Last updated: 31 August 2004
Subject: DEEP SKY IMAGER INFORMATION Sent: Monday, August 30, 2004 01:05:29 From: john kalantzis (email@example.com) I am the amateur astronomer from Greece John Kalantzis and as you know I am owner of a MEADE LXD 55 8'' SC telescope. I informed about the new MEADE product for astrophotography DEEP SKY IMAGER. I want to know: 1 ) Will I have the wished result with my scope ? ( because the LXD 55 equatorial mount has not the same high precision motion of the LX200 mount ) 2 ) Can DSImager give a real time image of a deep sky object on the PC screen ? 3) Is it similar a 6mm focal length eyepiece like PLI ( Lunar planetary Imager ) ? WARMEST REGARDS JOHN KALANTZIS VOLOS - GREECEMike here: At this time, all I know about the DSI is posted on the DSI page on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page on my Site.
Subject: LXD-55 Az/RA Ratio Sent: Monday, August 23, 2004 06:28:16 From: GERALD SMOLEN (firstname.lastname@example.org) My original AutoStar hand held died and I replaced it with a used 497 unit. After reloading I realized that the Az/RA and Alt/DEC ratio values are incorrect. Is there any way to determine the original values? Thanks for your help. Jerry (email@example.com)Mike here: Do a RESET, CALIBRATE, and TRAIN DRIVES with the (new) Autostar. That will set the values to the right values.
Subject: Solar Filter suggestions for LXD55 SC-8 Sent: Sunday, August 22, 2004 16:34:01 From: Lamar McLouth (firstname.lastname@example.org) I also have an LXD55 SC-8 and I was thinking about buying a solar filter for it. Do you have any preferences or "things I should look out for"? Thanks for your input. LamarMike here: Take a look at the Accessory Reviews - Filters page on my ETX Site. You might consider the AstroSolar Safety Film for low cost but a safe solution. Quality glass filters that are full aperture for the 8" are expensive. Of course, you could stop down and use a smaller one.
Subject: Fixing a Slipped Right Ascension Gear Sent: Saturday, August 21, 2004 10:48:08 From: Hendrik Goossens (email@example.com) In the article about "fixing a slipped right ascension gear" you use a 2/32" hex key to tighten down the RA gear. The problem is that i can't find that hex key anywhere. Do you know if you can use another hex key or do you have an internet-site where i can buy it? Regards, Hendrik BelgiumMike here: I've seen a report that my measurement was off. Unfortunately, I don't have a better way to measure it so try what you've got.
Subject: re: General Feedback - Calibration Sent: Friday, August 20, 2004 19:58:16 From: Richard Seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) If you have my patch kit for v32Ea (or newer, 3Eh's kit will be written this weekend) installed, you can use the :EP serial command to look at your Calibration results. If you send the command :EP46605# over the rs232 line, you will receive a number back. Convert it to hexadecimal (or do a MOD(256) and a divide-by 256) The high byte is the Az calibration, the low byte is the Alt calibration. You are invited to run your proposed tests and report back. Details on how to talk to your Autostar with hyperterminal are given at: http://www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/as_testing.html have fun --dick
Subject: question Sent: Tuesday, August 17, 2004 09:48:11 From: Hendrik Goossens (email@example.com) I have a question. When you turn autostar on you can choose 'yes' or 'no' with daylight savings. But what does 'daylight savings' mean? Many thanks, Hendrik BelgiumMike here: Please read the Email Etiquette item on the LXD55 Site; your message was originally deleted UNREAD as SPAM due to the ambiguous subject line.
Subject: General Feedback - Calibration Sent: Tuesday, August 10, 2004 05:56:56 From: Dieter.Wolf@DNSint.com (Dieter.Wolf@DNSint.com) I found an interesting comment from Dick in the LXD55 Yahoo Group where he stated "...Calibration is used to adjust the enocder's light sources to match the power supply...all they care about is the battery..." Does that mean, if I calibrate my drives with a new battery on a warm day (which most people may do) and go out the next - cold - night with a battery that dropped - let's say - 0.8V, my calibration does no longer match? Does calibration depend on whether I use batteries, an accumulator or an external power supply? Thanks for your answer, DieterMike here: There have been comments that calibration needs to be done any time the power source has changed, whether that is changing from batteries to AC, or changing from one set of batteries to a fresh set. So, by extension, I would think you are right in your assumption.
any idea HOW sensitive calibration is to changes in power supply? If it is VERY sensitive the only reasonable is a regulated power supply. I use for example a 12V 7AH lead-gel accumulator. It surely will drop from about 12.5V to 11.xV during a normal observation night.Mike here: I've not seen any measurements of it.
Subject: Fixing a Slipped Right Ascension Gear Sent: Sunday, August 8, 2004 20:48:40 From: Don Venardos (firstname.lastname@example.org) I have this exact problem with my LXD55 AR-6, when taking apart the motor assembly I am unable to tighten the set screws (both the gears gold and silver are completely loose) using a 1/16 inch hex wrench. It is such a small space I can't tell if the hex wrench is the right size or not. Any suggestions on tightening the set screws, or someplace I might be able to take the gears to find the right tool? Thanks, Don VenardosMike here: It is a small area to work in but you should be able to tighten the setscrews. Can you remove the setscrews? If so, that would tell you that you are turning them. You could take the assembly to a hardware store.
Subject: problems Sent: Tuesday, August 3, 2004 07:07:39 From: archie (email@example.com) My name is Ed Archambault .I bought a LXD55 mount&tripode a couple of months ago .it was working ok but about a week ago it started to malfuntion.the other night I ste it up and on the first star it was pretty close but when it went to the second star the tube went down to the ground at high speed .When I tryed to stop it, the hand pad would not respond.then after the pad would not respond to the arrow for dec.I'm getting very fustrated over it .I was wondering if you have any suggestions.Clear skys EdMike here: Anytime the Autostar acts up, do a CALIBRATE and TRAIN DRIVES. If that doesn't solve it, do a RESET, CALIBRATE, and TRAIN DRIVES.
Subject: Right angle viewer Sent: Sunday, August 1, 2004 12:21:53 From: David Guibert (PlutoVIP1@cfl.rr.com) Just a fast note to let you know that if any of the other LXD-55 SN owners would like to stop breaking their necks trying to look through their view finders, that the Orion 9 by 50 Right-Angle Correct Image Finder Scope is the ticket. They will need to purchase an adapter through ScopeStuff to fit the Meade SN telescopes. It fits perfectly and the adapter uses a single thumb screw to lock the assembly in place, so it can be easily removed for shipping from home to Star Parties and back. Also it takes just seconds to align it. The Meade viewfinder was a pain to work with. The ScopeStuff adapter is part No. L5FB for SN-8 and SN-10. Also Your site recommendation for Flocking the inside of the tube, which I did with ProtoStar and replacing the Meade focuser with the JMI Crayford NGF - 55 motorized focuser was right on target. I didn't know how much I was missing on Deep Sky objects until I finally got correct focus with the JMI. Plus no tube wobble when focusing. All I have left is to Hyper-tune the mount and replace the bearings with Teflon bearings (which I have already purchased). Last thing is I also purchased the ScopeStuff Green Laser Star Finder with remote switch. I also got an additional rail for my ETX-105. Once set it is so simple to use, just point the green laser and in most instances just look right in to the focuser and there's your target. I can't tell you how good this is with the ETX! It takes seconds to get on target, period! Dark Sky's David Guibert Melbourne, FL PS. I also have and use a Denkmeier binoviewer at least 98% of the time, this makes for a very heavy tube with all the other stuff on it. I need to purchase another counterweight to balance properly so for all you folks out there consider that into your budget if you are going to flock and add larger viewfinders and focuser's.
Subject: RA Drift Problems --Left Paddle Button Sent: Sunday, August 1, 2004 07:22:22 From: Michael A. Howell (firstname.lastname@example.org) I now have done a complete reset, trained drives, calibrated motors, polar alignment (iterative 7-8 times), adjusted RA percentages from 40% to 99% and anywhere inbetween to no avail, and even PEC trained with updates using only the 3 other buttons. Regardless of how well I am aligned, the left-button (set on #2 or 3 speed) drift lets/restricts me to working with just the 3 other paddle buttons. Two and three-star alignments and GOTOs are fine and within specs. However, I continue to be stumped by this. If I just tap the left Autostar paddle button (RA) the star in a high powered reticle(100X) begins moving left to right (correct direction) across the FOV, but does not and will not stop for 3-5sec after I hold down the right button trying to change direction. This makes any PEC training that uses the left button impossible in that it sends the star so far off target that it ruins the training session. The other three buttons work perfectly and stop on their own when you let off the button (as things should be). Only the left button will cause the star to take off and continue moving, even with the slightest and shortest tap. Is this a problem with: * The Autostar paddle * RA backlash too tight * Something else? HELP! Michael HowellMike here: I am beginning to suspect a bad Autostar unit. Any chance of trying a different one?
Maybe. I have a couple of friends in San Antonio with refurbs and just need to get down there (~40 miles) and hold an LXD55 mini-star party so that I can try different handsets on my mount. Actually, I need to get them up here as I have the dark skies (5.9 limit vs. > 4.0 in town). Thanks for helping out on this. Michael A. HowellAnd:
Mike if you feel inclined here is a copy of what I am sending to Meade Techs as I feel they should know what is going on: Equipment: LXD55 mount with AutoStar OK, I continue to be stumped by this. If I tap the left Autostar paddle button (RA) the star in a high powered reticle begins moving left ot right (correct direction) across the FOV, but does not and will not stop for 3-5sec after I hold down the right button trying to change direction. Its like a runaway train without brakes! If I don't hit the right button the star just keeps on moving like the Everready Bunny! The other three buttons work perfectly and stop on their own when you let off the button. Only the left button will take off and continue moving even with the slightest and shortest tap. Is this a problem with the Autostar? HELP! I have done a complete reset, train drives, calibrate motors, polar alignment, even PEC training with just the 3 other buttons (regardless of how well I am aligned, this "drift" problem lets me work with only the 3 other buttons. This makes imaging while guiding impossible. So much for having PEC. Michael A. Howell, Ph.D.Mike here: Just a thought: reverse the L/R buttons from the Setup: Telescope menu. That should allow you to check with it is a physical problem with the button.
I'll try that the switching as you suggest. Additionally, I have found at least two others on the LXD55 group that seem to have the same problem with the "<" button but switching will me to eliminate one more possibility thus narrowing the field of possible causes. Thanks. Michael A. HowellAnd more:
I copied the following from a post on LXD55 since I have not had a chance to swap the buttons myself: "I've come to the conclusion that the problem is definitely not hardware-related. The autostar, after you switch the Left-Right button swap option in the Setup submenu, the RA gears perform equally bad *but* in the opposite direction, in other words after pressing the right ">" key the gears go back for a few seconds bby decreasing to the sidereal tracking rate. So, bottom line is, the Autostar does not care whether is the right or left key, it must be a programming command inserted in the ROM code that makes such adjustment. THis is the only thing I can conclude after swapping the function keys by the pad. Again, this behaviour does not appear in Terrestrial Target mode." Michael
Subject: RE: Stupid Question on LXD55 Mount Sent: Saturday, July 31, 2004 21:28:20 From: kevin keyes (email@example.com) I read your question to Mike Weasner that you posted on July 31. I own an LXD-55 AR-5 and a Re-furb Lxd-55 mount only. Like you I wanted to use the re-furb for other OTAs. I was able to purchase a second stock LXD-55 dove-tail plate from Astromart which I mounted a Celestron 80mm ST. I also have a LXD-55dovetail that is manufactured by Scopestuff. I use the Scopestuff dovetail with my ETX-125 OTA. The Scopestuff dovetail is twice the dovetail that Meade sends with the complete telescope. With the 2 dovetails I can switch scopes thoughout an observing session (not photographic session). If you are going to mount an ETX-125 OTA I recommend the Scopestuff 6.3" cradle rings. They are larger than the ETX but you can add some weatherstrip(either foam or felt) and build them up for a snug fit. It is time for me to see if the full moon is past my nieghbors trees, so I hope this helps. Good Luck and Clear Skies, Kevin Keyes
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