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LX200GPS Advice?

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Posted by Volker Gebhardt on October 8, 2002 05:45:38 UTC

G'day folks,

I'm thinking of getting a Meade LX200GPS (8" or 10"), but am a wee bit confused by contradicting statements I have read.

My main concern is precise polar alignment for astro-photography. I have so far been using a German equatorial mount which was extremely
convenient in this respect and I have no experience with fork mounts.

One option would be to use the LX200GPS in alt/azimuth mode with a field de-rotator. -- Is anyone using this setup and, if so, what are the results?

I have read a few comments saying that using the field de-rotator can cause problems, e.g.,

* inability to use periodic error correction in alt/azimuth mode, resulting in bad tracking

* insufficient focus range

* mechanical problems; camera etc sticking out too far and crashing against the fork when rotating the telescope through the zenith

Does anyone know whether these are genuine problems or merely urban legend?

If I were going to use an equatorial wedge instead, would this mean that the periodic error correction needs to be retrained after every polar alignment? Is this feasible for field setup? Or, more precisely, how long do you guys need to get your polar alignment right when setting up?)

Any help with these questions, and general remarks on the LX200GPS would be much appreciated.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Sydney, Australia

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