LX200 mount

The mount's drive base is made of heavy-duty die-cast aluminum, as are the dual fork arms that support the optical tube. The fork arms are shaped to damp vibrations quickly. There is a carrying handle on each fork arm. An adjustable bracket to hold the Autostar computer hand control can be attached to either carry handle, for convenient hands-free viewing of the computer display and operation by either a right-handed or left-handed observer. Both manual and electric slow motion controls are provided in both right ascension and declination. Analog setting circles are provided on the mount (5" in declination and 8.75" in right ascension), in addition to the digital r.a. and dec readouts on the Autostar computer hand control. The drive base has a 7-port multi-function control panel, including two RS-232 serial interface ports for communication with an external computer and other ancillary equipment.

The mount includes servo-controlled 12VDC slewing and tracking motors with 5.75" worm gear drives in both altitude and azimuth. The declination axis is supported by three 1.83" diameter ball bearings. Two ball bearings (one 4" and one 2.25") provide smooth motion in right ascension. The drive system has 185 individually selectable drive speeds in both right ascension and declination to permit observatory-level precision in tracking, guiding, and slewing. You can choose from 0.01x to 1.0x sidereal, variable in 0.01x increments; 2x, 8x, 16x, 64x, or 128x the sidereal rate; as well as 1°/sec. to 8°/sec., variable in 0.1° increments. You can select either a sidereal or lunar tracking rate, or you can custom-select a drive speed from 2000 incremental rates to match solar or planetary motions.

The scope is powered by eight user-supplied C-cell batteries that fit into the fork arms. You don't need an external battery pack or AC power supply as you do with competitive GPS scopes. Battery life is typically about 20 hours in warm weather, decreasing as the amount of slewing increases or as the temperature drops. Optional adapters (with 25' cords) are available to allow you to power the scope from 110-120 volt 60 Hz AC household current in your back yard to conserve battery life, or to power the scope from your car's cigarette lighter plug or a rechargeable battery for extended use in the field.

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