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In the event of electronics failure

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#1 northernontario

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 08:10 PM

I have and love my Meade LX 200 Classic.

I have logged many many sessions on it. Some times under extreme conditions.

I know parts are rare.

If the go-to system would fail beyond repair, is it possible to retro fit a scope like this with a push to system like sky commander or something similar?

just curious.

thanks

jake

#2 cavefrog

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 08:41 PM

A major H*LL Yeah! George makes a great upgrade that I am gonna do on mine one day.

http://tech.groups.y.../LX200Autostar/

Theo

#3 yonkrz

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 08:54 PM

Something ive also always wondered?? :confused: :confused:

#4 Eddgie

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 09:16 PM

The bigger fear I think (or at least an equal fear) is the motor assembly.

These motors I think are the same as used in the LXD 650/750 and are almost impossible to find.

At least I have not found a source so far.

I know someone had a prototype Hand Controller in the works 3 or 4 years ago but he said he could not get the motors either.

Every once in a while, an LXD 650 comes up for sale and I considered getting one for a light weight mount (I think I would prefer the LXD 650 over the Celestron CG5) and that way I would have a complete set of spare parts.

But I don't know if the motor boards and other internals were different on the forks. I think the motors and HC were more or less the same though.

#5 jrcrilly

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 09:45 PM

But I don't know if the motor boards and other internals were different on the forks. I think the motors and HC were more or less the same though.


The handboxes for the LXD650/750 are the same as post-1994 LX200 (should have rev 3.21 label on back). I didn't think the motors were the same but I never had both apart at the same time to compare. Motherboard electronic architecture is very similar but implementation is different; LXD650/750 uses a pair of sandwiched boards as motherboard and is designed with some newer chips. One electronic difference is that the external inputs (such as autoguide port) go directly to the PLC so anything bad that happens kills that nearly irreplaceable chip (easy to install but obsolete and impossible to find - the last one I knew about is lost somewhere around here). The LX200 buffered those lines so the buffer is sacrificed to protect the PLC.

The Autostar downgrade pretty much converts an LX200 to an LX90 in functionality. It is FAR better than scrapping an LX200 but relies on motors, encoders, and cabling that may or may not be functional in a dead LX200. If there's a problem there the kit isn't going to fix anything.

#6 cavefrog

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 11:52 PM

just to add... George states that free with the kit is a checkout and freshening of some sort of the motors and and motor boards. a checkup if you will. you can send your motors to him and have them checked out first.

Theo

#7 cavefrog

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 11:59 PM

oh, northernontario, by the way. there is a number of caps (about 20 I think) that should be replaced in the classics to prevent blowout and electronic failure. especially in the handbox there is a cap that is prone to blow, and when it goes , it takes out the dang near irreplaceable ribbon cable with it. if you havent done so, get these caps replaced and save yourself some major headaches. if you can handle a soldering iron efficiently, it is easy and cheap preventative. definitely worth the time.

Theo

#8 rmollise

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 09:40 AM

If the go-to system would fail beyond repair, is it possible to retro fit a scope like this with a push to system like sky commander or something similar?

just curious.

thanks

jake


Sure it is. B-U-T...

An SCT ain't much fun to use without a tracking motor, at least. The solution most folks favor is removing the OTA from the fork (easy) and placing it on a modern GEM mount. ;)

#9 stevew

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 03:22 PM


An SCT ain't much fun to use without a tracking motor,

Hmm, that's news to me :lol:
I find that with modern wide field eyepieces I have no problems keeping objects in the field of view.
Note the high tech electronic finding system mounted on my C8.

Steve

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#10 rmollise

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 03:51 PM

Hmm, that's news to me :lol:
I find that with modern wide field eyepieces I have no problems keeping objects in the field of view.
Note the high tech electronic finding system mounted on my C8.

Steve


If you like it, fine. Not THIS little black duck's cup of tea. :lol:

#11 stevew

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 04:01 PM


Hmm, that's news to me :lol:
I find that with modern wide field eyepieces I have no problems keeping objects in the field of view.
Note the high tech electronic finding system mounted on my C8.

Steve


If you like it, fine. Not THIS little black duck's cup of tea. :lol:

Yup... Different strokes for different folks.
Rod are you going to update your Choosing and Using an SCT book soon? Both my first and second edition are getting a little dog eared, and am looking forward to a new edition that will include the HD and ACF versions.

Steve

#12 rmollise

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 04:35 PM

Yup... Different strokes for different folks.
Rod are you going to update your Choosing and Using an SCT book soon? Both my first and second edition are getting a little dog eared, and am looking forward to a new edition that will include the HD and ACF versions.

Steve


You never know. I am retired now, and much more up to the task. If you--and anyone else--would like to see a new book, write Springer. For now, I am working on a book about The Herschel Project, but I have a lot more time for my projects rather than the U.S. Navy's now. :lol:

#13 northernontario

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 07:17 AM

Thanks Uncle Rod.

The idea of "deforking" (is this a word?) never occurred to me.

I have also promissed myself to be a little more gentle with my old scope. I shall stick to about a -10 celsius cut off from here on.

Thank you for the advice Theo. I have played with electronics in the past.....but they never worked again after that...lol.

It's tough to find someone who can help you out with this sort of thing in Porcupine.

jake

#14 jrbarnett

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 09:41 AM

Deforking is the way to go if you have an irreparable mount failure. There are lots of affordable, decent GOTO mounts these days capable of carrying your Meade OTA. You's need to add a dovetail rail and perhaps radius blocks, but that's relatively trivial if you like the OTA. The added bonus of moving to such a mount is that you could add a wider field OTA like a refractor and swap the two OTAs on the mount for a different observing experience.

While you can use SCTs on undriven mounts, I find the C6 to be about the limit for optimal use or the C8 with a FF/FR in place. Larger SCTs have longer focal lengths and correspondingly narrower fields of view with a given eyepiece. To achieve even 1-degree in a 10" f/10 SCT you're looking at a big, honking, balance threatening 30-31mm 2" ultrawide. Accordingly, I'd rather put anything with a 2000mm or longer focal length on a mount with tracking.

But let's hope that your current set up functions for many years to come. Now you know you have options if the electronics fail.

- Jim






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