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Dead LXD75 AutoStar hand box

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#1 DBA52

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 11:41 AM

I've owned an LXD75 mount for a little over a year now, and the only trouble I've had with it was a defective dec motor which Meade promptly replaced.
Now, however, when I turn on the on switch on the mount, the AutoStar hand box does not light up and nothing happens.

My question is whether there is anything I can do short of replacing the hand box to get it running again.

#2 zjc26138

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 12:01 PM

The same thing happened to me when I had an LXD75. I thought that it was the power source, but it was not. I ended sending it back to Meade and they sent me a new controller.

#3 DBA52

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 02:43 PM

Since it wasn't under warranty anymore, Meade would not replace it or exchange it, and they do not repair hand boxes. So I have to buy another one.

#4 zjc26138

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 02:46 PM

My was only 2 months old when it broke. You should be able to find a used controller on AM or the CN shop and swap for around 100.00 or so.

#5 jrcrilly

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 02:46 PM

Now, however, when I turn on the on switch on the mount, the AutoStar hand box does not light up and nothing happens.

My question is whether there is anything I can do short of replacing the hand box to get it running again.


Does the red light on the mount come on?

#6 DBA52

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 03:35 PM

Yes, it does.

#7 Brian Risley

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 09:49 PM

This could be just a 'lost' controller. Recommend you check out Weasner's ETX site, a lot of info there. There is also a hard reset you can do on the controller internally, a bit complicated, but I have done it to one. Also check the roboscope Yahoo group. Dick (Autostaretx) over there does the mods to the autostar for different mounts and configs and he may be able to help you out in diagnosing it. Could just need a reload and that can sometimes be initiated by a key sequence on power up. You would need a serial cable to connect and they are easy to make if you don't already have one. You can easily buy one too.
Brian

#8 Jerry3672

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 08:44 PM

Dave- Does the hand box beep? If so then the LED may be broken. I droped mine on the floor and killed the LED. It still works, i just can't read the display. I can run it from the laptop with remote handbox under autostat suite.

#9 DBA52

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 08:38 AM

Thanks to all who responded. in answer to your question, Jerry, the hand box did not beep or do anything.

Now the latest. I ordered a new hand box, and it arrived in about five days. I plugged in the new hand box, turned on the mount, and the new hand box turned on. Not wanting to go through entering all the settings, I turned off the mount and took the new hand box out. Just for the heck of it, I put the old hand box in, turned on the mount, and it came on. I've used the old hand box several times now, and it is just fine, with go-to's as before, and good tracking. I'll probably return the new hand box for a refund.

I'm wondering now if some moisture had condensed inside the socket. Or is there perhaps a chip inside the mount that the new hand box reset?

#10 BCB

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 09:10 AM

May want to consider holding onto the new controller as a backup. You know the original one is acting up. What happens if your out in the boonies observing and your mount goes dead ? It shuts you down totally.

With a backup, your up and running in about 5 mins.

Costly insurance, but better to have it and not need it, than to need it, and not have it.

#11 Brian Risley

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 08:51 AM

Did you use the same cable, or the new cable from the handbox to the mount? Maybe a cable problem.
Brian

#12 DBA52

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 03:41 PM

I have not exchanged cables--I use the old cable with the old hand box. Go figure!

#13 Brian Risley

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 08:43 PM

I have seen the pins pop out on the connector and get hung where they don't make good contact, maybe that happened and it popped back in when you tried the new one.
Brian

#14 DBA52

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 06:25 AM

I recharged the Black and Decker Jumpstarter (my power source) as I had done just before the hand box went out last time. The old hand box went on when I plugged it in. I turned the mount off and proceeded to mount the telescope. Once mounted, the old hand box would not come on again. The new hand box worked, however.

Whatever the cause is, I suspect it has to do with recharging the power source. It was not the cable, as I took the new cable from the new hand box, and while it worked with the new hand box, it wouldn't with the old one (at least not last night).

#15 BCB

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 05:03 PM

Have you tried wiggling the connector ends? I've found that when they wiggle in the socket, they can tend to loose their connection, even when they shouldn't. I've had to use small strips of paper on the sides of the plugs to keep them from shifting oin the connectors.

As far as the power source, I'd check the plug with a meter to see what kind of power your getting.

You may even have a short at one end or the other, of the power cord.

#16 DBA52

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 05:08 PM

The power cord is loose--if you wiggle it, the power goes out. But that was not the problem here. The power stayed on, as indicated by the red light. But the
old hand box wouldn't work while the new one would.

#17 DBA52

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 06:43 PM

Now the old hand box works again, and the new one requires resetting in order for it to point in the right direction (as opposed to pointing in the opposite direction).






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