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Latitude Range


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#1 astrostars

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 04:46 AM

I am planning to buy a LX-80 equatorial mount for visual viewing as well as astrophotography. However, I am disappointed to note that the latitude range of this mount is from 25 to 90 degrees. Since I am living in Hong Kong with latitude of 22.5 degree north, I would think that when I use this LX-80, I have to tilt/lower the tripod against north direction. Then, will this action affect the alignment process of the mount?

Is there any method that makes me more convenient to view the sky while using this equatorial mount for visual viewing or astrophotography?

#2 MistrBadgr

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 09:10 AM

Hi Astrostars,

Welcome to the 4M Community Forum!

My best guess is that tilting the tripod or having an equatorial mount that would tilt even farther would make the mount a little too unstable and there would be a risk of the tripod falling over. I do not know for a fact, but I am guessing that is the reason the latitude adjustment is limited to 25 degrees is simply physics without some specially built tripod.

My best guess, and it is only a guess, is that the mount would need to be used in its altitude/azimuth mode and not in equatorial with a latitude between 25 degrees North and South.

Any comments from anyone knowing more about this than I do?

Best Regards,

Bill Steen

#3 MistrBadgr

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:16 AM

I did a little research that I should have done before my last answer. I looked up the instruction book for the LX-80 on the Meade company website. I did not find any mention of a latitude limitation. In fact, I found a list of major cities around the world that a person could use for setting the latitude setting on the scope. It is located in the appendices. In that list, I found Hong Kong, listed as 23 degrees North latitude, and Bogota, Columbia listed as 4 degrees North.

With that piece of information, I believe that the LX-80 can be used at any latitude in equatorial mode.

Hope this helps,

Bill

#4 astrostars

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 04:18 PM

Bill,

See this URL http://meade.com/lx80/specifications, It lists the latitude range of between 25 and 90 degree (EQ mode).

Astrostars

#5 MistrBadgr

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 05:44 PM

Astrostars,

You are obviously correct. I have a note sent in asking about this.

I am wondering if the reason for the limit is the counterweight may hit the tripod legs.

That does not seem to be a problem with other equatorial mounts, but this one may not stick out far enough.

I will relay any answer that I get.

Bill Steen

#6 MistrBadgr

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 02:56 PM

Astrostars,

Here is the answer I got back from my inquiry:

"The LX80 latitude limits in Geman EQ mode are dependant on the number of counterweight shafts being used. The LX80 counterweight shaft is segmented into three pieces. If all three pieces are being used and the counterweight is fully extended down the counterweight shaft, then 25 degree latitude is challenging. However, if the user is using only one or two counterweight shaft segments, as needed for a 80mm APO or light scope, then the LX80 can be used at lower latitudes without interference with the tripod legs. "

Hope this helps!


Bill Steen




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