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LX80 Autoguiding

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#1 GreeningAP

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 01:52 PM

I love my LX80 mount. It is quite accurate and well built. That being said, the main reason for my purchasing this mount is astrophotography.

I own an Orion Starshoot autoguider. I went to my favourite location and set up, only to find out that my 6P6C RJ-12 cable is not compatible with the LX80 mounts 4P4C inputs. I flipped through the manual and checked the specifications on the Meade website and found that Meade supposedly has (or will have) an "optional plug-in autoguider port." Perfect. I was excited there could be a fix.

I called Meade the next morning and a rep told me that they had no idea about an upcoming product like this.

Anyone have a fix? This is quite an annoying problem as most Celestron, Orion, and QHY have quite popular autoguiders with RJ12 cabling. It doesn't seem normal to roll out a mount with optional accessories to then forget about it.

Clear skies, Jon

#2 boltmann

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 09:12 AM

My LX-80 mount will not arrive untill next week, but I have been using my LX-90 with the Orion Starshoot with PHD guiding and the Ascom drivers. I understand that the LX-80 will work the same. I have been considering trying the ST4 port direct from the Starshoot, just to be able to use Autostar to control the scope without having to shut down PHD and restart it each time I change targets when running it all remotely from in the house. I will have to rethink that when the LX-80 arrives. It all just takes longer to change targets as I have to wait on PHD calibration each time it is restarted. At any rate you might try the Ascom drivers and guide through the computer like I do.

Boltmann

#3 sdtopensied

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 10:51 AM

You don't need an ST4 port to guide the LX80, the LXD75, or even the ETX scopes (believe it or not) in polar mode if you have any of the 497 handsets.

Install the ASCOM drivers and PHD on your laptop. In the ASCOM setup, I believe you choose LX200..

Connect your guide camera and handset ti separate USB ports on your laptop. You'll need a serial to USB adapter to connect the 497 to your laptop. I used a Dynex brand from BestBuy.

Fire up PHD and set it up according to the instructions. Then, fire up your favorite imaging program and you're set to go.

Sorry, for the vague instructions...I'm on my phone. You'll have to fill in the gaps with Google.

My ETX-125, LXD-75, and now my LX-80 have all guided quite well with this configuration. I haven't tried any exposures beyond 5 minutes.

Notes:
Don't expect good results with the little finder scope autoguider setups and a long focal length scope like a Schmidt-Cassegrain unless you're using a focal reducer.
Aperture isn't king in AP, so keep the imaging scope as small as possible....the closer you stay to the 50% of payload guideline for AP, the better your results will be.
Be prepared to spend your first night out just getting the equipment working.

#4 ky1duck

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:28 PM

has any one been able to get this to work i have been trying to use SSAG with PHD an ascom drivers with my lx80 and have had no luck. when i tell it to calabrate or guide it just starts moving the star down the screen. till i tell it to stop guiding.

thanks

#5 mzura@alaska.net

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:45 AM

FYI just received APM module yesterday from meade (backordered for about 6 months) Product no. 07509
40-9654-00 No instructions or description compatibility just a dongle ..... Is this compatible with the sbig sti?

#6 Jokehoba

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 06:20 AM

I bought my LX80 in January this year, primarily for astrophotography. I have had a frustrating time with it and I am on the point of giving up.

Initially it was very hit or miss whether it accurately tracked anything. This turned out (after hours and hours of wasted nights) to be cone error in the supplied 8" SCT. Once I had sorted that, it turns out to be an amazing mount/scope for visual use.

I have had little success with astrophotography though. Until I corrected the cone error, I was managing at best 15s subs. After, however, I have managed 60s unguided (when I have properly polar-aligned the scope). But I want more...

I have the SSAG, PHD and the APM 07509. As yet have been unable to get autoguiding to work. I have tried connecting the SSAG via the APM, and also ASCOM via the PC and handbox. I am satisfied that control signals are getting to the
mount since I can slew the mount using software such as APT, EQAlign, Alignmaster and indeed PHD (manual guide).

Regarding ASCOM, I am using the Meade Classic driver.

What appears to happen is that, as soon as I engage the AG software, the mount stops tracking until I stop calibrating/guiding. The behaviour is the same with PHD and with EQAlign's autoguiding. I think this is the same as ky1duck posted earlier in the year.

So my questions are:

1. Does anyone have any suggestions/solutions as to how I can get my combination of gear to autoguide?
2. Has anyone successfully got autoguiding working on the LX80? If so, please can you share your expertise with us.

If I cannot find a solution soon, sadly I am going to get rid of an otherwise excellent mount...just not suitable for astrophotography.

Thanks

#7 Mark Sibole

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 08:55 AM

I never had any good luck with ascom drivers on any of my mounts for autoguiding .I went with the shoestring adapter and PHD guide for my auto guiding needs and have no problems on the LX 200 or LXD 75 mounts.If using ascom make sure all settings in PHD are correct and proper ports selected.With the shoestring adapter its basically a no brainer.
Mark Sibole
MTSO Observatory
Fife Lake, Mi.

http://astronomy.qteaser.com





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