Meade 8" Cass fork mount alternative?
Posted 19 March 2011 - 11:38 PM
I just bought a vintage Meade Quartz 8" (I think it's a LX3 or LX5) and the mount is not functioning.
The tripod is fine, it's just the motor doesn't move anything, I can hear it working, but no movement.
It's a nice scope and I just need a working mount, as it's too big and heavy to move manually and track objects, it doesn't need to be a goto.
Do I need to to look for the same old system, or is there any other compatible alternative? I don't want to buy a $1000 mount when I bought the whole thing for $700, I'm looking at anything up to $100-200.
Thanks in advance
Posted 20 March 2011 - 12:48 AM
It might be hard to find a driven mount inside $200, but I think you can find out not far outside your expected price.
You should check out the classifieds section here at Cloudy Nights, sometimes people do sell fork-mounts without the OTA and that might be a direct solution for you. You can also put a Wanted add in for a 8" fork. Astromart is another good location to look for used astro equipment. Even check your local craigslist... sometimes you can get lucky there for astro gear too!
As an alternative you might consider moving to an Equatorial mount such as the Celestron CG-5, Skywatcher EQ5, Meade LXD-75, Orion Skyview Pro, or Vixen Polaris series mount (all these mounts are very similar to each other). Those mounts show up often on the used market, and especially the older non-goto models can be quite a good price. To use such a mount you will need to add a dovetail bar to your scope, but that is easy enough as ADM has a dovetail for the 8" meade SCT.
For new mounts the Celestron Omni CG-4 is available on sale right now. That is without a drive though so if you want the mount to be driven you would have to add the drive into your cost considerations.
Hope that helps.
Posted 20 March 2011 - 12:51 AM
But before taking it apart... is there a clutch or some sort that is not engaged? I do not know those LX3/LX5 mounts (or any LX mount!) so I do not know such a thing exists, I am just guessing there may be.
Posted 20 March 2011 - 12:58 AM
The only thing the motor drive on that will do is track in RA. I never had motors for goto. You moved it manually (even the CAT drive one ) and it tracked in RA via the quartz drive. It may be working. Just had the clutches and manual knobs for dec and ra movement. LX200 was their first actual goto scope I think. It did have a hand control that slowed and advanced the RA drive for assisted guiding sorta. And there may have been a DEC motor for the same. I can't remember. I know my original C8 had the dec motor.
It's all too long ago.
Posted 20 March 2011 - 10:07 AM
Also, post a picture of the telescope board in order to be proper identified.
Your second option is to buy a fork LX-50 I saw it couples days ago for $225 on astromart. Classified #716440
Posted 21 March 2011 - 11:07 PM
I believe it's a LX3 (based on a label on the AC Adapter box) but I'll post some pictures so you guys can tell me for sure.
Posted 21 March 2011 - 11:26 PM