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LX-850

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#1 Donnie D

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Posted 24 August 2019 - 09:11 PM

I am considering an LX-850 as a future purchase, but I find it interesting that not many people using this setup.  I am curious as to why. Is it bc of the weight of the Tripod / OTA, etc., or is it is a difficulty in the setup.  I do see that the OTA for the 12" is about 56 lbs. I know that there has to be some (on this forum) that have this setup and I am curious as to your thoughts on 1) do you keep it setup all the time, and use a something like a JMI to mobilize it  or    2) do you dis-assemble some of it to take inside?

 

Thanks

Donnie



#2 zach540

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Posted 25 August 2019 - 07:35 AM

Can't speak to the LX850, but me personally, IMHO I tend to steer away from Meade due to poor customer service.  Their OTAs are fine, but I feel their mounts leave a lot to be desired in terms of quality and being modern compared to other options.  


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#3 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 03:10 AM

Hello Donnie,

 

First of all I 100% dispute the claims of @Zach540 - the LX850 is an excellent mount.  I have owned two of them since 2013 and both have worked fantastic.   

 

The first mount (until my home was robbed, grrrrr) was used 10 months of the year for about 5 years, about 150 nights/year.  Not a single problem with the mount at all with this heavy use.

The second LX850 has been outdoors continuously along with the Eagle 2 computer from Prima Luce Labs.   Mount is again used about 150 nights/year but this time has been outside continuously.  To protect the telescope from the elements I use the Telegizmos 365 cover...this works fantastic.  Mind you, even though the rig with cover experiences monsoon rain, snow, dust and a full spectrum of temperatures I am in New Mexico. For wetter climates I would look at JMI wheely bars or an observatory.  This system can be setup easily it is just a huge rig.

 

My rig consists of the 14" f/8 ACF and Meade 80mm ED APO plus mounted Eagle and Cameras (Canon 60Da, Canon 80D, and the Meade DSI-IV).  The LX850 handles the load without any troubles.

 

The mount works to the specs.  It is VERY VERY easy to configure.  With StarLock not only do you have the various easy align features, but also automatic drift align, auto PE Training and auto rate calibration.  No need for external computers and added cables.  The dual guiders and high precision pointing makes life a breeze.  No need to fuss over the mount - you can focus on observing and imaging.

My typical routine once setup:

-- take off covers

-- power on all the components via the Eagle 2 (it does power management)

-- Go to a target around the celestial equator.

-- Do the Auto Rate Calibration (pushing 3 buttons?)
-- View, image and enjoy

-- When done auto park the telescope

-- Turn off the rig via the Eagle 2
-- Cover things up.

 

Again, contrary to the comments, covering 150 days/year and putting in about 10 hours/night on average with nary a problem I swear by the mount.

Oh, when I do have need to deal with Customer Service - no problem.  Friendly folks!

 

If you have any other questions please feel free to ask!

 

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#4 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 03:10 AM

Another view of my workhorse the LX850...great mount!

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Edited by Spacetravelerx, 26 August 2019 - 03:11 AM.

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#5 macdonjh

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 10:00 AM

Donnie D, I remember a thread here asking essentially what yo are asking now.  Perhaps do searches in Mounts and Cats and Casses.  There were even responses to the question, "why isn't there much talk about Meade equipment on CloudyNights?"

 

I know one person in my club with an LX-850.  LIke Spacetravererx, he likes it.  He has it in an observatory, though.  It seems to me there are a lot of bits and pieces to assemble and take apart.  But then, I am 100% visual, so I don't have to deal with cameras, guide scopes and filter wheels (oh my!).


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#6 jgraham

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 12:06 PM

The lack of chatter is usually a good thing. :)

 

I consider myself an equal-opportunity telescope fan and I own quite a bit of equipment from various manufacturers. Like most manufacturers that have been around for many decades different manufactures go through rough patches here'n there. Meade has had their share in part due to their willingness to try some unique things that sometime don't turn out as well as others. The LX800 was one of those rough spots, but they seemed to have addressed all of the original issues with the re-launch as the LX850. I'm not aware of any issues with their current line-up and all of my interactions with their customer service have gone fairly well considering that we're dealing with very complex gear over the phone or via email. All of the issues that I have had over the years were resolved. The LX-850 looks like a great piece of kit! The only problem I have is its cost. If I live long enough I may see some show up on the sued market. :)

 

Enjoy shopping around!

 

P.S.

 

The Lightswitch also had a bit of a rough launch, but I ended up buying an LS8 with the v1.6a firmware and I couldn't be happier. It is a wonderful scope and a lot of fun to use. The key seems to be waiting long enough for the kinks to get worked out, and the LX850 seems to be well past that point.


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#7 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 01:18 PM

The lack of chatter is usually a good thing. smile.gif

 

I consider myself an equal-opportunity telescope fan and I own quite a bit of equipment from various manufacturers. Like most manufacturers that have been around for many decades different manufactures go through rough patches here'n there. Meade has had their share in part due to their willingness to try some unique things that sometime don't turn out as well as others. The LX800 was one of those rough spots, but they seemed to have addressed all of the original issues with the re-launch as the LX850. I'm not aware of any issues with their current line-up and all of my interactions with their customer service have gone fairly well considering that we're dealing with very complex gear over the phone or via email. All of the issues that I have had over the years were resolved. The LX-850 looks like a great piece of kit! The only problem I have is its cost. If I live long enough I may see some show up on the sued market. smile.gif

 

Enjoy shopping around!

 

P.S.

 

The Lightswitch also had a bit of a rough launch, but I ended up buying an LS8 with the v1.6a firmware and I couldn't be happier. It is a wonderful scope and a lot of fun to use. The key seems to be waiting long enough for the kinks to get worked out, and the LX850 seems to be well past that point.

 

@jgraham,

 

My stolen LX850 showed up on the used market, LOL.

 

Otherwise, since 2013 very few have showed up on the used market - folks seem to be holding onto them.   It truly is a turnkey mount - great gotos and excellent tracking.  You just point and shoot (or point and look in the eyepiece).  Automated everything!

The LX850 is on the higher priced end, however you truly get what you pay for.  Like I said, the mount is used heavily (I have had two 10 hours sessions the last two days, and another planned tonight).   Now I did have a suspected software glitch this summer with the newer LX850, however I think now it was due to a combination of issues with the hardware rig I am using with all the cameras, wifi, and Eagle 2 based on new research (long story). BUT the suspected software problem was swiftly responded to by Meade on their end (and now me doing improvements on the power management side - the real culprit it looks like, NOT Meade software.  Again a long story).

 

Last night I did a star cluster hunt - 16 in all, along with three long exposure sessions.  Very easy to do...and fun!  Tonight I am doing a few DSO's, maybe visiting Jupiter again.  Who knows. 

But I should note - the LX850 is not really a portable mount.  You can take it in the field and be fully up and running (including auto PE training, alignment, etc) in less than 1-1.5 hours.  Still, it is a beast as one would expect for a mount with a 90 lb payload.  For portability I use the LXD75...and likely moving to an LX85.



#8 spokeshave

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 01:49 PM

I am considering an LX-850 as a future purchase, but I find it interesting that not many people using this setup.  I am curious as to why. 

I suspect that there are several reasons. The LX850 is fairly expensive, though not overly so for it's weight carrying capacity. Also the StarLock technology is a bit gimmicky and everything that it does can be done as well or better with free software. Additionally, as an imaging platform, it probably works fine stand-alone, but it does not play well with acquisition software. ASCOM support for it is very poor. Additionally, the claimed guiding accuracy of 1" (in good seeing) can be bested by much less expensive mounts with free autoguiding software, typically by a factor of 2 or more. Also, I have heard that it is prone to flexure as is any guidescope coupled with an SCT. If you elect to use an OAG, you forfeit the internal guiding capability. Finally, Meade's reputation probably precedes this mount. Meade does not have a glowing track record for manufacturing quality GEMs.

 

In my years on CN, I have only seen feedback from one member who owns this mount and that is spacetravellerx. I recommend taking his glowing endorsement with a grain of salt since he is compensated by Meade for doing so. There are many very good mounts in the LX850 price range that have far fewer question marks associated with them. It may very well be a great mount, but on the other hand, there is probably good reason that the mount is so rare in the wild. For my money, I would not roll the dice.

 

$0.02

 

Tim



#9 WadeH237

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 03:02 PM

If you want to get an idea of the popularity of any scope, mount or camera - at least for imaging - just go to Astrobin and do an equipment search.

 

Note that this will only give you a relative result of popularity between different gear, and not an absolute number.  You will want to do an equivalent search on a few similar pieces of gear, so that you can get an idea of their relative popularity.

 

If a piece of gear has a huge number of results on Astrobin, but few problem reports, that's a great sign.  If a piece of gear has a huge number of results and also a large number of problem reports, that's not necessarily a bad sign.  If a piece of gear has very few results, but lots of problem reports, you might want to think about that.  And if a piece of gear has very few Astrobin results, and very few problem reports, that's probably an indication that it's not very common, relative to the alternatives.  In the last case, you really can't make any conclusions about how reliable it is.



#10 Lola Bruce

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 04:11 PM

In the near past quite a few post on the LX850 have been posted. Do a search about replacement parts and availability or customer service. Replacement servo's in particular.You might not want one after that.

 

Bruce



#11 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 04:15 PM

I suspect that there are several reasons. The LX850 is fairly expensive, though not overly so for it's weight carrying capacity. Also the StarLock technology is a bit gimmicky and everything that it does can be done as well or better with free software. Additionally, as an imaging platform, it probably works fine stand-alone, but it does not play well with acquisition software. ASCOM support for it is very poor. Additionally, the claimed guiding accuracy of 1" (in good seeing) can be bested by much less expensive mounts with free autoguiding software, typically by a factor of 2 or more. Also, I have heard that it is prone to flexure as is any guidescope coupled with an SCT. If you elect to use an OAG, you forfeit the internal guiding capability. Finally, Meade's reputation probably precedes this mount. Meade does not have a glowing track record for manufacturing quality GEMs.

 

In my years on CN, I have only seen feedback from one member who owns this mount and that is spacetravellerx. I recommend taking his glowing endorsement with a grain of salt since he is compensated by Meade for doing so. There are many very good mounts in the LX850 price range that have far fewer question marks associated with them. It may very well be a great mount, but on the other hand, there is probably good reason that the mount is so rare in the wild. For my money, I would not roll the dice.

 

$0.02

 

Tim

 

@spokeshave,

 

Part of the reason you don't not see much chatter on the Meade side is the constant beat down and trolling on Meade users.  I have numerous private conversations with folks on CN trying to avoid the public beatdown.  It hits its peak around 2015 or 2016.  I can handle the beatdown because I know I am right.  wink.gif 

And though I am now a brand Ambassador, that is recent and I am not paid/compensated.  What I do get - free bling (not much of an income lol), sharing of my pictures by Meade, try and test out equipment for free (I have to return it), and a chance to give away gifts and prizes to people (COOL!).  Again this is recent.

My purchases of the LX850 was prior to my Meade Brand Ambassadorship and I do note I am a Vendor Affiliate.

 

Now to work on your claims:
-- StarLock is not a gimmick.  First of all it is a dual guider; not clear who else does dual guiding.  It also automates many functions with minimal cables (1 between StarLock and the control box).  I can focus on imaging and video astronomy.  NOW if you are the kind of person that likes to play with software, configuring and loads of cables, tinkering all night with the mount (read CN posts for other brands), and fine with a single guider then I guess StarLock is not for you.
-- You are confusing a radius of error (+/- 1") with RMS.  Under typical seeing I get nice round stars with my 14" f/8" ACF for long exposures, RMS under 1".
-- Since I get nice round stars under good seeing for long exposures I really have no need for an off axis guider, nor should most people not need one.  The LX850 can easily handle  the Off-Axis guider, however I have not found the need for one. Off-Axis guiders can be a pain to work with.
-- ASCOM: I use it with my Eagle 2 computer. It works for me.
-- No flexure problems on the LX850 if done right.  Key is to mount StarLock on TOP of the OTA, not the side.  This is known and very old news.  I guess I need to tell my LX850 to stop taking good pictures?

-- I dispute your claim on lack of glowing track record of Meade mounts.  Yes, there was the problems with the LX800 years ago (fully resolved and folks made good) and the LX80, but this is old, old news now.  And Meade was purchased since then years ago.
-- Yes there are fewer mounts priced over $6,000 but this is normal.  For my rig I have over $25,000 invested.  My bet is most folks do not do this in the wild.  However there are quite of few LX850's out there.  What are the numbers?  I don't think a single manufacturer posts these numbers.  Bottomline: the quantity discussion is in the realm of speculation and conjecture, not fact.

When my LX850 was stolen (painful), did I go to the the other prime mounts out there? Nope. I went right to the LX850 again.  It was a tried and proven workhorse, point and shoot mount, excellent quality and precision.  

 

The first mount was used about 150 days/year at about 10 hours a day.  Same with the current mount.  Works lock clockwork every time.  Either that speaks to the quality and performance or I am very, very lucky.  However other users I know of have the same excellent performance.



#12 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 04:25 PM

If you want to get an idea of the popularity of any scope, mount or camera - at least for imaging - just go to Astrobin and do an equipment search.

 

Note that this will only give you a relative result of popularity between different gear, and not an absolute number.  You will want to do an equivalent search on a few similar pieces of gear, so that you can get an idea of their relative popularity.

 

If a piece of gear has a huge number of results on Astrobin, but few problem reports, that's a great sign.  If a piece of gear has a huge number of results and also a large number of problem reports, that's not necessarily a bad sign.  If a piece of gear has very few results, but lots of problem reports, you might want to think about that.  And if a piece of gear has very few Astrobin results, and very few problem reports, that's probably an indication that it's not very common, relative to the alternatives.  In the last case, you really can't make any conclusions about how reliable it is.

@WadeH237,

Astrobin is a good source, though limited.  For example I think I have a few hundred posts on Instagram and Facebook...10 on Astrobin.



#13 WadeH237

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 05:40 PM

@WadeH237,

Astrobin is a good source, though limited.  For example I think I have a few hundred posts on Instagram and Facebook...10 on Astrobin.

That's why I say that it gives you a relative idea of popularity.

 

And it's not posts that that are of interest.  It would be interesting to count the number of users in the results, and it would be interesting to count the number of actual images.  On Astrobin, it's really easy to get the number of images that match the query.  And it doesn't matter that Astrobin doesn't host every image ever taken, or even a large percentage.  We're just looking for a sampling of data.

 

The only reason that this would not be representative of the relative popularity of the gear, is if there is some reason that owners of a particular piece of gear either flock to Astrobin in unusual numbers, or avoid it in unusual numbers. You've asserted that LX-850 users avoid Cloudy Nights, along with the reason - and it seems potentially plausible (I've heard the same assertion for the CEM120).  I can't fathom any reason that they would avoid Astrobin (at least any more or less than users of other gear).

 

And note that I'm not making any assertions at all about the LX-850, or any other mount, either positive or negative.  I'm just suggesting a way that someone could get a very good idea of how popular any piece of astro imaging gear might be.


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#14 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 06:47 PM

In the near past quite a few post on the LX850 have been posted. Do a search about replacement parts and availability or customer service. Replacement servo's in particular.You might not want one after that.

 

Bruce

@Lola Bruce

 

The one bad event on CN you note was unfortunate and I believe it was resolved, however the comments and speculation there was tense by the usual suspects.  Hence why most Meade users do not chat much on CN.  Many times discussions get so nasty and threatening that the discussion gets locked and posts get modified or deleted.   I can say back in 2013 when I flipped from Celestron to the Meade LX850 I was beaten down pretty badly by the usual suspects. Between that and Astronautics trying to also get me to flip back then, I took my business elsewhere...a pretty costly loss for them.  I have purchased from Astronautics recently (battery?).

Still, one or a few vocal posts online is not statistically meaningful.  Otherwise all the key players would be in trouble.

 

My roll as ambassador now is also to try and help out folks and connect them with the right source - and of course network and promote.

Folks are welcome to see the LX850 in action at my place.  Once my travel slows down I will again share the operation of the LX850 live on Youtube.
 



#15 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 07:02 PM

That's why I say that it gives you a relative idea of popularity.

 

And it's not posts that that are of interest.  It would be interesting to count the number of users in the results, and it would be interesting to count the number of actual images.  On Astrobin, it's really easy to get the number of images that match the query.  And it doesn't matter that Astrobin doesn't host every image ever taken, or even a large percentage.  We're just looking for a sampling of data.

 

The only reason that this would not be representative of the relative popularity of the gear, is if there is some reason that owners of a particular piece of gear either flock to Astrobin in unusual numbers, or avoid it in unusual numbers. You've asserted that LX-850 users avoid Cloudy Nights, along with the reason - and it seems potentially plausible (I've heard the same assertion for the CEM120).  I can't fathom any reason that they would avoid Astrobin (at least any more or less than users of other gear).

 

And note that I'm not making any assertions at all about the LX-850, or any other mount, either positive or negative.  I'm just suggesting a way that someone could get a very good idea of how popular any piece of astro imaging gear might be.

@WadeH237,

I understand where you are coming from.  My point is some of us heavy LX850 users do not post on Astrobin.  I only just started posting there. Why don't I post in Astrobin??? My audience is more the masses, STEM, and hobbyists interested in Astronomy.  It is not because it is tense or mean there - I just have no interest.  As another gauge I have right now 3,267 posts on Instagram and more than half are Astronomy related.  Astrobin - 9 images.  Nothing against Astrobin, it is just my interest is else where.  

 

Also it is interesting seeing the number of folks following the images, equipment and such on Facebook and Instagram.  Though yes, it is difficult to track a mount to pictures on Instagram and Facebook vs. Astrobin.

 

CN has some pretty tense areas - you mention the CEM world.  Video Astronomy - some extreme drama there.

My point is there are different reasons we are active in different areas in social media.  I still keep a toe in CN, but it is a rough crowd for many folks.  Astrobin - fun place, not everyone is there, but yes you can get some ideas from it.  Facebook - loads of fun there and great groups and discussions, however bullying and putdowns are closely policed and gets people booted.  Same with Instagram.   BTW - I send everyone interested in the LX850 and my work to Instagram.



#16 carolinaskies

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 08:20 PM

CN is well known for a vocal anti-Meade sentiment... so reliable information on the LX850 will be sketchy.   

Interestingly Meade has always been more forward looking with mount mechanics and OTA variations because they tend to respond to feedback from the telescope community in considering and putting forward designs.   Meade came out with a 16" class SCT still widely used by institutions today because fork arms DO WORK despite the many GEM owners who disput this fact.  And those who own LX200/LX600 variants quietly image in their observatories without worry or fretting over the GEM owners who never met a fork scope on a wedge.  The RCX400 was ahead of it's time and came out in a period of flux for the company... sadly the technology didn't pan out on the scale and marketing fauxpas put a kybosh on it.  The LS series was doing built in essentially what the add-on StarSense now does for Celestron mounts.  Meade currently has what I believe are more interesting mounts like the LX65 dual capability for smaller setups.  There are some areas they can improve, but that can be said for any company out there.


The LX850 is a 2nd try at a heavy class mount (90lbs) with the addition of Starlock guiding via a 2-camera system.  Success with Starlock seems to be all it's cracked up to be from the reports of actual long term users vs social media non-owners.  I go through the same issues as SpacetravellerX because I have an LX200 GPS 16".  Would love to have the LX600 w/Starlock version... but alas I doubt I'll ever have the money for such a beast again. 

I read down through some of the comments, especially Wade's idea of looking at Astrobin, the problem is sampling.  There are a lot more people who image than who post images.  Visit any club across the nation and you'll find guys and gals who are imaging at home and sharing their work at club meets but never beyond that point.  Most amateurs simply do it for their own edification and may only share images with family/friends.  Not everyone is cloud saavy and likely more cloud wary because there are regular reports of hijacked images played off as the offending party's own work.  Not nice if you've spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours and some guy steals your hard work.  

Anyways... good hunting on your equipment choices! 


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#17 WadeH237

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 12:54 AM

I read down through some of the comments, especially Wade's idea of looking at Astrobin, the problem is sampling.  There are a lot more people who image than who post images.  Visit any club across the nation and you'll find guys and gals who are imaging at home and sharing their work at club meets but never beyond that point.  Most amateurs simply do it for their own edification and may only share images with family/friends.  Not everyone is cloud saavy and likely more cloud wary because there are regular reports of hijacked images played off as the offending party's own work.  Not nice if you've spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours and some guy steals your hard work. 

Well, yeah.  When you say that there are a lot more people who image than who post images, that's how sampling works.  When you read any analysis of any topic that involves some percentage of the population, they didn't get that data by asking everyone.  The number of people sampled is a very, very small percentage of the whole.

 

And when you say that you'll find guys and gals who are imaging at home and never sharing beyond their friends, that's absolutely true.  But it applies equally to users of many different kinds of mounts.  As soon as you say that the Astrobin sampling isn't representative of a particular piece of gear, you are essentially saying that users of that gear are different than users of anything else.  It actually makes some sense in the case of Cloudy Nights discussion (I agree that there is anti-Meade sentiment).  But that explanation doesn't apply at all to Astrobin.  And that's the thing that I have a problem with.  It's basically a way of rationalizing a result that you don't necessarily agree with.



#18 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 01:38 AM

Well, yeah.  When you say that there are a lot more people who image than who post images, that's how sampling works.  When you read any analysis of any topic that involves some percentage of the population, they didn't get that data by asking everyone.  The number of people sampled is a very, very small percentage of the whole.

 

And when you say that you'll find guys and gals who are imaging at home and never sharing beyond their friends, that's absolutely true.  But it applies equally to users of many different kinds of mounts.  As soon as you say that the Astrobin sampling isn't representative of a particular piece of gear, you are essentially saying that users of that gear are different than users of anything else.  It actually makes some sense in the case of Cloudy Nights discussion (I agree that there is anti-Meade sentiment).  But that explanation doesn't apply at all to Astrobin.  And that's the thing that I have a problem with.  It's basically a way of rationalizing a result that you don't necessarily agree with.

@WadeH237,

I think the better way of putting it is there is a spectrum of places we in the hobby/field/profession/etc have preferences of where we post our pictures for a variety of reasons.

 

Personally my goal is to present my pictures to the hobbyists, interested masses, students, and those looking for a pretty picture and have questions answered.  My goal is to get too as a broad of an audience as possible.  Key reasons: Brand Ambassador role, instruction, and art...and for interested friends and family.

 

With that here are my key sources:

  • Facebook: LOTS of users in the forums I frequent.  Great access, fun and informative chatter, and network building.  I also communicate to several Astronomy Clubs through Facebook
  • Instagram: Great access to the population as a whole.  Fun conversations.  Very international audience.
  • Youtube:  Interesting forum.  Don't have the time to fully invest, but I do post there.
  • Twitter:  I just have Instagram repost there.  I don't really follow it at all.
  • Tumbler: Getting pretty dead there.  Again, I have Instagram repost there, however the place is vacating fast.
  • Cloudynights:  I come here occasionally to answer private messages (I get quite a few actually), and enter some forum discussions.  Still I really try to stay out of the debate and drama now.  Very heavy biases and some "clicks" here.  A tad more wild west.  I try and stay away from the fights here.
  • Astrobin:  I do like how it tracks all the details, and it is cool how it overlays names on the targets of a picture.  I am just averse to paying for the services, since I already use a bunch of free services and it is another social media site to maintain.  Still, I might pony up.
  • Flickr: I don't use it at all.
  • SmugMug: I use it sparingly since I have sold some of my pictures, and I can get very good prices to produce big pictures and metal prints.
     

My gut tells me Astrobin is focused on a subset of users in the Astrophotography community and a range of hobbyists, but not a big following outside of the hobby. Arm chair astronomers may go there too. I know several people with LX850s and at a few Astronomy Clubs that do not use Astrobin at all.  Still it is a good source to see pictures from the LX850. However I have over 1,150 active followers on Instagram and I reach over 20,000 on Facebook.  It is really fun interacting with Astronomers, artists, and those who no science background at all, "the curious".  

 

BTW, my top pictures:
-- The Moon (lol)

-- Eclipses (Lunar and Solar)
-- Saturn (of course)
-- Various angles of my telescope
-- Famous pretty targets (M42, M31...the usual suspects).

-- Special events (Comets)

 

The unique and special shots? The masses do not care...

 

Well that is my take on the social media front, lol.



#19 carolinaskies

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 12:36 PM

Well, yeah.  When you say that there are a lot more people who image than who post images, that's how sampling works.  When you read any analysis of any topic that involves some percentage of the population, they didn't get that data by asking everyone.  The number of people sampled is a very, very small percentage of the whole.

 

And when you say that you'll find guys and gals who are imaging at home and never sharing beyond their friends, that's absolutely true.  But it applies equally to users of many different kinds of mounts.  As soon as you say that the Astrobin sampling isn't representative of a particular piece of gear, you are essentially saying that users of that gear are different than users of anything else.  It actually makes some sense in the case of Cloudy Nights discussion (I agree that there is anti-Meade sentiment).  But that explanation doesn't apply at all to Astrobin.  And that's the thing that I have a problem with.  It's basically a way of rationalizing a result that you don't necessarily agree with.

Sampling can be done in various ways and choosing a single source like A*bin any conclusion can only be drawn for THAT community and not transferred to the much wider community.  Remember too, prolific posting can skew numbers falsely.   I've done enough personal mount/camera/scope searching for results on A*bin that it's clear it's a small segment that doesn't represent very well.   It's easy to choose the most popular current camera vs what was popular before A*Bin was widely used, does that mean everyone upgraded?  Likewise the mount, the OTA, etc.   

Responsible sampling and properly narrow defined expectations for the sampling source have to be stated up front.  Doing a simple search of mount type among images results in 459 - LX850, 167 - CEM120, 2449 - CEM60, 3717 - AVX, 11653 - CGEM, 1352 - CGX, 79-CGXL, 706 - LX200, 4023 - Takahashi,7455-  Losmandy.   Remember this is an 'image count' not a mount count.  Sadly A*bin doesn't let you break down the search to how many individual users of a mount, so you'd have to do the personal counting of images submitted.    This 'sampling' would indicate few people own a CGX-L, tons of people must use Takahashi mounts while MOST people use a CGEM.   See what I mean about A*bin being a poor choice for supposed sampling?  


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#20 WadeH237

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 01:23 PM

 A*bin any conclusion can only be drawn for THAT community and not transferred to the much wider community.

This is a complete rationalization - unless there is some reason that users of one particular brand of gear is biased for or against the site.

 

Otherwise, you are suggesting that if someone uses (hypothetically) a Meade mount and posts stuff to Astrobin, and then they switch to a Celestron mount, they'll stop posting to Astrobin. Or else, you're suggesting that someone's propensity for posting to Astrobin would somehow affect the mount that they choose.  Interesting.

 

Anyway, I doubt that I'm going to convince you - and that really wasn't my point anyway.  The OP was curious about why they don't hear much about a particular mount, and I was just suggesting a way that they could surmise the relative popularity versus other mounts.  But we've drifted far away from helping the OP...



#21 carolinaskies

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 02:12 PM

This is a complete rationalization - unless there is some reason that users of one particular brand of gear is biased for or against the site.

 

Otherwise, you are suggesting that if someone uses (hypothetically) a Meade mount and posts stuff to Astrobin, and then they switch to a Celestron mount, they'll stop posting to Astrobin. Or else, you're suggesting that someone's propensity for posting to Astrobin would somehow affect the mount that they choose.  Interesting.

 

Anyway, I doubt that I'm going to convince you - and that really wasn't my point anyway.  The OP was curious about why they don't hear much about a particular mount, and I was just suggesting a way that they could surmise the relative popularity versus other mounts.  But we've drifted far away from helping the OP...

ROFL... "rationalization" no, your attempt was a rationalization *(the action of attempting to explain or justify behavior or an attitude with logical reasons, even if these are not appropriate.).   I want this to be clear, because you think your idea of a survey is based on a sound approach.  Your statement "Note that this will only give you a relative result of popularity between different gear, and not an absolute number.  You will want to do an equivalent search on a few similar pieces of gear, so that you can get an idea of their relative popularity."    

My simple test of your suppostion shows it's fallible rationalization to survey A*bin.  First and foremost all numbers are skewed to prolificy of contributed images.  User group A with mount Z may have posted 10 images, User group B with mount X may have posted 250, User group C with mount Y may have posted 1000...  Does User A group clearly represent mount Z?  Is one individual providing 1 or 2 or 9?; vs User group B and mount X with one invidual providing 10,20, 100?; vs  any other group there is no relative useful data to measure relative result of popularity between different gear '. 

From a intellectual argument, you fall short in your goal when fact checked.   I didn't even mention the very real possibility on A*bin of a single user owning multip mounts thereby further skewing results.  I'm a facts kind of guy, it's my specialty dealing with computer systems and such.  Rationalization I leave to the philanderers.  

The OP is best served ignoring your suggestion as it provides no meaningful information on popularity.  Using A*bin to compare relative performance of a camera between OTAs, between OSC vs Mono, etc... that's a better defined use of information on A*bin for surveys if you so choose.

While many of us might like to have a look at vendor records for sales of particular mounts to get a firm grasp on sales numbers, conclusions must be narrowly defined so as not to overstate or understate supposed 'popularity'.  All the things which can influence sales including price reductions, introductions of competing models, length of production, relative return rate, etc... would all be caveats to drawing conclusions. 

For the OP, the best we can do as fellow amateurs is present practical knowledge of facts in evidence rather than conjecture.  Relative performance specifications, etc.  Yet always be assured you'll get the best information from those who actually own the equipment in question vs those who may have their own skewed interpretations of social media threads about equipment.   The mount is used extensively, the relative reports on CN user groups is postive by owners, and if you look at other online sources to find owners of the LX850 including observatories you will find many satisfied successful users.   Facebook has a few, but FB is just like A*bin, only a small portion based on indivduals who are willingly sharing their images and experiences.  Whether you decide to purchase one or not, hopefully some light has been shed to help you in your purchasing endeavor. 


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#22 Piggled

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 03:23 PM

Don’t do it!!!! They are super expensive mounts. Super expensive. And very very heavy. I bought my LX850, super excited, last summer. Set it up, had issues with the hand box right off the bat. No problem. Called Meade. Sent a new one. Only took 4 months and lots of harassing to get it. Got it. Same issue, the letters are illegible, so I slowed it down but now it takes forever to read anything. Forever. This is now December, I live in SF and so it’s the middle of the rainy season. I set the scope back up a few months ago, tried to snap some shots, blurry as hell, not tracking properly. Run through everything, everything, nothing helps. Then the red light on the starlock quit working. So I ordered a new cable. 3-4 weeks back ordered, from Meade, a simple cable. That was 6 weeks ago, still no cable. So I had two custom made based on their specs from the warehouse, nothing works. Isn’t communicating with my computer etc. have to send in the starlock and the control box. 6-8 weeks to repair. I have to cover shipping. I’m soooooo mad I want to throw this thing off a cliff. When i take the time to set up a 300# telescope that costs 11k I expect it to work. Don’t waste your money. Buy a Losmandy, or AP and just set home guide scope. There are so many better options out there right now. Seriously. Don’t waste your money.

I build custom cabinets and furniture. I have lots of Festool products, a high end German manufacturer of jobsite grade tools. A tool breaks, you send it in, they cover shipping, and it’s turned around in 4 days, completely taken apart and examined. And there parts are probably 2x the cost of what Meade’s circuit boards etc cost.

I have no words right now. It’s been over a year and I’ve only been able to use it to look at the moon. If I wanted that i would’ve bought an etx. Again. Don’t waste your money. Andrews experience seems to be the rarer experience.

Sorry. Guess I should say what I have. A 14” f/8 lx850 with a takahashi fsq 85edx a full spectrum converted 6D, and a ZWO 1600 mono with the filter wheel. But all of this is entirely meaningless if I can’t use the dang mount!!!!! For 6-8weeks!!!! Right back into the rainy season. Worst purchase ever. Seriously.

Edited by Piggled, 27 August 2019 - 03:33 PM.


#23 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 04:30 PM

Don’t do it!!!! They are super expensive mounts. Super expensive. And very very heavy. I bought my LX850, super excited, last summer. Set it up, had issues with the hand box right off the bat. No problem. Called Meade. Sent a new one. Only took 4 months and lots of harassing to get it. Got it. Same issue, the letters are illegible, so I slowed it down but now it takes forever to read anything. Forever. This is now December, I live in SF and so it’s the middle of the rainy season. I set the scope back up a few months ago, tried to snap some shots, blurry as hell, not tracking properly. Run through everything, everything, nothing helps. Then the red light on the starlock quit working. So I ordered a new cable. 3-4 weeks back ordered, from Meade, a simple cable. That was 6 weeks ago, still no cable. So I had two custom made based on their specs from the warehouse, nothing works. Isn’t communicating with my computer etc. have to send in the starlock and the control box. 6-8 weeks to repair. I have to cover shipping. I’m soooooo mad I want to throw this thing off a cliff. When i take the time to set up a 300# telescope that costs 11k I expect it to work. Don’t waste your money. Buy a Losmandy, or AP and just set home guide scope. There are so many better options out there right now. Seriously. Don’t waste your money.

I build custom cabinets and furniture. I have lots of Festool products, a high end German manufacturer of jobsite grade tools. A tool breaks, you send it in, they cover shipping, and it’s turned around in 4 days, completely taken apart and examined. And there parts are probably 2x the cost of what Meade’s circuit boards etc cost.

I have no words right now. It’s been over a year and I’ve only been able to use it to look at the moon. If I wanted that i would’ve bought an etx. Again. Don’t waste your money. Andrews experience seems to be the rarer experience.

Sorry. Guess I should say what I have. A 14” f/8 lx850 with a takahashi fsq 85edx a full spectrum converted 6D, and a ZWO 1600 mono with the filter wheel. But all of this is entirely meaningless if I can’t use the dang mount!!!!! For 6-8weeks!!!! Right back into the rainy season. Worst purchase ever. Seriously.

 

Hello @Piggled,

 

I will follow-up what is going on regarding your issues - PM me offline.  First of I heard of it - it should work immediately out the gate (like I said both of mine and others have).

Also, 300 lbs or so is right - to handle the payloads and be rock solid, plus 78 lbs in counter weights it adds up fast.

 

Communicating with your computer - are using a wifi connection or a direct serial RS-232 connection?  

Letters are illegible - do you mean it is random pixels, or are you talking about the scroll speed on the line?

Something odd is going on.  It should immediately work out the gate.   Like I said, PM me.



#24 carolinaskies

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Posted 27 August 2019 - 04:36 PM

Hello @Piggled,

 

I will follow-up what is going on regarding your issues - PM me offline.  First of I heard of it - it should work immediately out the gate (like I said both of mine and others have).

Also, 300 lbs or so is right - to handle the payloads and be rock solid, plus 78 lbs in counter weights it adds up fast.

 

Communicating with your computer - are using a wifi connection or a direct serial RS-232 connection?  

Letters are illegible - do you mean it is random pixels, or are you talking about the scroll speed on the line?

Something odd is going on.  It should immediately work out the gate.   Like I said, PM me.

My thoughts too... looks like his issues go back more than 12mos, I can't imagine carrying an LX850 to the roof of a 4story building and not simply leaving it installed!  Makes me wonder if in his trips he might have inadvertently handled something in a non-conducive manner to longevity.  



#25 Piggled

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Posted 28 August 2019 - 11:31 AM

My thoughts too... looks like his issues go back more than 12mos, I can't imagine carrying an LX850 to the roof of a 4story building and not simply leaving it installed! Makes me wonder if in his trips he might have inadvertently handled something in a non-conducive manner to longevity.


I leave it up there when I’m not traveling with the scope. I just don’t leave it setup outside when I know I won’t be using it for months or even a few weeks. Like I said before. I live in the city of San Francisco and if you’ve ever been here, it is very wet and foggy and salty. Not a good combo for electronics. Even if it’s under the telegizmo. And when I do dissemble it, I take everything apart and put it all into pelican cases for travel. Definitely not an issue of “inadvertently handled something in a non-conducive manner to longevity”


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