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Zero image shift focuser replacement gear?

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#26 tommax

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 03:20 PM

I read a tip on the microfocuser when I bought a new 10" GPS back in around '02 and it has worked well....

Before each time out using the hand controller have it move all the way in 1 direction, watching and listening for it to hit it's end point, then hold the button going in the other direction while counting (for both it was about 25 seconds on slow or fine I cannot remember)... then go back in the other direction while counting to 1/2 the total you came up with (for me this was about 12 or 12)... now even if you control it remotely via pc like I do (remote desktop)... I can just count while using the focuser and I just jot down each time I touch it... kinda a pain at time but not hard at all to do and like most things simple... it works!

On the other note on Meade and parts... I understand as well what you are saying, but honestly who is going to spend $1,500 to $xxx thousands if the company does not even have replacement parts? It is a way bad move for them, honestly they should have people there smart enough to find that happy medium, so instead of ordering 100 parts, order 125 on some things... they need to figure that out and adjust their pricing... I hope they survive too and figuring that out will help them greatly once the economy (if it ever does) starts to recover in a real way...

#27 nitegeezer

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 03:37 PM

Your tip on the microfocuser is a good one, but I have another problem. I do outreach with both schools and scouts. In the past I have allowed kids to focus to their eyes with the microfocuser, this way I did not have the problem of a kid using the course focus and putting force on the scope and causing another type of failure. During that time I don't know if they are going in or out, and while I listen, very rarely have I had to stop a kid as they hit the limit of travel. I may have to rethink this having seen your failure, or maybe I need to find a good source for those gears!! :lol:

Good luck with yours, I hope you can find what you need.

#28 tommax

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 04:39 PM

Thanks...

I don't think you have to worry to much as you can tell by the sound when it gets to it's end, and to me it does not look like it hurts it at all to have it hit it's "end" for a second or 2, I honestly think the guy I bought the scope from got angry and throttled the thing... he said he could not get the scope collimated and when I got it, it was way out of whack, but it took me about 5 minutes to get it collimated... the scopes looked brand new in every other way. I think he bought it, got frustrated and ruined the gear not knowing... I could be wrong but I would bet money it happened something like that.

#29 Mike7Mak

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 04:46 PM

The 'halfway' point for the microfocuser is when the thumbscrews are even with the end of the outer barrel. There is as much travel out of the slots as there is into the slots.

I would gladly pay $800 to $1500 more (depending on scope size) if it came with a service manual, parts list, and a guarantee I could purchase parts for at least 10 years. Based on internet reports of common failures I would probably buy 'spare' parts just to have them on hand. Part sales could easily be a profit center for Meade.

As it stands now you pay that $800-$1500 on an 'assurance policy' to have any hope of not incurring similar costs on the first minor failure. Not to mention possibly months of waiting and the risks of shipping a precision instrument, even with the 'insurance'.

The current 'no parts' policy is a business decision, obviously, but it's a bad one. It's evidence the company is run by people utterly disconnected from the realities of owning the product they are selling.

#30 tommax

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:14 PM

Mike - +1

#31 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 08:16 PM

One of the several reasons that Meade hesitates to sell some parts is that they have a lot of internal iterations of designs for some of the long-standing models. The ETX scopes and the LX200GPS scopes are perfect examples. Meade is a small company (comparatively speaking) and most-all of their mid-to-high-end scopes are hand-finished and tweaked. That makes it harder to send out generic parts when they don't know what "vintage" your scope is and what tweaks it has internally.

I agree that they should still sell all parts without restrictions. It would be a new, good revenue stream for them from a captured market with no competition.

I have told this to several people in Meade upper-management and they seemed open-minded to the idea so we shall see.

#32 Mike7Mak

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 04:43 AM

I agree that they should still sell all parts without restrictions. It would be a new, good revenue stream for them from a captured market with no competition.

I have told this to several people in Meade upper-management and they seemed open-minded to the idea so we shall see.

I'm not even saying sell parts 'without restrictions' but when a customer calls and says he has a dead LX200gps motherboard IN HIS HAND, refusing to sell a new one to that customer is nuts, and unbelievably infuriating. Especially when that customer ends up buying a new, unused, spare motherboard from someone they did sell one to.

They could make money AND not royally p-off customers at the same time. How can that not sound like a good idea?

Appreciate you putting the bug in their ear. Hopefully recent events will motivate management to pull their collective heads out into the sunshine. I would very much like to buy another of their scopes but this policy has got to change first.

#33 tommax

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 01:29 PM

I agree that they should still sell all parts without restrictions. It would be a new, good revenue stream for them from a captured market with no competition.

I have told this to several people in Meade upper-management and they seemed open-minded to the idea so we shall see.

I'm not even saying sell parts 'without restrictions' but when a customer calls and says he has a dead LX200gps motherboard IN HIS HAND, refusing to sell a new one to that customer is nuts, and unbelievably infuriating. Especially when that customer ends up buying a new, unused, spare motherboard from someone they did sell one to.

They could make money AND not royally p-off customers at the same time. How can that not sound like a good idea?

Appreciate you putting the bug in their ear. Hopefully recent events will motivate management to pull their collective heads out into the sunshine. I would very much like to buy another of their scopes but this policy has got to change first.


I am with you Mike, as much as I like the looks of a couple of their new offerings and next year plan to pick up a 10 to 14" scope... these policies along with their current financials leave me feeling like I have no sane choice other than buying another companies product and that's a really sad situation for both myself and the company but it is what it is... for now.

#34 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 03:54 AM

We should start a thoughtful and respectful letter-writing campaign...

#35 tommax

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:40 AM

New news on this... a nice cloudy nights user has offered to sell me a defective unit which the gear is there and complete as well as another unit which works but is beat up a bit at a decent price... but

the even better news is another cloudy nights user put me in touch with a CS rep at Meade who was very friendly and helpful and said he would be sending me the gear free of charge, even the brass gear in case I needed it!

If the gear arrives I will certainly update this thread to reflect that, but man... it should not take all that, maybe Meade will learn something because mine is not the only case of things like this and with the internet now-a-days poor service gets around quickly especially so in a hobby type activity where the "toys" are very expensive...

Anyways I am very please at the moment and await anxiously for the gear as course focus has left me not wanting to use my scope at all...

#36 tommax

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 11:51 PM

I am pleased to report that Meade did indeed send me a replacement gear, came with the plastic gear the cap piece, set screw and even the allen wrench... took a rather strange way of getting it but all is well at the moment, I hope in the future Meade is able to provide these parts easier and although I think it's great that I did not have to pay anything to get the part, I would gladly have paid a fair or even slightly inflated price for it because knowing I could get parts even if a bit pricey would be better than worrying about it in the first place.

Anyways, Thanks to Meade for coming through.

#37 Christopher Erickson

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 01:22 PM

I am pleased to report that Meade did indeed send me a replacement gear, came with the plastic gear the cap piece, set screw and even the allen wrench... took a rather strange way of getting it but all is well at the moment, I hope in the future Meade is able to provide these parts easier and although I think it's great that I did not have to pay anything to get the part, I would gladly have paid a fair or even slightly inflated price for it because knowing I could get parts even if a bit pricey would be better than worrying about it in the first place.

Anyways, Thanks to Meade for coming through.


Is there a way to adjust the distance between the two gears so the problem that trashed the last gear doesn't happen again?

#38 tommax

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 04:09 PM

Chris,

I see no way to perform an adjustment, it seems they are meant to be tightly married together to maintain a precise ratio. I think the best solution is to simply make sure the focuser is in it's middle position and to get a feel or count how much movement each way from middle the unit can move, well that and just common sense, like I said I think the guy I bought the scope from probably jammed the button not thinking twice about it, I have had 3 of these and never damaged one.

#39 Mike7Mak

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 04:58 PM

Mine stopped working (made motor noise but wouldn't move) and I just took it off thinking 'that's it, it's broke'. A couple years later I got the urge to take it apart. Turns out all that happened was the setscrew in the little plastic gear had loosened and the gear walked out of mesh with the motor gear. Slid it back in place, tightened the setscrew, and away we go.

I'm pretty sure there's a tension adjustment on the crayford drive roller. If that's too tight (i.e. the roller won't slip at the end of travel) the next weakest link is the teeth of the plastic gear.






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