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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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DuiA1
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable?
      #5504558 - 11/04/12 08:57 PM

Folks, I am a visual observer and have had reasonably good success with this mount. My issue is that I have discovered that the az axis has a bit of play after I lock the az lock. If I grab the counterweight bar I can move it approx. 1/8 of an inch. Is this considered acceptable and if not how do I adjust it. Dealer in Canada has told me that it is under warranty but I would have to ship it to Meade at my cost. Thoughts or guidance please.

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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5504627 - 11/04/12 09:38 PM

Have you talked to Meade tech support yet? You shouldn't have any play in either axis. Your dealer may be correct about Meade's policy, but they have made several exceptions with the LX80. I'd also consider returning it to your dealer for a replacement. I have an LX80 with no play.

There are a few members that have taken the mount apart to work on other problems. Maybe one of them will have a better answere for you.


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orlyandico
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5504670 - 11/04/12 10:03 PM

that much play isn't too bad. most/all mounts have some degree of backlash on both axes with the axes locked. your expectations may be too high.

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Axle
member
*****

Reged: 04/19/12

Loc: Lake Powell
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: orlyandico]
      #5505258 - 11/05/12 11:11 AM

I just recently received the LX80 that I ordered last April. I have had a chance to play with it during the day to watch balloons in our local hot air balloon festival. I was using the mount as a manual Alt/AZ mount. It worked really great in this application.

I noticed some slop in the AZ mount also. But, there are two locking levers on opposite sides of the mount that must be slid into place to remove the slop.

The lowest lever simply pushes all the way over once you are finished making the fine-tine AZ alignment with the supplied allen wrench tool. This is the AZ alignment that is adjusted using the manual worm gear.

The other AZ slider lever is more like a clutch that applies resistance to the upper mount head assembly rotation. You can partially push this lever over to increase clutch pressure for manual Alt/AZ use of the mount or you can push the lever all the way tight for motorized use of the mount.

Once both levers are pushed over on the mount, all the AZ slop is gone.

Is this what you are talking about?


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DuiA1
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Axle]
      #5505748 - 11/05/12 05:50 PM

Yes, but I have both levers in the locked position and I still get the slop in the az clutch. I will contact Meade support soon. I thought one year warranty covered shipping. Does Meade not allow the issue to be resolved at the dealer under warranty? Any suggestions ?

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jgraham
Postmaster
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Reged: 12/02/04

Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Soci...
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5505763 - 11/05/12 06:04 PM

If it doesn't bother the mount's performance why bother? The R.A. axis on my LXD75 has about that much play. On my first mount I fussed over it, on the second I just left it alone (I own two LXD75s).

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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5506010 - 11/05/12 09:27 PM

The play is from the spring loaded wormblock. If you have a light ota it shouldn't be a problem but if you have an ota around 15 or 20lbs it might be a problem. If the movement is stiff it should be alright but if it bounces around you might have problems viewing. I would contact Meade if your going to send it back, they were paying shipping both ways because that has been a problem with some of the mounts. If it bounces around easily it will cause a problem if you decide to try imaging later. If its excessive it should be obvious and make the mount difficult to use. If you haven't had any problems viewing and didn't even know the movement was there until you looked for it then it should be ok. There is supposed to be a small amount of movement but usually its not noticeable with a small, light ota. You will just have to use your judgement and decide if its effecting your viewing. The movement is the worm disengaging from the ring gear and the spring keeps it engaged.

neilson


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DuiA1
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: neilson]
      #5506363 - 11/06/12 06:22 AM

Thanks Neilson. The play is there with no scope mounted and also there with my TV 85. Have not tried it yet with my Meade AR6. The dovetail on the AR6 fits the lx80 mount but not as snug as i would like. are they not compatible?

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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5506447 - 11/06/12 08:08 AM

I complained to Meade about the exact same issue in my LX80 and they paid to ship it back to their service facility. A month later I received it back in basically the same condition. When I called yesterday to complain, I was told that due to the spring loaded worm/worm gear assembly, a little movement is normal.

I contacted my dealer, who contacted his dealer rep at Meade. The dealer rep contacted the head of Meade service who called me. I directed him to the videos I posted on YouTube showing the issue. He asked me to try the mount out under the night skies as opposed to testing it in my living room and to report back to him. I told him that I would do so in from of 100+ plus people at a star party this weekend and if the mount continued to perform poorly with my C9.25" OTA and MallinCams, the group would see that first hand.

More to follow.

Jack


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5506542 - 11/06/12 09:35 AM

Jack, it's a continuing adventure and an honor to know you.

-Rich


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Jmax
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 09/28/10

Loc: Alabama
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5506558 - 11/06/12 09:42 AM

Jack,

Please do keep us posted. I am one of the "lucky" ones who still is waiting for my LX80, so I have been following the saga very closely. Since I did get it ordered at the $799 price, I haven't cancelled. I wanted it for photography, initially, but I have held on thinking even if it proves to be less than acceptable for taking pictures, it is still cheaper than the Minitower for a dual scope Alt/Az. Anyway, I have a C9.25 as well, so I really am eagerly awaiting your star party report. Thanks so much!


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5506718 - 11/06/12 11:32 AM

Try it out at night and if the play is excessive then it will bounce around or jiggle when you try looking through the eyepiece and you wont be able to look at things. If you can look at things fine then it should be ok.
If you try imaging with a large ota like a 9.25 or an AR-6, a 20 or 30 second unguided image should come out fine. If the play is excessive it wont.

In my experience, I have a 9.25 and an AR-6 and my mount couldn't handle the weight of either ota. Some people get mounts who can. But expect some movement. Its the way they designed it. But if that movement is excessive and/or it moves too easily you will know it when you try to look through the eyepiece or try to image. It will jiggle around alot. But if it doesn't jiggle or the jiggle stops right away and stays stopped then its fine. I don't know why Meade won't address that springy problem because the mount will never live up to the rating of 40lbs max unless they do.

I would be weary if your AR-6 isn't tight when you clamp it in the saddle. Mine would pop out easily just by twisting it. or leaning my ota to the side. I think it was odd that Meade made their own saddle where you could not mount their older ota's. I think it's another attempt to try to get you to buy a new ota from them. But you can just buy a new dovetail. I would call and complain but they probably wont care. But call anyways because if you don't say something they will never address the problem. They had recently changed the design of their dovetails that come on their refractors.
So anyone who is using a Meade ota with the old style dovetail should be very careful because it can pop off the mount and your ota will be on the ground. I haven't even seen a warning about this from Meade. They just let you find out the hard way.

neilson


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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5506895 - 11/06/12 01:18 PM

DuiA1,
I just bought a FarPoint Vixen Type Saddle which locks my scopes in tight on my LX80, an improvement. Also bought some 10mm 1.5 set screws to replace the Meade Knobs.
Farpoint Astro Product Number: FVS - cost $65.


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: brokenwave]
      #5507196 - 11/06/12 04:35 PM

Quote:

DuiA1,
I just bought a FarPoint Vixen Type Saddle which locks my scopes in tight on my LX80, an improvement. Also bought some 10mm 1.5 set screws to replace the Meade Knobs.
Farpoint Astro Product Number: FVS - cost $65.




Not a bad price on the saddle. Which knobs did you replace with set screws?

Thanks,


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DuiA1
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5507229 - 11/06/12 04:57 PM

Talked to Meade customer service today (Christopher)and was told that a little play in the az clutch is okay. They did confirm that they would pay the return shipping if I decide to send it back. They also confirmed that the dovetail saddle on the lx 80 is compatible with the AR6 Meade scope I presently have. I would eventually like to get to AP. It is bugging me a bit so I will give it another go before I decide to send it back. Especially after Jacks experience above. Any other advice?

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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5507237 - 11/06/12 05:00 PM

The Meade knobs on their so-so saddle, you can keep the Meade knobs in but need to mount the new saddle with it's knobs pointed down, the Meade spacing is similar to the Farpoint knob spacing so the knobs interfere with each other if you try to mount it with knobs pointed up. Set screws lock it in solidly. I believe they were 20mm long.

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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5507358 - 11/06/12 06:33 PM

Quote:

Talked to Meade customer service today (Christopher)and was told that a little play in the az clutch is okay. They did confirm that they would pay the return shipping if I decide to send it back. They also confirmed that the dovetail saddle on the lx 80 is compatible with the AR6 Meade scope I presently have. I would eventually like to get to AP. It is bugging me a bit so I will give it another go before I decide to send it back. Espe [/list] cially after Jacks experience above. Any other advice?




I really like the mount but for AP, I'd look elsewhere. I'm still trying to work that out for my mount. I like it enough that I'll get a second mount for AP if I need to.


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: brokenwave]
      #5507364 - 11/06/12 06:35 PM

Quote:

The Meade knobs on their so-so saddle, you can keep the Meade knobs in but need to mount the new saddle with it's knobs pointed down, the Meade spacing is similar to the Farpoint knob spacing so the knobs interfere with each other if you try to mount it with knobs pointed up. Set screws lock it in solidly. I believe they were 20mm long.




I must be a bit dense! Do you replace the original saddle with the new one? Could you post a picture?

Thanks,


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5507451 - 11/06/12 07:37 PM

Don't take their word that your dovetail is going to stay. If the dovetail is flat on the bottom from one end to the other and its beveled the entire length then it should be good. But if its the kind that's only beveled in the middle about 3 1/2" and its notched on the bottom in the same spot. You should try to pull your ota out of the saddle. Or tilt it to the side. It will probably pop out like both of mine did.
I think they just recently started using the normal looking vixon type dovetails, maybe because of the new mount. Although I am not sure which kind they used many years ago.

neilson


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brokenwave
sage


Reged: 05/10/11

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: neilson]
      #5507736 - 11/06/12 11:52 PM

The Farpoint saddle has a Vixen rail (male) that goes into the Meade Saddle (female).
My Meade saddle has a cutout in it so you better have at least a 5" long Vixen scope rail to put into the Meade saddle. The new Farpoint saddle will accomodate most any length Vixen style rail because it has no cutout.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: brokenwave]
      #5507797 - 11/07/12 12:56 AM

Excellent, The Farpoint saddle sounds like the cure to the LX80's saddle problems. The cutout in the LX80's saddle is why my Meade dovetails would pop out. It would of been nice if Meade would have tested out their very own dovetails on their mount. I can't see how they missed something like this.
At least now there is a cure for this problem. Good find Brokenwave.

neilson


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: neilson]
      #5507799 - 11/07/12 12:59 AM

Quote:

Excellent, The Farpoint saddle sounds like the cure to the LX80's saddle problems. The cutout in the LX80's saddle is why my Meade dovetails would pop out. It would of been nice if Meade would have tested out their very own dovetails on their mount. I can't see how they missed something like this.
At least now there is a cure for this problem. Good find Brokenwave.

neilson




Neilson,

The saddle on your mount had a cutout? Mine has straight sides with the 2 locking bolts on one side. Maybe 6 inches long. The finish isn't the greatest but functionally it is just like my CG5.

Edited by Mkofski (11/07/12 01:00 AM)


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5507959 - 11/07/12 06:15 AM

Hi Mike,
Yes my Meade saddle had a cut out just like Brokenwave describes in his last post on the bottom of page 1. This is very interesting. Your saddle doesn't have this cut out and you don't have the play in your RA or DEC axes that others do.
I am wondering if Meade possibly has made some improvements in the mount and you got one of these improved versions. This would be good news if they have fixed these two problems. Although its unfortunate for others who are stuck with older versions. And if they don't rotate stock then there's no telling which mount others will get. If all this is true then a recall would have been better.

Of course this is all speculation until it has been verified. But I think someone had said that in the past there was another mount that had some problems on initial release but they slowly put out an improved version without recalling the first ones. Maybe other mounts like yours will pop up soon.


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DuiA1
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: neilson]
      #5507970 - 11/07/12 06:50 AM Attachment (45 downloads)

Here is a pic of my saddle and of the ar6 rail. I confirmed last night that it will fall out if tightened as the cut out will not accept the male end. So did the second run get a saddle without the notch? I received mine from first shipment in June or July ,

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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5508072 - 11/07/12 09:15 AM

Neilson and DuiA1,

I don't want to give Meade more credit than they deserve... My saddles have the cutout also. No slop in either axis but cutouts are still there. It has been raining and cloudy for so long I forgot what they looked like. My memory the last few years is slipping! Sorry for the false information.

I have fairly long dovetail bars on my scopes so the notch hasn't presented a problem.


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DuiA1
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5508085 - 11/07/12 09:32 AM

Okay. I have no problem with my tv 85 on the saddle as the long dovetail rail is quite long and overrides the notch portion. Wrt the slop...I have zero on the deck clutch...very solid but I do have at least 1/8" on the az.:(

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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5508166 - 11/07/12 10:40 AM

That's ok Mike, I have the same problem with my memory too. So much for the new improved mount theory.

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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5508229 - 11/07/12 11:36 AM

Mine was from the second run and I received it at the end of July. It has the notch out as well.

I had contacted Antonio of ADM and he was going to try to develop a replacement saddle for the LX80; but I never could break the 4 recessed Allen bolts free to remove the Meade saddle to send to him so he could use it as a sample. I am glad that I did not invest any more money into this mount considering the other major issues I am having with it.

Jack Huerkamp


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5508237 - 11/07/12 11:39 AM

This is similar to the play I have both before and after Meade serviced it. They NOW say the play is normal. This weekend I will be at the Deep South Regional Stargaze and I will have the LX80 with C9.25" with me. Also at this event will be an avid astronomer and author who is very familiar with Meade products. I will ask him to look over the issue I have to see if I am being too anal or if the mount really is flawed.

Jack Huerkamp


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5508245 - 11/07/12 11:42 AM

Quote:


I contacted my dealer, who contacted his dealer rep at Meade. The dealer rep contacted the head of Meade service who called me. I directed him to the videos I posted on YouTube showing the issue. He asked me to try the mount out under the night skies as opposed to testing it in my living room and to report back to him. I told him that I would do so in from of 100+ plus people at a star party this weekend and if the mount continued to perform poorly with my C9.25" OTA and MallinCams, the group would see that first hand.

More to follow.

Jack




Jack,

Have you had a chance to use it under that stars yet? If so, how did the slop in the axis effect your use?


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5508256 - 11/07/12 11:49 AM

I used it under the stars at ECVAR in early September. That was before Meade "repaired" it. The movement is the same as before I sent it in for servicing, so I am convinced that the vibrations visible in 20 to 30 second exposures taken with the MallinCam before servicing will still be there. After this weekend I will know for sure.

Jack Huerkamp


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DuiA1
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5508551 - 11/07/12 03:29 PM

Jack, can you please post your findings from the start party on this issue here? Clouds in Ontario, Canada won't go away this time of year.

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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5509488 - 11/08/12 07:57 AM

DuiA1

Will do. Last night I was starting to pack and I removed the C9.25 and 22# counterweight from the LX80. I then tried moving the mount in azimuth and found little to no movement. The mount is definitely being affected by the weight being added to it. When I used the supplied 11# counterweight and two different OTAs weighing 15# or less, the mount behaved itself. When the load was increased to a 20# OTA with 22# counterweight, the mount appears to be incapable of handle it. I am bringing my Lunt80 with DSII, an AstroTech 102ED refractor and C9.25 to the starparty and I will try all three scopes on the LX80.

Jack Huerkamp


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5509786 - 11/08/12 11:28 AM

Hi Jack,
It sounds like your getting the exact same results that I got with my LX80 mount. It seams the mount isn't capable of more then 15 lbs max. Although I haven't seen an image posted yet with any size ota. But hopefully an image will be posted soon. It would be nice if Meade would address this issue and either come up with a fix or change the listed max ratings. Fixing it is perfered.

neilson


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DuiA1
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: neilson]
      #5510227 - 11/08/12 04:40 PM

Thanks Jack. We finally had a clear night last night and got to try my TV85 on the mount. Couple of observations. First, the movement/slop without any power applied to the mount appears to be more. Once I turned the power on, the slop was still there but it appeared to be less than with no power (hard to measure amount but definitely felt less). Any idea why? Could it be that once the gears are engaged with power applied, there is more resistance?

The pointing accuracy in Polar was actually very good. No backlash when I moved the motors back and forth like my old LXD 75 (sold it to buy the LX 80).

I hit all targets using my 13 Ethos. I had SkySafari Pro running and SkyFi hooked up to my Meade controller and used the iPad mini to surf the night sky. It worked like magic. Used the LXD75 protocol and Equatorial settings on Sky Safari Pro for the LX 80. Once locked into a target I looked through the viewfinder and wiggled the counterweight bar…Jupiter moved about 15% of the field of view on the 13 Ethos. I would think this is excessive. Of course this movement only happened when I physically put a force on the counterweight bar, otherwise no noticeable visual movement was observed. Again, I would like to get into AP and I guess I have up to a year to return the mount . I will wait and see with some guidance from the fine people here on CN on what you recommend. Thanks in advance for your help/recommendations.

Edited by DuiA1 (11/08/12 04:50 PM)


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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5510277 - 11/08/12 05:17 PM

DuiA1,

I guess the amount of play while you are using it is a lot more important than when you have it powered down. Sounds like it worked well for you for visual. Good to hear that SkySafari is working well. I have all the parts but haven't tried that yet. I wouldn't think 15% movement at 50X (I'm guessing at the magnification) isn't too bad while pushing the counterweight. Did you happn to notice how long it took to settle down after you stopped pusshing on the CW?

AP is still the big question for me. I like the LX80 well enough that I'll get CGEM or G8/G11 for AP if needed.

Edited by Mkofski (11/08/12 05:18 PM)


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DuiA1
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5510474 - 11/08/12 08:10 PM

Actually Mike, I did not let it go . I just was trying to see total play. Overall it was pretty steady if I did not touch the mount. There was no wind. I also put my ear to the mount to hear any abnormal sound of gears binding. Sounded pretty smooth. My worry is when I mount the heavier AR6. I need another new dovetail plate before I do that.

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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5510503 - 11/08/12 08:32 PM

I don't know the weight of the AR6 but I've had a little over 20 pounds on the mount without any problems. That was with a 7" Mak with an 80mm refractor piggybacked. So it was a short load and just a little over half of what the mount is advertised at.

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DuiA1
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5511179 - 11/09/12 08:19 AM

Once I get the new dovetail rail I will let you know if the slop is worse with the 23lb AR6. Just wondering how many other lx80 owners are experiencing this issue? I know of a couple on this forum but am wondering if Meade will do a recall before the one year warranty expires?

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JanisR
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: brokenwave]
      #5513560 - 11/10/12 07:09 PM

Well, with my LX80, the AZ drive simply broke after five hours running time.

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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: JanisR]
      #5513573 - 11/10/12 07:18 PM

Quote:

Well, with my LX80, the AZ drive simply broke after five hours running time.




JanR,

Did that happen recently?


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JanisR
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5513595 - 11/10/12 07:46 PM

Happened TODAY!!! I only just got it a few weeks ago, and the weather has been so bad, it's only been set up in my Living room, so I could practice with it. Today I decided to let it track awhile, selected the moon and then Vega, and sometime between four-five hours later, I saw it was no longer tracking in AZ. I first tried to select a new object, and when it started to slew, the AZ drive screamed but did nothing. I'm no mechanic, and I'm female,so no muscleman here - so I tried the obvious - I turned it off and on, no help. I loosened and reset the AZ locks, no help. I took my SV105 off, removed the counterweight and tried it all again - nothing but noise. ALT drive seems to be okay. This is only the 4th time I've even powered it up! I've had NO observing time at all. REALLY upset.

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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: JanisR]
      #5513627 - 11/10/12 08:03 PM

Jan,

That really sucks. I've been out tonight and have had the mount fail to move after selecting an object to goto. Going back soon to try PHD and drift alignment.

Does the mount slew when you have the speed set high? Hope one of the guys with more experience will chime in here.


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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5513633 - 11/10/12 08:08 PM

Did you have any slop on your az clutch before the failure?Do you folks think this can contribute to this type of failure?

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JanisR
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5513643 - 11/10/12 08:16 PM

I don't know about the slop - this was just a living room set up.

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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5513644 - 11/10/12 08:17 PM

I don't think play in the axis would relate to the motor not driving.

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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5513670 - 11/10/12 08:36 PM

I think Whichwayisnorth had issues with gears not meshing. If the gears are screaming but the drive is not moving, the gears are not engaged...meshed. Neilson or Whichwayisnorth may chime in. I am concerned that continued operation with slop may cause premature wear on the plastic gears. Comments?

Edited by DuiA1 (11/10/12 08:55 PM)


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5513685 - 11/10/12 08:52 PM

Gday Dui

Quote:

I am concerned that continued operation with slop may cause premature wear on the plastic gears.




If the slop is in the worm assy ( which it sounds like ), then this will have no effect on the plastic gears. From the looks of the drive design, the only time the plastic gears are at risk is if the motor to first gear isnt meshed properly ( ie what David D and Whichway had )
If you can see slop at the output axle, there is no way it can be coming from the plastic gears.

Andrew


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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5513690 - 11/10/12 08:55 PM

Gday Mike

Quote:

I've been out tonight and have had the mount fail to move after selecting an object to goto.




Does it still move using the slew buttons????
If so, then you may have forgotten to hit enter before goto.
Ie when you scroll to select an object, you must then hit enter, as this calculates and loads the new coordinates.
If you just scroll and dont hit enter, the goto will go to the previous target. ie it will start to do a slew, but essentially wont move.

Andrew


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DuiA1
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5513740 - 11/10/12 10:06 PM

Andrew what would you consider to be the effect of continued operation with slop on the worm and primary gear? Could this cause uneven wear over time? I'm trying to decide if I should return it. Thanks in advance.

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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5513752 - 11/10/12 10:15 PM

Quote:

Gday Mike

Quote:

I've been out tonight and have had the mount fail to move after selecting an object to goto.




Does it still move using the slew buttons????
If so, then you may have forgotten to hit enter before goto.
Ie when you scroll to select an object, you must then hit enter, as this calculates and loads the new coordinates.
If you just scroll and dont hit enter, the goto will go to the previous target. ie it will start to do a slew, but essentially wont move.

Andrew




G'day Andrew!

I think you are correct. That would explain why it was intermittent. I guess I need to read the manual again... Thanks!

We have a clear night and I'm giving PHD another try tonight. If I can't get any good data tonight I think I need to have a night or to of just observing. This is getting old. I'm a slow learner I guess.


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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5514206 - 11/11/12 10:31 AM

DUI,

Do you see the play in the axis if you try moving the mount rather than pressing in the end of the CW bar? I finally got out last night and at the end of the evening I tried pressing on the end of the bar with all the extensions on it. I did not measure it, but I do get some play. I get none if I try pressing on the CW bar near the mount or try turning the mount. If that is what you are seeing, I think it is a non issue.


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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5514320 - 11/11/12 11:41 AM

Hi DuiA1,
Andrew is correct. The slop should not cause premature failure or wear. The mount is actually designed to have that slop. The problem is the spring tension is inadequate once your ota load is over around 15 lbs. The mounts rated max load is 40 lbs so most of us expect to be able to use a 9.25 ota weighing only around 20lbs. But the spring tension is too light and the ota bounces around. This makes it difficult to view through and impossible to image with. I think the design Meade chose is too lightweight. And the way it was designed even putting a stronger spring wont fix it. The angle of the worm and ring gears makes it very easy to move the ota. If they would have stuck to their normal angle on the teeth of those gears then it might actually handle the rated weight. I would not expect it to fail like JanisR's mount did. It sounds like her plastic gears might of failed. My first LX80 had the screws only half way screwed in on the cover of the plastic gears box. After use the vibration would have caused the gears to fall out or jam up. But that mount had about a dozen things wrong. They are doing a better job checking them now. But they missed something on her mount and it will have to go back.
As for your mount, you will have to decide if your willing to keep it even though your limited to about 15lbs. They might be able to adjust it a little tighter so you can use 20 lbs visual but I doubt you can image with that much. And they might not be willing to adjust it tighter like with Jacks mount.

Neilson


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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: neilson]
      #5514460 - 11/11/12 01:10 PM

Thanks Neilson. It worked reasonably well with my TV85 . With the Ar6 at 23 lbs I really won't know until I Test it...waiting for my dovetail plate to arrive next week and hopefully post results once tested. Mike when I slew I don't feel or see the slop...I have to physically jiggle the cw bar at the end...leverage...to see and feel the slop . This minor movement may be normal however with a heavier ota things may be worse. Will let you know after I test it.

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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5514550 - 11/11/12 02:10 PM

Quote:

Mike when I slew I don't feel or see the slop...I have to physically jiggle the cw bar at the end...leverage...to see and feel the slop . This minor movement may be normal however with a heavier ota things may be worse. Will let you know after I test it.




I had a chance last night to try the mount out with a bit over 20 pounds on it. That was with a 180mm Mak, finder, 80mm short tube Orion, 2 diagonals, 2 EP's and an Orion CCD. Performance was the same as when I was using just a 6 pound refractor - good visual and not so much for unguided tracking. I don't have a way to check it for over that weight now.


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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5514551 - 11/11/12 02:11 PM

That's the way it will do. My AR6 had the jiggles. Especially at the slightest breeze or even touching the eyepiece or focuser to look through it. Or you might have one like Mikes that can handle 20lbs.
neilson


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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5514760 - 11/11/12 04:39 PM

Gday Dui
Quote:

Mike when I slew I don't feel or see the slop...I have to physically jiggle the cw bar at the end...leverage...to see and feel the slop .




I agree with Neilson, that sounds standard for this drive.
Where you can get into trouble is if the backstop for the springloaded worm carrier has too much play. In this case, it would be possible for the worm carrier to spring out far enough for the teeth to jump. If that occurs, it must be fixed.
What you currently describe doesnt sound a worry.
( from a mechanical standpoint )

Andrew


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Jack Huerkamp
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5514988 - 11/11/12 07:46 PM

Here is an update on my LX80 with Celestron 9.25 OTA (about 24# with
diagonal, eyepiece, f/6.3 Focal Reducer, and FlexiHeat dewshield) and
22# Celestron counterweight. I took it to a local star party this
weekend and on Friday night set it up in Alt-Az mode. I was using two of
the three counterweight shaft extensions and the counterweight was in
the center of the shaft furtherst from the centerline of the mount.
Touching the OTA or counterweight shaft did show movement in he azimuth
axis - probably due to the spring loaded worm/worm gear. The intial
alignment failed and then I realized that I had not reset the location
from the last time I used it - Galax, VA. Having built in GPS would be
nice! With the proper location stored in the mount, alignment was
successful. For five hours the mount hit every target and tracked them
well. The only issue was focusing. Doing so resulted in the scope taking
about 5 seconds to damp down before observing could resume.

I would rate the LX80 at being capable of handling the 46# load I had on
it for visual work. The jury is still out on how well the recently Meade
serviced LX80 will do with my MallinCam video cameras.

On Saturday I set the system up in EQ mode. I guess I did not have the
counterweight propely positioned the night before as I had to place the
22# counterweight at the end of the second shaft extension to achieve
balance with the C9.25. I roughly aligned the mount to North and did a
two star alignment. The mount performed well for about 2 hours hitting
every target with a 20mm eyepiece. However focusing now resulting the
damping time increasing to about 10 seconds. Again the jury is out on
whether the mount will be able to be used with a MallinCam in EQ mode
due to vibration of the scope.

Also, about 2 hours into the observing session, I returned to the scope
to see if M31 was still in the FOV. It was not. I tried to move the
mount using the handpad, but it would not respond, although the power
light on the mount was on. I had to turn the mount off and then back on.
At that pont the keypad returned to life. I did a second alignment which
was not as good as the first one. Targets were not as well located and
then the clouds rolled in.

I will try to set the mount up again soon to rerun the visual EQ test
and then go onto testing the system with my MallinCams in both modes.

More to follow!

Jack Huerkamp


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DuiA1
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5514998 - 11/11/12 07:54 PM

Thanks for the review Jack. What firmware version are you running on your lx80 hand controller?

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neilson
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5515248 - 11/11/12 10:52 PM

Hi Jack,
Thats exactly what mine was doing. Any time I touched it the ota jiggled for a while. I had to look without touching the eyepiece. The jiggling effected me getting good alignments at times. Wait till you get a breeze.
And the motors had no problem moving the weight around.

Your doing a good job testing but don't let it ruin your fun. I envy you, I have never been to a star party ever. I bet its fun.

We will be waiting to hear how your imaging works out.

neilson


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Jack Huerkamp
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: neilson]
      #5515604 - 11/12/12 08:25 AM

Neilson,

As you have found out, imaging or using a astronomical video camera like a MallinCam on the LX80 are problematic due to the vibration in the scope assembly. There were breezes blowing on Saturday night and when I had the 3mm-6mm Nagler set at the 6mm position (about 250X)in the scope looking at Altair, I could see the star moving around without touching the scope. This would affect imaging.

Several commented on the quality of the replacement tripod top I had fabricated and they said they would like to see the tests repeated with the stock tripod top in place as they are convinced that the beefer top help make visual observing with the LX80 better.

A cold front is coming through right now and it is supposed to clear up this week. Hopefully I will get a chance to test further the EQ mode setup.

Jack Huerkamp


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DuiA1
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5526061 - 11/18/12 12:48 PM Attachment (26 downloads)

Well finally got my plate. Tested it inside also in double scope mode. Kept the setting at slow slew and my first impression is that with both scopes on the motor definitely sounded that it was under more strain.... Will test it tonight in single polar mode with the AR6 weather permitting. The play was still there but again only when wiggling the cw bar. Total weight here is about 40 lbs. There was a bit a jiggling when tapping the tripod or scope. Will check real damping time tonight.

Edited by DuiA1 (11/18/12 12:54 PM)


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DuiA1
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5529428 - 11/20/12 06:14 AM

Tested the AR6 with the mount last night in eq mode. Damping time was about 8 seconds. There was a bit of wind and with gusts you could definitely see the vibration especially at high power. Noticed Jupiter slowly moving out of the field of view. I'm running A3S1 firmware. Slewing was definitely better set at the slower speed. Neilson thanks for the tip as the changes in direction would have been hard on the motors and gears. I believe that the firmware update should fix the tracking correct? Would you guys consider this report normal for this mount and this load?

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rmollise
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5529514 - 11/20/12 07:30 AM

Maybe...IF your drift was not due to polar misalignment...

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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5531937 - 11/21/12 10:49 AM

Eight seconds damping time is an eternity. The AR6 is so long and heavy that it can be difficult on many mounts and I would expect it to be particularly challenging on the LX80 considering everything that has been said. If you can't change directions without causing damage, then the mount is simply overloaded.

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Starhawk
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: EFT]
      #5531986 - 11/21/12 11:06 AM

From Andrew and Mkofsi's work, the firmware update didn't correct the tracking bugs, and added new ones.

If it even enters your mind the mount is in danger from common maneuvers, you're overloaded. From what you have described, it is dangerously overloaded- especially in light of the tripod leg separations seen on highly loaded copies.

I think it's time to call it like it is: the LX80 is really more like the larger versions of the ioptron cube than anything else. Keep the scopes to the size of a C8 or physically smaller and lighter, keep to visual use, and treat it gingerly. Forget astrophotography. Forget payloads over 12-15 lbs. Forget equatorial tracking. Everyone reporting satisfaction is staying in that bracket.

Ignore what the raving lunatics in marketing put in the ads. This is a visual only, 15 lb. payload, alt/az only mount.

-Rich


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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5532095 - 11/21/12 11:52 AM

Quote:

From Andrew and Mkofsi's work, the firmware update didn't correct the tracking bugs, and added new ones.

If it even enters your mind the mount is in danger from common maneuvers, you're overloaded. From what you have described, it is dangerously overloaded- especially in light of the tripod leg separations seen on highly loaded copies.

I think it's time to call it like it is: the LX80 is really more like the larger versions of the ioptron cube than anything else. Keep the scopes to the size of a C8 or physically smaller and lighter, keep to visual use, and treat it gingerly. Forget astrophotography. Forget payloads over 12-15 lbs. Forget equatorial tracking. Everyone reporting satisfaction is staying in that bracket.

Ignore what the raving lunatics in marketing put in the ads. This is a visual only, 15 lb. payload, alt/az only mount.

-Rich




Rich,

I've never installed the firmware update. All my test were on the last version. I'm out of commission for a few more days but trying out the new firmware is the next step.

My last night out wa with just over 20 pounds and it was stable.


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5532474 - 11/21/12 03:19 PM

Gday Rich

Quote:

From Andrew and Mkofsi's work, the firmware update didn't correct the tracking bugs




Just to clarify here.
The only unconfirmed "bug" in Mikes data was the occasional jump in DEC.
All other problems were ( i suspect ) due to bad gears in the gearbox.

I have done a lot of testing of A3S4 and if polar and PEC is turned ON,
it "should" track OK, and may pulseguide OK.
If PEC is OFF, there is a definite variability in tracking, and DEC pulseguiding looks like it may be broken.
The new code is really weird here and will also affect AltAz pulseguiding, but in essence, under certain conditions, if you do pulseguide in the opposite direction to which the motor is currently going, the backlash mechanism just grabs you and pulls you back to your start point. Almost like micro "rubberbanding". Very annoying.

Andrew


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: EFT]
      #5532658 - 11/21/12 05:05 PM

Ed,

In EQ mode with a C9.25 and 22# Celestron Counterweight, the visual damping time was about 10 seconds. And when the wind blew, the scope vibrated noticeably.

This is with an LX80 that just returned from Meade servicing for too much play in the RA(AZ) axis.

Jack


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EFT
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5532703 - 11/21/12 05:29 PM

Most people complain about mounts/tripods that have 1 to 2 second damping times. Ten seconds would simply be unworkable when it comes to centering or focusing. Where is all this vibration coming from, the mount, the tripod or both?

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DuiA1
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: EFT]
      #5532741 - 11/21/12 05:59 PM

Jack/Ed, I think it's coming from both. I have the legs fully extended for the Ar6 to take advantage of its length and comfort in viewing. It may be better if I shorten the legs. Is there any point in updating firmware if it is still not working? It drifted off slowly only visible at high power viewing. I'm considering the new skywatcher mount if I can get a refund from my vendor. Do I or any lx80 owners have a case for misrepresentation? This scope is only 23 lbs. I hope they are not counting the cw in their load specifications .

Edited by DuiA1 (11/21/12 06:07 PM)


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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5532790 - 11/21/12 06:36 PM

DuiA1,

I don't think you'll have a problem returning the mount for a refund. Everyone that has written about returning a mount got a full refund. I checked on that before taking delivery of mine.


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Starhawk
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Mkofski]
      #5532903 - 11/21/12 08:13 PM

Andrew did, hence the term "And."

Anyway, the long and short appears to be time spent using it hoping the full list of specs will be met is time spent in frustration.

Back down on the load and don't ask much from the mount and it's sort of OK. Of course, Jack's right- the support hasn't really helped. The constructive feedback has all been from CN folks.

I know you're annoyed- but projecting that to people here who've tried to help is a mistake.

-Rich

Quote:

Quote:

From Andrew and Mkofsi's work, the firmware update didn't correct the tracking bugs, and added new ones.

If it even enters your mind the mount is in danger from common maneuvers, you're overloaded. From what you have described, it is dangerously overloaded- especially in light of the tripod leg separations seen on highly loaded copies.

I think it's time to call it like it is: the LX80 is really more like the larger versions of the ioptron cube than anything else. Keep the scopes to the size of a C8 or physically smaller and lighter, keep to visual use, and treat it gingerly. Forget astrophotography. Forget payloads over 12-15 lbs. Forget equatorial tracking. Everyone reporting satisfaction is staying in that bracket.

Ignore what the raving lunatics in marketing put in the ads. This is a visual only, 15 lb. payload, alt/az only mount.

-Rich




Rich,

I've never installed the firmware update. All my test were on the last version. I'm out of commission for a few more days but trying out the new firmware is the next step.

My last night out wa with just over 20 pounds and it was stable.




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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5532910 - 11/21/12 08:22 PM

If the tripod is not steady, you might be able to add an aftermarket spreader to it to add stability, but I would be worried about the weak connection of the legs to the central hub if you do since the spreader that I am thinking of pushes the legs out a bit to form a solid foundation.

Anything coming from the mount must either be from it connection with the tripod, its azimuth adjustment system, or the "spring" loaded gearing.


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Mkofski
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5532926 - 11/21/12 08:35 PM

Rich,

I'm not annoyed with anyone here and I know that the members here have been helpful where Meade has been absent.

I was just trying to keep the record straight. The 'And', to me would indicate that Andrew and Mkofski(that's me) both had trouble with the new firmware and I haven't installed it yet.


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5532942 - 11/21/12 08:55 PM

Gday Rich

Quote:

Anyway, the long and short appears to be time spent using it hoping the full list of specs will be met is time spent in frustration.




Yes and no.
The new firmware will more than likely become the default firmware
for ALL Audiostars, hence its not just LX80 based.
The stuff i am looking at isn't really checking if it complies with a load specification, i'm just seeing if it works at the simplest level
So far, i have to say the changes made to allow pulseguiding in AltAz
have broken the process overall, but i think i can now see why.
Unfortunately, there are three layers of bugs on top of the latest one.
All par for the course ( and more fun than Sudoku ).

Andrew


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OzAndrewJ
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: EFT]
      #5532951 - 11/21/12 09:07 PM

Gday Ed

Quote:

Anyway, the long and short appears to be time spent using it hoping the full list of specs will be met is time spent in frustration.




You forgot about how the RA axle itself is supported.
It is acting as a cantilevered beam anchored to a flat baseplate with three bolts.
Under heavier loads, i suspect there will be flexure in this assy as well,
like a big spring.

Andrew


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: EFT]
      #5534594 - 11/22/12 10:56 PM

Well my movement is NOT coming from the tripod. I replaced the weak tripod top with a machined aluminum assembly that eliminates any possibility of the legs popping off of the tripod.



My movement/vibration is coming from the RA drive system itself. It is too springy. The spring loaded worm and worm gear were designed to keep them in contact, but this allow the worm to ride out of the worm gear.

Jack Huerkamp


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5534612 - 11/22/12 11:10 PM

Quote:

Well my movement is NOT coming from the tripod. I replaced the weak tripod top with a machined aluminum assembly that eliminates any possibility of the legs popping off of the tripod.

My movement/vibration is coming from the RA drive system itself. It is too springy. The spring loaded worm and worm gear were designed to keep them in contact, but this allow the worm to ride out of the worm gear.





I think that you could still be getting vibration from the tripod, even with substantial improvement to the hub if the legs are not well braced lower down. However, you are most likely correct that much of the problem stems from the RA axis design. Unfortunately, as discussed before, that appears to be a no-win situation, at least in regards to heavier loads. Obviously, your CGE Pro in the background is the winner here.


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: EFT]
      #5534974 - 11/23/12 08:01 AM

Ed,

I had considered getting one of you spreader bar attachments for the tripod to help stiffen the tripod further. But in looking at the mount while tapping the focuser, all the movement appears to be at or above the RA (azimuth) base plate. I wanted a portable mount that I could use with my C9.25 and MallinCams in both Alt-Az and EQ modes. The LX80 will work with my MallinCams when lighter OTAs like my Lunt80 with DSII and my 6SE with HyperStar are employed. Due to the vibration issues with the LX80, especially in EQ mode, I will have to search out other options.

The CGE PRO is going into Waning Moon I - my observatory with ExploraDome II. It is not exactly a portable str party mount - at least not for me.

Jack Huerkamp


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Starhawk
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Reged: 09/16/08

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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5535396 - 11/23/12 12:30 PM

It just sounds like a whole lot of the guts would have to be replaced to make this perform well. I can't see anything in the photos of the internals to say "you know, if a bushing took the place of that part, all would be well." It's like it would need entirely new gears- the sort of thing people do to upgrade a CGEM, and then because their alternative is a Mach 1. But that's a very different machine.

Just for the sake of discussion, if I were trying to design something for the LX 80 role, I think I would start with something like the Vixen Great Polaris DX and give it a tilting wedge block so the mount would center correctly in both modes and could remember your latitude setting.

I'm of two minds about the left/right scope arrangements. I have long imagined that would be the cat's pajamas, but seeing how it works in real life on the LX 80 has made me start thinking that may not be such a great idea, with one scope on the end of a bouncy arm with what is already a bouncy mount.

Someone had to do the experiment. It's just one of those things where you don't know at the outset if you are going to wind up with a Mustang or an Edsel. Maybe the Synta version will have magic- we'll have to see. The Nexstar SE's EQ performance is poor enough to make me wonder if this will turn out to be one of those ideas you just can't make work well.

-Rich


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Lee Jay
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5535879 - 11/23/12 05:13 PM

Quote:

Someone had to do the experiment. It's just one of those things where you don't know at the outset if you are going to wind up with a Mustang or an Edsel. Maybe the Synta version will have magic- we'll have to see.
-Rich




Looks good to me.


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DuiA1
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5536732 - 11/24/12 07:48 AM

I agree with you Jack. Was out last night and can confirm that it is mostly the mount az axis. Tapping the tripod only yielded 3-4 seconds damping time but tapping the diagonal on my AR6 was still at 8 seconds. Looks like it will be the norm unless Meade or someone else figures out how to stop the play in this axis.

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joeastro
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Reged: 08/14/08

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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: brokenwave]
      #5538591 - 11/25/12 11:47 AM

i JUST RECEVIED

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joeastro
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Reged: 08/14/08

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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: brokenwave]
      #5538595 - 11/25/12 11:51 AM

i JUST RECEVIED MY LX80.. just sitting here there is 1mm or 1/8" AZ rotation slop. i tried to take some pictures of jupiter but the shutter just wiggles the mount.

i will call meade next week. see what they say. does any one have a picture of how to access the main az worm drive? and adjust the worm tension or position?

thanks joeastro


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DuiA1
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: joeastro]
      #5538613 - 11/25/12 12:04 PM

The yahoo group for the lx80 has the best pictures I've seen so far. What was your damping time when tapping your eyepiece. What scope are you using and it's weight?

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joeastro
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: brokenwave]
      #5539132 - 11/25/12 05:29 PM

lx80 lower part to main part fix.
remove the whole lx80/90 head from the tripod.
look at the bottom.. there are 4 set screws
that are about 1/8"... loosen the north locking arm.
this has a plugin the middle of the bottom of the
bottom plate of this mount. now the bottom plate
should be free to wiggle..

tighten each of the 4 set screws about 1/4 turn, not too
tight, just touching pressure. I think they have some
spherical balls that these 4 screws push to make friction
with the UPPER base of the real mount.

now, push the north locking arm to lock position. you
should now have positive contact from the upper plate and
this lower plate.

bolt it back to the tripod and the 1mm type slop is gone.

you should have no slop in the upper mount when
you tighten the rear AZ locking arm.

joeastro


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DuiA1
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Reged: 05/07/12

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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: joeastro]
      #5542597 - 11/27/12 06:32 PM

Joe I think what you're describing is not the same as the slop I'm experiencing. Neilson and jack have described the azimuth slop in the mount as being a result of the spring in the az mount is not stiff enough. Do you have the slop in the mount in equatorial mode if you grasp the cw bar and wiggle it? What scope are you using with your mount.

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DuiA1
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5552439 - 12/03/12 05:16 PM

Well folks, finally made the decision to send the mount back for repair. Was tough but I cannot continue to use the mount with 10 second damp time and the az slop. Got the info to Meade today and awaiting their return email with the details on the process . Made it clear that I need two things fixed. Slop in the azimuth and update to my hc to the latest firmware. Any other advice?

Edited by DuiA1 (12/03/12 05:30 PM)


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5552448 - 12/03/12 05:20 PM

Are you saying you are returning it, or you want them to attempt a repair?

-Rich


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DuiA1
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Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5552476 - 12/03/12 05:36 PM

Sorry, edited my post. Want them to attempt a repair. Some users are experiencing better damping times so I am hoping for better results with the repair. I am trying really hard to love this mount and will see if Meade can make it right.

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5552491 - 12/03/12 05:44 PM

The better reports appear to reflect low usage time.

-Rich


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5553505 - 12/04/12 08:04 AM

After I received my LX80 back from Meade Service it still had the same level of slop and damping time as your mount. They said that due to the spring loading of the worm/worm gear, this play is normal and they refused to authorize a second return for servicing.

I hope Meade has figured out how to eliminate the slope and control the damping time on the mount. If so, I will pursue having Meade "fix" mine.

In the interim, I am ordering a SkyWatcher Az EQ-6. It is more than twice the price of the LX80, but it is capable of handling a C9.25 without vibrating.

Jack


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Starhawk]
      #5553507 - 12/04/12 08:07 AM

In my case, good results with short damping time and minimal slop occurred when I was using my C6 OTA - about 15# with the 11# counterweight. With the 21# C9.25 and 22# counterweight, the slop and vibrations got so high that MallinCam use was not possible even in A/A mode.

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mega256
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 05/10/07

Loc: N of Tampa
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5554240 - 12/04/12 04:26 PM

I think the EQ6 alt/az will be a good choice Jack.
Looks to be a great mount!

Too bad ,I too wantted a LX80 to use in dual mode.But
from what I read,it wont work for me..If you guys are having problems with a single scope on the mount,going to
2 scopes will just make it tougher! (IMHO)...
I will just use my 6se mount and lunt 60THa and C6 for that
alt az setup,,
Most of my video is over or about 30-60 seconds,so an EQ is nice...And for DSLR its needed...The Ieq45 will suite me for
that,,,it allso has springs(on the worm gears) ,but they seam to work.
BTW the LX80 is priced on ebay and hayneadle at 899 for
the last few days..
Looking forward to the new EQ6 alt/az test.


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: mega256]
      #5554734 - 12/04/12 10:06 PM

Brian,

I spoke to Brian at KWTelescopes today and placed the order for the SkyWatcher Az EQ-6.

I will be able to do a side by side comparison with the LX80 and will report back to the group.

Jack


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DuiA1
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5556369 - 12/05/12 08:28 PM

Jack, are they shipping in January and did they give you a date for yours? Looking forward to your review.
Btw, Meade has been good and offered return shipping on this repair. Will be shipping it hopefully tomorrow. Will let you know how things work out. I'm hoping for the better.


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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5556570 - 12/05/12 10:29 PM

KWTelescopes in Kitchener Waterloo has them in stock. That is who I ordered mine from.

Jack


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DuiA1
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5563267 - 12/09/12 10:33 PM

I am just wondering why the variability with this mount on this issue. Mike is using his and he has not much slop in his az axis . Also some have reported no slop. Others have issues as I have (Jack). My question is could tweaking any mechanical parts of the mount by Meade address this issue permanently? I mean some have posted no slop with 20 lb scopes so there must be some hope right? I am anxiously waiting for the return of mine...

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Jack Huerkamp
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: DuiA1]
      #5563706 - 12/10/12 08:17 AM

I had hoped that when Meade receved my mount for servicing in September, they would/could eliminate the Az play. When it returned from servicing, the play was the same. When I called back to complain, I was told by the head of Meade's service department that the play is normal.

So to minimize the effects of movement caused by spring loaded gears, I have had to use shorter and lighter OTA's than I purchased the mount for.

The only way to eliminate the play is to eliminate the spring loaded worm and keep the gears meshed. The sping is used instead to eliminate gear damage. It is possible to fix the worm/worm gear and add a slip clutch to prevent gear damage. But that inceases the complexity of the drive system and its cost. If given the option, I would have opted for the later.

Jack Huerkamp


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n2dpsky
member


Reged: 05/01/12

Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: Jack Huerkamp]
      #5564602 - 12/10/12 05:52 PM

I believe Meade spring-loads many of their systems, so play may simply be forceful compressing of the spring/worm. My LX90 will give if you push it in one direction, but it comes back. It has no discernible effect during tracking.

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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: n2dpsky]
      #5564619 - 12/10/12 06:00 PM

Quote:

I believe Meade spring-loads many of their systems, so play may simply be forceful compressing of the spring/worm. My LX90 will give if you push it in one direction, but it comes back. It has no discernible effect during tracking.




You really need to have followed all of the trials and tribulations of the LX80 to understand the problem with this mount and how it is different from normal spring mounted worms. The LX90 works, the LX80 does not work with the rated loads.


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n2dpsky
member


Reged: 05/01/12

Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: EFT]
      #5565104 - 12/10/12 11:22 PM

I'm somewhat aware of them, but was seeking to answer one question on play. On a spring-loaded worm, an 1/8" is not "generally" an issue. We can get into where is that 1/8" measured, how much force is applied, etc. Ask a general question and get a general response. Without seeing it, everyone is just guessing.

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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 11/30/10

Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: n2dpsky]
      #5565150 - 12/10/12 11:41 PM

Quote:

Without seeing it, everyone is just guessing.




Pretty much everyone who has loaded up an LX80 has seen it (consistently) .
The earlier threads posted pictures of the worm itself and the carrier.
These photos clearly show the mechanism, and where the errors can come from.

The worm itself is closer to a 60deg thread profile than a true worm.
As such it can spring out of mesh much more easily when under load,
and it also has a lot less play before it disengages.
To counter this, Meades worm carrier uses a much stronger spring than in any of its other scopes to push the worm in, but it also uses a backing screw to stop the worm from being pushed "into" the wormwheel too hard. I personally have not seen any other worm carriers with this secondary backing screw.
Soo, there are two immediate sources of slop.
If the secondary screw is set too tight, it will prevent the worm and wormwheel from fully engaging, hence you will see slop under no load at all.
If that screw is adjusted correctly, such that the worm and wormwheel are always in contact, then the play seen can still occur "under load", as the worm springs out.
It also is dependent on how concentric the wormwheel is when the clutches are tightened, as if there is any eccentricity there, the meshing loads will change as the axis rotates.
It doesnt look like a very easy system to set up correctly.

Andrew


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n2dpsky
member


Reged: 05/01/12

Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5565173 - 12/11/12 12:00 AM

How did you measure the gear face of the worm? I've always found that difficult.

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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 11/30/10

Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: n2dpsky]
      #5565267 - 12/11/12 12:55 AM Attachment (22 downloads)

Quote:

How did you measure the gear face of the worm? I've always found that difficult.




Macro photography and a good guess in paintshop .
I took piccies of the worms from an LX200GPS, and LX90, an LS and an ETX-125, and compared them to pictures of the worm profiles provided by several members here who took their mounts apart trying to fix the slop.
Have reposted it here as i cant find the old posts.
The piccy with the thread gauge gives a very good idea of the LX80 profile.

Andrew


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
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Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: n2dpsky]
      #5565292 - 12/11/12 01:23 AM Attachment (34 downloads)

And heres the RA mechanism
Looking at the piccy,
to properly adjust the mechanism, you need to
a) Back out the backstop screw
b) Adjust the Spring tensioner screw till you get approx the correct preload ( you have to guess )
c) Adjust the new "Frontstop screw such that the worm doesnt get "jammed" into the wormwheel under the high preload, but is close
d) Readjust b) then c) iteratively if reqd.
e) Once happy, screw in the backstop so that the worm cant disengage under load.

Now, unlike the other springloaded Meade worms, the new frontstop screw comes into play here.
Too tight and the worm wont engage, hence you get slop under no load. Too loose and the worm grinds into the wormwheel and judders etc.
Not a simple adjustment to do, and have it maintain its setting, esp as the wormwheel readjusts itself as the clutch is released.
Adjusted properly, it will work well for light loads, but experience to date appears to show that under load, the spring isnt strong enough to keep the new worm profile engaged.

Andrew


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5565301 - 12/11/12 01:33 AM

Hi Andrew,
After all this time I had been thinking. There might be a way to fix this problem but it would require some modification.
The small arm that the spring pushes against has a screw going through the middle of the spring. when you tighten the screw it limits the amount the worm can disengage. This works good with a small light ota but if you use something like my 9.25 weighing 20lbs it doesn't work. The arm the spring pushes against is thin and long enough that it can bend like a spring. When I tightened the screw going all the way through the spring to limit the worm from disengaging the arm flexed and the worm disengaged anyways. And very easily because the leverage from the worms angle was too great.

If you were able to make a stronger, thicker arm that wouldn't flex like a spring at all. Then you might be able to adjust the screw to not allow the worm to disengage at all, or very little. And the spring would keep pressure on the worm. You would have to adjust that screw just right.

This is only a theory and I have not thought this out or tested it in any way. I remember tightening that screw all the way and watching that little arm moving. On the first mount the arm actually bent when I tried it.

I remember thinking that wouldn't work because I thought the worm disengaged to protect the plastic gears during starts and stops. I think you proved me wrong on that theory, but I never thought to go back and make a solid arm and try it out. Too bad I don't have that mount anymore or I would try it. That arm was only held on by 2 very small screws.

neilson

I was writing this before your picture above but now you can see what I am talking about. Another note is if you adjust any of those screws you should apply some loctite on the adjustment screws or they will unscrew, especially the new front stop screw. If you don't have any than clean the screw with alcohol and put a drop of super glue works as a last resort.

Edited by neilson (12/11/12 01:50 AM)


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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 11/30/10

Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: neilson]
      #5565342 - 12/11/12 02:29 AM

Gday Neilson

Quote:

After all this time I had been thinking.




Did it hurt??

My personal opinion is that a stronger arm as you note wont help,
as you shouldnt need the sort of preloads required to stop the
worm springing out in the first place.
All the other springloaded Meade drives use tiny springs relative to the LX80.

What is required is a drive that can apply ( or resist ) a high tangential load to/from the wormwheel for a minimal radial load pushing the worm outwards.
To do that requires a worm with a low pressure angle.
Its just a basic mechanical equation of balancing forces.

Andrew


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5566852 - 12/12/12 12:31 AM

Yes Andrew you are correct. My idea of coming up with a fix to mask the real problem would just cause more problems. I agree about the worm angle. There's probably no way around changing the worm angle to fix it.

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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: neilson]
      #5566886 - 12/12/12 01:17 AM

Gday Neilson

Whilst i agree that changing the worm is required to give
a more rigid system re RA slop, i still cant help wondering
how much flexure ( and hence springiness ) there will be in the base
when polar, due to the way the RA axle is mounted.
It is effectively a cantilevered beam bolted to a flat plate.
I really think this whole mount design is limited to low payloads
when polar, no matter what worm design is in it.

Andrew


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: OzAndrewJ]
      #5567423 - 12/12/12 11:58 AM

I agree. Right now its difficult to tell because the bouncing worm makes it difficult to measure the flexure in the base or even notice if there is any.

neilson


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DuiA1
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: 1/8 " LX80 Play in AZ axis acceptable? new [Re: neilson]
      #5628984 - 01/17/13 10:11 PM

Well folks, just heard from Meade and my mount is on its way back. Hopefully will get it by Monday. Will be looking for an improved damping time and significant slop reduction. For those of you that followed this thread and any new owners (recent), has there been any change in the slop of these mounts? I'm really hopeful that the issue has been resolved. Thanks for your help and guidance through this issue .

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