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About Hicks

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  1. What is the difference between the CEM60 and the rest of the models you refer to? Does that difference impact guiding accuracy, backlash etc?
  2. Yes, I was thinking of doing that as I need a few more connections than are exposed. I was thinking more though of a replacement front panel and input panel that means you'd now have USB3.0 exposed rather than USB2 and a powered hub rather than unpowered. It seems a waste that some people are not using the usb ports as they're unpowered, an upgrade kit would resolve. I'd have to have a look at how it's all hooked up but I'd be tempted to make my own replacement.
  3. I wonder if they've considered designing and selling a new top panel (and input panel depending on where the hub is) to provide a 3.0 and powered hub. It'd save bringing out a whole new model of mounts and provide options for all those who already own the CEM60 to get powered USB allowing them to drop their usage of an external hub and cable run.
  4. Are you on about the polar scope where you eyeball Polaris through it? Or are you asking about the handset based mode which you can use when you don't have a view of Polaris and you can use "Polar iterate align" ? I'd be interested in knowing how close people get with the eyeball method and how much closer iterative gets you vs the time both take.
  5. I was wondering this too. Although I'm thinking I'd want to run a few more cables and that'd prob mean taking out the polar scope to run them through there. So if I did get this mount, it'd either be the iterative align or I'd make use of phd2's or ekos's polar align routines, failing that darv or the old faithful drift align. Would like to know how close the polar scope can get you though. Since it seems to be a quick setup.
  6. I use the Moonlite CSL 2.5" with around 1.5kg of weight and have not experienced any slippage throughout a session, including when imaging vertically. It's apparently set to hold up to 2.7kg from the factory and can be adjusted to hold more, although I've not put that claim to the test and I'm not sure how much more you could push it before breaking something. I don't know how it compares to other focuser's as I've not owned or used anything else beyond my scope's stock focuser.
  7. I guess my current reservation is the extra grand for the RA encoder. As my scope is a 8" LX90 which would be 1270 focal length (1.04"/pixel) or 2000 if I ran without focal reducer, I'm trying to decide if the non EC version is already good enough to achieve consistent nights of trouble free exposures (seeing and other non mount caused issues aside). The other factor is that at least from the way the specs are written, it sounds like the EC version is more likely to have a low/smooth periodic error (< 0.5" over 5min), where as the non-EC just has the peak to peak spec. If it's possible they'd ship a non CE mount with a PE change that meets the p2p spec, but has a few sharp spikes that could be tricky to guide out, I'd lean more towards the EC for that peace of mind. So far though, everyone's factory graphs I've seen have been reasonably smooth changes across the peak.
  8. I think this thread has left me even more unsure about whether the extra cost of the CEM60-EC is worth it when guiding. I've gone from planning to get the CEM60 to getting the CEM6-CE to no longer being sure which Interesting discussions though.
  9. When it comes to the CEM60 it was said that PPEC is (or should be) disabled when guiding. Seems to be a common suggestion with many mounts to avoid fighting. What about the CEM60-EC though? Are the corrections due to the encoder (RA only?) always applied? Or are they ignored when guiding or optionally disabled?
  10. Has anyone owned or used both the CEM60 and CEM60-EC and compared the two as far as guiding performance? I've seen guiding stats from people who've owned one or the other, but not really much from someone who's had a chance to use both and compare. Reading various threads it seems there's split opinion on whether the RA encoder is worth the extra cost over the CEM60 if you are guiding. Isn't another consideration however, the increased spec for PE from +-5" p-p to < 0.5" rms for 5 min. Which firstly raises the question, one says peak to peak, the other RMS and for "5 min". Are these two specs directly comparable? If they're directly comparable and given that a sharp spike that was still in spec would be <0.5" and able to be guided out (depending on pixel resolution). Where as with the non EC a sharp spike could be up to 5" and still seen as in spec, although I've not seen anyone reporting anything like that bad, it feels like worth including in any decision? One other question, the specs say "60 lb (27.2kg), exclude counterweight*" does that mean you need to consider the 21lb counter weight leaving 49lb for OTA/other gear,or that the 21lb counterweight can be ignored and the 60lb is available for OTA/extra counterweights? Would extra counterweights be counted towards the 60lb?
  11. Agreed on weight capacity. I've been looking at mounts that cover the 50-60lb range. Thanks for the info about PPEC, it sounds like the PE it does have is quite smooth and should be fine to guide out. The CEM60 is currently topping my list but I want to research it and several other mounts further before making any decision.
  12. I'm not too concerned about selling the fork mount. In fact, I'd probably prefer to keep it in case I ever decided to switch OTA, then I could refork and sell as a complete package. As far as mounts go, I'd prefer to move away from fork mount. Having the flexibility to use different OTA's on a mount is appealing (whether I do so or not) and my imaging train is rather long, I'd probably have to jump up to the larger LX200's to avoid issues and that's quite a cost/weight issue.
  13. I've had my 8" LX90 since 2002 and gradually moved from a visual interest to imaging, in particular galaxies. Not the ideal choice for imaging so it's certainly been a long road of (mostly enjoyable) pain to get images I'm happy with. However, I'm now starting to think with the low number of clear nights we get, I'm wasting precious time losing exposures to periodic error and guiding backlash by trying to get more out of this mount than I should rightfully expect. My setup is the 8" LX90 (fork mounted) along with dew shield, heater, moonlite focuser, filter wheel, guider and ccd + assorted cables and counter weights. 1270 (with reducer) 1.04"/pixel. I've not checked the exact weight yet but hopefully that gives a rough idea of what I've got hanging off this. Here's a not a-typical guiding snapshot from a session last year. The large spikes of around 4" are periodic error (sadly in the RA axis too). With a worm cycle of about 8.5minutes, that means on 3minute exposures I lose one in every three exposures. Even on nights when I've polar aligned sufficiently to be able to guide in RA only, I've found the RA tracking to require constant corrections. Whilst the LX90 does have PEC, it's not retained and since I setup fresh each session, it's time lost training that could be spent imaging. I just get the feeling I may have reached the limits of my fork mount and doubt I'll be able to get that graph all that much smoother? I don't feel it would be wise to invest time/money into trying to improve the mount in terms of gear upgrades. It would make more sense to defork and buy a new mount. I'd then have the added option of using a different OTA for wider field imaging. Also moving away from the fork mount, my imaging train would no longer impact the mount. I currently have a 25 degree or so no-go radius around polar north. tbh there's quite a long list of reasons why a new mount makes more sense than trying to improve my current one via upgrades. However, that raises the inevitable question of which mount. What kind of improvement could I reasonably expect with a newer mount ranging from perhaps a lower end price point of £500-700 through to perhaps the £1500-2500 range. What would be the absolute minimum I should aim for given my current setup is 1.04"/pixel? If I'm going to upgrade, I'd want this to be quite a significant step up from my current fork mount, what I'm not sure about is what price point that step up point begins.
  14. I usually skip the couple of months we have no true darkness unless there's something I really want to image. However, this year I want to spend a few nights tweaking collimation and trying to improve parts of my setup/guiding. All of which summer skies are just as good for plus I don't feel any pressure over wasting a night :)
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