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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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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: 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
newbie


Reged: 06/26/08

Loc: Pennsylvania
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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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
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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DuiA1
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
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
newbie


Reged: 06/26/08

Loc: Pennsylvania
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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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
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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DuiA1
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
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
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

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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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

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
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
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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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
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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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
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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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

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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DuiA1
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
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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Mkofski
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/19/11

Loc: Greenfield, Indiana, USA
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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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

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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OzAndrewJ
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 11/30/10

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
Vendor - Waning Moon


Reged: 10/13/05

Loc: Louisiana
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
super member


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: Ontario, Canada
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
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

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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