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Meade LX850 silence

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#1 Pak

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 09:47 PM

Still waiting for someone other than Jason to post a photo taken with the LX850 mount or Mount with LX850 OTA that has round stars with exposures 10 minutes or longer. Maybe include a link to a file in .fits format. I am still waiting for someone, other than Jason, to post a PEMPRO graph with native raw uncorrected PE within reasonable limits. Keep in mind that the CGEPRO advertises 5a/s Peak to Peak before PEC. How about posting the .txt log file? Just for kicks throw in a run with PEC trained and Starlock on so we can see the difference. How well does Starlock guide?

Does the built in drift alignment helper work? Have you completed the adjustments and then compared it to an independent test to verify the results?

What about the Starlock auto-calibration feature? The idea is to make setting the aggressiveness of the guiding idiot proof and yet Jason has now said in another thread that you should toss out the settings it wants you to use and set it down to about 10%. Huh? Why? Why after you auto-calibrate you should then take the time to test and then manually change the settings because they are probably wrong? Why are they wrong? These units shipped with 1.1b firmware and now they just released 1.1g yet the only change they mention is adding a better PEC routine. Are these LX850s shipping with horrible PE that needs the extra help? I guess we can't know that since nobody has taken the 30 minutes to run the test. What was changed in 1.1c,d,e and f? Why weren't the bugs that Andrew discovered fixed?

I can't help but notice that all the people that were so excited to receive their units and promised they would perform these tests and provide the data have all gone silent. The only people that seem to be vocal about how wonderful their LX850s have been only use it visually or with Mallincams.

I hope that those considering buying one will wait for that type of Data.

#2 budman1961

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 09:49 PM

Maybe they are out enjoying them......I know after a long wait, I would be.

Andy

#3 Pak

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 10:22 PM

Maybe they are out enjoying them......I know after a long wait, I would be.

Andy


I hope you are right. I really do. I want these things to be as amazing as possible. Especially now that they are being bought up.

However I can't help but consider that those who would have and could have run the tests are not embarrassed that they spent so much money on something that doesn't perform up to their expectations and they can't bring themselves to admit it here on CN. I know that if I spent thousands on a product that is only good for visual or video camera use I'd not want anyone to know as I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of a bunch of " I told you so's" and "never pay to be a beta tester".



#4 blueman

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 10:35 PM

I am awaiting more data!
Blueman

#5 dmdouglass

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 12:51 AM

Hey Pak....

Why don't you go out and buy one, and you can run all of those tests, and post your results here. Then we can all benefit from YOUR testing !!!

#6 Mantis707

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 01:25 AM

If I bought one, and had problems I would post about it.

In fact I would guess people post more often about problems than successes....

I dont think the lack of data is some sort of conspiracy, its just a fairly expensive new product...

I'd like to see some data too, don't get me wrong...

#7 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 02:03 AM

Still waiting for someone other than Jason to post a photo taken with the LX850 mount or Mount with LX850 OTA that has round stars with exposures 10 minutes or longer. Maybe include a link to a file in .fits format. I am still waiting for someone, other than Jason, to post a PEMPRO graph with native raw uncorrected PE within reasonable limits. Keep in mind that the CGEPRO advertises 5a/s Peak to Peak before PEC. How about posting the .txt log file? Just for kicks throw in a run with PEC trained and Starlock on so we can see the difference. How well does Starlock guide?

Does the built in drift alignment helper work? Have you completed the adjustments and then compared it to an independent test to verify the results?

What about the Starlock auto-calibration feature? The idea is to make setting the aggressiveness of the guiding idiot proof and yet Jason has now said in another thread that you should toss out the settings it wants you to use and set it down to about 10%. Huh? Why? Why after you auto-calibrate you should then take the time to test and then manually change the settings because they are probably wrong? Why are they wrong? These units shipped with 1.1b firmware and now they just released 1.1g yet the only change they mention is adding a better PEC routine. Are these LX850s shipping with horrible PE that needs the extra help? I guess we can't know that since nobody has taken the 30 minutes to run the test. What was changed in 1.1c,d,e and f? Why weren't the bugs that Andrew discovered fixed?

I can't help but notice that all the people that were so excited to receive their units and promised they would perform these tests and provide the data have all gone silent. The only people that seem to be vocal about how wonderful their LX850s have been only use it visually or with Mallincams.

I hope that those considering buying one will wait for that type of Data.



Pak, now I have a little time to answer your question after watching a horrible Star Trek movie. So right now I am in a grouchy mood...

First off, I would also like to get deep into answering several of your questions, however I have been on travel and mother nature has simply not cooperated. For example tonight I finally have a clear night - WITH A FULL MOON. Did I say I am grouchy? Let me say, I personally plan to put the telescope through its paces and push it to its limits, however it will take time. And for almost the next month I am on a multi-city speaking tour. So the word is patience...

Also, I am convinced to do my testing it will be best once it is in its observatory. For now, it is set up for a few days and I pray for a weather window.

My tests and usage are for a full range of functions too besides AP, from the simple to the complex that meet the needs of myslef and my business (the "complex" is more of a large scale project to be announced at the SPACE 2013 conference in San Diego...stay tuned!). However, I do plan on having fun with this telescope too. Constant testing does get boring after awhile, though I guess my interns could have fun testing.

I am curious to do a test with and without corrected PE. Though all my work will be with corrected PE.

When I get a dark night and the weather cooperates I will push up to a 10 min exposure, though I am not certain the Canon 60Da is best for exposures over 10 min. I would welcome those interested in testing out their SBIG camera (or similar) on my LX850.

I will be playing with the drift alignment helper soon, however others have reported success with it. What kind of independent tests are you looking for? How do you expect them to be conducted? Right now we are playing with SkySafari and the LX850.

Why could the agressiveness setting be wrong? Easy - each location is different and many factors can impact the view.

I have not noted horrible PE, but then again I am not doing long exposure ap yet. Who knows what changed in revs c-f of the software. For me it is irrelevant; means nothing to me. Give me the latest one that works. I am not clear there are bugs impacting my usage yet. Fortunately most software rarely has bugs. Take Windows for example...oops!

Pak, I can give my daily weather report and work schedule. Trust me I really want to put this baby to full use and report on it. The full silence is not intentional. BUT whatever I can report IS relevant. I would contend the LX850 for more than the just astrophotographers. It is also for universities, research institutes, advanced amateurs, advanced amateurs who are very busy with other things and don't have time to babysit a telescope, and of course the person loaded with bucks and wants it all in an excellent package (could even be a complete beginner!) - see also the 50th Anniversary Questar debate on CN for this last item ;)

So there are many things to report. Set-up is one. Fit, finish. Does it work? How big is it REALLY? Is it easy to set-up? What ep does it work with? Starlock - everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask! Flexure? What can I hook up? How portable is it? GEM vs Fork? MallinCam is relevant too - think instructional tools. All of it is. I think this year for all the gear and test equipment we may drop $150k and more later on (yeah it is for more than AP - some sensors are expensive!). Our tests may bore you. Some tests will have no meaning to the ap guy/gal.

What I can say is that the LX850 is very well built. Quality is top notch. I am satisfied with the fit and finish. Visually the views are simply stunning. Visual observers are in for a real treat. Yeah, AP and video folks don't care about visual, but many folks do. And a great visual view certainly lends itself to great ap. Easy align, 1 and 2 star align work. Adjusting alt and az is VERY easy on this mount (I like that nice big wrench that is included to use on the big nobs which can also be adjusted by hand). High Precision Pointing works PERFECTLY. Spot on every time.

Crayford focuser - wonderful. Microfocuser works well, but I agree it is too bad it does not use a band to hold the diagonal, so the screws are marking it up. Then again, I will rarely notice it - it is mostly attached to the telescope. I like the mirror lock. Eliminates whatever hint of mirror flop that potentially can occur with a big 14" mirror for long exposures.

Starlock is doing its supporting functions so far very well, though I have yet to test everything. I always welcome software updates.

Telescope Park and wake-up works perfectly.

I guess you can recommend people wait, and there are benefits on occasion. Then again if everyone waited no one would buy anything. True, the LX800 debacle caused big problems - and they were noted quickly, and Meade handled it appropriately. The LX850 strikes me as telescope that has gone through a few design cycles and lessons learned. Yes, it is "new", but really it is over a year old.

For all but the high end AP folks (and you know who you are), I would recommend this telescope is clearly a BUY. Yes, you can consider other models with less feature sets for the same or even higher price, but I think you will be kicking yourselves in the head when you learn over time, you should have bought the LX850 when you are trying to unload the one you bought as an alternative.

For the advanced AP person - I think Jason is an honest soul and is providing excellent feedback to the community and Meade. Andy from Australia I think is a great resource too; there are others here too and I like their input. I also think the weather has impacted their evaluation also.

I will say this, the LX850 is not for everyone. Each person has their needs. Be prepared - it is a BIG AND HEAVY TELESCOPE. It is NOT a grab and go. Also, I am convinced for many functions Forks are better than GEMS. I say this fully from my heart based on my experience with both. I think now there is a glut of GEMS in the market. Too many models out there. Both Forks and GEMS have their optimal applications.

Well enough of my response! Back to working with SkySafari, SkyFi and the LX850, with that dang bright Moon out there!

#8 orlyandico

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 02:04 AM

conspiracy theory: people have tested 'em, but the results are less than stellar. So they need to tweak/tune first to get best results. This is a complicated device and it's entirely conceivable that the users are still learning to get best results out of it.

when I got my Mach1 I was able to quantify the PE within 3 days, and post it (since it was so low). But if it was 20" p-p or something you can be sure I'd tweak the heck out of it before posting anything. But then the Mach1 is a fairly simple beast, not much to adjust or learn.

#9 Qwickdraw

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 07:37 AM

Really? I was kind of under the impression you want them to be inferior.

#10 Pak

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 09:21 AM

Hey Pak....

Why don't you go out and buy one, and you can run all of those tests, and post your results here. Then we can all benefit from YOUR testing !!!


Yah I'll run right out and do that. Also I'll buy the LX600 since those have been living up to expectations too. :crutch:

#11 Pak

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 09:26 AM

If I bought one, and had problems I would post about it.

In fact I would guess people post more often about problems than successes....

I dont think the lack of data is some sort of conspiracy, its just a fairly expensive new product...

I'd like to see some data too, don't get me wrong...


I'd like to think I would too. I just can not help but wonder why we don't see a bunch of images showing off the capabilities or PE charts showing how nice the worm and gear box is. Alph used to post just about every day asking for those tests. Anyone that is seriously considering buying such an expensive system that is priced to compete at a new tier in Astrophotography mounts, should want to see these things. Excluding Jason's data as he is just one source, has better than average examples of the gear, and is a professional with ties to Meade. Everyone else who has posted an image also included a disclaimer that they didn't really set it up right, they didn't drift align , there was bad wind, etc etc...

#12 Pak

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 10:09 AM

[quote name="Spacetravelerx"]
Pak, now I have a little time to answer your question after watching a horrible Star Trek movie. So right now I am in a grouchy mood...[/quote]

Thanks for the warning.
[quote]

First off, I would also like to get deep into answering several of your questions, however I have been on travel and mother nature has simply not cooperated. For example tonight I finally have a clear night - WITH A FULL MOON. Did I say I am grouchy? Let me say, I personally plan to put the telescope through its paces and push it to its limits, however it will take time. And for almost the next month I am on a multi-city speaking tour. So the word is patience... [/quote]

Understood but you can test for PE with a full moon. All you need is a reasonably bright star. [quote]

Also, I am convinced to do my testing it will be best once it is in its observatory. For now, it is set up for a few days and I pray for a weather window. [/quote]

That reminds me, I am curious how it does in light wind. Lets say up to 10mph. I go back to the original intentions and advertising by Meade. This is supposed to be something for people who set up and take down. If you are observatory mounted on a pier, the advantages of the LX850 integrated solutions become unnecessary. [quote]

My tests and usage are for a full range of functions too besides AP, from the simple to the complex that meet the needs of myslef and my business (the "complex" is more of a large scale project to be announced at the SPACE 2013 conference in San Diego...stay tuned!). However, I do plan on having fun with this telescope too. Constant testing does get boring after awhile, though I guess my interns could have fun testing.[/quote]

Again though it doesn't take much time to test. I get that you want to just have fun and play with it but don't you want to know what you've purchased? If you bought a TV that was full progressive scan 1080P HD 3D, would you just use it in standard 4:3 mode? Wouldn't you bring it home and pop in your favorite blu-ray DVD so you can see it in all of its glory? Watching re-runs of Mash may be "fun" and "entertaining" but I still would have, at least by now, popped in the latest Star Trek movie so I could experience the lens flare at full resolution. Also if it turns out the sales person lied to me and sold me a standard resolution non 3d tv stuck in a different box, I'd know right away and could take it back.[quote]

I am curious to do a test with and without corrected PE. Though all my work will be with corrected PE.[/quote]

Tests only take about an hour. If you have not used PEMPRO before you are welcome to PM me and i'd be happy to help you get it running. [quote]

When I get a dark night and the weather cooperates I will push up to a 10 min exposure, though I am not certain the Canon 60Da is best for exposures over 10 min. I would welcome those interested in testing out their SBIG camera (or similar) on my LX850. [/quote]

The only problem you are likely to face is over exposure and bloating of the stars. However we would still be able to see if they were round bloats or stretched bloats.[quote]

I will be playing with the drift alignment helper soon, however others have reported success with it. What kind of independent tests are you looking for? How do you expect them to be conducted? Right now we are playing with SkySafari and the LX850.[/quote]

Run the built in drift alignment as it is. Then use another method to verify the results. One of my favorites for easy testing is to use a DSLR (which you have) and Backyard EOS. There is a drift align helper built in. Center the star, turn Starlock off, wait 5 to 10 minutes and see if there was drift. Another method would be to put the mount into terrestrial mode so the tracking stops. Then see which way the stars move in your camera. Put the mount back into astronomica mode and move the star to the side of the frame opposite the drift. Put the mount at speed 1 which is guide rate. Set your exposure for lets say 300 seconds and push the arrow key in the direction the star was moving before. Hold down the key for half the time you expose for. 150 seconds. Then at 150 seconds push the button in the opposite direction. When the exposure is complete do you have a straight line or a V or > shape. If you have anything other than a solid straight line, there is still drift. You can tweak your mount until you get a straight line.

Well anyways, the test I'd like to see would answer if the drift alignment is accurate or just "close enough" for Starlock to do the rest of the work. Keep in mind that if you are not using Starlock, maybe you are using an off axis guider, you want the drift alignment to be accurate. The longer the exposures the more accurate it needs to be.[quote]

Why could the agressiveness setting be wrong? Easy - each location is different and many factors can impact the view.[/quote]

Yeah but... my question is why does the auto calibration routine not work. You are right about each location being different so you would run the auto calibration each time you set up and get ready for imaging. If the Starlock calibration is wrong, you will not have round stars. If you find that the auto calibration is wrong every time then why use it? Why not just set it for any number and then spend precious time tweaking those numbers until you get a round star? That seems to be what Jason has suggested. Default is 66% but typically you should be at about 10. What does the auto calibration tell you? If it comes back at around 40% and those numbers don't actually translate to round stars, then what are we doing here folks? Why do we care about Starlocks narrow field auto guider? The wide field pointing is nice but not unique to the LX850. Just download Astrotortolla and be one with it then.
[quote]
I have not noted horrible PE, but then again I am not doing long exposure ap yet. Who knows what changed in revs c-f of the software. For me it is irrelevant; means nothing to me. Give me the latest one that works. I am not clear there are bugs impacting my usage yet. Fortunately most software rarely has bugs. Take Windows for example...oops! [/quote]

Your point is valid about the firmware. Valid for some people but not others. I want to know what was broken when they shipped the mounts that they had to fix after they sold them. I refuse to believe that all those revisions all they managed to do is change the PEC method and add a utility. [quote]

Pak, I can give my daily weather report and work schedule. Trust me I really want to put this baby to full use and report on it. The full silence is not intentional. BUT whatever I can report IS relevant. I would contend the LX850 for more than the just astrophotographers. It is also for universities, research institutes, advanced amateurs, advanced amateurs who are very busy with other things and don't have time to babysit a telescope, and of course the person loaded with bucks and wants it all in an excellent package (could even be a complete beginner!) - see also the 50th Anniversary Questar debate on CN for this last item ;)[/quote]

Yes but you are not the only one with a LX850. [quote]

So there are many things to report. Set-up is one. Fit, finish. Does it work? How big is it REALLY? Is it easy to set-up? What ep does it work with? Starlock - everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask! Flexure? What can I hook up? How portable is it? GEM vs Fork? MallinCam is relevant too - think instructional tools. All of it is. I think this year for all the gear and test equipment we may drop $150k and more later on (yeah it is for more than AP - some sensors are expensive!). Our tests may bore you. Some tests will have no meaning to the ap guy/gal.

What I can say is that the LX850 is very well built. Quality is top notch. I am satisfied with the fit and finish. Visually the views are simply stunning. Visual observers are in for a real treat. Yeah, AP and video folks don't care about visual, but many folks do. And a great visual view certainly lends itself to great ap. Easy align, 1 and 2 star align work. Adjusting alt and az is VERY easy on this mount (I like that nice big wrench that is included to use on the big nobs which can also be adjusted by hand). High Precision Pointing works PERFECTLY. Spot on every time.

Crayford focuser - wonderful. Microfocuser works well, but I agree it is too bad it does not use a band to hold the diagonal, so the screws are marking it up. Then again, I will rarely notice it - it is mostly attached to the telescope. I like the mirror lock. Eliminates whatever hint of mirror flop that potentially can occur with a big 14" mirror for long exposures.

Starlock is doing its supporting functions so far very well, though I have yet to test everything. I always welcome software updates.

Telescope Park and wake-up works perfectly.

I guess you can recommend people wait, and there are benefits on occasion. Then again if everyone waited no one would buy anything. True, the LX800 debacle caused big problems - and they were noted quickly, and Meade handled it appropriately. The LX850 strikes me as telescope that has gone through a few design cycles and lessons learned. Yes, it is "new", but really it is over a year old.

For all but the high end AP folks (and you know who you are), I would recommend this telescope is clearly a BUY. Yes, you can consider other models with less feature sets for the same or even higher price, but I think you will be kicking yourselves in the head when you learn over time, you should have bought the LX850 when you are trying to unload the one you bought as an alternative.

For the advanced AP person - I think Jason is an honest soul and is providing excellent feedback to the community and Meade. Andy from Australia I think is a great resource too; there are others here too and I like their input. I also think the weather has impacted their evaluation also.

I will say this, the LX850 is not for everyone. Each person has their needs. Be prepared - it is a BIG AND HEAVY TELESCOPE. It is NOT a grab and go. Also, I am convinced for many functions Forks are better than GEMS. I say this fully from my heart based on my experience with both. I think now there is a glut of GEMS in the market. Too many models out there. Both Forks and GEMS have their optimal applications.

Well enough of my response! Back to working with SkySafari, SkyFi and the LX850, with that dang bright Moon out there! [/quote]

Huge block of text there for me to respond to.

I suppose that it is swell that it is pretty to look at. That the fit and finish is nice. I guess it is great that the pointing is spot on even though you can do the same thing on systems at a fraction of the cost. I am thrilled that you are thrilled by planetary views through it. I would like to see a direct comparison between the LX850 and an EdgeHD of similar aperture.

In response to your assertion that the system is really a year old and they have fixed all of the issues they had with the LX800, I think it is too early to tell that given the lack of data to support that conclusion. I again refer to the new redesigned part of the mount that new orders got that the recall people didn't. Obviously Meade, having severe financial issues, couldn't afford to have enough made for everyone that owned an LX850.

I am really looking forward to seeing how the buyout will change things for the better. I think that waiting on buying any of these new Meade products until after the summer would be wise. By then hopefully we'll have more data.

#13 planetreef2

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 11:53 AM

Pak, I am in your camp here. I have been curious about this mount since the LX 800 was introduced. I also like the LX 600. I want Meade to succeed. Not bashing here. BUT, I remember seeing everybody saying they would provide pictures and video and PE charts and the like. But after people actually got them in their hands there has been an unusual silence from these same people. One user is selling his mount after waiting over one year for it. With all due respect to him, since he basically pointed out all the problems initially with the LX800 in his videos, But I found it odd that he is selling it and that no other videos or opinions on the new mount have been put forward. He was under a NDA to Meade not to discuss until it was released. But I thought there was something funny with Meade putting customers who paid for the mount under a NDA. This mount is suppose to be turnkey, so it seems to me that a complete beginner should be able to take some decent pictures with it. So why not test that?

Jason Ware is great Astrophotgraphber and no doubt take excellent pictures with the crappiest telescope out there which is great but I would like to see a total noob take some pictures through this thing and compare. So far a few example have shown up and there were a few reasons explaining why it was not the mounts fault but the user.
So Pak, I agree with you, I want to see data from users not from meade or expert pro astrophotographers.
With all due respect to spacetraverx whose excitement for the product is contagious, but I think it is still to early in the game to recommentd this untried system as a complete solution. Show me the Data!
Repectfully
Luis
Planetreef2

#14 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 12:08 PM

conspiracy theory: people have tested 'em, but the results are less than stellar. So they need to tweak/tune first to get best results. This is a complicated device and it's entirely conceivable that the users are still learning to get best results out of it.

when I got my Mach1 I was able to quantify the PE within 3 days, and post it (since it was so low). But if it was 20" p-p or something you can be sure I'd tweak the heck out of it before posting anything. But then the Mach1 is a fairly simple beast, not much to adjust or learn.



Now now now, that is all speculation and conjecture... conspiracies? Though all us Meade-ites did get together in Vegas and plotted our next move. Just sayin'


When I first got my 14 LX850, my first action item was to...put it together! Never dealt with a massive GEM before! Next action item? Look through the OTA! I never owned a large telescope before and the last time I looked through one in real life was the 24" telescope at the University of Michigan's Peach Mountain Observatory. So I was pretty psyched there.

Next up was testing and comparing the MallinCam performance in the 14" vs the 10" LX200. I had just bought the MallinCam and was very curious.

Oh, Starlock initially gave me great problems. Then I removed the lens caps ;)

I then had several more tests to do...and the weather did not cooperate. The one stretch weather stretch that did cooperate, I was 1400 miles away.

My point is we have different priorities and approaches. Just because I did not follow the path of measuring the PE first, does not infer a conspiracy. To be honest, it wasn't even on my list! Also, not everyone is on CN. I am fairly new here myself. It would be curious to see a poll of the CN/LX850 users and the things they wanted to do first with their new telescope.

One question I have is how many LX850 users will use it without Starlock? Seems rather silly buying the LX850 and not using Starlock!

Anyways, back to the meeting of Meade-ites. Bacon is being served! I am now officially distracted!

#15 dmdouglass

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 12:47 PM

Hmmmmm.
I think "Silence" is a good thing. At least here in this thread.
That would be because if there were "problems".... we would all be hearing about them. People seem to agree on that.

I think the people that have actually spent their hard earned money on this mount, and are now "vested" into the process, deserve the respect due them, and the privacy they deserve. All others who are DEMANDING test results can just go fly a kite !! If they really want to know, they can go buy their own !!!

Personally, i like the quite. The owners of the equipment are not complaining. The words we do seem to hear are that they like what they have. That speaks volumes.

I hope that all who have their new toys, can relax and enjoy them. I know if i had one, and had spent that much to purchase one, then i would be out using it. Doing the things that i would have purchased it for.

And not feeding all the "trolls", waiting for any word at all so that they can rip and tear. I grow so tired of that. Now "constructive" information... that i like. And it comes from the people who actually have the equipment, and that can share THEIR results.

To all the LX850 owners out there.... enjoy your equipment.

#16 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 01:14 PM

Hmmmmm.
I think "Silence" is a good thing. At least here in this thread.
That would be because if there were "problems".... we would all be hearing about them. People seem to agree on that.

I think the people that have actually spent their hard earned money on this mount, and are now "vested" into the process, deserve the respect due them, and the privacy they deserve. All others who are DEMANDING test results can just go fly a kite !! If they really want to know, they can go buy their own !!!

Personally, i like the quite. The owners of the equipment are not complaining. The words we do seem to hear are that they like what they have. That speaks volumes.

I hope that all who have their new toys, can relax and enjoy them. I know if i had one, and had spent that much to purchase one, then i would be out using it. Doing the things that i would have purchased it for.

And not feeding all the "trolls", waiting for any word at all so that they can rip and tear. I grow so tired of that. Now "constructive" information... that i like. And it comes from the people who actually have the equipment, and that can share THEIR results.

To all the LX850 owners out there.... enjoy your equipment.



Very well said Douglass!

I can tell you after last night's testing (and you may have seen it), SkySafari works perfectly with the LX850! I can now tap on the screen of my iPad and navigate the heavens with ease.

I also did the "family" test. My kids have been having a blast looking at things through it and using it. The views through the MallinCam have been shockingly wonderful and detailed - my kids and their friends are asking lots of questions, and they are "getting it". Do you know what it is like having lengthy discussions with ALL your kids and their friends about astronomy? And then THEY control the LX850 goto a spot and ask more questions about something they are seeing in great detail? Pulling up, willingly on their own, more details of the object on the iPad and asking their Dad? They don't care about PE at all (they don't have the patience for 10 minute subs, lol). They are more interested in Astronomy and looking at wonder at what they see - and sharing it with their father. This my friends is priceless.

Yes it can be done at a cheaper price, and my one son had fun with our LX200 in Chaco Canyon. Heck just using one's eyes can be very educational. Still, the 14" LX850 does up the game quite a bit. The turnkey solution makes it very easy for kids to approach it. And as my son Ethan said, the views on the laptop looks like they are out of a text book!

I guess the point is I really enjoy the LX850. We are all happy with it!

(And like I said elsewhere, I always dreamed as a little kid of getting a 14" telescope. Dreams do come true, and the LX850 is working perfectly. It has not disappointed).

#17 Lorence

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 01:15 PM

And not feeding all the "trolls", waiting for any word at all so that they can rip and tear.


For interests sake will you kindly point out instances of ripping and tearing.

I'll point out an instance of trolling. It's in the quote above my comment.

#18 zerro1

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 01:17 PM

@Spacetravelerx They're serving Bacon? Nobody told me there'd be Bacon! :bawling:


@dmdouglass
Absolutely +1 :like:

#19 budman1961

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 01:22 PM

I am not an LX850 owner, I have a friend that is though. After reading some of these "get shredded" posts, including the one from the OP, I can guarantee one thing, and that is after a first light post, unless I had an issue that Meade couldnt fix, I wouldn't post again.

What is the point of dissecting and finding fault in every line of a post that was positive? IMHO, it feels like some people have an axe to grind, and want to tear down what appears to be a perfectly fine setup.

Pak, are you even interested in an LX850 from an ownership perspective? Are you buying one, or something similar? Otherwise it sounds like so much sour grapes to me.

Andy

#20 Mkofski

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 01:26 PM

Well put!

#21 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 01:54 PM

@Spacetravelerx They're serving Bacon? Nobody told me there'd be Bacon! :bawling:


@dmdouglass
Absolutely +1 :like:


Sorry Loyal Meade-ites. I forgot to mention the Bacon. And it was Hickory Smoked Thick cut too! Yum!

#22 Mike7Mak

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 02:28 PM

I just can not help but wonder why we don't see a bunch of images showing off the capabilities or PE charts showing how nice the worm and gear box is. Alph used to post just about every day asking for those tests. Anyone that is seriously considering buying such an expensive system that is priced to compete at a new tier in Astrophotography mounts, should want to see these things. Excluding Jason's data as he is just one source, has better than average examples of the gear, and is a professional with ties to Meade. Everyone else who has posted an image also included a disclaimer that they didn't really set it up right, they didn't drift align , there was bad wind, etc etc...

I don't understand the 'anybody but Jason' mindset. The product may indeed be a 'turnkey' imaging rig, but do you really think that means noobs are gonna produce images within the first month of ownership that better represent what the rig can do? Or that they have any clue how to actually perform and record the 'tests' being asked for?

Take a look at some of the performance claims being made for that iOptron Zeq in another thread. The PE figures being thrown around would fit a mount ten times the cost of the Z. Just sayin'.

Granted Jason's results are one data point, but until other accomplished imagers get their hands on the new Meade products, or noobs have spent a year learning how to use them, there won't be any conclusive evidence that Meade has succeeded or failed with this new line.

Constantly advocating people wait for those results before buying, while at the same time demanding those results seems a bit counterproductive. Expecting a 'turnkey' imaging rig to be all that's needed to create fine images is naive.

#23 dmdouglass

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 02:47 PM

Mike7Mak.... Right on !!
To me... Jason's posts are inspiring. In sort, they show you what "can be done", and if you are not achieving it, then you have a model to chase, and try and improve.

Thank you Jason.... for being there.... and for sharing !! And lastly, for "inspiring"...

#24 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 02:55 PM

How to respond briefly, lol!

[quote name="Pak"]

[quote]
[quote]

Also, I am convinced to do my testing it will be best once it is in its observatory. For now, it is set up for a few days and I pray for a weather window. [/quote] [/quote]

[quote] That reminds me, I am curious how it does in light wind. Lets say up to 10mph. I go back to the original intentions and advertising by Meade. This is supposed to be something for people who set up and take down. If you are observatory mounted on a pier, the advantages of the LX850 integrated solutions become unnecessary. [/quote]

[/quote]

I have not taken picts in light or heavy wind, but things seem to hold up so far. We will see when I take the pictures.

I dispute your claim that being in an observatory negates the advantages of an integrated solution. I will use starlock and my iPad and Mac inside and outside of an observatory. Anything that will make set-up easier I am all for it, even if it is a rare event when using an observatory.

Yes, the LX850 is something people can set up and take down. We have done it a few times now. I haven't timed it out, but the set-up and tear down time seems reasonably quick. However, it is a heavy and large beast. And I am quite certain a 14" OTA on an AP or Paramount and tripod is just as massive.

And I pose this question to you - if your wife (who owns the business) approves of a 12.5' dome in the New Mexican high desert, would you accept the offer? She is not an astronomer, but she feels the LX850 is too valuable to move around and scared I will break it (or my back), or some kid will destroy it at an outreach event or something. The SkyShed POD was too small, so she feels the PODMAX (another new product) is the way to go. Who was I to argue? AND SHE SERVED BACON THIS MORNING! Bonus Points!



[quote]


Again though it doesn't take much time to test. I get that you want to just have fun and play with it but don't you want to know what you've purchased? If you bought a TV that was full progressive scan 1080P HD 3D, would you just use it in standard 4:3 mode? Wouldn't you bring it home and pop in your favorite blu-ray DVD so you can see it in all of its glory? Watching re-runs of Mash may be "fun" and "entertaining" but I still would have, at least by now, popped in the latest Star Trek movie so I could experience the lens flare at full resolution. Also if it turns out the sales person lied to me and sold me a standard resolution non 3d tv stuck in a different box, I'd know right away and could take it back.
[/quote]

I see your point, but I don't fully agree. Looking at a 65" high def 3D screen is great, I have one, and we tested it out on "Tron Legacy". But, I have only once in my life looked through something greater than a 10" telescope. Hence putting a Meade 5000 30mm and 24mm UWA on the 14" OTA was our 3D, not a 4:3 re-run of M*A*S*H. The views were amazing! Also, I had just gotten the MallinCam, and I really love this rig. GREAT PRODUCT! We just had to try it out on the LX850.

But your point is if I can't take 30 min exposures, I should return the telescope. And if that is one's goal, and it does not cut it, you have a point. A few people will not take it on faith the LX850 is a superb, precise instrument. I have not done the 30 minute test, however, I am fairly confident it will pull it off. Of course operator error can mess up any 30 minute exposure too. Will the LX850 make it easy for the operator? So far it does. Stay tuned!


[quote]


Tests only take about an hour. If you have not used PEMPRO before you are welcome to PM me and i'd be happy to help you get it running.

[/quote]

I see PEMPRO is a PC product. I am a Mac, iOS, Linux person. I avoid Windows whenever I can (I do have VMware Fusion, but really am not into Windows). Will PHd Guiding do the trick?


[quote]
[quote]
When I get a dark night and the weather cooperates I will push up to a 10 min exposure, though I am not certain the Canon 60Da is best for exposures over 10 min. I would welcome those interested in testing out their SBIG camera (or similar) on my LX850. [/quote]

The only problem you are likely to face is over exposure and bloating of the stars. However we would still be able to see if they were round bloats or stretched bloats.[/quote]

Once I do the LX850 sw updates I will give it a try. I know, I need to use Windows for the sw update....grrrrrr



[quote]
I suppose that it is swell that it is pretty to look at. That the fit and finish is nice. I guess it is great that the pointing is spot on even though you can do the same thing on systems at a fraction of the cost. I am thrilled that you are thrilled by planetary views through it. I would like to see a direct comparison between the LX850 and an EdgeHD of similar aperture.

In response to your assertion that the system is really a year old and they have fixed all of the issues they had with the LX800, I think it is too early to tell that given the lack of data to support that conclusion. I again refer to the new redesigned part of the mount that new orders got that the recall people didn't. Obviously Meade, having severe financial issues, couldn't afford to have enough made for everyone that owned an LX850.

I am really looking forward to seeing how the buyout will change things for the better. I think that waiting on buying any of these new Meade products until after the summer would be wise. By then hopefully we'll have more data. [/quote]

The catch all responses:

* I have found fit and finish is a concern of many astronomers (look at posts just here on CN). And I am passing that news along. Plus, if dropping $10k, it better look nice!

* My wife would kill me if I bought a 14" LX850 and 14" EdgeHD CGEPro just to compare them. Just sayin'! Still, the comparison would be interesting, though I can see it being subjective too. My guess is both are fairly good. No one I know of has one here locally in the Albuquerque area, but if they want to go side by side I am fine with that. Though a blind taste test would not work. ;) Personally, I think I get more bang for the buck with the Meade.

* New models vs. recall: Meade just could have chosen to fix the rebate mounts vs. give us new owners all the new features. Who knows. I think Meade is flush with cash now (Millions will be invested besides the purchase price). Now my comment is if no one buys any Meade products until after the summer the data set will be small and it will hurt Meade more. That seems silly. I take it on faith I will get the product as advertised by Meade, and if they don't they will make it right. I for one do plan on buying from Meade this summer, and I am confident they will still produce a great product. Next items on the List: More Series 5000 UWA ep, 80 mm Series 6000 APO refractor, and the 90mm SolarMax II. The PST was a deadly purchase (another amazing little product!).

#25 budman1961

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 03:09 PM

Andrew....you just opened another kettle of fish.....MAC vs PC. You are the consummate pot stirrer! I really wish my wife would serve me bacon...was it the really thick cut type, or thin? Darn, another debate in the works..thick or thin bacon..MAC vs PC....Mallincam vs everything else...Meade vs Celestron....Sally Kellerman as Hotlips Houlihan vs Margaret Swit..... :foreheadslap:

:roflmao:
Andy


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