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Broke a Gear Tooth on my LX80 - SOLVED by MEADE

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#1 ldesign1

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 11:19 PM

It's a shame that precision equipment are made with cheap plastic parts. Everything was running fine except a sticky spot in RA. I decided to try and wear that part of the worm by running the mount in both directions for a while with the clutch disengaged. Well it looks like the plastic gave way before the metal worm wore down. That was probably dumb on my part to think that I'd be able to lap the worm this way. Now I'll have to send it to Meade and wait maybe months to get it back just for a little plastic part. :bawling: :bawling:

Edit: Carlos at Meade sent me a PM here on the Forum and took care of me. New gears are being shipped out tomorrow. :jump: :jump:

#2 orion61

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 08:58 AM

OUCH Im feeling for you...

#3 cavefrog

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:16 PM

Ouch??? I'm thinkin' WOO-HOO!!! it's very cool the parts are coming dang near unordered! :jump:

Theo

#4 DuiA1

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 02:56 PM

Nice. Have they changed their policy re. Sending parts to the customer? If that's the case its awesome. Kudos to Meade, they may be listening to the customer's concerns.

#5 JimMo

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 03:50 PM

Nice. Have they changed their policy re. Sending parts to the customer? If that's the case its awesome. Kudos to Meade, they may be listening to the customer's concerns.


Yes, but they designed the LX80 mount that comes nowhere near it's advertised specs. Meade conveniently ignores us early LX80 adopters/testers. If I just wanted an alt/az mount with goto that can handle under a 20 lb. load I'd have chosen a different mount.

Still listening Meade? :p

#6 ldesign1

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 12:16 AM

Unless I'm spending thousands of dollars on a mount like AP, Paramount, ASA, and others, I don't buy into anyone's advertisement of a do-all mount for under $3000. I fully expect issues like play in the gears, plastic components, bugs in the firmware, and other production issues. Anyone expecting more should spend the money to get the guaranteed performance of the more expensive mounts or spend the extra money to tweak and perfect an O.K. mount. I also own an Atlas EQ-G which is a great mount, but only after I had it hyper-tuned and several other upgrades like replacing those altitude adjustment handles that bend from the torque needed to turn them under load. I also own a LX200GPS which I spent some extra money to have it supercharged by Dr. Clay.

But what I do expect from all companies no matter how large or small, is excellent customer service, timely repair of defective products, and a sense of doing what's right by the customer. Sometimes that means saving the customer from down time by supplying them with replacement parts here and there. I can understand the insistence of sending your product to them for service if it's under warranty as long as they cover shipping both ways. But when a product is out of warranty, then the responsibility should fall on us, the customer, if we should make a problem worse by trying to fix it ourselves. There's only been two times in 19 years, including this instance, which I had to contact Meade about a problem. Both times, the issue had been resolved to my satisfaction with a part being shipped out. The first time was a burned out DEC board on my LX200 Classic.

So, my question is what does anyone really expect from a $800 mount, no matter what the specs look like on paper? It performs as I expected for a portable visual mount that I can use for solar and lunar imaging with a video camera. For serious night time astrophotography, I am totally satisfied with my LX200GPS and Atlas EQ-G.

#7 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 12:41 AM

Ralph - I agree with you 100%.

Though I will say back in the day the Classic LX200 was built like a tank, and mine is going strong after 21+ years.

The ETX-125, I knew what I was getting into - a poor man's Questar. Yes, I paid over $1000 for the entire kit, but I wasn't expecting the performance of my LX200 or a Questar. Just a low cost mak as a grab and go. Lots of vibration with this puppy. Sloppy plastic gears. Whatever. I was cool with it.

LX-80 I agree is low end. Still, Meade should have been careful what was promised. Can it handle the advertised loads? Yes. Can it do it at the level of high end mounts (i.e. low vibration, motion, etc)? No way.

BTW - I hear of issues with all mounts in the league/price range of the LX-80. Still, it would be nice if defects and problems with mounts were minimal.

Also, I am curious as to the failure/problem rate of the LX-80. How many were sold? How many actually had issues? I don't think CN is a good place to measure this, since I am very convinced this forum is a collection of VERY OPINIONATED, VOCAL folks!

#8 ldesign1

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 02:37 AM

Andrew:

You're right, the LX200 Classics were tanks. The blown DEC motor was totally my fault. I had just bought some tube weights for balancing without full understanding how to do it. I loaded the scope with all of the weights and began slewing up and down using the balancing feature of the hand box. I remember hearing the straining of the motor as it tried to lift the weighted, out of balance, tube. And straining again to keep the front end of the tube from speeding downwards. Then nothing. That's when I realized I must have done it wrong. After muy goof-up, I did some research and discovered that the top must be balanced with the bottom and the front with the back.

As for the rate of failures, I don't think there are as many as some would believe. As humans, we tend to complain WAAAAAY more often than we give praise. Sure I have a lot to complain about, but when I look at the great photos I turn out with my O.K. equipment, there's a lot reason to be smiling as well. Think about it, I spent 1/3 the amount of money and my quality of work is ALMOST up there with the best of them. What's important is that I'm happy even when a few issues arise.

I'm sure the expensive mount have issues once in a while, but you would never hear of it. 1-Because the company takes care of the problem quickly so there's no reason to complain on a forum. :jump: :jump: 2-No one ever talks about a problem, so you think you're the first and no one here can help you. :scratchhead: 3-You're embarrass that you spent so much on your mount and you broke it the first time out. :rainbow:

In fact, there was a time that someone did report a problem they were having with an AP mount here on the forum. Most of the HELPFUL responses sounded much like this:

1. Gee, I don't know, mine works fine.
2. Gee, I don't know, maybe you should give Roland and call.

There's just not much that goes wrong with some mount for anyone here to be of any help.

#9 JimMo

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 06:22 AM

You're right, the LX200 Classics were tanks.


I had one for many years and based on that great experience I bought the LX80. I didn't tell Meade to lie about the specs of the mount. It will not hold 20 lbs. in polar without the RA axis bouncing with it's spring loaded gears. If they had said the polar mode was only for show and not to expect it to work correctly that would have been the truth, but I wouldn't have bought one. I don't buy or deal with anyone or any company who has blatantly lied to me.

#10 cavefrog

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 03:48 PM

" I am very convinced this forum is a collection of VERY OPINIONATED, VOCAL folks!"

REALLY ????

#11 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 03:55 PM

Yes, REALLY!

Now if you want to see some really hot action, go look at the SCT/Refractor Wars.

#12 nitegeezer

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 04:09 PM

:band: :gotpopcorn: :rimshot:

#13 ldesign1

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:38 PM

Got my gears today. I'm now back in action. :yay: :yay:

Thank you Carlos for getting that to me so quickly.






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