Last updated: 28 February 2005
Mike here: For all the Macintosh users, there is a Macintosh Astronomy Workshop scheduled to be held in Chicago, Illinois, on 8 September 2005. See the link for more info.
Subject: SC8 LXD55 Corrector plate question Sent: Monday, February 28, 2005 15:45:51 From: Javier Villarreal Nuez (JVILLARREALP@gruma.com) Its been a long time since i've written. Last time was when I sent you my mars photos J. I know you have an LXD55 SC8, the same I have. Have you ever removed and cleaned the corrector plate?. I know it is a very tedious procedure and I cant seem to find a written procedure or guide to do so. Someone told me (at the lxd55 group) that Warps wrote a guide but I don't find it. I want to clean it because it has some spots on the inside (I posted pictures of it on the group at photos / javier ). Looks like some kind of algae or fungus, im not sure. Have you had this problem in your SC 8?. Thank you very much in advance I hope this email finds you in excellent health. Clear Skies to you, Javier VillarrealMike here: Before you clean the inside, are you SURE it needs cleaning? Has the view of objects deteriorated over time? Also, you might clean the outside first just to be certain the spots are not there. I haven't had to clean my 8"SC but did have to clean the corrector lens on my ETX-90. You can read about "Doctor Clay's Cleaning Kit" on the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page on my ETX Site.
Subject: Astro Photography on the Mac Sent: Saturday, February 26, 2005 18:32:58 From: Bruce Rayne (firstname.lastname@example.org) Hi Michael, congratulations on such an informative website. I recently purchased an LXD55 8" SC, and I'm extremely happy with it. I have also developed a keen interest in astro photography. Feel free to check out my quickly expanding image library. http://www.brucerayne.com/astro/ I have noticed that you are a Mac user, and I am also an avid Mac user. I was wondering whether you know of any image stacking software available on the Mac platform? There seems to be a whole range on the PC, but I haven't seen any on the Mac. I am also a software developer, and I intend creating my own image stacking application, but I would like to see what else is out there. Thanks, BruceMike here: There are two stacking applications for the Macintosh: Keith's Imager Stacker and Lynkeos. See the article "LPI with Mac OS X" on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page for more info.
Subject: LDX 75 SN 8" problems Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2005 19:26:57 From: Aaron Craig (email@example.com) Hey, sorry for bothering you with all these questions lately, im new to telescopes so i dont quite fully know all the tricks of the trade. I dont know how much you know about LXD 75 8" SN german equitorial electronic mounts but here goes: Well, I already fried my autostar trying to update it, I recieved an error when i was downloading updates and was left in download mode, and flash load wouldnt work, but meade has already sent another one out my way (this was before I knew about starpatch). There was another problem i noticed, aside from the very inaccurate goto's even after training the drives and using the polar alignment scope to center polaris, is that it when i slewed it, it would very slowly move back in the direction from which it was slewing from. So I figured backlash. Well last night i took apart both my motors and found that my dec. gear on the mount had slack in it (ie. you could move it and it wouldnt move the mount), so i fixed it. Then I noticed both my motor gear shafts moved in and out. Normal? THEN i noticed that both my optical encoders were bent slightly, dec. had one larger bend and RA had 2 smaller bends. Cause of my bad goto's? So then I put the motor assemblies back on, with the gears not fully meshed to avoid wearing my motor quicker, and noticed that my RA now moved very tightly even when the lock was open fully, and that my polar alignment assembly moved with the movement of the RA. Whats going on and how the heck do I fix it. Let me Recap my questions: 1) Is it normal for your motor gear shafts to movc in and out slightly? 2) Are the small bends in my optical encoders causing my inaccurate goto's? 3) Why is my polar retical moving and how do i fix it? Thanks mike, your help is appreciated. -AaronAnd:
I think the polar alignment scope is supposed to move, sorry about that. Like I said im new to this and the LXD 75 is my first scope. I think im getting worried over nothing, but the other questions still stand, 1) Is it normal for your motor gear shafts to movc in and out slightly? 2) Are the small bends in my optical encoders causing my inaccurate goto's? Thanks -AaronMike here: Well, I would think that bent and moving shafts are not correct for the LXD75. I would suggest contacting Meade. I don't know whether they will think you have invalidated the warranty. However, you didn't say you did a CALIBRATE MOTORS and then the TRAIN DRIVES. That might have been the source of those initial errors. I haven't read the LXD75 manual (since I don't have one) but I hope that is mentioned.
Subject: LXD 75 Autoguiding Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2005 12:54:01 From: Aaron Craig (firstname.lastname@example.org) Reading general feedback on the LXD 75 section, there may be a possible solution to autoguiding. Ive been looking into ccd cams and autoguiders, and come up with this possibility. The LX 90 has the same basic control panel as the LXD series. One could possibly use the #909 Accessory Port Module http://www.telescopes.com/products/ Meade_909_Accessory_Port_Module_for_LX90_26918.html , as it plugs into the aux port on the LX90. Its has a port for ccd cams and autoguiders as well with one for a focuser and illuminated reticle. I have yet to try this myself, but its just a thought. Anyone else try it? What do you think mike?Mike here: People have tried this with the LXD55 and it didn't work out. I presume it won't work with the LXD75 either.
Subject: barlows,magnifications.. Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 14:59:35 From: fotis chris (email@example.com) i would like to ask you something else.If you want to use for example 200X(or other magnification)..Is the image quality the same(sharpness,brigthness,details) when you use the apropriate eyepiece and when you use bigger eyepiece(bigger focal length) but using it with barlow lens?Do the barlow lens(2X or 3X) affect the image quality?So,the LXD 75 sn8 has not very big focal length(more wide images),but with a good barlow can achieve very good magnifications.Can achieve the same practical useful magnification with the sn8 as with the scg8(its about 480X for 8 inches) Thank you.Mike here: Shorter eyepiece focal lengths yield higher magnification on the same telescope. A Barlow Lens is a compromise and so can reduce the image quality vs a quality eyepiece of the same effective focal length. However, if you use high quality eyepieces with a high quality Barlow Lens then you may not notice the reduction.
Subject: Re: Skywatcher 127mm Mak and LXD55 Mount Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 12:28:53 From: David Mann (firstname.lastname@example.org) Just a quick mail to let you know that Jim at scopstuff.com sorted me out. In case anybody else out there wants to know how to connect the Skywatcher 127 Mak to the LXD55 mount what you need is an "#EQDS Dovetail Bar for Mounting on Orion Starmax-Apex 127". The bar was a perfect fit for the mounting holes on my Skywatcher (even though it's designed for the Orion Starmax) and it's a top quality item. International shipping costs (to the UK) were very reasonable and it arrived within a week (I'll certainly use scopestuff for any other gear I need). Many thanks again for your excellent advice, just need some clear nights now to put the new scope to use. Regards Dave
Subject: lxd75 sn8 or etx 125? Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 15:52:51 From: fotis chris (email@example.com) Hello.Congratulations for your amazing websites.Iam about to buy the LXD 75 SN 8.I know that this scope is very good for deep sky observations.Is also good for planetary viewing?My second choice is the ETX 125.If you compare these two,which one do you believe is better at overall ratings?The LXD is 3 inches bigger.I have one last question.Both these scopes have maximum practical visual magnification 500X(according to meade).The ETX with its focal length can succeed 500X and bigger,with some small eyepieces.But the LXD with the smallest eyepiece(eyepiece focal length) cant succeed so big magnification.Can you explain that to me?Is true that the maximum best and useful magnification for every telescope is 50-60X per inch of aperture?To sum up i would like to tell me if the lxd75 sn8 is a good scope for all the observations(and planets) comparing with etx 125.I know that the best scope is the lxd75 SCG but is too expensive for my budget. Thank you very much. GREECEMike here: There are always tradeoffs that need to be made! Both scopes can provide good views of planets and DSOs but the larger aperture will give more light gathering power (important for DSOs). The longer aperture of the ETX will give more magnification (for the same eyepiece focal length) meaning that you will get better views of the planets with the ETX. As to the max magnification, you are correct that 50-60X per inch (or twice the aperture in millimeters) is a typical "theoretical" maximum. On bright objects (like the Moon and brighter planets) you can exceed the max on nights with excellent seeing.
Subject: Great service from OPT Sent: Wednesday, February 9, 2005 08:22:47 From: Charlie Max Hubbard (firstname.lastname@example.org) I've just purchased a new 8 inch SCT scope from OPT. This was a big decision for me and a lot of $$$. I currently have a 4 inch reflector and a ETX-70. I felt I was ready to move up a step in the love of this hobby. Problem was there was so many factors and choices I did not know which way to go. I had seen numerous reference to OPT (Oceanside Photo & Telescope) on your sight, so I gave them a call. I spoke to Eric and he went through several questions of what I wanted, then he took time to explained the pros and cons of the different classes of scopes. He never rushed and took his time with me. I told him to give a day or two to decided and he said no problem. No pressure. I called him back two days later with my decision. Without a lot of details let's just say that Eric and OPT exceeded my expectations and made me feel confident in my purchase. I will use them for all my future telescope and accessories needs. I recommend any one who is a novice and wanting to move up to a new level of astronomy, and are overwhelmed with questions and doubts, to give them a call. Thanks OPT! Charlie (Max) Hubbard
Subject: lxd75 autoguiding Sent: Tuesday, February 8, 2005 11:21:33 From: jesus Christ (email@example.com) I have been searching for explanations on how to autoguide with the lxd75 (presuming it to be the same as the 55). I know people autoguide with the mount, but I want to know how exactly you would hook a guider such as an SBIG STV to an lxd rig. (since it doesnt have an input on the control panel). possibly through a 497? if so, can you use say... maximDL to control the mount? thank you, darylMike here: Guiding can be done with the Autostar Suite but other solutions are more problematic. I've not seen a definitive report.
Subject: LXD55/75 AutoGuiding Sent: Tuesday, February 1, 2005 22:09:49 From: David P. Sherfy (firstname.lastname@example.org) Has anyone been able to come up with a way to sutoguide the LD55/75 series of mounts using the LPI or DSI WITHOUT the use of a computer? Thanks WarpMike here: Not that I've heard of.
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