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LX80 problems to be addressed

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#26 Mkofski

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 02:41 PM

Jim,

Not surprised that Carlos didn't know or couldn't discuss anything relating to changes/improvements in the works for the LX80. We won't see anything official for a few weeks.

#27 Fred1

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 06:40 PM

I called Meade yesterday as I didn't remember if I registered my mount. CS said your sales receipt is all you need for warranty work and they don't do warranty registration....


Hmmm... I have a copy of my LX80 Product Registration that I mailed to Meade. The Registration Card came included with the mount's Owner's Manual.

#28 shadowpdiggity

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 07:19 PM

OK, this will probably make me look really dumb, but I have a lx80 and still can't get the firmware update to work for me. I have resorted to just using my lx80 for observing and really enjoy it. My question would be, does anyone know how I can find someone I can go to to get assistance with my issues. I say my issues for a reason, because I probably jumped to far ahead of my ability to figure the computer hook up part of this hobby. I know, doesn't seem to totally fit with this thread, but thought maybe it couldn't hurt to say something. Glad Meade is stepping up to take care of there issues because I have only owned Meade products and really like what I have seen so far. Want to expand my knowledge of this hobby, but don't know where to go next.

#29 Mkofski

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 09:15 PM

OK, this will probably make me look really dumb, but I have a lx80 and still can't get the firmware update to work for me. I have resorted to just using my lx80 for observing and really enjoy it. My question would be, does anyone know how I can find someone I can go to to get assistance with my issues. I say my issues for a reason, because I probably jumped to far ahead of my ability to figure the computer hook up part of this hobby. I know, doesn't seem to totally fit with this thread, but thought maybe it couldn't hurt to say something. Glad Meade is stepping up to take care of there issues because I have only owned Meade products and really like what I have seen so far. Want to expand my knowledge of this hobby, but don't know where to go next.


Did you have trouble while trying to update the HC firmware? I had a problem while trying the update... The message was "don't turn off" but after a few hours, the mount/HC went dark. I talked to Meade customer support and they sent me a new HC. I think my firmware is up to date but am dreading the next update. Call Meade!

By the way, doesn't sound stupid to me!

#30 ldesign1

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 11:48 PM

OK, this will probably make me look really dumb, but I have a lx80 and still can't get the firmware update to work for me. I have resorted to just using my lx80 for observing and really enjoy it. My question would be, does anyone know how I can find someone I can go to to get assistance with my issues. I say my issues for a reason, because I probably jumped to far ahead of my ability to figure the computer hook up part of this hobby. I know, doesn't seem to totally fit with this thread, but thought maybe it couldn't hurt to say something. Glad Meade is stepping up to take care of there issues because I have only owned Meade products and really like what I have seen so far. Want to expand my knowledge of this hobby, but don't know where to go next.


Download StarPatch v1.9

http://www.stargps.ca/downloads.htm

I've heard that that Meade's Autostar Download Utility v6 has issues with the Audiostar hand controller. It seem to dowload the firmware for the regular Autostar.

With StarPatch, you will be able to upload Meade's latest version (BuildAUA3S4) much faster. Or you can download their patched version which fixes some bugs as well as added features (PatchAUA3S4v01).

#31 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 12:56 AM

Gday Shadow

Download StarPatch v1.9



Agree 100%
Far faster and safer.

I've heard that that Meade's Autostar Download Utility v6 has issues with the Audiostar hand controller.



Meades ASU should do the firmware OK, its main failure is in doing tours etc on the 497EP and Audiostars.

That said, still use StarPatch for the firmware.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia

#32 Mkofski

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 01:59 PM

I received an email yesterday and it looks like it will be another 3 weeks or so before we know what will be done to improve the LX80.

#33 DuiA1

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 04:55 PM

Nice they responded and here's hoping they look after the pioneers of this mount. After 3 mounts, I believe I now have one that works. Don't want to be over optimistic...

#34 Axle

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 10:57 AM

I have one that works well also. But, the springy RA slop bothers me and I am hoping that issue will be addressed with the improvements. But, it seems like that may be a significant fix considering it might require a new worm drive assmebly. If they do make that improvement I hope the new worm assemblies can be installed by the user without needing to ship the mount head. If there is a new-style worm assembly maybe it will have brass drive gears too!

Rob P.

#35 Mkofski

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 03:38 PM

I received my repaired mount back today from Meade. It came in about 2 weeks earlier than I had expected. Looks good on preliminary test. Hopefully I'll get some clear skies soon but that looks a bit iffy.

Mike

#36 Mkofski

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 05:32 PM

Just received an email and it looks as modifications to the LX80 won't be announced until late July. There is still a general commitment to making the mount better and the commitment comes from a reliable source... no details yet.

#37 dksolar3294

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 01:20 PM

That is really close to the expiration of the 1yr warranty period for those who took delivery first!!!

#38 gmartin02

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 05:05 PM

This all assumes that Meade will actually make it through the acquisition process by Jinghua.

From the Meade 10-K filing on May 30th:

"The Company's board of directors decided in January 2013 that the Company should consider its strategic alternatives to preserve and maximize shareholder value, which ultimately culminated in the signing on May 17, 2013 of the Agreement and Plan of Merger which, subject to shareholder approval, would allow for the outstanding shares of the Company to be purchased for $3.45 per share or approximately $4.5 million.

Due to the Company's declining revenues, recurring losses, limited liquidity and weakened financial position, the Company may not be able to operate long enough execute that planned transaction. Net sales during the three months ending May 31, 2013 are expected to be approximately $3 million, substantially below the net sales of approximately $3.8 million during the three months ended February 28, 2013 and net sales of approximately $4.2 million during the three months ended May 31, 2012. Due to the lower net sales levels the Company is encountering, the Company expects to incur substantial losses during the period through the close of the transaction.

In addition, the Company has limited and decreasing working capital and is finding it increasingly difficult to operate normally. The Company's net debt, which consists of the net balance owed on the Company's credit facility less cash, was $92 thousand at February 28, 2013 compared to $371 thousand at April 30, 2013.

In addition, as is common with public company transactions, a number of law firms are investigating the recently announced merger transaction and may choose to file a lawsuit against the Company in an effort to obtain financial dispensation from the Company. Such actions, or other factors, could cause further delays in the close of the planned transaction and/or result in additional costs. If such events occur, the Company may not have sufficient working capital to operate through the close of the planned transaction. If the Company is not able to obtain additional capital, it may be unable to execute the planned transaction and the Company may then have to file bankruptcy and cease operations."


Hopefully Meade can come up with some cash from somewhere to continue operations through the acquisition process - otherwise, it would really suck if they end up going bankrupt :(

#39 Mkofski

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 06:40 PM

I'm an optimist... won't have to wait long to find out how it's going to play out.

#40 highertheflyer

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:41 PM

I've the early ETXt60 EC the ETX 90 and the ETX 125, and for years nothing of a problem.
Yet I've worked with Meade as the LX80 I purchased for Christmas 2012 to flounder with my LX80 opening some days later.
Months have passed, yet troubles sent to Meade San Diego have given me hope for their return and for others, and a hope for everyone's satisfactions.
So wishing Meade well and survivig in our lifetime, I wish them to demonstrate their best, now for us.
Please keep this posting open for Carlos at Meade, and all, a safe return.
Sincerely,
Jim

#41 rmollise

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 07:58 AM

I'm an optimist... won't have to wait long to find out how it's going to play out.


Even in a complete Meade meltdown, "Meade" wouldn't go away. Someone, whether the current prospective buyer or somebody else, would buy the assets--the name, the designs, etc. And it really wouldn't make much difference to us. The Meade of today, afterall, doesn't have much to do with the Meade of 10 years ago or 20 years ago. ;)

#42 Stew57

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 08:07 AM

One can only hope so Unk. Problem I would not want to be left holding a brand new orphaned product. Of course the big 3 often "orphan" you as soon as the product exceeds it's warranty period anyway so it may not be any different. If the new management of Meade's properties fixes this problem it will be a huge boon to the consumer.

#43 rmollise

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 09:10 AM

One can only hope so Unk. Problem I would not want to be left holding a brand new orphaned product. Of course the big 3 often "orphan" you as soon as the product exceeds it's warranty period anyway so it may not be any different. If the new management of Meade's properties fixes this problem it will be a huge boon to the consumer.


Well, sure, I would be wary about buying a product that would be orphaned...but I really don't think there's too much danger of that.

#44 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 03:44 PM

One can only hope so Unk. Problem I would not want to be left holding a brand new orphaned product. Of course the big 3 often "orphan" you as soon as the product exceeds it's warranty period anyway so it may not be any different. If the new management of Meade's properties fixes this problem it will be a huge boon to the consumer.


Well, sure, I would be wary about buying a product that would be orphaned...but I really don't think there's too much danger of that.


I totally agree there is not much of a danger being orphaned. However the fear of being orphaned and talk of it does hurt sales and can magnify problems. I have been very pleased with my Meade purchases, including the LX850, the UWA ep and PST recently. I would hate to see this negative chatter poorly impact Meade, their staff and and future products.

To help them bridge this gap I for one have decided to purchase a couple more products once I arrive at my destination - a couple of UWA Ep and a Meade Series 6000 APO - as a show of support.

I am very confident in Meade products and the support I have received. If folks can overcome their fears and go ahead and make their purchase Meade will be able to move forward smoothly in this process.

#45 MikeBOKC

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 05:05 PM

I have been planning the purchase of a dual purpose EQ/AZ mount for outreach use with two scopes side by side. Have looked at the Skyeatcher, Orion Atlas and iOptron entries, all of which are close to twice the cost of the LX80. I have pretty well decided to wait for the Meade merger to proceed and track what they do to make the LX80 work . . . in 8 months or so we should know, and if by then it is clear that the new owners are serious about fixing the glitches in this most appealing mount -- even if they raise the price a bit -- it would be my first choice. So we shall see.

#46 blueman

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 05:27 PM

Really, does the RCX-400 ring a bell?
Blueman

#47 Mkofski

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 05:41 PM

Last night, I received an email from Russ Tanton with Explore Scientific. Looks like there is still some hope for ES to be in the running for a Meade takeover. Looks to me that this is the best bet for us to get issues with the LX80 resolved.

It is not certain that we are out of the picture as the current deal still must pass muster via the FTC regarding antitrust laws. I have a good deal of information but most is confidential. One public piece that can be shared is that the CEO of Synta sat on the board of directors for Ningbo Sunny until Jan 2013. It is obvious that Sunny and Synta are tied closely…the FTC twice blocked a Meade and Celestron (now owned by Synta) merger fearing an anti competitive SCT market…just hope they are as diligent now as then.

I will keep in touch. If we do not get Meade, we will be manufacturing our own line of scopes and mounts.



#48 JimMo

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 08:57 AM

Thanks for the update, Mike, though I'm not holding my breath. Meade and who ever buys the company will have to bend over backwards to ever get me to consider another Meade product. I think my LX80 will eventually make a good boat anchor if it isn't "addressed" by the "new" Meade. :p

#49 blueman

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 11:16 AM

I think everyone will have to wait to see if Meade sells or files bankruptcy.

Either way, it is not certain what will happen with the products already sold.

One thing that many keep forgetting is that once out of warranty, it is no longer their responsibility. So if you do not get your warranty extended in writing, well I think you will be out of luck.
Blueman

#50 DuiA1

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 04:18 PM

Good point on the extended warranty. Did anyone receive a written extension for the time the mount was in Meades hands? Mine was there for at least 4 months. Mike, should we address this with your ES contact?






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