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Zero image shift focuser replacement gear?

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#1 tommax

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 10:04 AM

Hi,

Anyone know where I could round up a replacement gear for the Meade #07080 Zero Image shift focuser? I called Meade and had my usual luck with that... they don't sell parts... would be a shame to toss a $250 focuser over a .25 plastic gear... Attached is an image of what I am looking for, the little white plastic gear.

Thanks!

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#2 tim57064

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 07:08 PM

Try astro parts outlet. www.astronomy-mall.com/astro.parts.outlet/ He has quite a number of parts. Call and ask him.

#3 tommax

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 07:37 PM

just called him... no luck.

#4 Lorence

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 07:53 PM

Google your brains out. I went looking for some machine parts and found all sorts of sites selling small gears and doing custom machining for a reasonable price.

jonsavelle@yahoo.com made some brass components for me. Send him an email.

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#5 tommax

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:30 PM

Thanks for the suggestion, I have been trying google and have seen plenty that look like it but I don't really know the size or gear count so if someone here knew that or possible had a part number that would have been far better than me guessing at it. Really would be nice to get more help / aid from the MFG though...

#6 nitegeezer

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 10:16 PM

I can't say the size but looking at the photo I would say there are 17 teeth remaining with the ground of portion being a 2-3-2 so that would make it a 24 tooth gear. There is enough of the teeth left to get a good measure of the diameter and then the only questions are the thickness and the center hole or spline.

#7 tommax

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 11:02 PM

Thanks nitegeezer... would be a good name for me... I recently had surgery on my right eye and have been having issues seeing small things, that gets me a bit closer to finding a suitable replacement. I am going to pickup a digital micrometer tomorrow to help me with the width, thickness and spline.

#8 Digital Don

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 11:03 PM

Check your local hobby store's R/C section.

Radio controlled cars use various small gears in the drive train. You might just get lucky!

If not, you can find just about any gear here.

Don:usa:

#9 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:59 AM

Maybe try Stock Drive Products.

http://www.sdp-si.com/

I could machine a new one for you from Delrin, aluminum or brass but the labor cost to hand-machine a new gear from raw stock would be several hundred dollars.

Have you asked Meade about getting it repaired if you send it to them?

#10 tommax

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 10:41 AM

Thanks Christopher,

I called Meade and the person I spoke to did not even know what I was talking about, I never got to the point of speaking about sending it in and they don't sell parts... I don't know how a company can sell things that cost as much as a car or ATV etc but not sell parts... it is a strange policy to me... anyways I am going to do more checking today.

#11 ahopp

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 12:46 PM

I do not believe Ford would sell parts to an individual. You would have to take it to a service center for Ford vehicles.

You can, however, buy parts at an auto-parts store, not affiliated with Ford.

Having said this, I still wish Meade would sell parts.

Tony

#12 tommax

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 03:24 PM

I have purchased parts at my Ford dealer before... don't know about other mfg...

#13 tommax

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 04:27 PM

Well if anyone who knows more about this, I picked up the digital caliper, It is a cheap one and I am sure it is not 100% accurate but I am posting an image with the sizes I measured in case someone knows where I could order one.

Thanks again.

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#14 OleCuss

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 11:09 AM

I just want to endorse the idea that you can frequently buy parts for other gear.

You can go into almost any dealership and buy parts for the autos they sell. You just go to the "Parts" counter. If they don't have it, they'll try to order it for you.

You can also go to most farm equipment dealers and do the same.

I find it actually kind of weird that you cannot generally buy certain parts from Meade. Especially since you at least used to be able to buy certain other "parts".

I bought a 497 hand box/controller from Meade a while back. You could not find it in a catalog of any kind because it was considered a "part" so you had to call them and order it. It was the cheapest way to buy that 497.

#15 nitegeezer

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 11:47 AM

I don't think these comparisons are fair. I can't count the number of auto dealers in the area, but I know I have to drive at least 400 miles to get to a good astronomy store with any brand of equipment. In addition, there are after market auto parts stores everywhere.

There is not a large market for parts otherwise the after market people would have jumped in. If there is not enough to support an after market company that could support multiple brands, how can we expect a company parts program that supports only one brand could survive. I would like Meade to sell parts also, but I understand the huge commitment that a parts program requires. I hope they can achieve a sufficient profit to stay in business without a parts program.

#16 flintzis

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:34 PM

Hey there Tom,

I have checked the thread you posted here and went through my parts bin. I have
a couple of gears from the gearbox of the RA drive of an ETX-90EC. It did seem
to match, and I even went through the trouble of taking my own micro focuser
apart to have a look at the gear and compare it to the one I have as a spare. It
does fit onto the axle, and the measurements are the exact same as those on the
cloudy nights thread. However, there are gears onto the axle just as they appear
on the picture I am now posting on the cloudy nights thread. Guess with a
little bit of modification it could fit your microfocuser. I really don't know
how it attaches to the microfocuser shaft, but to tell you the truth I did not
want to go further into disassembling mine as I may end up in a most unfortunate
position. You can have the gear for free, just send me a private message with
your address and I will post it out to you.

Phivos

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#17 flintzis

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:38 PM

And another picture

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#18 nitegeezer

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:51 PM

I have been wondering how that gear was used as it did appear that the center was smooth on the shaft. With a gear on the back side it makes total sense as this gear would not need splines, it just floats on the axle. If the one on the focuser is also a double gear, it looks like this would provide a simple gear reduction of 1.5:1.

Good Luck

#19 tommax

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:32 PM

nitegeezer,

here is an image of how it all goes together. The shaft in the image is the motor shaft.

flintzis,

Thanks! for the offer- PM sent.

#20 tommax

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:33 PM

Sorry forgot to preview to upload image...

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#21 tommax

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:44 PM

I doubt highly it would cost Meade very much at all to provide parts to people, after all they have all the parts and what would it require? To keep some in bins, how about at least providing schematics for their products? Again on the parts... if this was a new scope (which it is not but the same microfocusers are still in use new) I would have to send them the entire scope to get it fixed according to what support told me, how is that good business? Personally I have only had Meade scopes dabbling on and off in the hobby for 15 years or so and really had only a few issue's but did have another problem getting a part which I was able to solve 3rd party but honestly this has pretty much made me decide that next year when I upgrade to a larger scope it will be a C11 instead of an LX 10 or 12"... Now don't get me wrong, I love my little 8" LX200GPS but I would think even that 1 sale of me getting a C11 will cost them more than sending me this .10 part if they simply made them available.

#22 nitegeezer

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:44 PM

If the gear goes directly on the motor shaft, there needs to be a spline or keeper of some kind. Your latest photo looks like the shaft has one flat side to work as a keeper. The double gear shown above may need to be modified to operate.

My bigger concern after seeing this last picture is why did the original gear fail in this manner. I would manually turn that large gear through it's full range to determine if it ever gets in a bind. Normally when I see a gear failure, if it is the drive gear it shows on all teeth, and if it is a driven gear it shows only a small portion being damaged. This case is the exact opposite so I hope you can determine why it failed.

#23 tommax

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:49 PM

nitegeezer...

The shaft is smooth and if you look closely at the silver "ring" which fits over the plastic gear, there is a set screw, the silver ring fits over a lip on the plastic gear and the setscrew goes right through the plastic gear to make contact with the motor shaft, the motor shaft is smooth...

I did test the larger gear and it seems to work fine, I bought this scope from a young adult who I think did not read the manuals and I think he ran the focuser past it's stop which the micro focuser will let you do and he ground the gear out that way...

#24 nitegeezer

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:59 PM

Don't get me wrong, I would prefer if Meade sold parts also but I do understand the issue.

Let us assume that they have orders for and want to build 100 of a particular scope. They are already struggling so do they buy 105 of each part from their supplier and eat the inventory cost and space, or do they order just what they need and when a part order comes in they ship a part that would have gone on a new scope and delay getting that scope to a dealer until they have another part order. Since these parts are in low demand, I have not heard of a large number of these gears failing, being a parts supplier adds a lot to their overhead. Now providing schematics would be fantastic, as that would make it much easier for individuals and may also stimulate the after market shops. Unfortunately many businesses are looking only short term, if they were looking long term parts sales would make more sense. So I agree with all of your points, but I have been on the other side also.

#25 nitegeezer

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 03:05 PM

It looks like we are typing over each other!!

It sounds like you have looked at all the possibilities, and I am going to be much more careful with my focuser now. It is so easy when it is dark to just go until the sound changes, but that sounds like it is bad news. I had always assumed that there was a clutch of some kind that would allow for a little slippage but it does not sound like this is the case. I have tried to be careful with mine but I know I have hit the end of travel more than once.

Good Luck






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