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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: Stew57]
      #5387734 - 08/26/12 10:59 AM

Hi Mark,
I know all that stuff your talking about. That's why I use a focal reducer so I can image at f/6.7 instead of f/10. My SN10" IS AN F/4. And my refractor is f/6.5 And I use a Canon T1i with a big 15.1MGP chip instead of my DSI cameras. Although I use to do alot of imaging at f/10 with my DSI IIc I haven't in a couple years. But You and me are not talking about the same thing. Its one thing for a mount to be rated at 50lbs and work poorly for AP at that weight, but its another thing for that mount to not work at all at 50lb for visual, or even 30lbs for visual. Much less AP. If this mount would of worked at 40lb for visual when I got it then I could of gotten it to do AP at 30lbs under good conditions. At least after some tweaking. But right now its barely reaching 30lb visual and thats after tweaking.
The reason you usually buy a 10"ota is for AP. But I do also use it for visual.
neilson


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5387811 - 08/26/12 11:48 AM

Hi Andrew,
Both mounts I have received did not come with threads all the way up the rod. I was able to get the flexible plastic spreader bar snug but that's where the threads stop on the rod. I was not able to get anywhere near the pressure like on other mounts that have a metal spreader and fully threaded bar. On those you can torque it tight. David described his like this back when his leg broke. He said that you can tighten it but you cant torque it like on other mounts because the threads end. I believe the plastic spreader has an effect as does the weight of the mount and ota. If the spreader was stiffer or metal and/or the rod threaded farther up, I believe there would be alot more breaking. Before his leg broke I was about to add some washers so I could get it tighter. I am glad I didn't. With that said Even though I don't think the pressure is excessive for normal constructed mounts, this one lacks adequate reinforcement and therefore I do agree with you that the spreader has the most effect to cause the legs to break.
neilson


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5387841 - 08/26/12 11:59 AM

You're in for quite the learning experience, Neilson.

At least the LX 80 isn't prohibitively expensive to do this with. If you're willing to stick with the hobby by the time this is done, that is.

After my first evening with an AP Mach 1GTO, I was saying to myself, "Why the snap have I been wasting my time nursing along junk?"

But in truth, I think everyone has to live through it to understand it. If you were willing to take people's word for it, you would have listened to the know it alls who are sure you're missing out by not hanging out with them in a sports bar.

Just don't blow a lot of cash on OTAs trying to fix this. Sure, you can get to some good optics, but you're going to need to spend money elsewhere.

-Rich


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5387924 - 08/26/12 12:50 PM

Hi Andrew,

Little tiny electric motors even geared up cannot apply much force. Especially to move 30 or 60lbs (ota and counterweights). But when balanced the weights cancel each other out. The only thing left to slow the motors is the drag or friction on the bearings caused by all the the weight. These mounts use automotive tapered roller wheel bearings but made in China.
For the mount to start moving it has to overcome the inertia and the friction. But with all the gearing the inertia is minimal. Once it gets moving then its the friction that the motors working against. The friction on those bearings caused by the weight of the ota and counterweights.
Also its working against the friction of the wormgear meshing with the ring gear. The spring on the wormblock is so powerful it takes alot of my strength just to momentarily pull them apart 1/4 inch. That is why the mount improved from .58amp draw to .48amp draw after I tweaked the wormblock to reduce pressure. This improved the performance of the mount.

I got some super-lube yesterday and I am going to try and put some in the bearings today to try to reduce friction.

neilson


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blueman
Photon Catcher
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Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: Why me? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5388023 - 08/26/12 02:22 PM

Amen to that!
Blueman
Quote:

You're in for quite the learning experience, Neilson.

At least the LX 80 isn't prohibitively expensive to do this with. If you're willing to stick with the hobby by the time this is done, that is.

After my first evening with an AP Mach 1GTO, I was saying to myself, "Why the snap have I been wasting my time nursing along junk?"

But in truth, I think everyone has to live through it to understand it. If you were willing to take people's word for it, you would have listened to the know it alls who are sure you're missing out by not hanging out with them in a sports bar.

Just don't blow a lot of cash on OTAs trying to fix this. Sure, you can get to some good optics, but you're going to need to spend money elsewhere.

-Rich




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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5388056 - 08/26/12 02:38 PM

Hi Rich,
I am not new to this hobby, I just joined CN 2 years ago to make a purchase from the classifieds. But I've been doing AP for several years before. I normally don't participate in forums but this mount is new and there are no files to look through. And my first lx80 had about a dozen problems. I know that for most people a wide-field lightweight setup is best for AP. But over the years I have modified/tweaked almost every mount that I owned to exceed its capability and perform well for AP. But to start with I need a mount that is close to what its specs advertise. Otherwise I'm just trying to get it to meet its specs. After I work on it then it does very well for AP. After talking to Meade this mount really is supposed to Max at 40lbs. I might of just got 2 bad ones. Or maybe its just not going to get to 40lbs. And if not then I'm going to need a lighter ota.
neilson


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blueman
Photon Catcher
*****

Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5388232 - 08/26/12 04:17 PM

Hi Neilsen,
I appreciate what you are doing and I too have worked on mounts to make them handle their rated wieght for AP work.

I think what Rich meant was that trying to make something work compared to it just working is a huge jump. This is what people pay more money to acheive, but it is admirable that people are still willing to work on things to make them better. My biggest issues so far with the new Meade mounts is that they seem to lack function and capability right out of the box. This is hard to get past for me and I am sure other feel that way as well.

But I hope you make this mount sing high C before you are finished. But if it does not, then I hope you will be able to return it for a refund. If not I think the resale on the mount will not be good, too much has been said concerning the porblems they have and that usually means a big hit on resale.

Good luck!
Blueman
Quote:

Hi Rich,
I am not new to this hobby, I just joined CN 2 years ago to make a purchase from the classifieds. But I've been doing AP for several years before. I normally don't participate in forums but this mount is new and there are no files to look through. And my first lx80 had about a dozen problems. I know that for most people a wide-field lightweight setup is best for AP. But over the years I have modified/tweaked almost every mount that I owned to exceed its capability and perform well for AP. But to start with I need a mount that is close to what its specs advertise. Otherwise I'm just trying to get it to meet its specs. After I work on it then it does very well for AP. After talking to Meade this mount really is supposed to Max at 40lbs. I might of just got 2 bad ones. Or maybe its just not going to get to 40lbs. And if not then I'm going to need a lighter ota.
neilson




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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5388449 - 08/26/12 06:21 PM

Gday Neilson

Quote:

Little tiny electric motors even geared up cannot apply much force.




I disagree here.
As part of testing, I have deliberately tried to hold my worm whilst the scope was tracking, just to see what happens. It immediately increases power if if detects it is falling behind.
Looking at the second last plot i posted ( at about 2seconds in ), you can clearly see the overdamped response as the motor went too fast then slowed down and sped up and slowed down till it stabilised. I will do a plot today of what happens with my LX90 cards in this case.

Quote:

The only thing left to slow the motors is the drag or friction on the bearings caused by all the the weight.




I really cant believe tapered roller bearings will have any friction effects in this situation.
The simplest test ( tho not simple ) is to remove the RA worm from the worm wheel, ie so there is no contact between the two items.
This will allow the RA axle to spin freely, whether the clutch is engaged or not.
Set up and balance the unit in AltAz and then spin it by hand, with clutch free and then locked.
If it spins freely and easily, then its not bearing / axle friction causing the problem.
Now set it to polar, balance properly for RA and retry.
If something is flexing under load, and causing binding, it should show in this mode.
If it binds in polar but not altaz in this scenario, its 100% not bearing friction related.

Quote:

Also its working against the friction of the wormgear meshing with the ring gear. The spring on the wormblock is so powerful it takes alot of my strength just to momentarily pull them apart 1/4 inch.




That sounds horribly wrong, and sounds more like the source of the problem.
Even on my LX200, i can move the worm carrier away from the wormwheel using just the tip of my little finger???

Andrew


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Why me? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5388508 - 08/26/12 06:58 PM

In regards to Andrew's post, this is exactly the reaction I see when adjusting some mounts. It is more obvious on mounts with larger motors like the CGE or CGE Pro, but when you bind the gears breifly and then release them, the motors ramp up and jump forward and then slows back down to the normal speed. This is how a servo system like this should work (with some limits imposed by the motor driver and the motor's torque rating).

The tapered bearing can cause trouble if the axis nut is tightened too far because the conical race jams the rollers onto the axis shaft. This is actually something that I commonly find wrong on a lot of mounts where too much preload has been applied to the axis nut causing the axis to be stiff and even rough if the bearing are not good or have debris in them. The trick is to find the point where the taper bearings do their job of centering the axle while not inhibiting its turning. You are correct that the way to test this is simply to disengage the worm and see how well the balanced axis turns and make any appropriate adjustments from there (of course the preload of the axis bearings may not be the only issue).

I definitely agree that I have not seen a spring loaded worm that is that apparently difficult to move. The worm needs to be able to glide over the ring gear and easily overcome any inevitable high spots without being so loose that it pops out. If it is jammed against the ring gear so hard that it is nearly impossible to pull out, then the spring loading function may be doing almost nothing. This could definitely lead to problems in the axis slewing, especially at low speeds.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 11/30/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5388524 - 08/26/12 07:11 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

Gday Neilson

Quote:

As part of testing, I have deliberately tried to hold my worm whilst the scope was tracking, just to see what happens. It immediately increases power if if detects it is falling behind.




And heres a plot i just ran ( again, with LX90 motor cards ).
I set it polar and tracking, then just used my fingers to grab the worm and apply resistance to tracking.
You can clearly see the speed started to drop, and then the feedback loop cut in and upped the PWM to overcome it. Once done, it went back to std tracking.
You will see in the closeup region that the PWM went up to nearly 80% at times to overcome the "blockage" i created. This will easily overcome any "normal" sticking.

Andrew


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: blueman]
      #5388535 - 08/26/12 07:15 PM

Hi Blueman,
Ok I see what you mean. That is very true. It should work right out of the box. And it is frustrating that We have to fork out good money for something that isn't as good as it should be. I am usually very upset when something brand new doesn't work and I have to fix it myself. I paid for something that works perfect and looks brand new. Not something that's a project.
But it has to do with waiting since last year and it doesn't work. I can't just give it back and get a refund and be left with nothing. If I think its supposed to work the way they said then I feel I can make it if I just keep at it.

Well ya'll got me motivated to tear it down and figure it out. Well I might of done just that. I tore it down to the bearings. I thought they were going to be a pain but it wasn't. I took the RA bearings out and they were dry...No grease what so ever. I know if you pack them with thick grease they will cause some resistence. So I used that super lube synthetic grease that I have been hearing about. I put it on the bearings and rolled it around so they would get plenty inside without packing it in. Then some on the race and assembled it. I spun it around with the locknut snug then loosened it and lightly tightened it with 2 fingers then unscrewed it 1/16 of a turn. I tested it with my amp meter running it at different tightness's and this was the tightest with the least amp draw on the motor. And if you wiggle it the movement (play) isn't noticable if there is any. This is the same tightness I had it before.
The ring gear grease Meade uses is to thin for my 100deg weather, its melted like butter, but didn't disappear so its acceptable but I removed it anyways and mixed my thick green "triple guard" marine grease and some super-lube general purpose synthetic grease.

Now I put everything together carefully and mounted my 10"ota and 2 weights. I was in shock, this thing turned so easy and smooth. It was extremely easy to balance it perfectly. the friction on the bearings was so low now. the best I got before was 0.43amp draw with ota and weights. now its only 0.33amp draw with ota and weights. Really, that's all.
I calibrated the motors and trained the drives. I used my 12mm illuminated reticle eyepiece. I was able to set the percents to 10% . I selected the lowest slew speed, button 2 on the handbox. I could slew in any direction but instead of super slow it moved really good. I made sure I didn't have a barlow and I made sure it was on the slowest slew speed, but it still moved quickly compared to the barely moving speed it was before.

When I got my mount the draw was 0.58amp loaded, now its only .33amp on the highest slew speed. I was using 90% on the RA percent setting then, but now its 10% on both and works much better.

Well I just couldn't resist. I have 2 more 11 pound weights. I put one on each side to balance it at 44lbs on one side and 30+11 on the other for a total weight of 85lbs. I had to slide the weights in a little to balance it. I tried slewing on high and the current draw was only 0.37amps. Then I pointed at a tower and tested the lowest slew speed and it moved easily in all directions. I only tested it for a few seconds with this weight though.

I think this sounds promising. But against a moving sky will tell if this is the cure for the problem. I already thought I had it once before but the sky proved me wrong.. I really hope this is it. And of course the sky is filling up with clouds and the wind is blowing. Thanks guys for pushing me cause that's what made me feel I had to prove something. It's going to be real funny if I am completely wrong.lol
neilson.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5388584 - 08/26/12 07:42 PM

No, you're doing what should have been done when it was built. The Meade guys need to know what you found.

They had their chance when they claimed to have checked it. Once again it is obvious the first person to try to use one has been the customers.

-Rich


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blueman
Photon Catcher
*****

Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5388586 - 08/26/12 07:42 PM

Hi,
Keep us informed, it sounds like you may be on track.
Blueman
Quote:

Hi Blueman,
Ok I see what you mean. That is very true. It should work right out of the box. And it is frustrating that We have to fork out good money for something that isn't as good as it should be. I am usually very upset when something brand new doesn't work and I have to fix it myself. I paid for something that works perfect and looks brand new. Not something that's a project.
But it has to do with waiting since last year and it doesn't work. I can't just give it back and get a refund and be left with nothing. If I think its supposed to work the way they said then I feel I can make it if I just keep at it.

Well ya'll got me motivated to tear it down and figure it out. Well I might of done just that. I tore it down to the bearings. I thought they were going to be a pain but it wasn't. I took the RA bearings out and they were dry...No grease what so ever. I know if you pack them with thick grease they will cause some resistence. So I used that super lube synthetic grease that I have been hearing about. I put it on the bearings and rolled it around so they would get plenty inside without packing it in. Then some on the race and assembled it. I spun it around with the locknut snug then loosened it and lightly tightened it with 2 fingers then unscrewed it 1/16 of a turn. I tested it with my amp meter running it at different tightness's and this was the tightest with the least amp draw on the motor. And if you wiggle it the movement (play) isn't noticable if there is any. This is the same tightness I had it before.
The ring gear grease Meade uses is to thin for my 100deg weather, its melted like butter, but didn't disappear so its acceptable but I removed it anyways and mixed my thick green "triple guard" marine grease and some super-lube general purpose synthetic grease.

Now I put everything together carefully and mounted my 10"ota and 2 weights. I was in shock, this thing turned so easy and smooth. It was extremely easy to balance it perfectly. the friction on the bearings was so low now. the best I got before was 0.43amp draw with ota and weights. now its only 0.33amp draw with ota and weights. Really, that's all.
I calibrated the motors and trained the drives. I used my 12mm illuminated reticle eyepiece. I was able to set the percents to 10% . I selected the lowest slew speed, button 2 on the handbox. I could slew in any direction but instead of super slow it moved really good. I made sure I didn't have a barlow and I made sure it was on the slowest slew speed, but it still moved quickly compared to the barely moving speed it was before.

When I got my mount the draw was 0.58amp loaded, now its only .33amp on the highest slew speed. I was using 90% on the RA percent setting then, but now its 10% on both and works much better.

Well I just couldn't resist. I have 2 more 11 pound weights. I put one on each side to balance it at 44lbs on one side and 30+11 on the other for a total weight of 85lbs. I had to slide the weights in a little to balance it. I tried slewing on high and the current draw was only 0.37amps. Then I pointed at a tower and tested the lowest slew speed and it moved easily in all directions.

I think this sounds promising. But against a moving sky will tell if this is the cure for the problem. I already thought I had it once before but the sky proved me wrong.. I really hope this is it. And of course the sky is filling up with clouds and the wind is blowing. Thanks guys for pushing me cause that's what made me feel I had to prove something. It's going to be real funny if I am completely wrong.lol
neilson.




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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: EFT]
      #5388619 - 08/26/12 07:58 PM

Hi Ed and Andrew,
You will just have to see for yourselves. This wormblock is not like any I have seen before. On my LX200 you can move it very very easy but this wormblock uses a piece of spring steel attached to the mount at one end and pushes on one end of the wormblock and has a small heavy coil spring. The small heavy spring is so the worm can disconnect from the ring if needed. In the middle of the piece of spring steel is a screw attached to the mount. when you tighten this screw it pushes on the worm against the ring gear. too much pressure will cause it to dig into the brass ring. So there is a limit screw on the back that if you tighten, it pushes the worm away from the ringgear. But you just tighten it enough to reduce the pressure but not cause backlash. Its a stop screw so the worm can only go so far down against the ring gear.
In the middle of the coil spring is a screw and it limits how far the worm can kick out. screwed all the way in is normal.

confused yet, then go to LX80 yahoo group and look in the photo section on the left side of the page. look in the folder called "Opening RA base of LX80". the last picture called side view adjusting screws. I (astroshepy) have folders with pictures of most things in the mount

neilson


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5388677 - 08/26/12 08:32 PM

You said it Rich,
I keep thinking the same thing. I will be checking it tonight if at all possible, the sky has cleared but more storms are expected but I think they will miss me. I will post my results even if I failed, and y'all can give me a hard time (lol) and then I will try something else. But tomorrow I will call Carlos at Meade and let him know.



Andrew,
I understand that the mount should ramp up power but either mine is not or the dry bearings were causing more friction than the ramped up power could overcome.
The bearings should not have caused such significant friction like you said but since they were dry they did.
Since the bearing friction has been reduced so much I can actually see the momentary slight amp draw that is caused from the inertia of starting the ota to move from stop and even more when changing direction.

The excess pressure of the worm on the ring gear was the first thing I adjusted the other day. The stop screw that limits how far the worm can go down wasn't even being used. I adjusted it from .58 to .65 range amp draw to just above .40 like Carlos instructed.

If I was to reduce the downward pressure then there is alot of back and forth slop and the wormblock disengauges too easy from the ring gear.

neilson


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5388739 - 08/26/12 09:00 PM

Quote:

Hi Ed and Andrew,
You will just have to see for yourselves. This wormblock is not like any I have seen before. On my LX200 you can move it very very easy but this wormblock uses a piece of spring steel attached to the mount at one end and pushes on one end of the wormblock and has a small heavy coil spring. The small heavy spring is so the worm can disconnect from the ring if needed. In the middle of the piece of spring steel is a screw attached to the mount. when you tighten this screw it pushes on the worm against the ring gear. too much pressure will cause it to dig into the brass ring. So there is a limit screw on the back that if you tighten, it pushes the worm away from the ringgear. But you just tighten it enough to reduce the pressure but not cause backlash. Its a stop screw so the worm can only go so far down against the ring gear.
In the middle of the coil spring is a screw and it limits how far the worm can kick out. screwed all the way in is normal.

confused yet, then go to LX80 yahoo group and look in the photo section on the left side of the page. look in the folder called "Opening RA base of LX80". the last picture called side view adjusting screws. I (astroshepy) have folders with pictures of most things in the mount

neilson




It is a little difficult to see in the photo, but it looks similar to the CGE Pro style of spring loading. Rather than the entire worm pivoting outward from the ring gear like in some other mounts, the worm assembly pivots on one end. I would say that it is not a great design, but it is adequate. However, the smaller the diameter of the ring gear and the coarser the teeth, the less well this type of system will operate since the worm will tend to want to slip out of the ring gear easier. The adjustment range of the sweet spot in this system is probably much more narror than one on a much larger worm wheel.


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: Why me? new [Re: EFT]
      #5388800 - 08/26/12 09:42 PM

Gday Ed

Quote:

It is a little difficult to see in the photo, but it looks similar to the CGE Pro style of spring loading. Rather than the entire worm pivoting outward from the ring gear like in some other mounts, the worm assembly pivots on one end.




Not so sure there. Looking at the very bottom of the bracket, you can see alloy plug screws that Meade normally use to preload worm or pivot bearings.
I reckon the whole worm carrier/motor gearbox pivots outwards on a lower axle, and the bar at one end is only there to provide a backstop for the tensioning spring and backstop. Cant really tell from the photos tho.

Nielson, does the whole upper section of the worm carrier pivot ????
If so, how is the worm height adjusted to allow it to fit the wormwheel correctly??

Andrew


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blueman
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Reged: 07/20/07

Loc: California
Re: Why me? new [Re: neilson]
      #5388819 - 08/26/12 09:55 PM

The LXD-650 also used a piece of steel, like a spring and set screws set the tension.
Blueman
Quote:

Hi Ed and Andrew,
You will just have to see for yourselves. This wormblock is not like any I have seen before. On my LX200 you can move it very very easy but this wormblock uses a piece of spring steel attached to the mount at one end and pushes on one end of the wormblock and has a small heavy coil spring. The small heavy spring is so the worm can disconnect from the ring if needed. In the middle of the piece of spring steel is a screw attached to the mount. when you tighten this screw it pushes on the worm against the ring gear. too much pressure will cause it to dig into the brass ring. So there is a limit screw on the back that if you tighten, it pushes the worm away from the ringgear. But you just tighten it enough to reduce the pressure but not cause backlash. Its a stop screw so the worm can only go so far down against the ring gear.
In the middle of the coil spring is a screw and it limits how far the worm can kick out. screwed all the way in is normal.

confused yet, then go to LX80 yahoo group and look in the photo section on the left side of the page. look in the folder called "Opening RA base of LX80". the last picture called side view adjusting screws. I (astroshepy) have folders with pictures of most things in the mount

neilson




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Mkofski
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Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: Why me? [Re: neilson]
      #5388827 - 08/26/12 09:58 PM

Neilson,

Sounds promising! If this fixes the problem with the larger OTA then all Meade needs to do is ship all the LX80's through Ed Thomas so he can finish the mount for them.


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: Why me? [Re: Mkofski]
      #5388890 - 08/26/12 10:40 PM

Quote:

Neilson,

Sounds promising! If this fixes the problem with the larger OTA then all Meade needs to do is ship all the LX80's through Ed Thomas so he can finish the mount for them.




I think I might have to hire some help in that case.


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