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Guiding problem with starlock


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#1 twmiller123

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 10:22 AM

I just had my first light with my 14" LX850. Starlock seems to work correctly during the guide star acquisition phase with the light blinking. However, once Starlock locks onto the guide star and the guide sequence starts (signified by the steady light) all the stars begin moving diagonally upward out of the field in a continuous unending procession. When I reverse L/R, they, they move diagonally in the opposite direction. When I reduce the guide rate they simply do the same  thing slower. 

 I'm sure someone here knows what I am doing wrong.

 

Thanks,

 

   Buddy



#2 Mark Sibole

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 10:52 AM

Im not familiar with star lock per say but some advise from basic auto guiding.Make sure your scope is balanced properly.Make sure you trained and calibrated drives.

Make sure you did 1 pec run then updated it.

Then make sure guide settings arnt to aggressive or not aggressive enough.

With the drifting issue it sounds like its the agressiveness setting or you locked on to dim of a star and it lost the star and is searching for it.

I wish i could help more but i have been left clueless on the new technology so itsa kind of hard for me to pinpoint things for you.


Mark Sibole
MTSO Observatory
Fife Lake, Mi.

http://astronomy.qteaser.com

#3 twmiller123

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 06:44 PM

Thanks, Mark. I am out at it again under the super moon. I am doing the PEC with at least one update tonight. I will also try reducing aggressiveness. I am sure that it is something that I am doing or not doing. This is only my second night out with the setup. It is nice talking with you again after several years away from the DSI groups since I started using one of the higher end larger chip cameras. (No offence intended)

 

Best regards,

 

Buddy



#4 Mark Sibole

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 06:54 PM

LOL No problems

Im at the starlight xpress h9 right now.

Also make sure you have a good balance.If you run into any issues drop me an e mail we will figure it out.


Mark Sibole
MTSO Observatory
Fife Lake, Mi.

http://astronomy.qteaser.com

#5 gspie

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 02:19 AM

you should also run the Automated Rate Calculation (in the Utilities/StarLock section).


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

#6 twmiller123

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 12:05 PM

Hi gspie

 

Yes, I saw the ARC routine in the manual. That is probably a fundamental that must be established before the Starlock can operate correctly. I got the PEC training and update taken care of so I suppose the ARC is the next step.

 

Thanks



#7 gspie

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 03:12 PM

It's fairly simple -- you just need to do it once before each imaging session. It's probably not highlighted because the folks that wrote the manual are probably oriented toward visual observers -- they really don't need to bother because StarLock does a great job for visual untrained. It's thel Imagers that need to go the extra mile...


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

#8 Canopo100

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:54 PM

It sounds as the same problem that I've, for 11 months now, and Meade is trying to solve.  I'm waiting for a new Starlock + Control Panel from Meade.

Contact me at canopo100@hotmail.com for more details.

Fabian



#9 jrcrilly

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 10:59 AM

It's worth verifying the firmware revisions of the mount and the Starlock. If one is the latest version but the other is not, they won't be compatible and what you describe will happen. I ewxperienced this when doing the last firmware update. I did one first (don't remember which one) and wanted to test that before updating the other - but it just didn't work until both were the latest version. They need to both be either the older version or the newer version.

 

The Auto guide rate routine is effective and well worth doing - but even without it the Starlock won't drive a target out of the FOV as you describe. It will still try to keep things centered but the guiding just won't be very good.



#10 twmiller123

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 08:47 AM

Well, that is interesting. I suppose it is possible that the Starlock and mount are not both the same revision. I have spoken with Meade and their techs think it is a calibration issue. They want me to send it back to be calibrated. (Which may very well be their way of saying what you are saying.) I just emailed my proof of purchase this morning so that they can send the return shipping label. In the interim, I am going to give it a try again this weekend weather permitting, making sure I am level, polar aligned, (already PEC trained and updated). Then starting with the ARC routine we will see what happens.

 Perhaps first I should confirm the firmware revisions of the mount and Starlock before I do anything else. What can it hurt?

 

I believe the manual covers updating firmware revisions? yes?

 

 

Thank you all for the great replies and input.



#11 twmiller123

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 07:40 AM

My Starlock is definitely going back to Meade. I tried to do the ARC routine twice. I centered and focused a nice bright star in Sagittarius and started the routine. The hand controller said it was testing Dec @ 33%. The manual says that that is how the routine is supposed to begin, but each minute or so the percentage is supposed to increase until the Dec routine is finished then change to RA routine @33% and go through increasing percentage iterations of RA until the routine is complete. However, after 30 minutes, my hand controller was still saying Dec @33%!.

 

 I took my laptop in the house, downloaded the firmware update, went back out to the scope and updated the Starlock. I then tried again and exactly the same thing happened but this time I let it run an entire hour. It never got past DEC @33%. Not only will the Starlock not guide, but the calibration routine won't even work.



#12 jrcrilly

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 08:00 AM

after 30 minutes, my hand controller was still saying Dec @33%!.

 

That usually means the longer optical tube is out of focus. 



#13 gspie

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 08:43 AM

There is a document out there somewhere on this forum about focusing the StarLock. I haven't been able to find it yet, but I'm sure Meade Support can point you to it.


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

#14 twmiller123

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Posted 16 August 2014 - 11:31 AM

If I am having a focusing problem, that might explain both the guiding and calibration problems. Perhaps I need to take a closer look at focus. I almost never work with refractors so I am used to focusing scopes with a central obstruction and I probably didn't even notice that the Starlock refractor was out of focus. Now that I think of it, the bright star image was fairly large, and it was the only star visible in the field. Fainter stars were probably not visible because of bad focus. Back to the drawing board before committing to a trip for repair.



#15 cgordo5

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 08:13 AM

I have an LX600, but it also has Starlock which works in a similar fashion the LX850.  I've found that getting the Starlock focused correctly and training the drives are the two most critical items for getting the tracking working correctly.   If either of these are not right, all sorts of weird tracking symptoms occur.

 

I recently had some tracking problems.  At Meade's recommendation, I did a Reset (which cleared all old training and calibration data), then did the Dec Training twice in succession (my scope had been wandering in the declination axis).  This seemed to clear up the issues.   Also, I had been having trouble with the ARC completing and after this fix the ARC now completes.   BTW, the ARC takes longer than the manual says it does.   It takes 2 - 3 minutes for each rate to complete, not one minute as the manual states.   My PEC training also had trouble completing before the fix and now it completes correctly (and also takes longer than the manual states).   One other thing - the training seemed to work better after I had set the Anti-Backlash.   Maybe a coincidence since I thought the Anti-Backlash only applied to the handset buttons?

 

Last year I had problems with the automated Polar Drift Alignment.  I found that my Starlock narrow angle scope was two turns out of focus.  I used the Starlock utility during the day to focus on a mountain top 10 miles away.   After that, my Polar Drift Alignment started working correctly.

 

If you concentrate on training the drives and getting the Starlock focused, your problems may get solved.  Anyway, it's a lot easier than sending the Starlock in for repair!

 

Charles



#16 twmiller123

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 09:00 AM

Hi Charles,

 

 Your comment about having required two turns to achieve focus was a stunner for me. I have been under the mistaken impression that the Starlock is self focusing once you hit the focus button in the Starlock Utility. You have shed some more light into my dark world here. I am assuming now that I have to rotate the objective similar to a finder scope to achieve focus. No wonder nothing seemed to be happening when I hit the focus button. Duh!

 

I have another stupid question. The manual says that to start Starlock assisted PEC, simply hit ENTER. When do I hit ENTER? There must be a strategic time to hit ENTER. I am sure that just any old time will not do.

 

Thanks,

 

Buddy



#17 gspie

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 09:27 AM

First, slew to a star near the celestial equator, then (on the hand controller) go into the 'Telescope' menu, scroll down to RA PEC menu item, select it, then scroll down On/Off, make sure it is on, the scroll to Train, THEN hit 'Enter'.

After the initial training, scroll down to the 'Update' selection and do it again.

 

Actually, make sure that StarLock (in the StarLock Menu under Utilities) is On as the absolute first step...

 

The more times you do an 'Update' the belter the training.


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

#18 gspie

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 09:29 AM

One other thing, there is no Autofocus for the StarLock -- One would think it would have been focused after it is built at the factory (where they should know what they are doing)...


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

#19 handymanCT

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 06:31 AM

Okay guys so what is the procedure to focus the starlock tubes?  Widefield and zoomed tube?  Is it done manually by rotating the lens?  How come there is no documentation to tell us how to do it?  I have no problem doing it, just want to know how.  I have the utility running on my laptop but where is the focus adjustment?

 

thanks

Rich



#20 handymanCT

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Posted 13 September 2014 - 04:32 AM

For the record I was able to figure this out, the Widefield scope has a retaining ring at the base of it, loosen the ring then turn the tube to achieve focus while watching the StarLock Display.  Its a serial connection and has to repaint 240 lines to update so it will be slow.  The NarrowField scope has a retaining ring near the objective, loosen it and then rotate the objective to achieve focus while watching the StarLock Display.  Mine were both off, but not to much, it did take me over an hour to focus both so be patient it will take time.  When your done tighten the retaining rings without moving the focus point, good luck.






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