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Still waiting for my 12" SMT!

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#1 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 22 November 2003 - 09:17 AM

Hi you guys,

Thought I'd better introduce myself since it looks as if I'll be spending a bit of time in the forum, now that I've finally got an order number out of Meade for my 12" SMT. Just disappointed now that it's not going to be here in time for Christmas, when I was hopefully going to have a bit of time (weather here in England permitting) to start to find my way around it. Looks like I'll be sticking with my 6" Newt for a few weeks yet. Anybody received their SMT's yet, or can I expect another delay before I can get my hands on it? :cool:

#2 Grizz

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Posted 22 November 2003 - 09:16 PM

Welcome to the forums and congrats on the new scope!

If you ordered your scope new, you should get the SMT already installed. I ordered my SMT (Software only) and am still waiting. Meade has shipped out some SMT discs and the new LX200GPS/SMT scopes have been shipped to new customers so I would think you would be getting it pre-installed on your scope? But if you are anywhere but the USA this may not apply :(

Let us know when it arrives.



#3 Posaunist

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 01:18 AM

What is the difference from the regular LX200GPS and the ones with SMT? How do I know whether or not my scope has the SMT software? Meade's site described it as allowing you to make adjustments to alignment while observing, and my scope will do that. What makes me question my scope is the fact that I bought my scope back at the end of September. Was that before the SMT was available? Thanks.

#4 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 03:09 AM

Thanks Grizz,

Yes I've ordered the scope with the SMT pre-installed, so I'm pleased to hear that they are being shipped. I was just a bit concerned that if the introduction of SMT had been delayed, I was going to wait longer than necessary.

From the little that I've read about it, am I right in thinking that SMT is really only practical if the scope is on a permanent pier in an observatory? I'm not too sure how useful it's going to be if I use it as a field scope. I'd be interested to find out a bit more about it. To be honest I only ordered the scope with SMT, because it was not possible to order a pre-SMT scope. I'm not convinced it's going to improve things a whole lot - doesn't the lx200gps already have quite a good 'goto' accuracy?

#5 Grizz

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 07:44 AM

This may answer both questions....maybe :)

SMT (Smart Mount Technology)is pointing acuracy software. Sort of like T-Point. You would know you had it by looking at your firmware version # The SMT firmware is ver 2.0e or some other letter designation, it also has menu items for training. I'm not sure exactly when SMT became available on new scopes. It may have been in early Sept...but I'm not certain.


As far as being practical for mobile setups that would be something you would have to determine, but you have to retrain the SMT if the scope is moved. That includes a 40 or so star alignment! That would indeed take some time to acomplish every time you setup. Its mostly for scopes setup on a pier in an obsevatory but can be used for mobile setups....you decide :)

All I can say is my LX200GPS has great goto accuracy if a little care is taken while setting up. I ordered SMT really for the future for when I get an observatory built and because I like to play around with new stuff :)


#6 melvy

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 04:00 PM

I ordered mine at the beginning of October; it got here Nov 4th, just in time for the rain :(

#7 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 30 November 2003 - 11:59 PM


I see from your sig that you got the 8" SMT. I'd really like to know what you think of it. I've been thinking seriously about getting the 8" since I like to car camp alot and want something that is a reasonable compromise between aperture and portability.

James Hunter

#8 melvy

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 11:59 AM

n5xrq, I live in western washington (rain) and camp in eastern washington (dry air). So this is the exact reason I got the smaller scope. I would say 8" is at the limit to car camp. I am very pleased with the scopes performance as my only scope right now. If you are only going to have one scope and want to take it, this is the size (I also thought about the 7" Mak.)

GOTO was very important to me as I am 1) a computer guy 2) somewhat new to astronomy. I can pick up the scope attached to the tripod and move it outside without a problem (even down the stairs.) When I pack them up in the cases it is very easy to put them in my pickup, although with the foam it does take up a lot of room.

For me this is the right size scope, if I had to do it over agin I would get the same one.

Cheers!


#9 StormKat

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 03:46 PM

I'm still saving for a 10", but your comments are starting to sway me to an 8".
I'm also a computer guy and somewhat new to astronomy. I've had my 8" Orion Newtonian for almost 2 years and I love it for just dragging it outside and looking. But I'd like to get into astrophotography.

Someone talk me back into the 10" because I know I'll appreciate the extra aperture. Although if I settle for the 8", I could get more accessories :)

#10 Echo

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 03:51 PM

Someone talk me back into the 10" because I know I'll appreciate the extra aperture. Although if I settle for the 8", I could get more accessories :)


The 8" is not exactly a grab and go anyway so I'd get the 10". The difference is quite noticeable. You can always get the accessories later but you can't add aperture. :bawling:
I keep hoping my 10" will grow into a 12 but it just ain't happening.

#11 jrcrilly

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 03:59 PM

Going from the 8" to the 10" isn't much of a physical difference but you gain about 50" in light-gathering area. It's only about a 10 pound difference. The jump to 12" is where you really begin to notice the increased bulk. The tripod for the 12" is much heavier. Also, it's more awkward to transport and set up because the OTA can't be rotated to a downward orientation between the forks.

I used a 10" as my primary portable scope for a long time but I never hauled the 12" or 14" anywhere.

If you want some extra aperture and an even easier scope to transport and set up there's always the Nexstar 11GPS. That was my favorite portable setup until I got Dob fever.

#12 StormKat

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 06:00 PM

I considered the Nexstar 11GPS, but I'm hooked on the Autostar Suite with the LPI camera and the software.

I also considered the CGE 1100, but $4200 is a little bit pricey and I'd still have to pay even more to replace all the features of the Autostar Suite.

For $4200, I'd get the LX200 12" :grin:

Sigh... so many telescopes, so little cashflow :(



#13 Charles

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 08:12 PM

The reason for the difference in price on the CGE is that EQ mount is a much better mount than the ALT/AZ mounts if you're into astrophotography. You add the price of a wedge onto the Meade and you're just about at the same price, plus the CGE EQ mount would be easier for one man operations over the Meade 12 inch. Second while GPS is neat I would never buy a GPS again built into a scope. It really does not provide that much more for you. Saves you a little time aligning but not much. I would rather buy a stand-alone GPS set and just plug those numbers in.

I drugged Bertha, (My 12LX200GPS) all over Southeastern Alabama, and that hog is just down right heavy and hard to travel with, but she does hold up well for all the traveling. I have rarely had collimation go out because of the small trips I make with her and she does give beautiful high power viewing on clear stable nights.

If I were to go SCT route again I would take the CGE over the Meade.

Charles

#14 StormKat

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 11:45 PM

Lets just say for argument's sake that I get a CGE 1100. Do you think the Autostar Suite would work on the Celestron?
What software wise would I have to purchase to make up for the Autostar Suite?

I'm with you Charles, GPS is not a big deal. Do they make a CGE scope without GPS?

#15 jrcrilly

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Posted 01 December 2003 - 11:51 PM

What software wise would I have to purchase to make up for the Autostar Suite?

I'm with you Charles, GPS is not a big deal. Do they make a CGE scope without GPS?


GPS is a $200 option for the CGE; you can skip it if you prefer. For CGE software how about HCAnywhere? Voice output, wireless joystick control, etc.
www.astrogeeks.com

#16 StormKat

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 09:52 AM

That's very interesting... and tempting. Thanks for the info!

Maybe I should start a new thread in the Celestron forum to have them try to convince me. :grin: I'd like to get their opinions about the mount. It looks so wimpy in the pictures.

#17 melvy

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 01:29 PM

73 lbs (8"); 90 lbs.(10") It's not much, but just enough for me to not make it down the steps safely :) I also added UHTC it helps a little and does not add much weight hehe.

I agree, buy as much aperture as you can afford and I have my eye on the 16" for home base, but I have much to learn before making that plunge.

StormKat, I am pretty sure the Autostar suite will not work with other scopes for controlling them. It has a lot of specific controls for the LX200's. Also it is not for the newbie (me) I have not learned the language yet and it is a bit confusing. It is however a very precise and powerful program.

I also use Starry Night Pro to control the scope. This program is newbie friendly and pretty cool too. Starry Night Pro will control most GoTo scopes (it says.)


#18 jrcrilly

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 07:19 PM

I'd like to get their opinions about the mount. It looks so wimpy in the pictures.


If you mean the CGE there's a photo somewhere in the galleries here of my CGE with a C11 and a 120mm Vixen NA side-by-side plus 47 pounds of counterweights. It didn't seem wimpy to me! :jump:

#19 StormKat

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Posted 03 December 2003 - 12:30 PM

I found the picture of you with the CGE1100. That puts things into perspective. Website images just have nothing to compare it with, so it's hard to gauge size and "beefyness".

#20 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 08:12 AM

Just taken delivery of my new scope a full 3 weeks ahead of schedule! Apologies for all the UK observers out there if we end up having cloudy skies for the next few weeks - You can blame the weather on me my new arrival. Will post with my review of the scope when I've gained some experience with it! Everyone keep your fingers crossed for clear skys!


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