send me the width of the OTA with and without the Dovetail plate? I am building a fork mount and I need to know the width for the spacing between the forks. The 14" OTA. Thanks, Dean

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DeanG
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5707685 - 03/01/13 07:32 PM

Jason, Can you send me the dimensions of the OTA with and without the dovetail plate. I am building a fork mount to take a 14" OTA and I need the dimensions to calculate the spacing between the forks. Thanks, Dean

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GlennS
member


Reged: 06/19/12

Re: LX850 14" new [Re: rigel123]
      #5726598 - 03/11/13 06:49 PM

I was one of those owners of a 10" LX800 -- I finally got my 10" LX850 the second week of February. I set it up, and was really in a rush to get an image, so I got lazy on the alignment, but StarLock worked pretty well considering. The second night out, I used my CCD to assist in finding center during the 1-star alignment process -- did it twice (first was pretty good -- just a touch off center on second attempot. On this imaging pass I also set up my AO-8 adaptive optics accessory -- it was set up to just tilt the optic path -- not engage the guiding motors. I was able to find a guide star for the AO-8 at the very edge of it's field (which will usually not work without guide relays), but StarLock kept the scope/camera right on target, so I just had some mirror tilts to take care of any seeing issues.

The two images I was able to capture (before having to shut down and pack it up due to some travel I was doing) were of M81 (which was too high for my Fork mounted LX200), and my perenial favorite -- M51.

The M81 was with the bad alignment, M51 was with good alignment and AO-8 assist:

http://home.comcast.net/~gspie/astroweb/m81.html
http://home.comcast.net/~gspie/astroweb/m51.html

My only issue is that this sucker is heavy! Next time I set up, I will leave up and just cover it. If I'm away for any time, I'll store the OTA and keep the Mount covered up -- wayyy to much to pack up at the end of a session. But one thing for the weight -- when it is windy, that mount is rock-solid...


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Pak
super member
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Reged: 09/15/12

Loc: The Great Arc
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: GlennS]
      #5726612 - 03/11/13 06:58 PM

If you are going to leave it outside make sure your cover is one of those all weather 24/7/365 types. Also make sure it goes all the way to the ground. Do you have automatic sprinklers that go on?

As far as wind goes it may not be obvious but you can really see it when you hook up a live view camera like a DSLR in frame and focus mode. If the star stays rock solid steady in the cross-hairs when a gust of wind comes by then fine, otherwise not. I look forward to more tests when you dive back into it.


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GlennS
member


Reged: 06/19/12

Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Pak]
      #5726719 - 03/11/13 07:53 PM

It's on a concrete pad away from any source of water. I have a canvas cover that I plan to add a reflective cover on top of -- It's in the Scottsdal AZ area, and it get kinda warm in summer -- so I figure the reflective cover over the canvas should reflect most of the heat. I don't plan to keep the OTA mounted when away -- just the mount and tripod. The cover will go to the ground, with plenty of spill-over. If it's just for the time I'm there, I have a Desert Storm reflective cover for the OTA and mount.

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Pak
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: GlennS]
      #5726806 - 03/11/13 08:34 PM

The thing is the Meade anodized aluminum is colored. This colored anodizing is susceptible to UV. It won't take a lot of direct sunlight on any of the colored surfaces before it looks bad. Very pretty when new, very ugly after a few weeks in the sun. That is why I suggested a really good cover that goes all the way to the ground.

The very bottoms of their tripod legs are blue anodized. That won't last very long at all. Keep it covered or at the very least do some research on UV protection clear coat spray. The krylon stuff has bad ratings so I am not sure what other choice you have other than taking it to an auto paint shop and having them shoot clear on them.


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GlennS
member


Reged: 06/19/12

Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Pak]
      #5727928 - 03/12/13 11:30 AM

Thanks for the heads up -- I'll rework my plans a bit...

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ahopp
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: GlennS]
      #5728226 - 03/12/13 01:44 PM

Once you get your tripod set you could shrink wrap the anodized section, which also has the screws. You can get UV protecting shrink wrap and it will also hold the screws from loosening.

It is the same shrink wrap used to wrap boats and cars.

Tony.


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GlennS
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: ahopp]
      #5728420 - 03/12/13 03:41 PM

Have you done this yourself? Thew UV wraps I have seen so far look like overkill, and are quite ugly. DO you have a picture of a wrapped tripod?

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galaxy_jason
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: GlennS]
      #5728569 - 03/12/13 04:48 PM

This will happen. The blue on my prototype is turning white. I cover it with a boat cover but the UV still get through. Probably need a metallic cover.

But she still tracks to an arc second


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5728602 - 03/12/13 05:09 PM

Well the real solution is to install a pier and put the tripod in its original box. Then get a nice 365 scope cover, which I am going to order when I get my stuff, and use that. Unfortunately I don't have room for a pier here at home until my kids grow up and don't need/want their jungle gym and club house.

On the topic of the fading. This has to do with a few different factors. Did the anodizers use biological or metalic pigments? Biological breaks down twice if not three times faster. Also to properly annodize color is a multi step process. There is the cheap and easy way to do it and the right way. I think it is safe to assume that mass produced telescope parts are done as cheap as possible.

I think just keep a penny jar and every year or so take the faded pieces to an aluminum anodizing shop and have them re-done. Or spend a little more and have them done right the second time which then should last several years.


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DeanG
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5728961 - 03/12/13 08:50 PM

Can you tell me the diameter of the OTA? What is the width from the OTA to the outer edge of the dovetail. I am building a fork mount and I need to know what the width of the fork arms will be with the OTA and 2 dovetails.

Thanks..Dean


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ahopp
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: GlennS]
      #5729003 - 03/12/13 09:10 PM

Not on a tripod, keep in mind, my suggestion is to wrap just the bottom part that is anodized.

But, yes, on other anodized parts exposed to the sun. They work great, just make sure you get the kind that blocks UV, yes they are out there. They are expensive when covering an entire boat, but, the small pieces for the tripod section, hell, you might be able to get a local shop to give you the scraps.

Tony


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ahopp
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5729011 - 03/12/13 09:12 PM

Jason,

When you say "tracks to an arc second" what does that mean exactly. Does it mean that when tracking you can be off by as much as an arc second or that you can lead/lag the object by an arc second.

I have a 14" on the way and am very excited.

Tony


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galaxy_jason
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: ahopp]
      #5729240 - 03/12/13 10:44 PM

Note this is the anodizing on the handles, side of the mount. Not the blue OTA.

Tony, meaning I sometimes see about a 1 pixel elongation which amounts to less that an arc second tracking error. I often see perfectly round stars if Starlock finds a bright guide star.


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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5729492 - 03/13/13 01:07 AM

A cheap low cost UV protection method would be spray on car wax. Apply every month or two to provide UV and Corrosion prevention. www.detailking.com sells it in 5 gallon buckets enough for all the family cars and your mount for a couple of years if you use it regularly. Longer if not regularly used.

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ahopp
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5729847 - 03/13/13 08:28 AM

I was just talking about wrapping the tripod feet, I assumed that he would have the OTA and mount covered with a 360 or some other scope cover.

Tony


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Pak
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: ahopp]
      #5734385 - 03/15/13 03:50 PM

I am curious about compatibility with existing pieces of software. Notably Bisque The Sky X. From what I can tell there isn't any compatible ASCOM drivers and these software companies don't have much of a reason to include a native driver. Autostar Suite is it?

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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Pak]
      #5734705 - 03/15/13 07:02 PM

They have someone working on them. In the mean time it is suggested that you use the generic lx200 ascom drivers. From what I understand they don't have the mount name tag that causes ascom calls to choke. So while not all features are available with the generic drivers you would still have the basics like go-to's working. I know you can connect with PEMPRO using them. I myself haven't used them.

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GlennS
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5778280 - 04/04/13 06:28 PM

FWIW -- I was just able top connect my 10" X-850 to the SkyX Serious Astronomer edition -- selected LX200-10" as the scope. It appears to work well (well, at least for knowing where the scope is pointed, and slewing to objects).

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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: GlennS]
      #5781942 - 04/06/13 02:05 PM

Quote:

FWIW -- I was just able top connect my 10" X-850 to the SkyX Serious Astronomer edition -- selected LX200-10" as the scope. It appears to work well (well, at least for knowing where the scope is pointed, and slewing to objects).




Confirmed! I love The Sky X!!


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5792254 - 04/11/13 12:19 PM

Update: Still just messing around indoors. My system hasn't left its spot on the living room floor since I assembled it. First clouds and wind, then very high winds and where I thought Wednesday night was supposed to be nice, clear, moonless and steady, it was only two of those things. Tonight there is a predicted 50% chance of rain as well as during the day tomorrow but it looks like it may be clear with no wind Friday night and Saturday night with clouds again Sunday. One of those things where having a little grab-n-go comes in handy but with this monster it is quite a lot of work (heavy) setting up and tearing down for just a night or two at the most. I am debating with myself setting up tomorrow afternoon or not.

Edited by Whichwayisnorth (04/11/13 12:21 PM)


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R L Harris
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5792325 - 04/11/13 12:58 PM

You need to build your self an obsevatory!
-Open door roll off roof power up and go- LOL

Edited by R L Harris (04/11/13 12:59 PM)


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galaxy_jason
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5792368 - 04/11/13 01:22 PM

Quote:

this monster it is quite a lot of work (heavy) setting up and tearing down for just a night or two at the most.




http://www.hardwareworld.com/Super-TriDolly--12-inch-pTVE1P4.aspx


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5792424 - 04/11/13 01:53 PM

Quote:

Quote:

this monster it is quite a lot of work (heavy) setting up and tearing down for just a night or two at the most.




http://www.hardwareworld.com/Super-TriDolly--12-inch-pTVE1P4.aspx




Jason, I would if I could. Unfortunately it won't work for me. I need to solve this by buying property in Flagstaff.

Someday when my kids outgrow their playground equipment I'll have a nice spot for roll off.

All that being said, the issue isn't so much the 40-50mph gusts that came through but also the bad seeing I've had as a result.

Edited by Whichwayisnorth (04/11/13 01:54 PM)


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galaxy_jason
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5792497 - 04/11/13 02:22 PM

I use these to roll the scope out of the garage and into the
back yard. Do you have a driveway?


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: R L Harris]
      #5792512 - 04/11/13 02:28 PM

Quote:

You need to build your self an obsevatory!
-Open door roll off roof power up and go- LOL




An observatory certainly improves things, especially for imagers. I suspect, however, that this mount will generally be of less interest to those with permanent setups than to those who image in the field. The major model-specific features are of clear benefit for field use, but much less important in a fixed setup. I plate solve for pointing accuracy no matter what mount I use, so there's nothing new there for me. I very rarely have to do any alignments, so automatic alignment star centering and assisted polar alignment won't gain me much - and the autoguiding rig sits there, ready to go at all times. That said, I was due for a mount change here and I selected one (mount only) just because it intrigued me and it is scheduled for delivery this afternoon. I should have it set up in the observatory this weekend. Probably no stars this weekend, though. I do look forward to having axis home switches again (makes me feel more secure about remote operation).


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5793287 - 04/11/13 09:20 PM

Quote:

I use these to roll the scope out of the garage and into the
back yard. Do you have a driveway?




Yep! However it slopes down very steep into a street that slopes down even steeper.


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Hilmi
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5793722 - 04/12/13 02:02 AM

Add a manual whinch attached to the side of the house

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travelenfree1952
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5793822 - 04/12/13 05:48 AM

You wanted to send me a PM. I am now accepting PMs.
Travelenfree1952


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GlennS
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: travelenfree1952]
      #5802465 - 04/16/13 12:20 PM Attachment (82 downloads)

This little tidbit is not really related to the 14". I have a 10", but this will be an issue for ALL...
Meade was nice to include (for free -- well, sorta) a Zero Image-Shift Micro Focuser with all of the LX-850 SCTs. This device actually works quite well -- with one exception.
If you are into Astrophotography using a CCD (not dissing SLRs) and you use something a bit bigger than a DSI, the focuser will slip, causing focus to change -- and not in a good way.
I was using the ZISMF (Zero Image Shift Micro Focuser) for a few imaging sessions, and it was noce to be able to focus from my laptop. This all changed a few days ago.
I was imaging M82 near the meridian -- 6-hour sequence. After a few images, I started to notice fatter stars, then stars with doughnut holes in them -- the focus was now wrong.
My camera, filter wheel and adaptive optics come in at 6.4 pounds -- since M82 was quite high in the sky, the scope was pointed nearly straight up, with the full weight of the camera at the bottom. The ZISMF is a pressure/roller design -- I guess it just doesn't hold up under any real weight at the end of the optical train. Since I am imaginig that many purchaser of LX-850's will be using them for AstroPhotography, and have a fairly substantial camera at the end of it, this will pose a significant problem.
The LX-850 itself is performing quite well, and I have been able to get some really nice images -- which will continue as soon as I pull that ZISMF off the rear cell.
This device needds to be redesigned -- some sort of gearing, or at least a locking mechanism that can be engaged once focus is obtained.

The attached image will show what can happen -- the first image was quite sharp (I use a Bahtinov Mask), and the stars were small and sharp. This is the 6th Red image in the sequence.

Edited by GlennS (04/16/13 12:31 PM)


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Hilmi
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: GlennS]
      #5803860 - 04/17/13 01:58 AM

I have always felt that the ZISF could be further improved when it comes to load carrying capacity. With lighter loads, it is surprisingly accurate and allows for fully automated focusing. I even own a controller that allows you to use it independent of a Meade Mount

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CharlesW
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5804248 - 04/17/13 10:10 AM

You don't say where in SoCal you are but it's clear in Chula Vista till next Wednesday. Finally. I hope the same for you. BTW, those LX850's are really beautiful things. Congratulations.

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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5804430 - 04/17/13 11:57 AM

Quote:

You don't say where in SoCal you are but it's clear in Chula Vista till next Wednesday. Finally. I hope the same for you. BTW, those LX850's are really beautiful things. Congratulations.




I am in Corona 92883. It was cloudy and almost rained yesterday but did clear up at night. However the wind has been from 15-30mph with 40mph gusts. Right now it is perfect. I am thinking of setting up tonight. I just received my 24/7/365 cover from Astronomics yesterday so I can leave it up for a while.


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galaxy_jason
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5804606 - 04/17/13 01:59 PM

Something is not right. I am using this with around 6 lbs of camera and filter wheel. Focus does not slip. Focus will change with time due to temp changes in the OTA. It can be significant but it is normally gradual. Make sure the set screws for the adapter rings are seated properly and are tight.

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gavinm
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5804834 - 04/17/13 04:17 PM

Even though I replaced it with a Moonlite, I never had a problem with the Meade microfocuser either, and my camera was pretty heavy (+filter-wheel and AO8)

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GlennS
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: gavinm]
      #5804928 - 04/17/13 05:13 PM

Every thing is tight. I was able to observe the shaft slip as I slewed the scope as an experiment -- This on just can't handle the 6.4 pounds -- maybe 6 is the limit. This is a brand new one -- the first one I had woould slip with the weight of a 25mm eyepiece (heck, all I had to do was rothate the ZISMF in my hand with no weight -- the thing would slide up and down freely.

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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: GlennS]
      #5805217 - 04/17/13 06:49 PM

Quote:

Every thing is tight. I was able to observe the shaft slip as I slewed the scope as an experiment -- This on just can't handle the 6.4 pounds -- maybe 6 is the limit. This is a brand new one -- the first one I had woould slip with the weight of a 25mm eyepiece (heck, all I had to do was rothate the ZISMF in my hand with no weight -- the thing would slide up and down freely.




Assuming you adjusted the little allen head screw on the bottom that tightens it, I have no other ideas for you. I don't plan to use the one I have though. I'm looking at a Moonlight.


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galaxy_jason
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5805252 - 04/17/13 07:00 PM

Yes, even though the instructions say it is adjusted at the factory, you can tighten the Allen screws holding the rollers. That should fix the issue and eliminate any fkexure. If you are using a very heavy camera you may need to upgrade from the supplied focus but it should work for most applications

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shkong
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #5806004 - 04/18/13 01:42 AM

If LX 850 14" work reliably.

I will jump to it to keep it lifetime for both visual and AP..

I will keep coming back to this thread

Orion 10 inch F3.9 Newt

Paracorr 2

CGE mount

Zhummel 12 inch Dob


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travelenfree1952
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5808112 - 04/19/13 03:44 AM

Whichwayisnorth....Considering the difficulty of setting up and tearing down the large LX 850, I contacted JMI and asked if they had Wheely Bars that would fit and hold the size and weight of the LX 850. I was told that they have a normal and heavyweight model Wheely Bar that would be perfect for that scope. They also have a motorized version. Would that be helpful or did you already consider that for mobility of your scope? Travelenfree

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ASTERON
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: travelenfree1952]
      #5808148 - 04/19/13 05:41 AM

Whichwayisnorth,
And I thought you ordered this as your Grab n' Go setup


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: travelenfree1952]
      #5808507 - 04/19/13 11:41 AM

Quote:

Whichwayisnorth....Considering the difficulty of setting up and tearing down the large LX 850, I contacted JMI and asked if they had Wheely Bars that would fit and hold the size and weight of the LX 850. I was told that they have a normal and heavyweight model Wheely Bar that would be perfect for that scope. They also have a motorized version. Would that be helpful or did you already consider that for mobility of your scope? Travelenfree




IF I ordered the version with the off road tires and widened my side gate by about 6 inches I could probably do it that way. I have to go over grass and uneven stepping stones.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: ASTERON]
      #5808509 - 04/19/13 11:43 AM

Quote:

Whichwayisnorth,
And I thought you ordered this as your Grab n' Go setup




Naw, that's what my Celestron is for.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5808545 - 04/19/13 12:12 PM

Oh and since I'm here I might as well update. I have the mount assembled and in the back yard finally. I haven't even turned it on yet but at least it is back there now.

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ahopp
sage


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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5812442 - 04/21/13 08:05 AM

OK, so, I put the scope thru its paces last night as far as pointing is concerned. I am using the Mallincam Xtreme EXview HAD camera. It was putting everything spot on in the center of the chip. I was quite amazed and enjoyed the night.

I will also say again, the views of Jupiter thru the 14" are incredible.

Tony


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Raginar
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: ahopp]
      #5812497 - 04/21/13 08:49 AM

That's awesome Tony Did you screen cap at all?

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ahopp
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Raginar]
      #5812777 - 04/21/13 11:04 AM

"screen cap"?

Tony


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Mantis707
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: ahopp]
      #5813485 - 04/21/13 04:34 PM

screen cap = press the 'print screen ' button, then paste the image into any paint program, like photoshop, GIMP, or even paint etc....

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ahopp
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Mantis707]
      #5814110 - 04/21/13 09:31 PM

Ah, screen capture, gotcha. No, I didn't, but I will next time.

I also want to start doing some long exposure star shots to see how tracking is.

Tony


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: ahopp]
      #5816408 - 04/22/13 09:34 PM






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sphelps
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5816742 - 04/23/13 01:55 AM

Very sexy Michael! Good idea!

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travelenfree1952
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5823582 - 04/26/13 04:31 AM

"Whichway".....Is that a concrete pad imbedded in your lawn? Is that pad specifically for use with the telescope?.....Travelenfree

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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: travelenfree1952]
      #5824045 - 04/26/13 10:35 AM

Quote:

"Whichway".....Is that a concrete pad imbedded in your lawn? Is that pad specifically for use with the telescope?.....Travelenfree




Alas, no. Just some concrete bricks I picked up at home depot. My grass is soft and the soil can not withstand a tripod tip. I was actually going to work on that today and try to make something more realistic.


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mpgxsvcd
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: ahopp]
      #5824193 - 04/26/13 11:37 AM

Quote:

OK, so, I put the scope thru its paces last night as far as pointing is concerned. I am using the Mallincam Xtreme EXview HAD camera. It was putting everything spot on in the center of the chip. I was quite amazed and enjoyed the night.

I will also say again, the views of Jupiter thru the 14" are incredible.

Tony




Glad to here you have it working the way you want it to. Are you going to observe at all next week? I am adding guiding to my setup this weekend so I definitely want to get some scope time in next week.


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ahopp
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5824452 - 04/26/13 01:36 PM

Sorry, will be traveling all next week, but, will be at the meeting tonight.

Tony


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mpgxsvcd
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: ahopp]
      #5824497 - 04/26/13 02:01 PM

Quote:

Sorry, will be traveling all next week, but, will be at the meeting tonight.

Tony




See you there.


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: mpgxsvcd]
      #5826560 - 04/27/13 03:31 PM

Quick question for the gang.

It looks like the TeleGizmos 365 Series for 11"-14" SCT on GEM is the way to go. Anyone order a telegizmos for their 14" LX850? Is this the correct one to get? Any experience with it in general?

I am focusing here because it looks like you got one WhichWayIsNorth, and all the LX850 Chatter, lol. My 14" comes in on Monday!


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5826581 - 04/27/13 03:42 PM

Yah I bought the wrong one through Astronomics (on its way back to them). The one I bought was the cover for the 16" Alt-az mount and ota but it seems to require that the OTA be pointed up when the cover goes on. It wouldn't fit around the length of my OTA. Once I get the refund I am going to purchase the one you mentioned.

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WadeH237
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5826655 - 04/27/13 04:24 PM

I've never liked the SCT covers for my scopes on GEMs. For my C14, on either the CGE or AP mounts, I use the cover for 16" to 18" dobs.

This allows me to cover the scope all the way to the ground when it's parked on top of the mount pointed north.

-Wade


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5826877 - 04/27/13 06:27 PM

Wade,

Do you have the TeleGizmos version for the 16"-18" Dobs and it covers a 14" with GEM? That would be great if it works because it is cheaper!


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WadeH237
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5827129 - 04/27/13 07:27 PM

The cover that I purchased is the Telegizmos 365 T34G.

The measurements on the cover are 90" in height and 115" circumference. This is replacing a very old Desert Storm Shield cover that was 80" high and 120" in circumference.

The old cover fit with lots of space to spare. I haven't had a chance to try the new cover on my scope yet, but will be heading to a dark sky site a week from today to spend the new moon week.

I did try a T34G on a C14 classic on a CGE Pro last year that I was helping someone with, and it fit well.

I hope this helps,
-Wade


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5827253 - 04/27/13 08:18 PM

Wade,

Not to be picky, but I could not find the model you mentioned. I could find the TG4D that does match your description. Is this the model you mean?

https://www.astronomics.com/telegizmos-telescope-cover-16-inch-18-inch-dobson...


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WadeH237
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5827367 - 04/27/13 09:41 PM

No need for apologize. Specifics are good.

It looks like I mistyped the number. The TeleGizmos part number for the 365 Series is actually T34D (I got the G from a vendor part number). Your link above is for the standard cover.

I cannot find it on the Astronomics site. Here is a link for it from the vendor where I purchased mine.

Sorry for the confusion,
-Wade


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rmollise
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5828316 - 04/28/13 01:07 PM

Quote:

I've never liked the SCT covers for my scopes on GEMs. For my C14, on either the CGE or AP mounts, I use the cover for 16" to 18" dobs.

This allows me to cover the scope all the way to the ground when it's parked on top of the mount pointed north.

-Wade




Me too. I use a 16-inch Dob Desert Storm whether for the C8 on a GEM or the NS11 GPS...


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: ahopp]
      #5828940 - 04/28/13 07:18 PM Attachment (92 downloads)

Quote:

I also want to start doing some long exposure star shots to see how tracking is.

Tony




I use an AT12RC rather than a Meade OTA. I managed to get a little star time with it Friday night and grabbed one test image. Looks OK to me.

-edit- p.s. No deconvolution or any star shape manipulation; just median align, DDP, some noise reduction. There's a less compressed version here.


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David PavlichAdministrator
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5829134 - 04/28/13 09:15 PM

First light for your new mount, John? Looks pretty good!

David


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5829178 - 04/28/13 09:38 PM

Quote:

First light for your new mount, John?




I had powered it up one previous time but just to familiarize myself. Friday night I let it assist the drift alignment, self-adjust the guider, self-train and update the PPEC, and guide. Someone with zero experience could have done all that. Then I started an imaging capture sequence (not much smarts required there, either). Except for a quickie processing, it was an extremely low-effort grab; load was maybe 60 pounds (used 74 pounds of counterweights) and focal length was 2400mm. FWHM was only slightly higher than the 2 second focus images. I believe that this mount could really jump-start the learning curve for a newbie imager.

Edited by jrcrilly (04/29/13 01:22 PM)


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davidh1979
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5829395 - 04/29/13 12:14 AM

i hope meade come back to where it use to be.

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Raginar
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: davidh1979]
      #5829709 - 04/29/13 09:05 AM

John, you're starting to make me wish I'd bought one! Beautiful picture.

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ahopp
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Raginar]
      #5829728 - 04/29/13 09:20 AM

I ordered a custom TeleGizmo 365, worked with the manufacturer and we came up with a variation of the 14" model. Made it wider to accommodate the 80mm and starlock. It was only $50 more to do the custom piece.

Tony


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Lee Jay
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: ahopp]
      #5829880 - 04/29/13 10:40 AM

Since there's a discussion about covers, I was a bit shocked at the prices when I looked into scope covers. So I went over to Walmart and bought a couple of these for $10.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Weber-22.5-Standard-Cover/10909633


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5829893 - 04/29/13 10:49 AM

Lee - you are using this on a 14" LX850?!?!? Does it fit?

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Lee Jay
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5830107 - 04/29/13 12:47 PM

Quote:

Lee - you are using this on a 14" LX850?!?!? Does it fit?




I am not. I'm using it on something else altogether. But there are many sizes and shapes available.


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JSnuff1
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5846117 - 05/07/13 05:21 PM

john I saw your recent may 1st shot on your blog...didnt look too go.

Any other updates? Had a chance to run some PE tests? Id love to see how this version compares to the first LX800 I had.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: JSnuff1]
      #5846405 - 05/07/13 07:15 PM

Quote:

Any other updates? Had a chance to run some PE tests? Id love to see how this version compares to the first LX800 I had.




No further updates. It's been here nearly a month and I've managed two sessions of a couple of hours each. This is why I stopped publishing equipment reviews; it just takes way too long to get the necessary hours in with the kind of weather we have here!

To recap - the first session was very encouraging but it was pretty windy the night of the second test and that caused problems; had to discard several frames. The OTA I'm using is a little lighter than the 14" LX850 OTA but I think it probably has a larger profile (slower primary = longer tube). The thing FEELS as solid as the NJP did so that mount might have had the same issues under the conditions but I'll need a few more sessions to properly characterize stability. Once I'm comfortable with how everything works I'll do some runs to quantify raw PE, corrected PE, and guide error. I just don't know when that will be...


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Spacetravelerx
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5846898 - 05/07/13 11:31 PM

John - How will you quantify the raw & corrected PR and the guide error? Using the Starlock Utility? Any other tools 100% compatible with the LX850 & Starlock to conduct the measurements?? I know there is PEMPRO, but does it work 100% with the LX850 (features disabled)?

JSnuff - The only thing I can relate with my 14" LX850 is visually the views are stunning (especially with the Meade UWA ep). Crayford focuser works fine. It tracked well the first night without starlock (I forgot to remove the covers!). Images/views unguided with the MallinCam were breathtaking. Basics seem to work as advertised. Problem right now is mother nature, which is of course impacting the learning and testing period, grrrr.

Next tests will be on my Canon 60Da and play with the Starlock utility. It won't be at the "pro" level yet since I do not have the filter wheel and the advanced monochrome cameras. I don't have as much time to do extensive testing and analysis right now. I will put my faith in John and Jason. Most of my initial testing will be more qualitative initially - does it work as advertised? In the mean time I will also have fun with it, just playing, learning and doing the big community outreach thing.

And yes, there is a use for it too in my line of work, but that will come later. Then there will be more extensive quantitative testing.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5846904 - 05/07/13 11:40 PM

Quote:

John - How will you quantify the raw & corrected PR and the guide error?




I haven't looked at the Starlock utility; if there's something handy there I might use it. I generally just use Maxim/DL and my primary camera set up as a guider but with guide outputs disabled. Whatever errors are there, it will see. That setup doesn't care nor need to know what mount I'm using so it works on anything.


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Hilmi
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5846983 - 05/08/13 01:02 AM

You don't even need to set up the camera as a guider if you are using PEMPro to measure PE. It's smart enough to figure things out on its own. I have used it with my main camera many times before with no issues.

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Spacetravelerx
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Hilmi]
      #5847298 - 05/08/13 08:27 AM

PEMPro can "talk" to the LX850 - and understand the signal from it?

Same with Maxim/DL?

Essentially their are drivers for both applications? ASCOM drivers?


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jrcrillyAdministrator
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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Spacetravelerx
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Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5984933 - 07/22/13 06:36 PM

Quote:

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.




Hello WhichWay...

I just got the TeleGizmos 365 Cover T3G2 for my 14" LX850. Telegizmos says it will fit (works on 14" CGEPros).

Now here is the rub - I have not tried it out yet with the LX850 fully assembled. Nary a clear sky here except for a few sucker holes last night so I have not bothered to take out the telescope.

For the system, I just carry out the tripod and use a large hand truck/convertible cart to take the LX850 components, then I assemble it. I typically leave it set up with or without the OTA for 7-14 days IF it looks like I will have several clear days (ain't happening right now). With the new cover I will leave the entire system outdoors now for up to 14 days or until I go on my next trip (which is often).


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5985192 - 07/22/13 09:49 PM

Quote:

Quote:

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.




Hello WhichWay...

I just got the TeleGizmos 365 Cover T3G2 for my 14" LX850. Telegizmos says it will fit (works on 14" CGEPros).

Now here is the rub - I have not tried it out yet with the LX850 fully assembled. Nary a clear sky here except for a few sucker holes last night so I have not bothered to take out the telescope.

For the system, I just carry out the tripod and use a large hand truck/convertible cart to take the LX850 components, then I assemble it. I typically leave it set up with or without the OTA for 7-14 days IF it looks like I will have several clear days (ain't happening right now). With the new cover I will leave the entire system outdoors now for up to 14 days or until I go on my next trip (which is often).




Ok thanks, I'll check in with you in a week or so and see how it went.


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Whichwayisnorth
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Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5999472 - 07/31/13 03:04 AM

Just a quick FYI. Posted on the Ascom yahoo group it was mentioned that the ASCOM drivers for the LX850 are in the works and should be available for testing by the first of September.

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GlennS
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Reged: 06/19/12

Re: LX850 14" setup " Whichwayis north" new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6286649 - 01/01/14 11:11 PM

I just got the Telegizmos Series 365 T3G2, I have a 10" LX850, and the fit is pretty generous (that was made for 12-14" OTAs on GEM).

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Loden
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Reged: 02/29/12

Loc: Salado, TX, USA
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: galaxy_jason]
      #6507447 - 05/05/14 09:57 AM

Jason: Maybe you can answer this. I have an LX850 mount, using the Starlock, with a C1100 Edge HD/SBIG STF8300M w/8 pos filter wheel. I have used the mount with both the 0.7 reducer and straight up at f10. After a Starlock auto-drift align double check with "no turns required" in both Az and El, upon imaging - generally east to overhead, I get definite RA movement causing elongated stars in as little as 3 minutes.
- I followed up with a manual drift check and, given the poor seeing, the star stayed put on the crosshair for times up to five minutes both in the east and south. But as soon as I start imaging I get RA drift! Yes, the scope/camera/etc. are balanced.And, yes, I did PEC training. The only step I left out was running a Star-Lock utility monitor as that takes a second RS 232 cable/USB2 port & Serial Port assignment. All that I have not tried is Automatic Rate Calibration. Could that alone cause such drift?


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Loden
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Loc: Salado, TX, USA
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Loden]
      #6507457 - 05/05/14 10:02 AM

Just for the record and for anyone looking at the size telescope that one would need the LX850 mount to carry, the anti-vibration pads are not optional, even though the mount has rubber-like pads on the feet. I ruined an image just by walking near the mount after my dog ate the pads and I had it setting on a stone walkway. Even the RA tracking motor vibration shows up without the pads.

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jrcrillyAdministrator
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Re: LX850 14" new [Re: Loden]
      #6507518 - 05/05/14 10:39 AM

Quote:

The only step I left out was running a Star-Lock utility monitor as that takes a second RS 232 cable/USB2 port & Serial Port assignment. All that I have not tried is Automatic Rate Calibration. Could that alone cause such drift?




You don't need two connections. If the PC is connected to the Starlock, it can access the mount from there. Just use that connection for everything.

The rate calibration is well worth doing; it adjusts guiding for the seeing conditions being experienced at the time. I don't know what the defaults are but in a pinch you can set both axes to 25 or so if you don't want to use the cal routine.


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Spacetravelerx
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Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: LX850 14" new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6511170 - 05/07/14 01:04 AM

Loden,

John has it right (always does!), but let me emphasize some key steps in the set-up. My first few uses I breezed through the manual ignoring valuable sections on set-up and use.

(1) After initial set-up and alignment you want to do the PE training.
(2) Automatic Rate Calibration (ARC): Then, and emphasized in the LX850 manual: "Obtaining best performance from StarLocked telescopes requires that the guiding aggressiveness be optimally set for current viewing/imaging conditions. This is an essential procedure to obtain peak tracking accuracy". Before every imaging session I do this procedure . Also, when the conditions change, such as Moon set and Moon rise I redo the ARC procedure. Otherwise StarLock will use incorrect settings and the results can be bad.

Whenever I change OTAs and redo the balancing and alignment I always do steps (1) and (2).


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