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carballada

Waiting the new Mesu200 (mk2?)

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Much as I want to believe that any Mesu will be mechanically excellent, I just don't get this new wedge and lack of an ergonomic polar alignment method. I'm a way away from buying an observatory mount anyway, but a Mesu was at the top of my shortlist, so I guess I'll have to wait and see since I have some time before buying anything - I hope a better wedge with easy to use and accurate alt/az adjustments is released, as otherwise I might have to look again at the other options.

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Posted (edited)

I spoke with Lucas about the new Mesu 200 MK2.

The new mount will weigh 17kg, cable management trough the axis, better motor encoders, Sitech 1 controller - upgradable to Sitech 2,  optional pier for no meridian flip operation, optional a support to attach to an existing pier, fine ALT/AZ adjustment for polar align (that will prevent mount movement when locking the axis after polar alignment), levers for locking the mount in any position, levers for disengaging the drive system that will make the axes move freely for balancing payload.

I asked Lucas about the possibility of installing absolute encoders and he said is possible (ofcourse the price will be much higher than without them and the benefit minimal...).

The mount is available to order now with about 10 weeks delivery time.

I will not disclose the price here since I think it will be different from country to country depending on the dealer. 

I think the mount is becoming a different beast from the MK1 with changes that take the mount to a different level. With cable management, easy payload balancing and a better polar alignment procedure, basically Lucas addressed all the little things that the MK1 was missing and I can't wait to see it in person 😇.

 

Edited by mihaighita
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Wow now that sounds ideal. I did think it would be strange if there was no proper adjustment method given the standard of the earlier Mesu mounts, so obviously we've been jumping to conclusions thinking that it wasn't apparent how that worked. The balancing issue was actually one of the only sticking points that made me keep other options on the table, so if that's fixed I doubt I'll look much further than the MK2 when it's time to buy my observatory mount.

The bent pier looks really nice in one regard (no flip) and unergonomic in another (big base to bump into), so I might consider getting one made with no base and just a flat plate that can bolt to some threads set into the floor. I'll have to look more closely at that nearer the time, interested to see how other people get on with the pier as supplied with the base and feet.

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So there are improvements but the manufacturing costs should have gone down too with the more simplistic structure.

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38 minutes ago, cotak said:

So there are improvements but the manufacturing costs should have gone down too with the more simplistic structure.

I am in no way Lucas advocate but you must think not only at the "there is less material into the mount". The challenge to make precise parts for engaging/disengaging the motors must be a pain to fabricate, also making other structures (like the hollow axes) will take a toll on the fabrication price. Also the improved motor encoders are more pricey... Also trying to make a rigid structure that is 40% less heavy and make it with the same payload will be another point where the price will go up. I'm amazed that Lucas kept the mount price in a sensible zone with all this modifications (it's true that the sitech servo controller 1 is 5-600 dollars less that the sitech servo controller 2). 

 

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It looks like I may have to go the distance with this and modify my large pier to suit of I were to go with the Mesu mk2.

This will involve sawing it in 2, or even 3 pieces and changing it to a bent knee pier for my latitude.

The other thing I'm "looking forwards" to is polar alignment using the drift alignment method.

The adjustment on the new Mesu is via 3 bolts, much in the same way as a mirror adjustment would be made during reflector collimation.

This means that drift alignment adjustments will be that much more difficult to get right.

I'm guessing of course but that's my thinking.

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22 hours ago, mihaighita said:

I am in no way Lucas advocate but you must think not only at the "there is less material into the mount". The challenge to make precise parts for engaging/disengaging the motors must be a pain to fabricate, also making other structures (like the hollow axes) will take a toll on the fabrication price. Also the improved motor encoders are more pricey... Also trying to make a rigid structure that is 40% less heavy and make it with the same payload will be another point where the price will go up. I'm amazed that Lucas kept the mount price in a sensible zone with all this modifications (it's true that the sitech servo controller 1 is 5-600 dollars less that the sitech servo controller 2). 

 

Please, he's a rent seeking proprietor not some mythical god who's out to save our RMS. If he can shave 10% off his cost and people would pay more, who would begrudge him that?  

On the flip side as a business if he can sell his quality mount for somewhat less than it was before (maybe even a significant price drop) he might end up with more business and more revenue as well. We can then discuss about the practicality of doing that while still providing the quality expected.

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27 minutes ago, cotak said:

he might end up with more business and more revenue as well.

But then doing that would mean having to farm it out to be manufactured which would defeat the purpose? I agree it's not practicle to achieve the end result.

Someone once said when a customer complained to him about the price for a half an hour job he replied.....'You're not paying me for half an hour, you're paying for years it took for me to learn to do it in half an hour'.

With the price I was quoted, it didn't mention counterweights, accessories or delivery or anything like that.

Is it too expensive? I don't know as I can't compare it to anything at the moment.

Should it be cheaper to manufacture as it looks 'less'? I doubt it, the price comes from the design / time spent improving the original on top of manufacturing

I will certainly buy a 'premium' mount, but I'm not made of money, so if something is avaiable that's better and cheaper, I'll look at it - but from what I can tell, I don't think I'll find it.

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51 minutes ago, Jonk said:

I will certainly buy a 'premium' mount, but I'm not made of money, so if something is avaiable that's better and cheaper, I'll look at it - but from what I can tell, I don't think I'll find it.

Hi Jon, I was considering swopping the Meade wedge for a Mesu Mk1 and de-forking the scope but gone right off the idea with the change in design.

Have you considered the iOptron CEM  mounts, they seem to be getting pretty good reviews.

Dave

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As you have a wedge already and don't need a bended knee pier (you have an sct on it from memory?) you could still go with the Mesu mk2? You could buy he mount head alone and make an adaptor plate.

I have looked at various charts and comparisons but yet to find something that 'performs' like a Mesu for the same price or cheaper.

Real world tests are important and everyone who has one can only report a system that just works.

I want to stear away from gears, belts, worms and stepper motors so that really does narrow it down to a Mesu and..... what?!

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3 minutes ago, Jonk said:

As you have a wedge already and don't need a bended knee pier (you have an sct on it from memory?) you could still go with the Mesu mk2? You could buy he mount head alone and make an adaptor plate.

Think I'll wait to see a few real world examples, only been using the SCT unguided for lunar / planetary recently so tracking is good enough for that.

Have you got obs'y planning in the works yet ?

Dave

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25 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

Have you got obs'y planning in the works yet ?

Yes, this is all part of it - when I decided to look at the pricing for the original Mesu 200, it was when I found this thread being the first news of a Mesu 200 MK2.

I 'could' buy the MK2 as is, with the optional wedge for my pier / latitude, but I think I'll always regret not having the no flip option. Some people say a meridan flip isn't all bad, but we'd all rather not do it for a number of reasons.

In testing last year, an automated narrowband run overnight would lose up to an hour to do the flip, plate solve, recenter, autofocus etc. and this is time lost I cannot afford.

Not to mention 'upside down' images after a flip (no big deal of course), but if using anything other than a refractor, diffraction spikes and reflections would never line up.

I have a dilemma - buy it with a wedge (Mesu's offering fixed to my latitude, or commercial adjustable wedge), or spend big on modifying my largest pier (which is 1700mm tall and weighs a lot!).

I don't mind spending money on a proper solution, so I'm currently drawing my pier in 3d cad and producing a few ways of having it modified to become a bended knee fixed pier for my latitude.

Luckily the dome is 3.2m diameter and 3m or so internal height depending on how I build it so I don't have a space issue.

The obsy location is pretty much decided, and the ground clearance started a couple of months ago. The hole and concrete pour will not be until the mount / pier situation is sorted out.

I really would like to see a Mesu 200 MK2 in operation before I decide, but that means waiting for someone else to buy it first who happens to be fairly local to me and have had to modify a pier / come up with a custom solution.

It could be a while!

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Posted (edited)

Don't like the look of the Mesu wedge, looks like an afterthought.

I generally image from east round to the meridian due to LP from South London so avoid flips which are a pain even if they're automated, I don't trust them ( computers ) so still have to stand and watch by which time I can do it quicker by manually parking the 10Micron, un-parking and GoToing the target afresh as I don't have to worry about stopping starting guiding.

Dave

Edited by Davey-T

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56 minutes ago, Jonk said:

Some people say a meridan flip isn't all bad, but we'd all rather not do it for a number of reasons.

In testing last year, an automated narrowband run overnight would lose up to an hour to do the flip, plate solve, recenter, autofocus etc. and this is time lost I cannot afford.

 

18 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

I generally image from east round to the meridian due to LP from South London so avoid flips which are a pain even if they're automated, I don't trust them ( computers ) so still have to stand and watch by which time I can do it quicker by manually parking the 10Micron, un-parking and GoToing the target afresh as I don't have to worry about stopping starting guiding.

I used to fear meridian flips and chose my objects to avoid them but since automating my imaging system, I now find them liberating, easy and incredibly reliable. I am not sure why yours are taking so long but I use a Mesu 200 mount exclusively in a 2.1metre Pulsar Observatory and my complete flip/plate solve/focus/dome realignment routine takes just 6 minutes 33 seconds (you can actually take another 10 seconds off that figure if you ignore the post-capture housekeeping) as demonstrated in the extract below taken from my most recent events log. I would urge you to reconsider the 'problem' of a meridian flip as it can be made a trivial exercise by using automation.  Like all imagers, I have technical issues but meridian flips certainly don't ever figure here! Fears about the use of a PC would seem at odds with the whole concept of modern imaging where computers are a key part of the whole system, surely?

Extract from control log of 20/07/2019

01:15:01  Imager exposure complete.
01:15:01  Stopping autoguider...
01:15:04  Syncing to RA: 20h 12m 43.1s Dec: +38°23'57"
01:15:10  Take Images Action complete.
01:15:10  Starting move to action.
01:15:10  Uncoupling Dome.
01:15:10  Flipping mount...
01:16:07  Slewing to Crescent Focus Star...
01:16:23  Done slewing!
01:16:23  Coupling Dome to Mount...
01:17:12  Done coupling dome.
01:17:12  Setting imager bin mode to 2x2.
01:17:12  Setting filter to L.
01:17:19  Taking 10 second image for Plate Solve...
01:17:40  Saving image...
01:17:40  Executing plate solve function.
01:17:40  Performing Plate Solve with PinPoint...
01:17:51  Plate solve results:
01:17:51  Pixel Scale = 2.08 asp.
01:17:51  Focal Length = 1071.99 mm.
01:17:51  North Angle = -87.18 degrees.
01:17:51  J2000 Coordinates = RA: 20h 08m 47.3s Dec: +38°36'27"
01:17:51  North Angle verification is disabled.
01:17:51  Pointing error vector = 1079.5 arcsec, 62.2 degrees.
01:17:51  Syncing to RA: 20h 09m 29.8s Dec: +38°39'56"
01:17:57  Reslewing to original target coordinates...
01:18:13  In Focus Action.
01:18:13  Setting filter to: L
01:18:13  Forcing filter change...
01:18:19  Starting focus run...
01:18:19  Setting MaxIm Focus Exposure time to 6.000 seconds.
01:21:34  Focus Complete.

Total time elapsed 6m 33s

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Since I packed my gear up to move last year, I haven't done anything but before I did pack up, I had a plate solving issue with Ascom... that and auto focusing nb filters from memory were the main delays but I will try again, even if it's the az-eq6 on the tripod.

When I say an hour, that might have been a slight exaggeration.

I still like the idea of a non flip pier so will go down this route whilst I have the chance.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Davey-T said:

Don't like the look of the Mesu wedge, looks like an afterthought.

 

Reading the latest on Bernards website, it looks as if its not a wedge per se as the axis can be locked in any position and has at least two motors. Sounds like an upgrade of some sort and reduced weight!

https://www.modernastronomy.com/shop/mounts/mesu-optics-mounts/mesu-mount-200/

 

Dave

Edited by Star101

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That's the original mk1, there are some images at the beginning of the thread of the mk2 wedge.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Jonk said:

That's the original mk1, there are some images at the beginning of the thread of the mk2 wedge.

Ok, I read the description. Images coming soon!!

A batch of enhanced Mesu 200 mounts will be available soon!
We are presently contacting those who have already registered interest by email. If you would like to get on the list for further details and pricing please contact us.

The ecoders have been upgraded etc.

Thought it had been re-evaluated.

Edited by Star101

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The description is correct, but he hasn't added the mk2 photos for some reason yet.

The photo on the website is of the original mk1.

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A small update.. and more very soon.

Today I received my most desire delivery 😆

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, carballada said:

A small update.. and more very soon. 

Exciting!

Please keep this thread updated with your findings / experience as it will help people like me who are on the verge of ordering one of these mounts.

Hopefully, you will be installed and producing results quickly.

In the meantime, here is what I intend to do with my pier... anyone have any advice / comments?

From this:

pier.thumb.jpg.abe60392e83814748122f44f0b21d790.jpg

To this (or something very close)...

1021140773_Largepiermodified2bends(alternativeposn)finsupportv1cropped.png.b25d449dc82a59791b986b49de0481a4.png   148324197_Largepiermodified2bends(alternativeposn)finsupportv1croppedside.png.589140cc1d1b1ff5e3c5a75b5de30bf0.png

No it won't be floating, it's WIP 3D cad to enable me to confirm what will work and to get local quotes.

I've also email Lucas Mesu for some dimension details so hopefully he'll reply quickly and I can get on with it.

 

Edited by Jonk

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57 minutes ago, Jonk said:

Exciting!

Please keep this thread updated with your findings / experience as it will help people like me who are on the verge of ordering one of these mounts.

Hopefully, you will be installed and producing results quickly.

In the meantime, here is what I intend to do with my pier... anyone have any advice / comments?

From this:

pier.thumb.jpg.abe60392e83814748122f44f0b21d790.jpg

To this (or something very close)...

1021140773_Largepiermodified2bends(alternativeposn)finsupportv1cropped.png.b25d449dc82a59791b986b49de0481a4.png   148324197_Largepiermodified2bends(alternativeposn)finsupportv1croppedside.png.589140cc1d1b1ff5e3c5a75b5de30bf0.png

No it won't be floating, it's WIP 3D cad to enable me to confirm what will work and to get local quotes.

I've also email Lucas Mesu for some dimension details so hopefully he'll reply quickly and I can get on with it.

 

I think that, depending on your latitude, two cuts and welds should be enough to modify the pier.

At least that was what I was thinking as I'm at 45 degrees (give or take few minutes) - I need one at 45 degrees and one at 90 - that should be easy thing to do I reckon.

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So how much is Modern Astronomy asking for the Mk2? Why would that be a secret?

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Let's just say there's a reason there's no fixed purchase price on the website, so I don't think it's fair to reveal prices quoted by private email?

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