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Posts Made By: Joe Ramacciotti

June 28, 2002 05:22 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Meade Manual Needed

Posted By Joe Ramacciotti


I am looking for the manual for the Meade LX5 10" scope. I am interested in the hand controller functions specifically. If you know where I can find one please let me know.

Thanks for your help!


July 20, 2002 01:02 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Advice on Mount

Posted By Joe Ramacciotti

Hello All!

I would like to know what would be a good mount for CCD imaging? I would like to get something that would accommodate an 8 to 10” SCT, but also a 5” refractor. I would like to stay under 4,000 for the mount, digital setting circles, and electronics. Any suggestions would be helpful!

Thanks for your help.


August 24, 2002 08:23 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Initial Report On The 10” LX200PGS

Posted By Joe Ramacciotti

Hello All.

I just received my new 10” LX200GPS and want to share my findings with you. I have owned the scope for 2 days now so I will tell you how the two nights went.

The scope went together easily. I purchased a scope saver tray, which I highly recommend. Per Meade’s recommendations I updated the software to 1.3t. I had two issues: First, one of the plastic screws that hold/adjust the finder scope was missing (Meade has some on the way). Second, there are some minor nicks on the lower part of one fork tine. Some have been touched up with paint and some have not. I will be contacting Meade to see if that can do something for me.

The first night was a complete disaster. I’ll make it this short and sweet. Operator error was the culprit. Failing to train the drives resulted in difficulty aligning the scope and being considerably off on the GOTO accuracy.

The second day I trained the drives @ 277X. Once out under the stars I powered up the scope and let the GPS and the automatic alignment do their thing. After the “Alignment Successful” message it was the moment of truth. I selected M13 and off went the scope. I looked through the eyepiece to find that beautiful cluster of stars centered in the FOV. Next M57, dead center, M92, dead center, M31, well you get the picture. All of the objects were either dead center of just a tad off center. . I spent several hours letting the scope do all the work, and frankly I enjoyed it. Just a note, I used a 35MM & a 18MM E.P for the alignment process. Also, I used the 18MM E.P. for all the GoTo slews.

The optics are astonishing, although, they did require a slight collimation adjustment. At 350X and 500X the inside and outside of focus patterns were virtually identical. Textbook patterns indeed.

Looking at the moon I took the scope up to 500X and was amazed at how sharp the images were. I quickly grew eager to push the scope even further so I added a 2X Barlow. A single crater, Gum, was in the FOV and using the micro focuser I achieve a very sharp, crisp image of the crater at 1000X! I am not sure if this is typical, but I believe the enormous amount of light coming from the moon makes this possible. I would like to hear from other users if they achieved similar results.

In general, the scope performs like a champ! I am very impressed with the accuracy of the scope, but even more so with the optical quality. I found reading the user groups messages extremely valuable. This is where I found most of the information to make the second night a success. For the new LX200 owners, take your time to read the manual and ask for some help!

In a nutshell… two thumbs up!


August 25, 2002 07:12 AM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Flip Mirror System Help!

Posted By Joe Ramacciotti

Thanks for reading and helping!

I have a question pertaining to the Meade #647 2” flip mirror system. I am accustom to taking CCD images with an F6.3 or F3.3 focal reducer attached directly to the rear cell of my F10 SCT and in turn attaching the CCD camera to the focal reducer via short extension tubes.

If I use the flip mirror system, between the focal reducer and the camera, the distance between the reducer and camera would be over 3 times the distance opposed to not using the flip mirror system. What will happen to the f-ratio? Should I put the flip mirror system on first, then the focal reducer and finally the camera?

I am planning on getting the 2” flip mirror system, but wanted to investigate this prior to spending the money.

Thanks for all you help!


November 7, 2002 08:27 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

M42 First Light!

Posted By Joe Ramacciotti

Hello All.

This is my first post in the particular forum. Also, this is my first image ever of M42. Focus needs to be better, but all in all, not too bad… More to come!

Equipment: LX200 10”, ST-237, @ F3.3.

Exposures: 5 sec Red, 5 Sec Grn, 5 Sec Blue, 5 Sec Lum.


December 10, 2002 12:55 PM Forum: Home Observatories

Pier Plans and recommendations

Posted By Joe Ramacciotti


I plan to install a pier soon, to support my 10” LX200, with a structure of sorts to cover the entire assembly. I have a friend with all the necessary equipment to fabricate the pier, so I am looking for plans/guidelines suitable for my needs (cement pad dimensions, metal thickness, etc.). The possibility of using a larger scope is highly possible, so I do want to build the pier to accommodate the larger SCT.

Also, I will be using the Meade Super wedge.

Thanks for all your help.

December 15, 2002 03:27 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Focusing on Planets.. Help Needed

Posted By Joe Ramacciotti

Hello All!

I have having trouble achieving good focus when imaging plants. Last night I tried and tried...

Currently, I am using the pixel saturation method within CCDOPS. I’ve tried focusing on the planet itself, and on their moons. I do admit, for my first time imaging plants the results are promising, but nothing I would write home about. Should I focus on a nearby star perhaps?

I am using a 10" LX200, an ST-237 (with the color wheel) and an APO Barlow. No eyepiece projection.

Please advise.

Thanks for you replies!


December 16, 2002 08:05 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

First Planetary Image

Posted By Joe Ramacciotti


Here is my first ever planetary image. I have never imaged any planets until two nights ago. Although the focus and the image scale could be better, it's not too shabby. I have plans for my next session so I can improve my techniques. Let me know what you think.

Image: 10" LX200 @ F20, 12 x 1/100 sec.

December 20, 2002 07:25 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Philips Vesta Pro

Posted By Joe Ramacciotti

Can anyone tell me what the configuration is using a Philips Vesta Pro camera? Do you remove the chip and electronics and put it in a makeshift case as to fit the diagonal? Or do you leave it as is and use the chip/lens assembly?

Thanks for your time.

December 26, 2002 09:18 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

BORG 50 F5

Posted By Joe Ramacciotti


I am looking to purchase a Borg 50 F5 scope to do some wide field CCD imaging with an ST-237 camera.

The reason I am considering this scope is the wide FOV with the scope/imager combo.

For those who have used one, can you tell me about the optical quality of the scope? Pros/Cons?

Thanks for your time.