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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5321698 - 07/17/12 10:35 AM

Read the rest of this thread. I'll summarize:

(1) The LX80's RA axis doesn't run at the right speed when in polar mode.

(2) The error is big- easily visible in moments.

(3) The hand controllers have been shipped with a random hodgepodge of Autostar variants and versions. None of them work.

(4) Updating to the latest firmware for this mount does not solve the problem.

(5) No one has been able to generate a new rate to obtain propper tracking.

(6) The problem is completely reproducible.

(7) Meade has been silent on a fix.

Pipe up if I've left out anything significant.

-Rich

Quote:

Quote:

It is interesting to read “it drifted out of my FOV (xxmm eyepiece) in x minutes”, but what was the FOV ???




Even more important is the question, "In what axis was the drift?". If it's dec drift then the tracking rate has nothing to do with the issue; it's just polar misalignment.




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jmiele
Patron Saint?
*****

Reged: 12/04/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5321743 - 07/17/12 10:57 AM

Yes, you left out the the hardest working person engaged in this problem isn't at Meade, it's Andrew! From Oz. He is pouring through 1's and 0's remotely and finding more data than most. If Meade was smart, they'd ship him a mount and let him sort it out.

Oh well, I broke my promise to myself.

Joe


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dmdouglass
professor emeritus


Reged: 12/23/07

Loc: Tempe, AZ
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: jmiele]
      #5321786 - 07/17/12 11:22 AM

Rich...

The issue with the Audiostar controllers is not quite what you are saying. Yes, there have been two (2) known defective ones shipped with the new units. One was mine. The other was Dennis/Kevin. But Meade has replaced these units.

As for Meade being "silent on the fix....", well, we need to consider a very important question. Has anyone reported it to them yet ?? I have not. Not yet. I don't know of anyone who has reported it to them yet. I think we are all trying to get our ducks in a row, and make sure it is not an individual problem. Reporting to Meade will come, and probably in the next couple of days.


Unfortunately, they replaced them with Audiostar controllers "from stock", which do not have the latest firmware update, which is what is needed for the LX80. That too is something they need to consider, but not a "part of the problem".

And , yes i agree. Andrew is one of Meades strongest technical advisers (for us....), and I think Meade should step up to the plate, and ship him a mount. Actually, i think they should ship him an evaluation mount from each series. He is, in my opinion, probably one of the best, if not THE best (beta) tester available to Meade.

And I am not sure, but i don't think he makes any money from his efforts. I'll let him address that.


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Thomas Karpf
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/09/09

Loc: Newington, CT
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: neilson]
      #5321894 - 07/17/12 12:33 PM

Quote:

I just tried polar mode for the first time and it tracks good on stars like Deneb and on Saturn but on Antares it will not track.




Deneb and Saturn both have a declination that's positive. Antares is negative. I wonder if that's the key???


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exparrot
member
*****

Reged: 02/13/12

Loc: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #5321939 - 07/17/12 12:52 PM

My outdoor test was a quick one to see if things acted in accordance to what the indoor test was saying. I did a one-star alignment, it chose Arcturus. I centered Arcturus, got the alignment successful message and left it in the EP. I was using a Meade 8" SCT and a 25mm EP. I displayed the coordinates via the HBX by pressing the Mode key for 3 seconds. RA numbers slowly increased, DEC did not change. This was pretty much the same behavior as the indoor test. I noted the start time as 00:01. By 00:19, Arcturus was no longer in my EP.

Jerry


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Lee Jay
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/27/08

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: dmdouglass]
      #5322090 - 07/17/12 02:48 PM

Quote:

As for Meade being "silent on the fix....", well, we need to consider a very important question. Has anyone reported it to them yet ?? I have not.




This amazed me, so I just did.


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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5322118 - 07/17/12 03:04 PM

They gotta know, they are a vendor on this site and regularly post here. They announced the LX800 recall here for example.

I think the +/- Dec issue is the best bet as to what is going on here... If that is the case it is a simple software fix, and we can return to evaluating the mount, rather than debating just how broken it is, and what it takes to fix it.


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #5322121 - 07/17/12 03:09 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I just tried polar mode for the first time and it tracks good on stars like Deneb and on Saturn but on Antares it will not track.




Deneb and Saturn both have a declination that's positive. Antares is negative. I wonder if that's the key???




In polar mode you should be at sidereal rate and it shouldn't change. Ever.

I WONDER if the alt-az drive rate system is somehow being carried over to polar mode. In alt-az, the drive rate WILL change depeneding on where you are in the sky...


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Thomas Karpf
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/09/09

Loc: Newington, CT
Re: LX80 RA tracking new [Re: rmollise]
      #5322149 - 07/17/12 03:28 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I just tried polar mode for the first time and it tracks good on stars like Deneb and on Saturn but on Antares it will not track.




Deneb and Saturn both have a declination that's positive. Antares is negative. I wonder if that's the key???




In polar mode you should be at sidereal rate and it shouldn't change. Ever.





I know, I know. SHOULD and ARE are not always the same thing, however.

I write and debug code for a living. Seeing the patterns in errors is a big part of figuring out why something went 'weird'.

Most code is written by copying another chunk and modifying it. I'm just wondering if a chunk from 'if you are in the southern hemisphere' got copied to 'if declination <0' and the appropriate modifications weren't made because the coder got a phone call or email or it was the end of the day and he would get to it tomorrow. Meade is a (relatively) small company; testing may NOT have been as thorough as it should have been.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: exparrot]
      #5322158 - 07/17/12 03:35 PM

Hi, Here are my results from the 1 hour indoor test. I entered date and time to last night at 9:30pm because Arcturus was straight up. One star alignment then selected Arcturus starting RA 14:15.9 one hour 5 min RA 14:41.9 came to +26.0
I also tried Anteres at +11.4
I tried Deneb starting RA 11:03.6 after 30 min. RA 11:04.8 but one hour was RA 11:03.3 This didn't make sense to me so I might of wrote down a wrong number but I didn't think so. 30 min. +1.2 but after one hour -0.3
Also the pictures I posted on Yahoo LX80 group, I put the grease shown on the ring gears. My mount was extremely far off the alignment stars in Alt/Az so I opened up my mount and the RA ring gear had a small amount of dark grease on 1/4 of the gear only. The Dec ring gear had a small amount of clear grease on 5 teeth only. The rest of the gear was clean. I cleaned off their grease and applied a dark blue synthetic grease and wiped off the excess. I had also noticed 3/16" movement in the RA but found out it was the spring loaded worm gear causing it. I did not make any adjustments because if the spring tension is increased it will cause wear on the brass ring gear and it will keep the worm from disengaging when needed to prevent damage to the plastic/nylon gears and the motor. Now every time during Alt/Az alignment the mount places each alignment star almost in the center of my eyepiece for me. After that said, I do not recommend opening your mount, if somethings wrong contact Meade. And don't mess with the adjustment screws.
Neilson


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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: jmiele]
      #5322165 - 07/17/12 03:40 PM

You Need to call Meade

I just got off the phone with Meade, they said I was the first to call and report the problem and only one that has reported this problem. If you don't call about the issue of RA tracking when used in Polar Mode Meade thinks this is a one off issue and not a problem but reading the post on Cloudy Night I know of 4 mounts that have the same problem. just imagine the guy that buys this mount to use in Alt/Az only and after a year or so down the road he wants to start doing AP only to discover that the mount doesn't work and now it out of warranty. Call Meade so they will know others have the same issue, If down the road its a firmware upate anyone can get the fix but if they have a bad batch of motor controller cards that is something that Meade will have to fix not the end user!

Call Meade if you have one of these mounts.


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #5322168 - 07/17/12 03:42 PM

Quote:


I know, I know. SHOULD and ARE are not always the same thing, however.




Well, yeah. Did you not read the rest of my post?


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: rmollise]
      #5322251 - 07/17/12 04:27 PM

<sigh>

-Rich


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ur7x
professor emeritus


Reged: 01/08/12

Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: TALK2KEV]
      #5322252 - 07/17/12 04:28 PM

We know that at least Lee Jay called Meade about an hour before you so I would say that either Meade is not doing a very good job tracking this problem (bad pun intended) or they are blowing smoke.

But I agree, its long since past time when owners started calling Meade.


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Lee Jay
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/27/08

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: ur7x]
      #5322254 - 07/17/12 04:31 PM

Quote:

We know that at least Lee Jay called Meade about an hour before you ...




I emailed someone there. I didn't call.


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exparrot
member
*****

Reged: 02/13/12

Loc: Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5322296 - 07/17/12 05:00 PM

I called in and spoke to Jose at Meade Support just now. He was familiar with this thread and the issue and told me it was being analyzed, that a fix would be forthcoming once the root cause was determined.

Jerry


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jonbosley
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 10/19/05

Loc: Texas
Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: exparrot]
      #5322315 - 07/17/12 05:21 PM

Call me old fashion but I like the days when you got volunteers to beta test your products not the good paying general public.

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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: Lee Jay]
      #5322328 - 07/17/12 05:29 PM

I called them a few minutes ago and he said that he was going to have to look into it and would get back to me.
I'm still waiting on them to get back to me because my OTA is missing the Meade sticker on the sides and the handle on the back. Its shown in the pictures on the website and in the owners manual. They tell me they put it on the other sizes but the 10"OTA doesn't need it. I told them just send the stickers and a handle and I'll install them and that I wasn't expecting them to. They refused. I'm waiting for the Manager to call back. I also need 1 new tripod leg, they tried to buff out scratches with a wire wheel and messed up the entire length of one leg. The left latitude lock(allen bolt) just spins but the right works fine. Despite the problems I still really like this mount.
Neilson


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TALK2KEV
sage


Reged: 03/08/06

Loc: Oklahoma
Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: jonbosley]
      #5322354 - 07/17/12 05:41 PM

Meade should put Andrew on the pay roll, send him a mount.

My main problem with Meade is that I have called 5 or 6 times and every time I get the same thing, Give me your Name and Number and Meade will call you back But I have never been contacted By Meade every call I called them only to hear the same spill Name number we will get back with you.

Its like having a mad girl fiend she not talking to you!

Edited by TALK2KEV (07/17/12 05:43 PM)


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Lee Jay
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 02/27/08

Loc: Westminster, CO
Re: LX80 RA tracking [Re: jonbosley]
      #5322413 - 07/17/12 06:11 PM

Quote:

Call me old fashion but I like the days when you got volunteers to beta test your products...




I do that for another (non-astro) company. It's actually quite a bit of work to do the job well.


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