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Lodestar X2 - Worth the upgrade over Lodestar for OAG?


Gib007
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As the title says: I have an original Lodestar and am wondering if the Lodestar X2 is worth the upgrade? I do Off-Axis Guiding on my QSI 660wsg-8's integrated guider port.

Any opinions from those who did upgrade are extremely welcome. Thank you! :)

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I made the swap. The sensor is better and if you are using the guide port, it uses a standard RJ connector that is infinitely better. The sensor in my X2 also had considerably fewer hot pixels and lines. I cannot say if that was just luck or better quality control. I'm using mine on a QSI683WSG. I have not had any reliability issues with the X2. I changed over from Maxim to SGP at the same time I upgraded and I had a few hangs with the original working with Maxim.

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I bought one. Not entirely sure if it was worth the bother or the cost. Haven't noticed any better sensitivity so far. Only time will tell. The mini USB connector is still rubbish. I have heard stories of it breaking off the circuit board. I had something similar happen on an aerial module. It was unrepairable in the field. I have done the same modification that I did with the original Loadstar. That is to fit a support for the cable and tie the cable to it.

Derek

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have the x2 and agree with Physopto, the mini USB is still a problem. Despite securing the lead the socket is becoming wobbly.I also had the same problem with the mini USB socket on my Atik EFW2 filter wheel, i.e. the socket broke off the board and I had to have a new board fitted. We don't seem to hear of the same problem with mobile phones some of which also use the mini USB for charging. Presumably they have a more robust soldering point to the board.

Ron

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Intresting thread, Ive owned an original Loadstar for the last 6 years and only now am I having issues with the connectors beign loose and my guiding droping out.   Ive been concidering an upgrade to the X2 however wonder if its worth the extra cost?  at the end of the day its nearly 500 notes for a guie camera .

Not wanting to move away from the thread but what are the alternitives to Loadstar?  My new mount has low PE and I can apparently get away with longer guide exposures so dont really need an ultra sensitive guidecamera.

Mark

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Another interested watcher here - I've used the V1 Lodestar for a couple of years and have wondered if I'd gain anything out of the upgrade to V2. I've never struggled for a guide star, so perhaps not......... A good thread that I hope has a resolution and definitive answer :)

Edited by swag72
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Some one on another thread here has had this problem where the socket broke off the circuit board ,or at least it stopped working. It was returned to Starlight Xpress and they have fitted a new type board with USB  pins through the board. So they definitely know of the problem.

So the question is.......................... have you got the new type or the old type usb socket? I would be interested to know what the guarantee will be if it breaks out of warranty.

The phrase " fit for purpose" comes to mind !!!

I have fitted a stainless steel support on mine to try to stop this happening.

Derek

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I have the original Lodestar, used it for a couple of years with a guidescope and never felt the need to upgrade. Maybe if I was using an OAG things would have been different. Personally if I was looking to buy a new camera I would try the MT9M034 mono camera - its sensitivity is remarkably close, and it far cheaper. In fact I have two of them, the QHY5L-IIM version and the new Altair GP-CAM, but I don't use them for guiding. One is used for an AllSky camera, the other an electronic finder.

ChrisH

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  • 3 weeks later...

I slated the mini usb connection on the lodestar X2- it really is very poor for a device of that cost. I have used a break away cable & now never touch the actual socket always plugging into the extension cable.  I had 2 cameras where the socket left the PCB- one after another- the third seems okay. The reason given is that the solder can no longer contain lead so it is very brittle.

I find the X2 very sensitive when coupled to my 80 mm guide refractor but I don't have any experience of the earlier model. I certainly see enough stars to guide adequately.

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if you have never had a problem finding a guide star why upgrade? The only time I had problems finding a guide star was around M101 I suppose if you are using an ha filter in front of the imaging train then the extra sensitivity would be useful, I have found in the past that I had to drop to 3 or 4 second exposures when using that setup

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I had problems getting a guide star around the Horsehead. In particular because of the angle I had the camera set at. But that was to do with composition and using a 132mm scope. (The field of view was restricted). So I am hoping the X2 helps in those situations. Otherwise I cannot see any reason to upgrade, if that is,  it is an upgrade. From some reports it is no better than the first incarnation.

Derek

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