A User's Guide to the Meade Lxd55 and Lxd75 Telescopes

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-06-15
  • Publisher: Springer Verlag
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This book provides a comprehensive introductory guide to "choosing and using" an LXD55 / 75 computer-controlled "Goto" series of telescopes, and is useful for both beginners and more advanced practical amateur astronomers. It also provides a comprehensive guide to using Autostar(TM), the computerized "Goto" handset. There is already a large user-base of these telescopes around the world, but there is as yet no single comprehensive guide commercially available for users to fully get to grips with using the LXD series of telescopes. The manufacturer's manuals are not detailed enough to be of real help to beginners, nor does it provide advanced technical tips and user information to help the experienced astronomer get the best out of these instruments. This guide brings together the information needed to help owners get the best out of their LXD telescopes.

Author Biography

Martin Peston obtained a first-class degree in Astrophysics at QM & Westfield, University of London. He currently works as a Systems Analyst and has been involved in various UK space and defence projects.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
The Goto Revolutionp. 2
To Goto or not to Goto?p. 2
About This Bookp. 3
Astronomy as a Hobbyp. 5
Introductionp. 5
The Sky Above Usp. 6
The Earth in Motionp. 7
The Celestial Spherep. 8
Sky Coordinatesp. 9
Absolute Beginnersp. 11
Back to Basicsp. 11
Naked Eye Observingp. 12
Finding Your Way Around the Skyp. 12
Seeing Conditionsp. 18
Recording Your Observationsp. 19
Getting More Informationp. 20
Conclusionp. 22
Choosing an LXD Telescopep. 23
Tools of the Trade - Introduction to Telescopesp. 24
The Refractorp. 24
The Newtonian Reflectorp. 26
Schmidt-type Telescopesp. 27
Telescope Tube Essentialsp. 29
Telescope Mountsp. 31
Telescope Stands and Tripodsp. 34
Personal Factors to Consider when Choosing a Telescopep. 38
Purposep. 38
Quality and Costp. 40
Portabilityp. 40
The LXD Telescope Seriesp. 40
AR-5 and AR-6 Refractorsp. 41
N-6 Newtonian Reflectorp. 41
SN-6, SN-8, SN-10 Schmidt-Newtonian Telescopesp. 44
SC-8 Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescopep. 44
Features of the LXD Seriesp. 47
Mount Featuresp. 48
Conclusionp. 52
Setting up the Telescopep. 55
Setup Tasksp. 56
Assembling the Telescope (ECT: 2 to 3 Hours)p. 56
Handling the Telescopep. 57
Balancing the Telescopep. 60
Polar Viewfinder Alignmentp. 63
Polar Viewfinder Shaft Alignment Test (ECT: 10 Minutes)p. 64
Aligning the Polar Viewfinder With the RA Shaftp. 65
The Polar Home Position (ECT: 5 minutes)p. 67
Aligning the OTA With the RA and Dec axesp. 68
The LXD Motor Drivesp. 72
Autostar Backlash Compensation Utility (ECT: 15 to 25 Minutes)p. 74
Physical Motor Alignment (ECT: 45 to 60 Minutes)p. 74
Tripod Setup (ECT: 5 to 10 Minutes)p. 80
Finderscope Alignment (ECT: 15 to 30 Minutes)p. 82
Focuser Adjustments (ECT: 10 to 15 Minutes)p. 84
Conclusionp. 85
Polar Alignment and Goto Setupp. 87
Using Polaris to Find the North Celestial Polep. 87
Determining Latitudep. 89
Aligning the RA Shaft with the North Celestial Polep. 89
Tripod Setupp. 90
Latitude Adjustmentsp. 91
Locating Polaris in the Polar Viewfinderp. 91
Traditional Methods for Polar Aligningp. 94
Setting up the Goto Facilityp. 98
Easy Align (ECT: 5 Minutes)p. 99
One Star Alignment (ECT: 5 to 7 Minutes)p. 99
Two Star Alignment (ECT: 5 to 6 Minutes)p. 100
Three Star Alignment (ECT: 6 to 7 Minutes)p. 100
Alignment Setup - Success or Failure?p. 101
Southern Hemisphere Alignmentp. 102
Non-Goto Operation of the Telescopep. 102
Conclusionp. 103
First Night's Observingp. 105
An Experience to Forget...p. 105
Location! Location! Where to Observep. 106
Equipment! What to Take Outp. 107
Telescope Setupp. 108
Slewing the Telescopep. 109
End of the Night - Packing Upp. 111
Packing Up in Public Locationsp. 111
Parking the Telescopep. 111
Sleep Scopep. 112
Summaryp. 113
Telescope Operations, Abilities and Observing Techniquesp. 115
Observing in Comfortp. 115
Observing Celestial Objects Across the Meridianp. 116
How Faint Can You See - Limiting Magnitudep. 117
How Much Detail Can You See - Resolving Powerp. 118
How Far Can You Zoom - Magnification Powerp. 118
How Much Light from an Object Can You See - The Exit Pupilp. 119
Observing Techniquesp. 119
Dark Adaptationp. 119
Averted Visionp. 120
Telescope Operationsp. 120
Tracking Objectsp. 121
Using the Telescope Without Goto to Find Objectsp. 123
Using Goto to Find Objectsp. 124
The Universe at a Touch of a Buttonp. 129
Introductionp. 129
Guided Tourp. 129
The Autostar Object Databasep. 130
The Solar Systemp. 130
Constellationsp. 145
Starsp. 145
Deep Skyp. 147
Using Autostar to Identify Objectsp. 153
Browsing the Autostar Object Databasep. 153
User Objectp. 155
Suggestp. 155
Summaryp. 155
Connecting to a Personal Computerp. 157
Introductionp. 157
Connecting the Autostar to a PCp. 157
Computer Setupp. 159
Upgrading the Firmwarep. 160
Other Features of the ASUp. 162
Autostar Cloningp. 162
Connecting Autostar to Other Devicesp. 163
Taking Imagesp. 165
Traditional Astrophotographyp. 165
Choosing the Right Equipmentp. 165
Choosing the Right Camera Filmp. 166
Astrophotography with an LXD Telescopep. 167
Digital Imagingp. 172
Webcam Imagingp. 173
CCD Imagingp. 174
Digital Camerasp. 175
Video Camerasp. 176
Focusing Tipsp. 177
Image Processingp. 177
Conclusionp. 177
Keeping Your Telescope in Peak Conditionp. 179
Collimating Your LXD Telescope for Pin-Sharp Imagesp. 179
Testing the Collimation of a Telescopep. 180
Collimating the AR Refractor (ECT: 1 to 2 Hours)p. 182
Collimating the SNT (ECT: 1 to 2 Hours)p. 183
Collimating the SCT (ECT: 1 to 2 Hours)p. 185
Collimating the N-6 Reflectorp. 187
Collimation Summaryp. 187
Cleaning the Telescopep. 189
Cleaning the Opticsp. 189
General Maintenancep. 191
The Ultimate Telescope Tune-up!p. 192
Storing the Telescopep. 192
Indoor Storagep. 193
Storing the Telescope Outdoorsp. 193
Summaryp. 194
Gadgets and Gizmosp. 195
Introductionp. 195
Eyepiecesp. 195
Erecting (Terrestrial) Eyepieces and Prismsp. 197
Barlow Lensp. 197
Focal Reducerp. 198
Star Diagonalsp. 198
Finderscopesp. 199
Filtersp. 199
Filter Wheelsp. 202
Binocular Viewersp. 203
Tripodsp. 203
Motorized Focusersp. 203
GPS Add-Onsp. 203
Bluetooth Connectivityp. 204
Power Suppliesp. 204
Dew Shields and Heatersp. 205
Meade #909 Accessory Port Module (APM)p. 205
Piggyback Camera Mountsp. 206
LXD Carry Handlep. 206
Autostar Placeholderp. 207
Telescope Covers and Casesp. 207
Summaryp. 208
Where Did It All Go Wrong?p. 209
Alignment Stars are not in the FOV During Goto Setup Procedure - Alignment Failure is Displayed on the Autostarp. 210
Objects not Found in the FOV after a Goto is Performedp. 210
The RA or Dec Axes Do not Turn When Autostar Arrows Keys are Pressedp. 211
Autostar Displays 'Motor Unit Failure'p. 211
Poor Tracking and Backlash Problemsp. 211
Text on the Autostar Screen Appears Blurry and Slow to Displayp. 212
Autostar Unexpectedly Rebootsp. 212
The Arrow Markers Located on the Side of Each Axis are not Aligned in Polar Home Positionp. 213
Summaryp. 214
Lists and Charts of Autostar Named Starsp. 215
Object Listsp. 229
Autostar Constellation Listp. 229
Autostar Messier Objects Listp. 231
Autostar Caldwell Objects Listp. 234
Annual Meteor Showersp. 237
Autostar Menu Optionsp. 239
References and Further Readingp. 241
List of Useful Websitesp. 241
LXD Telescope Websitesp. 241
Other Websites and Resourcesp. 243
Astronomical Image Informationp. 247
David Kolb Imagesp. 247
George Tarsoudis Imagesp. 248
Dieter Wolf Imagesp. 249
Author's Imagesp. 250
Indexp. 251
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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