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Re: problems with my autostar

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  • henrik.vanholthoon
    Bonjour Luis Also from South of France but SW you are probable SE,my site coordinates are lon 1° 7 W and LAT 44° 6 N. (near Mézos) I have also a LX90GPS
    Message 1 of 14 , Aug 1, 2007
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      Bonjour Luis

      Also from South of France but SW you are probable SE,my site
      coordinates are lon 1° 7' W
      and LAT 44° 6' N. (near Mézos)

      I have also a LX90GPS and concerning the GOTO accuracy I am
      disappointed, optical however it is ok. The specifications says 5'
      but I am not even close to that.

      Planets and stars are not the problem you can find them in your
      viewfinder that is if the LX points close enough lets say within 2 °
      of the object.
      However faint objects like deep sky objects you can not see in your
      viewfinder but I do then following I set the Autostar to high
      precision. The LX slews first to nearby star let you center it and
      after enter it swings to the object you want. I did some test and
      even with my scope this works well enough.

      Be sure you choose also well geometrical distributed stars between 60-
      120 ° in RA (AZM) and try to find also stars which are 45 or more in
      ALT. This means you should not always accepts alignment stars given
      by autostar.

      For the rest use battery pack instead of internal batteries and do
      all the stuff as Dick already mentioned to you, like calibrate
      motors, calibration sensors (if you have LNT), and train drives if
      you not have LNT level your tripod or better do it anyway.

      Most regards
      Henrik



      --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "luis_hca" <luishca@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hello all!
      >
      > I am now trying to make some observation with my LX90. These last
      > nights the sky was almost good to observation here in the south of
      > France. As I have told I am now trying to operate the autostar and
      > LX90. I have reset the autostar and after I introduced my country,
      > city, date, tame... everything ok, to perform the alignment I use
      the
      > Polaris to locate the north. After I have follow the steps described
      > by the manual to align the telescope, first with the easy alignment
      > procedure It was done successfully but when I searched an planet
      like
      > jupter the telescope pointed to almost its position but not exactly
      in
      > the center of my scope. As it is my first time with the autostar and
      > with automatic telescope, I would like to know about the precision
      of
      > autostar to go from one star to other. The other point that let me
      > disturbed was about some errors that appeared during the calibration
      > or during searching some star or agglomeration, tonight its happened
      > for three times, is it normal? Inside my home with the temperature
      > about 20 C there were any error when I have performed several tests
      > but out side, with a temperature of 10 C this error begins to
      happen.
      > I am using the 8X 1.5 batteries and they are just replaced today.
      > These problems happens with yours LX90??
      >
      > Thanks
      >
      > Luis
      >
    • luis_hca
      Hello Bill, Arthurok and Henrik Thank very much for the quick answers... Bill, I have been performed the alignment using the stars that autostars suggested:
      Message 2 of 14 , Aug 1, 2007
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        Hello Bill, Arthurok and Henrik

        Thank very much for the quick answers...
        Bill, I have been performed the alignment using the stars that
        autostars suggested: Arcturus and Altair. Last night I spend a lot of
        time with alignment and when it has seems to me not so good I have
        repeated it again, I also spend I lot of time when the bugs messages
        in the autostars about the motors happened, so I only could observed
        Andromeda and moon. Today I expect to see more things. I will try to
        make the alignment with two stars instead of easy alignment.
        Henrik Bonjour! I am in Lyon (45°45' N and 4°48' E) and the weather
        here these last Days is ok for observation. I have made only the
        general reset in autostar and after I introduced the values that he
        asked me. I did not made the calibration motors, sensors and train
        drivers. Sorry but what is LNT? I will search how to do it in the
        manual...
        Should be this the reason of the bugs that appeared in the autostar?
        This problem happens with you too?

        Best wishes

        Luis
      • henrik.vanholthoon
        Bonjour Luis, LNT does the following (if you have one) It levels the scope automatically during alignment it measures the level in 2 directions 90° apart also
        Message 3 of 14 , Aug 1, 2007
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          Bonjour Luis,

          LNT does the following (if you have one)
          It levels the scope automatically during alignment it measures the
          level in 2 directions 90° apart also it measures the tilt of the
          second axis (alidade or fork).
          It does this on basis of an accelerometer which measures level in 2
          directions and tilt as I already said. It also with the help of a
          magneto meter measures magnetic north after which it goes to real
          north based on your site coordinates for me the difference it about
          1.5 ° between mag N and real N.
          If your scope has one it is a small device on the left side, if you
          look from the back, of the scope with a pointing glass where a red
          point is projected to be used to point the scope (OTA) to the
          alignment star during alignment.
          But I use always the 8 x 50 view finder I find that easier.
          Look at the Meade site and LX90, mine has also GPS it measures the
          local time and site coordinates but you can work perfectly without is
          you can put in the coordinates by hand and you know your coordinates
          because they are in your post.
          The following ref. information should be inputted;
          Site coordinates
          Local time
          Time zone is plus 1 for you
          Daylight ON for this time of the year (this adds an extra hour).
          If you have a LNT device, calibration sensors should also be done.
          If you have still questions let me know.
          Arcturus and Altair are ok I use the same stars although the scope
          selects Vega which I skip, not well distributed for alignment.
          Bonne change
          Henrik



          --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "luis_hca" <luishca@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hello Bill, Arthurok and Henrik
          >
          > Thank very much for the quick answers...
          > Bill, I have been performed the alignment using the stars that
          > autostars suggested: Arcturus and Altair. Last night I spend a lot
          of
          > time with alignment and when it has seems to me not so good I have
          > repeated it again, I also spend I lot of time when the bugs messages
          > in the autostars about the motors happened, so I only could
          observed
          > Andromeda and moon. Today I expect to see more things. I will try to
          > make the alignment with two stars instead of easy alignment.
          > Henrik Bonjour! I am in Lyon (45°45' N and 4°48' E) and the weather
          > here these last Days is ok for observation. I have made only the
          > general reset in autostar and after I introduced the values that he
          > asked me. I did not made the calibration motors, sensors and train
          > drivers. Sorry but what is LNT? I will search how to do it in the
          > manual...
          > Should be this the reason of the bugs that appeared in the autostar?
          > This problem happens with you too?
          >
          > Best wishes
          >
          > Luis
          >
        • henrik.vanholthoon
          Hi Luis you are in the middle of the town Lyon 1200 meters from the river Rhone correct? You must have problems with light pollution I live in the middle of
          Message 4 of 14 , Aug 1, 2007
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            Hi Luis you are in the middle of the town Lyon 1200 meters from the
            river Rhone correct?
            You must have problems with light pollution I live in the middle of
            the forest no light pollution at all.
            I forgot your last remark I have not any problems with my scope apart
            from the not so accurate GOTO operation but as I said this I solve
            for deep sky objects to use the command [High Precision.]
            Bonne change
            Henrik


            --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "luis_hca" <luishca@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hello Bill, Arthurok and Henrik
            >
            > Thank very much for the quick answers...
            > Bill, I have been performed the alignment using the stars that
            > autostars suggested: Arcturus and Altair. Last night I spend a lot
            of
            > time with alignment and when it has seems to me not so good I have
            > repeated it again, I also spend I lot of time when the bugs messages
            > in the autostars about the motors happened, so I only could
            observed
            > Andromeda and moon. Today I expect to see more things. I will try to
            > make the alignment with two stars instead of easy alignment.
            > Henrik Bonjour! I am in Lyon (45°45' N and 4°48' E) and the weather
            > here these last Days is ok for observation. I have made only the
            > general reset in autostar and after I introduced the values that he
            > asked me. I did not made the calibration motors, sensors and train
            > drivers. Sorry but what is LNT? I will search how to do it in the
            > manual...
            > Should be this the reason of the bugs that appeared in the autostar?
            > This problem happens with you too?
            >
            > Best wishes
            >
            > Luis
            >
          • John Mulholland
            Luis, I have an old LX90 classic and find the go-to very accurate. However, be aware that the moon and planets which are constantly changing their positions
            Message 5 of 14 , Aug 2, 2007
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              Luis,

              I have an old LX90 classic and find the go-to very accurate.
              However, be aware that the moon and planets which are constantly
              changing their positions should not be used to judge the accuracy of
              the go-to. Test the accuracy on stars or deep sky objects.
              Obviously you should train the drive if you have problems. Also use a
              full charged power pack. Go-to accuracy can easily be compromised by
              movement in the rig after set up. Do everything possible to eliminate
              movement in the rig. Ensure that all bolts etc are tight and that the
              legs of the tripod do not sink into the ground or flex after set up.
              I stand between the legs of the tripod and lean on the one opposite
              and push and tug to ensure the tripod is as stable as possible. The
              go-to accuracy will always be best close to the alignment line; that
              is a line joining the alignment stars.
              I get most objects in the FOV of a 10mm EP and many in the FOV of a
              7.4. which for visual work is more than good enough.

              John


              --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "luis_hca" <luishca@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hello all!
              >
              > I am now trying to make some observation with my LX90. These last
              > nights the sky was almost good to observation here in the south of
              > France. As I have told I am now trying to operate the autostar and
              > LX90. I have reset the autostar and after I introduced my country,
              > city, date, tame... everything ok, to perform the alignment I use
              the
              > Polaris to locate the north. After I have follow the steps described
              > by the manual to align the telescope, first with the easy alignment
              > procedure It was done successfully but when I searched an planet
              like
              > jupter the telescope pointed to almost its position but not exactly
              in
              > the center of my scope. As it is my first time with the autostar and
              > with automatic telescope, I would like to know about the precision
              of
              > autostar to go from one star to other. The other point that let me
              > disturbed was about some errors that appeared during the calibration
              > or during searching some star or agglomeration, tonight its happened
              > for three times, is it normal? Inside my home with the temperature
              > about 20 C there were any error when I have performed several tests
              > but out side, with a temperature of 10 C this error begins to
              happen.
              > I am using the 8X 1.5 batteries and they are just replaced today.
              > These problems happens with yours LX90??
              >
              > Thanks
              >
              > Luis
              >
            • njsgps
              Luis ... exactly ... The position of Planets (amongst other objects) is always a CALCULATED position (you will even see the AutoStar display CALCULATING...
              Message 6 of 14 , Aug 2, 2007
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                Luis
                >It was done successfully but when I searched an planet
                > like
                > > jupter the telescope pointed to almost its position but not
                exactly
                > in
                > > the center of my scope.

                The position of Planets (amongst other objects) is always a
                CALCULATED position (you will even see the AutoStar
                display "CALCULATING..." during the time it takes to establish the
                position of the object). The accuracy of the result of this
                calculation depends on many things, and can include the accuracy of
                your Lat/Long and the Time that you have entered at the start-up of
                the viewing session. Do not worry about inaccuracies of these types
                of GoTo's, they are normal.

                > As it is my first time with the autostar and
                > > with automatic telescope, I would like to know about the
                precision
                > of
                > > autostar to go from one star to other.

                An AutoStar, by itself, has no inherent 'accuracy'. However any
                AutoStar will only be as accurate as the operator (i.e. 'you')
                that 'trains' it. This training involves several processes:-
                Calibrating Motors (and subsequently maintaining a stable battery
                voltage)
                Training (BOTH) Drives (preferably with some form of cross-hair
                system, either eyepiece or imager)
                Careful start-up Star Alignment (one-star for Polar-Mounted scopes
                and two-star for Alt-Az mounted scopes) - again a good cross-hair
                system makes this more reliable, as does a 'sound' knowledge of the
                Alignment Stars that you will be asked to point your scope at.

                >The other point that let me
                > > disturbed was about some errors that appeared during the
                calibration

                Unless you do actually have a faulty system, then the most common
                fault that you will see during the Alignment phase will
                be 'Alignment Failed' - this is nearly always because you have NOT
                selected the correct star to point at during the (two-star)
                alignment phase. You need to be reasonably familiar with the night
                sky in order to be sure that the correct star is being chosen for
                the alignment exercise. One thing that you MUST do in order to make
                things easier is to ensure that your Finderscope and main OTA are
                optically aligned. In other words, when you see an object under the
                cross-hairs of the finderscope it should be right in the very centre
                of the main OTA - when the OTA is at HIGH magnification. This is an
                exercise that is best performed in daylight, and then refined on a
                bright star. Every time you use your scope you should be totally
                confident that the finderscope and OTA are in perfect alignment.
                Keep the finderscope screws nice and tight.

                (You can also see "Motor Unit Failure" - often referred to as 'MUF' -
                this is usually indicative of something within either the mechanics
                or the electronics of the scope - if this is what you are seeing,
                then we can give you extra help)

                > > or during searching some star or agglomeration, tonight its
                happened
                > > for three times, is it normal? Inside my home with the
                temperature
                > > about 20 C there were any error when I have performed several
                tests
                > > but out side, with a temperature of 10 C this error begins to
                > happen.
                > > I am using the 8X 1.5 batteries and they are just replaced today.
                > > These problems happens with yours LX90??
                > >

                Temperature changes are very unlikely to be causing problems -
                unless your gearboxes on each axis are overpacked with grease. Try
                running both axis at Speed 9 for many, many minutes (you need good
                batteries for this, or you can use 'old' batteries until they are
                exhausted). What you are trying to do is to redistribute the grease
                within each axis drive train. However, there is a possible downside
                to this - you may 'spit' grease out of the drive train onto the
                encoder vane - which invariably results in MUF problems. This might
                involve careful cleaning - tricky, but possible (just be VERY
                GENTLE !!).

                Using the internal batteries is NOT advised, unless you can be sure
                that they are still reasonably well charged. If you are using
                batteries then you absolutely MUST do a Calibrate Motors at the
                start of every viewing session (Switch On, ignore Date/Time etc.
                then do Calibrate Motors, the cycle the power off and on again, and
                proceed as normal). You do not need to Train Drives every session -
                if you do this accurately enough the results will be valid for many
                years. If you are even slightly suspicious about your battery
                voltage, press and hold the MODE key for more than a few seconds -
                this then allows you entry to an extra menu structure, part of which
                will allow you to see the state of your battery (in %).

                J'espere que ces mots pouvez vous aider.

                Niall Saunders
                Clinterty Observatories
                Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
              • luis_hca
                Bonsoir Henrik You are rigth ! I made a confusion writing calibration instead of train driver . I made the train driver taking as reference Polaris after to
                Message 7 of 14 , Aug 2, 2007
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                  Bonsoir Henrik

                  You are rigth ! I made a confusion writing "calibration" instead of
                  "train driver". I made the train driver taking as reference Polaris
                  after to do thecalibration of the motors.
                  I will check the battery during the observation next time...may be on
                  Saturday the weather shold be clean!

                  merci beaucup!

                  Luis
                • luis_hca
                  Bonjour Henrik! The temperature is an important factor for the battery current, this is happens because the chemical reactions inside the battery that promotes
                  Message 8 of 14 , Aug 3, 2007
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                    Bonjour Henrik!

                    The temperature is an important factor for the battery current, this
                    is happens because the chemical reactions inside the battery that
                    promotes the non charge equilibrion in the electrodes is strong
                    dependent of the temperature. Most cases the voltage of the battery is
                    not the right parameter to measure its life and so a voltmeter is not
                    able so say about its life. When a battery become "old" the parameter
                    that changes is the internal resistance inside of the battery that
                    becomes to increase as log it be used. So in most case, we measured
                    the tension of the battery outside a circuit and we observe a tension
                    close to 1.5 V that seem ok, but inside a circuit (for example during
                    the work of the motors of the telescope) a drain of current makes its
                    voltage to drop very fast. This happens because of the internal
                    resistance of the voltmeter (voltmeter is one of the options in the
                    multimeter) to be very high and don´t use a significant current of
                    the battery. The significance of the voltage decrease depends the
                    kind of batteries sometimes about 10°C. I have a camera that its work
                    well during the days but some nights when the temperature is about
                    15°C and just after the batteries to be recharged its turn on and
                    after 5 minutes its give the advise about low battery and turns off.
                    Sometimes its happens with Li+ batteries also. This effect can be more
                    strong or not depending the kind of the electrolyte inside the battery
                    (less significant in Pb)
                    I have checked the cables, if its very plugged. Today I will put a
                    little of grease in the Alt mechanic system, sometimes it seems to me
                    to be a little hard when it is moving comparing with the Az.

                    Concerning the kinds of LX90 telescopes that you have mentioned, my
                    telescope did not come with gps or LNT, just with the view finder of 8x50.
                    Another question is about the screws that are just above the
                    telescope, I did not found nothing in the manual about it. They are
                    used to add something else in the telescope like the LNT or another
                    view finder? There are some of these screws above the corrector plate
                    and in the right side of the view finder, below the optical tube there
                    are some of these screws also.

                    Best regards and thank you very much by the helps!

                    Luis
                  • David Talbot
                    Yes, the various screws on the outside of the OTA allow you to bolt on accessories like guide scope mounts and counterbalance systems. Cheers David
                    Message 9 of 14 , Aug 3, 2007
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                      Yes, the various screws on the outside of the OTA allow you to bolt on accessories like guide scope mounts and counterbalance systems.
                      Cheers
                      David


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                    • Joe Lalumia
                      ... SUPER GOOD GOTOs!!! Once it is aligned....and TRAINED, and CALIBRATE motors, and CALIBRATE sensors. I Calibrate motors every time I use the scope, and I
                      Message 10 of 14 , Aug 3, 2007
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                        --- In lx90@yahoogroups.com, "luis_hca" <luishca@...> wrote:
                        >Good luck with your LX90! I can tell you that my LX90 8" LNT has
                        SUPER GOOD GOTOs!!! Once it is aligned....and TRAINED, and CALIBRATE
                        motors, and CALIBRATE sensors. I Calibrate motors every time I use the
                        scope, and I use an external 12 volt power pack. I also use a 30mm
                        eyepiece to align with (yes I know that a 12mm is more accurate) but
                        this OLD GUY needs all the help I can get. I also use a Telrad for
                        alignment and NOT the "DUMBfinder".........which I removed and took
                        the springs out of the LNT module, and mounted a TELRAD, so now I can
                        easily change the internal watch battery........by the way the battery
                        will be DEAD in about 18 months of frequent use, maybe only 12-14 months.

                        I RE-TRAIN drives after every firmware update, and RE_CALIBRATE
                        sensors. I do this about every 6 months regardless of any updates.

                        Also if you do update the firmware be sure to do a RESET and then
                        re-enter everything. The manual says you do not need to, but sometimes
                        bits and pieces of the old firmware are left behind after an update
                        and cause strange errors.

                        During one evening in March the LX90 went to over 30 sky objects and
                        ALL of them were somewhere inside the 30mm eyepiece.
                        Clear Skies,
                        Joe Lalumia
                        >
                      • luis_hca
                        Bonjour Henrik and Hello Joe, Bill and all nice guys that have been helping me. May be I did not expressed well in my last post but this is the same thing that
                        Message 11 of 14 , Aug 4, 2007
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                          Bonjour Henrik
                          and
                          Hello Joe, Bill and all nice guys that have been helping me.

                          May be I did not expressed well in my last post but this is the same
                          thing that I told in my message "...this happens because of the
                          internal resistance of the voltmeter ... be very high and don´t use a
                          significant current of the battery..." and because of this, the
                          multimeter measure a voltage that seems good but when you put it in a
                          circuit that use more current, the battery don´t keep the usual
                          tension and the current decrease.
                          So you have two telescope! It is very nice! Because one point that is
                          a disadvantage of LX90 is the weigh and size. The tripods are heavy too.
                          The screws that I mentioned seems the same that you have described. I
                          was afraid that these screws are used to the optical alignment of the
                          mirror and the corrector plate. thank you again! :-).
                          Yesterday I have greased the Alt motor, but i take care with the
                          excess of it to do not fall in the driver of the motor.
                          Last night I try again in to make some observation with my LX90, so a
                          calibrate the motor before to start the alignment with the stars. I
                          have used Mizar and Altair for that, but its behavior did not change,
                          it was not so accurate when I send it to point an star like Polaris,
                          just enough to appear in my view finder but not in the center of that
                          and did not appeared in my ocular... Anyway... I could observe
                          Andromeda and Lagoon nebula.
                          I did observed yet one motor failed message. It happened when I used
                          the glossary option in autostar but after 2 hours that he stay
                          working. The battery levels I have checked during the nights also, it
                          was about 80%.

                          Another question that you or anyone can help me: I have a webcam
                          Phillips Vesta PVC680 that comes with my telescope when I bought it.
                          Is it good to make some images of nebula, galaxy ...? What program do
                          you normally use to make long exposition ?

                          Merci beaucoup!

                          Luis
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