Called Meade today about my mount...
Posted 03 November 2003 - 06:09 PM
I hope he wasn't blowing sunshine up my skirt.
I mentioned in the two page letter that I included with the mount that I hoped that someone would actually set this mount up with a scope on it at night and play with it awhile to make sure it was working correctly rather than just having it pass a bench test.
Vincent didn't have any information about what the repair center did or did not do, or find what was wrong with the mount. Communication between the repair center and customer service is sadly lacking at Meade.
I hope it checks out this time. I don't have 3K for a Losmandy.
Posted 03 November 2003 - 10:14 PM
I sure hope they got it this time. Even if they leave a minor issue or two at least you'll be able to sort those out. I've never heard of support staff field-testing scopes but I believe it this time, given the history.
I don't know why Meade is so cagy about reporting the repairs they do. Celestron includes a service sheet showing precisely what's been done to the instrument.
For the price difference I'll take the LXD55 (with a better tripod). Now that mine's working I'm gonna go ahead and sell or swap the CGE mount. It's overkill for the scopes I want to use portable and the Meade is just right. I have an extra Nexstar GPS tripod and I'll stick it on that. I had one set up like that before and it was very solid without being absurdly heavy. The problem with LXD55 mounts is that they are suitable for almost any medium-sized telescope and every time I get tired of a telescope and sell it it ends up leaving on my LXD55 - then I have to go find another one.
Posted 03 November 2003 - 10:57 PM
I don't know whether it is circuit design, programming, or the interface between the encoders and the computer. Whatever it is, I hope they get a fix for it soon.
With the problems like I've been having, and others I've read about, it's a wonder they're still in business having to perform so many repairs on these electronics. It's another wonder they're still manufacturing it.
I just can't understand the issues with consistancy with the electronics. Some people have had these work from day one out of the box, and others like me have had problems after a few months of perfect performance, and then some (again, like me) have failures right out of the box and it doesn't work at all when it's brand spanking new.
Minor issues I can handle, especially mechanical problems which are really no problem. The electronics are another issue entirely. I don't have any test gear other than a VOM. No scope or analyser or any other diagnostic equipment.
I'll tell you this much, if this mount doesn't work when it comes back, I'm sending it back again and I'll keep sending it back until they get sick of me or the mount. Then maybe the engineers will actually look into a permanent fix for it.
Posted 03 November 2003 - 11:13 PM
I don't think it's so much the mechanics of these mounts. I believe they are OK in that area. It's the electronics that they don't have all the bugs worked out of.
I dunno. Maybe it's just what seems hard to each of us. I have little mechanical aptitude so those problems seem larger to me. I've owned a number of these and have really seen very few electronics issues EXCEPT for the poor cables and connectors, which have been improved in later models. The only truly nonfunctional controller I've seen is the one I killed with my bad RA motor - and that was caused by a connector problem. I borrowed an Autostar to debug the mount (after I had fixed the problem!) and it has the usual connector problems as well.
The trouble is that the parts for these have dried up completely. Before the LXD55 came out one could pick up Autostar controllers everywhere for $40-$50 - now they are going for $100 (ouch!). The motors aren't available anywhere at any price as far as I know. I'm gonna make a real effort to hold onto this mount and may even dig into the innards a little to make the axes rotate more freely - but that's the part that sounds difficult to me...
Posted 03 November 2003 - 11:21 PM
For a mount tune up try over at the LXD55 Portal. The guy who runs the site is, or was offering to tune the LXD55 for a wee fee or you could buy a kit and a video to help yourself with it. There are a lot of parts in these mounts and an exploded diagram is most helpful.
So far neither mount I've had has had any mechanical problems that a cleaning and re-lube and a bit of backlash tweaking couldn't solve.