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Usable with vanilla AutoStar without Starlock cameras?


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#1 ShinySteelRobot

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 08:20 PM

Hi, I'd like to be able to bring an LX600 out to dark sky sites without all the extra equipment needed for astrophotography. So, my question is... Can the LX600 be used in alt-az mode, i.e., without the wide field and narrow field Starlock cameras? Can it be aligned the "old fashioned way" with the Autostar?

In other words, it would be great to have the flexibility to do astrophotography with the Starlock and X-Wedge, but also the ability leave the extras at home to do purely visual observing.

Thanks for any info!

#2 gspie

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 10:31 AM

Not sure why you would not take StarLock with you -- it weighs only six pounds, and requires no additional equipment, save the cable from it to the scope control panel.

It will make alignment and pointing so much easier. I've used StarLock with my LX800 (while I had it before the recall). The Starlock is very lightweight, and made accurate pointing a breeze.

It is not just used for Astrophotography -- it is a great visual observing aide -- that is unless you want to do the star hopping yourself...
LX850 with 10" ACF OTA and Takahashi FS 60C OTA -- SBIG STT-8300M CCD with FW8G-STT Self Guiding Filter Wheel and SBIG AO-8 Adaptive Optics -- Camera Control and Image Calibration with Maxim DL/CCD Pro, Image processing with PixInsight, and final composition with Photoshop CS5

http://home.comcast....ie/astroweb.htm

#3 ShinySteelRobot

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 10:44 AM

Not sure why you would not take StarLock with you -- it weighs only six pounds, and requires no additional equipment, save the cable from it to the scope control panel.


Thanks, I didn't realize it was so light.

Why not take it? Often I observe alone, and so I was mostly concerned about hauling sensitive equipment to remote dark sites that could be accidentally scuffed, crushed, or otherwise mangled by 250+ lbs of scope, case, battery, tripod, eyepiece case, chair, etc. Plus my vehicle will already be bulging with equipment as it is, so anything that's not absolutely necessary for visual observing would normally get left behind (unless I planned to do astrophotography).

It sounds like the scope can do the alignment by itself if Starlock is attached, otherwise I have to manually align the stars in the eyepiece as Autostar does its calibration?

#4 croessus

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 12:15 PM

From what I've read/seen about the LX800 (LX600 should be similar), you can turn Starlock off. You should be able to remove the Starlock equipment if desired. You can setup without the Wedge and align with normal two star alignment process. I also believe it should be equipped with LightSwitch technology to automatically align with one button press and internal gps. I think LightSwitch does not work with the wedge.

#5 gspie

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 12:27 PM

I now understand why you want to minimize your haul --I have the asme isue when going to star parfties with my rig...

On the alignment with StarLock -- basically you set up the mount in the proper orientation -- then start-r-up. You will be asked to center Polaris using mount controls only -- when centered, the scope will slew to an Eastern Star -- and you will then be asked to center it using the hand controller -- this happened to me the first time -- after that the controller did an 'automatic' centering -- I didn't have to touch it -- StarLock took over.

When I used the hand controller to goto an object (I have 'High Precision Pointing' -- HPP -- turned on) it would first slew to a star near-by the object, auto-center it, then complete the slew -- the object was always very near the center of the eyepiece (in my case the 25mm) FOV -- when I was doing imaging, the object wasn't dead-center, but close enough to still be on the chip, and a simple small manual slew got it dead center. StarLock took about 3 seconds to re-acquire and start guiding after the manual correction.

For visual purposes, that small centering move would not have been necessary. Though you won't need the StarLock auto-guiding for visual, having it doesn't increase your work, nor complicate the object capture.

If you don't have the Star Lock, the alignment is the same, but there is no 'auto-centering' -- you will have to do that with the hand controller. The same goes for HPP -- when it slews to the nearby star, you center it with the hand controller, then allow it to complete the slew.
LX850 with 10" ACF OTA and Takahashi FS 60C OTA -- SBIG STT-8300M CCD with FW8G-STT Self Guiding Filter Wheel and SBIG AO-8 Adaptive Optics -- Camera Control and Image Calibration with Maxim DL/CCD Pro, Image processing with PixInsight, and final composition with Photoshop CS5

http://home.comcast....ie/astroweb.htm




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