LX90 GPS mount

The mount's drive base is made of die-cast aluminum. The light-weight, but rigid, die-cast aluminum dual fork arms are shaped to damp vibrations quickly. There is a carrying handle on each fork arm. Both manual and electric slow motion controls are provided for both right ascension and declination. In addition to the digital readout of the scope's aiming point in right ascension and declination on the AutoStar computer hand control, there are analog setting circles on the mount (5" in declination and 8.75" in right ascension). The drive base has a 4-port control panel, including two RS-232 serial interface ports for communication with an external computer and other ancillary equipment.

A 16-channel Sony GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver is built into the top of one of the fork arms. When the scope is turned on, the GPS receiver locks onto the network of orbiting GPS satellites to determine your observing location's latitude, longitude, date, and time. It uses this information to tell the scope's AutoStar computer where and when on earth the scope is located. Once the computer has this information, it orients the scope to the sky and slews at 6.5 degrees per second to the first of two alignment stars. If that star is not precisely centered in the finderscope or main scope optics, a touch or two on the Autostar hand control's directional push buttons quickly centers it. Do the same with the second alignment star the scope moves to and the scope is then accurately aligned on the sky and ready to locate and track any celestial object you choose.

The mount includes servo-controlled 12VDC slewing and tracking motors with 4.9" worm gear drives in both altitude and azimuth. The drive system has individually selectable drive speeds in both right ascension and declination - 6.5°/sec, 3°/sec, and 1.5°/sec for slewing and centering; as well as 128x, 64x, 16x, 8x, and 2x the sidereal rate for centering and astrophotographic guiding. In addition, there are standard solar, lunar, and sidereal tracking rates with 2000 precision-selected incremental rates that permit observatory-level precision in tracking the Moon and planets.

The scope is powered by eight user-supplied C-cell batteries that store in the drive base so you can use the LX90 in the field or your backyard without the need for a separate battery pack or AC power supply. The usable life of the batteries is up to 60 hours, depending on the ambient temperature (colder temperatures reduce usable battery life). An optional #RCXAC adapter is available to allow you to power the scope from 110-120volt 60Hz AC household current in your backyard to conserve battery life. An optional #607 cigarette lighter plug cable is available to power the scope from your car's cigarette lighter plug or from a rechargeable battery for extended use in the field.

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