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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
LX80 tripod failure (another)
      #5775864 - 04/03/13 03:51 PM Attachment (117 downloads)

I've been a supporter of the LX80 since I received mine last September. I guess I still am but my tripod failed last night. Talked to Meade customer support today and they are replacing it but I have to pay the return shipping. That may be normal but in this case I think they should have paid the shipping.

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DuiA1
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Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5775880 - 04/03/13 04:02 PM

Wow...that blows. That is a weak design. I'm really considering using the lx90 field tripod as a substitute...with an adapter. Sorry for your trouble Mike.

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jonbosley
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 10/19/05

Loc: Texas
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5775888 - 04/03/13 04:05 PM

Is it made of plastic?

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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: jonbosley]
      #5775938 - 04/03/13 04:29 PM

Quote:

Is it made of plastic?




Nope, metal. There have been 1 or 2 others that failed the same way. I know why it failed and won't do that again... When I was setting up I needed to turn the tripod slightly to get it pointing north. I didn't pick it up and rotate it but just pushed. Still, I don't think it should have broken.


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5775943 - 04/03/13 04:32 PM

Quote:

Wow...that blows. That is a weak design. I'm really considering using the lx90 field tripod as a substitute...with an adapter. Sorry for your trouble Mike.




Thanks. Yes, it looks like a design problem. I think I'll get a pier set up. I think I can make one for under $100.


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Awesomelenny
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Reged: 05/02/04

Loc: Long: 81.42 W Lat: 41.21 N
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5775945 - 04/03/13 04:33 PM

I wholeheartedly agree. Again, this looks like cast "white metal" which is extremely brittle under stress.

Are you covered under warranty?


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Awesomelenny]
      #5775957 - 04/03/13 04:42 PM

Yes, it is brittle... luckily it is till under warranty until September.

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Cliff Hipsher
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Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: North Chesterfield, VA
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5776020 - 04/03/13 05:25 PM

That is totally unsatisfactory. I was seriously considering saving for a LX80, but after seeing this, no way.....

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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Cliff Hipsher]
      #5776079 - 04/03/13 05:56 PM

Howdy Mike....

Hmmmmmm
I think i can relate to that !!
How about the mount ??
Was it attached at the time ?? OTA ??

Hopefully, no other damage.
When mine failed, and fell before my very eyes....
I know what you must have felt.

I am still certain that in the fall, the mount was damaged.
Not a problem, as in the end, the entire unit was returned for refund.

I know that Meade wanted my "plate" returned to be studied by engineering. I never did hear what (if anything) they found. Probably never well. I did talk to the guys at the Tucson astronomy event (Meade was there in force), and they were sort of "mum" on the subject.


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5776323 - 04/03/13 08:01 PM

David,

No damage to anything but the mount. I'm sure I contributed to the break because I was trying to rotate the entire set up a degree or 2 without picking it up so I was holding on to it when it failed. The rotational stress was just too much for the mount. I do,think it should be able to stand up to that type of use/abuse.


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Cliff Hipsher]
      #5776334 - 04/03/13 08:10 PM

Quote:

That is totally unsatisfactory. I was seriously considering saving for a LX80, but after seeing this, no way.....




Cliff,

I received a call late today from Jose at Meade. His supervisor decided that they should pay for the return shipping. I would much rather that the tripod did not fail but Meade has decided to take care of it the way they should have.

I still think that it is a great mount for under $1000. If I'd had $2500 or more for a mount I guess I would have looked elsewhere.


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Red Shift
super member


Reged: 11/09/11

Loc: Bloomfield, New Jersey, USA
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5776586 - 04/03/13 09:59 PM

I just need to ask.
Where is this unit made?
China ?
USA ?


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Red Shift]
      #5776647 - 04/03/13 10:24 PM

China

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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5777048 - 04/04/13 06:33 AM

It looks to me as if part of the problem is in the design.

The sharp corners where the tripod leg attachments connect to the top of the tripod will act as stress concentrators. The leg is braced against the top of the tripod as well so the probability of there being high stress in that area is great.

Where was it designed? Probably the USA.

Chris


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rmollise
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Red Shift]
      #5777130 - 04/04/13 07:42 AM

Quote:

I just need to ask.
Where is this unit made?
China ?
USA ?




Meade does not make anything in the U.S. any longer.

Edited by rmollise (04/04/13 07:42 AM)


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Cliff Hipsher
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Reged: 12/31/08

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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5777263 - 04/04/13 10:04 AM

Quote:



Where was it designed? Probably the USA.

Chris




Ya might wanna keep comments like that to yourself....


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Cliff Hipsher
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Loc: North Chesterfield, VA
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Red Shift]
      #5777271 - 04/04/13 10:07 AM

Quote:

I just need to ask.
Where is this unit made?
China ?
USA ?




Mexico: Manufacturing Facility


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
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Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Cliff Hipsher]
      #5777299 - 04/04/13 10:19 AM

Quote:

Mexico: Manufacturing Facility




The higher-end stuff comes from Mexico but I'd be surprised to hear that the LX80 isn't purchased overseas like the other less expensive gear. The tripod head would surely be purchased from China (I doubt that Meade has a casting facility anywhere) even if the mount were assembled over here.


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Cliff Hipsher]
      #5777323 - 04/04/13 10:34 AM

Quote:

Quote:


Where was it designed? Probably the USA.
Chris



Ya might wanna keep comments like that to yourself....



It looks like a poor design to me, for the reasons I stated, and so it seems just as relevant to consider where it was designed as well as where it was manufactured. If the location of either activity matters at all.

It might take nothing more than a modification to the mould to fix it, radius the sharp edges.


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5777341 - 04/04/13 10:44 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


Where was it designed? Probably the USA.
Chris



Ya might wanna keep comments like that to yourself....



It looks like a poor design to me, for the reasons I stated, and so it seems just as relevant to consider where it was designed as well as where it was manufactured. If the location of either activity matters at all.

It might take nothing more than a modification to the mould to fix it, radius the sharp edges.




I think it was the assumption that it was designed in the USA was the objectionable part. I'd have to agree based on how it read to me. I assumed that the design was done in the US because Meade is located here not because of the inferior quality of the design.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
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Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5777351 - 04/04/13 10:47 AM

Quote:

I assumed that the design was done in the US because Meade is located here not because of the inferior quality of the design.




That is how I read Chris's comment.


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dscarpa
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Reged: 03/15/08

Loc: San Diego Ca.
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5777384 - 04/04/13 10:58 AM

Given how heavy the tripod is I would have expected more from it. I've done the same thing as you did with my CG5 using my overweight C9.25 with no problems. Which OTA did you have on it? David

Edited by dscarpa (04/04/13 11:04 AM)


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5777416 - 04/04/13 11:07 AM

Quote:

Cliff,

I received a call late today from Jose at Meade. His supervisor decided that they should pay for the return shipping. I would much rather that the tripod did not fail but Meade has decided to take care of it the way they should have.

I still think that it is a great mount for under $1000. If I'd had $2500 or more for a mount I guess I would have looked elsewhere.




Thank goodness for that. Making you pay return shipping would be silly. I would consider this a major problem at this point. One unit failing could be a fluke, but it is clearly no longer a fluke. I think that we all move our fully loaded units on occasion so you should not feel that you contributed to the problem in any way.


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Jmax
professor emeritus
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Reged: 09/28/10

Loc: Alabama
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5777427 - 04/04/13 11:11 AM

Mine, which I got in November, has a black hub, not gray. Is it possible that they have changed something since you got yours, perhaps because of the other failures? When you get your replacement, please let us know if it is black as well.

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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Jmax]
      #5777446 - 04/04/13 11:18 AM

Jmax,

I received mine last September. As soon and I get the replacement I'll see if there are any obvious changes in the design.


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: EFT]
      #5777471 - 04/04/13 11:35 AM

Quote:

I think that we all move our fully loaded units on occasion so you should not feel that you contributed to the problem in any way.




Thanks Ed... Moving the mount shouldn't have caused the failure but, unless there is a design change, I won't be doing it again!


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: dscarpa]
      #5777479 - 04/04/13 11:39 AM

David,

I had 2 80mm refractors a finder and a DSLR on it at the time. I don't think the load was over 20 pounds. That plus the 70 pounds of mount, tripod and 1 counterweight is a bit much for me to pick up and move. It wouldn't have been a problem 20 or 30 years ago!


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JimMo
I'd Rather Do It Myself


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Under the SE Michigan lightdom...
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5777579 - 04/04/13 12:32 PM

Quote:

David,

I had 2 80mm refractors a finder and a DSLR on it at the time. I don't think the load was over 20 pounds. That plus the 70 pounds of mount, tripod and 1 counterweight is a bit much for me to pick up and move. It wouldn't have been a problem 20 or 30 years ago!




Yes, this is a heavy load which is why I'm making a rolling platform to easily get it out of the garage to the patio. I can pick up and move just the mount and tripod but it is still heavy and unwieldy.

I solved the tripod hub problem by buying a replacement from Jack H. made out of aluminum. I think he only made two or three before abandoning the LX80. Mine still works amazingly well in alt/az and it'll be a good "grab and go" when wheeled out and I can choose between a few different OTA's to use on it. I figure I'm stuck with it so I better make the best of it.


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: JimMo]
      #5777620 - 04/04/13 12:50 PM

JimMo,

In retrospect I should have ordered one of Jack's replacement heades for the tripod but couldn't see spending over $200 to fix a problem on an $800 mount.

I have a 3 wheel cart for the mount but it won't roll in my gravel driveway. I still need to carry the whole set up another 50 to 200 feet. I think a pier would solve a few problems.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5777698 - 04/04/13 01:16 PM

Mike,

You are not at fault.

While 70 lbs. is a lot for a human being to move around, it is not a lot for a component this large made from an engineered material to support. It should be able to take several hundred pounds before failure.

There are two problems with this part:

(1) the material is unusually brittle. They really should have something more ductile than this, which would result in bending before breaking. Look for signs of bending before the break happened. I am guessing there are none- it looks like a brittle failure. Common aluminum castings should have much better ductility.

(2) The tray shaped part of the casting is shallow- and irrationally so. See where the bolt standoffs are? It would have been almost exactly the same cost to make a part with the entire rim flange going to that depth, and including webs which attached to those features at the full depth. Even with the inferior material choice, that would have likely yielded a trouble-free part. The sharp interior corners aren't just stress concentrations- they cause casting imperfections due to flow entraining bubbles and rapid cooling at these locations. Another option would have been to use the king of cheap but ductile materials: steel. However, given the way tripods are an off-the-shelf component, there is some reason to ask why the heck Meade would get caught up in designing one, anyway.

-Rich

Edited by Starhawk (04/04/13 01:28 PM)


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Footbag
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Reged: 04/13/09

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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5777711 - 04/04/13 01:20 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:


Where was it designed? Probably the USA.
Chris



Ya might wanna keep comments like that to yourself....



It looks like a poor design to me, for the reasons I stated, and so it seems just as relevant to consider where it was designed as well as where it was manufactured. If the location of either activity matters at all.

It might take nothing more than a modification to the mould to fix it, radius the sharp edges.




Remember when items were designed and manufactured in the same facilities. That way the actual engineers could confirm the parts are working off the line as they are supposed to? It wasn't that long ago.

Now, it seems like companies receive numerous containers of product before realizing it has flaws and at that point it is too late. Seems like an easy way to have a product launch destroy your business.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5777965 - 04/04/13 03:36 PM

Gday ???

Quote:

It might take nothing more than a modification to the mould to fix it, radius the sharp edges.





There was a huge thread a few months back on this when David D broke his.
Lots of other piccies in there as well.
Three glaring problems i saw ( based on the load the unit is supposed to support ) are
a) The side flange/skirt is not deep enough.
b) The underneath stiffeners should be going to a point behind each of the outer leg support lugs, not the centre point between them.
c) If the top isnt strengthened, then the legs should have a lower spreader unit so that the top of the legs do not act like a crowbar at the upper connection when under load.

What you are seeing here is a classic tearing shear failure.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5777969 - 04/04/13 03:39 PM

Yes Andrew, it is still a Gday... After weeks of cloudy nights, I was finally going to get back to the mount to give AP another try. Maybe in a week or so.

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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5777976 - 04/04/13 03:43 PM

Quote:

Mike,

You are not at fault.

-Rich




Rich,

Thanks... I really thought it should have handles the stress I put on it.

I do hope Meade takes what they have learned and make the necessary changes in the mount/tripod.


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Daud
sage


Reged: 08/05/06

Loc: AZ, Scottsdale
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5778004 - 04/04/13 03:58 PM

The mount is on $800 closeout sale at OPT. Change (=LX85?) coming ?

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Jmax
professor emeritus
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Reged: 09/28/10

Loc: Alabama
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5778060 - 04/04/13 04:23 PM

After looking at your picture again, and unless I am badly mistaken, mine is definitely different. I'm fairly sure that mine does not have a bubble level on the hub at all. I know mine has one on the side of the actual mount itself. I am not at home right now to take an actual look, but I am pretty sure this is one difference. I know the hub is still very thin, but I am hoping that the material it is made from has changed along with the color. I'll let you know more when I actually get home and can look at mine.

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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Daud]
      #5778096 - 04/04/13 04:37 PM

Quote:

The mount is on $800 closeout sale at OPT. Change (=LX85?) coming ?




Dave,

Do you know if OPT is charging shipping at the $800 price. Hands On Optics had a "new" open box mount for sale at $750.

Hope that an 85 is in the offing and that Meade makes upgrading feasible. That last part may be a bit too much to hope for.


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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Jmax]
      #5778119 - 04/04/13 04:48 PM

Quote:

After looking at your picture again, and unless I am badly mistaken, mine is definitely different. I'm fairly sure that mine does not have a bubble level on the hub at all. I know mine has one on the side of the actual mount itself. I am not at home right now to take an actual look, but I am pretty sure this is one difference. I know the hub is still very thin, but I am hoping that the material it is made from has changed along with the color. I'll let you know more when I actually get home and can look at mine.




John,

Hope the difference is more than cosmetic. I just got an email from Meade stating that my replacement will ship next week. I kind of expected it to be a bit faster than that.

If this mount had met the published specs, I think it would have been a real boost for Meade. I can't believe that it wouldn't make at least as much difference to their bottom line as the LX850.

I'm about ready to save up for a second mount to cover times like this. Maybe a Celestron AVX or one of the lighter offerings from iOptron. I REALLY wanted the LX80 to work out but I'm about ready to give up on it. I had a CG5 for a while and liked it a lot. Don't ever see myself spending $2,500 our more on a mount. Of course things can change. 5 years ago I couldn't imagine spending $1,000 on a book but that changed...


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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: dscarpa]
      #5778175 - 04/04/13 05:23 PM

I agree, my CG5 has been bumped, soaked, frozen and overloaded and like a Timex watch from the 70's it just takes it and comes looking for more.

If a 2 degree twist, with a completely loaded mount is all it took for this failure that is a shockingly bad design. Lucky no OTA was injured here.


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budman1961
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Reged: 02/25/11

Loc: Springfield, MO
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: ur7x]
      #5778191 - 04/04/13 05:35 PM

In another thread, Jack Huercamp had a heavier-duty tripod head made custom. You might take a look through the long LX80 thread, and see if that better suits you.

Andy


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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: LX80 close-out? new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5778414 - 04/04/13 07:30 PM

Humm, it is still listed at $999 at OPT. Wishful thinking or do you know something? I hope they are going to re-tool to a LX85 so the AP guiding/tracking issue will be solved.
I still like mine but only up to 15 second exposures have worked for me. And I have locked 2 nuts on the spreader shaft to ensure I don't over tighten the spreader knob too tight to keep the stress off the leg saddles.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 close-out? new [Re: brokenwave]
      #5778441 - 04/04/13 07:50 PM

Gday Mike

Quote:

I hope they are going to re-tool to a LX85 so the AP guiding/tracking issue will be solved.




Retooling the mount probably wont help there.
The unit uses the same handbox and commands that are used for all other "497" based Meade scopes, like the LX90s and LTs.
If they guide OK, then this beast should, ( at least in polar ).
The gears themselves, ( even the odd worm profile ) should have absolutely no undue effect on tracking or guiding, they only affect the load carrying capacity and PE.
One thing i have noticed is that with A3S4, they have changed the Aux Bus clocking times for reading the 909 guider lumpette, and they have fundamentally changed how the adjusts are sent to the motors, but the std serial pulseguide commands have not changed.
Sooooo, as long as PEC is turned ON, the basic serial pulseguiding "should" still work. If that doesnt work either, i have to again wonder re the motor card firmware.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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Daud
sage


Reged: 08/05/06

Loc: AZ, Scottsdale
Re: LX80 close-out? new [Re: brokenwave]
      #5778858 - 04/05/13 12:39 AM

Quote:

Humm, it is still listed at $999 at OPT. Wishful thinking or do you know something? I hope they are going to re-tool to a LX85 so the AP guiding/tracking issue will be solved.




It was there over the weekend, saying something $200 off until 4/10 <?> or until sold out. Might have been OPT clearance of the original supply ?


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Geo.
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Re: LX80 close-out? new [Re: Daud]
      #5779222 - 04/05/13 09:31 AM

I've found that most, if not all of Meade's Asian foundry work has very high silica content. Hey, sand makes a cheap filler. Problem is that it makes the alloy quite brittle. I found when machining Meade parts carbide cutting tools are quickly dulled. So I use tool steel on them as it can be sharpened. The carbide tooling edges suffer a lot of fracturing and really have to be tossed.

Turn a nice aircraft alloy and you will get long curls of swarf. Turn Meade alloy and all you get are chips.


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Starhawk
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Re: LX80 close-out? new [Re: Geo.]
      #5779365 - 04/05/13 10:50 AM

On the other hand, the AP Mach 1 weighs about the same and is available off the shelf, right now.

Yes, I know it sounds like one heck of a lot of money. But after many mounts I came to one. It really is like magic one can only stand in disbelief of as you plop it down and it just does things without complaint. And after a few sessions like that, I notices I had stopped spending time thinking about money as I tried to excuse a mounts faults which had just wasted something far more valuable: scarce observing time.

I'm really curious about what comes back. Please post pix.

-Rich


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frolinmod
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Re: LX80 close-out? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5779401 - 04/05/13 11:09 AM

If you can afford it that's definitely the way to go Rich. Personally I wanted the ALT/AZ mode too, so I picked up a Sky-Watcher AZ-EQ6 GT. Not exactly a Mach 1, but it does okay for outreach events, which is what I use it for.

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Binojunky
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Re: LX80 close-out? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5779403 - 04/05/13 11:09 AM

Its probably far cheaper to replace a few failed parts under warrenty that change the design and pay for new molds or tooling etc, you see this all the time with China made products,DA.

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ur7x
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: budman1961]
      #5779543 - 04/05/13 12:36 PM

My posts are in the 60+ page LX80 good/bad/ugly "debate" thread. The LX80 had great promise and on paper looked like a stellar design at a home run price... However Meade's implementation of this design has proven to be a little more than "wanting".

I'm happy for the OP that Meade has manned up an is paying for the return shipping. Looks like they are slowly learning what "customer service" and "customer support" means.


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mmalik
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: ur7x]
      #5780403 - 04/05/13 07:50 PM

Quote:

I'm happy for the OP that Meade has manned up an is paying for the return shipping. Looks like they are slowly learning what "customer service" and "customer support" means.




Folks (not singling you out ur7x), it is not about return shipping or customer service or any of that. Most of you are missing the point, including OP; what good is a new part of the defective design even it was overnighted free? What became of the sense for the common? Re-released LX850 "may" have some merit (yet TBD...); until LX80 get's the some kind of redesign, not just the defective base but shortcomings like guiding, carrying capacity, stability, etc., it is a lost cause. Thx


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EFT
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: mmalik]
      #5780479 - 04/05/13 08:42 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I'm happy for the OP that Meade has manned up an is paying for the return shipping. Looks like they are slowly learning what "customer service" and "customer support" means.




Folks (not singling you out ur7x), it is not about return shipping or customer service or any of that. Most of you are missing the point, including OP; what good is a new part of the defective design even it was overnighted free? What became of the sense for the common? Re-released LX850 "may" have some merit (yet TBD...); until LX80 get's the some kind of redesign, not just the defective base but shortcomings like guiding, carrying capacity, stability, etc., it is a lost cause. Thx




Most of us probably agree with you, but we're just trying not to be hard on the people that have these mounts and are trying to make the best of a bad situation. That's all.


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blueman
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: EFT]
      #5780507 - 04/05/13 08:55 PM

I for one wish the owners all the best. But I do wish that people who bought the mounts would have gotten together and showed Meade that they were not going to accept these mounts as is.

Meade should have to do more then just replace parts with parts that will likely have the same problems. If people let this happen, then when warranty is over they get off the hook. That leaves the customer holding the bag.

Blueman
Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I'm happy for the OP that Meade has manned up an is paying for the return shipping. Looks like they are slowly learning what "customer service" and "customer support" means.




Folks (not singling you out ur7x), it is not about return shipping or customer service or any of that. Most of you are missing the point, including OP; what good is a new part of the defective design even it was overnighted free? What became of the sense for the common? Re-released LX850 "may" have some merit (yet TBD...); until LX80 get's the some kind of redesign, not just the defective base but shortcomings like guiding, carrying capacity, stability, etc., it is a lost cause. Thx




Most of us probably agree with you, but we're just trying not to be hard on the people that have these mounts and are trying to make the best of a bad situation. That's all.




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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: mmalik]
      #5780532 - 04/05/13 09:05 PM

Quote:

Quote:

?..until LX80 get's the some kind of redesign, not just the defective base but shortcomings like guiding, carrying capacity, stability, etc., it is a lost cause. Thx




Mike,

For those of us that don't need 40# capacity and are, at least primarily, visual observers, the only problem I see with the LX80 is the poor quality of the casting that I just had break. I think that that is the 3rd tripod with that problem. I really don't feel that that constitutes a lost cause, just an issue that needs to be addressed.

Celestron's new AVX has had a number of HC problems reported here on CN and I don't think it is a lost cause. Whatever the problem with the AVX is will get straightened out.

I used the LX80 to replace a SkyTeee II and a CG5 and have been happy enough. Meade needs to address the discrepancy between specs and actual performance but it's not a lost cause in my opinion.


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mmalik
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5780813 - 04/05/13 10:34 PM

Quote:

I had 2 80mm refractors, a finder and a DSLR on it at the time.




Mike, had you had smashed all your equipment, or God forbid, had you hurt yourself, your take would have been different. I think there comes a time to call things what they are. Regards


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Red Shift
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5782486 - 04/06/13 07:33 PM

Quote:

Mike,

You are not at fault.

While 70 lbs. is a lot for a human being to move around, it is not a lot for a component this large made from an engineered material to support. It should be able to take several hundred pounds before failure.

There are two problems with this part:

(1) the material is unusually brittle. They really should have something more ductile than this, which would result in bending before breaking. Look for signs of bending before the break happened. I am guessing there are none- it looks like a brittle failure. Common aluminum castings should have much better ductility.

(2) The tray shaped part of the casting is shallow- and irrationally so. See where the bolt standoffs are? It would have been almost exactly the same cost to make a part with the entire rim flange going to that depth, and including webs which attached to those features at the full depth. Even with the inferior material choice, that would have likely yielded a trouble-free part. The sharp interior corners aren't just stress concentrations- they cause casting imperfections due to flow entraining bubbles and rapid cooling at these locations. Another option would have been to use the king of cheap but ductile materials: steel. However, given the way tripods are an off-the-shelf component, there is some reason to ask why the heck Meade would get caught up in designing one, anyway.

-Rich




BRAVO and congratulatins on your insightful comments.
THe folks at Meade should take notice.


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Starhawk
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Red Shift]
      #5782923 - 04/07/13 12:12 AM

Thank you for,the kind words, Red Shift. It's like we have a design guide for mounts on this forum, now.

-Rich


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geminijk
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5785012 - 04/07/13 11:08 PM

LX80 owners should get together, sign a petition and send to Meade for a new top plate design that is more robust. I can't imagine what I would feel if the whole rig broke, crashing down and breaking my own scopes as well.

Seems like the marketing folks at Meade ignore the desperate situation their company is in. Frankly, I think its pathetic that a customer should have to pay for shipping of a clearly defective item. Do they seriously want to sit back and run numbers that the chance of a 3rd, 4th, etc failure is worth the risk of further damaging an already fragile opinion of Meades products, and thats not bashing, thats the truth. I want Meade to succeed, PLEASE Meade succeed. But if you sit idly by, and let just ONE CN member post pics of their LX80 on the ground with a failed tripod leg, with their beloved scopes busted as well, you can really count the LX80 out.

Maybe they wake up. Proactively say hey, we have an issue, and get a re-designed top plate, contact registered product owners, and send the plates out free of charge, and offer out of warranty customers the option to purchase it. Now that would be something huh?

John



John


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orlyandico
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: geminijk]
      #5785102 - 04/08/13 12:10 AM

There's one good thing about the LX80: the counterweights have a 1.125" bore and fit nicely on the Mach1 small shaft (also for the AP600 and 400).

Cheapest weights ever!


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5785111 - 04/08/13 12:14 AM

Quote:

There's one good thing about the LX80: the counterweights have a 1.125" bore and fit nicely on the Mach1 small shaft (also for the AP600 and 400).

Cheapest weights ever!




Great! When I throw away my LX80 I can keep the cw for the Mach1 replacement...


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orlyandico
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5785216 - 04/08/13 02:18 AM

That's no joke, with Mach1 9SLCWT weights costing $115 a pop.

Thing is when you buy a Mach1, you still need to buy a saddle, weights, and a pier adapter. Plus tripod. Those other items nickel-and-dime you on a $6350 mount which ends up over $7000.

So saving $230 on two 9lb weights is significant

I also ended up using an old $75 Celestron tripod. Don't use the LX80 tripod though...


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Jmax
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5785497 - 04/08/13 09:24 AM

I checked my tripod over the weekend, and the only difference I can find is the color. I still hope this means that they are fabricating them in a different facility or with different materials, but I really have no way to know unless and until mine fails. And I obviously don't want that! I will be honest, your picture scares the *BLEEP* out of me. I was going to put the LX80 in my observatory with my C9.25 and 200N, but now I have completely re-evaluated that. There is no way I'm going to leave my two biggest telescopes mounted on the thing unattended. I can just see me opening it up one night to find them crashed to the ground. I think the petition thing is a good idea. There is obviously a structural problem with the tripod plate and Mead needs to recall them and at least replace the top plate. If mine were to crash and damage my scopes, I would definitely be filing suit in small claims court. I think it would be much more prudent for Meade to just fix this known issue rather than risk such problems. If they have done so already, with the different colored plate, they should let everyone know that a black one is good and that a gray one needs replacing.

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JimMo
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Jmax]
      #5785840 - 04/08/13 12:15 PM

I don't think the top plate will break on it's own. IIRC with the first one that broke the owner admitted that he over tightened the spreader and that was when it failed. So, don't crank down too hard on the center knob. With the failure that started this thread the owner moved the mount and tripod in azimuth dragging the legs on the ground, another thing you shouldn't do. That said, I do believe it is a design flaw where Meade cut corners to save some $$.

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Starhawk
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Jmax]
      #5786225 - 04/08/13 03:32 PM

I did a little research on this. It looks like while the silicon content isn't helpful, it does save about $1 per mount. However, the biggest offender for the remarkably brittle material is likely rapid cooling in the die casting mold. Annealing the tripod head might help, but to be honest, I wouldn't want to rely on it.

I suggest contacting Jack Huerkamp to see if he can still get the heavy duty heads. Though, to be honest, I have to wonder what gotchas are just waiting for a little more use to reveal themselves.

-Rich


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Jmax]
      #5786246 - 04/08/13 03:41 PM

John,

Sorry to hear that the color seems to be the only difference. Have you considered a pier? The way I remember, Jack Huerkamp could get his replacement part for under $250 shipped to the US. I think I can make a pier for less and because I don't need portability that may be an option for me.

If anyone is interested in a "group letter" to Meade, PM me and I'll start a list of "unhappy" owners. I don't think it will make much difference if we only get a few people on board.


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: JimMo]
      #5786258 - 04/08/13 03:49 PM

Quote:

I don't think the top plate will break on it's own. IIRC with the first one that broke the owner admitted that he over tightened the spreader and that was when it failed. So, don't crank down too hard on the center knob. With the failure that started this thread the owner moved the mount and tripod in azimuth dragging the legs on the ground, another thing you shouldn't do. That said, I do believe it is a design flaw where Meade cut corners to save some $$.




Jim,

Yes, I moved the mount without picking it up. I'm sure that contributed to the failure but I find it hard to believe that that isn't something many other owners have done to other mounts. When I get the replacement, I won't be doing that again... until I forget! Over tightening the spreader is something I have not done that I know of but, IMO, that again shouldn't cause the tripod to fail.

Looks like I'm headed for a love-hate relationship with the mount and Meade.


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Starhawk
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5786291 - 04/08/13 04:02 PM

Mike,

If the mount couldn't withstand that, how would it respond the common minor kick to a tripod leg? We've all done that, and unless we stick everything in a remote control observatory, we'll do it again.

It was fortunate this happened in a situation where you had some control over the mount. It would be much more common to load up a leg by bumping it when you weren't expecting to make contact with the mount and therefore weren't in position to catch it.

-Rich


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JimMo
I'd Rather Do It Myself


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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5786625 - 04/08/13 06:49 PM

HI Mike, PM sent.

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tim53
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: JimMo]
      #5786731 - 04/08/13 07:59 PM

I had this happen to a Celestron Nexstar tripod when I tried to move the tripod a few inches to clear a wall blocking my view of Polaris. I had a Tak NJP equatorial head with a C-8 OTA with my TV NP101 IS piggyback on it. I grabbed the two south legs and started to drag the assembly. The tripod head broke exactly like you show where the north leg is mounted to it. I was able to catch the scopes before they took a plunge to the slab, fortunately. I can see this could happen if one were to accidentally kick the tripod in the dark.

These tripod heads should be made out of extruded stock arc welded together, but that would cost more.

I've never fixed the Nexstar tripod, which was way out of warranty when that happened. I'll never use it again, either. Might sell parts at some swap table someday, perhaps.

-Tim.


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: tim53]
      #5786760 - 04/08/13 08:16 PM

Tim,

Thanks for the input. Yes, I think a failure like this could happen to any mount but having 3 reported failures here on CN seems to point to a design or manufacturing problem - or both.

Moving the setup like you did and like I did may constitute abuse but it appears to be a fairly common practice that most mounts will tolerate most of the time. I plan to be more careful with it when I get it back from Meade..


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blueman
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: tim53]
      #5786770 - 04/08/13 08:19 PM

The part that supports all the weight should be a CNC stock piece. In my opinion. Cost, what another $20?
Blueman
Quote:

I had this happen to a Celestron Nexstar tripod when I tried to move the tripod a few inches to clear a wall blocking my view of Polaris. I had a Tak NJP equatorial head with a C-8 OTA with my TV NP101 IS piggyback on it. I grabbed the two south legs and started to drag the assembly. The tripod head broke exactly like you show where the north leg is mounted to it. I was able to catch the scopes before they took a plunge to the slab, fortunately. I can see this could happen if one were to accidentally kick the tripod in the dark.

These tripod heads should be made out of extruded stock arc welded together, but that would cost more.

I've never fixed the Nexstar tripod, which was way out of warranty when that happened. I'll never use it again, either. Might sell parts at some swap table someday, perhaps.

-Tim.




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Starhawk
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: blueman]
      #5786826 - 04/08/13 08:51 PM

How much is a reputation as a bulletproof product worth? It seemed to work pretty well for the Super Polaris.

-Rich


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5786905 - 04/08/13 09:25 PM

Quote:

How much is a reputation as a bulletproof product worth? It seemed to work pretty well for the Super Polaris.

-Rich




Rich,

I decided it was worth $800 to try a mount that looked good on paper. If it were a tried and true mount with all the real world performance to back up the spec sheet, I'd have paid a lot more. A good reputation is harder to get than a bad one but is worth a lot.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5786907 - 04/08/13 09:26 PM

Prior to these failures, the ones that I had seen involved failures of the tabs that stick out on the side of the tripod head. An obvious potential weak spot if the casting is bad. I had never seen a failure of the tripod head itself. I don't really think that a head made from machined billet is necessary (or cost effective), but if you are going to make the head as "short" as this one, then you leave little structural support if you are going to use a casting with ribs. There are plenty of cast aluminum tripod heads out there on mounts like the Atlas and CGEM that don't seem to fail. If this head where "taller" and thicker, it probably wouldn't have these problems. For its diameter, this head simply looks to short. If you have to go this short, then machined aluminum would be the proper choice.

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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 11/30/10

Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: EFT]
      #5787035 - 04/08/13 10:23 PM

Gday Ed

Quote:

If this head where "taller" and thicker, it probably wouldn't have these problems.




The fact that the internal ribs dont go directly behind the external lugs is one of the biggest problems.
With such a thin flange, and no internal stiffening behind the lugs, it is just like tearing a piece of paper sideways.
A deeper flange will certainly reduce the shear stress on the fracture start point, but a stiffener behind it will remove 95% of the shear stress and allow a tensile load straight into the stiffener.
Sure, a tensile load isnt ideal for a casting, but it will be WAY stronger than the current shearing load.

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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Starhawk
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5787225 - 04/09/13 01:12 AM

It's like no engineering went into it.

-Rich


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tim53
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5788009 - 04/09/13 12:42 PM

In the old days, when most people had Newtonians on steel piers with thick cast aluminum or iron legs, we used to polar align by dragging the whole assembly all the time. Even without wheels. I don't think I've ever heard of a failure of one of these old mounts.

-Tim.


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: tim53]
      #5788289 - 04/09/13 02:27 PM

Quote:

In the old days, when most people had Newtonians on steel piers with thick cast aluminum or iron legs, we used to polar align by dragging the whole assembly all the time. Even without wheels. I don't think I've ever heard of a failure of one of these old mounts.

-Tim.




Tim,

I wasn't around in the old days but because I'm old I'll blame that... I didn't think pushing it about a bit would hurt but I won't be doing that again. Hate to have a repeat after the mount is out of warranty.


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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5792298 - 04/11/13 12:44 PM

Quote:


Rich,

I decided it was worth $800 to try a mount that looked good on paper. If it were a tried and true mount with all the real world performance to back up the spec sheet, I'd have paid a lot more. A good reputation is harder to get than a bad one but is worth a lot.




Ya a few of us here did our best to try and talk you out of this. Sadly, for some of us, it was easy to see that this mount was likely destined for a world of hurt. For $800 you could have bought 2 second hand CG5's that have a better reputation, can be almost serviced with a hammer and duct tape and have better "real world" capacity to boot. Or for about the same price a second hand CGEM, also with a strong (mostly positive) reputation was also in reach.

But hey, someone had to be the pioneer with this mount. We are all learning from the experience of the early adopters. For what little consolation it is worth, thanks for taking the bullet on this one for some of us.

We should all take a collection and buy you a proper billet tripod top.


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frolinmod
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: ur7x]
      #5792838 - 04/11/13 04:54 PM

Quote:

For what little consolation it is worth, thanks for taking the bullet on this one for some of us.



Hey, that's what Cloudy Nights is for. So that I can learn from your mistakes rather than my own.


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Mkofski
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Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5793031 - 04/11/13 06:34 PM

Quote:

Quote:

For what little consolation it is worth, thanks for taking the bullet on this one for some of us.



Hey, that's what Cloudy Nights is for. So that I can learn from your mistakes rather than my own.




Glad to help out!


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: ur7x]
      #5793051 - 04/11/13 06:45 PM

Quote:

Ya a few of us here did our best to try and talk you out of this.





There are a lot of time I don't take good advice... Just a personal failing!

Quote:


We should all take a collection and buy you a proper billet tripod top.



You can PM me for my Paypal address.


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jimb1001
sage
*****

Reged: 11/14/09

Loc: Florida
Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5793696 - 04/12/13 01:36 AM

I don't work for Meade, don't own their stock and have very little invested in Meade products. I think you'd be hard pressed to call me a "fan boy".

We have evidence that two mount plates on a new product failed. We don't know how many have sold. We don't know if the manufacturing process had couple of random issues during startup that only came to light in use.

We do know that there are a lot of people here anxious to disparage American engineering, Meade for supposedly trying to supposedly save $1 on manufactured costs and wanting to give Meade no credit for replacing the damaged part under warranty at no cost to the customer.

If you read these forums long enough, and I have, you would never buy anything from Meade, never buy a CGEM or CGE, never buy a newer Vixen mount or an Ioptron.

The only thing to buy is a used CG5, oh wait, the periodic error is so huge and can't be corrected that its only good for visual, maybe.

That leaves only AP and, if you can't afford AP, well then you need a different hobby.

Its a lot of elitist nonsense.


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: LX80 tripod failure (another) new [Re: jimb1001]
      #5794041 - 04/12/13 09:47 AM

That is true to some extent. If you take what you read here too seriously, you'd never buy anything but a Bisque or AP, and might be nervous then.

HOWEVER...sometimes smoke = fire, and in the case of the 80, I'm afraid it does. Not that it couldn't be improved fairly easily--Meade just has to choose to do that.


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