Meade | Autostar | Instruction manual | Meade Autostar Instruction manual

Instruction Manual
®
8", 10", 12", 14", 16" LX200 -ACF
Advanced Coma-Free Telescopes
with GPS and AutoStar II Hand Controller
®
WARNING!
Never use a Meade® LX200®-ACF
Telescope to look at the Sun!
Looking at or near the Sun will cause
instant and irreversible damage to
your eye. Eye damage is often
painless, so there is no warning to the
observer that damage has occurred
until it is too late. Do not point the
telescope at or near the Sun. Do not
look through the telescope or
viewfinder as it is moving. Children
should always have adult supervision
while observing.
CONTENTS
Battery Safety Instructions
• Always purchase the correct size and
grade of battery most suitable for the
intended use.
• Always replace the whole set of batteries
at one time, taking care not to mix old and
new ones, or batteries of different types.
• Clean the battery contacts and also those
of the device prior to battery installation.
• Ensure the batteries are installed correctly
with regard to polarity (+ and -).
• Remove batteries from equipment which
is not to be used for an extended period of
time.
• Remove used batteries promptly.
• Never attempt to recharge primary
batteries as this may cause leakage, fire,
or explosion.
• Never short-circuit batteries as this may
lead to high temperatures, leakage, or
explosion.
• Never heat batteries in order to revive
them.
• Remember to switch off devices after use.
• Keep batteries out of the reach of children;
small batteries may be ingested.
• Seek medical advice immediately if a
battery has been swallowed.
16" LX200 -ACF Users: See APPENDIX F,
page 65, for features unique to the 16"
model.
®
14" LX200 -ACF Users: See APPENDIX G,
page 69, for features unique to the 14"
model.
®
® The name “Meade”, the Meade logo, LX200 and Autostar
are trademarks registered with the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office and in principal countries throughout the
world. Specifications subject to change without notice.
Patents:
US 7,092,156
US 7,079,317
US 6,304,376
US 6,392,799
US 6,563,636
D 422,610
Patent Pending.
© 2009 Meade Instruments Corporation.
Quick-Start Guide .......................................................... 4
How to Attach the Tripod to the Telescope .................... 4
Telescope Features ...................................................... 7
AutoStar II Features ......................................................10
Getting Started ..............................................................13
Parts Listing ..............................................................13
How to Assemble Your Telescope ............................13
Choosing an Eyepiece ..............................................15
Mounting and Adjusting the Viewfinder ....................16
Observing ......................................................................17
Observing by Moving the Telescope Manually ........17
Terrestrial Observing ................................................17
Observing Using AutoStar II’s Arrow Keys................17
Focusing the Eyepiece with the Microfocuser ..........18
Slew Speeds ............................................................18
Observe the Moon, Astronomical Observing ..........19
To Track an Object Automatically..............................19
Moving Through AutoStar II’s Menus ..................19
Automatic Alignment ............................................19
Observe a Star Using Automatic Tracking ..........21
Go To Saturn ............................................................21
Using the Guided Tour ..............................................21
Basic AutoStar II Operation ............................................23
AutoStar II Navigation Exercise ................................23
Navigating AutoStar II ..............................................24
AutoStar II Menus ........................................................25
Menu Tree ................................................................25
Object Menu ............................................................26
Event Menu ..............................................................27
Glossary Menu, Utilities Menu ..................................28
Setup Menu ..............................................................29
Hot Button Menus ....................................................32
Advanced AutoStar II Features ......................................33
Adding Observing Sites ............................................33
Creating User Objects ..............................................34
Observing Satellites, Landmarks ..............................35
Identify ......................................................................36
Browse ......................................................................37
Alternate Alt/Az Alignment Methods ..........................38
Initialize AutoStar II (for Alternate Alignments) ........38
Easy (Two-Star) Alignment ......................................38
Two-Star Alt/Az Alignment ........................................39
To Set the Home Position Manually ....................39
One-Star Alt/Az Alignment ........................................39
Periodic Error Correction ..........................................40
Photography ..................................................................41
Optional Accessories ......................................................44
Maintenance, Collimation ..............................................47
Contacting Customer Support ........................................49
Specifications ................................................................50
Appendix A: Equatorial (Polar) Alignment ......................53
Appendix B: Latitude Chart ............................................58
Appendix C: How to Create Your Own Guided Tour ......59
Appendix D: Training the Drive ......................................63
Appendix E: The Moon Menu ........................................64
Appendix F: 16" LX200-ACF Features ..........................65
Appendix G: 14" LX200-ACF Features ..........................69
Appendix H: De-rotator and Microfocuser Assembly ....70
Appendix I: Smart Mount................................................71
Appendix J: Previous Tripod Model Setup ....................73
Basic Astronomy ............................................................74
®
QUICK-START GUIDE
It is recommended that you attach the supplied tripod to
the LX200-ACF for observing. Perform the telescope and
AutoStar II setup indoors in the light so that you become
familiar with the parts and operation before moving the
telescope outside into the dark for observing. The setup is
the same for the standard and giant field tripods.
NOTE: The LX200-ACF 8", 10", 12" and 14" models are
equipped with Series 4000 26mm Super Plössl eyepiece
and a 1.25" Diagonal. The LX200 ACF 16" model is
equipped with Series 5000 26mm 5-element Super Plössl
eyepiece, 2" Diagonal and the Zero Image-Shift
Microfocuser.
The Field Tripod is supplied as a completely assembled
unit, except for the spreader bar (Fig. A, 4). For visual
observations and short exposure astro-imaging, the drive
base of the telescope’s fork mount is attached directly to
the field tripod. The telescope in this way is mounted in an
“Altazimuth” (“Altitude-Azimuth”, or “vertical-horizontal”)
format.
CAUTION: “Firm feel” tightening is sufficient; overtightening may strip the threads or damage the tripod
and results in no additional strength.
8
1
2
3
4
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)
(6)
(7)
(8)
Tripod Head
Threaded Rod
Tension Knob
Spreader Bar
Leg Lock Knobs
Extension Strut
Tension Hub
Attachment Nuts
and Spring (not
visible)
7
6
5
Fig. A: Field Tripod with legs extended.
Fig. C: Remove 2 nuts and spring from threaded rod. Leave
the washer on the rod.
flat side
Fig. B: Extend the tripod legs out.
! How to Attach the Tripod to the Telescope
Assembly. After removing the field tripod from its shipping
carton, stand the tripod vertically, with the tripod feet down
and with the tripod still fully collapsed. Grasp two of the
tripod legs and, with the full weight of the tripod on the third
leg, gently pull the legs apart to a fully open position (Fig.
B).
The spreader bar (Fig. A, 4) has been removed for
shipment. Unscrew the attachment nuts and spring from
the spreader bar’s threaded rod (Fig. A, 2). Leave the
washer on the bar. See Fig. C.
Fig. D: Slide spreader over threaded rod. Note
the washer on the rod.
Slide the spring into the hole on top of the tripod head (Fig.
A, 1).
Slide the spreader bar onto the threaded rod on top of the
washer that is already on the threaded rod. Position the
spreader bar with the flat side facing upward (Fig. D).
Slide the threaded rod back through the tripod head from
underneath and through the spring. Rethread the first
attachment nut over the threaded rod as far down as it will
go. Then thread the second nut until it is on top of the first
nut. Push the rod up higher from underneath to make it
easier to attach the nuts. See Fig. E, 1 and E, 2.
-4-
Fig. E, 1: Insert spring into
hole on top of tripod head.
Fig. E, 2: Thread the first nut
as far down as it will go. Then
thread the second nut down
onto the first nut.
Move the spreader bar so that the 3 arms of the spreader
bar are lined up with the 3 tripod legs. Place the entire
telescope onto the top of the tripod head, and thread the
rod into the central threaded hole in the bottom of the drive
base of the telescope. Tighten the T-handle tension knob
(Fig. A, 3); firm tightening of the tension knob is sufficient
to result in rigid positioning of the tripod legs. It is not
necessary to use extreme force in tightening this
knob.
To vary the tripod height, loosen the 3 leg lock-levers and
slide the 3 inner tripod leg sections out to the desired
height. Retighten the 3 lock-lever to a firm feel (Fig. F).
lock-lever
ON/OFF
HBX Port
# P ress the computer control panel power switch to
OFF, if necessary. Remove the AutoStar II handbox and
the AutoStar II coil cord from the packing materials. Plug
one end into the HBX port of the telescope’s computer
control panel and plug the other end into the coil cord port
on the AutoStar II handbox.
Thumbscrew
Fig. F: Loosen leg lock lever, extend inner
extendable leg, and re-lock lock lever.
To collapse the tripod (after removing the telescope),
rotate the spreader bar 60° from its assembled position, so
that one spreader bar arm is located between each
adjacent pair of tripod legs. At the base of the tripod is a 3vane extension strut system, with a circular hub at its
center (Fig. A, 7). Grasp the tripod head (Fig. A, 1) with
one hand and, with the other hand, pull directly “up” on the
central hub of the extension strut system. This operation
will cause the tripod legs to move inward to a collapsed
position.
CAUTION: If the tripod does not seem to extend or
collapse easily, do not force the tripod legs in or
out. By following the instructions above, the
tripod will function properly, but if you are unclear
on the proper procedure, forcing the tripod into
an incorrect position may damage the extension
strut system.
Eyepiece
Thumbscrew
Diagonal
Prism
Rear Cell Port
$
Attach the 1.25" Diagonal (8", 10", 12" and 14"
Models Only): Remove the dust cap from the rear cell of
the telescope. Thread the eyepiece holder into the rear
cell thread. Slide the diagonal prism into the eyepiece
holder and lock in place by turning the thumbscrew to a
firm feel.
Place the Super Plössl 26mm eyepiece into the diagonal
prism and tighten the attachment thumbscrew to a firm
feel only.
Battery
Compartment
" Remove the covers of the battery compartments
located on the fork arms (one on each fork arm) and
carefully lift the battery holders from their compartments,
being mindful of the connector wires. Insert four (usersupplied) C-cell batteries into each battery holder, oriented
as shown on the diagram on the battery holder. Return the
battery holders to their respective compartments. Replace
the covers when you are done.
-5-
%
&
,! # "
OR
Display
' $
( *
' Press
)
the Power Switch on the computer
control panel to the ON position. The copyright
message lights on AutoStar II’s LCD display.
+
4.1 Attach the Microfocuser (Optional Accessory –
$
standard on 16" model only): Remove the dust cap from
the rear cell port (A) of the telescope (Note: Telescope not
shown for clarity). Thread the microfocuser adapter (B)
into the rear cell port thread. Slide the microfocuser (C)
over the microfocuser adapter and tighten the three hex
screws on the microfocuser (K) using the provided
hex keys.
1.25" Diagonal Prism Users: If using the 1.25" diagonal
prism (G), slide the 1.25" adapter (D) into the microfocuser.
Line up the thumbscrew into the groove in the
microfocuser (I, also see Fig. 4a and 4b, page 14). Slide
the 1.25" diagonal prism into the adapter (D). Tighten the
adapter thumbscrew (H) to a firm feel only. Tighten the
microfocuser thumbscrews (I) to a firm feel only.
2.0" Diagonal Mirror Users: If using the 2.0" diagonal
mirror, slide the mirror directly into the microfocuser (C).
Tighten the microfocuser thumbscrews (I) to a firm feel
only.
R.A.
Lock
Dec.
Lock
% Tighten, to a firm feel only, the R.A. and Dec. locks.
Remove the dust cover from the end of the
telescope tube.
Sight along the side of the telescope’s main tube to locate
an object. Rotate the mirror lock knob (Fig. 1, 9) towards
the “Unlock” position, until it feels loose—the telescope is
shipped with the mirror locked. Use the telescope’s coarse
focus knob (Fig. 1, 6) to bring the object into focus.
-6-
Slew Speeds:
Speed 9: Fast
.
.
Speed 5: Medium
.
.
Speed 1: Slow
& “Press
Arrow
Keys
Speed
Key
Number
Keys
0 to Align or Mode for Menu” displays.
You can use the Arrow keys to slew (move) the
telescope up, down, right, or left. To change the
telescope’s slew speed, press the Speed key and then
the Number keys. “9” is the fastest speed and “1” is the
slowest speed. See page 18 for more details. Or you
can Press “0” to begin Automatic Alignment. See page
19 for more information.
TELESCOPE FEATURES
2@
2!
2$
2)
1(
1*
(not shown,
on left fork
arm)
2#
(not
shown)
B
c
(not
shown)
1&
d
e
f
1^
1%
1$
g
h
i
j
1)
AutoStar II
Hand Controller.
See page 10.
1!
1@
1#
"
#
!
$
%
&
'
' (
Fig. 1: The LX200-ACF Telescope; Computer Control Panel (inset); AutoStar II Handbox (inset).
-7-
LX200-ACF: YOUR PERSONAL
WINDOW TO THE UNIVERSE
Caution:
Using products other than
standard Meade accessories
may cause damage to the
telescope’s internal
electronics and may void the
Meade warranty.
B Want to learn more
about the eyepieces
available for your
LX200-ACF telescope?
See OPTIONAL
ACCESSORIES, pages
44-46.
F Want to learn how to
attach the microfocuser
assembly to the rear
cell port of your LX200ACF telescope?
See HOW TO
ASSEMBLE YOUR
TELESCOPE, pages 13
The Meade LX200-ACF models are extremely versatile, high-resolution telescopes.
With pushbutton controls, precision GPS alignment, true-level and North electronic
sensors, automatic tracking of celestial objects, periodic error correction for both axes,
and a library of 145,000+ objects in the AutoStar II database, the LX200-ACF models
offer unmatched state-of-the-art performance.
Note: The LX200 ACF 8", 10", 12" and 14" models are equipped with Series 4000
26mm Super Plössl eyepiece and a 1.25” Diagonal. The LX200 ACF 16" model
is equipped with Series 5000 26mm 5-element Super Plössl eyepiece, 2"
Diagonal and the Zero Image-Shift Microfocuser.
Observe the feather structure of an eagle from 50 yards or study the rings of the
planet Saturn from a distance of 800 million miles. Focus beyond the Solar System on
ancient star clusters, remote galaxies, and stars recently discovered to have planets
orbiting about them. Meade LX200-ACF telescopes are capable of growing with your
interest and can meet the requirements of the most demanding advanced observer.
B
Eyepiece: Place the Series 4000 26mm Plössl eyepiece into the 90° diagonal
prism (Pg. 7, Fig. 1, 3) and tighten in place with the eyepiece thumbscrew
(Fig. 1, 2). The eyepiece magnifies the image collected in the optical tube.
C
Eyepiece Thumbscrew: Tightens the eyepiece (Fig. 1, 1) in place. Tighten to a
firm feel only.
D
E
1.25" Diagonal Prism: Provides a more comfortable right angle viewing position.
F
G
Rear Cell Port: The Diagonal Prism assembly threads onto this port.
and 14.
I
j
1!
-8-
Want to learn how to
install the batteries?
See page 13.
Manual Focus Knob: Moves the telescope’s primary mirror in a finely-controlled
motion to achieve image focus. The LX200-ACF telescopes can be focused on
objects from a distance of about 25 ft. to infinity. Rotate the focus knob
counterclockwise to focus on distant objects, and clockwise to focus on nearby
objects.
H
I
Fork Arms: This heavy-duty mount holds the optical tube securely in place.
J
Primary Mirror Lock: Rotate this knob towards the “Lock” position and adjust the
tension to a firm feel; this action serves to lock in the coarse focus and also to prevent
mirror flop. Use in conjunction with the optional Zero Image-Shift Microfocuser.
1)
Right Ascension (R.A.) Slow-Motion Control: Make fine adjustments in the
Right Ascension, i.e., the horizontal axis, by turning this control with the R.A. Lock
(see ( below) in the unlocked position. Set the R.A. Lock to a “partially locked”
position to create a comfortable drag for the R.A. Slow Motion Control.
Want to learn more
about the primary
mirror lock? See
MIRROR MIRROR,
page 38.
Want to learn more
about the Right
Ascension and
Declination setting
circles? See page 55.
Diagonal Prism Thumbscrew: Tightens the diagonal prism in place. Tighten to
a firm feel only.
Battery Compartments: Insert four user-supplied C-cell batteries into each
compartment (one compartment on each fork arm; eight batteries total).
Caution: Do not operate the R.A. Slow Motion Control with the R.A. Lock
in the fully locked position, as such operation may result in damage to the
internal gear system and also cause you to lose alignment.
1!
Right Ascension (R.A.) Setting Circle: See APPENDIX A, page 53, for detailed
information.
1@
Right Ascension (R.A.) Lock: Controls the manual horizontal rotation of the
telescope. Turning the R.A. lock counterclockwise unlocks the telescope,
enabling it to be freely rotated by hand about the horizontal axis. Turning the R.A.
lock clockwise locks the telescope, prevents the telescope from being rotated
manually, and engages the horizontal motor drive for AutoStar II operation.
Definitions
Throughout this manual,
you will notice the terms
“Alt/Az”, “Right
Ascension”, and
“Declination”. Alt/Az or
more properly, altazimuth,
is frequently used to refer
to altitude or Declination
(the up-and-down vertical
movement of the telescope)
and azimuth or Right
Ascension (the side-to-side
horizontal movement of the
telescope). Right Ascension
is abbreviated as “R.A.”
and Declination as “Dec.”.
Important Note:
After the telescope is
aligned (see page 18), the
Dec. slow motion control 1^
may be used and the
telescope will remain in
alignment. However, if the
R.A. slow motion control 1)
is used after the telescope
has been aligned,
alignment will be lost and
the telescope will need to
be realigned.
Caution:
When loosening the Dec.
lock, be sure to support the
optical tube (Fig. 1, 19).
The weight of the tube
could cause the tube to
swing through the fork arms
suddenly.
1#
1$
Computer Control Panel (see Fig. 1 inset):
A. ON/OFF Switch: Turns the computer control panel and AutoStar II ON
or OFF. The red power indicator LED next to the switch illuminates
when power is supplied to the AutoStar II handbox, the microfocuser,
and to the telescope’s motor drives (the LED can be turned off in the
Panel Light menu; see page 28).
B. 12vDC Power Connector: Provides a connection so that the telescope
assembly may be powered from a standard 115v AC home outlet using
the optional #547 Power Adapter with Cable or the optional 12v DC #607
Cigarette Lighter Adapter. See OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES, page 44.
C. Focus Port: Plug the optional microfocuser into this port. Control the
microfocuser through the AutoStar II menus. See HOT BUTTON MENUS,
page 32.
D. Reticle Port: Plug the optional reticle eyepiece into this port. Control
the reticle through the AutoStar II menus. See HOT BUTTON MENUS
page 32. Also see OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES, page 44.
Note: See the instruction sheets that are included with the focuser, the
reticle, and the autoguider for more details.
E. 12vDC Output: Use the 12vDC output to power telescope accessories.
F. Handbox (HBX) Port: Plug the AutoStar II coil cord into this port.
G. RS232 Ports (2): Provides connection with a PC and for current and
future Meade accessories. Your PC can control your LX200-ACF
telescope using serial commands. Go to the Meade website
(www.meade.com) to download the latest serial commands and
device pinouts.
H. Autoguider Port: Plug the optional autoguider into this port. See the
instruction sheet that came with your autoguider for more information.
Tiltable AutoStar II Holder: Attach to fork handles (see 1% below). Holds your
handbox in a convenient location.
1%
Fork Handles: Use to lift optical tube assembly or to rotate the telescope when
attached to the tripod.
1^
Declination (Dec.) Slow-Motion Control: Make fine adjustments in Declination
(altitude) by turning this control with the Dec. Lock (see 1& below) in the locked
position. In order for this control to operate properly, power must be off.
1&
Dec. Lock: Controls the manual vertical movement of the telescope. Turning the
Dec. lock counterclockwise unlocks the telescope enabling it to be freely rotated
by hand about the vertical axis. Turning the Dec. lock clockwise (to a firm feel
only) prevents the telescope from being moved manually, but engages the vertical
motor drive for AutoStar II operation.
1*
Dust Cover: Gently pry the dust cover from the front lens of the telescope.
Note: The dust cover should be replaced after each observing session
and the power turned off to the telescope. Verify that any dew that might
have collected during the observing session has evaporated prior to
replacing the dust cover.
2! Want to learn more about
mounting and adjusting
the viewfinder? See
page 16.
1(
Optical Tube: The main optical component that gathers the light from distant
objects and brings this light to a focus for examination through the eyepiece.
2)
Declination (Dec.) Setting Circle (on left fork arm): See APPENDIX A, page 53,
for detailed information.
2!
Viewfinder Collimation Screws: Use these six screws to adjust the alignment of
the viewfinder.
2@
8 x 50mm Viewfinder: A low-power, wide-field sighting scope with crosshairs that
enables easy centering of objects in the telescope eyepiece.
2#
GPS Receiver (see page 22 for photo): Receives information transmitted from
Global Positioning System satellites. See pages 19, 20, and 22 for more information.
2$
Tube Adapters: The optical and mechanical axes of the LX200-ACF telescope
have been carefully aligned at the factory to ensure accurate object pointing. Do
not loosen or remove the optical tube assembly from the tube adapters. The
resulting misalignment of the axes will result in inaccurate slewing of the
telescope in the GO TO mode.
-9-
AUTOSTAR II FEATURES
,
!
"
#
%
'
&
$
+
)
*
Fig. 2: The AutoStar II Handbox.
Tour the Cosmos with Just the Push of a Button
Control of the LX200-ACF telescope models is through the operation of the standard
AutoStar II system. Nearly all functions of the telescope are accomplished with just a
few pushes of AutoStar II’s buttons.
Want to learn more about
downloading the latest
updates of AutoStar II
software from the Meade
website? See page 32.
Because the AutoStar II system uses flash (rewritable) memory, your system will be
able to grow when new features and enhancements become available. Download the
latest satellite data, star and object catalogs, tours, serial commands list, and
software revisions, directly from the Meade website (www.meade.com). (Requires
the optional LX200 Interface Cable. See OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES, page 44.)
Some of the major features of the AutoStar II system are:
Automatically move the telescope to any of the more than 145,000 objects stored
in the object library, including:
Library
Number of Objects
New General Catalog (NGC):
7,840
Index Catalog (IC):
5,386
Messier Catalog (M):
110
Caldwell Catalog:
109
Named Objects:
227
Herschel Catalog:
400
Abell Catalog of Galaxy Clusters:
2,712
Arp Catalog of Irregular Galaxies:
645
Uppsala Galaxy Catalog:
12,940
Morphological Catalog of Galaxies:
12,939
General Catalog of Variable Stars:
28,484
SAO:
17,191
Hipparcos Star Catalog:
17,325
-
- 10 -
Take a guided tour of the best celestial objects to view on any given night of the year.
Control your LX200-ACF with your PC using an RS232 interface.
Align your telescope automatically using GPS (Global Positioning System).
Access a glossary of astronomical terms.
Mount the telescope in the “Alt/Az” mode (altitude—azimuth, or vertical—
horizontal) for fully automatic tracking of celestial objects.
The AutoStar II system provides control of virtually every telescope function. The AutoStar
II handbox has soft-touch keys designed to have a positive feel. The LCD (Liquid Crystal
Display) is backlit with red LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) for easy viewing in the dark. The
backlit display, key arrangement, and sequential menu structure make AutoStar II
extremely user friendly.
B
c
d
e Want to learn more
e
about using the GoTo
function? See page 21.
Want to learn how to
perform a spiral
search? See the tip on
page 21.
f
2-Line LCD Display: This screen displays AutoStar II’s menus and information about
the telescope.
• Top line: Lists the primary menu.
• Bottom line: Displays other menus that may be chosen, menu options,
telescope status, or information about a function that is being performed.
ENTER Key: Press to go to the next menu level or to choose an option in a menu.
The ENTER key is similar to the RETURN or ENTER key on a computer. See MOVING
THROUGH AUTOSTAR II!S MENUS, page 19 and AUTOSTAR II MENUS, page 25.
MODE Key: Press to return to the previous menu or data level. The top menu level is
“Select Item”. The MODE key is similar to the ESCAPE key on a computer.
Note: Pressing MODE repeatedly while in the “Select Item” level moves
AutoStar II to the topmost screen: “Select Item: Object”.
Note: If MODE is pressed and held for two seconds or more, information about
the telescope’s status displays. When the status displays, press the Scroll
keys (Fig. 2, 7) to display the following information:
• Right Ascension and Declination (astronomical) coordinates
• Altitude (vertical) and Azimuth (horizontal) coordinates
• Local Time and Local Sidereal Time (LST)
• Timer and Alarm Status
• Date
• Site coordinates
• Battery status
Press MODE again to return to the previous menu.
GO TO Key: Press to slew (move) the telescope to the coordinates of the currently
selected object. While the telescope is slewing, the operation may be aborted at any
time by pressing any key except GO TO. Pressing GO TO again resumes the slew
to the object. Also, press during the alignment or GO TO procedures to activate a
“spiral search”.
Arrow Keys: The Arrow keys have several functions. Press an Arrow key to slew the
telescope in a specific direction (up, down, left, and right), at any one of nine different
speeds. See SLEW SPEEDS, page 18. Use the Up and Down Arrow keys to move the
telescope vertically up and down. The Left Arrow key rotates the telescope horizontally
counterclockwise, while the Right Arrow key rotates it clockwise (unless reversed for
Southern Hemisphere use).
Also, use the Arrow keys to scroll through numbers 0 through 9 and the alphabet. The
Down Arrow key begins with the letter “A”, the Up Arrow key begins with digit “9”.
Additionally, use the Arrow keys to to move the cursor across the display: Use the
Right or Left Arrow key (Fig. 2, 5) to move the cursor from one number to the next in
the display.
g
SPEED
1
Want to learn more
about changing slew
speeds? See page 18.
FOCUS
4
Want to learn more
about the Focus
menu? See page 32.
Number Keys: Press to input digits 0 to 9. Each Number key also has a specific
function, which is printed on each key (these are commonly known as “hot buttons”—
see page 31):
1 SPEED: Changes the slew speeds. To operate, press Speed and then a
Number key (1 is the slowest speed, 9 is highest speed).
2 CALD (Caldwell): Press to display the Caldwell catalog on the AutoStar II
handbox.
3 M (Messier): Press to display the Messier catalog library.
4 FOCUS: Press to display the Focus Control menu.
- 11 -
RET
5 SS: Press to display the Solar System library.
6 STAR: Press to display the Star library.
7 RET (Reticle): Press to display the Reticle Control menu.
8 IC: Press to display the Index Catalog library.
9 NGC (New General Catalog): Press to display the NGC catalog library.
0 LIGHT: Press to turn on and off the red utility light on the top of
the hand-box.
Want to learn more
about the Reticle
menu? See page 32.
7
h
Scroll Keys: Press to access options within a selected menu. The menu is
displayed on the first line of the screen. Options in the menu are displayed, one
at a time, on the second line. Press the Scroll keys to move through the options.
Press and hold a Scroll key to move quickly through the options.
The Scroll keys also control the speed of text scrolling on the AutoStar II display.
When text is scrolling, press and hold the Up Scroll key for a faster display speed
and the Down Scroll key for a slower display speed.
Tip:
When an astronomical
term appears in
[brackets], press ENTER
for a definition or more
detailed information. Press
MODE to return to the
scrolling AutoStar II Help
display.
If a celestial object!s
name appears in brackets
(and your telescope is
aligned), press ENTER and
then GO TO to slew the
telescope to the object.
i
? Key: Press to access the “Help” file. “Help” provides on-screen information on
how to accomplish whatever task is currently active.
Press the ? key and then follow the prompts on the display to access details of
AutoStar II functions in the Help feature. The Help system is essentially an onscreen instruction manual.
If you have a question about an AutoStar II operation, e.g., INITIALIZATION,
ALIGNMENT, etc., press the ? key and follow the directions that scroll on the
second line. When satisfied with the Help provided, press MODE to return to the
original screen and continue with the chosen procedure.
j
Coil Cord Port: Plug one end of the AutoStar II coil cord (Pg. 10, Fig. 2, 10) into
this port located at the bottom of the AutoStar II handbox.
1)
Coil Cord: Plug one end of the AutoStar II coil cord into the HBX port (Pg. 7, Fig.
1, 13F) of the computer control panel of the telescope and the other end into the
AutoStar II coil cord port. See #9 above.
1!
Utility Light: Use this built-in red light to illuminate star charts and accessories
without disturbing your eye’s adaptation to darkness. Press “0” to turn the light on
and off.
LX200-ACF TIPS
Join an Astronomy Club, Attend a Star Party
One of the best ways to increase your knowledge of astronomy is to join an astronomy
club. Check your local newspaper, school, library, or telescope dealer/store to find out if
there’s a club in your area.
At club meetings, you will meet other astronomy enthusiasts with whom you will be able
to share your discoveries. Clubs are an excellent way to learn more about observing the
sky, to find out where the best observing sites are, and to compare notes about
telescopes, eyepieces, filters, tripods, and so forth.
Often, club members are excellent astrophotographers. Not only will you be able to see
examples of their art, but you may even be able to pick up some “tricks of the trade” to
try out with your LX200-ACF telescope. See page 41 for more information about
photography with the LX200-ACF.
Many groups also hold regularly scheduled Star Parties at which you can check out and
observe with many different telescopes and other pieces of astronomical equipment.
Magazines such as Sky & Telescope and Astronomy print schedules for many popular
Star Parties around the United States and Canada.
- 12 -
Caution:
Use care to install batteries
as indicated by the battery
compartment. Follow
battery manufacturer’s
precautions. Do not install
batteries backwards or mix
new and used batteries. Do
not mix battery types. If
these precautions are not
followed, batteries may
explode, catch fire, or leak.
Improperly installed
batteries void your Meade
warranty. Always remove
the batteries if they are not
to be used for a long
period of time.
GETTING STARTED
Parts Listing
Getting the telescope ready for first observations requires only a few minutes. When
first opening the packing box, note carefully the following parts:
LX200-ACF Telescope with fork mount system
AutoStar II handbox and interface coil cord; handbox holder
8 x 50mm viewfinder assembly
Eyepiece holder and 1.25" diagonal prism
Series 4000 26mm Super Plössl eyepiece, in a plastic storage container
Variable height tripod and mounting base (12" and 14" models only: Giant
variable tripod)
Set of hex keys
Note: The LX200 ACF 8", 10", 12" and 14" models are equipped with Series 4000
26mm Super Plössl eyepiece and a 1.25" Diagonal. The LX200 ACF 16" model
is equipped with Series 5000 26mm 5-element Super Plössl eyepiece, 2"
Diagonal and the Zero Image-Shift Microfocuser.
How to Assemble Your Telescope
Assembly of the LX200-ACF telescope requires eight C-cell (user-supplied) batteries or
the optional #547 Power Adapter with Cable connected to a standard 115v home outlet
or to an optional #607 Cigarette Lighter Adapter (see OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES, page
44). Plug an adapter into the 12vDC In port of the computer control panel (Fig. 1, 13B).
Fig. 3: Battery installation.
Tip:
Although you can set up
the telescope to face any
direction to perform
Automatic Alignment, you
will achieve optimal
performance when the
computer control panel
faces South.
1.
Position the telescope: Start by turning the Dec. lock (Pg. 7, Fig. 1, 17)
counterclockwise to unlock the the optical tube (Fig. 1, 19). Next, move the
optical tube through the fork arms to the position depicted in Fig. 1 and turn the
Dec. lock clockwise to a firm feel to relock the position of the optical tube.
2.
Install batteries: Remove the battery compartment covers (Fig. 1, 8) and
carefully remove the battery holders, being mindful of the connector wires. Insert
four user-supplied C-cell batteries into each battery holder, oriented as shown on
the diagram on the battery slots inside the battery holder. Return the battery
holders to their respective compartments and replace the covers. (See
Fig. 5, pg. 14)
3.
Plug in the AutoStar II handbox: Be certain that the power switch on the
computer control panel (Fig. 1, 13A) is in the OFF position. Plug the coil cord of
the AutoStar II handbox into the HBX port (Fig. 1, 13F).
Note: The AutoStar II handbox and the microfocuser do not require
batteries; the telescope supplies their power.
4.
Remove the dust cap from the rear cell of the telescope. Thread the eyepiece
holder into the rear cell thread. Slide the diagonal prism into the eyepiece holder
and lock in place by turning the thumbscrew to a firm feel.
5.
Remove the Super Plössl 26mm eyepiece: (Fig. 1, 1) from its container and
place it in the diagonal prism (Fig. 1, 3). Tighten the thumbscrew (Fig. 1, 2) to a
firm feel only.
LX200ACF 16" Models Only:
4a. Attach microfocuser: Remove the dust cap from the rear cell port (Fig. 1, 5)
of the telescope. Thread the microfocuser adapter (Pg. 14, Fig. 8, B) onto the
rear cell port thread. Slide the microfocuser (Fig. 8, C) over the microfocuser
adapter and tighten the 3 hex screws (Fig. 8, K) using the provided hex key.
5a. Attach Diagonal (or accessories)
1.25" Diagonal Prism Users: If using the 1.25" diagonal prism (Fig. 8, G),
slide the 1.25" adapter (Fig. 8, D) into the microfocuser. Line up the
thumbscrew into the groove in the microfocuser (Pg. 14, Fig. 5a and 5b).
Tighten the microfocuser thumbscrews (Fig. 8, I) to a firm feel only. Slide the
1.25" diagonal prism into the adapter (Fig. 8, D). Tighten the accessory adapter
thumbscrew (Fig. 8, H) to a firm feel only.
- 13 -
SC Optional Accessory Users: If using any of the optional accessories (such
as the Off-Axis Guider, T-Adapter, etc.; see page 44) with the LX200-ACF SC
models, slide the supplied SC accessory adapter (Fig. 8, L) into the
microfocuser. Line up the groove on the side of the adapter with either of the
microfocuser thumbscrews (Fig. 5a and 5b) and tighten that thumbscrew to a
firm feel only. Thread the optional accessory into the accessory adapter.
Tighten the other microfocuser thumbscrew to a firm feel only.
2.0" Diagonal Mirror Users: If using the 2.0" diagonal mirror, slide the mirror
directly into the microfocuser. The adapters (Fig. 8, H and L) are not required.
Tighten the thumbscrews (Fig. 8, I) to a firm feel only. Plug in the microfocuser:
Plug the microfocuser into the Focus port (Pg. 7, Fig. 1, 13C).
Groove
Fig. 4a: Microfocuser groove.
Fig. 4b: Microfocuser adapter
thumbscrew in groove.
Groove
Note: If you wish to mount a camera directly to the microfocuser, you need to
attach an optional T-Adapter to the microfocuser. See OPTIONAL
ACCESSORIES, page 44.
Important Note: The microfocuser is carefully adjusted at the factory. If it
become necessary to adjust the microfocuser, it must be performed by factory
trained technicians. If the microfocuser is improperly adjusted, performance will
degrade and damage will result. Damage due to improper adjustments not
authorized by the factory will not be covered under warranty.
6.
Insert eyepiece: Remove the Series 4000 26mm Super Plössl eyepiece (Fig.
1, 1) from its container and place it in the diagonal prism (Fig. 8, G) or diagonal
mirror. Tighten the eyepiece holder thumbscrew (Fig. 1, 2) to a firm feel only.
Rotate the mirror lock knob (Fig. 1, 9) towards the “Unlock” position, until it
feels loose—the telescope is shipped with the mirror locked.
7.
Remove dust cover: Remove the dust cover (Fig. 1, 18) from the optical tube
assembly (Fig. 1, 19) by gently prying it off.
8.
Attach the handbox holder: Remove the handbox holder from the plastic bag.
If necessary, loosen the lock knob (Fig. 7a, A) and place the clamp (Fig. 7a, B)
about one of the fork arm handles (Fig. 1, 15). Tighten the lock knob to a firm
feel. Slide the AutoStar II handbox into the holder (Fig. 7a, C). You may also snap
the handbox into the holder: Slide one side of the handbox into the holder and
then firmly press the other side of the handbox into the holder until it snaps in
place. Adjust the tilt of of the holder by loosening the lock knob and then
moving the holder clamp to the desired angle. Retighten the lock knob.
Line up
Fig. 5a: SC adapter groove.
Fig. 5b: Line up SC adapter groove
with microfocuser thumbscrew.
groove.
,
Fig. 6: Microfocuser and 1.25
diagonal prism with eyepiece
completely assembled.
&
%
$
"
# "
OR
#
'
!
Fig. 7a: Handbox holder: (A) Lock
knob; (B) Clamp; (C) Holder.
Fig. 7b: Handbox holder attached to
fork arm handle.
- 14 -
!
(
*
)+
Fig. 8: Microfocuser and eyepiece assembly. (A) Rear cell of telescope (shown separate
from the telescope assembly for the sake of clarity, see 5, Fig. 1); (B) Microfocuser
adapter; (C) Microfocuser; (D) 1.25" accessory adapter. SC accessory adapter (L) may be
used in this position instead if the telescope accessories are being used. Do not use either
adapter if using a 2" diagonal diagonal mirror; (E) Eyepiece holder thumbscrew; (F)
Eyepiece (Note: Your eyepiece make look different than the one pictured here); (G) 1.25"
Diagonal Prism. 2" diagonal mirror may also be used in this position (12" models); (H)
Adapter Thumbscrew; (I) Microfocuser Thumbscrews; (J) Microfocuser bearings; (K) Hex
screws; (L) Microfocuser SC Accessory Adapter (see margin note).
Choosing an Eyepiece
A telescope’s eyepiece magnifies the image formed by the telescope’s main optics.
Each eyepiece has a focal length, expressed in millimeters, or “mm”. The smaller the
focal length, the higher the magnification. For example: An eyepiece with a focal
length of 9mm has a higher magnification than an eyepiece with a focal length
of 26mm.
Your telescope comes supplied with a 26mm Plössl eyepiece which gives a wide,
comfortable field of view with high image resolution.
Series 4000 26mm Super Plössl
Eyepiece
Low power eyepieces offer a wide field of view, bright, high-contrast images, and eye
relief during long observing sessions. To find an object with a telescope, always start
with a lower power eyepiece such as the 26mm Plössl. When the object is located and
centered in the eyepiece, you may wish to switch to a higher power eyepiece to
enlarge the image as much as practical for prevailing seeing conditions. For
information about optional eyepieces for the your telescope, see OPTIONAL
ACCESSORIES, page 44.
The power, or magnification of a telescope is determined by the focal length of the
telescope and the focal length of the eyepiece being used (an eyepiece’s focal length
is printed on the side of the eyepiece). To calculate eyepiece power, divide the
telescope’s focal length by the eyepiece’s focal length. For example: A 26mm
eyepiece is supplied with LX200-ACF models. The focal length of the 8" f/10 LX200-ACF
is 2000mm (see SPECIFICATIONS, pages 50 through 52).
Eyepiece Power = Telescope focal length ÷ Eyepiece focal length
Eyepiece Power = 2000mm ÷ 26mm
Eyepiece Power = 77
The eyepiece power, or magnification is therefore 77x.
Note: For a list of magnification ratings of the eyepieces available for the
LX200-ACF telescopes, see OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES, page 44.
Series 5000 26mm Plössl Eyepiece
(Standard on 16” LX200-ACF)
Note:
The microfocuser is
shipped with the
microfocuser adapter (B)
threaded to the SC
accessory adapter (L).
Unthread the adapters
from each other before
attaching the microfocuser.
- 15 -
Mounting and Adjusting the Viewfinder
To align the viewfinder, perform steps 1 through 5 during the daytime; perform step 6
at night.
Mounting Slot
1.
2.
3.
Track
Thumbscrews
4.
Fig. 9: Viewfinder Assembly.
GPS
Receiver
Collimation
Screws
5.
Viewfinder
Eyepiece
6.
Slide the track on the bottom of the viewfinder into the slot in the viewfinder
mounting assembly. See Fig. 9. To secure the viewfinder to the mounting
assembly, tighten the two thumbscrews (Fig. 9) to a firm feel only.
If you have not already done so, insert the 26mm eyepiece into the
diagonal prism.
Unlock the R.A. (Pg. 7, Fig. 1, 12) and Dec. (Fig. 1, 17) locks so that the
telescope moves freely on both axes.
Point the telescope at some well-defined and stationary land object at least 200
yards distant, such as the top of a telephone pole or street sign. Center the object
in the telescope eyepiece. Re-tighten the R.A. and Dec. locks.
Look through the viewfinder eyepiece (Fig. 10) and loosen or tighten, as
appropriate, one or more of the viewfinder collimation screws (Fig. 10) until the
viewfinder crosshairs are precisely centered on the object you previously
centered in the telescope eyepiece.
Check this alignment on a celestial object, such as the Moon or a bright star, and
make any necessary refinements, using the method outlined in steps 3 through 5.
Note: Seeing conditions vary widely from night-to-night and site-to-site.
Turbulence in the air, even on an apparently clear night, can distort
images. If an image appears fuzzy and ill-defined, back off to a lower
power eyepiece for a more well-resolved image (see Fig. 11a and 11b).
Fig. 10: Viewfinder collimation
screws and eyepiece.
Tip:
Because the space
between the GPS receiver
and the viewfinder is a bit
tight, it is helpful if you
tighten the front, bottom
viewfinder collimation
thumbscrew first and use
the other screws to set the
alignment. However, if you
determine you need to
adjust the front
thumbscrew, choose an
alignment object that allows
you to slightly elevate or
rotate the telescope to a
convenient position for
adjustment of this
thumbscrew.
LX200-ACF TIPS
Too Much Power?
Can you ever have too much power? If the type of power you’re referring to is
eyepiece magnification, yes, you can! The most common mistake of the
beginning observer is to “overpower” a telescope by using high magnifications
which the telescope’s aperture and atmospheric conditions cannot reasonably
support. Keep in mind that a smaller, but bright and well-resolved image is far
superior to one that is larger, but dim and poorly resolved (see Figs. 11a and
11b). Powers above 400X should be employed only under the steadiest
atmospheric conditions.
AutoStar II can calculate the best eyepiece for you to use. Try out the “Eyepiece
Calc” feature in the Utilities menu.
Fig. 11a & 11b: Jupiter; examples of
the right amount of magnification and
too much magnification.
- 16 -
Most observers should have three or four additional eyepieces to achieve the full
range of reasonable magnifications possible with the LX200-ACF telescopes. See
OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES, page 44.
OBSERVING
Important Note:
Objects appear upsidedown and reversed left-forright when observed in the
viewfinder. Objects viewed
through the telescope
eyepiece when inserted into
the diagonal prism and
microfocuser assembly
appear right-side-up, but
reversed left-for-right.
This image inversion is of
no consequence when
observing astronomical
objects and, in fact, all
astronomical telescopes
yield inverted images.
During terrestrial observing,
where a fully-correctlyoriented image (right-sideup and correct left-for-right)
is desirable, an optional
#928 45° Erecting Prism is
available. See OPTIONAL
ACCESSORIES, page 44.
Note:
Viewing conditions vary widely
from night-to-night and site-tosite. Turbulence in the air,
even on an apparently clear
night, can distort images.
Low-power eyepieces, such
as the 26mm Plössl supplied
with your telescope, are better
suited to resolving images in
poor viewing conditions.
Observing by Moving the Telescope Manually
If you wish to observe a distant land object, such as a mountain top or a bird, you can
observe by merely pointing the telescope and looking through the eyepiece.
1. Loosen the telescope’s R.A. lock (Pg. 7, Fig. 1, 12) and Dec. lock (Fig. 1, 17).
2. Move your telescope to observe distant street signs, mountains, trees, and other
structures. Use your viewfinder to help site-in on an object.
3. Center the object in the viewfinder’s crosshairs and then in the telescope
eyepiece. When the object is centered in your eyepiece, remember to re-tighten
the R.A. and Dec. locks.
4. To move telescope in the R.A. and Dec. axes again, remember to loosen the R.A.
lock and tighten the Dec. lock. Then rotate the manual slow motion control knobs
(Fig. 1, 10) and (Fig. 1, 16) .
5. Practice focusing objects using the coarse focus knob (Fig. 1, 6).
Important Note: The telescope is shipped with the mirror locked. Before
using the coarse focus knob , rotate the mirror lock knob (Fig. 1, 9) towards
the “unlock” position, until it feels loose.
6.
Once you get a feel for how your telescope moves and focuses, try to view
something more challenging, like a bird or a distant moving train.
You can also observe stars and objects in the night sky using this method, but note
that objects begin to slowly drift across the eyepiece field. This motion is caused by
the rotation of the Earth. As you become familiar with the AutoStar II handbox
operation, you can counteract the drift using the automatic tracking feature in the
AutoStar II Setup menu (see TO TRACK AN OBJECT AUTOMATICALLY, page 19), or by
using AutoStar II’s GO TO capabilities (see GoTo SATURN, page 21).
Terrestrial Observing
The LX200-ACF models are excellent high-resolution terrestrial (land) telescopes.
Viewing terrestrial objects requires looking along the Earth’s surface through heat
waves. These heat waves often cause degradation of image quality. Lower power
eyepieces, like the Series 4000 26mm Super Plössl eyepiece, magnify these heat
waves less than higher power eyepieces. Therefore, lower power eyepieces provide
a steadier, higher quality image. If the image is fuzzy or ill-defined, reduce to a lower
power eyepiece, where the heat waves do not have such an effect on image quality.
Observing in early morning hours, before the ground has built up internal heat,
produces better viewing conditions than during late afternoon hours.
Observing Using AutoStar II!s Arrow Keys
NEVER point the
telescope
directly at or
near the Sun at
any time! Observing the
Sun, even for the smallest
fraction of a second, will
result in instant and
irreversible eye damage,
as well as physical
damage to the telescope
itself.
You may observe land and astronomical objects using AutoStar II’s Arrow keys to
move the telescope.
Warning:
Do not look through the
telescope’s eyepiece or
viewfinder while it is rapidly
moving. Children should
always have adult supervision
while observing.
5.
Want to learn more about
Slew Speeds? See Slew
Speeds, page 18.
8.
1.
2.
3.
4.
Tighten the R.A. and Dec. locks (Fig. 1, 12 and 17).
Verify that AutoStar II is properly connected to your telescope. See HOW TO
ASSEMBLE YOUR TELESCOPE, page 13.
Flip the telescope power switch to the ON position.
The AutoStar II screen is activated and a copyright message displays briefly, followed
by a short beep. Then AutoStar II takes a few moments to start up the system.
A message displays that warns not to look at the Sun. At the end of this message,
press the key prompted by AutoStar II to signify that the message has been read
and understood.
“Automatic Alignment” displays. Press any AutoStar II key to abort automatic
alignment.
6.
The Arrow keys are now activated. Press the Arrow keys (Pg. 10, Fig. 2, 5) to
slew (move) the telescope up, down, right, or left.
7.
Press the Speed key (Number key “1”) and then a Number key (Fig. 2, 6) to
change the telescope’s slew speed. (“1” is the slowest speed, “9” is highest
speed.)
Use the viewfinder (Fig. 1 , 22) to locate an object and practice using the
AutoStar II’s Arrow keys to center the object in the telescope’s field of view.
- 17 -
9.
Bring the object into focus (see below).
Focusing the Eyepiece Using the Microfocuser (16" Model)
The LX200-ACF zero image-shift microfocuser (Pg. 7 Fig. 1, 24) allows you to obtain the
most precise image focus possible during visual, photographic, and CCD applications,
maintaining precise and “jiggle-free” image centering on even the smallest CCD chips.
See MIRROR MIRROR, page
38, for more information
about the microfocuser and
the primary mirror lock.
To use the microfocuser:
1. Perform this part of the procedure during the daytime, without the eyepiece
assembly (eyepiece, diagonal, etc.) attached to the microfocuser. Press the
AutoStar II Focus button and then the Up and Down Arrow keys. Observe the
microfocuser drawtube as it travels in and out. When the drawtube reaches the
furthest extension of its travel, listen for a change in the pitch of the motor. Notice
that the drawtube’s maximum extension is about a half-inch out from the
microfocuser. Set the drawtube so that it extends about a quarter-inch (about
halfway).
2. When you begin your viewing session, attach the eyepiece assembly. See pages
13 and 14 for details.
3. Make sure that the microfocuser is plugged into the computer control panel focus
port (Fig. 1, 13C).
4. Point the telescope at a bright star.
5. Rotate the mirror lock knob (Fig. 1 , 9) towards the “unlock” position, until it feels
loose. Use the coarse focus control (Fig. 1 , 6) to achieve a rough focus of the star.
6. Rotate the mirror lock knob towards the “lock” position and adjust the tension to
a firm feel; this action serves to lock in the coarse focus.
Important Note: Do not use or bump the coarse focus knob once you have
set the coarse focus. If you do so, repeat steps 5 and 6 above to reset the
coarse focus.
7. Press the Focus key (Number key “4”). “Focus Control: Speed: Fast” displays.
Press the Up or Down Scroll keys to cycle through the four speed options. Press
ENTER to select the desired speed. Or press one of the following Number keys
after pressing the Focus key to change the speed:
Key #
Speed
Key #
Speed
1 or 2
Fine
6 or 7
Medium
3, 4, or 5 Slow
8 or 9
Fastest
8. Use the Arrow keys to bring the star into fine focus.
9. You may need to repeat this procedure when you change eyepieces.
Slew Speeds
Tip:
The slowest speed, 1x,
may be changed using
the Guiding Rate menu.
This menu allows you to
change the speed by
entering a percentage of
the speed (either more
or less than 100%). This
function may be useful in
guiding the telescope
during CCD and longexposure photography.
See GUIDING RATE, page
30, for more information.
- 18 -
AutoStar II has nine slew speeds that move the optical tube at rates that are directly
proportional to the sidereal rate and have been calculated to accomplish specific
functions. Press the Speed key (Number key “1”) and then press a Number key to
change the slew speed, which is shown for about two seconds on AutoStar II’s display.
The nine available speeds are:
Number Key 1 =
1x =
Guide Rate, programmable (see Tip at left)
Number Key 2 =
2x =
2 x sidereal (0.5 arc-min/sec or 0.008°/sec)
Number Key 3 =
8x =
8 x sidereal (2 arc-min/sec or 0.033°/sec)
Number Key 4 = 16x =
16 x sidereal (4 arc-min/sec or 0.067°/sec)
Number Key 5 = 64x =
64 x sidereal (16 arc-min/sec or 0.27°/sec)
Number Key 6 = 128x =
30 arc-min/sec or 0.5°/sec
Number Key 7 = 1.5° =
90 arc-min/sec or 1.5°/sec
Number Key 8 =
3° = 180 arc-min/sec or 3°/sec
Number Key 9 = Max = 480 arc-min/sec or 8°/sec)
Speeds 1, 2, or 3: Best used for fine centering of an object in the field of view of a
higher power eyepiece, such as a 12mm or a 9mm eyepiece.
Speeds 4, 5, or 6: Enable centering of an object in the field of a low-to-moderate
power eyepiece, such as the standard Super Plössl 26mm.
Speeds 7 or 8: Best used for rough centering of an object in the viewfinder.
Speed 9: Moves the telescope quickly from one point in the sky to another.
Observe the Moon
Definition:
Initialization is a
procedure that ensures that
AutoStar II operates
correctly. When you first
use AutoStar II, it doesn’t
yet know where the
observation location site is
or the time or date of the
observation session.
During the automatic
alignment procedure, the
system calculates these
parameters automatically.
AutoStar II uses this
information to precisely
calculate the location of
celestial objects (such as
stars and planets) and to
move your telescope
correctly for various
operations.
Point your telescope at the Moon (note that the Moon is not visible every night) and
practice using the Arrow keys, the microfocuser and the slew speeds to view different
features. The Moon contains many interesting features, including craters, mountain
ranges, and fault lines. The best time to view the Moon is during its crescent or half
phase. Sunlight strikes the Moon at an angle during these periods and adds a depth
to the view. No shadows are seen during a full Moon, making the overly bright surface
to appear flat and rather uninteresting. Consider the use of a neutral density Moon
filter when observing the Moon. See page 45. Not only does it cut down the Moon’s
bright glare, but it also enhances contrast, providing a more dramatic image.
Astronomical Observing
Used as an astronomical instrument, your telescope has many optical and
electromechanical capabilities. It is in astronomical applications where the high level
of optical performance is readily visible. The range of observable astronomical objects
is limited only by the observer’s motivation.
To Track an Object Automatically
As the Earth rotates beneath the night sky, the stars appear to move from East to
West. The speed at which the stars move is called the sidereal rate. You can setup
your telescope to move at the sidereal rate so that it automatically tracks (follows) the
stars and other objects in the night sky. If the telescope is not tracking an astronomical
object, the object will drift out of the eyepiece field of view. The tracking function
automatically keeps an object centered in the telescope’s eyepiece.
To automatically track objects, you need to learn how the AutoStar II keypad operates
in order to move through its menus. You’ll need to initialize and align your telescope.
Moving Through AutoStar II!s Menus
The AutoStar II database is organized in levels for quick and easy navigation.
-
-
-
Tip:
When multiple choices are
available within an AutoStar
II menu option, the current
option is usually displayed
first and highlighted by a
right pointing arrow (>).
Automatic Alignment (Auto Align™) Feature
AutoStar II offers four methods of altazimuth (alt/az) alignment; this section describes
how to initialize and align your telescope using Automatic Alignment. (For a
description of the other alt/az alignment methods, see pages 38 and 39. For
information about equatorial (polar) alignment, see APPENDIX A, page 53).
To prepare your telescope for Automatic Alignment:
1. Tighten the R.A. and Dec. locks (Pg. 7, Fig. 1, 12 and 17).
2.
Important Note:
Press any key on the
AutoStar II handbox to abort
the GPS fix.
Press MODE repeatedly
until “Select Item” displays
and use the AutoStar menu
options to choose a manual
alignment or to find an
AutoStar option, such as
“Brightness”.
Press ENTER (Pg. 10, Fig. 2, 2) to go deeper into AutoStar II’s menu levels.
Press MODE Fig. 2, 3) to move back toward the top menu level.
Press the Scroll keys (Fig. 2, 7) to move up and down through the options
available for each level.
Press the Arrow keys (Fig. 2, 5) to enter characters and digits. The Arrow keys
are also used to move the telescope.
Use the Number keys to enter digits.
Verify that AutoStar II is properly connected to your telescope. See HOW TO
ASSEMBLE YOUR TELESCOPE, page 13.
3.
Flip the telescope power switch to the ON position.
When you slide the On/Off switch to “On” on your telescope’s computer control panel,
a version screen briefly appears, followed by “Welcome to AutoStar”.
4.
“Press 0 to align or Mode for Menu”. displays. Press “0” to begin Automatic Alignment.
(If you wish to choose a manual alignment method, keep pressing Mode to go through
the menus to find other alignments.)
Note: AutoStar II initializes the Smart Drive if “On” has been previously
performed PEC training and you have “parked” the telescope. If you have
parked it, AutoStar II will remember its position on the worm gear. If you do
not park the scope and turn it off, it will not remember its position. See
PARKING THE TELESCOPE, page 29 and PEC TRAINING, page 40.
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5.
Important Note:
Once the telescope is
aligned, only use the Arrow
keys to move the
telescope. Once the
telescope has been
aligned, do not loosen the
telescope locks (Pg. 7, Fig.
1, 12 and 17), or move the
base manually, or
alignment will be lost.
Important Notes:
It is recommended that you
do not attempt a GPS fix
indoors.
It is also recommended
that you CALIBRATE
SENSORS the first time your
telescope takes a GPS fix.
See page 29 for more
information.
“Automatic Alignment” displays. The system now performs the following routines
(press any AutoStar II key to abort Automatic Alignment; see IMPORTANT NOTE, at
the bottom left of page 19.) :
Caution: As the telescope performs the following operations, it will swing
and rotate. Keep a safe distance from the telescope. The telescope now finds
the level and tilt position of the telescope, and also detects where true North is.
It may not actually level or tilt the telescope or point to North—it is just detecting
these positions. This make take a minute or two.
a. Finds the home position. Moves the telescope to find the “home” position.
When the home position is found, the system knows the limiting positions of
the telescope and can avoid tangling cables and over-rotating the telescope.
b. Detects “level” of the base of the telescope; finds tilt and tip. To detect
level, AutoStar II must calculate “level” at three compass points. See FINDING
TRUE LEVEL in on page 22.
AutoStar II also determines the positioning (i.e., tilt and tip) of the optical tube.
c. Finds North. Locates magnetic North, then calculates true North. See
FINDING TRUE NORTH, page 22.
d. Attempts a “GPS Fix”. The GPS receiver attempts to acquire and sync up
with signals from GPS satellite system. “Getting GPS Fix” displays. See THE
GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM on page 22.
After performing these operations, AutoStar II now knows:
! The telescope’s limiting positions
! Where level is for the telescope
! The location of true North
! The observing site’s location
! The date and time
Note: Press any key to abort the GPS fix. You will then be prompted to enter the
time, date and location.
e.
Important Note:
The Daylight Saving
menu enables or disables
the Daylight Savings Time
setting: Remember to turn
this setting off or on the
two days a year when
Daylight Saving changes.
See TIMING IS
EVERYTHING, page 29.
Once the level, tilt and North are detected, the telescope will “Go To” 2 alignment
stars. The telescope will go to these stars in order to orient itself to the sky. Once it
has done this, it will be able to point to any of the more than 145,000 stars in its
database.
“Automatic Alignment: Selecting Star” and “Slewing” display. Finally, when it is
close to the alignment star “Center Brightest Star: Press ENTER” displays. Use the
Arrow keys to center the alignment star in the eyepiece. The alignment star will be
the brightest star in that area of the sky (and hence, “brightest star”). When the
alignment star is entered, press ENTER.
Note: If you press the “?” key while “Ctr Brightest Star” displays, the alignment star
that AutoStar has chosen will display. For example, “Arcturus: Press ENTER”
may display.
Note: If you have an obstruction, such as a tree or a building blocking your view of
the alignment star, or if you have any doubts at all about the star that has been
chosen, no problem. Just press the Scroll Down key and AutoStar will find another
star to align upon.
LX200-ACF TIPS
Which One’s the Alignment Star?
If AutoStar II has chosen an alignment star with which you are unfamiliar, how
can you be sure if the star in your eyepiece is really the alignment star?
The rule of thumb is that an alignment star is usually the brightest star in that
area of the sky. If you perform a GO TO to an alignment star and you’re not sure
if you have located the alignment star or it isn’t in the eyepiece, look through your
viewfinder. When you view an alignment star in the viewfinder, it stands out
dramatically from the rest of the stars in that portion of the sky. The viewfinder
will help you locate a star more quickly than the eyepiece, because it has a much
wider field of view than the eyepiece. Using AutoStar II, set the slew speed to 6
or higher and use the Arrow keys to center the alignment star in the viewfinder.
If your viewfinder has been aligned with the telescope, the alignment star should
now be in the eyepiece. Set the slew speed to 4 or less and center the star in
the eyepiece. Also see the “Spiral Search” tip, page 21.
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Tip:
The GO TO key also
allows you to perform a
“spiral search”. A spiral
search is useful when the
telescope slews to an
object, but that object is
not visible in the eyepiece
after the telescope
finishes its search. (This
sometimes occurs during
an alignment procedure.)
Press GO TO when the
telescope stops slewing.
The telescope begins to
move in a spiral pattern
at a very slow speed
around the search area.
Look through the
eyepiece and when the
object does become
visible, press MODE to
stop the spiral search.
Then use the Arrow keys
to center the object.
Important Note:
While performing the
automatic tracking
procedure, only use the
Arrow keys to move the
telescope. Once the
telescope has been
aligned, do not loosen the
telescope locks (Pg. 7,
Fig. 1, 12 and 17), or
move the base manually,
or alignment will be lost.
Tip:
To manually enter the
R.A. and Dec.
coordinates of an object:
Press and hold MODE for
two seconds or more. The
R.A. and Dec. coordinates
display. Press GO TO.
“Object Position” and a set
of coordinates displays.
Then enter the R.A. and
Dec. coordinates of any
celestial object using
Number keys. As soon as
the coordinates are
entered, AutoStar II slews
the telescope to the
coordinates. Note that the
telescope must be
initialized for this
procedure to operate
properly.
6.
The telescope now slews to the second alignment star. AutoStar displays “Center
Brightest Star: Press ENTER” displays. Use the Arrow keys to center the alignment
star in the eyepiece. When the second alignment star is centered, press “ENTER”.
7.
“Alignment successful” displays. If “Alignment Unsuccessful” displays, perform the
procedure over again.
Observe a Star using the Automatic Tracking Feature
Now that your telescope has been aligned, you are able to track celestial objects.
In this example, the AutoStar II Arrow keys are used to find a star, and then Auto
Star II’s tracking capability automatically keeps the star centered in your
telescope’s eyepiece.
1. When Automatic Alignment is completed (as described in the previous section),
“Select: Object” displays on AutoStar II.
2.
Select a bright star from one of the Object menus. You may choose any
unobstructed, bright star for the purposes of this example. Use the viewfinder
(Pg. 7, Fig. 1, 22) to help line up on the star. Use AutoStar II’s Arrow keys to
center the star in the eyepiece. The tracking motors will then keep the star you
have chosen in the center of the eyepiece.
GoTo Saturn
This exercise demonstrates how to select a celestial object, the planet Saturn, for
viewing from AutoStar II’s Solar System library. Objects in the eyepiece should
maintain their position even though the Earth is rotating beneath the stars. In other
words, the telescope tracks the chosen objects.
Note: Saturn is not visible the entire year; you may need to choose
another object from any of AutoStar II’s many object libraries; however,
the procedure, as described below, remains the same.
1
After the telescope is aligned, press Number key “5”.
2.
“Solar System: Mercury” displays. Keep pressing the Scroll Down key until “Solar
System: Saturn” displays.
3.
Press ENTER. “Calculating” displays. Then “Saturn” and a set of coordinates
displays. Note that Saturn’s (and other planets’) coordinates change throughout
the year.
4.
Press GO TO. “Saturn: Slewing...” displays and the telescope slews until it finds
Saturn. You may need to use the Arrow keys to center Saturn precisely in the
eyepiece. AutoStar II then automatically moves the telescope so that it “tracks”
Saturn (or whatever other object you may have chosen); i.e., Saturn remains
centered in the eyepiece.
Using the Guided Tour
The Guided Tour feature is an easy and fun method of exploring AutoStar II’s GoTo
capabilities. This example demonstrates using “Tonight’s Best” Guided Tour.
1.
After observing Saturn, keep pressing MODE until “Select Item: Object”
displays again.
2.
Press the Scroll Down key twice. “Select Item: Guided Tour” displays.
3.
Press ENTER. “Guided Tour: Tonight’s Best” displays. Press ENTER.
Note: If you wish to try out other Guided Tours, press the Scroll Down key
to scroll through other tour choices. When the tour you wish to select
displays, press ENTER.
4.
“Tonight’s Best: Searching...” displays. After calculating, “Tonight’s Best:
Jupiter” displays.
Note: Different objects may be displayed on a tour list on any given night.
Press ENTER to display information about the object. Press GO TO to move the
telescope to the object.
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5.
Press MODE to return to the Tour list. Press the Scroll keys to scroll through the
list. Press ENTER when you find the next object you wish to observe.
6.
Press and hold down MODE for two seconds to leave the Guided Tour menu.
Other Guided Tours are available, such as “How Far is Far” and “A Star’s Life”. If you
have programming skills, you may wish to create a custom Guided Tour. See CREATE
YOUR OWN GUIDED TOUR, page 59.
LX200-ACF INFO
The Global Positioning System
GPS
Receiver
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is comprised of 24 satellites orbiting
the Earth that are constantly transmitting their precise position and time.
The system provides highly accurate, worldwide positioning and navigation
information for any number of applications.
GPS receivers on the Earth acquire signals from three to twelve satellites
to determine the precise latitude, longitude, and time of the receiver.
(Accuracy of the receiver’s position may be within 10 to 15 feet.) As
AutoStar II uses latitude, longitude, and time information to calculate the
positions of celestial objects, GPS is an ideal tool for aligning your LX200ACF telescope.
Detecting True Level
Fig. 12: LX200-ACF GPS Receiver.
To detect level of the base of the telescope, AutoStar II must calculate the tip
and tilt of the telescope at three compass points and then compensate for it.
Finding level involves the geometric calculations of a “plane”. In order to
define a plane, three positions are necessary. This is not unlike building a
table: For a table to stand level and solid, it must have a minimum of three
legs. AutoStar II makes gravitational measurements to make a precise
determination of true level.
Finding True North
Locating True North is one of the most important ingredients in the alignment
of a telescope. True North is the axis—the pole—which the Earth spins about
and is a key reference for the motion of the Earth.
As you look at the night sky, the stars seem to move; in fact, if you watched
long enough or took a long time-exposure photograph, you’d realize that the
stars seem to revolve around one point—the pole or True North. When
AutoStar II knows where True North is and also knows the time, it can
calculate the location of all the other objects in the sky.
One traditional way to find True North is to locate the North Star, Polaris,
which lies very close to True North. Another way to calculate True North is to
use gyroscopes or accelerometers.
The LX200-ACF determines True North by using a magnetic North sensor.
The sensor locates magnetic North. Magnetic North is not True North, but a
measurement of the magnetic lines of the Earth. Magnetic North may
deviate several degrees from True North. But AutoStar II, using the
observation site location determined by the GPS and magnetic North
information, can calculate the position of True North.
Some areas are subject to magnetic disturbances, and the magnetic field of
the Earth changes slightly from year to year. AutoStar II allows you to adjust
for discrepancies in the local magnetic field using the “Calibrate Sensors”
option in the Telescope menu. See page 30 for more information.
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BASIC AUTOSTAR II
OPERATION
Fig. 13: The AutoStar II Universe: The six primary categories listed in the Select Item menu
of AutoStar II.
It is important to understand that menu selections are set in a loop (Fig. 14).
This means that pressing the Scroll Down key (pg. 10, Fig. 2, 7) cycles down through
all the available options within a given category, then returns to the first option. The
Scroll Up key (Fig. 2, 7) cycles up through the options in the opposite order. Note that
this capability is a quick way to get to an option that is near the bottom of the list. The
following example demonstrates this capability.
Fig. 14: Menus set in a loop.
Example:
To navigate to the “Select Item: Setup” menu option when the “Select Item: Object”
menu is displayed:
1.
Press the Scroll Down key five times or the Scroll Up key once.
The screen in Fig. 15 displays two lines of information. The top line shows the current
menu level. The second line displays an option which may be selected within that
menu level. Some options are choices that select the next menu level down. The
Scroll keys move up and down within the list of available options, showing one option
at a time.
When the desired option is displayed on the second line, press the ENTER key to
choose that option and move down one menu level.
Press the MODE key to leave a level; e.g., the wrong menu option is chosen.
Fig. 15: Menu options display on the
second line. Use the Scroll keys to
move up or down through the list of
options. Press ENTER to select the
desired option.
Important Note: No matter how many levels into AutoStar II are traveled,
each press of the MODE key moves up a level, until the top level, “Select
Item”, is reached. Once in the Select Item level, press MODE to return to
the topmost level, “Select Item: Object”.
AutoStar II Navigation Exercise
To demonstrate how the AutoStar II menu structure works, the following exercise
calculates Sunset time so an evening observing session can be planned.
To Calculate Sunset time:
1. Press the MODE key several times, until “Select Item: Object” is displayed.
2.
Press the Scroll Down key once to display the “Event” option in the “Select Item”
menu.
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3.
Press the ENTER key to choose the “Event” option and move down a level.
“Event: Sunrise” is displayed.
4.
Press the Scroll Down key once to display the “Sunset” option in the Event menu.
5.
Press the ENTER key to choose the “Sunset” option and move down
another level.
6.
AutoStar II calculates the Sunset time based on the current date, time, and
location. AutoStar II then displays the results of the calculation.
7.
Press MODE once to start moving back up through the AutoStar II levels. The first
level up is the Event menu.
8.
Press MODE again to move up another level. This is the top level, “Select Item”.
9.
Press MODE again to return to the starting point of “Select Item: Object”.
Navigating AutoStar II
Tip:
When multiple choices
are available within a
menu option, the current
option is usually
displayed first and
highlighted by a right
pointing arrow (>).
AutoStar II’s menus are organized for quick and easy navigation:
-
-
Press ENTER to go deeper into AutoStar II’s menu levels.
Press MODE to move back toward the top menu level.
Press Number key “1” to engage the Speed mode, and then press Number keys
1 through 9 to change speeds.
Press Number key “4” to access the Focus menu.
Press Number key “7” to access the Reticle menu.
Press the Scroll keys to move up and down through the options or lists.
Press the Arrow keys to move the cursor across the display.
Press the Help (?) key to access on-line help.
LX200-ACF TIPS
Look into the Future
The AutoStar II Date option in the Setup menu is much more than just an entry
of today’s date; with it you can look far into the future or learn about past
events. AutoStar II can calculate the date and times of future events and,
except for eclipses, past events as well (based on the current calendar
system). E.g., a Sunrise on March 6, 2043 A.D. or the Vernal Equinox in 1776
A.D. To use this feature, enter the desired date in the Setup menu or select an
option in the Event menu.
AutoStar II, using the Event menu, can calculate dates and times for Sunrises,
Sunsets, Moonrises, Moonsets, Moonphases, Solar and Lunar Eclipses (for
the next 100 years), meteor showers, equinoxes and solstices, and the
minimums of Algol.
One very practical use of the Event menu is to check the Sunset option to
determine when you can begin your astronomical observing session.
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AUTOSTAR II’s MENUS
- 25 -
Object Menu
Almost all observing with AutoStar II is performed using the Object menu category.
(Note: Exceptions include Guided Tour and Landmark Survey.) See GoTo SATURN,
page 21, for an example of observing using the Object menu. Also see USING THE
GUIDED TOUR, page 21.
AutoStar II contains many libraries of viewable objects, such as stars, planets, comets,
nebulae and so forth. When one of these objects is selected from a library, AutoStar II
moves your telescope (if properly aligned) and points it at the selected object. Six of the
most popular libraries can be accessed directly using the hot buttons.
The Object Menu options include:
Solar System: A library of the eight planets (Earth is not included) in order out from
the Sun, followed by the Moon, asteroids, and comets.
Constellation: A library of all 88 Northern and Southern Hemisphere constellations.
When this menu option is chosen and a constellation name appears on the first line of
the screen, press GO TO once to change the second line to the name of the brightest
star in the constellation. Press GO TO a second time to slew the telescope to that star.
Use the Scroll keys to cycle through the list of stars in the constellation, from brightest
to dimmest.
Deep Sky: A library of objects outside our Solar System such as nebulae, star
clusters, galaxies, and quasars.
Want to learn more about
Observing Satellites? See
page 35.
Star: A catalog of stars listed in different categories such as named, double, variable,
or nearby. Also included are the Hipparcos, SAO, HD, and HR catalogs. The Star
catalog may also be accessed directly by pressing the Number key “6”.
Satellite: A library of Earth-orbiting objects such as the International Space Station,
the Hubble Space Telescope, Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites, and
geosynchronous orbit satellites.
Other Catalogs are accessed directly using the AutoStar II “hot keys”: Caldwell
(key “2”), Messier catalog (“3”), Solar System (“5”), IC (“8”), and NGC (“9”).
To slew the telescope to catalog objects:
Enter the catalog number of the object using the Number keys and then press ENTER.
For example: To slew to NGC 6720, press Number Key “9”, then using the Number
keys, enter the digits “6-7-2-0”. Then press ENTER.
AutoStar II displays the common name and alternate names of the object, if available.
Press one of the Scroll keys to display some or all of the following information about
that object: Type of object (galaxy, nebula, etc.), Dec. and R.A. coordinates,
constellation it is located within, magnitude, size, distance, and star-type classification,
if the object is a star. If further information is available, it displays as scrolling text.
Press GO TO. The telescope, if aligned (see AUTOMATIC ALIGNMENT, page 19), will
slew to that chosen object. Press MODE repeatedly to return to previous menu levels.
Want to learn more about
Landmarks? See page 35.
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User Objects: Allows the user to define and store in memory deep-sky objects of
specific interest that are not currently in the AutoStar II libraries. See CREATING USER
OBJECTS, page 34, for more information.
Landmarks: Stores the location of terrestrial points of interest in the permanent
AutoStar II database. This function works with a telescope that remains in one fixed
spot or can be setup in the exact same spot each time it is used.
Select: To select a Landmark already in the database (see ADD below), choose
the “Select” option and scroll through the list. Press ENTER to select a Landmark,
then press GO TO and the telescope slews to the object.
Add: To add a Landmark, choose the “Add” option. Enter a name for the
Landmark. Locate and center the Landmark in the eyepiece, then press ENTER.
Important Note: To add objects to the Landmark database, the telescope
must be located and aligned exactly as when the original objects were
added to the database.
Identify: An exciting feature for an observer who wants to scan the night sky and start
exploring. After the telescope has been properly aligned, use the AutoStar II Arrow
keys to move about in the sky. Then follow this procedure:
Important Note: Only use the Arrow keys to move the telescope during
the Identify procedure. Do not loosen the telescope locks or move the
base or alignment is lost.
1.
When a desired object is visible in the eyepiece, keep pressing MODE until the
“Select Item: Object” menu is displayed. Press ENTER to select this menu.
2.
Scroll through the Object menu options until the “Object: Identify” screen
appears.
3.
Press ENTER. AutoStar II searches the libraries for the identity of the object
being observed.
4.
If the telescope is not directly on an AutoStar II library object, the nearest library
object is located and displayed on the screen. Press GO TO and the telescope
slews to that object.
Want to learn more about
using the Browse menu?
See page 37.
Browse: Allows you to search the library for objects with certain parameters, much
like a search engine. “Edit Parameters” lets you set various parameters for the search,
such as: Object Type, Minimum Elevation, Largest, etc . Once you have set the
parameters of the search, select “Start Search” and press ENTER. AutoStar II will
display the results of the search.
Want to learn more about
using the Date menu?
See the LX200-ACF TIPS
box page 24.
Event Menu
Definition:
Transit is the time when
the Sun, Moon, or other
celestial object crosses an
observer’s meridian, i.e.,
the time when an object is
at its highest point in the
sky on any given date.
WARNING!
Never use your
Meade® LX200ACF Telescope
to look at the Sun!
Looking at or near the Sun
will cause instant and
irreversible damage to
your eye. Eye damage is
often painless, so there is
no warning to the
observer that damage has
occurred until it is too late.
Do not point the telescope
or its viewfinder at or near
the Sun. Do not look
through the telescope or
its viewfinder as it is
moving. Children should
always have adult
supervision while
observing.
The Event menu provides access to dates and times of astronomical events. The
Event database includes:
Sunrise, Sun Transit, and Sunset: Calculate the time of Sun rise, Sun transit, or Sun
set on the current date. Find rise and set times for other dates by entering a new date
into the “Setup: Date” menu.
Moonrise, Moon Transit, and Moonset: Calculate the time of Moon rise, Moon
transit, or Moon set on the current date. Find rise and set times for other dates
by entering a new date into the “Setup: Date” menu.
Moon Phases: Displays the date and time of the next Full, New, 1st Quarter, and 3rd
Quarter Moon.
Meteor Showers: Provides information on upcoming meteor showers, such as
the Perseids, the Leonids, etc. Also lists the dates of the showers and when they
reach maximum.
Note: Meteors are fast moving objects that cover large areas of the sky and
are usually best observed with the naked eye.
Solar Eclipse: Lists upcoming Solar Eclipses, including the date and type (total,
annular, or partial) of eclipse. Use the Scroll Up and Down keys to display the
available data. Remember, never use a telescope to look at the Sun! See WARNING!
to the left.
Lunar Eclipse: Lists upcoming Lunar Eclipses, including the date and type (total, partial,
penumbral) of eclipse. Use the Scroll Up and Down keys to display the available data.
Min. (Minimum) of Algol: Displays the minimum brightness of the dramatic eclipsing
binary star system, Algol. It is relatively close at a distance of 100 light years. Every
2.8 days during a 10-hour period, Algol undergoes a major change in apparent
magnitude as one of the two stars passes behind the other. The combined magnitude
of the two stars thus dips from +2.1 to a minimum of +3.4 halfway through the eclipse
as the second star is hidden. AutoStar II calculates minimum magnitude time at
mid-eclipse.
Autumn and Vernal Equinox: Calculate the time and date of the fall or spring
equinox of the current year.
Winter and Summer Solstice: Calculate the time and date of the winter or summer
solstice of the current year.
- 27 -
Glossary Menu
The Glossary menu provides an alphabetical listing of definitions and descriptions for
common astronomical terms and AutoStar II functions. Access directly through the
Glossary menu or through hypertext words embedded in AutoStar II. A hypertext word
is any word in [brackets], usually found when using the AutoStar II Help function or
when reading a scrolling message such as a description of a planet or star. Press
ENTER whenever a hypertext word is on screen and AutoStar II goes to the glossary
entry for that word.
To access directly from within the Glossary menu, use the Scroll keys to scroll through
the alphabet. Press ENTER on the desired letter. Scroll to the desired entry and then
press ENTER to read the description.
Utilities Menu
The Utilities menu provides access to several extra features within AutoStar II,
including a countdown timer and an alarm. The Utilities functions include:
Timer: Selects a countdown timer. This feature is useful for functions such as
astrophotography and tracking satellites. To use the Timer, press ENTER, then
choose “Set” or “Start/Stop”.
Set: Enter time to be counted down, in hours, minutes, and seconds. Press ENTER.
Start/Stop: Activates the timer set previously. Use the Scroll keys to toggle
between ON and OFF. When ON is displayed, press ENTER to activate the timer.
When the timer runs out, four beeps sound and the timer is deactivated.
Alarm: Selects a time for an alarm signal to sound as a reminder. To use the Alarm,
press ENTER, then choose “Set” or “Start/Stop”.
Set: Enter the time of day for the alarm to sound, in hours, minutes, and seconds,
then press ENTER.
Start/Stop: Activates the alarm set previously. Use the Scroll keys to toggle
between ON and OFF. When ON is displayed, press ENTER to activate
the alarm. When the alarm time arrives, AutoStar II beeps. Press ENTER
to deactivate the alarm.
Eyepiece Calc: Calculates information about an eyepiece for the specific telescope
to which AutoStar II is connected.
-
Field of View: Scroll through a list of available eyepieces. When an eyepiece is
selected, the field of view is calculated.
Magnification: Scroll through a list of available eyepieces. When an eyepiece is
selected, the magnification is calculated.
Suggest: AutoStar II calculates and suggests the best eyepiece for viewing,
based on the telescope and the object being viewed.
Brightest Star: If turned on, displays the phrase “Center Brightest Star” instead of the
name of the alignment star during the alignment procedure. If turned off, will display
the actual name of the alignment star (e.g., “Sirius”).
Brightness Adj: Adjusts the brightness of the display using the Scroll keys. When
complete, press ENTER.
-
Tip:
The Contrast Adjustment
feature is usually only
required in very cold
weather.
If you adjust the contrast
so that you can no longer
read the display, turn off
the power and turn it on
again. When Version
appears on the display
(the initial display
screens are not affected
by the Contrast control),
press MODE.
Want to learn more about
Landmarks? See page 35.
- 28 -
Contrast Adj: Adjusts the contrast of the display using the Scroll keys. When complete,
press ENTER.
Panel Light: Allows you to turn off LED panel light.
Aux Port Power: Allows you turn off and on the 12vDC OUT power port.
Beep: Turns the beep alerts on or off.
Temperature: Gives a temperature reading of the ambient air. Reading isn’t always available.
Landmark Survey: Automatically slews the telescope to all user-defined landmarks
with a short pause at each location. Press ENTER to start the survey. While a slew is
in progress, press any key to skip that object and go to the next landmark on the list.
To observe a landmark for a longer period, press MODE when paused on the object
to stop the survey. Press ENTER to restart the survey at the first object on the list.
Sleep Scope: A power saving option that shuts down AutoStar II and the telescope
without forgetting its alignment. With “Sleep Scope” selected, press ENTER to activate
the Sleep function. AutoStar II goes dark, but the internal clock keeps running. Press
any key, except ENTER, to re-activate AutoStar II and the telescope.
Park Scope: Designed for a telescope that is not moved between observing sessions.
Align the telescope one time, then use this function to park the telescope. The next time
it is powered up, pressing ENTER causes the telescope to move to its predetermined
Park position. Once parked, the screen prompts to turn off power.
Important Note: When the “Park Scope” option is chosen and the display
prompts you to turn off the telescope’s power, AutoStar II is unable to be
returned to operation without turning the power off and then back on.
Setup Menu
The Setup menu’s primary function is used for manual telescope alignment (see
Want to learn more about
using the new Smart
Mount Feature? See
Appendix I: Smart
Mount pages 71 and 72.
Want to learn more about
using the Date menu?
See the LX200-ACF TIPS
box, page 24.
MANUAL ALT/AZ ALIGNMENTS, pages 38 and 39). However, there are numerous other
features available within the Setup menu, including:
Align on Home: For permanently mounted telescopes only. If Calibrate Home has
been performed, power up your telescope and select this menu to return the previously
calibrated home position. In other words, the telescope is fully aligned according to the
setting that were stored in AutoStar II’s memory during the Calibrate Home procedure.
See CALIBRATE HOME, page 30, for more information.
Date: Changes the date used by AutoStar II. This function is useful to check events in
the past or future. For example: Set the Date menu for a day three months in the future.
Then check the “Select Item: Event” menu for the Sunset time on that date. See EVENT
MENU, page 27.
Time: Changes the time entered into AutoStar II. Setting the correct time is critical for
AutoStar II to properly calculate locations and events. Time may be set to “AM”, “PM”,
or 24-hour mode (military time). To select the 24-hour mode, press ENTER when the
the “blank” option displays (i.e., neither “AM” nor “PM” is displayed).
Daylight Saving: Enables or disables the Daylight Savings time setting.
Note: See TIMING IS EVERYTHING below.
Note: Daylight Savings Time may be referred to by different names in various
areas of the world. Check local time to verify.
Telescope: Accesses the several options, including:
Mount: Set this option to “Alt/Az” if using alt/az alignment and to “Polar” if using
polar alignment. “Alt/Az” is the default value.
Model: Allows you to select the telescope model connected to AutoStar II.
Focal Length: Displays the focal length of the selected telescope.
Max Slew Rate: Sets the upper limit for the slew rate. 8 degrees per second is the
fastest setting.
Mount Upper Limit: Allows you enter a number from 0 to 90 that sets an upper
limit as to how far the optical tube can swing upward during a programmed slew.
-
LX200-ACF TIPS
Timing is Everything
Your telescope receives the precise time when it syncs with the GPS. Precise time
is important in aligning your telescope so that it can accurately locate celestial
objects.
AutoStar II receives time data in the Universal Time format. However, if you wish
to display the correct time in your local time zone, use the Daylight Saving menu
(see above) to turn the Daylight Saving option on or off. Keep in mind that the
telescope is receiving the correct time whether or not you set this option to display
your local time.
- 29 -
-
-
-
-
-
-
Note:
Custom Tracking Rate
allows you to enter values
from -999 (stands for 99.9%) to 999 (stand for
+99.9%). The lower the
number, the slower the rate;
the higher the number the
faster the rate. If you enter
-999, the telescope will
move so slow as to appear
to be stopped. If you enter
999, the telescope will be
moving at approximately
twice the tracking rate.
-
-
- 30 -
(Note that it does not prevent you from performing a manual slew past this limit.)
This is useful when you have a camera or other peripheral attached to the
telescope—you can prevent it from striking the telescope base. 90 (straight up) is
the maximum value that can be entered.
Mount Lower Limit: Allows you enter a number from 0 to 90 that sets a lower
limit as to how far the optical tube can swing downward during a programmed
slew. (Note that it does not prevent you from performing a manual slew past this
limit). This is useful when you have a large optical tube (12" model) or have a
dewshield attached to the telescope—you can prevent it from striking the
telescope base. -90 (straight down) is the maximum value that can be entered.
Park Position: For permanently mounted telescopes only. After aligning your
telescope, select this menu and power down the telescope. The alignment
settings—level, North, time, alignment stars—are stored in AutoStar II’s memory
and are remembered after you power off the telescope. When you power on the
telescope, “Automatic Alignment” displays after the start up routine. Press MODE
(do not press ENTER). The telescope remembers its alignment and you can
continue viewing or performing other operations without aligning the telescope
again.
Park Position provides two options. Use Current Position uses the last position
set by the user. Use Default Position levels telescope and points it North.
Calibrate Home: For permanently mounted telescopes only. After aligning your
telescope, select this menu and the alignment settings—level, North, time,
alignment stars—are stored in AutoStar II’s memory and are remembered after
you power off the telescope. You can enable AutoStar II to retrieve and
automatically align your telescope using these settings the next time you power
up by choosing the Align on Home menu. See ALIGN ON HOME, page 29, for
more information. Note: This method is not as precise as PARK POSITION (see
above).
Anti-Backlash: This option allows you to change the backlash along either the
R.A. and the Dec. axes by entering a number from 0% to 199%. This sets the
backlash in the way the Arrow keys move the telescope along an axis. If you enter
a value near 199%, telescope responds more quickly as you hold down an Arrow
key. If you enter a value near 0%, it takes longer for the tube to respond as you
hold down an Arrow key. Experiment with this option: Try changing the values until
the motion of the telescope (while holding down an Arrow key) feels comfortable
to you.
Train Drive: All telescopes have a certain amount of “backlash” (looseness in the
interplay of gears). This menu allows you to compensate for the backlash in the
the Altitude and Azimuth motors—which helps locate objects with more precision.
Calibrate Sensors: This menu allows you to improve your telescope’s pointing
accuracy to alignment stars. It calibrates to correct slight mechanical
misalignment due to transport, vibration, or aging. It is recommended that
calibration be performed once on a new telescope after the user initially
assembles it.
When this menu is selected, the telescope slews to Polaris. AutoStar II then
prompts you to center Polaris and to press ENTER. AutoStar II uses the position
of Polaris to fine tune the position of North and also detects level for the base of
the telescope.
Tracking Rate: Changes the speed at which the telescope tracks targets in
the sky.
a. Sidereal: The default setting for AutoStar II; sidereal rate is the standard rate
at which stars move from East to West across the sky due to the rotation of
the Earth.
b. Lunar: Choose this option to properly track the Moon over long observing
sessions.
c. Custom: Allows entry of user-defined tracking rates.
Guiding Rate: Allows you to change the base slew speed, 1x. Enter a
percentage of the speed (less than 100%) and press ENTER. This function may
be useful in guiding the telescope during CCD and long-exposure photography.
See SLEW SPEEDS, page 18, for more information.
Reverse L/R: Reverses the functions of the Left and Right Arrow keys for
controlling the telescope’s motion (i.e., the Right key moves the telescope to the
left).
Reverse U/D: Reverses the functions of the Up and Down Arrow keys for
controlling the telescope’s motion (i.e., the Up key moves the telescope down).
Home Sensors: Turns off or on the True North and True Level sensors, if
preferred, for Easy, One-Star, and Two-Star alignment. User must then manually
level the telescope and point the telescope to True North during alignment.
Default setting is “On”.
GPS Alignment: GPS: Select “Off” to turn off the GPS function—you will be
prompted to manually enter the time, date and location. Select “Start Up” to have
the GPS function begin when you turn on AutoStar. Select “When Needed” to have
the GPS function begin only when it’s needed. For example, you have not
performed the GPS fix yet and you have select Sunrise. AutoStar needs to know
time, date and location to calculate Sunrise times, so the GPX fix will begin when
you select press ENTER after selecting Sunrise.
Dec. PEC: Allows you to perform periodic error correction on the Dec. drive worm
gear. Must be performed with a high-power reticle (eg., 9mm).
R.A. PEC: Allows you to perform periodic error correction on the R.A. drive worm
gear. Must be performed with a high-power reticle (eg., 9mm).
High Precision: If High Precision is turned on, when looking for a faint celestial
object (e.g., a nebula or galaxy), AutoStar II first slews to a nearby bright star and
displays “ENTER to Sync”. Center the star in the eyepiece, then press ENTER.
At that point the telescope has a high precision alignment to that part of the sky
and it then slews to the object that was originally requested.
Targets: Switches between Astronomical targets and Terrestrial targets. If
“Astronomical” is selected, the telescope tracking motor is activated and any object
you observe will remain centered in the eyepiece. If “Terrestrial” is selected, the
tracking motor is turned off. See TO TRACK AN OBJECT AUTOMATICALLY, page 19.
Site provides access to several options including:
Select: Displays the currently selected observing site. Use the Scroll keys to
cycle through all available sites (see ADD below). Press ENTER when the site
you wish to select displays. Use this option when you move to a different
geographic location.
Add: Allows you to add new observing sites to the database. Scroll through the list
of Countries/States. Press ENTER when the site you wish to add displays. Then
choose the desired city in the same manner.
However, when the GPS signal is received, the site is normally selected
automatically and the site list is updated automatically. Use of this option is not
necessary and is included for the convenience of those users who may wish to
enter a site manually. You may edit the name of a site using the Edit option
(see below).
Delete: Deletes a stored site from the database.
Edit: Edits a selected site, including: the name, latitude, longitude, and time
zone. Time Zone refers to the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) time zone shift.
Users West of Greenwich, England use “-” hours, East of Greenwich use “+”
hours. For the United States, look up the time zone shift in Table 1.
Note: AutoStar II compensates for daylight savings time, if selected. See
SETUP MENU: DAYLIGHT SAVING, page 29.
Owner Info: Accesses the owner information menu, including:
Name: Users may enter both their first and last names using the Up and Down
Arrow keys to cycle through the alphabet. Use the Right and Left Arrow keys to
move through the text. Press ENTER when the entry is complete.
Address: Use the Up and Down Arrow keys to enter your street address, city,
state, and zip code. Press ENTER when the entry is complete.
Clone: Uploads information from one AutoStar II handbox to another. Three options
are available:
Catalogs: Sends only user-defined object information, such as new satellite
orbits or comet data to another AutoStar II handbox.
-
Do you want to learn how to
perform the periodic error
correction procedure?
See PERIODIC ERROR
CORRECTION, page 40.
Tip:
If the “ENTER to Sync”
feature is accessed by
mistake (holding the
ENTER key for more than
2 seconds), press MODE
to return to the previous
screen.
Important Note:
The Site information is
stored in the Site menu. If
you move the telescope
outside of a 5 miles area of
your initial observing
location, AutoStar II
automatically determines
your location when it gets a
GPS Fix, and adds the new
location to the Site menu.
Want to learn more about
adding and editing sites?
See page 33.
Time Zone
Atlantic
Eastern
Central
Mountain
Pacific
Alaska
Hawaii
Shift
-4 Hours
-5 Hours
-6 Hours
-7 Hours
-8 Hours
-9 Hours
-10 Hours
Table 1: Time Zone Shift.
Calculations are for standard
time.
- 31 -
Software: Sends only the basic AutoStar II software. This is useful if one user
has downloaded a new version of AutoStar II software from the Meade website
(www.meade.com) and wants to pass this software along to friends.
All: Everything—user-defined information and AutoStar II software—is sent to
another AutoStar II.
Download: Transfers information from a personal computer or another AutoStar II.
During the operation, the warning “Downloading Do Not Turn Off” appears.
Catalogs: Receives only user-defined object information, such as new satellite
orbits or comet data to another AutoStar II handbox.
Software: Receives only the basic AutoStar II software. This is useful if one user
has downloaded a new version of AutoStar II software from the Meade website
(www.meade.com) and wants to pass this software along to friends.
All: Everything—user-defined information and AutoStar II software—is received
by another AutoStar II handbox.
Statistics: Provides basic statistical data about AutoStar II, including:
Characters Free: Displays how much room is available in user-defined object
memory.
Version: Displays the current version of the AutoStar II software.
Serial Number: Displays the unit’s serial number.
Reset: Completely resets AutoStar II. Most values entered into the menus revert to
factory defaults. AutoStar II requires initialization again after a Reset before
proceeding with observations. See AUTOMATIC ALIGNMENT, page 19.
-
Note:
The Download function
requires the optional LX200
Interface Cable. See the
instruction sheet included
with the cable for more
information on how to
download. Also see
OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES,
page 44.
Important Note:
If your download fails in the
middle of the download
attempt (e.g., your PC
crashes), turn off the
telescope. Turn the
telescope back on and as
soon the AutoStar II display
lights up, press “999”.Then
attempt the download again
“Hot Button” Menus
Two menus, six object libraries and two functions can be accessed directly using the
Number keys (commonly referred to as “hot buttons”). The two functions, the Speed
mode and the Utility light are described earlier in the manual.
Focus Speeds:
Key #
Speed
1 or 2
Fine
3, 4, or 5
Slow
6 or 7
Medium
8 or 9
Fast
Focus Control Menu: Press Number key “4” to select this menu directly from
AutoStar II’s keypad. Press the Up or Down Scroll keys to cycle through the four focus
speed options and then press ENTER to select the desired speed. Or press a Number
key after pressing the Focus key to change the speed (see chart to the left). Use the
Up or Down Arrow keys to achieve fine focus of the object. See page 18 for
more information.
Reticle Control Menu: Press Number key “7” to select this menu directly from
AutoStar II’s keypad. “Reticle Control: Set Intensity” displays. Press ENTER. The
Intensity menu allows you to change the intensity of the Reticle Eyepiece Illuminator.
Use the Scroll keys to change the value. As you change the value, look through the
reticle to note how the Intensity changes.
Note: You may continue to change the values using the Scroll keys (and thus
changing the intensity) until you press ENTER again. This allows you to
experiment with the intensity level until you decide which intensity level
works best for you. This feature operates in the same manner in the Rate
and Duty Cycle menus.
When you have finished adjusting the intensity, press E N T E R. Press Number key “7”
again and the Rate menu displays. Press ENTER again. Use the Scroll keys to change
the value of the the rate at which the Reticle Eyepiece blinks. As you change the value,
look through the reticle to note how the Blink Rate changes.
When you have finished adjusting the rate, press ENTER. Next, Press Number key
“7” again and the Duty Cycle menu displays. Press ENTER again. The Duty Cycle
menu controls how long the Reticle Eyepiece Illuminator is on during a blink cycle.
Use the Scroll keys to change the value. As you change the value, look through the
reticle to note how the Duty Cycle changes. When you have decided on a Duty Cycle
value, press ENTER.
To exit the Reticle menu, press MODE once.
Object Catalogs: See page 26 for more information.
- 32 -
ADVANCED AUTOSTAR II FEATURES
Before trying out the examples in this section, familiarize yourself with the basic
operations of AutoStar II described earlier in this manual. The following examples
assume that you have a basic knowledge of AutoStar II and understand how to scroll
to a desired menu or menu option, and how to enter numbers and text. It also
assumes that you have initialized and aligned your telescope.
Adding Observing Sites
If you plan to observe using AutoStar II at different geographic locations, you can store
observation sites in AutoStar II’s memory to help simplify your telescope setup.
Perform these procedures using the Site options (Add, Select, Delete, Edit) of the
Setup menu.
To Add a Site to the user-defined site list:
In this example, you will choose a city and add it to the database list. You will then
select the site to enable it.
Tip:
Using AutoStar II to find
objects not in the libraries:
If you do not wish to navigate
through the menus, a more
direct way to enter
coordinates is to press and
hold MODE for two seconds
or more. R.A. and Dec.
coordinates display. Press GO
TO. “Object Position” and a
set of coordinates displays.
Enter the R.A. and Dec.
coordinates of any celestial
object using Number keys,
overwriting the coordinates
currently displayed. As soon
as the coordinates are
entered, AutoStar II slews the
telescope to the coordinates.
Note that the telescope must
be aligned (see page 19).
However, if you wish to store
the coordinates of an object in
memory, use the method
described at the right.
1.
Navigate to the “Setup: Site” menu. Press ENTER,
2.
Scroll through the options until “Site: Add” displays. Press ENTER.
3.
Scroll through the list of countries/states. Press ENTER when the country/state
you wish to add displays.
4.
Scroll through the list of cities. Press ENTER when the city you wish to add
displays. The Site is now added to the database. You may add sites using this
method.
5.
To choose a site, navigate to “Setup: Select”. Press ENTER. Scroll through the
list of sites. When the desired site displays, press ENTER.
To Edit a Site:
In this procedure, you will enter a location that is not available in the AutoStar II
database by editing data of a nearby site. You will edit the location’s name, latitude,
longitude, and the time zone shift. You will then select the site to enable it.
You will need to know the latitude and longitude of your location to perform this
procedure.
1.
Using the Add option, choose a site on the list that is closest to your observing
site and press ENTER so that the site is added to your observing sites list.
Choosing a site already on the list (as opposed to using the “Custom” feature)
makes it easier to edit, as the “Time Zone” value may not need to be changed.
2.
Scroll to “Site: Edit” and press ENTER. “Edit: Name” displays. Press ENTER.
3.
The name of the site you have just entered to your list displays; if it does not,
scroll to the site.
4.
Using the Arrow keys, change the name of the site so that it now reads the name
of your observing location. Press ENTER. “Edit: Name” displays again.
5.
Press the Scroll Down key and “Edit: Latitude” displays. Press ENTER.
6.
Using the Number Keys, enter the latitude of your observing site and then press
ENTER. “Edit: Latitude” displays again.
7.
Press the Scroll Down key and “Edit: Longitude” displays. Press ENTER.
8.
Using the Number Keys, enter the longitude of your observing site and then press
ENTER. “Edit: Longitude” displays again.
9.
Press the Scroll Down key and “Edit: Time Zone” displays. Press ENTER. (If the
site you chose from the list in step 1 has the same Time Zone as the site you are
editing, just press ENTER again to go on to the next step.) “Time Zone” refers to
the Greenwich Time Zone shift. Users West of Greenwich, use “-” hours (one hour
per time zone) and users East of Greenwich use “+” hours. For the United States,
look up the shift in TABLE 1, page 31.
10. After entering the shift, press ENTER. “Edit Time Zone” displays.
- 33 -
11. Press MODE. “Site: Edit” displays.
12. Using the Arrow keys, scroll to “Site: Select”. The site you have just edited
displays. Press ENTER to select the site.
Creating User Objects
In this procedure, you will enter coordinates of celestial objects that do not appear in
any of the AutoStar II libraries. You will enter the object’s name and R.A. and Dec.
coordinates (required information). You may also enter the object’s magnitude and
size (optional information).
Although AutoStar II contains an extensive database of celestial objects (stars,
nebulae, planets, etc.) that you can observe, you may eventually want to view objects
that are not part of a library. AutoStar II provides a feature that allows you to enter an
object’s R.A and Dec. coordinates in the “User: Objects” option of the Object menu
and allows automatic slewing of the telescope to the user-entered coordinates.
In order to use this menu option, you first need to look up the R.A and Dec.
coordinates of the object or objects you wish to observe. Check your local library,
computer store, or bookstore for astronomy books, CD Roms, or magazines (such as
Sky & Telescope or Astronomy), to find coordinates of celestial objects. The
objects/coordinates you enter become part of your own permanent database, called
“User Objects”.
To enter coordinates of an object into the “User: Objects” option of the Object
menu:
1.
Make sure AutoStar II has been initialized and the telescope has been aligned.
2.
After the telescope is aligned, “Select Item: Object” displays. (If necessary, use
the Scroll keys to scroll through the menus, as previously described, to find this
option). Press ENTER.
3.
“Object: Solar System” displays. Keep pressing the Scroll Up key until “Object:
User Object” displays and press ENTER.
4.
“User Object: Select” displays. Press the Scroll Down key once. “User Object:
Add” displays. Press ENTER.
5.
“Name” displays on the top line and a blinking cursor on the second line. Use the
Arrow keys, as previously described, to enter the name of the object you wish to
add to the database. When you are finished, press ENTER.
6.
“Right Asc.: 00.00.0” displays. Use the Number keys to enter the digits for the
Right Ascension coordinate of your object. When you are finished, press ENTER.
7.
“Declination: +00°.00'” displays. Use the Number keys to enter the digits for the
Declination coordinate of your object. If necessary, use the Scroll Keys to change
“+” to “-”. When you are finished, press ENTER.
8.
AutoStar II then prompts you to enter the size of the object. This step is optional.
Use the Number keys to enter the size (in arc-minutes), if so desired, and press
ENTER to go to the next display. If you do not wish to enter this information,
simply press ENTER.
9.
AutoStar II then prompts you to enter the magnitude of the object. This step is
also optional. Use the Number keys to enter this information, if so desired, and
press ENTER to go to the next display. “User Object: Add” displays again.
To GO TO a user-entered object:
In this procedure, you will choose an object from the User Object list and GO TO
the object.
- 34 -
1.
With “User Object: Add” displayed, press the Scroll Up key once. “User Object:
Select” displays. Press ENTER.
2.
Use the Scroll keys (if necessary) to scroll to the desired object. Press ENTER.
3.
The name of the object and the Right Ascension and Declination coordinates
display.
4.
Press GO TO and the telescope slews to the object.
Observing Satellites
In this procedure, you will prepare your telescope to observe a satellite pass.
1. Navigate to the “Object: Satellite” menu option and press ENTER.
2. Use the Scroll keys to scroll through the list of satellites.
3. Select a satellite from the list and press ENTER.
4. “Calculating...” and then “Tracking...” displays. If the satellite is going to make a
pass, “Located” displays.
5. Use the Scroll keys to display data about the pass: aos—acquisition of signal and
los—loss of signal. If you subtract the aos from the los, you can calculate how
long the satellite will be visible. Location information also displays.
6. “Alarm” displays after the location information. Press ENTER and AutoStar II
automatically sets the alarm to sound a minute before the satellite’s scheduled
appearance. You may return to regular observations until the alarm goes off.
7. When the alarm goes off, return to the Satellite menu and press a Scroll key until
the desired satellite is on the top line of the display.
8. Press GO TO. AutoStar II slews the telescope to where the satellite should
appear. The motor drive stops and a countdown is displayed.
NOTE: If the scheduled appearance position of the satellite is obstructed
(i.e., by a building, tree, or hill), press ENTER and AutoStar II starts to
move the telescope along the expected satellite track. When the track
clears the obstruction, press ENTER again to pause the telescope, then
continue with this procedure.
9. With about 20 seconds left on the countdown timer, start watching through the
telescope viewfinder for the satellite to enter the field of view.
10. When the satellite enters the viewfinder field of view, press ENTER. The
telescope starts to track with the satellite.
11. Use the AutoStar II Arrow keys to center the object in the viewfinder, then look
through the eyepiece to view the object.
Satellite orbits change and new satellites (including the Space Shuttle) are launched.
Visit the Meade website (www.meade.com) approximately once a month to get
updated information and instructions on how to download this data to AutoStar II. If
orbital parameters are more than one month old, the satellite pass may not happen at
the time predicted by AutoStar II. Downloading requires the optional LX200 Interface
Cable. See OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES, page 44.
Tips:
To use the Landmark
function, the telescope must
be located and aligned
exactly as when the
landmark(s) was added to
the database.
To add objects to the
Landmark database, the
telescope must be located
and aligned exactly as when
the original objects were
added to the database.
Note: Satellite observing is an exciting challenge. Most satellites are in
low orbit, travelling at approximately 17,500 mph. When visible, they
move quickly across the sky and are only in the field of view for a few
minutes, requiring AutoStar II to slew the telescope rapidly. Best viewing
is near Sunrise or Sunset when the sky is still dark. Viewing in the middle
of the night can be problematic because a satellite may pass overhead,
but not be visible as it is in the Earth’s shadow.
Landmarks
This menu option allows you to define and store terrestrial objects in the Landmark
database. First, a landmark needs to be stored in memory using the “Landmark: Add”
option. To view a landmark, use the “Landmark: Select” option. Landmarks may also
be viewed using the “Landmark Survey” option in the Utilities menu.
To Add a landmark to the database:
In this procedure, you will store the location of terrestrial landmarks in AutoStar II’s
memory.
1. Note for future reference where the telescope is located and if you have aligned the
telescope, which alignment method is used.
2.
Display the “Setup: Targets” menu option. Chose “Terrestrial” and press ENTER.
“Setup: Targets” displays again. Choosing this option turns off tracking for
astronomical objects which is not useful for the viewing of terrestrial objects such
- 35 -
as those in the Landmark database. Be sure to change this option back to
“Astronomical” when you wish to view celestial objects again.
3.
Press MODE once. “Select Item: Setup” displays.
4.
Press the Scroll Down key once and “Select Item: Object” displays. Press
ENTER. “Object: Solar System” displays.
5.
Press the Scroll Up key twice and “Object: Landmarks” displays. Press ENTER.
“Landmark: Select” displays.
6.
Press the Scroll Down key once. “Landmark: Add” displays. Press ENTER.
7.
“Landmark Name” displays. Using Arrow keys, enter a name for the landmark you
wish to add to the database. When finished, press ENTER.
8.
“Center Landmark. Press Enter” displays. Using only the Arrow keys (do not
manually move the telescope), move the telescope to the desired landmark
and center the object in the eyepiece. Press ENTER. The object is now stored
in memory.
9.
“Landmark: Add” displays. If you wish to add more landmarks, repeat steps 5
through 8.
To Select a landmark from the database:
1. Make sure the telescope is located and aligned exactly as when the desired
landmark was entered into memory.
2.
Display the “Landmark: Select” menu option. Press ENTER.
3.
Use the Scroll keys to scroll through the list of objects you have previously
entered. When the desired object displays, press ENTER to select the object.
Use the Scroll keys to scroll through location information about the object, if
desired. Press GO TO to slew the telescope to the landmark.
4.
Press MODE to exit.
To perform a Landmark Survey:
This procedure allows you to perform a tour of the objects entered in the “Object:
Landmark” menu option—note that the Landmark Survey will function only if you have
previously entered objects in the Landmark menu.
1. Navigate to “Utilities: Landmark Survey” menu and press ENTER.
2.
“Landmark Survey: Slewing...” displays. The telescope moves to the first object
on the Survey list and displays the name of the object.
3.
Press MODE to stop the Survey. Press ENTER to restart the survey at the first
object of the survey.
To check on the available amount of memory in AutoStar II:
AutoStar II has a limited amount of memory. Once you begin to store Landmarks, user
objects and other bits of information in AutoStar II, you will begin to use up memory.
This procedure allows you to check on how much memory is still available.
1.
2.
Navigate to the “Setup: Statistics” menu option and press ENTER.
“Statistics: 37.2K Char. Free” displays. This is the amount of memory that is still
available to the user.
Identify
This procedure allows you to use AutoStar II to identify objects you have found in the
night sky using the Arrow keys. If the object is not in AutoStar II’s database, AutoStar
II displays information about an object in its database that is closest to the one you
queried about.
Important Note: For this function to operate properly, you must first
initialize and align AutoStar II. If you physically move the telescope after
initialization, this function will fail to operate properly.
- 36 -
In this procedure, you will center an object you wish to have identified by AutoStar
II in the telescope eyepiece and use the “Identify” menu to find out information about
the object or the nearest object to it in the AutoStar II database.
1.
Center the object you wish to have identified in the telescope’s eyepiece.
2.
Navigate to the “Object: Identify” option and press ENTER.
3.
“Searching...” displays. When AutoStar II finishes calculating, the name of the
closest object displays.
4.
Press a Scroll key to display information about this object. AutoStar II displays
some or all of the following information about the object with each press of a
Scroll key:
Displayed information:
Catalog or common name of object
etc
Type of object
Right Ascension
Declination
Constellation
Magnitude
Size
Scrolling message
Example:
Messier 107, NGC6171, Orion Nebula,
Globular Cluster, Nebula, Black Hole, etc.
16:32:4
13°03'
Virgo, Orion, etc.
3
2'
“This Globular Cluster is 10,000 light
years away...”
Browse
This menu allows you to search the libraries for objects with certain parameters,
much like a search engine. “Edit Parameters” lets you set various parameters for
the search, and “Start Search” activates the search. A typical search might be
performed as follows:
1.
Select “Browse” from the Object menu. Press ENTER. “Browse: Start Search”
displays.
2.
Press one of the Scroll Keys and “Browse: Edit Parameters” displays. Press
ENTER.
3.
“Edit Parameters: Largest (mins)” displays. “Mins” stands for arc-minutes.
Press ENTER.
4.
“Largest (mins)” and a value displays. Using the Number keys, enter a size in
arc-minutes. AutoStar II will search for objects up to this size and no larger.
Press ENTER.
5.
“Edit Parameters: Largest (mins)” displays again. Press the Scroll Down key.
“Edit Parameters: Smallest (mins)” displays. Enter the value for the smallest
size of an object that AutoStar II will search for in the database. Continue with
“Brightest”, “Faintest”, and “Minimum Elevation”, using the procedure described
in steps 3 and 4.
6.
After “Minimum Elevation”, “Object Type” displays. Press “ENTER”. “+Black
Hole” displays. If you do not wish to have “Black Holes” in your search, press
ENTER and the “+” changes to a “–”. Press the Scroll Down key to scroll to the
next item. “+Diffuse Nebula” displays. Continue to scroll through the list and
press ENTER if you wish to change the “+” to a “–” or vice-versa.
7.
After you have scrolled to the last item on the “Object Type” list, press MODE
twice and the Scroll Down key once. “Browse: Start Search” displays. Press
ENTER. “Start Search: Next” displays. Press ENTER. AutoStar II searches the
database and displays the first object that matches the search parameters you
have entered. Use the scroll keys to display information about the object. Press
MODE and “Start Search: Next” displays again. Press ENTER and the next
item matching the parameters displays. Repeat this procedure to display all the
objects. Press GO TO to slew telescope to a displayed object.
8.
Press MODE repeatedly to leave this menu.
- 37 -
Important Note:
If you disable the automatic
alignment/GPS function and
then use the alternate
alignments described in this
section, you will be
prompted to enter the Time,
Date, and Daylight Savings
status.
North
Alternate Alt/Az Alignments
If you would rather set up your telescope without using automatic alignment, AutoStar
II offers alternative alignment methods for both alt/az and equatorial mounting. During
the One-Star and Two-Star alt/az alignment procedures, you will (unlike the Automatic
and Easy alignment procedures) manually place the telescope in the home position.
The procedures for equatorial (polar) alignment are discussed in APPENDIX A, page
53; the three alternative alt/az alignment methods are discussed below.
Easy (Two-Star) Alignment
In this method, AutoStar II automatically sets the home position, and also
automatically picks two stars from its libraries for alignment. During the procedure,
AutoStar slews the telescope to a first alignment star. The user is asked to verify that
the telescope is pointed at the chosen star and then prompted to center the star in
the eyepiece. The process is repeated with a second star to complete the alignment.
How to perform the Easy Align Procedure
1. Select Alignment. Select “Align: Easy” from the Setup menu. Press ENTER.
2.
Dec.
Setting
Circle
Level
Base
Fig. 17: Alt/Az Home Position.
Home Position. The telescope automatically sets the following positions: home,
level, North, and True North. If so desired, you may turn off the sensors and
manually set these positions. See CALIBRATE SENSORS, page 30 for
more information.
3 . Star Alignment. AutoStar II chooses two stars to align upon. The telescope
slews to the first star for alignment. Should the alignment star not appear in the
field of view in the eyepiece, it should be easily recognized: It will be the brightest
star in the area of the sky where the telescope is pointing. Use the Arrow keys to
move the telescope until the star is visible and centered in the eyepiece. Press
ENTER. Repeat the procedure for the second alignment star.
Note: See WHICH ONE!S THE ALIGNMENT STAR, page 20, for some
important tips concerning alignments stars and using your viewfinder.
When the procedure is performed correctly, “Alignment Successful” displays. If
AutoStar does not display this message, perform this procedure again. (Keep
pressing MODE until “Align: Easy” displays and repeat the procedure.)
LX200-ACF TIPS
Mirror, Mirror...
The LX200-ACF telescopes provide features that allow you to control the primary
optical mirror and focus functions for more precise viewing capability.
Fig. 18: Dec. Setting Circle at 0°.
One control feature is the primary mirror lock (Pg. 7, Fig. 1, 9). The primary mirror
lock prevents the primary mirror from moving during long photographic exposures
and locks in the focus. To use this feature, you should precisely focus and center the
object of interest and then turn the lock knob to the lock position and tighten to a firm
feel. Do not try to refocus with the mirror locked. You must unlock the primary mirror
and then focus. This feature is only necessary for long exposures or where critical
focus must be maintained.
Another control feature is the zero-shift microfocuser (Fig. 1, 24). The microfocuser
allows for “jiggle-free” focusing. It also allows you to achieve focus without causing a
viewed object to move out of position in the eyepiece.
Some tips to help you make the most out of your microfocuser (see FOCUSING THE
EYEPIECE USING THE MICROFOCUSER, page 18, for more detailed instructions):
1. Set the “travel” (extension) of the drawtube of the microfocuser to
about halfway.
2. Rotate the mirror lock knob towards the “unlock” position, until it feels loose.
3. Use the coarse focus control (Fig. 1, 6) to achieve a rough focus of a bright star.
4. Rotate the mirror lock knob towards the “lock” position and adjust the tension to
a firm feel; this action serves to lock in the coarse focus. But make sure that
you don!t adjust or bump the coarse focus knob once you have tightened
tension on the mirror. If you do, reset the coarse focus as
described above.
5. Press the AutoStar II Focus key and then use the Up and Down keys to control
the microfocuser. If desired, you may change the focus speed.
6. You may need to repeat this procedure when you change eyepieces.
- 38 -
Two-Star Alt/Az Alignment
Two-Star Alignment requires some knowledge of the night sky. AutoStar II provides
a library of bright stars and two stars from this library are chosen by the observer
for alignment. In this procedure, AutoStar II does not automatically find home, level,
or North.
1. Select Alignment. Select “Align: Two Star” from the Setup menu. Press ENTER.
Note:
AutoStar II locates
alignment stars based on
the date, time, and location
entered. The alignment
stars may change from
night to night. All that is
required is for the observer
to center the selected stars
in the eyepiece when
prompted.
2.
Set Home Position. Place the telescope in the home position.
3.
To Set the Home Position Manually:
a. See Figs. 19 and 20. Loosen the telescope’s Dec. lock (Pg. 7, Fig. 1, 17).
Set the optical tube to 0° on the Dec. setting circle (Fig. 1, 20).
b. Tighten the Dec. lock (Fig. 1, 17) to a firm feel only.
c. Level the tripod base.
d. Move the base of the telescope so that the computer control panel
(Fig. 1, 13) approximately faces South.
e. Unlock the R.A. lock (Fig. 1, 12) and turn the telescope’s optical tube
horizontally until it points North.
f. Re-lock the R.A. lock (Fig. 1, 12). Press ENTER.
g. Press ENTER.
Tip:
Try a Spiral Search
The GO TO key also
allows you to perform a
“spiral search”. A spiral
search is useful when the
telescope slews to an
object, but that object is
not visible in the eyepiece
after the telescope finishes
its search. (This
sometimes occurs during
an alignment procedure.)
Press GO TO when the
slew is finished and the
telescope starts slewing in
a spiral pattern at a very
slow speed around the
search area. Look through
the eyepiece and when
the object does become
visible, press MODE to
stop the spiral search.
Then use the Arrow keys
to center the object.
4 . Star Alignment. “Select Star” displays. AutoStar II then displays a library of stars
for the observer to choose from. Use the Scroll keys to scroll to a star on the list
that you wish to align upon—select a star that you can easily locate in the night
sky. Press ENTER.
5.
Center Star. The telescope slews to the star. Use the Arrow keys to move the
telescope until the star is centered in the eyepiece. Press ENTER.
6.
Center Star. Repeat procedure for a second alignment star. Once ENTER is
pressed, the telescope is aligned and you are now ready to use AutoStar’s II GO
TO capabilities for a night of observing.
One-Star Alt/Az Alignment
One-Star Alignment requires some knowledge of the night sky. AutoStar II provides a
library of bright stars. One-Star Alignment is identical to Two-Star Alt/Az: Alignment
(ABOVE), except only one star from the database is chosen by the observer for
alignment.
- 39 -
Periodic Error Correction (PEC Training)
If you wish to perform high-precision astrophotography, you may wish to “train” your
telescope in order to keep objects that you are imaging dead center in the telescope’s
mirror during the photographic exposure. Periodic error correction (PEC) helps to
remove the slight perturbations from center that occur due to the mechanical nature
of a telescope. To perform this procedure, you need to use a high-power reticle, such
as the 9mm reticle (see OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES, page 44). PEC training is available
for both drives.
Train Menu Option
If you perform this procedure in alt/az alignment, you can train the telescope in both
the R.A. and the Dec. axes; in polar alignment, you need only train the telescope’s
R.A. axis. If you train the telescope in polar alignment, make sure that “Polar” is
selected in the “Telescope: Mount” menu (“Alt/Az” is the default setting).
To perform the procedure on the Dec. axis, pick a bright star in the East or West that
is about about 20° above the horizon.
To perform the procedure on the R.A. axis, pick a bright star in the South that has
minimal movement and is about 30° above the horizon (Note: If in the Southern
hemisphere, pick a star in the North that is about 30° above the horizon).
Important Note: The Train option overwrites any previous PEC data.
1. Select “Train” from the Dec. PEC menu (in the “Setup: Telescope” menu) and press
ENTER.
2. Look through the reticle. Use the Arrow keys to keep the star centered in the reticle
cross-hairs. AutoStar II displays a count of the 200 positions of the worm gear. When
the count reaches 200, one cycle is complete. A full cycle takes about 8 minutes.
3. Select “Train” from the R.A. PEC menu (in the “Setup: Telescope” menu) and press
ENTER.
4. Look through the reticle. Use the Arrow keys to keep the star centered in the reticle
cross-hairs. AutoStar II displays a count of the 200 positions of the worm gear. When
the count reaches 600, one cycle is complete. A full cycle takes about 24 minutes.
5. Press MODE to exit.
Update Menu Option
Use the Update option to further refine your training; it is recommended that you
update your original training two or three times when first using your telescope.
Update does not overwrite the data, but updates the training using information
gathered from both the last and the current training sessions. Press the MODE key to
exit from this option. If you wish to further refine your training, select this menu again
and repeat the procedure.
Erase Menu Option
Select this option to erase all PEC training data.
On and Off Menu Options
Select “On” when you want the telescope to use the training information. Select “Off”
when you do not want for the telescope to use the training information. Select “On” to
enable the Smart Drive.
- 40 -
PHOTOGRAPHY & DIGITAL IMAGING
You may perform through-the-telescope imaging with any camera body with a
removable lens. You may connect a camera to a #62 T-Adapter which is then connected
to the microfocuser assembly. See Fig. 19. Using this method, the telescope effectively
becomes the lens of the camera.
2
1
The #62 T-Adapter (Fig. 19, 1) connects to the rear cell port (Pg. 7, Fig. 1, 5) ( or
microfocuser assembly on 16" models), followed by a T-Mount (Fig. 19, 2) for the
particular brand of camera being used, followed by the camera body (Fig. 19, 3).
To orient an object in the viewfinder of the camera body, use a small jeweler’s
screwdriver to slightly loosen three adjustment screws around the outer knurled ring
of the T-Mount. Rotate the camera body to achieve proper orientation of the object;
then re-tighten the adjustment screws.
3
Fig. 19: LX200-ACF with #62
T-Adapter: (1) camera adapter, (2) Tmount, (3) camera body.
The #62 T-Adapter permits close-coupling of a camera body to the telescope. In this
format vignetting occurs: The image appears with a slight darkening (vignetting) at the
corners of the 35mm frame (Fig. 20).
Imaging through a long lens such as the LX200-ACF requires special technique for
good results, and the photographer should probably expect to take many shots in
acquiring this technique. Long-lens imaging has its own rewards, however, rewards
that short-focus lenses cannot duplicate.
A few tips on imaging with the LX200-ACF telescopes:
1.
Use the Field Tripod for the telescope. At an effective focal length of 2000mm,
even small external vibrations can easily ruin an otherwise good photo.
For best results in photographing celestial objects, a wedge and One-Star polar
alignment is recommended. See APPENDIX A, pages 53 through 57.
Caution: With the #62 T-Adapter and a camera body mounted to the
LX200-ACF photo port, the telescope can only be rotated vertically about
45°. Moving past this point may damage the telescope and camera.
Fig. 20: Example of vignetting.
2.
Use a cable-operated shutter release. Touching the camera body to initiate
shutter operation almost certainly introduces undesirable vibrations.
3.
Focus the image with extreme care. While observing the subject through
the camera’s reflex viewfinder, turn the telescope’s focus knob (Fig. 1, 6) to
achieve the sharpest possible focus. Note that some cameras may have an
optional focusing screen (available from the manufacturer) for use with a long
telephoto lens. This screen provides a brighter and clearer image to focus, and
is highly recommended.
4.
Correct shutter speeds vary widely, depending on lighting conditions and film
used. Trial-and-error is the best way to determine proper shutter speed in any
given application.
Note: The camera used with your telescope may have an exposure meter
that is still active when the standard lens is removed and the body is
connected to the telescope with the T-Mount. If used for terrestrial
photography, the camera meter should be acceptable. If used for
astrophotography, the meter probably will not provide good results since
camera meters are not made to compensate for a dark sky.
5.
Terrestrial photography through the LX200-ACF is sensitive to heat waves rising
from the Earth’s surface. Long distance photography is best accomplished in the
early morning hours before the Earth has had time to build up heat.
6.
Imaging of the Moon and planets through the LX200-ACF can be especially
gratifying, but points 1 through 4 should be particularly noted in this case. If you
wish to take photographs using polar alignment, see APPENDIX A, page 53.
- 41 -
Photography with a Digital Camera
Some digital cameras present problems for the astrophotographer: Many models
have lenses that cannot be removed, difficulties in attaching to a telescope, possible
vignetting, lack manual focusing and shorter exposure times.
Shorter exposure times is one of the biggest drawback. Long exposures with digital
cameras introduce undesirable noise and artifacts into a digital image.
Some tips for better photos:
•
If you cannot remove the lens to your camera, look for a commercially available
digital T-adapter. New solutions for attaching a digital camera to a telescope are
becoming available as time goes by.
Fig. 21: The Lunar Planetary Imager.
•
If the camera is not directly coupled to the eyepiece, keep it as close to the
eyepiece as possible and center the image to be photographed to minimize
vignetting (darkening of the edges of the photo).
•
Try to block ambient light (from street lights, house, etc.) from the eyepiece and
the camera with a piece of cardboard, a screen, etc.
•
Keep extra (charged) batteries on hand for your camera as digital cameras often
drain batteries in a short period of time. Rechargeable Lithium batteries provide
power for a longer period than non-rechargeable batteries. If practical, use an
AC adapter.
•
Avoid short-focus eyepieces. They present many difficulties for digital cameras.
•
If using manual focus, set to infinity. Otherwise, using the camera’s autofocus
is OK.
•
Experiment with your camera’s exposure, brightness and /or contrast settings.
Keep notes for future reference.
•
Clean eyepieces and camera lens as needed.
•
Many digital cameras have a manual ISO setting. Short exposures times work
the best.
•
Use your camera’s highest image quality and lowest compression settings.
Although this fills up your camera’s memory more quickly, it produces the best
quality photos.
•
Use the camera’s timer or remote shutter release (if available for your camera)
to minimize vibration. Wireless shutter releases may be available for some model
digital cameras. If you do not have a shutter release, use the camera’s timer
(sometimes called “self-timer”), which is available with most digital cameras. The
timer may also minimize vibration.
Photography with Meade!s AutoStar Suite™
The AutoStar Suite with Meade LPI™ (Lunar Planetary Imager) or Meade Deep Sky
Imager™ turns your Meade LX200-ACF telescope, AutoStar and PC into even more
powerful and easy-to-use astronomical instrument.
LPI (Fig. 21) and Deep Sky Imager (Fig. 22) combine the power of an electronic
astronomical imager with the simplicity of a web cam. Check out the following
imager features:
•
Achieve great results the first time out on the Moon, planets, deep-sky objects
and terrestrial targets.
•
Fig. 22: The Deep Sky Imager.
- 42 -
Easy to use with real-time display of object on your PC screen. Just center, focus
and shoot.
•
Magic Eye software-assisted focusing.
•
Automatic and manual exposure control from .001 seconds to 1 hour.
•
Automatically takes multiple exposures.
The AutoStar Suite Software includes powerful tools to help you get the most from
your Meade LX200-ACF telescope:
•
Sophisticated planetarium program with over 19 million objects.
Fig. 23: Image of M13 captured with the
Deep Sky Imager.
•
Select objects from the planetarium display and the telescope slews to
those objects.
•
Create time-lapse movies of objects, such as Jupiter
•
Create your own Guided Tours.
•
Advanced Image Processing Software including Unsharp Masking, Convolution
Filtering and many other features.
•
Control all AutoStar functions from your PC.
•
Talking Telescope software translates AutoStar text to synthesized speech
through PC speaker.
•
Includes a cable to connect your LX200-ACF model to your PC.
See the CD Rom that is included with AutoStar Suite for more information and
instruction manual.
Fig. 24: Image of M51 captured with the
Deep Sky Imager.
LX200-ACF TIPS
Star Charts
Even with the AutoStar II’s massive 145,000 object library, star charts and
planispheres are still useful for a variety of reasons. In particular, they are a
great aid in planning a night of celestial viewing.
A wide variety of star charts are available in books, in magazines, on the
internet and on CD Roms. Meade offers Epoch 2000sk™ and other star
locator software. Contact your Meade dealer or Meade’s Customer Service
department for more information.
Astronomy and Sky and Telescope magazines print star charts each month
for up-to-the-minute maps of the heavens.
- 43 -
OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES
A wide assortment of professional Meade accessories is available for the LX200-ACF
telescope models. The premium quality of these accessories is well-suited to the
quality of the instrument itself. Consult the Meade General Catalog for complete
details on these and other accessories.
Meade Series 4000 Eyepieces:
Eyepiece
7" f/15
Power/Actual Field
8" f/6.3
Power/Actual Field
10" f/6.3
Power/Actual Field
Super Plössl Eyepieces (4-elements; 1.25" O.D., except as noted)
6.4mm
9.7mm
12.4mm
15mm
20mm
26mm
32mm
40mm
56mm (2" O.D.)
417/0.12°
275/0.19°
215/0.24°
178/0.29°
134/0.39°
103/0.50°
83/0.63°
67/0.66°
48/1.08°
200/0.26°
132/0.39°
103/0.50°
85/0.61°
64/0.81°
49/1.06°
40/1.30°
32/1.69°
23/2.27°
250/0.21°
165/0.32°
129/0.40°
107/0.49°
80/0.65°
62/0.84°
50/1.04°
40/1.35°
29/1.82°
Super Wide Angle Eyepieces (6-elements; 1.25" O.D., except as noted)
Fig. 25: Series 4000 Eyepieces.
13.8mm
18mm
24.5mm
32mm (2" O.D.)
40mm (2" O.D.)
193/0.35°
148/0.45°
109/0.61°
83/0.81°
67/1.00°
93/0.72°
71/0.94°
52/1.28°
40/1.67°
32/2.09°
116/0.58°
89/0.75°
65/103°
50/1.34°
40/1.67°
Ultra Wide Angle Eyepieces (8-elements; 1.25" O.D., except as noted)
4.7mm
6.7mm
8.8mm (1.25" - 2" O.D.)
14mm° (1.25" - 2" O.D.)
Eyepiece
568/0.15°
399/0.21°
303/0.28°
199/0.44°
272/0.31°
191/0.44°
145/0.58°
91/0.92°
340/0.25°
239/0.35°
182/0.46°
114/0.73°
8" f/10
Power/Actual Field
10" f/10
Power/Actual Field
12" f/10
Power/Actual Field
Super Plössl Eyepieces (4-elements; 1.25" O.D., except as noted)
6.4mm
9.7mm
12.4mm
15mm
20mm
26mm
32mm
40mm
56mm (2" O.D.)
313/0.17°
206/0.25°
161/0.32°
133/0.39°
100/0.52°
77/0.68°
63/0.83°
50/0.88°
36/1.46°
391/0.13°
258/0.20°
202/0.26°
167/0.31°
125/0.42°
96/0.54°
78/0.67°
63/0.70°
45/1.16°
476/0.11°
314/0.17°
246/0.21°
203/0.26°
152/0.34°
117/0.44°
95/0.55°
76/0.53°
54/1.04°
Super Wide Angle Eyepieces (6-elements; 1.25" O.D., except as noted)
13.8mm
18mm
24.5mm
32mm (2" O.D.)
40mm (2" O.D.)
145/0.46°
111/0.60°
82/0.82°
63/1.07°
50/1.34°
181/0.37°
139/0.48°
102/0.66°
78/0.86°
63/1.07°
221/0.30°
169/0.40°
124/0.54°
95/0.71°
76/0.88°
Ultra Wide Angle Eyepieces (8-elements; 1.25" O.D., except as noted)
4.7mm
6.7mm
8.8mm (1.25" - 2" O.D.)
14mm (1.25" - 2" O.D.)
- 44 -
426/0.20°
299/0.28°
227/0.37°
143/0.59°
532/0.16°
373/0.23°
284/0.30°
179/0.47°
649/0.13°
455/0.18°
346/0.24°
218/0.39°
Series 4000 8 - 24mm Zoom Eyepiece: The internal zoom optics of this eyepiece
move on smooth, precisely machined surfaces which maintain optical collimation at
all zoom settings. A scale graduated in 1mm units indicates the zoom focal length in
operation. An excellent addition to any eyepiece set.
#140 2x Barlow Lens: A 3-element design, doubles each eyepiece power while
maintaining uncompromised image resolution, color correction, and contrast. Insert
the #140 into the telescope’s eyepiece-holder first, followed by the diagonal prism and
eyepiece. The #126 2x Barlow Lens, a compact 2-element alternative to the #140,
may also be employed with any LX200-ACF Series telescope.
Fig. 26: Series 4000 8 - 24mm Zoom
Eyepiece.
Series 4000 Photo-Visual Color Filters: Color filters significantly enhance visual
and photographic image contrast of the Moon and planets. Each filter threads into
the barrel of any Meade 1.25" eyepiece, and into the barrels of virtually all other
eyepiece brands as well. Meade filters are available in 12 colors for lunar and
planetary applications, and in Neutral Density as a lunar glare-reduction filter.
Series 4000 Nebular Filters: A modern boon to the city-dwelling deep-space
observer, the interference nebular filter effectively cancels out the effects of most
urban light pollution, while leaving the light of deep-space nebular emissions virtually
unattenuated. Meade Series 4000 Nebular Filters utilize the very latest in coating
technology, and are available with threaded cells for eyepieces or for attachment to
the rear cells of Meade Advanced Coma-Free Telescopes models.
Fig. 27: #140 2x Barlow Lens.
Zero Image-Shift Microfocuser: Now you can obtain extremely precise image focus
- truly to a microscopic level - during visual and astrophotographic applications, and,
during CCD applications, simultaneously maintain precise image centration on even
the smallest CCD chips. Optional equipment on 8", 10", 12" and 14" LX200-ACF
Advanced Coma-Free models, the Meade Zero Image-Shift Microfocuser operates at
4 speeds from extremely slow to fast; the entire microfocusing operation is actuated
through the Autostar II handbox and powered from the telescope’s control panel.
Coarse manual focusing is effected through the telescope’s manual focus knob.
Variable Tele-Extender: For eyepiece-projection photography of the Moon and the
planets, a Tele-Extender is required. The variable Tele-Extender threads onto the
telescope’s eyepiece-holder, into which is inserted an eyepiece of typically about
26mm focal length; the 35mm camera body couples to the tele-extender by means of
a T-Mount. The Meade Variable Tele-Extender permits a range of projection images.
Fig. 28: #905 Variable Polarizer and
#1A Skylight Filter.
Series 5000 2" Diagonal with Enhanced 99% Reflecting Coatings: The Series
5000 2" diagonal (provided as standard equipment on LX200 16" telescopes and as
an option on other sizes) delivers premium performance with 99% of the light reflected
to the eyepiece. This diagonal allows you to use the advanced 2" eyepieces like
Meade’s Series 5000 UWA and SWA for wider, sharper fields. The Series 5000 2"
Diagonal comes with a 1.25" adapter for using standard sized eyepieces.
Series 4000 Plössl 9mm Illuminated Reticle Eyepiece: The most advanced
commercially-available illuminated reticle eyepiece, this Series 4000 Plössl 9mm
model, powered by an internal battery, includes micrometric x-y positioning controls
which greatly facilitate locking onto the guide star: Turn the finely-threaded controls
and place the reticle’s crossline pattern precisely at the desired position in the field.
The sharp, high-power imaging of the 4-element, multi-coated Plössl optical system is
complemented by a rubber eyecup (foldable for eyeglass wearers) that shuts out
distracting stray light from the observer’s eye. The upper (lens) section of the
eyepiece rotates on a fine thread for precise diopter adjustment to the user’s eye.
Reticle pattern is a double crossline with two concentric circles.
#62 T-Adapter: The T-Adapter is the basic means of prime-focus photography
through all Meade Advanced Coma-Free models. Thread the T-Adapter on to the rear
cell of your telescope, followed by a T-Mount for your 35mm camera, and the camera
body is rigidly coupled to the telescope.
Fig. 29: 2" Diagonal Mirror and #928
45° Erect-Image Diagonal Prism.
#777 Off-Axis Guider: The Off-Axis Guider provides a means during long-exposure
astrophotography for the photographer to monitor the tracking of the telescope
to assure that the telescope remains precisely positioned on the object being
photographed. Like the T-Adapter, the Off-Axis Guider couples the camera body to
the telescope but it also causes a small amount of the guidestar’s incoming light to
be diverted at a right angle, where the star’s position can be examined for tracking
- 45 -
errors with an illuminated reticle eyepiece; position corrections can then be effected
using AutoStar II.
Piggyback Brackets: Piggyback photography is one of the most popular and easiest
ways to get started in astrophotography. Attach your 35mm camera, with its own
35mm-to-250mm lens, atop your LX200-ACF in equatorial mode, and guiding the
camera through the main telescope, wide-field photos of the Milky Way of remarkable
detail and clarity can be taken.
Dew Shields: In moist climates, water particles suspended in the atmosphere
may condense on the front surface of the telescope’s correcting plate. This dew
formation may be inhibited to a significant extent by the addition of a dew shield,
essentially an extension tube attaching to the front-cell of the telescope. #608 for
Meade 8" ACF Telescopes models; #610 for all 10" ACF Telescopes models; #612 for
all 12" ACF Telescopes models.
Fig. 30: Illuminated Reticle Eyepiece.
#905 Variable Polarizer (1.25"): #1A Skylight Filter: The #905 system includes
2 Polarizer filters mounted in a specially-machined cell, for glare-reduction in
observing the Moon. Rotate the thumbscrew at the side of the unit to achieve light
transmission between 5% and 25% of its original value. The #905 inserts into the
diagonal prism of the telescope, followed by an eyepiece. The #1A Skylight Filter
threads onto the rear cells of all Meade ACF Telescopes and effectively seals the
interior of the telescope from dust. All other rear cell accessories may then be
threaded to the #1A filter. The filter increases visual and photographic contrast,
decreases glare, and helps to penetrate haze.
#1220 Field De-rotator: For use with the 8", 10" and 12" LX200-ACF models in the
altazimuth mode, the field de-rotator attaches to the rear cell of the telescope and
plugs into an RS232 port. Digital data fed from the telescope’s microprocessor to the
field de-rotator permit precise and continuous update of the de-rotation required to
maintain pinpoint star images throughout the field. The effect is that even during the
longest CCD or photographic exposures, the telescope acts as if it were precisely
equatorially mounted. #1222 Field De-rotator: For use with the 16" LX200-ACF.
Plugs into a special connector on the control panel.
LX200 Interface Cable: With Meade AutoStar Suite disk loaded into your PC, AutoStar
II-equipped telescopes, such as the LX200-ACF, may be remotely controlled from the
PC display. Used to download the latest satellite data, star and object catalogs, tours,
serial commands list, and software revisions, directly from the Meade website
(www.meade.com).
07584 Universal Power Adapter with Cable (all models except 16" LX200-ACF):
Includes a 25 ft. cord and permits powering from a standard home (115v AC) outlet.
#607 Cigarette Lighter Adapter: Powering the LX200-ACF telescope by means of
an automobile cigarette lighter plug. The LX200-ACF may be powered for a full night’s
observing without risk of car-battery drain.
Deep Sky Imager Series: This high-performance, easy-to-use and affordable color
CCD cameras (Fig. 31) suppresses electronic noise and does not compress data
from the sensor to increase picture quality. The Deep Sky Imager uses a full 16-bit
analog-to-digital converter to enhance picture depth, contrast and dynamic range.
They are USB compatible for easy interface with most Windows-based laptop
computers. Includes AutoStar Suite which automatically sorts, aligns and combines
the best images, resulting in a highly detailed color image.
The following Deep Sky Imagers models and accessories are available:
Deep Sky Imager III (DSI III)
Deep Sky Imager Pro III (DSI III)
Deep Sky Imager II (DSI II) w/AutoStar Suite
Deep Sky Imager Pro II (DSI PRO II), w/AutoStar Suite
Deep Sky Imager Pro II (DSI PRO II), w/RGB Color Filter Set & AutoStar Suite
Lunar Planetary Imager (LPI™) w/AutoStar Suite
Fig. 31: Meade Deep Sky Imager
Deep Sky Imager Fan Accessory, for DSI & DSI II cameras
Deep Sky Imager RGB Color Filter Set, for DSI PRO II and DSI PRO III
To find out more about these and other accessories available for your telescope,
check out the Meade General Catalog or contact your local Meade dealer.
- 46 -
MAINTENANCE
LX200-ACF telescopes are precision optical instruments designed to yield a lifetime of
rewarding applications. Given the care and respect due any precision instrument, your
LX200-ACF will rarely, if ever, require factory servicing. Maintenance guidelines include :
a.
Avoid cleaning the telescope’s optics: A little dust on the front surface of the
telescope’s correcting lens causes virtually no degradation of image quality and
should not be considered reason to clean the lens.
b.
When absolutely necessary, dust on the front lens should be removed with gentle
strokes of a camel hair brush or blown off with an ear syringe (available at any
pharmacy). DO NOT use a commercial photographic lens cleaner.
c.
Organic materials (e.g., fingerprints) on the front lens may be removed with a
solution of 3 parts distilled water to 1 part isopropyl alcohol. You may also add 1
drop of biodegradable dishwashing soap per pint of solution. Use soft, white facial
tissues and make short, gentle strokes. Change tissues often.
Caution: Do not use scented or lotioned tissues or damage could result
to the optics.
Fig. 32: Microfocuser ball bearings.
d.
Do not, for any reason, remove the correcting plate from its machined housing for
cleaning or other purposes. You will almost certainly not be able to replace the
corrector in its proper rotational orientation and serious degradation of optical
performance will result. Meade Instruments assumes no liability for damage
incurred to the telescope in this way.
e.
If the LX200-ACF is used outdoors on a humid night, water condensation on the
telescope surfaces will probably result. While such condensation does not
normally cause any damage to the telescope, it is recommended that the entire
telescope be wiped down with a dry cloth before the telescope is packed away.
Do not, however, wipe any of the optical surfaces. Rather, simply allow the
telescope to sit for some time in the warm indoor air, so that the wet optical
surfaces can dry unattended.
f.
If your LX200-ACF is not to be used for an extended period, perhaps for one month
or more, it is advisable to remove the batteries from the telescope. Batteries left
in the telescope for prolonged periods may leak, causing damage to the
telescope’s electronic circuitry.
g.
Do not leave your LX200-ACF inside a sealed car on a warm summer day;
excessive ambient temperatures can damage the telescope’s internal lubrication
and electronic circuitry.
h.
The microfocuser is carefully adjusted at the factory. If it becomes necessary to
adjust the microfocuser ball bearings (see Fig. 32), it must be performed by
factory trained technicians. If the microfocuser is improperly adjusted,
performance will degrade and damage will result. Damage due to improper
adjustments not authorized by the factory will not be covered under warranty.
Collimation
The optical collimation (alignment) of any astronomical telescope used for serious
purposes is important, but in the case of the Advanced Coma-Free telescope design
of the LX200-ACF models, such collimation is absolutely essential for good
performance. Take special care to read and understand this section well so that your
LX200-ACF will give you the best optical performance.
As part of final optical testing, every Meade Advanced Coma-Free telescope is
precisely collimated at the Meade factory before shipment. However, vibrations in
shipping can cause the optical system to become misaligned. Re-aligning the optics
is, however, a straightforward process.
To check the collimation of your LX200-ACF, center a bright star that is overhead, or
use a “hot spot” of reflected Sunlight from a chrome car bumper, with the supplied
eyepiece. Allow the telescope to adjust to the temperature of your observation site
before proceeding; temperature differences between the optics and the outside air
can cause distortion in the images.
- 47 -
With the star or hot spot centered, de-focus the image. You will notice that the out of
focus star image looks like a ring of light surrounding a dark central spot; the dark
central spot is in fact the shadow of the secondary mirror. Turn the focus knob until
the ring of light fills about 10% of the eyepiece field-diameter. If the dark central spot
is offset in (i.e., not concentric with) the ring of light, your telescope’s optical system
is misaligned and requires collimation.
1
2
3
Fig. 33a: Defocused star images. Misaligned (1, 2), Aligned (3).
Fig. 33b: Collimation screws.
Follow these steps for collimation of the optical system:
Caution:
It is recommended that
you begin collimating by
first tightening the
collimation screws. When
you reach a point where
you encounter resistance
while tightening, then
attempt collimation by
loosening the screw(s).
While loosening, be
careful that you do not
remove the screw(s)
from the secondary
mirror housing assembly.
- 48 -
a.
The only adjustments possible, or necessary, on the Advanced Coma-Free
Telescopes LX200-ACF models are from the three screws (Fig. 33b) located at the
edge of the outer surface of the secondary mirror housing.
Caution: Do not force the three collimation screws past their normal travel
and do not loosen them more than two full turns in a counterclockwise
direction or the secondary mirror may come loose from its support. You
will find that the adjustments are very sensitive, usually requiring only onehalf turn or less to produce the desired result.
b.
While looking at the defocused star image, notice which direction the darker
shadow is offset in the ring of light or notice which part of the ring is the thinnest
(Fig. 33a, 1). Place your index finger in front of the telescope so that it touches
one of the collimation set screws. You will see the shadow of your finger in the
ring of light. Move your finger around the edge of the black plastic secondary
mirror support until you see the shadow of the finger crossing the thinnest part of
the ring of light. At this point, look at the front of the telescope where your finger
is aiming. It will either be pointing directly at a set screw, or it will be between two
set screws aiming at the set screw on the far side of the black plastic secondary
mirror support. This is the set screw that you will adjust.
c.
Using the AutoStar II’s Arrow keys at the slowest slew speed, move the
defocused image to the edge of the eyepiece field of view (Fig. 33a, 2), in the
same direction as the darker shadow is offset in the ring of light.
d.
Turn the set screw that you found with the pointing exercise while looking in the
eyepiece. You will notice that the star image will move across the field. If while
turning the defocused star image flies out of the eyepiece field, then you are
turning the screw the wrong way. Turn the opposite direction and bring the image
back to the center of the field.
e.
If the screw you are turning becomes very loose, tighten the other two screws by
even amounts. If the screw you are turning gets too tight, unthread the other two
by even amounts.
f.
When you bring the image to center (Fig. 33a, 3), carefully examine the
evenness of the ring of light (concentricity). If you find that the dark center is still
off in the same direction, continue to make the adjustment in the original turning
direction. If it is now off in the opposite direction, you have turned too far and you
need to turn in the opposite direction. Always double check the image in the
center of the field of the eyepiece.
g.
You may find after your initial adjustment that the dark center is off in a new
direction (e.g., instead of being off side-to-side it is now off in an up-and-down
direction). In this case repeat steps b through f to find the new adjustment screw.
h.
Now try a higher power eyepiece (e.g., 9mm or less) and repeat the above tests.
Any lack of collimation at this point will require only very slight adjustments of the
three set screws. You now have good collimation of the optics.
i.
As a final check of alignment, examine the star image in focus with the higher
power eyepiece as suggested (h), under good viewing conditions. The star point
should appear as a small central dot (commonly referred to as an “Airy disc”) with
a diffraction ring surrounding it. To give a final precision collimation, make
extremely slight adjustments of the three set screws, if necessary, to center
the Airy disc in the diffraction ring. You now have the best alignment of the optics
possible with this telescope.
Inspecting the Optics
Fig. 34: R.A. Lock.
A Note about the “Flashlight Test”: If a flashlight or other high-intensity light source
is pointed down the main telescope tube, the view (depending upon the observer’s
line of sight and the angle of the light) may reveal what appear to be scratches, dark
or bright spots, or just generally uneven coatings, giving the appearance of poor
quality optics. These effects are only seen when a high intensity light is transmitted
through lenses or reflected off the mirrors, and can be seen on any high quality optical
system, including giant research telescopes.
The optical quality of a telescope cannot be judged by the “flashlight test;" the true test
of optical quality can only be conducted through careful star testing.
Gauging the Movement of the Telescope
A common complaint of many first-time motorized telescope owners is that they
cannot see the telescope “move” when the motor drive is engaged. If fact, when the
batteries are installed, the power is on and the R.A. lock (Fig. 34) engaged, the
telescope is moving. However, the movement is at the same speed as the hour hand
of a 24-hour clock; as such, the movement is difficult to discern visually.
Fig. 35: Dec Lock.
To check the movement of your telescope, look at an astronomical object through the
telescope’s eyepiece with the telescope aligned and with the motor drive on. If the
object remains stationary in the field of view, your telescope is operating properly. If
not, check to ensure that you have engaged the R.A. lock and that the power switch
on the control panel is on.
Meade Consumer Solutions Service
If you have a question concerning your LX200-ACF, contact the Meade Instruments
Consumer Solutions Department at:
Telephone: (800) 626-3233
Customer Service hours are 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Pacific Time, Monday through
Friday. In the unlikely event that your LX200-ACF requires factory servicing or repairs,
write or call the Meade Consumer Solutions Department first, before returning the
telescope to the factory, giving full particulars as to the nature of the problem, as well
as your name, address, and daytime telephone number. The great majority of
servicing issues can be resolved by telephone, avoiding return of the telescope to the
factory. If factory service is required, you will be assigned a Return Goods
Authorization (RGA) number prior to return.
LX200-ACF TIPS
What is Smart Drive?
Smart Drive is a feature that allows you to train almost all of the periodic error from
the R.A. and Dec. motor drive worm gears. Periodic error is brought about by tiny
gear imperfections. These imperfections exist in all manufactured worm gears.
These imperfections tend to ever so slightly speed up or slow down the drive
tracking speed during each rotation of the worm gear. This inconsistency in the
tracking rate can have a negative effect on astrophotography. Smart drive lets you
train your telescope system to compensate for these inconsistencies and, as a
result, perform more accurate tracking during astrophotography. Smart Drive
remembers the training even after the telescope is turned off.
If you’d like to learn more about about Periodic Error Correction, see page 40.
- 49 -
SPECIFICATIONS
8" f/10 LX200-ACF Specifications
Optical design ..............................................Advanced Coma-Free
Clear aperture..............................................203mm (8")
Focal length ................................................2000mm
Focal ratio (photographic speed) ................f/10
Resolving power ..........................................0.56 arc sec
Coatings ......................................................Meade Ultra-High Transmission Coatings
(UHTC)
Mounting ......................................................Cast-aluminum, double-tine forks
Gears ..........................................................5.75"-dia. worm gears, both axes
Periodic Error Correction ............................Both axes
Alignment ....................................................Altazimuth or equatorial w/optional wedge
Slew Speeds................................................1x sidereal to 8°/sec in 9 increments
Power ..........................................................8 C-cell (user-supplied) batteries
or optional 12v power supply
Tripod ..........................................................Variable-height field tripod
Accessories ................................................8 x 50mm viewfinder
1.25" diagonal prism
Series 4000 26mm Super Plössl
16-channel GPS receiver
True-level electronic sensor
Net telescope weight ..................................46 lbs.
Net tripod weight..........................................20 lbs.
10" f/10 LX200-ACF Specifications
Optical design ..............................................Advanced Coma-Free
Clear aperture..............................................254mm (10")
Focal length ................................................2500mm
Focal ratio (photographic speed) ................f/10
Resolving power ..........................................0.45 arc sec
Coatings ......................................................Meade Ultra-High Transmission Coatings
(UHTC)
Mounting ......................................................Cast-aluminum, double-tine forks
Gears ..........................................................5.75"-dia. worm gears, both axes
Periodic Error Correction ............................Both axes
Alignment ....................................................Altazimuth or equatorial w/optional wedge
Slew Speeds................................................1x sidereal to 8°/sec in 9 increments
Power ..........................................................8 C-cell (user-supplied) batteries
or optional 12v power supply
Tripod ..........................................................Variable-height field tripod
Accessories ................................................8 x 50mm viewfinder
1.25" diagonal prism
Series 4000 26mm Super Plössl
16-channel GPS receiver
True-level electronic sensor
Net telescope weight ..................................62 lbs.
Net tripod weight..........................................20 lbs.
- 50 -
12" f/10 LX200-ACF Specifications
Optical design ..............................................Advanced Coma-Free
Clear aperture..............................................305mm (12")
Focal length ................................................3048mm
Focal ratio (photographic speed) ................f/10
Resolving power ..........................................0.375 arc sec
Coatings ......................................................Meade Ultra-High Transmission Coatings
(UHTC)
Mounting ......................................................Cast-aluminum, double-tine forks
Gears ..........................................................5.75"-dia. worm gears, both axes
Periodic Error Correction ............................Both axes
Alignment ....................................................Altazimuth or equatorial w/optional wedge
Slew Speeds................................................1x sidereal to 8°/sec in 9 increments
Power ..........................................................8 C-cell (user-supplied) batteries
or optional 12v power supply
Tripod ..........................................................Variable-height giant field tripod
Accessories ................................................8 x 50mm viewfinder
1.25" diagonal prism, with1.25" adapter
Series 4000 26mm Super Plössl
16-channel GPS receiver
True-level electronic sensor
Net telescope weight ..................................73 lbs.
Net tripod weight..........................................50 lbs.
14" f/10 LX200-ACF Specifications
Optical design ..............................................Advanced Coma-Free
Clear aperture..............................................356mm (14")
Focal length ................................................3556mm
Focal ratio (photographic speed) ................f/10
Resolving power ..........................................0.321 arc sec
Coatings ......................................................Meade Ultra-High Transmission Coatings
(UHTC)
Mounting ......................................................Cast-aluminum, double-tine forks
Gears ..........................................................5.75"-dia. worm gears, both axes
Periodic Error Correction ............................Both axes
Alignment ....................................................Altazimuth
Slew Speeds................................................1x sidereal to 8°/sec in 9 increments
Power ..........................................................8 C-cell (user-supplied) batteries
or optional 12v power supply
Tripod ..........................................................Variable-height giant field tripod
Accessories ................................................8 x 50mm viewfinder
1.25" diagonal prism, with1.25" adapter
Series 4000 26mm Super Plössl
16-channel GPS receiver
True-level electronic sensor
Net telescope weight ..................................110 lbs.
Net tripod weight..........................................50 lbs.
- 51 -
16" f/10 LX200-ACF Specifications
Optical design ..............................................Advanced Coma-Free
Clear aperture..............................................406.4mm (16")
Focal length ................................................4064mm
Focal ratio (photographic speed) ................f/10
Resolving power ..........................................0.28 arc sec
Coatings ......................................................Meade Ultra-High Transmission Coatings
(UHTC)
Mounting ......................................................Heavy-duty double-tine forks
Gears ..........................................................11"-dia. worm gears, both axes
Periodic Error Correction ............................Both axes
Alignment ....................................................Altazimuth or equatorial w/optional pier
Slew Speeds................................................1x sidereal to 8°/sec in 9 increments
Power ..........................................................18v power supply
Tripod ..........................................................Variable-height super giant field tripod
Accessories ................................................8 x 50mm viewfinder
2" diagonal prism with 1.25" adapter
Series 5000 26mm 5-element Plössl
4-speed zero image-shift microfocuser
16-channel GPS receiver
True-level electronic sensor
Net telescope weight ..................................318 lbs.
Net tripod weight..........................................88 lbs.
AutoStar II System Specifications
Processors ........................................................10 processors arranged in a Distributed
Intelligent Network Architecture to
facilitate parallel task management
(U.S. Patent 6,304,376)
Flash Memory ............................................3.5MB, reloadable
Database......................................................145,000 objects
AutoStar II Handbox Specifications
Keypad ........................................................20 key alphanumeric
Display ........................................................2 line, 16 character LCD
Backlight ......................................................Red LED
Utility Light ..................................................Yes
Coil Cord......................................................24"
Length ..........................................................6.56" (16.6cm)
Width (LCD end) ..........................................3.19" (80cm)
Width (Connector end) ................................2.25" (57cm)
Depth ..........................................................0.81" (21cm)
AutoStar II net weight ..................................1.12 lbs (0.51kg)
- 52 -
APPENDIX A: EQUATORIAL
(POLAR) ALIGNMENT
Equatorial Alignment
Important Note:
The “Telescope: Mount”option
of the Setup menu is set to
“Alt/Az” as the default mount
by the factory. The example
presented in this section
assumes that you are
performing an alignment
procedure for the first time
with your telescope and
therefore, the “Telescope:
Mount” option does not need
to be selected.
If the telescope is equatorially
mounted, you must choose
the “Polar” option from the
AutoStar II “Telescope Mount”
menu.
In equatorial (or “polar”) Alignment, the telescope is oriented so that the horizontal
and vertical axes of the telescope are lined up with the celestial coordinate system.
In order to equatorial align your telescope, it is essential to have an understanding of
how and where to locate celestial objects as they move across the sky. This section
provides a basic introduction to the terminology of equatorial-aligned astronomy, and
includes instructions for finding the celestial pole and for finding objects in the night
sky using Declination and Right Ascension.
Celestial Coordinates
A celestial coordinate system was created that maps an imaginary sphere
surrounding the Earth upon which all stars appear to be placed. This mapping system
is similar to the system of latitude and longitude on Earth surface maps.
In mapping the surface of the Earth, lines of longitude are drawn between the North
and South Poles and lines of latitude are drawn in an East-West direction, parallel to
the Earth’s equator. Similarly, imaginary lines have been drawn to form a latitude and
longitude grid for the celestial sphere. These lines are known as Right Ascension
and Declination.
The celestial map also contains two poles and an equator just like a map of the Earth.
The poles of this coordinate system are defined as those two points where the Earth’s
North and South poles (i.e., the Earth’s axis), if extended to infinity, would cross the
celestial sphere. Thus, the North Celestial Pole (Fig. 38, 1) is that point in the sky
where an extension of the North Pole intersects the celestial sphere. The North Star,
Polaris, is located very near the North Celestial Pole (Fig. 38, 1). The celestial equator
(Fig. 38, 2) is a projection of the Earth’s equator onto the celestial sphere.
So just as an object’s position on the Earth’s surface can be located by its latitude and
longitude, celestial objects may also be located using Right Ascension and
Declination. For example: You could locate Los Angeles, California, by its latitude
(+34°) and longitude (118°). Similarly, you could locate the Ring Nebula (M57) by its
Right Ascension (18hr) and its Declination (+33°).
-
Fig. 36: Celestial Sphere.
-
Right Ascension (R.A.): This celestial version of longitude is measured in units
of hours (hr), minutes (min), and seconds (sec) on a 24-hour “clock” (similar to
how Earth’s time zones are determined by longitude lines). The “zero” line was
arbitrarily chosen to pass through the constellation Pegasus, a sort of cosmic
Greenwich meridian. R.A. coordinates range from 0hr 0min 0sec to 23hr 59min
59sec. There are 24 primary lines of R.A., located at 15-degree intervals along
the celestial equator. Objects located further and further East of the zero R.A.
grid line (0hr 0min 0sec) carry higher R.A. coordinates.
Declination (Dec.): This celestial version of latitude is measured in degrees, arcminutes, and arc-seconds (e.g., 15° 27' 33"). Dec. locations North of the celestial
equator are indicated with a plus (+) sign (e.g., the Dec. of the North celestial
pole is +90°). Dec. locations South of the celestial equator are indicated with a
minus (–) sign (e.g., the Dec. of the South celestial pole is –90°). Any point on
the celestial equator (such as the the constellations of Orion, Virgo, and
Aquarius) is said to have a Declination of zero, shown as 0° 0' 0".
Setting Circles
Setting circles included with the LX200-ACF models permit the location of faint
celestial objects not easily found by direct visual observation. The R.A. circle (Pg. 7,
Fig. 1, 11 and Fig. 38) is located on the top surface of the telescope’s drive base. The
Declination circle (Fig. 37) is located at the top of the fork tine. With the telescope
pointed at the North Celestial Pole, the Dec. circle should read 90° (understood to
mean +90°). Objects located below the 0-0 line of the Dec. circle carry minus
Declination coordinates. Each division of the Dec. circle represents a 1° increment.
The R.A. circle runs from 0hr to (but not including) 24hr, and reads in increments of 5min.
- 53 -
Using setting circles requires a developed technique. When using the circles for
the first time, try hopping from one bright star (the calibration star) to another
bright star of known coordinates. Practice moving the telescope from one easy-tofind object to another. In this way, the precision required for accurate object location
becomes evident.
Note You may also enter an object’s R.A. and Dec. coordinates using the
“User: Objects” option of AutoStar II’s Object menu. AutoStar II then
automatically slews the telescope to the entered coordinates.
Note that the R.A. circle is double-indexed (i.e., there are two series of numbers
running in opposite directions around the circumference of the R.A. circle). The upper
series of numbers (increasing counterclockwise) applies to observers located in the
Earth’s Northern Hemisphere; the lower series of numbers (increasing clockwise)
applies to observers located in the Earth’s Southern Hemisphere.
Fig. 37: Declination Setting Circle.
Fig. 38 Section of Right Ascension
Setting Circle.
To use the setting circles to locate an object not easily found by direct visual
observation:
With the telescope aligned to the Celestial Pole, first look up the celestial coordinates
(R.A. and Dec.) of the object in a star atlas. Then loosen the R.A. lock and move the
telescope to read the correct R.A. of the desired object; lock the R.A. lock onto the
coordinate. Next, move the telescope in Declination to read the correct Declination of
the object. If the procedure has been followed carefully, and if the telescope was wellaligned with the pole, the desired object should now be in the telescopic field of a lowpower eyepiece.
If you do not immediately see the object you are seeking, try searching the adjacent
sky area. Keep in mind that, with the 26mm eyepiece, the field of view of the LX200ACF is about 0.5°. Because of its much wider field, the viewfinder may be of significant
assistance in locating and centering objects, after the setting circles have been used
to locate the approximate position of the object.
Pinpoint application of the setting circles requires that the telescope be precisely
aligned with the pole. See PRECISE POLAR ALIGNMENTS, page 56.
Equatorial Wedge
An optional equatorial wedge is required for equatorial (polar) alignment.
Note: The Meade Ultra wedge is recommended for the 10" to 14" models.
The equatorial wedge permits use in an astronomical, or “equatorial” mode. The
wedge fits onto the field tripod. Equatorial alignment allows you to take longer
exposure photographs with your LX200-ACF.
See the instruction sheet supplied with the wedge for installation and setup information.
Note: For almost all astronomical observing requirements, approximate
settings of the telescope’s latitude and polar axis are acceptable. Do not
allow undue attention to precise polar alignment of the telescope to interfere
with your basic enjoyment of the instrument.
Fig. 39a: Equatorial Wedge for 8"
LX200-ACF models.
Note: The Meade equatorial wedge is designed solely for use in conjunction
with your Meade tripod. The wedge should never be used without the tripod
(e.g., by placing the wedge alone on a table top and then mounting the
telescope on the wedge—the wedge may become seriously unbalanced, to
the point where the telescope may actually tip over.
Included features:
Attachment of the wedge to the tripod by means of only one manual knob.
Quick azimuth adjustment by loosening the manual knob.
Bubble level for rapid tripod/wedge leveling.
Etched latitude scale for fast adjustment of the latitude angle.
-
Fig. 39b: The Ultrawedge is available
for larger LX200-ACF models.
- 54 -
Lining Up with the Celestial Pole
Objects in the sky appear to revolve around the celestial pole. (Actually, celestial
objects are essentially “fixed”. Their apparent motion is caused by the Earth’s
rotation). During any 24 hour period, stars make one complete revolution about the
pole, making concentric circles with the pole at the center. By lining up the telescope’s
polar axis with the North Celestial Pole (or for observers located in Earth’s Southern
Hemisphere, with the South Celestial Pole), astronomical objects may be followed, or
tracked, simply by moving the telescope about one axis, the polar axis. This tracking
may be accomplished automatically with the LX200-ACF electric motor drive.
If the telescope is reasonably well aligned with the pole, very little use of the
telescope’s Declination slow motion control is necessary. Virtually all of the required
telescope tracking will be in Right Ascension. (If the telescope were perfectly aligned
with the pole, no Declination tracking of celestial objects would be required.) For the
purposes of casual telescopic observations, lining up the telescope’s polar axis to
within a degree or two of the pole is more than sufficient: with this level of pointing
accuracy, the telescope’s motor drive will track accurately and keep objects in the
telescopic field of view for perhaps 20 to 30 minutes.
Begin polar aligning the telescope by locating Polaris. Finding Polaris is simple. Most
people recognize the “Big Dipper”. The Big Dipper has two stars that point the way to
Polaris (Fig. 40). Once Polaris is found, it is a straightforward procedure to obtain a
rough polar alignment.
To line up with Polaris, follow the procedure described below. Refer to the instruction
sheet included with your equatorial wedge for information about attaching the wedge
to the telescope and also about using the azimuth and latitude controls.
Fig. 40: Locating Polaris.
Tip:
You can check if the
declination is set at true 90° in
step 2c. Look through the
eyepiece and rapidly slew the
optical tube on the R.A. axis. If
all the stars rotate around the
center of the field of view, the
Declination is set at 90°. If the
stars arc out of the field of
view, slew the optical tube on
the Declination axis until you
achieve the centering effect.
"
!
#
Fig. 41: Align tick marks to set the
fork arms to 00 H.A. position.
1.
Select “Setup: Telescope” from the AutoStar II menus. Press ENTER. Scroll to
“Telescope: Mount” and press ENTER. Scroll to “Scope Mounting: Polar” and
press ENTER. The telescope mount is now set to the polar mode.
2.
Press MODE until “Select Item: Setup” displays. Press ENTER. “Setup: Align”
displays. Press ENTER. “Align: Easy” displays. Scroll to “Align: One-Star”
and press ENTER. AutoStar II now prompts you to set the telescope in the polar
home position.
a.
Using the bubble level of the wedge, adjust the tripod legs so that the
bubble is level.
b. Set the wedge to your observing latitude.
c. Using the Up and Down Arrow keys, rotate the telescope tube in Declination
so that the telescope’s Declination reads 90°. See SETTING CIRCLES, page 53.
d. Loosen the R.A. lock, and rotate the fork arms to the 00 position H. A. : Move
the forks arms so that center tick mark on fork arm base (Fig. 41, A) aligns
with the tick mark on the base (Fig. 41, B).
e. Press ENTER. The telescope slews to Polaris.
f. Use the azimuth and latitude controls on the wedge to center Polaris in the
field of view. Do not use the AutoStar II handbox during this process. When
Polaris is centered, press ENTER. The telescope is now polar aligned. See
AUTOSTAR II POLAR ALIGNMENT, page 57, for more information.
At this point, your polar alignment is good enough for casual observations. There are
times, however, when you will need to have precise polar alignment, such as when
making fine astrophotographs.
Once the latitude angle of the wedge has been fixed and locked-in according to the
above procedure, it is not necessary to repeat this operation each time the telescope
is used, unless you move a considerable distance North or South from your original
observing position. (Approximately 70 miles movement in North-South observing
position is equivalent to 1° in latitude change.) The wedge may be detached from the
field tripod and, as long as the latitude angle setting is not altered and the field tripod
is leveled, it will retain the correct latitude setting when replaced on the tripod.
The first time you polar align the telescope, check the calibration of the Declination
setting circle (Fig. 37). After performing the polar alignment procedure, center the star
Polaris in the telescope field. Remove the knurled central hub of the Declination
- 55 -
setting circle and slightly loosen the two bolts located under the knob. Now turn the
circle unit until it reads 89.2°, the Declination of Polaris. Then tighten down the two
bolts and replace the knurled knob.
Should you wish to use the manual setting circles, the R.A. setting circle (Fig. 38) must
be calibrated manually on the Right Ascension of a star every time the telescope is set
up. (The R.A. setting circle has two sets of numbers, the inner set is for Southern
hemisphere use, while the other is for Northern hemisphere use.) Locate a star with
which you’re familiar. Look up the R.A. for the star in a star chart or other aid. With the
star centered in the telescope’s eyepiece, move the R.A. setting circle, using one of
knobs (Fig. 41, C), so that the R.A. of the star lines up with the tick mark on the base
of the telescope (Fig. 41, B).
Precise Polar Alignment
It should be emphasized that while doing casual observing, precise alignment of the
telescope’s polar axis to the celestial pole is not necessary. Don’t allow a timeconsuming effort at lining up with the pole to interfere with your basic enjoyment of the
telescope. For long-exposure photography, however, the ground rules are quite
different, and precise polar alignment is not only advisable, but almost essential.
Fig. 42: LX200-ACF mounted on an
equatorial wedge.
Even though the LX200-ACF telescopes offers a very precise and sophisticated drive
system, the fewer tracking corrections required during the course of a long-exposure
photograph, the better. (“Long-exposure” means any photograph of a celestial object
that last for 10 minutes or longer). In particular, the number of Declination corrections
required is a direct function of the precision of polar alignment.
Precise polar alignment requires the use of a crosshair eyepiece. The Meade
Illuminated Reticle Eyepiece (see OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES, page 44) is well-suited in
this application, but it is also preferable to increase the effective magnification through
the use of a 2X or 3X Barlow lens as well. Follow this procedure (particularly if the pole
star is not visible), sometimes better known as the “Drift” method:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Obtain a rough polar alignment as described earlier. Place the illuminated
reticle eyepiece (or eyepiece/Barlow combination) into the eyepiece holder of
the telescope.
Point the telescope, with the motor drive running, at a moderately bright star near
where the meridian (the North-South line passing through your local zenith)
and the celestial equator intersect. For best results, the star should be located
within ±30 minutes in R.A. of the meridian and within ±5° of the celestial equator
(see CELESTIAL COORDINATES, page 53). Pointing the telescope at a star that
is straight up, with the Declination set to 0°, will point the telescope in the
right direction.
Note the extent of the star’s drift in Declination (disregard drift in Right Ascension):
a. If the star drifts South (or down), the telescope’s polar axis is pointing too far
East.
b. If the star drifts North (or up), the telescope’s polar axis is pointing too far
West.
Move the wedge in azimuth (horizontally) to effect the appropriate change in polar
alignment. Reposition the telescope’s East-West polar axis orientation until there
is no further North-South drift by the star. Track the star for a period of time to be
certain that its Declination drift has ceased.
Next, point the telescope at another moderately bright star near the Eastern
horizon, but still near the celestial equator. For best results, the star should be
about 20° or 30° above the Eastern horizon and within ± 5° of the celestial
equator.
Again note the extent of the star’s drift in Declination:
a. If the star drifts South, (or down) the telescope’s polar axis is pointing too low.
b. If the star drifts North, (or up) the telescope’s polar axis is pointing too high.
Use the altitude adjust control on the wedge to make appropriate changes in
altitude, based on your observations above. Again, track the star for a period of
time to be certain that Declination drift has ceased.
The above procedure results in very accurate polar alignment, and minimizes the
need for tracking corrections during astrophotography.
- 56 -
AutoStar II Polar Alignment
AutoStar II provides three different (manual) methods for polar alignment: Easy, OneStar and Two-Star.
Important Note:
In order to select any of
AutoStar II’s three polar
alignment options, you must
first select “Polar” in the
“Mount” option of the
“Setup: Telescope” menu.
Easy Polar Alignment
Two alignment stars are chosen by AutoStar II based on the date, time, and location.
First, choose “Polar” from the “Setup: Telescope: Mount” menu. The rest of the
procedure is identical to the (Alt/Az) EASY (TWO-STAR) ALIGN, page 37.
One-Star Polar Alignment
Polar One-Star Alignment requires some knowledge of the night sky. AutoStar II
provides a library of bright stars and one star from this library is chosen by the
observer for alignment. Polaris is chosen by AutoStar II. First, choose “Polar” from the
“Setup: Telescope: Mount” menu. The rest of the procedure is almost identical to the
(Alt/Az) ONE STAR ALT/AZ ALIGNMENT, page 37, except that AutoStar II prompts you
to point the telescope at Polaris and center it in the telescope eyepiece.
Two-Star Polar Alignment
Polar Two-Star Alignment requires some knowledge of the night sky. AutoStar II
provides a library of bright stars and two stars from this library are chosen by the
observer for alignment. First, choose “Polar” from the “Setup: Telescope: Mount”
menu. The rest of the procedure is almost identical to the (Alt/Az) TWO STAR ALT/AZ
ALIGNMENT, page 39.
LX200-ACF TIPS
Surf the Web
One of the most exciting resources for astronomy is the internet. The internet is full
of websites with new images, discoveries, and the latest astronomical information.
For example: When comet Hale-Bopp made its approach to our Sun in 1998,
astronomers around the world posted new photos daily.
On the internet, you can find websites for almost any topic relating to astronomy. Try
the following key word searches: NASA, Hubble, HST, astronomy, Messier, satellite,
nebula, black hole, variable stars, etc.
Check Meade’s website for the latest product and technical information. You can
download the latest software revisions, links to other astronomical sites, coordinates
of celestial objects and the latest satellite tracking information for your AutoStar II
handset. See page 32 for more information. You’ll find our website at:
www.meade.com/
Here are some other sites you might find interesting:
• Sky & Telescope:
http://www.SkyandTelescope.com
• Astronomy:
http://www.astronomy.com
• The Starfield:
http://users.nac.net/gburke/
• Astronomy Picture of the Day:
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.goc/apod
• Heavens Above (satellite observing information):
http://www.heavens-above.com
• Photographic Atlas of the Moon:
http://www.lpi.ursa.edu/research/lunar_orbiter
• Hubble Space Telescope Public Pictures
http://opposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pictures.html
- 57 -
APPENDIX B: LATITUDE CHART
Latitude Chart for Major Cities of the World
To aid in the polar alignment procedure (see page 53), latitudes of major cities around the world are listed below. To determine the latitude of
an observing site not listed on the chart, locate the city closest to your site. Then follow the procedure below:
Northern hemisphere observers (N): If the site is over 70 miles (110 km) North of the listed city, add one degree for every 70 miles. If the
site is over 70 miles South of the listed city, subtract one degree per 70 miles.
Southern Hemisphere observers (S): If the site is over 70 miles (110 km) North of the listed city, subtract one degree for every 70 miles. If
the site is over 70 miles South of the listed city, add one degree per 70 miles.
NORTH AMERICA
SOUTH AMERICA
City
State/Prov./Country Latitude
Albuquerque
Anchorage
Atlanta
Boston
Calgary
Chicago
Cleveland
Dallas
Denver
Detroit
Honolulu
Jackson
Kansas City
Kenosha
Las Vegas
Little Rock
Los Angeles
Mexico City
Miami
Minneapolis
Nashville
New Orleans
New York
Oklahoma City
Ottawa
Philadelphia
Phoenix
Portland
Salt Lake City
San Antonio
San Diego
San Francisco
Seattle
Washington
New Mexico
Alaska
Georgia
Massachusetts
Alberta
Illinois
Ohio
Texas
Colorado
Michigan
Hawaii
Mississippi
Missouri
Wisconsin
Nevada
Arkansas
California
Mexico
Florida
Minnesota
Tennessee
Louisiana
New York
Oklahoma
Ontario
Pennsylvania
Arizona
Oregon
Utah
Texas
California
California
Washington
District of Columbia
35°
61°
34°
42°
51°
42°
41°
33°
40°
42°
21°
32°
39°
45°
36°
35°
34°
19°
26°
45°
36°
30°
41°
35°
45°
40°
33°
46°
41°
29°
33°
38°
47°
39°
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
EUROPE
- 58 -
City
Country
Latitude
Amsterdam
Athens
Bern
Copenhagen
Dublin
Frankfurt
Glasgow
Helsinki
Lisbon
London
Madrid
Oslo
Paris
Rome
Stockholm
Vienna
Warsaw
Netherlands
Greece
Switzerland
Denmark
Ireland
Germany
Scotland
Finland
Portugal
England
Spain
Norway
France
Italy
Sweden
Austria
Poland
52°
38°
47°
56°
53°
50°
56°
60°
39°
51°
40°
60°
49°
42°
59°
48°
52°
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
City
Country
Latitude
Bogotá
São Paulo
Buenos Aires
Montevideo
Santiago
Caracas
Colombia
Brazil
Argentina
Uruguay
Chile
Venezuela
4° N
23° S
35° S
35° S
34° S
10° N
ASIA
City
Country
Latitude
Beijing
Hong Kong
Seoul
Taipei
Tokyo
Sapporo
Bombay
Calcutta
Hanoi
Jedda
AFRICA
China
China
South Korea
Taiwan
Japan
Japan
India
India
Vietnam
Saudi Arabia
40°
23°
37°
25°
36°
43°
19°
22°
21°
21°
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
City
Country
Latitude
Cairo
Cape Town
Rabat
Tunis
Windhoek
Egypt
South Africa
Morocco
Tunisia
Namibia
30°
34°
34°
37°
23°
N
S
N
N
S
AUSTRALIA AND OCEANIA
City
State/Country
Latitude
Adelaide
Brisbane
Canberra
Alice Springs
Hobart
Perth
Sydney
Melbourne
Auckland
South Australia
Queensland
New South Wales
Northern Territory
Tasmania
Western Australia
New South Wales
Victoria
New Zealand
35°
27°
35°
24°
43°
32°
34°
38°
37°
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
APPENDIX C: CREATE
YOUR OWN GUIDED TOUR
Creating your own Guided Tour can be an extremely useful tool. You can preprogram a
script of objects you wish to view and study on any given night. You can also create a
viewing script for students or for a friend.
More commands will be added from time-to-time to the list below. Periodically visit
Meade’s website (www.meade.com) for future additions.
When a Guided Tour is selected, AutoStar II slews your telescope to a predetermined
list of objects and displays information about each object, such as type of object,
constellation location, R.A. and Dec. coordinates, and so forth. AutoStar II contains a
few Guided Tours which are programmed at the factory. But it is also possible for an
observer to create a custom Guided Tour.
A tour is basically an ASCII text file that contains a list of directions and descriptions.
Each line of a tour is either a comment line, a command line, or a description.
What you will need:
A PC with text editor or word processing software installed (the tour must be
saved as a “text only” or as a “MS-DOS text” file).
The optional Meade LX200 Interface Cable to download tour information to the
AutoStar II handbox.
Tour Modes
The objects chosen for a tour list are selected from AutoStar II’s database or by
entering the object’s R.A. and Dec. coordinates. The tour is presented in one of two
modes:
-
Automatic Mode: The title of an object appears on first line and descriptive text scrolls
on line 2.
Interactive Mode: Tour name appears on the first line of the AutoStar II display and
the name of the object displays on line 2. To display descriptive text in this mode, the
user must press ENTER.
Comment Line
Information in the Tour program that is not displayed, such as authorship, revision
history, copyrights, etc. All comments begin with a “/ ” character in column 1 of the line.
For example:
/ Extreme Objects
/ (c) 2002 Meade Instruments Corporation
Command Line
This line contains programming commands, including: R.A. and Dec. coordinates, a
title string, a description string, and a keyword.
R.A.: Enter the Right Ascension of an object in the following format: HH:MM:SS.
Eg., 18:51:05
Dec.: Enter the Declination of an object in the following format: DDdMMmSSs. Eg., –
06d16m00s
Title String: Text within a title string is displayed as the title of the object. A title string
can contain up to 16 characters and must be surrounded by quotation marks. For
example: “M64” or “My Favorite Star”.
In Interactive Mode, the title string appears on line 2 until it is selected with the
ENTER key.
In Automatic Mode, or after Interactive Mode selection, the title string appears on line
1 while the description scrolls across line 2.
Keywords: Action to be performed during a tour. AutoStar II recognizes the
following keywords:
- 59 -
TITLE
IC
PLANET
COMET
CONSTELLATION
PICK ONE/PICK END
TEXT
SAO
MOON
LUNAR ECLIPSE
STAR
AUTO SLEW
USER
MESSIER
SATELLITE
METEOR SHOWER
LANDMARK
ON/OFF
NGC
CALDWELL
ASTEROID
DEEP SKY
DEFINE
#END
Description String: Description of an object. Must be surrounded by quotation
marks. If the description is longer than one line, each line must end with a quotation
mark and a hard return. Begin the next description line with a quotation mark.
If quotation marks are to be displayed in the on-screen description, use two quote
marks at the beginning and end of the desired phrase. For example: “The Orion
Nebula is considered ““awesome”” by many who view it”.
Writing a Tour
Using the list of commands listed above, a custom tour can be created. Placing the
word AUTO SELECT before any of the command lines activates Automatic Mode and,
when selected, AutoStar II automatically searches and finds the designated object.
The following is a list of command lines, complete with keywords and necessary
strings:
TITLE
Title must be the first keyword in your tour after any comment lines and must be 15
characters or less. AutoStar II displays this title when “Guided Tour” is selected from
the menus.
For example: TITLE “A Star’s Life”
TEXT “title string” “description string”
This command allows you to display a text title and description.
USER ra dec “title string” “description string”
This command line allows you to access a specific object with your own description.
Enter USER, then the R.A. and Dec. of a desired object, and its title and description.
Use the format described in the Command Line section.
The following commands specify objects that are already in the AutoStar II database.
If these commands follow the command AUTO SELECT, the object’s title displays on
line 1 and its description scrolls across line 2.
Do not add a description string after the following command lines; these commands
access objects with existing description in the AutoStar II database.
NGC xxxx
Enter NGC followed by the desired New General Catalog number and AutoStar II
provides the user with a description of the object from its database. For example: NGC
4256
IC xxxx
Enter IC followed by the desired Index Catalog number and AutoStar II provides the
user with a description of the object from its database. For example: IC 1217
SAO xxxxxx
Enter SAO followed by the desired SAO number and AutoStar II provides the user with
a description of the object from its database. For example: SAO 30200
Messier xxx
Enter MESSIER followed by the desired Messier number and AutoStar II provides the
user with a description of the object from its database. For example: M 101
CALDWELL xxx
Enter CALDWELL followed by the Caldwell number and AutoStar II provides the user
with a description of the object from its database. For example: CALDWELL 17
- 60 -
PLANET “name”
Enter PLANET and then the name of the desired planet in quotes. AutoStar II provides
the user with a description of the selected planet from its database. For example:
PLANET “Pluto”
MOON
This command accesses information about the Moon from the AutoStar II database.
SATELLITE “name”
Enter SATELLITE and then the name of the desired satellite in quotes. AutoStar II
displays information about the satellite from its database. For example: SATELLITE:
“Intl Space Stn”
ASTEROID “name”
Enter ASTEROID and then the name of the desired asteroid in quotes. AutoStar II
displays information about the asteroid from its database. For example: ASTEROID:
“Ceres”
COMET “name”
Enter COMET and then the name of the desired comet in quotes. AutoStar II displays
information about the comet from its database. For example: COMET: “Halley”
LUNAR ECLIPSE
If LUNAR ECLIPSE is part of the tour, AutoStar II checks its database every time the
tour is activated to see if a lunar eclipse is visible that evening. If no eclipse is visible,
this option is skipped and the tour proceeds on to the next object.
METEOR SHOWER
If METEOR SHOWER is part of the tour, AutoStar II checks its database every time
the tour is activated to see if a meteor shower is visible that evening. If no meteor
shower is visible, this option is skipped and the tour proceeds on to the next object.
DEEP SKY “name”
Enter DEEP SKY followed by the name of the desired object in quotes. For example:
DEEP SKY “Small Magellanic Cloud”
CONSTELLATION “name”
Enter CONSTELLATION followed by the name of the desired constellation in quotes.
For example: CONSTELLATION “Leo Major”
STAR “name”
Enter STAR followed by the name of the desired star in quotes. For example: STAR
“Vega”
LANDMARK az alt “title” “description”
Enter the azimuth (az) for the desired object in the following format: xxxdxxmxxs. For
example: 123d27m00s. Then enter the altitude of the desired object in the following
format: xxdxxmxxs. Then enter the title string and description string in quotes. For
example:
LANDMARK 123d27m00s 57d20m20s “Landmark 1” “North corner of apartment
building”
PICK ONE / PICK END
These two statements are used to surround a list of items that AutoStar II can choose
from during a tour. AutoStar II begins at the top of the PICK ONE list and displays the
first object from the list that is above the horizon and ignores the rest.
This statement is useful for developing tours that can be presented year-round. For
each object type you wish to use to illustrate in your tour, pick 10 to 12 examples
spaced across the range of right ascension. Bracket them by the PICK ONE / PICK
END statements. One current example displays for the user. For example:
AUTO SELECT TEXT “Globular Cluster” “Globular clusters are huge balls of stars”.
- 61 -
“They contain 50,000 to 100,000 stars and are located on the fringes of our “galaxy”.”
PICK ONE
AUTO SELECT MESSIER 13
AUTO SELECT MESSIER 15
AUTO SELECT MESSIER 92
AUTO SELECT MESSIER 4
AUTO SELECT MESSIER 68
AUTO SELECT NGC 1234
AUTO SELECT TEXT “None Available” “I’m sorry. There are no bright globular”
“clusters visible at this time.”
PICK END
AUTO SLEW ON / AUTO SLEW OFF
With AUTO SLEW ON enabled in the tour, AutoStar II automatically slews the
telescope to objects first before displaying the text description. This feature is useful
when designing tours in which observing certain objects is required. For example: An
astronomy professor may require his students to observe six objects, four of which
AutoStar II automatically slews to in a tour. The students would have to manually slew
to the last two objects. He would then place AUTO SLEW ON before his first required
object and AUTO SLEW OFF after the fourth object.
#END
To end a tour, type the command #END on a separate line at the very end of the tour.
Downloading Tours
Once a tour is written and stored as an ASCII file (saved either as a “text only” or “MS
DOS text” file), load it into AutoStar II using the AutoStar II Update Utility on your PC.
As tours are downloaded into the handbox, AutoStar II examines the programming. If
it doesn’t understand the terminology used within a tour, it flags questionable areas
and displays them in a pop-up window on your computer screen. Make the necessary
corrections and try to download again. See the instruction sheet with your LX200
Interface Cable for more information about downloading data to and interfacing with
AutoStar II.
- 62 -
APPENDIX D: TRAINING THE DRIVE
Train the telescope motors using AutoStar II. Perform this procedure if you are experiencing any pointing accuracy
problems. Fig. 43 depicts the complete Drive Training procedure.
Note: Use a terrestrial object, such as a telephone pole or lamp post, to train the drive. Complete this
exercise once every 3 to 6 months to maintain the highest level of telescope pointing accuracy.
LX200-ACF TIPS
Further Study...
This manual gives only the briefest introduction to
astronomy. If you are interested in pursuing further
studies in astronomy, a few topics are suggested below
that are worth reading up on. Try looking up some of
these in the optional AutoStar II glossary.
Also included below is a small sampling of books,
magazines, and organizations that you might find helpful.
Topics
1.
2.
How is a star born? How does a solar system form?
How is the distance to a star measured? What is a
light year? What is red shift and blue shift?
3. How are the craters on our Moon formed? Is there
water under the surface of the Moon?
4. What is a black hole? A neutron star? A quark star?
A gamma burster? An Einstein lens?
5. What are stars made of? Why are stars different
colors? How is the elemental composition of a star
determined? What is an Lyman Alpha forest?
6. What is the difference between a Type 1 and a Type
II supernova?
7. What is the importance of studying the composition
of comets? Where do comets come from?
8. How old is our Sun? Will our Sun evolve into a
planetary nebula or go supernova?
9. What is the Inflationary Big Bang? What is dark
matter? What are MACHO’s?
10. How are extrasolar planets discovered? What is an
accretion (or protoplanetary) disk?
11. What are the differences between elliptical, spiral,
and irregular galaxies? Can globular clusters be
older than the universe itself?
Books
1.
The Guide to Amateur Astronomy by Jack Newton
and Philip Teece
2.
The Sky: A User’s Guide by David Levy
3.
Turn Left at Orion by Guy Consolmagno & Dan Davis
4.
Astrophotography for the Amateur by Michael
Covington
Magazines
1.
2.
Sky & Telescope
49 Bay St., Cambridge, MA 02138
Astronomy
Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187
Organizations:
1.
2.
3.
Figure 43: Training the Drive Procedure.
Astronomical League
Executive Secretary
5675 Real del Norte, Las Cruces, NM 88012
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific
390 Ashton Ave., San Francisco, CA 94112
The Planetary Society
65 North Catalina Ave, Pasadena, CA 91106
And watch Jack Horkheimer, Star Gazer, on your local
PBS station.
- 63 -
APPENDIX E: THE MOON MENU
The Moon option of the Object menu allows you to observe the moon in a way never
possible before. You will be able locate many specific features of the lunar surface,
including hundreds of craters, mare, valleys, and mountains. One special feature
allows you to view all six Apollo landing sites. While you won’t be able to see details
such as any of the lunar landers or lunar excursion modules left behind by the
astronauts (the best earth-based telescopes can only resolve features of about a halfmile across), you’ll be able pinpoint the landing sites and study the terrain surrounding
these sites.
When AutoStar II syncs to a lunar feature, the telescope switches to Selenographic
coordinates, i.e., lunar latitude and longitude.
To observe the Apollo 15 landing site using the Moon option:
1. Initialize and align the telescope system as previously described.
2. Press “5” on the AutoStar II keypad. “Solar System: Mercury” displays.
3. Press a Scroll key until “Solar System: Moon” displays. Press ENTER.
4. “Moon: Overview” displays. Press GO TO. The telescope slews to the Moon.
5. With “Moon: Overview” on AutoStar II’s display, use the Scroll keys to browse
through the menus options. Five categories of features are available: Landing
Sites, Craters, Mountains, Mare and Lakes, and Valleys and Rills.
6. Select a distinct lunar crater with which you are familiar, such as Copernicus or
Kepler, from the Craters option and press ENTER.
7. Then press GO TO to slew to that feature. Center the feature in the eyepiece
and hold down ENTER for more than two seconds to ENTER TO SYNC. The
telescope is now synced to Selenographic coordinates.
8. Press MODE twice to return to the features list. Press a Scroll key until “Moon:
Landing Sites” displays.
9. Press ENTER. “Landing Sites: Apollo 11” displays.
10. Press a Scroll key until “Landing Sites: Apollo 15” displays.
11. Press GO TO. The telescope slews to the Apollo 15 site.
12. Press MODE to return to the previous menu option. Continue to press MODE
to exit this menu.
Use this method to find other lunar features and points of interest. When you have
selected a feature, press the “?” key or use the Scroll keys to display detailed
information about the feature. Press MODE to return to the menu options.
Kepler
Copernicus
Tycho
Figure 44: Some easily recognized lunar craters.
- 64 -
APPENDIX F:
16" LX200-ACF FEATURES
"
#
!
$
%
&
'
(
*
Figure 45: 16" LX200-ACF Computer Control Panel.
16" LX200-ACF Unique Features
Caution:
Due to the weight and size
of the 14" and the 16"
LX200-ACF models, please
use extreme caution
whenever assembling,
disassembling, lifting,
transporting or storing this
product. Two or more
persons should always be
used whenever performing
any of the above tasks.
Disregard for the above
warning could result in
serious injury or death.
The 16" LX200-ACF contains, for the most part, the same features (covered earlier in
this manual) as all other LX200-ACF telescope models. The following features are
unique to the 16" model.
Control Panel Features:
18vDC Power Connector (Fig. 45, B): Provides a connection so that the telescope
assembly may be powered from a standard 115v AC home outlet using the supplied
Power Adapter.
The De-rotator port (Fig. 45, G), for use in altazimuth alignment, allows you connect
the optional #1222 Field De-rotator for long-exposure astrophotography by eliminating
the image rotation inherent in altazimuth tracking. See OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES,
page 44.
The “De-rotator” menu option in the Utilities menu allows you to turn the De-rotator on
or off using the AutoStar II handbox.
12 vDC Output (Fan) Port (Fig. 45, E) is used to power the fans located on the
optical tube assembly (OTA). The fans evacuate the warm air trapped inside the tube,
allowing for faster cool-down.
The fan takes warm air from the OTA so that cool air can enter the OTA through the
filtered hole on the side of the OTA. The input filter prevents dust from entering the
OTA. Periodically replace the filter by removing the four bolts holding the grill. The fan
also has a filter, but this filter keeps dust out of the OTA while the fan is off; it should
not need replacing.
The “AUX Power” option in the Utilities menu allows you to turn the fan on or off.
Select “Yes” to turn on.
Commercial Shipping
Caution: Serious damage to the drive gears may result from shock in
handling. During transport or commercial shipping, the R.A. lock
(Pg. 7, Fig. 1, 12) and/or the Dec. lock (Fig. 1, 17) must not be engaged.
Always release the locks when storing in the case or when crating for
commercial shipment. This allows the telescope to give if the case or crate
is sharply jarred or dropped.
The optical and mechanical axes of the 16" LX200-ACF telescope have
been carefully aligned at the factory to ensure accurate object pointing. Do
not loosen or remove the optical tube assembly from the tube adapters
(Fig 1, 25). The resulting misalignment of the axes will result in inaccurate
slewing of the telescope in the GO TO mode. Do not attempt to turn the
focus knob of the optical tube (Fig. 1, 6) until you have read the following
note.
- 65 -
B
Caution: Next to the focus assembly are two red slot-head bolts,
used only for safety reasons in shipment. Remove these bolts before
attempting to turn the focus knob. In its place, insert the rubber plugs
provided as a dust protector (these rubber plugs are included with your
hardware package).
c
e
f
d
The 16" LX200-ACF should never be commercially shipped without the red
bolts in place. This is essential during commercial transport, where rough
handling may occur. Your transport and storage of the telescope never
requires these bolts.
To re-ship the 16" LX200-ACF commercially, be sure to follow this procedure:
1. Turn the focus knob clockwise until it stops so that it moves the primary mirror all
the way back in the tube.
h
g
Fig. 46: The Super Giant Field Tripod:
(1) Tripod head;
(2) Threaded rod; (3) Tension knob;
(4) Spreader bar; (5) Lock knobs;
(6) Extension strut; (7) Tension hub.
B
2. Remove the rubber plug and insert the red bolt. Thread it in to a firm feel (if you
have misplaced the red bolt, you may use any bolt that is 1/4-20x1" long).
3. When packaging the 16" LX200-ACF, be sure to release the R.A. lock (Pg. 7, Fig.
1, 12) and Dec. lock (Fig. 1, 17) to prevent shock to the gears in the motor
assemblies should the package suffer rough handling.
Commercial shipment of the 16" LX200-ACF telescope without the red safety bolt in
place as described above is done at the owner’s risk and your warranty may be voided
if shipping damage results.
16" TELESCOPE ASSEMBLY
Use the following procedure to assemble your telescope:
Fig. 47: The Super Giant Field Tripod
collapsed.
To Assemble the 16" Super Field Tripod
The 16” Super Field Tripod (Figs. 46 and 47) for the Meade 16" LX200-ACF telescope
is supplied as a completely assembled unit, except for the spreader bar (Fig. 46, 4)
and the six lock-knobs (Fig. 46, 5). There are two knobs for each of the three tripod
legs. They are used to adjust the level of the tripod. These knobs are packed
separately for safety in shipment.
For most observations, the drive base of the telescope’s fork mount is attached
directly to the super giant field tripod, in the altazimuth (altitude-azimuth or verticalhorizontal) format.
The telescope also can be mounted on a permanent pier in the equatorial format,
which is set for the latitude of the observing location (see APPENDIX A, pages 53 through
57, for instructions on using the telescope in equatorial mode). The equatorial mode
permits alignment of the telescope’s polar axis with the celestial pole.
Fig. 48: Tighten the tripod spreader
bar with the tension knob.
After removing the field tripod from its shipping carton, stand the tripod vertically, with
the tripod feet down and with the tripod still fully collapsed (Fig. 47). Remove the lower
knob (Fig. 47, 1), releasing the tension hub (Fig. 46, 7). This knob is used only when
storing the field tripod. Moving one leg at a time, gently pull the legs apart. As the legs
are opened, the tension hub will move down the threaded rod (Fig. 46, 2) until it is free
from the threaded rod. Continue to move the legs apart to a fully open position.
Thread in the two lock-knobs (Fig. 46, 5) for each tripod leg, near the foot of each leg.
These lock-knobs are used to fix the position of the inner tripod leg sections. These
sections are used to level the telescope (described below).
Note: Tightening to a firm-feel is sufficient. Over-tightening may result in
stripping of the knob threads or damage to the tripod legs; it provides no
additional strength.
Fig. 49: Remove the pointed bolts
from the drive base.
- 66 -
Loosen the tension knob (Fig. 46, 3), holding the spreader bar (Fig. 46, 4), and slide
the spreader bar down the threaded rod until you can rotated it so that the three arms
align with the three tripod legs. Tighten the tension knob ( Fig. 48) to a firm feel; firm
tightening of the tension knob is sufficient to result in rigid positioning of the legs. Do
not use force in tightening this knob.
To collapse the tripod (after removing the telescope) for storage, follow these
steps:
a. Loosen the tension knob and rotate the spreader bar 60° from its assembled
position, so that one spreader bar arm is located between each adjacent pair of
tripod legs.
b. Move the spreader bar to the top of the threaded rod. Tighten the tension knob,
locking the bar.
c. Working one leg at a time, gradually collapse the legs of the field tripod until the
tension hub is positioned onto the threaded rod. Use the second tension knob to
secure the tension hub in place.
Fig. 50: Attach the drive base to the
tripod.
Attaching the 16" Drive Base
a. Remove the three pointed bolts that hold the packing material in place. These bolts
are used only for shipping purposes and not used in the telescope assembly
procedure. See Fig. 49.
b. Rotate the field tripod so that one leg is pointing approximately South (it need not
point exactly South).
c. Position the 16" drive base onto the field tripod, with the power panel facing South.
Secure the drive base using the three 1/2"-13x1-1/2" long bolts. Thread these bolts
up through the underside of the tripod head into the drive base using the supplied
hex key. Firmly tighten these bolts. See Fig. 50.
c. Level the drive base by loosening the six lock-knobs (Fig. 46, 5) and sliding out the
inner tripod legs.
d. Note the DB-15 connector at the center of the base.
Fig. 51: Bolt the fork to the drive
base.
Attaching the Fork
a. Place the single-piece fork onto the top of the drive base. One side of the base of
the fork has a cutout to allow clearance for the R.A. lock (Pg. 7, Fig. 1, 12) and
R.A. slow-motion control (Fig. 1, 10), which are located on top of the drive base.
b. Bolt the fork to the drive base using the four 3/8"-16x3/4" long bolts (Fig. 51). Using
the supplied hex key, tighten to a firm feel only.
c. Unscrew and remove the four thumbscrews from the rectangular plate (Fig. 52)
in the center of the fork base. Remove the plate. Note the DB-15 plug under the
fork base.
d. Connect the DB-15 plug to the DB-15 connector underneath the plate. Tighten the
two thumbscrews onto the connector to a firm feel. See Fig. 53.
Fig. 52: Remove the for thumbscrews
from the plate.
e. A fifth 3/8"-16x3/4" long bolt is supplied with the telescope. Just using your fingers,
loosely tighten this bolt under the plate. See Fig. 53. This bolt acts as a safety
feature to prevent the DB-15 connector and cable from being damaged when you
disassemble the telescope. You will not be able to disassemble the telescope until
the bolt is removed. The bolt is located near the DB-15 assembly in the base as a
reminder to unplug the connector before removing the fork from the drive base.
Mounting the Optical Tube Assembly (OTA)
This step requires two people who can lift up to 70 pounds each (Note: See Caution
on page 65). The optical tube assembly (OTA) weighs about 125 lbs. and it must be
positioned accurately in order to mount to the fork.
Fifth bolt
Connector
thumbscrew
DB-15
Connector
Fig. 53: View beneath plate (fork base
not shown for clarity sake): Thread-in
the fifth bolt and attach the DB-15
connector underneath the plate.
a. Located on the two top surfaces of the fork are two shoulder bolts. These two bolts
function as locating pins for the OTA. On the inside edge of the Dec. castings are
two matching holes (with slots). Before trying to mount the OTA, be sure to locate
these two bolts and holes. Notice that the bolts and holes are located on one side
of the castings, requiring the OTA to be mounted one way only.
b. Tighten the Dec. lock (Fig. 1, 12) to a firm feel only. With you on one side of the
OTA and your assistant on the other side, grasp the two handles on each side and
lift the OTA onto the top of the fork. Position the holes over the shoulder bolts.
When they are in place, slide the OTA back so that the shoulder bolts lock into
the slots (Fig. 54).
- 67 -
c. Lock the OTA in place using the four 3/8"-16x3/4" bolts. Thread up the four bolts
into the bottom of the Dec. castings, two on each side. Using the supplied hex key,
tighten to a firm feel only (Fig. 55).
Attaching the Power and Data Cords
Several power and data cords are supplied with the 16" LX200-ACF. These should all
be attached before powering up the telescope.
a. Confirm that the power switch (Pg. 65, Fig. 45, A) on the power panel is in the OFF
position. Connect the power adapter to the 18vDC connector (Fig. 45, B).
b. 2 short cords (8" long) with DB-9 connectors are supplied to provide power to the
Dec. system, the GPS, and the level sensor. Plug into the two DB-9 connectors
located at the top of the sides of the fork and the Dec. casting (Fig. 56).
c. Connect the AutoStar II handbox to the HBX connector (Fig. 45, F) on the
control panel.
d. Connect the supplied coil cord from the fan to the 12vDC output jack (Fig. 45, E)
on the control panel.
Fig. 54: Position the holes over the
shoulder bolts. When they are in
place, slide the OTA back so that the
shoulder bolts lock into the slots.
Fig. 55: Tighten the fork arm
assembly using the provided hex key.
Fig. 56: Plug in the DB-9 connectors
to provide power from the Dec. motor
to the fork arms.
- 68 -
LX200-ACF TIPS
Observing Considerations
•
Try to pick an observing site away from street and house lights and car
headlights. While this is not always possible, the darker the site, the better.
•
Give your eyes about ten minutes to adjust to the darkness before observing.
Give your eyes a rest from observing every ten or fifteen minutes to relieve
eyestrain.
•
Try not to use a standard flashlight. Experienced observers use red LED
flashlights, the red utility light on the AutoStar II handbox, or tape red
cellophane over their flashlights to use for setup and map reading so they don’t
have to continually readjust their eyes to the darkness. Be careful not to shine
bright lights if there are other observers in the area. Do not shine a flashlight
into the telescope while someone is observing!
•
Dress warmly. It gets chilly when you’re sitting for prolonged periods.
•
Practice setting up your equipment during the day or in a lighted area to
become familiar with it before going to a dark site.
•
Use your 26mm eyepiece to view terrestrial objects and wider areas of space,
such as open star clusters. Use optional higher power eyepieces, such as a
9mm eyepiece (see OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES, page 44 for more details), when
you wish to view something up close, such as craters on the Moon or the rings
of Saturn.
APPENDIX G:
14" LX200-ACF FEATURES
14" LX200-ACF Unique Features
The 14" LX200-ACF contains, for the most part, the same features (covered earlier in
this manual) as all other LX200-ACF telescope models.
The following features are unique to the 14" model:
Fig. 57a: One of the two 14" LX200-ACF
battery compartments (older models).
Fig. 57b: An indentation on the
underside of one of the 14" LX200-ACF
battery compartments (older models).
Battery Compartment
On newer models, the battery compartment is the same as the compartment
described on page 13. For older models, the battery compartments for the 14"
LX200-ACF are located under the horizontal beam of the fork arms (Fig. 57a). Each
compartment has an indentation below it (Fig. 57b) to allow you to slide out the
compartment easily.
Important Note: The compartments are designed to hold batteries only.
Do not use these compartments to store any other items.
Two button-head screws are provided to secure the battery compartments when using
the telescope in equatorial alignment. The telescope ships with the screws installed. To
install the batteries, first remove the screws with the supplied hex key. See Fig. 57c for
location of the screws. Next, remove the battery holder and install the batteries as
described in step #2 on page 13. Replace the holder and close the compartment.
Replace the screws if you plan to use the telescope in equatorial alignment. These
screws are not necessary when using the telescope in altazimuth alignment.
Optical Tube Assembly
Important Note: Attaching the 14" LX200-ACF optical tube assembly to the
tripod is identical to the procedure described on pages 13 and 14.
Caution: Due to the weight and size of this product please use extreme
caution whenever assembling, disassembling, lifting, transporting or
storing this product. Two or more persons should always be used
whenever performing any of the above tasks. Disregard for the above
warning could result in serious injury or death.
Fig. 57c: Location of one of the
battery compartment screws. The
other is located on the opposite end
of the horizontal beam of the fork
arms near the other battery
compartment (older models).
Caution: On the rear section of the optical tube is a red slot-head bolt,
used only for safety reasons in shipment. Remove this bolt before
attempting to turn the focus knob. In its place, insert the rubber plug
provided as a dust protector (this rubber plug is included with your
hardware package).
The 14” LX200-ACF should never be commercially shipped without the red
bolt in place. This is essential during commercial transport, where rough
handling may occur. Your transport and storage of the telescope never
requires this bolt.
Fig. 58: 14" model auxiliary focus and
reticle jacks are located on the inner
left fork arm.
Fig. 59: Insert the included hex wrench
into the slots in the plate of secondary
mirror housing to access the
collimation screws (14" model only).
Auxiliary Jacks
The 14" model provides auxiliary focus and reticle jacks on the left fork arm (Fig. 58)
for your convenience. Use of the auxiliary jacks eliminates the cord tangle which
sometimes occurs when using the jacks located on the control panel
Collimation
The 14" LX200-ACF can be collimated using the procedure described in the Collimation
section, pages 47 - 48, with one exception: When tightening a collimation screw, it is
not necessary to loosen the other two collimation screws, or vice versa. In other words,
the screws may be tightened or loosened independently of each other.
A hex wrench is included in the accessory kit for collimation (use the smaller of the two
included hex wrenches; the smaller wrench is only included with the 14" model). Insert
the hex wrench into the slots in the plate of the secondary mirror housing to access the
collimation screws which are housed below the plate. See Fig. 59 for the position of
the slots.
- 69 -
APPENDIX H:
DE-ROTATOR AND
MICROFOCUSER ASSEMBLY
For LX200-ACF Telescopes Equiped with a Zero Image-Shift Microfocuser
When using a de-rotator, it is important to attach the microfocuser so that it is backed
off slightly from the de-rotator. If the microfocuser is flush against the de-rotator,
the assembly will not work properly. This is true also with other accessories that
may attach up flush against the de-rotator housing. The diagonal mirror (if used
without the microfocuser) may be attached tightly as it does not rub up against the
de-rotator housing.
To attach the microfocuser to the de-rotator:
Fig. 60: Back off the adapter ring one
full revolution.
12:00 position
Refer to Fig. 8, page 14, for an exploded view of the microfocuser assembly. Perform
this assembly on a flat surface (such as a desk or a table) before you attach the derotator and microfocuser to the telescope.
1. With the de-rotator on a flat surface, thread on the adapter ring (Fig. 8, B) until it
just touches the housing; then back off the adapter ring (i.e., turn it counterclockwise) one full revolution as shown in Fig. 60.
2. Place the microfocuser over the ring with the “hump” of the microfocuser in the
12:00 position as shown in Fig. 61.
3. Using the provided hex key, tighten to a firm feel one of the three microfocuser hex
screws (Fig. 8, K) up against the adapter ring as shown in Fig. 62. Take care not
to tighten or loosen the adapter ring as you position and tighten the microfocuser
in place.
4. Tighten to a firm feel the other two microfocuser hex screws.
Fig. 61: Place the microfocuser over
the adapter ring. Notice the
orientation of the microfocuser.
Fig. 62: Tighten the three
microfocuser hex screws to a firm
feel.
- 70 -
5. Attach the de-rotator to the rear cell of the telescope.
APPENDIX I:
Smart Mount
Introduction
Smart Mount improves the pointing accuracy of your LX200-ACF telescope’s “Go To”
system. Despite careful efforts to calibrate and align telescopes, they may fail to
precisely center objects. Smart Mount allows your telescope to learn about, and then
correct for, any systematic pointing errors, regardless of the cause.
Because training your mount takes some time, we recommend that it be primarily
used on permanently mounted instruments or when imaging requires very accurate
pointing. Once Smart Mount training has been performed, the scope will benefit from
it so long as you carefully park the telescope at the end of each session and do not
modify the mounting.
For portable instruments, we recommend training Smart Mount each time you set up
your telescope to insure best results.
We recommend that you use an illuminated reticle during the training procedure. An
illuminated reticle allows you to precisely center celestial objects in a telescope’s
eyepiece. The more precisely you center objects during Smart Mount training, the
more pointing precision your telescope will be able to achieve. If you do not have an
illuminated reticle, see OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES, page 44 for more information.
Operation
The Smart Mount feature is located in the AutoStar II Setup menu.
Want to learn more
about Alignment?
See page 19.
Want to learn more
about training your
drive? See page 63.
In order to use Smart Mount, create a model that allows Smart Mount to improve your
telescope’s accuracy. This is normally done by training Smart Mount. Once training
has been completed, you will save your model. AutoStar II allows you to save
several models under different names. This allows you to, for example, save one
model for a heavy imaging camera configuration on a permanently aligned scope, and
another when you have a lighter load on the mount.
Training
In order to obtain solid, repeatable results, perform the following procedures before
you create a model:
•
Setup and align your telescope.
•
Perform both RA/Az and Dec/Alt drive training calibration.
Once you have calibrated and aligned your telescope, if you wish to start a new
model, go to the Smart Mount main menu. Locate and select “Erase” to clear the
current model. Next, proceed with the steps below:
Note: If you do not erase the current model, the training session will refine
the current model.
•
Locate “Train” in the Smart Mount Configuration menu and press enter.
•
The telescope will select and slew to several (over 40) stars.
•
When requested to do so, carefully center each star and then press ENTER.
If you find that you cannot see a star because there is an obstruction blocking
your view:
•
Press MODE briefly to skip this star. Another star will be chosen.
To exit the training sequence before it is completed:
•
Press and hold MODE for about two seconds and then release it.
When you have completed training:
•
Save your model, using a good, descriptive name, using the “Save As” menu.
Upon completion of the training, Smart Mount is enabled and remains on until
you choose “Off” from the Smart Mount Configuration menu.
- 71 -
Permanently Mounted Scopes
For permanently mounted telescopes, it is not necessary to have more than one
model unless the weight and balance of auxiliary equipment introduces balance or
flexure changes that significantly affect pointing. The best practice is to train the Smart
Mount and then run a couple of sessions with Update enabled. Thereafter, simply
leave Smart Mount On as the installation default.
Other Menus Options
Save As and Load
The Smart Mount system allows you to save several models you have created
(see T RAINING on the previous page) using the Save As command. Choose which
model will be the “Current Model” using the Load command.
Update
The Update mode allows you to update training for the current model you have
enabled. You will sync on several stars as previously described, which will further
refine the pointing of your telescope. Save your model after running in update mode,
otherwise the update will be lost when the telescope is powered off.
On
Load a model from memory (see SAVE AS AND LOAD above) and then Select Smart On.
When Smart Mount is “On”, the telescope will use the currently loaded model to refine
you telescope’s pointing, but will not update the model (see S MART MOUNT UPDATE
above). If Smart Mount was “On” when you last powered off your telescope, it will be
“On” when you start the next session.
Off
When Smart Mount is “Off”, the telescope will not use any model you have created to
refine pointing accuracy.
Erase
The Erase command clears the Current Smart Mount table values to allow a new
model to be created.
Delete
The Delete command allows you to delete any model from memory. To delete a
model, just scroll through the names and select the model to you wish to delete and
press ENTER. You will be asked to confirm your choice. Press ENTER again and it
will be removed from memory.
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APPENDIX J:
Previous Model Standard Tripod
Setup
!
1.
Remove the field tripod from the shipping carton.
Stand the tripod vertically with the tripod feet
down and with the tripod still fully collapsed.
Grasp two of the tripod legs and, with the full
weight of the tripod on the third leg, gently pull the
legs apart to a fully open position.
4.
"
Remove the spreader bar (see above figure) from
the shipping carton. Slide the spreader bar onto
the threaded rod and position the rod back
through the tripod head. Place the “C” clip into the
slot in the threaded rod – this clip holds the
threaded rod in place. Position the spreader bar
so that its three arms line up with the three
tripod legs.
%
2.
Thread in two lock-knobs on each leg (six total)
near the foot of each tripod leg. Use the lockknobs to vary the height of the inner, extendible
tripod leg sections. Tighten the locks to a firm feel
only; do not overtighten.
#
Threaded
Rod
“C” Clip
5.
3.
Remove the threaded rod (see above figure) from
the tripod head. A small piece of plastic holds the
threaded rod in place. Remove the small plastic
bag that is stapled to the threaded rod. This bag
contains the “C” clip retainer and an extra clip.
Take the LX200 from its packaging and place the
entire telescope onto the top of the tripod head,
inserting the threaded rod into the central hole in
the bottom of the drive base of the telescope.
Tighten the tension knob (see above figure) to a
firm feel only; firm tightening of the tension knob is
sufficient to result in rigid positioning of the
tripod legs.
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BASIC ASTRONOMY
In the early 17th century Italian Scientist Galileo, using a telescope smaller than your
LX200-ACF, turned it skyward instead of looking at the distant trees and mountains.
What he saw, and what he realized about what he saw, has forever changed the way
mankind thinks about the universe. Imagine what it must have been like being the first
human to see moons revolve around the planet Jupiter or to see the changing phases
of Venus! Because of his observations, Galileo correctly realized Earth’s movement
and position around the Sun, and in doing so, gave birth to modern astronomy. Yet
Galileo’s telescope was so crude, he could not clearly make out the rings
of Saturn.
Fig. 63: The Moon. Note the deep
shadows in the craters.
Galileo’s discoveries laid the foundation for understanding the motion and nature of
the planets, stars, and galaxies. Building on his foundation, Henrietta Leavitt
determined how to measure the distance to stars, Edwin Hubble gave us a glimpse
into the possible origin of the universe, Albert Einstein unraveled the crucial
relationship of time and light, and 21st-century astronomers are currently discovering
planets around stars outside our solar system. Almost daily, using sophisticated
successors to Galileo’s telescope, such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the
Chandra X-Ray Telescope, more and more mysteries of the universe are being
probed and understood. We are living in the golden age of astronomy.
Unlike other sciences, astronomy welcomes contributions from amateurs. Much of the
knowledge we have on subjects such as comets, meteor showers, double and
variable stars, the Moon, and our solar system comes from observations made by
amateur astronomers. So as you look through your Meade LX200-ACF telescope,
keep in mind Galileo. To him, a telescope was not merely a machine made of glass
and metal, but something far more—a window of incredible discovery.
AutoStar II Glossary
Be sure to make use of AutoStar II’s Glossary feature. The Glossary menu provides
an alphabetical listing of definitions and descriptions of common astronomical terms.
Access directly through the Glossary menu or through hypertext words embedded in
AutoStar II. See GLOSSARY MENU, page 28, for more information.
Fig. 64: The planet Jupiter. Jupiter’s
four largest moons can be observed
in a different position every night.
Objects in Space
Listed below are some of the many astronomical objects that can be seen with
your LX200-ACF:
The Moon
The Moon is, on average, a distance of 239,000 miles (380,000km) from Earth and is
best observed during its crescent or half phase when Sunlight strikes the Moon’s
surface at an angle. It casts shadows and adds a sense of depth to the view (Fig. 63).
No shadows are seen during a full Moon, causing the overly bright Moon to appear
flat and rather uninteresting through the telescope. Be sure to use a neutral Moon
filter when observing the Moon. Not only does it protect your eyes from the bright
glare of the Moon, but it also helps enhance contrast, providing a more dramatic
image.
Using your LX200-ACF, brilliant detail can be observed on the Moon, including
hundreds of lunar craters and maria, described below.
Craters are round meteor impact sites covering most of the Moon’s surface. With no
atmosphere on the Moon, no weather conditions exist, so the only erosive force is
meteor strikes. Under these conditions, lunar craters can last for millions of years.
Fig. 65: Saturn has the most
extensive ring structure in our Solar
System.
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Maria (plural for mare) are smooth, dark areas scattered across the lunar surface.
These dark areas are large ancient impact basins that were filled with lava from the
interior of the Moon by the depth and force of a meteor or comet impact.
Twelve Apollo astronauts left their bootprints on the Moon in the late 1960’s and early
1970’s. However, no telescope on Earth is able to see these footprints or any other
artifacts. In fact, the smallest lunar features that may be seen with the largest
telescope on Earth are about one-half mile across.
Tip:
Enter a date in the Date
menu and you can
determine if a planet(s) will
be visible during the night
of the entered date by
checking its rise and set
times.
Planets
Planets change positions in the sky as they orbit around the Sun. To locate the planets
on a given day or month, consult a monthly astronomy magazine, such as Sky and
Telescope or Astronomy. You can also consult AutoStar II for information about
planets. Scroll to the “Object: Solar System” menu and scroll through the lists of
planets. When a planet you are interested in displays, press ENTER. Use the Scroll
keys to display information about the planet, such as the planet’s coordinates, and the
rise and set times. Listed below are the best planets for viewing through the LX200ACF.
Venus is about nine-tenths the diameter of Earth. As Venus orbits the Sun, observers
can see it go through phases (crescent, half, and full) much like those of the Moon.
The disk of Venus appears white as Sunlight is reflected off the thick cloud cover that
completely obscures any surface detail.
Mars is about half the diameter of Earth, and appears through the telescope as a tiny
reddish-orange disk. It may be possible to see a hint of white at one of the planet’s
polar ice caps. Approximately every two years, when Mars is closest to Earth in its
orbit, additional detail and coloring on the planet’s surface may be visible.
Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system and is 11 times the diameter of Earth.
Jupiter (Fig. 66) appears as a disk with dark lines stretching across the surface.
These lines are cloud bands in the atmosphere. Four of Jupiter’s moons (Io, Europa,
Ganymede, and Callisto) can be seen as “star-like” points of light when using even
the lowest magnification. These moons orbit Jupiter so that the number of moons
visible on any given night changes as they circle around the giant planet.
Fig. 66: A favorite winter sight—the
great nebula in Orion.
Fig. 67: The Pleiades is one of the
most beautiful open clusters.
Saturn is nine times the diameter of Earth and appears as a small, round disk with
rings extending out from either side (Fig. 65). In 1610, Galileo, the first person to
observe Saturn through a telescope, did not understand that what he was seeing
were rings. Instead, he believed that Saturn had “ears”. Saturn’s rings are composed
of billions of ice particles ranging in size from a speck of dust to the size of a house.
The major division in Saturn’s rings, called the Cassini Division, is occasionally visible
through the LX200-ACF. Titan, the largest of Saturn’s moons can also be seen as a
bright, star-like object near the planet.
Deep-Sky Objects
Star charts can be used to locate constellations, individual stars and deep-sky
objects. Examples of just some of the deep-sky objects you’ll be able to observe with
your LX200-ACF are given below:
Stars are large gaseous objects that are self-illuminated by nuclear fusion in their
core. Because of their vast distances from our solar system, all stars appear as
pinpoints of light, irrespective of the size of the telescope used.
Nebulae are vast interstellar clouds of gas and dust where stars are formed. Most
impressive of these is the Great Nebula in Orion (M42) (Fig. 66), a diffuse nebula that
appears as a faint wispy gray cloud. M42 is 1600 light years from Earth.
Open Clusters are loose groupings of young stars, all recently formed from the same
diffuse nebula. The Pleiades is an open cluster 410 light years away (Fig. 67).
Through the LX200-ACF, numerous stars are visible.
Constellations are large, imaginary patterns of stars believed by ancient civilizations
to be the celestial equivalent of objects, animals, people, or gods. These patterns are
too large to be seen through a telescope. To learn the constellations, start with an
easy grouping of stars, such as the Big Dipper in Ursa Major. Then, use a star chart
to explore across the sky.
Fig. 68: The Andromeda Galaxy, the
largest galaxy of our local group.
Galaxies are large assemblies of stars, nebulae, and star clusters that are bound by
gravity. The most common shape is spiral (such as our own Milky Way), but galaxies
can also be elliptical, or even irregular blobs. The Andromeda Galaxy (M31) (Fig. 68)
is the closest spiral-type galaxy to our own. This galaxy appears fuzzy and cigarshaped. It is 2.2 million light years away in the constellation Andromeda, located
between the large “W” of Cassiopeia and the great square of Pegasus.
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MEADE LIMITED WARRANTY
Every Meade telescope, spotting scope, and telescope accessory is warranted by Meade Instruments Corporation (“Meade”)
to be free of defects in materials and workmanship for a period of ONE YEAR from the date of original purchase in the U.S.A.
and Canada. Meade will repair or replace a product, or part thereof, found by Meade to be defective, provided the defective
part is returned to Meade, freight-prepaid, with proof of purchase. This warranty applies to the original purchaser only and is
non-transferable. Meade products purchased outside North America are not included in this warranty, but are covered under
separate warranties issued by Meade international distributors.
RGA Number Required: Prior to the return of any product or part, a Return Goods Authorization (RGA) number must be
obtained from Meade by writing, or calling (800) 626-3233. Each returned part or product must include a written statement
detailing the nature of the claimed defect, as well as the owner’s name, address, and phone number.
This warranty is not valid in cases where the product has been abused or mishandled, where unauthorized repairs have been
attempted or performed, or where depreciation of the product is due to normal wear-and-tear. Meade specifically disclaims
special, indirect, or consequential damages or lost profit which may result from a breach of this warranty. Any implied warranties
which cannot be disclaimed are hereby limited to a term of one year from the date of original retail purchase.
This warranty gives you specific rights. You may have other rights which vary from state to state.
Meade reserves the right to change product specifications or to discontinue products without notice.
This warranty supercedes all previous Meade product warranties.
14-7206-02 0309
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