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Which replacement handboxes for LX90?

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8 replies to this topic

#1 KerryR

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 08:56 AM

Anyone know which of the handboxes that are currently made/sold by Meade will work with the "classic" LX90's? Nothing on the Meade website really says anything about being specificly for older LX90's. Maybe it doesn't matter?

If not, does anyone know where I can get an "old" one?

Thanks!
Kerry

#2 gillmj24

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 11:05 AM

ALL LX90s use the 497 autostar, which is also used by the ETX and LXD55 and LXD75 mounts.

Autostar2 is for LX200GPS (and -R and -ACF) scopes.

Ebay, or post a wanted ad on astromart, or the CN shop and swap and you should have some sellers inquiring soon.

#3 KerryR

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 01:20 PM

Thanks for the reply.

Interestingly, I called Meade to ask them. They told me the AutostarII was compatible, that it came with the correct software to load onto the controller. They told me to order from a dealer listed on their website.

Soooo....
I call Oceanside Photo and Telescope to order, and they said that AutostarII is only for the new LX200's (as Joseph said above), that the data is now onboard the LX200 telescope base, not in the handbox like it is on the older (497) controllers, and that the new controlers were absolutely not compatible with LX90's, ACF and otherwise. They said that whoever I talked to at Meade didn't know their own product. Nice. I'm not sure who's right, but I'll stick to the #497.

This makes sense, because I see that even the new LX90 ACF's come with Autostar #497 (according to the ad on Optics Planet), not AutostarII...

In any case, I found the #497's are alive and well, thanks to the still-sold ETX line, and available for $150 or so. Problem solved. I was afraid they might not be available any longer, especially with things a little sketchy with Meade.

After having a failure of my handbox (which was fixed with disassembly and reassembly-- maybe a stuck key or something...don't know), and resorting to trying to hand guide the unpowered LX90 without fine motion controls, I've decided a backup handbox would be a good idea... It would be nice if the scope had come with manual fine controls as an ultimate backup...

Kerry

#4 gillmj24

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 01:36 PM

Get a used one for $100 or less if you want a cheaper option!

#5 Brooklyn

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 05:11 PM

Hey...

I have a late 2002 lx-90 8" with EMC coatings. It has no GPS and no UHTC.

I am pretty sure this scope has the Autostar #497 but i will need to confirm.

Is it definite that ALL lx-90s...EMC, UHTC, GPS, ACF, use the Autostar #497 and no other?

#6 KerryR

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 11:44 AM

Yeah, if you have an 'older' LX90, it's the #497.

I guess I wouldn't say it's definite that AutostarII won't work because I got one answer from Meade, and another answer from Oceanside Photo and Telescope. OPT is a pretty reliable source, I think, and I may not have actually talked to a tech person at Meade, I just assumed that the person would direct my call as necessary, and the person I talked to was pretty insistant that the AutostarII would work, but that you had to install the right software. He said the telescopes (LX90 and LX200) were both "empty" and that the brain was located only in the handset. OPT said this wasn't true, that the LX200 ACF had it's brain on-board, and that the handset was empty.

Meade's website doesn't say what autostar comes with the new LX90 ACF's, but, as I mentioned, the ad on Optics Planet's website specifies the 497 controller as being the one included. Meade's website does not list the LX90 as being supported by the AutostarII or the Autostar wireless, but the Meade guy said otherwise...

#7 Brooklyn

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 12:22 PM

He said the telescopes (LX90 and LX200) were both "empty" and that the brain was located only in the handset. OPT said this wasn't true, that the LX200 ACF had it's brain on-board, and that the handset was empty.


Ok no offense to OPT corp, but I have been doing business with them for a little while.

I can definitely tell you, without naming any names, some OPT corp people really have no idea what theyre talking about.

If i had a quarter for every time someone at OPT corp gave me a wrong answer...i would have like 2 bucks. They might be right they might not be, i just know that in my experience I have been mislead several times by optcorp. I even called them back to ask...why did you guys give me wrong information? They always respond by...umm we are not sure, sorry for the confusion.

I heard that the ETX and LX-90s are empty for sure, that is why you are able to swap the same exact Autostar handbox from one scope to another, and use it with all the features that scope had.

I am not sure about the lx200, since it does have an additional computer under the base of the scope.

Im not saying meade is correct, nor am i saying opt is.

Meade has also mislead me too many times, to the point where i dont even call their tech support anymore. I get more accurate answers here on cloudy nights than what meade tech support people tell me over the phone.

#8 Kolenka

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 12:39 PM

In this case, Brooklyn... Meade's rep is flat out wrong, and OPT is right.

The LX90/ETX line come with either the #494 or #497 handboxes. The 494 really doesn't give you anything other than N/S/E/W controls, and the 497 is autostar for the ETX/LX90 line.

Autostar II is the updated LX200 control boxes, which have always used brains in the base. A great way to know the difference is that the #497 has the RS232 port on the handbox, and so you need the handbox to control the scope from a PC. The LX200 on the other hand, can technically run without the handbox if you use the RS232 port on the base. Good luck aligning that sucker though. ;)

Either way, there would need to be brains in the base of the LX200 even if the Autostar II was the brains of the scope. It is a case of technical limitations. You can't put the RS232 port on the base and then funnel that into the handbox without a microprocessor in the base acting as a router for the aux ports, the focuser port, the RS232 port, etc.

#9 KerryR

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 03:31 PM

That's why I love this forum so much-- better to post here than to rely on one or 2 people at 2 sources that totally conflict eachother!

In any case, I got 497 handbox as my back-up, from Optics Planet (they had them in stock, OPT didn't, and, somehow Optics Planet got it here within 24 hours, no charge on shipping...)

Kerry


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