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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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jimb1001
sage
*****

Reged: 11/14/09

Loc: Florida
Re: A letter to Meade about the LX80 new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5831486 - 04/30/13 01:52 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Not bashing Meade at all. The proposed letter is about trying to help Meade see that they need to rethink their business practices and the approach on this mount. Only Meade has the detailed statistics about mount failures and warranty returns and they aren't sharing. So speculating that this mount is the cats whiskers based on a lack of data is just as bad as chucking it under the bus with equally thin data.

But you have to admit that at a certain point it is easy to see a trend in what is going on. How many people discovered that this mount initially has serious tracking problems in EQ mode? All who tried. How many people have discovered that this mount struggles to work at even half the advertised weight capacity... All who tried. How many people have successfully used the mount to perform even basic AP. Based on the number of photos published, even by Meade themselves... Very few, if any. How many people have had the Tripod mound top snap off a leg? at least 4 that we know of... or in other words 4 too many.

Sure, we have only a couple of data points when it comes to this mount. But even Eratosthenes managed to figure out the diameter of the earth with only two data points.




Maybe, but you're not him.






I don't really think we need a statistically valid sample to see a problem with the tripod if 4 or 5 have failed in the same way. The tracking problems that have been reported worry me but it is the tripod reliability that is my biggest concern. That is something that could effect any user at anytime. If your tripod fails after the warranty period how much will the replacement cost?




So what you really want is for Meade to warranty the tripod for some indefinite period of time in case a problem occurs more than a year from when you bought the mount.

And you think this is only fair because 4 or 5 people have had tripods fail during the warranty period this might be caused by a design flaw. Or it might be caused by some other reason, like dragging the mount across the lawn by one leg or something else entirely.

If you can get that concession out of Meade on a $900 mount I'll take my hat off to you.


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RogerRZ
Whatta you lookin' at?
*****

Reged: 01/09/06

Loc: West Collette, NB, Canada
Re: A letter to Meade about the LX80 new [Re: jimb1001]
      #5831600 - 04/30/13 05:40 AM

Might be a design flaw? How many reports of EQ6/CGEM/CGE/Sirius breaking tripods have we had over all the years they were produced?

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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: A letter to Meade about the LX80 new [Re: jimb1001]
      #5831742 - 04/30/13 08:13 AM

Quote:



Maybe, but you're not him.




He's not. But another thing that is obvious is that the poor LX80 did not live up to its advance press. Not even close.


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ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: A letter to Meade about the LX80 new [Re: jimb1001]
      #5832157 - 04/30/13 12:22 PM

As far as I can tell, that's not what he is asking. What I think he is attempting to do is to bring to Meade's attention that there seems to be a design flaw with their LX80 tripod. And he is looking for Meade to resolve this issue.

You and I can both agree that this effort on a $800 mount is probably futile, but still hats off to him for attempting to not only bring this to Meade's attention, but to try and convince them that this is significant enough to warrant a redesign/fix.

And if legs snapping off of tripods is common to all telescope mount manufactures... What is it about Meade customers that make them so vocal about this issue?

Funny how CG5 customer never seem to complain about legs snapping off, but they are sure quick to complain about loose wire connectors and/or cheap on/off switches... CGEM customers also never seem to complain about legs snapping off, but they are sure worked up about some Dec "cogging" thing or some 8/3 error...

Again it does not take a rocket scientist to see obvious patterns here. The truth here is that anyone who is paying even the slightest amount of attention knows pretty quick what the likely strong and weak points are for any and every mount on the market.

Its for each of us as customers to decide what is important to us... On my CGEM for example, I knew before I bought it that it is a heavy beast, that is a bear to set up and take down. And out of the box they are likely to have widely variable RA tacking errors and don't expect them to guide in the Dec axis at all.

You can compare that list of issues with the LX80's list: good luck having the mount hold up half of its rated capacity, EQ guiding seems to still be an issue, and the legs can (and have) snap off if the mount is bumped, or twisted during set up...

On the continuum of
Annoyance -> Disappointment -> Deal Breaker...
I would bet for most customers "Legs breaking off" is a bit of a deal breaker. IMO it would be in Meades best interest to figure out why and work fast to resolve this.

Or not.


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gmartin02
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 04/11/05

Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Re: A letter to Meade about the LX80 new [Re: ur7x]
      #5832283 - 04/30/13 01:03 PM

Quote:

... CGEM customers also never seem to complain about legs snapping off, but they are sure worked up about some Dec "cogging" thing or some 8/3 error...

Its for each of us as customers to decide what is important to us... On my CGEM for example, I knew before I bought it that it is a heavy beast, that is a bear to set up and take down. And out of the box they are likely to have widely variable RA tacking errors and don't expect them to guide in the Dec axis at all.




Note: The Dec "cogging" issue for the CGEM has been fixed (the motor control firmware upgrade is still in beta). I did another 90 minute guided imaging run last night with the latest beta firmware release. Perfectly round stars in images, Dec RMS guiding error of 0.61 arc seconds over the 90 minutes.

You can join TeamCelestron as a public beta tester and use the beta firmware to guide your CGEM mount with similar results.

As for "widely variable RA tacking errors" on the CGEM - that is what guiding is for - to minimize tracking errors. The RA tracking errors on the CGEM are smooth enough that they can be easily guided out - from multiple logs from multiple mounts posted on TeamCelestron the average RA RMS guiding error is about 0.70 arc seconds - plenty good enough for imaging on a mount in that price class.

Greg


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ur7x
sage


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: A letter to Meade about the LX80 new [Re: gmartin02]
      #5832461 - 04/30/13 02:24 PM

True, and for me, both of those (now looking to be resolved) issues were way over on the "meh" side of the "scale of concern"

I agree that I can guide out any RA error and if the Polar alignment is bang on you can minimize Dec problems too. Of course with V31.15 getting close it looks like the cog problem is history...(yes I'm a member on the Beta test group and I have the new code)

But given the option, I think just anyone would rather have a mount that is in need of minor software patch vs one that has legs snap off.

Back to the Meade letter, I still don't think it will change anything, but I still support the effort and I wish the OP the best of luck and a tip of my hat.


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gmartin02
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 04/11/05

Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Re: A letter to Meade about the LX80 new [Re: ur7x]
      #5832498 - 04/30/13 02:40 PM

Quote:

But given the option, I think just anyone would rather have a mount that is in need of minor software patch vs on that has legs snap off.



+1


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gmartin02
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 04/11/05

Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Re: A letter to Meade about the LX80 new [Re: ur7x]
      #5832528 - 04/30/13 02:54 PM

Quote:

Back to the Meade letter, I still don't think it will change anything, but I still support the effort and I wish the OP the best of luck and a tip of my hat.




I also wish the OP and the other LX80 owners that have had problems the best of luck. I almost pre-ordered the LX80 early last year but decided to get the CGEM instead when it was on sale.

Perhaps the Meade letter will help. Several of us beta testers on TeamCelestron (maybe yourself included) were getting very impatient after several months of waiting for the firmware fix, so we wrote our own (e)letters to Celestron management in mid March, and about 2 weeks after we started sending them we got the long awaited beta firmware update (and 3 more beta updates since then).


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WadeH237
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/24/07

Loc: Snohomish, WA
Re: A letter to Meade about the LX80 new [Re: gmartin02]
      #5832872 - 04/30/13 05:50 PM

I don't have an LX80 and don't see any mount of that size and type in my future, so the tripod issue doesn't affect me.

But if there really is a design defect that causes the legs to fail such that the system collapses, this is not an inconvenience or a nuisance. A fully loaded LX80 collapsing without warning is a dangerous situation and someone could get hurt.

Instead of "telescope", try saying it with other types of products. The storage shelf had a defect that could cause it to collapse without warning in typical usage scenarios. The TV wall mount had a defect that could cause it to collapse without warning in typical usage scenarios. The folding chair had a design defect that could cause it to collapse without warning in typical usage scenarios.

If there was data to indicated a serious design defect (and I don't think that the anecdotal evidence here is necessarily sufficient, but it is suspicious), I would expect a product safety recall.


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Orboos
member


Reged: 12/18/10

Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: A letter to Meade about the LX80 new [Re: WadeH237]
      #5841391 - 05/05/13 10:18 AM

Long story short : I bought LX80 with 10" OTA back in September '12, the mount died on the very 1st alignment. Sent it back to Meade, after 3 months got replacment. Total weight of the 10" is about 35 lbs (with all accessories) To balance it I added third counter weigt, and I don't see any problems with the mount handling it. I use it mostly in alt/az setup, tried it few times in eq. mode, again did not see any problems. Provided it is well balanced.
But... and there is a big "but". I know my load on the mount is big, and according to many owners it is way overloaded. The slightest possibility that one day (or night) the tripod might fail and what's on it crushing down on ground or even worse on my head simply scares daylights out of me. Personally I'm very skeptical about Meade doing anything about it. IMO (after warranty is out) we are stuck with it the way it is.
So I decided to cut the loss, bite the bullet and sell it, it's sold.
Hats off to the OP for the effort his making, however I don't think it will help or change anything.


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khill444444
newbie


Reged: 03/06/13

Re: A letter to Meade about the LX80 new [Re: Paul G]
      #5853583 - 05/11/13 11:12 AM

Actually, I tend to see all the knee-jerk defenses of Meade as Stockholm Syndrome more than cognitive dissonance (especially for the Meade stuff costing several thousand dollars), but I get your point.

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: A letter to Meade about the LX80 new [Re: khill444444]
      #5853964 - 05/11/13 02:55 PM

The most important point here is this letter is an expression of good faith.

No class action lawsuits or character assassination campaigns have been proposed; just rounding up what the problems are and asking them to be addressed however Meade sees fit. A different tripod top casting, maybe a mod kit for the mount, and all would be well. Again, the people doing this have spent the better part of a year working on these mounts and learning everything they could about their behaviors then enlisting a global talent base to work on possible solutions before determining user actions with the existing mount simply are unable to resolve built-in deficiencies which prevent the mount from meeting its advertized performance, prevent it from carrying its rated load, and cause structural failures.

It is quit peculiar how even with this state of affairs as well documented as anything gets in this world, anyone would argue the authors should not try. They're doing he right thing. Meade reciprocated in the case of the LX800.

Expecting people to eiher reject the LX80 wholesale or accept a flawed product rather than engaging the manufacturer doesn't make sense when they haven't had a chance to try. If, and only if, Meade decides to ignore the issues and continue issuing a product when it is known by all involved to be flawed would it make sense not to try.

-Rich


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: A letter to Meade about the LX80 new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5854028 - 05/11/13 03:42 PM

Quote:

The most important point here is this letter is an expression of good faith.

No class action lawsuits or character assassination campaigns have been proposed; just rounding up what the problems are and asking them to be addressed however Meade sees fit. A different tripod top casting, maybe a mod kit for the mount, and all would be well. Again, the people doing this have spent the better part of a year working on these mounts and learning everything they could about their behaviors then enlisting a global talent base to work on possible solutions before determining user actions with the existing mount simply are unable to resolve built-in deficiencies which prevent the mount from meeting its advertized performance, prevent it from carrying its rated load, and cause structural failures.

It is quit peculiar how even with this state of affairs as well documented as anything gets in this world, anyone would argue the authors should not try. They're doing he right thing. Meade reciprocated in the case of the LX800.

Expecting people to eiher reject the LX80 wholesale or accept a flawed product rather than engaging the manufacturer doesn't make sense when they haven't had a chance to try. If, and only if, Meade decides to ignore the issues and continue issuing a product when it is known by all involved to be flawed would it make sense not to try.

-Rich




Rich,

Very well stated, thanks! I want everyone to know that, even though I'm running at least 2 weeks longer than I had planned, I have not dropped the ball completely. Life just got in the way! Hopefully I'll get everything finished up this weekend.

By the way, I had to ship my mount back to Meade early this week. It is not moving properly in RA. Looks like it will be mid June before I get the mount back for any additional work with it. I think I need to buy another mount to fill in. Maybe one hat has had success with wide field AP.


Mike


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: A letter to Meade about the LX80 new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5854067 - 05/11/13 04:11 PM

Must resist temptation to suggest getting an AVX to fill in while the LX80 is fixed

Chris


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: A letter to Meade about the LX80 new [Re: cn register 5]
      #5854191 - 05/11/13 05:48 PM

Quote:

Must resist temptation to suggest getting an AVX to fill in while the LX80 is fixed

Chris




Chris,

I don't have any trouble with Celestron or the AVX except there have been a lot of HC problems reported so far. I'm not a "Meade for Meade's sake" user. That is one of the mounts I've been thinking about. The AVX and the IOptron EQZ25 or a used CG5. The AVX and EQZ25 are in the same price range - which unfortunately is more than I need to spend right now. I guess it's time to sell a few items I'm not using.

Mike


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DuiA1
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: A letter to Meade about the LX80 new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5854243 - 05/11/13 06:30 PM

Mike, sorry to hear that but I'm in the same boat. Got my mount back last week and same thing...just kept on spinning in az. Very frustrating. Meade has been good and are shipping me a new one Monday. I've barely got to use this mount since last July. I'm just wanting to try some basic ap with my tv85 and basic visual with my ar6. Agree with other posts. Would be great if Meade offered a fix for the tripod head and better gears (metal) for us beta testers when and if they change the design. Maybe also fix the spring loaded worm. Or a discount on parts. Thoughts?

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Gregk
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/19/06

Loc: San Tan Valley, Az,
Re: A letter to Meade about the LX80 new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5854285 - 05/11/13 07:16 PM

Well Maybe this an an opportunity for me to get an LX80 for my pier that will be finished in a few weeks.

I need this mount for AP and my payload with be no more than 20lbs


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: A letter to Meade about the LX80 new [Re: Gregk]
      #5854303 - 05/11/13 07:42 PM

Mike....

OPT has the CG5-GT on sale (close out ??) for $549.
I believe i heard that they have maybe about 100 available.


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: A letter to Meade about the LX80 new [Re: Gregk]
      #5854391 - 05/11/13 09:03 PM

Quote:

Well Maybe this an an opportunity for me to get an LX80 for my pier that will be finished in a few weeks.

I need this mount for AP and my payload with be no more than 20lbs




Greg,

The pier will solve the possible tripodroblem but I don't believe anyone has posted any good pictures yet. Very sorry to the photographer if I'm wrong. From what I've seen, a CG5 would be a better choice for about $400 less or the AVX for $200 less.

Mike


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: A letter to Meade about the LX80 new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5854402 - 05/11/13 09:11 PM

Quote:

Mike....

OPT has the CG5-GT on sale (close out ??) for $549.
I believe i heard that they have maybe about 100 available.




David,

Thanks... I've been thinking seriously about the IOptron EQZ25 because of the total weight. I'd like to be able to carry the tripod, mount and scopes out of my shop to the yard (50 to 100 yards). Even if everything worked great on the LX80, at about 80 pounds, I can't do that. I'm just getting too old! I could almost do it with a CG5 I had last year so that is an option and used ones are going for about $400.


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