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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Why me? new [Re: jmiele]
      #5382415 - 08/23/12 10:04 AM

Neison,

It's hard when something like this happens.

Meade isn't going to be able to address any of your problems with this piece of hardware. You're looking for another mount.

I hope it works out,

-Rich


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JimMo
I'd Rather Do It Myself


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Under the SE Michigan lightdom...
Re: Why me? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5382619 - 08/23/12 11:40 AM

Quote:

Neison,

It's hard when something like this happens.

Meade isn't going to be able to address any of your problems with this piece of hardware. You're looking for another mount.

I hope it works out,

-Rich




I agree. With every mount I've ever had I take the total weight capacity rating and cut it in half. Not just with Meade mounts but all of the lower end mounts. Until you spend much more money there are trade offs with any mount especially in the lower end. For $799 I'm happy and in polar mode I only plan on mounting my DSLR with camera lenses under 200mm. It'd cost just as much for an Astro Track and it wouldn't be able to hold a telescope in alt/az or polar. That said, maybe Meade shouldn't be selling it with a 10" SCT OTA.

BTW- my mount has none of the RA slop yours has. Hope you get it sorted out.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: JimMo]
      #5382656 - 08/23/12 12:02 PM

Hi Jim.M.
I am glad you mentioned that yours doesn't have that RA slop like mine. Its not as noticeable without the weight of the ota but once I put the 10" 29lb or my AR152mm refractor 23lb then it becomes very noticeable in both polar and Alt/Az modes. That might be the problem. I will be calling Meade shortly. But I think you said it all when you said maybe Meade shouldn't be selling it with a 10" sct ota.

As for 1/2 weight. My Meade LXD75 handles this 10" ota. It weights 29lbs and the mount is rated at 30lbs. I would expect this mount to be able to handle more, not less than the one it replaced.


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Texas
super member


Reged: 01/14/08

Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5382739 - 08/23/12 12:52 PM

I have come to the conclusion that you are simply not meant to own this mount. And based on your experience - perhaps neither am I. That's too bad because I was looking at the LX80 as a replacement for multiple mounts. For me, it was a great idea and a great solution. I kicked myself for not coming across it sooner. I was lucky.
It would appear that there something dysfunctional about Meade and its two new mounts. The quality control on some of these mounts appears not to be not just *BLEEP* poor but non existent. I am sure that they have good intentions but maybe they just don't have the staff and/or the ability to make sure that what's being shipped isn't junk. In fairness to Meade there still aren't a lot of actual owners chiming in.
You deserve much better treatment than what you have received. At this point, I doubt that I'm going to take delivery when Highpoint tells me they're ready to ship.


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JimMo
I'd Rather Do It Myself


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Under the SE Michigan lightdom...
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5382787 - 08/23/12 01:13 PM

One thing I've learned from my fork mount SCT days was that I never transport the mount with the az. or alt. axises locked. I was surprised when the mount arrived with both locked, that's just asking for trouble IMHO. I take that back, the dec. axis was loose, but the RA axis WAS locked. Maybe that is what caused the slop in the RA? Maybe your mount was dropped more that mine was during delivery? I did have on tear in the mounts outside box, but the inner box was OK, but it also means the shipper(UPS in my case) did bump it around, at least once.

I got some more rest and it's the last day of my vacation so I plan to set it up tonight in polar and see how it does. I'm only mounting a TV85 and one 11# counter weight out about five inches from the mount using two segments of the shaft.

BTW-It couldn't have worked out better. I received the mount on Monday, got off work early, and had the next three days off, All of them clear.
No new equipment curse here.


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blueman
Photon Catcher
*****

Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5382869 - 08/23/12 02:11 PM

Hi Neilson,
Sounds like you have given it a fair chance, but maybe it is time to move on and just think about another mount?
Blueman
Quote:

Hi Guys'
My replacement LX80 arrived yesterday afternoon. When I opened the box I noticed this mount and tripod looked much better. There was no scratches or spinning latitude locks or missing labels. This one looked brand new. Carlos at Meade said they tested it with a 10" ota in polar mode and it worked fine.
I dont know who actually checked it out, the boxes had been opened and as I lifted the mount out and removed the plastic, I was upset. The RA drive was very loose. not just slop but it appeared falling apart. The first thing I checked the 3 allen bolts on the bottom but they were tight so I knew it was the bearings. I opened a side cover on the top and I could see the lock bolt was very loose. It uses a special tool but it should only be finger tight because its a car wheel bearing but smaller. After I finger tightened it real good I made sure the RA spun by hand, with the clutch unlocked, easily but with no up and down play. Then I tightened the allen screw on the side of the lock bolt to lock it in place.
I just can't see how that had passed any tests. I placed the 29lb 10" ota that came with it on. While adjusting it for balance the spring loaded wormblock disengaged from the ring gear 2 times. This made me sick because I was being careful handling the 10"ota since they had left the handle off the back and the viewfinder holder mount was now made of plastic instead of metal like before. So you cant use it to hold the ota cause it might break.
This mount has about 1/16" of movement (slop) from the spring loaded wormblock. That means the ota moves back and forth easily. The first mount had 1/4" slop but I adjusted it all out. I am not adjusting this one at this time.
I tested with the 29lb 10" ota in polar. It was very difficult to polar align because of the ota movement.
I had trained the drives 3 times trying to get the RA to work better in slew speeds on handbox buttons 2,3,and 4. I had to set the percents DEC 30% and RA at 90%. yes 90%. In positions about 45deg from top these speeds would not move in RA but on button 5 speed it moved fast. I never use such high settings. It seams that the motor wont handle the 29lb weight in my opinion. I even tried with a 9mm eyepiece and sometimes small movements then it would stop moving, other times nothing at all. It couldnt hold the star centered in my eyepiece at 45deg from top positions.
I tried my 23lb ES AR152mm refractor and had difficulty also and slop in the RA. but better results. In ALT/AZ mode both otas worked better since the RA is flat with no lifting. But the back and forth movement (slop) in RA was still a problem in this mode.
I will have to call Carlos at Meade tomorrow and ask why this mount cant handle 40lbs in polar like advertised. And why it can't handle the 29lb 10"ota it came with. And why it has difficulty with my 23lb ES AR152mm refractor.
I wonder if Meade actually thinks it will handle 40lbs or knows its more like 20 to 25lbs.
I waited since last sept. calling every 2 weeks being told things like "in a few more weeks" and "by the end of the month" over and over. When I finally get it I find its been very over rated. Its only capable of handling smaller lighter ota's. And they had no business selling it with a 10" ota. I just hate those engineers fresh out of school who go around claiming that they can design a drive that can handle large loads with a tiny motor and plastic gears by just using enough gearing. You have to have actual hands on experience working with mechanical devices then you will know that its better to design a setup with extra reserve power. Then the motor is not being pushed beyond its capability and you get increased reliability.
They used a very small motor. If they would of just used a little bigger motor, they could use a stronger spring and the mount could handle the 40 lbs with ease.
I would be very happy if Meade finds a way for this to handle the 10" 29lb ota it came with. After going through all that waiting and expecting makes it hard for me to give up on this mount. Why didn't Meade just tell me it wasn't going to work when I returned the other one. I just hope I am somehow wrong. There is a possibility I can tweak the wormblock tighter to help fix it but I'm not willing to do that just yet. Is there anyone out there with an LX80 and a Meade 10"ota that can test theirs in polar.
neilson




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jgraham
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Soci...
Re: Why me? new [Re: blueman]
      #5382927 - 08/23/12 02:37 PM

Just out of curiosity, were the shipping boxes in good shape? I recently bought a fairly heavy mount and I was shocked at the condition of the boxes, they were bascically shattered. I was amazed that the mount survived, but it did. However, there is no way I could ever use the original boxes or their packing ever again.

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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Why me? new [Re: jgraham]
      #5383031 - 08/23/12 03:34 PM

Mine came to me as loose as a Kardashian. I sent a short video clip off to Meade and asked them if this was normal. I never heard back except from someone saying they'd forward my video to someone that would know.

When my electronics fried, I sent the mount back for repairs and I included a note for them to check all the adjustments to make sure it was tight. I hear people saying their mount is nice and tight and others saying it isn't. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5383066 - 08/23/12 03:59 PM

I know a guy that just received his LX80/10" SCT this week. Hopefully he will get a chance to test it out this weekend. If he does not post any results I'll get some details and post them here.

Mike


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: jgraham]
      #5383091 - 08/23/12 04:13 PM

There was no damage to the boxes of either mount. The RA slop when turning is from the wormblock spring tension. The heavier the ota, the easier it is to pop out from the ring gear, disengaging. There are adjustments for the spring tension and on my first mount I adjusted it all the way to get rid of the play but it still couldn't handle the weight of the 29lb. 10" ota.
I really like this mount despite its problems but when Meade returns my call and if they admit it wont handle the weight. I will ask OPT to swap the 10"OTA for a Celestron 9.25"OTA. It only weights 20lbs. The mount should handle that much weight fine. I will still be disappointed in Meade and my other Meade SN10" will have to sit in the corner cause its 29lbs also.

I would like to know how his 10" LX80 works out in polar. It would be nice to see if its just my luck or if all of them are like this.
neilson


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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: Why me? new [Re: jgraham]
      #5383143 - 08/23/12 04:43 PM

Neilson

What is totally unacceptable is the fact that Meade told you they tested the mount with the 10" OTA on it and it did fine.
Meade sure miss an opportunity here to have Neilson beat the drums of how great customer service was. The fact the Head guy Carlos said it was good concerns me, either they didn't check the mount or they don't have the knowledge base to do a proper test.

Jim I glad you mount will work as needed. in fact if you use the mount visually the mount will work. or using wide field camera lens


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5383253 - 08/23/12 05:45 PM

Yea, thats one of my first questions to them. But I am guessing a stocker or phone answer person did the check and just put power and slewed it on high speed thinking if it works on high then everything is good. I just dont understand how someone didnt notice the bearing so loose or the ota bouncing each time it was slewed and after it stopped. When I picked it up out of the box the top of the mount was acting like it was going to fall apart the bearing was so loose. How does someone not notice these things.
I am thinking they didnt have the proper knowledge base for a proper test like you said. I still hope they can find a way for it to work.
neilson


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blueman
Photon Catcher
*****

Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5383343 - 08/23/12 06:43 PM

You have the patience of a saint.
Blueman
Quote:

Yea, thats one of my first questions to them. But I am guessing a stocker or phone answer person did the check and just put power and slewed it on high speed thinking if it works on high then everything is good. I just dont understand how someone didnt notice the bearing so loose or the ota bouncing each time it was slewed and after it stopped. When I picked it up out of the box the top of the mount was acting like it was going to fall apart the bearing was so loose. How does someone not notice these things.
I am thinking they didnt have the proper knowledge base for a proper test like you said. I still hope they can find a way for it to work.
neilson




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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: blueman]
      #5383562 - 08/23/12 09:23 PM

LOL thats funny,
Well Carlos called me and we had a long discussion. And this mount is really supposed to be able to handle the weight of the 10" 29lbs. ota. He tells me that he saw the technician test it. He has no answer for why the RA bearing was loose like that and no one noticed it. I insisted that I am willing to make any adjustments and do any tests that they think might fix it. We felt the motors were week and he offered to send new ones to start and I agreed but then he asked me more about how many amps I was drawing at high slew and he asked me to decrease it from the .50-.65 amp it was drawing to .40 on the high side of the ring gear but it could reach .50 if needed. After several adjustments and tests with the ota I ended up increasing the pressure but tightening the limit adjustment so the worm gear wouldn't be able to dig into the ring gear as hard and I reached a range of .40-.45 amp. I put everything back together and did a fake easy alignment and pointed my ota at an angle of 45deg from top and aimed at a tower miles away and with a 12mm illuminated crosshair reticle eyepiece I tried adjusting the RA in each of the speeds handbox buttons 2-4 and I could see it move. Then I decreased the percent I had set at 90% before down to 30% and I could still see it move in RA. I added a barlow to magnify it and make sure I saw it move.
So all I need to do is test it tonight on Arcturus star tonight and see if it holds.
I am supposed to call Carlos at Meade and tell him but they are closed and I don't have his extension and I cant get their Employee directory to tell me it. Sorry Carlos I will have to call you tomorrow when you open. But thanks for all your help and for letting me try adjustments to get it to work. I will report later my results on real stars.
I had tried this adjustment on the first mount but the gear was too out of round to let me set it up like that. It caused play in the teeth on the low side..and if I barely got the play out then on the high side of the gear it would draw too many amps. But this gear was much better. It just has to be set up just right to handle the 10" ota's weight but it looks like it will after all.
neilson


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5383760 - 08/23/12 11:38 PM

Well I just finished star testing it. It was better but It still wasn't working. I was able to polar align it easier now. I could move in any direction at the slowest slew speed but I had to bumped up the RA percent to 50%. I could slew to Arcturus and center the star and it was staying centered for 20 seconds but if you moved it away slightly in the opposite direction of sky movement it could not catch back up to the star and even started moving away. I wasn't able to do longer testing because the clouds moved in fast.
I will have to try more adjustments tomorrow. Balance is very critical or it wont work. I might get it to work a little better but in my opinion it would be pushing it. The ota might kind of work in visual but why would you be doing visual in polar mode. Thats what Alt /Az is for. Its not going to work with the added weight of a guide scope and cameras. even if its a view finder type guide scope. My opinion is still that its too heavy for the motors but were still trying. I was amazed we got it this good maybe it can be improved enough. I got excited earlier after making the adjustments but once I tested it against a moving sky it barely kept up.
neilson


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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5383916 - 08/24/12 02:44 AM

I've now canceled my LX80 order. Just thought I'd mention it. Not that anyone really cares.

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mmalik
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/13/12

Loc: USA
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5383966 - 08/24/12 04:35 AM

Quote:

I got excited earlier after making the adjustments but once I tested it against a moving sky it barely kept up.




Neilson, as others have advised as well, it is about time you closed the chapter on LX80; a friendly advice.

I was hoping to see EQ guided images by now but no one seems to have posted any; I am wondering if anyone was able to take any (with the exception of one very wide FOV taken by Kevin)? I am looking for some serious high res EQ guided DSO images...

And what became of the following updates by Meade?

- PEC Training
- Guiding with Envisage Software


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Stew57
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/03/09

Loc: Silsbee Texas
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5384120 - 08/24/12 08:50 AM

Part of the problemis the definition of "working". Most lower end manufacturers define working (especially visual) as it can slew without a catastrophic failure and collapse. The C14 on the CGEM (even with a beefier tripod DX) and the SN10 on the LXD55 are examples.

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Why me? [Re: neilson]
      #5384202 - 08/24/12 09:55 AM

Neilson,

They're just running you around the track hoping to exhaust you to the point where you get tired and the calendar runs out before you have the energy to return to it.

And to a previous poster, we've got as many LX80 owners on here now as just about any make.

Can anyone tell if these folks they are talking to at Meade are astronomers? I'm getting the impression they must not know what a properly functioning mount is, but are following some generic guidelines with questionable pedigree.

-Rich

Quote:

Well I just finished star testing it. It was better but It still wasn't working. I was able to polar align it easier now. I could move in any direction at the slowest slew speed but I had to bumped up the RA percent to 50%. I could slew to Arcturus and center the star and it was staying centered for 20 seconds but if you moved it away slightly in the opposite direction of sky movement it could not catch back up to the star and even started moving away. I wasn't able to do longer testing because the clouds moved in fast.
I will have to try more adjustments tomorrow. Balance is very critical or it wont work. I might get it to work a little better but in my opinion it would be pushing it. The ota might kind of work in visual but why would you be doing visual in polar mode. Thats what Alt /Az is for. Its not going to work with the added weight of a guide scope and cameras. even if its a view finder type guide scope. My opinion is still that its too heavy for the motors but were still trying. I was amazed we got it this good maybe it can be improved enough. I got excited earlier after making the adjustments but once I tested it against a moving sky it barely kept up.
neilson




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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Why me? [Re: neilson]
      #5384307 - 08/24/12 10:48 AM

Neilson,

Out of curiosity, how exactly are you balancing the OTA and do you have any pictures of it set up? Even with small motors and such, if you are able to balance it well (that may be a big IF), then it should slew at all speeds and slew without poping the spring loaded worm out.


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