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tommax
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Re: Zero image shift focuser replacement gear? new [Re: nitegeezer]
      #5745442 - 03/20/13 03:44 PM

I doubt highly it would cost Meade very much at all to provide parts to people, after all they have all the parts and what would it require? To keep some in bins, how about at least providing schematics for their products? Again on the parts... if this was a new scope (which it is not but the same microfocusers are still in use new) I would have to send them the entire scope to get it fixed according to what support told me, how is that good business? Personally I have only had Meade scopes dabbling on and off in the hobby for 15 years or so and really had only a few issue's but did have another problem getting a part which I was able to solve 3rd party but honestly this has pretty much made me decide that next year when I upgrade to a larger scope it will be a C11 instead of an LX 10 or 12"... Now don't get me wrong, I love my little 8" LX200GPS but I would think even that 1 sale of me getting a C11 will cost them more than sending me this .10 part if they simply made them available.

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nitegeezer
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Re: Zero image shift focuser replacement gear? new [Re: tommax]
      #5745444 - 03/20/13 03:44 PM

If the gear goes directly on the motor shaft, there needs to be a spline or keeper of some kind. Your latest photo looks like the shaft has one flat side to work as a keeper. The double gear shown above may need to be modified to operate.

My bigger concern after seeing this last picture is why did the original gear fail in this manner. I would manually turn that large gear through it's full range to determine if it ever gets in a bind. Normally when I see a gear failure, if it is the drive gear it shows on all teeth, and if it is a driven gear it shows only a small portion being damaged. This case is the exact opposite so I hope you can determine why it failed.


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tommax
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Re: Zero image shift focuser replacement gear? new [Re: nitegeezer]
      #5745472 - 03/20/13 03:49 PM

nitegeezer...

The shaft is smooth and if you look closely at the silver "ring" which fits over the plastic gear, there is a set screw, the silver ring fits over a lip on the plastic gear and the setscrew goes right through the plastic gear to make contact with the motor shaft, the motor shaft is smooth...

I did test the larger gear and it seems to work fine, I bought this scope from a young adult who I think did not read the manuals and I think he ran the focuser past it's stop which the micro focuser will let you do and he ground the gear out that way...


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nitegeezer
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Re: Zero image shift focuser replacement gear? new [Re: tommax]
      #5745495 - 03/20/13 03:59 PM

Don't get me wrong, I would prefer if Meade sold parts also but I do understand the issue.

Let us assume that they have orders for and want to build 100 of a particular scope. They are already struggling so do they buy 105 of each part from their supplier and eat the inventory cost and space, or do they order just what they need and when a part order comes in they ship a part that would have gone on a new scope and delay getting that scope to a dealer until they have another part order. Since these parts are in low demand, I have not heard of a large number of these gears failing, being a parts supplier adds a lot to their overhead. Now providing schematics would be fantastic, as that would make it much easier for individuals and may also stimulate the after market shops. Unfortunately many businesses are looking only short term, if they were looking long term parts sales would make more sense. So I agree with all of your points, but I have been on the other side also.


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nitegeezer
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Re: Zero image shift focuser replacement gear? new [Re: tommax]
      #5745507 - 03/20/13 04:05 PM

It looks like we are typing over each other!!

It sounds like you have looked at all the possibilities, and I am going to be much more careful with my focuser now. It is so easy when it is dark to just go until the sound changes, but that sounds like it is bad news. I had always assumed that there was a clutch of some kind that would allow for a little slippage but it does not sound like this is the case. I have tried to be careful with mine but I know I have hit the end of travel more than once.

Good Luck


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tommax
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Re: Zero image shift focuser replacement gear? new [Re: nitegeezer]
      #5745541 - 03/20/13 04:20 PM

I read a tip on the microfocuser when I bought a new 10" GPS back in around '02 and it has worked well....

Before each time out using the hand controller have it move all the way in 1 direction, watching and listening for it to hit it's end point, then hold the button going in the other direction while counting (for both it was about 25 seconds on slow or fine I cannot remember)... then go back in the other direction while counting to 1/2 the total you came up with (for me this was about 12 or 12)... now even if you control it remotely via pc like I do (remote desktop)... I can just count while using the focuser and I just jot down each time I touch it... kinda a pain at time but not hard at all to do and like most things simple... it works!

On the other note on Meade and parts... I understand as well what you are saying, but honestly who is going to spend $1,500 to $xxx thousands if the company does not even have replacement parts? It is a way bad move for them, honestly they should have people there smart enough to find that happy medium, so instead of ordering 100 parts, order 125 on some things... they need to figure that out and adjust their pricing... I hope they survive too and figuring that out will help them greatly once the economy (if it ever does) starts to recover in a real way...


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nitegeezer
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Re: Zero image shift focuser replacement gear? new [Re: tommax]
      #5745578 - 03/20/13 04:37 PM

Your tip on the microfocuser is a good one, but I have another problem. I do outreach with both schools and scouts. In the past I have allowed kids to focus to their eyes with the microfocuser, this way I did not have the problem of a kid using the course focus and putting force on the scope and causing another type of failure. During that time I don't know if they are going in or out, and while I listen, very rarely have I had to stop a kid as they hit the limit of travel. I may have to rethink this having seen your failure, or maybe I need to find a good source for those gears!!

Good luck with yours, I hope you can find what you need.


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tommax
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Re: Zero image shift focuser replacement gear? new [Re: nitegeezer]
      #5745753 - 03/20/13 05:39 PM

Thanks...

I don't think you have to worry to much as you can tell by the sound when it gets to it's end, and to me it does not look like it hurts it at all to have it hit it's "end" for a second or 2, I honestly think the guy I bought the scope from got angry and throttled the thing... he said he could not get the scope collimated and when I got it, it was way out of whack, but it took me about 5 minutes to get it collimated... the scopes looked brand new in every other way. I think he bought it, got frustrated and ruined the gear not knowing... I could be wrong but I would bet money it happened something like that.


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Mike7Mak
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Re: Zero image shift focuser replacement gear? new [Re: tommax]
      #5745774 - 03/20/13 05:46 PM

The 'halfway' point for the microfocuser is when the thumbscrews are even with the end of the outer barrel. There is as much travel out of the slots as there is into the slots.

I would gladly pay $800 to $1500 more (depending on scope size) if it came with a service manual, parts list, and a guarantee I could purchase parts for at least 10 years. Based on internet reports of common failures I would probably buy 'spare' parts just to have them on hand. Part sales could easily be a profit center for Meade.

As it stands now you pay that $800-$1500 on an 'assurance policy' to have any hope of not incurring similar costs on the first minor failure. Not to mention possibly months of waiting and the risks of shipping a precision instrument, even with the 'insurance'.

The current 'no parts' policy is a business decision, obviously, but it's a bad one. It's evidence the company is run by people utterly disconnected from the realities of owning the product they are selling.


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tommax
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Re: Zero image shift focuser replacement gear? [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5746439 - 03/20/13 10:14 PM

Mike - +1

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Christopher EricksonModerator
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Re: Zero image shift focuser replacement gear? new [Re: tommax]
      #5752739 - 03/23/13 09:16 PM

One of the several reasons that Meade hesitates to sell some parts is that they have a lot of internal iterations of designs for some of the long-standing models. The ETX scopes and the LX200GPS scopes are perfect examples. Meade is a small company (comparatively speaking) and most-all of their mid-to-high-end scopes are hand-finished and tweaked. That makes it harder to send out generic parts when they don't know what "vintage" your scope is and what tweaks it has internally.

I agree that they should still sell all parts without restrictions. It would be a new, good revenue stream for them from a captured market with no competition.

I have told this to several people in Meade upper-management and they seemed open-minded to the idea so we shall see.


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Mike7Mak
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Re: Zero image shift focuser replacement gear? new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5753295 - 03/24/13 05:43 AM

Quote:

I agree that they should still sell all parts without restrictions. It would be a new, good revenue stream for them from a captured market with no competition.

I have told this to several people in Meade upper-management and they seemed open-minded to the idea so we shall see.



I'm not even saying sell parts 'without restrictions' but when a customer calls and says he has a dead LX200gps motherboard IN HIS HAND, refusing to sell a new one to that customer is nuts, and unbelievably infuriating. Especially when that customer ends up buying a new, unused, spare motherboard from someone they did sell one to.

They could make money AND not royally p-off customers at the same time. How can that not sound like a good idea?

Appreciate you putting the bug in their ear. Hopefully recent events will motivate management to pull their collective heads out into the sunshine. I would very much like to buy another of their scopes but this policy has got to change first.


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tommax
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Re: Zero image shift focuser replacement gear? new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5754166 - 03/24/13 02:29 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I agree that they should still sell all parts without restrictions. It would be a new, good revenue stream for them from a captured market with no competition.

I have told this to several people in Meade upper-management and they seemed open-minded to the idea so we shall see.



I'm not even saying sell parts 'without restrictions' but when a customer calls and says he has a dead LX200gps motherboard IN HIS HAND, refusing to sell a new one to that customer is nuts, and unbelievably infuriating. Especially when that customer ends up buying a new, unused, spare motherboard from someone they did sell one to.

They could make money AND not royally p-off customers at the same time. How can that not sound like a good idea?

Appreciate you putting the bug in their ear. Hopefully recent events will motivate management to pull their collective heads out into the sunshine. I would very much like to buy another of their scopes but this policy has got to change first.




I am with you Mike, as much as I like the looks of a couple of their new offerings and next year plan to pick up a 10 to 14" scope... these policies along with their current financials leave me feeling like I have no sane choice other than buying another companies product and that's a really sad situation for both myself and the company but it is what it is... for now.


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Christopher EricksonModerator
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Re: Zero image shift focuser replacement gear? new [Re: tommax]
      #5755512 - 03/25/13 04:54 AM

We should start a thoughtful and respectful letter-writing campaign...

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tommax
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Re: Zero image shift focuser replacement gear? new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5757380 - 03/26/13 01:40 AM

New news on this... a nice cloudy nights user has offered to sell me a defective unit which the gear is there and complete as well as another unit which works but is beat up a bit at a decent price... but

the even better news is another cloudy nights user put me in touch with a CS rep at Meade who was very friendly and helpful and said he would be sending me the gear free of charge, even the brass gear in case I needed it!

If the gear arrives I will certainly update this thread to reflect that, but man... it should not take all that, maybe Meade will learn something because mine is not the only case of things like this and with the internet now-a-days poor service gets around quickly especially so in a hobby type activity where the "toys" are very expensive...

Anyways I am very please at the moment and await anxiously for the gear as course focus has left me not wanting to use my scope at all...


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tommax
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Re: Zero image shift focuser replacement gear? new [Re: tommax]
      #5772051 - 04/02/13 12:51 AM

I am pleased to report that Meade did indeed send me a replacement gear, came with the plastic gear the cap piece, set screw and even the allen wrench... took a rather strange way of getting it but all is well at the moment, I hope in the future Meade is able to provide these parts easier and although I think it's great that I did not have to pay anything to get the part, I would gladly have paid a fair or even slightly inflated price for it because knowing I could get parts even if a bit pricey would be better than worrying about it in the first place.

Anyways, Thanks to Meade for coming through.


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Christopher EricksonModerator
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Re: Zero image shift focuser replacement gear? new [Re: tommax]
      #5775695 - 04/03/13 02:22 PM

Quote:

I am pleased to report that Meade did indeed send me a replacement gear, came with the plastic gear the cap piece, set screw and even the allen wrench... took a rather strange way of getting it but all is well at the moment, I hope in the future Meade is able to provide these parts easier and although I think it's great that I did not have to pay anything to get the part, I would gladly have paid a fair or even slightly inflated price for it because knowing I could get parts even if a bit pricey would be better than worrying about it in the first place.

Anyways, Thanks to Meade for coming through.




Is there a way to adjust the distance between the two gears so the problem that trashed the last gear doesn't happen again?


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tommax
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Re: Zero image shift focuser replacement gear? new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #5778147 - 04/04/13 05:09 PM

Chris,

I see no way to perform an adjustment, it seems they are meant to be tightly married together to maintain a precise ratio. I think the best solution is to simply make sure the focuser is in it's middle position and to get a feel or count how much movement each way from middle the unit can move, well that and just common sense, like I said I think the guy I bought the scope from probably jammed the button not thinking twice about it, I have had 3 of these and never damaged one.


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Mike7Mak
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Re: Zero image shift focuser replacement gear? new [Re: tommax]
      #5778225 - 04/04/13 05:58 PM

Mine stopped working (made motor noise but wouldn't move) and I just took it off thinking 'that's it, it's broke'. A couple years later I got the urge to take it apart. Turns out all that happened was the setscrew in the little plastic gear had loosened and the gear walked out of mesh with the motor gear. Slid it back in place, tightened the setscrew, and away we go.

I'm pretty sure there's a tension adjustment on the crayford drive roller. If that's too tight (i.e. the roller won't slip at the end of travel) the next weakest link is the teeth of the plastic gear.


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