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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Michael Rapp
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/27/04

Loc: Dickinson, TX
Bizarre LXD-75 Tracking Issue
      #6321502 - 01/19/14 12:32 AM

So, it is one of those rare nights in which both the seeing and transparency are near-excellent....and my LXD-75 has decided not to want to track.

This is truly bizarre: I can slew the scope in any of the four directions, but it just isn't tracking. For example, if I put the scope -- an ETX-125 OTA -- on the Moon, the craters drift from east to west at the same rate regardless of whether or not I have the RA lock engaged!

Now, your first notion would be that I have something set seriously wrong in my Autostar controller. But I'm not using the Autostar controller. I'm using the dirt-simple EC controller. (The one with the four arrows and the four speeds.)

This doesn't make any sense. I can slew the scope to the west in any of the four speeds, but it just does not track. I've checked my balance and replaced the batteries with fresh ones.

Tomorrow I'll point the scope at a land object and let it run to see if it is tracking at all.

Anyone have any experience with this sort of thing to give me an idea for troubleshooting? The mount was working just fine a few days ago and tracked beautifully. Didn't bump it on anything.


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Spacetravelerx
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: Bizarre LXD-75 Tracking Issue new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6321507 - 01/19/14 12:41 AM

Are you accurately aligned? Is this a new problem for your mount?

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Christopher Erickson
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: Bizarre LXD-75 Tracking Issue new [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #6321669 - 01/19/14 05:23 AM

The EC controllers are configured by the locations of screws into the back of the controller. And an EC controller for one of the other Meade scopes won't get an LXD-55/75 to track correctly in RA.

You will probably have a lot better luck with a properly-configured Autostar 497 or Audiostar hand controller. They will track properly in RA, even if you have not done a sky alignment for GOTO operations.

That is, assuming that the mount is polar aligned on True North to some reasonable extent.


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Michael Rapp
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/27/04

Loc: Dickinson, TX
Re: Bizarre LXD-75 Tracking Issue new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #6322033 - 01/19/14 11:53 AM

Okay, I'll try those two things today. I'll turn it on and see if it is tracking at all (maybe just really really slowly), and I'll also switch back to my autostar. Perhaps the six times I've used it with this EC have been a fluke.

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Michael Rapp
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/27/04

Loc: Dickinson, TX
Re: Bizarre LXD-75 Tracking Issue new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6322490 - 01/19/14 03:52 PM

Chris, you were exactly right!

After verifying that indeed the EC was not tracking, I swapped it out for my Autostar. Scope tracked once told it to slew to an object.

The only explanation I can come up with is along these lines: The LXD-75 won't track unless it is either aligned or slewed to an object, then it tracks. For reason, when I went from my Autostar to my EC originally, the scope stayed in this tracking mode (maybe some form of ad-hoc sleep or park?) and all worked well. However, something triggered that to go off so I needed to use the Autostar to get it tracking again.

In any case, I now have a wonderfully tracking mount that I will use tonight. And I don't have to worry about buying a new mount. I'll just use the Autostar from now on.


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Castor
sage


Reged: 03/26/08

Re: Bizarre LXD-75 Tracking Issue new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #6323385 - 01/20/14 12:53 AM

Quote:

The EC controllers are configured by the locations of screws into the back of the controller.



Hi Michael,

I believe Chris is on the right track with his observation!

Did you check the Meade LXD75 Manual regarding the programming of the EC hand controller?
Meade LXD75 Manual.PDF

By removing 'mode screw A' on the rear of the Electronic Controller or by unadvertely pressing and holding the MODE button, the tracking function could have been disabled (ideal for terrestial observation). You can check this on pages 58-61 of the LXD75 manual.

Please forgive me if you already checked the manual and you are aware of this, I'm just trying to help!


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Michael Rapp
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/27/04

Loc: Dickinson, TX
Re: Bizarre LXD-75 Tracking Issue new [Re: Castor]
      #6323957 - 01/20/14 11:48 AM

I'll look into that...it sure is one mechanism by which the tracking would have ceased. I haven't messed with the screws, but I can't rule out having inadvertently held down the mode button!

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Christopher Erickson
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/08/06

Loc: Waikoloa Village, Hawaii
Re: Bizarre LXD-75 Tracking Issue new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6324249 - 01/20/14 02:00 PM

Quote:

Chris, you were exactly right!

After verifying that indeed the EC was not tracking, I swapped it out for my Autostar. Scope tracked once told it to slew to an object.

The only explanation I can come up with is along these lines: The LXD-75 won't track unless it is either aligned or slewed to an object, then it tracks. For reason, when I went from my Autostar to my EC originally, the scope stayed in this tracking mode (maybe some form of ad-hoc sleep or park?) and all worked well. However, something triggered that to go off so I needed to use the Autostar to get it tracking again.

In any case, I now have a wonderfully tracking mount that I will use tonight. And I don't have to worry about buying a new mount. I'll just use the Autostar from now on.




It might depend on your hand controller firmware version (and maybe on some things in the hand controller configuration) but just escaping from the alignment part of the Autostar menu on power-up should automatically enable RA tracking speed.


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Michael Rapp
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/27/04

Loc: Dickinson, TX
Re: Bizarre LXD-75 Tracking Issue new [Re: Christopher Erickson]
      #6324727 - 01/20/14 06:17 PM

Thanks Chris, that's what I remembered, that you could just get the Autostar to just start tracking. (It's one of the things that annoys me about the iEQ45M. You must align to start the motors.)

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paul m schofield
member


Reged: 05/23/10

Loc: Western North Carolina, USA
Re: Bizarre LXD-75 Tracking Issue new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6324814 - 01/20/14 07:22 PM

With my LXD-75 I just go to Targets on the Autostar. Terrestrial and Astronomical will come up. Choose "Astronomical" and the RA motor starts running without having to go through the alignment process.

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