Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Miscellany

  • Please log in to reply
1328 replies to this topic

#1301 DAVIDG

DAVIDG

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10,650
  • Joined: 02 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Hockessin, De

Posted 29 December 2021 - 12:03 PM

 I have not had good luck with Meade products. I haven't seen one optically  that tested well and their electronics are poorly designed. It seems their business model is to get their products about 85% of the way there then start selling them  with a  short warranty.  They last long enough to be out of warranty then they start to break and Meade won't fix them or offer spare parts. Then they discontinue the product and want to  you by another telescope. 

   The LX200 is a classic example of designing the telescope  to fail with capacitors rated for 16 volts and running the scope on 18 volts to make it slew faster. They knew it was only a matter of time before the caps burned up and they also knew most would be out of warranty when it happened. 

  In the Meade forum  90% of the messages  are from owners looking for help on how to fix their scope. I have had  my share of fixing ones for club members.

    I'm working on a  LX200GPS model now that has a design flaw that causes the Mosfets on the motor control boards to burn up.  Again no spare parts available so  Meade's  answer is to just scrape the scope and buy another.  Luckily I know how to repair electronics and should be able to get this one working again. 

   I hope since Orion bought them out they will change their business model to be more consumer friendly and design more robust products.

 

                   - Dave 

Damaged RA board close up.jpg


Edited by DAVIDG, 29 December 2021 - 12:32 PM.

  • Paul Hyndman, tim53, steve t and 6 others like this

#1302 deSitter

deSitter

    Still in Old School

  • *****
  • Posts: 12,289
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2004

Posted 29 December 2021 - 12:41 PM

 I have not had good luck with Meade products. I haven't seen one optically  that tested well and their electronics are poorly designed. It seems their business model is to get their products about 85% of the way there then start selling them  with a  short warranty.  They last long enough to be out of warranty then they start to break and Meade won't fix them or offer spare parts. Then they discontinue the product and want to  you by another telescope. 

   The LX200 is a classic example of designing the telescope  to fail with capacitors rated for 16 volts and running the scope on 18 volts to make it slew faster. They knew it was only a matter of time before the caps burned up and they also knew most would be out of warranty when it happened. 

  In the Meade forum  90% of the messages  are from owners looking for help on how to fix their scope. I have had  my share of fixing ones for club members.

    I'm working on a  LX200GPS model now that has a design flaw that causes the Mosfets on the motor control boards to burn up.  Again no spare parts available so  Meade's  answer is to just scrape the scope and buy another.  Luckily I know how to repair electronics and should be able to get this one working again. 

   I hope since Orion bought them out they will change their business model to be more consumer friendly and design more robust products.

 

                   - Dave 

attachicon.gifDamaged RA board close up.jpg

Unfortunately true about the capacitors! I run my LXD650 (same as LX200 classic) at 15v or even 12v, always from a battery, and the 18v simple transformer power brick supplied is just awful. Didn't know about the MOSFETS, a new thing to worry about! I do trust the IBM 15v power brick from my old Thinkpad to not destroy it. I have replaced the worst offending tantalums with electrolytics of known good quality. The actual construction of my boards looks outstanding, but I have no way of knowing if the components other than those exploding tantalums are any good..

 

-drl


  • Paul Hyndman, steve t and Bomber Bob like this

#1303 Exnihilo

Exnihilo

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,437
  • Joined: 02 Aug 2010
  • Loc: Phoenix, AZ

Posted 29 December 2021 - 12:43 PM

 I have not had good luck with Meade products. I haven't seen one optically  that tested well and their electronics are poorly designed. It seems their business model is to get their products about 85% of the way there then start selling them  with a  short warranty.  They last long enough to be out of warranty then they start to break and Meade won't fix them or offer spare parts. Then they discontinue the product and want to you by another telescope. 

   The LX200 is a classic example of designing the telescope  to fail with capacitors rated for 16 volts and running the scope on 18 volts to make it slew faster. They knew it was only a matter of time before the caps burned up and they also knew most would be out of warranty when it happened. 

  In the Meade forum  90% of the messages  are from owners looking for help on how to fix their scope. I have had  my share of fixing ones for club members.

    I'm working on a  LX200GPS model now that has a design flaw that causes the Mosfets on the motor control boards to burn up.  Again no spare parts available so  Meade's  answer is to just scrape the scope and buy another.  Luckily I know how to repair electronics and should be able to get this one working again. 

   I hope since Orion bought them out they will change their business model to be more consumer friendly and design more robust products.

 

                   - Dave 

 

I tend to agree.  The only Meade scope I owned was a 10" SN on the old LXD55 mount.  The optics were decent, but the mount was a disaster.  When the LXD75 was released, I tried to buy just the mount, but at that time the Meade policy was to ONLY sell the LXD75 as part of a package deal.  They insisted on that even though I complained about the poor LXD55 performance.  I wasn't expecting them to replace the LXD55 for free; I was willing to pay full for the LXD75 mount (by itself).  But they refused.  So at that point I decided I would never buy a Meade scope again.

 

These days I'm still highly skeptical of the current generation of mounts with the LXD55/75 heritage, and probably would never get one.

 

On the other hand, the eyepiece lines they sell seem to be decent, plus they aren't too pricey.  I have 3 of the series 5000 82 deg eyepieces, and they seem OK, although I'm really tempted to just get the complete set of Morpheus eyepieces and get rid of the Meade ones.



#1304 deSitter

deSitter

    Still in Old School

  • *****
  • Posts: 12,289
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2004

Posted 29 December 2021 - 01:22 PM

I tend to agree.  The only Meade scope I owned was a 10" SN on the old LXD55 mount.  The optics were decent, but the mount was a disaster.  When the LXD75 was released, I tried to buy just the mount, but at that time the Meade policy was to ONLY sell the LXD75 as part of a package deal.  They insisted on that even though I complained about the poor LXD55 performance.  I wasn't expecting them to replace the LXD55 for free; I was willing to pay full for the LXD75 mount (by itself).  But they refused.  So at that point I decided I would never buy a Meade scope again.

 

These days I'm still highly skeptical of the current generation of mounts with the LXD55/75 heritage, and probably would never get one.

 

On the other hand, the eyepiece lines they sell seem to be decent, plus they aren't too pricey.  I have 3 of the series 5000 82 deg eyepieces, and they seem OK, although I'm really tempted to just get the complete set of Morpheus eyepieces and get rid of the Meade ones.

I bought the SN10 after decades with no scope (last one was the RV-6 I had as a kid). I had the opposite experience, the SN10 was too soft for visual use but the LXD75 mount was excellent and easily tuned to have almost no backlash and very smooth operation. It wasn't enough for the SN10, but it's great for a 10-15lb scope. I sold the SN10 to a guy only interested in imaging and he was very happy. But it just was so soft on planets, regardless of seeing.

 

My experience of Meade optics has been excellent other than that. My ETX90 has a perfect star test. My 127ED showed detail on Ganymede. A cheap 90mm refractor I bought for instant viewing split Pi Aquilae as easily as my 90mm Astro Optical classic and easily showed an impact scar on Jupiter. The 4000 series Plossls are my 2nd most used, and the HD60s are the most used, all excellent. I have the complete original series of UWA 5000s but I don't much use them - not a fan of any such eyepieces and Naglers would be wasted on me. I always find it odd that some people have such a bad experience of Meade. I wonder if the fact that Skywatcher is now selling Synta stuff directly in the USA will induce Orion to feature the Meade brand and restore its bruised reputation.

 

-drl


  • Exnihilo and walter a like this

#1305 DAVIDG

DAVIDG

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10,650
  • Joined: 02 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Hockessin, De

Posted 29 December 2021 - 02:01 PM

  I'm not  trying to Meade bash just stating facts.  My club  was just donated 10" LX200GPS and 8" LX200GPS. Both of which had major mechanical and electronic issues and we were able to repair them.  I know the owner of the 10" couldn't get it repaired so he just bought another one. Optically the 10" is corrected ok, it has a turned edge and rough optics. The 8" has smooth optics but has a  fair amount of over correction. So in both case if I really strain maybe a 1/4 wave.  The other issue has been the firmware for their scope that have many bugs and Meade hasn't been the greatest to fix them. Luckily 3rd parties like StarPatch have fixed and upgraded the firmware and their downloader software is much better then Meade's. The issue to me is that these are expensive scope, costing a few thousand new and yet they don't last very long. 

   I will say thou when I have repaired and upgrade the electronics, updated the firmware and fix some  of the mechanical issues, the scope do work well  with their GOTO function. Interface them wirelessly to Sky Safari and you have very easy system to use and can observe many objects in a night   Their mounts can do satellite tracking which is plus for me since I'm also into amateur radio and with antenna mounted on the mount communicate with other amateur radio operates via bouncing off the satellites. I really want to talk to the ISS and I will be  using a my Meade DS2000 mount that I repair to try that. The voltage regulator in it got fried because it is right on the edge of it's current rating. It was an easy fix with one that cost $1 but can handle a lot more current. It is stuff like that, that Meade could have done to make the scope much more robust and it would have added very little cost to the scope. 

 

                    - Dave 

 

DS2000 circuit board.jpg


  • tim53, mdowns, John Higbee and 2 others like this

#1306 ccwemyss

ccwemyss

    Surveyor 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,998
  • Joined: 11 Aug 2016
  • Loc: Massachusetts

Posted 29 December 2021 - 04:12 PM

We didn't sell Meade in the scope shop because the owner didn't like the way Anchor Optics would undercut retailers. So I never owned a Meade until the recently acquired 152ED. It does have very little color (a tiny bit on the limb of the moon, where an AP triplet shows none), and the star test shows some under correction that makes it a little harder to resolve planetary details and split doubles that the AP can do easily. Given the price point, it was a reasonable deal. Unfortunately, they glued the cell and the focuser into the tube, so there's no way to get in to fix the mediocre paint job on the baffles. And their choice of ED glass with a strong curve, along with the cell design, makes it risky to experiment with changing spacer thickness. It should probably have a "No user serviceable parts inside" label. 

 

In terms of electronics, for comparison, the compass on my 2001 Nexstar GPS started to fail in 2014, but Celestron was still willing to replace the entire electronics package. I fried it in 2018 by connecting a SkyFi to the Aux port instead of the hand controller, and at that point they couldn't help me, and recommended buying a replacement mount. Took me three years to discover that there was a dead diode hidden in the heat shrink tubing on the power jack, which wasn't on the schematics. After fixing that, it still works.

 

Chip W. 


  • deSitter, Bomber Bob and Piggyback like this

#1307 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 25,467
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 29 December 2021 - 07:10 PM

 I have not had good luck with Meade products. I haven't seen one optically  that tested well and their electronics are poorly designed. It seems their business model is to get their products about 85% of the way there then start selling them  with a  short warranty.  They last long enough to be out of warranty then they start to break and Meade won't fix them or offer spare parts. Then they discontinue the product and want to  you by another telescope. 

   The LX200 is a classic example of designing the telescope  to fail with capacitors rated for 16 volts and running the scope on 18 volts to make it slew faster. They knew it was only a matter of time before the caps burned up and they also knew most would be out of warranty when it happened. 

  In the Meade forum  90% of the messages  are from owners looking for help on how to fix their scope. I have had  my share of fixing ones for club members.

    I'm working on a  LX200GPS model now that has a design flaw that causes the Mosfets on the motor control boards to burn up.  Again no spare parts available so  Meade's  answer is to just scrape the scope and buy another.  Luckily I know how to repair electronics and should be able to get this one working again. 

   I hope since Orion bought them out they will change their business model to be more consumer friendly and design more robust products.

 

                   - Dave 

attachicon.gifDamaged RA board close up.jpg

Only had 4 bad Meade scopes out of around 70.  3 bad 2045 astro versions that were mush.  And one very sad 7" ED that could not be fixed.  On avg i found Meade had many more better SCT's than Celestron. But my all time 2 best SCT's were a 1984 C8 and a 2002 C5.  My all time worst SCT's were from Celestron.   Seems after 1993 Meade was on the ball with good SCT optics since 8 of my LX200's were very good and one soft 12" LX200.

 

So it is all over the board with SCT's what any year or brand.


  • Bonco2, Bomber Bob and Piggyback like this

#1308 clamchip

clamchip

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 11,798
  • Joined: 09 Aug 2008
  • Loc: Seattle

Posted 31 December 2021 - 12:30 AM

How about spray silvering a telescope mirror:

https://sites.google...elescope-mirror

 

Robert



#1309 Paul Sweeney

Paul Sweeney

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 744
  • Joined: 19 Feb 2018
  • Loc: Heidelberg, Germany

Posted 02 January 2022 - 03:06 AM

I have been quietly following Meade for years, and I have been expecting their downfall for some time. There are basically 2 extremes of the manufacturing game.

The first is maximizing quality/customer satisfaction. This requires investing in manufacturing processes so that a high degree of repeatable excellence occurs. The goal is to offer a limited product mix of top products. Customer service needs to be excellent, and, if a less then excellent product slips through, it will get taken care of. Word of mouth is the best advertisement for this type of manufacturing. You want your customers to know that they can feel secure when they invest in your product. AP comes to mind here.

The second is maximizing profits. Everything is geared to pushing out numerous half baked products, covering every possible market niche, and then some. The main investment here is in advertising. Big, glossy ads aimed at the first time buyer, or to convince ex-owners to come back and try another product. Because quality is not top priority, there will be a wide bell curve ranging from horrible to excellent. Customer service is also aimed at sales, and little money is tied up in stocks of spare parts. This is how I see Meade. The trouble is, when you try to cover the entire market, you need a big organization. When enough disappointed customers stay away, sales drop, and the costs quickly eat up the profits and you get in financial trouble real fast.

I have never bought a Meade scope. Their ads have certainly piqued my interest, but numerous customer reviews and the experiences of my friends have kept my wallet closed to Meade products.
  • John Higbee, Bonco2, Bomber Bob and 1 other like this

#1310 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 25,467
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 02 January 2022 - 06:25 AM

Meade was only really Meade in the 1970's thru around 1997.  Once they started pushing out bad scopes and mounts it was over.   Had a good 70 Meade scopes and around 50 Celestron and the sad thing is only 2 good Celestron scopes out of 50. I don't count all the Vixen- Celestron scopes i had since they were not made by Celestron.

 

Just sad when SCT after SCT from Celestron was flat out bad to lack luster. Plus a super mushy Comet catcher and a 5" Comatron or whatever they called it would not even focus.  So 4 bad Meade scopes out of 70 is not bad.

 

The LX200 was a world changer and sure loved them in the later 90's. But once i was burned by a 7" ED that could never be fixed i was no longer a Meade lover.


Edited by CHASLX200, 02 January 2022 - 06:31 AM.

  • Bonco2 and Bomber Bob like this

#1311 deSitter

deSitter

    Still in Old School

  • *****
  • Posts: 12,289
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2004

Posted 04 January 2022 - 01:13 PM

How about spray silvering a telescope mirror:

https://sites.google...elescope-mirror

 

Robert

That is fascinating!

 

-drl



#1312 clamchip

clamchip

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 11,798
  • Joined: 09 Aug 2008
  • Loc: Seattle

Posted 04 January 2022 - 01:20 PM

It really is.

I'm tempted to try it because silver has very high reflectivity.

Maybe in the summer and wearing my bathing suit !

 

Robert


Edited by clamchip, 04 January 2022 - 01:22 PM.

  • steve t likes this

#1313 Terra Nova

Terra Nova

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 26,240
  • Joined: 29 May 2012
  • Loc: 39.07°N, 229m AMSL, USA

Posted 04 January 2022 - 01:22 PM

People are,getting back into re-silvering their own mirrors as well. I believe they sell the chemistry kits for it.


  • tim53 and steve t like this

#1314 tim53

tim53

    James Webb Space Telescope

  • *****
  • Posts: 15,777
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 04 January 2022 - 02:24 PM

People are,getting back into re-silvering their own mirrors as well. I believe they sell the chemistry kits for it.

yes, lots of discussions about this over on ATM.


  • deSitter, steve t, Terra Nova and 1 other like this

#1315 CHASLX200

CHASLX200

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 25,467
  • Joined: 29 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Tampa area Florida

Posted 04 January 2022 - 07:15 PM

People are,getting back into re-silvering their own mirrors as well. I believe they sell the chemistry kits for it.

With shipping cost and having to worry if it got broke or lost that maybe the way to go.


  • tim53, steve t and Terra Nova like this

#1316 tim53

tim53

    James Webb Space Telescope

  • *****
  • Posts: 15,777
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 04 January 2022 - 08:29 PM

With shipping cost and having to worry if it got broke or lost that maybe the way to go.

For mirrors smaller than 10", it might still not be the best alternative to aluminum.  For big mirrors, it probably makes good sense, even if it has to be redone every year.

 

My last 8" mirror cost over $200 to get coated, but I sent it to L&L in Santa Ana where they did an outstanding job on my 8" f/9 mirror a few years before.  They're also close enough that I could drop off and pickup in person, if I were worried.  I shipped the other two mirrors.  I used that pink insulating foam board from Home Despot to completely enclose the mirror (wrapped in lens paper) and ship it in a USPS flat rate box.

 

-Tim.


  • steve t and Terra Nova like this

#1317 Terra Nova

Terra Nova

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 26,240
  • Joined: 29 May 2012
  • Loc: 39.07°N, 229m AMSL, USA

Posted 11 January 2022 - 04:19 PM

This is the 120th Anniversary of Popular Mechanics!

 

https://www.popularm...ular-mechanics/


  • clamchip, mdowns, Exnihilo and 3 others like this

#1318 jcruse64

jcruse64

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 916
  • Joined: 26 Aug 2016
  • Loc: Paducah, KY USA

Posted 11 January 2022 - 10:07 PM

This is the 120th Anniversary of Popular Mechanics!

 

https://www.popularm...ular-mechanics/

Pretty amazing run! I've been a fan for a long time, and subscribed for several years, but they had a pretty substantial editorial board shakeup several years ago, and the new EIC came over from GQ. Not long after, the gist of the content kinda looked to be going after the GQ crowd. When they started doing multiple page spreads of their article subjects modeling clothing, replete with item description and pricing (pricing more in line with the fashion conscious crowd), i let my sub slide. I need to buy an issue and see if this is still where the mag lives, or if they finally got out of the fashion business and came back to their roots.


  • Terra Nova and Bomber Bob like this

#1319 Bomber Bob

Bomber Bob

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 20,809
  • Joined: 09 Jul 2013
  • Loc: The Swamp, LA (Lower Alabama)

Posted 16 January 2022 - 01:57 PM

Recycling an old Meade Medium Rugged Spotter Case for .965" Accessories:

 

Meade MED Rugged Case S01 - Before Restore.jpg Meade MED Rugged Case S02 - Before Restore.jpg

 

I bought several of these spotting cases from Bill Vorce @ Telescope Warehouse years ago.  This one has carried my FC-50.  Now that it's sold, and I need a larger .965" eyepiece case... Voila!

 

All I needed was some foam sheets.  Just ordered a 2" thick solid sheet, and 1.25" pull-pluck sheet from:   https://www.foambyma...-grid-foam.html

 

Prices are reasonable.  I'll use them again when my current larger accessory cases need a restore.

 

 


  • mdowns and CltFlyboy like this

#1320 DAVIDG

DAVIDG

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10,650
  • Joined: 02 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Hockessin, De

Posted 16 January 2022 - 08:15 PM

 I have not had good luck with Meade products. I haven't seen one optically  that tested well and their electronics are poorly designed. It seems their business model is to get their products about 85% of the way there then start selling them  with a  short warranty.  They last long enough to be out of warranty then they start to break and Meade won't fix them or offer spare parts. Then they discontinue the product and want to  you by another telescope. 

   The LX200 is a classic example of designing the telescope  to fail with capacitors rated for 16 volts and running the scope on 18 volts to make it slew faster. They knew it was only a matter of time before the caps burned up and they also knew most would be out of warranty when it happened. 

  In the Meade forum  90% of the messages  are from owners looking for help on how to fix their scope. I have had  my share of fixing ones for club members.

    I'm working on a  LX200GPS model now that has a design flaw that causes the Mosfets on the motor control boards to burn up.  Again no spare parts available so  Meade's  answer is to just scrape the scope and buy another.  Luckily I know how to repair electronics and should be able to get this one working again. 

   I hope since Orion bought them out they will change their business model to be more consumer friendly and design more robust products.

 

                   - Dave 

attachicon.gifDamaged RA board close up.jpg

 I have been trying to repair another Meade LX200GPS mount.  I fixed the two motor control boards with the burned up Mosfets. When I power up the scope it was drawing a huge amount of current.  Well  problem is that the motors are destroyed.  Here is  a picture of the cook armature from the small DC  motor that are used in this design.  Similar motors cost under $10 and many others only  few dollars.  It is a simple DC motor that runs at 12000 rpm at 12 volts with a 50:1 gear box.  The gear box can be easily removed and reused so one just needs the motor. One needs the exact specs since the current draw and RPM with no load are critical to have the system run at the correct speed. So you just can't use any old  DC motor. The failure of the motors is a known problem and looks to be caused by a firmware issue that causes the pulse width modulation control to over heat the motor. 

 Meade will not sell you just the motor but the whole worm gear and motor assembly for close to $400 when they are available and that is if they ever offer them again. 

   The company that makes the motor for Meade signed a non disclosure agreement so they won't release the exact design spec and of course won't sell you one. So now you have a telescope that cost  around $2700  when new that is broken and you can't fix  it because of issue they caused. 

    I really hope that  since Orion bought Meade they change their business model and if they aren't going sell replacement parts they will at least release the specs on the parts so it might be possible to find other sources.

   It is a real shame that Meade designs their products like they do and had the business  model of not supporting their products past the short warranty period.  Just go down into the Meade forum and you will see that 90% of the messages are about problems  with their products and they wonder why they went under.

 

                      - Dave 

meade armature.jpg


  • tim53, steve t, John Higbee and 1 other like this

#1321 Stevegeo

Stevegeo

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1,192
  • Joined: 29 Jan 2019
  • Loc: Otisco lake. Marietta NY 13110

Posted 16 January 2022 - 10:02 PM

I too have a Meade lx200 with a dead drive . Failed electronics .. and it took me about 10 hours going through the internet, old catalogs to find replacement parts . And as mentioned many are proprietary...The replacement parts outlasted the OEM  but now faced with motor failure,,twice...

One motor I had was totally fried .. and a refit about non existent... However I pressed on and rewound my old armature using wire I had scavanged from a retired blender motor from local goodwill . Blender cost $2.. an hour to unwind and another to remove old and rewind .. not easy .. yet I was determined ..

The voltage being 18v and motors rated at, from what I can determine, 12v.   After replacing the encoder boards , still have no control .. so I either give up, or rethink the workings .

I'm considering high torque stepper motor if I can find something that's comparable  and a stepper circuit, . Ditch the meade electronics and just use an up/ down- left / right push button setup for control and give up any go-to..navigate by what I know,  and use maps ..  not much else unless I get lucky...

Right now my 12in lx200 is a dead duck...  But I am determined to prevail.

 

More to come as I figure this out.

 

Stevegeo



#1322 Senex Bibax

Senex Bibax

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 899
  • Joined: 01 Feb 2019
  • Loc: Ottawa, ON

Posted 17 January 2022 - 09:09 AM

How about spray silvering a telescope mirror:

https://sites.google...elescope-mirror

 

Robert

Can they guarantee a coating as smooth as the polished glass face? I have a hard time seeing a spray equalling a vacuum-applied vapour coating like a typical aluminised finish.



#1323 deSitter

deSitter

    Still in Old School

  • *****
  • Posts: 12,289
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2004

Posted 18 January 2022 - 12:05 PM

I too have a Meade lx200 with a dead drive . Failed electronics .. and it took me about 10 hours going through the internet, old catalogs to find replacement parts . And as mentioned many are proprietary...The replacement parts outlasted the OEM  but now faced with motor failure,,twice...

One motor I had was totally fried .. and a refit about non existent... However I pressed on and rewound my old armature using wire I had scavanged from a retired blender motor from local goodwill . Blender cost $2.. an hour to unwind and another to remove old and rewind .. not easy .. yet I was determined ..

The voltage being 18v and motors rated at, from what I can determine, 12v.   After replacing the encoder boards , still have no control .. so I either give up, or rethink the workings .

I'm considering high torque stepper motor if I can find something that's comparable  and a stepper circuit, . Ditch the meade electronics and just use an up/ down- left / right push button setup for control and give up any go-to..navigate by what I know,  and use maps ..  not much else unless I get lucky...

Right now my 12in lx200 is a dead duck...  But I am determined to prevail.

 

More to come as I figure this out.

 

Stevegeo

Refit with Autostar and stepper motors? The Autostar lets you set ratios so is practically a universal option, and you can get an old LXD55 mount to extract the electronics...

 

-drl


Edited by deSitter, 18 January 2022 - 12:05 PM.


#1324 deSitter

deSitter

    Still in Old School

  • *****
  • Posts: 12,289
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2004

Posted 18 January 2022 - 12:07 PM

 I have been trying to repair another Meade LX200GPS mount.  I fixed the two motor control boards with the burned up Mosfets. When I power up the scope it was drawing a huge amount of current.  Well  problem is that the motors are destroyed.  Here is  a picture of the cook armature from the small DC  motor that are used in this design.  Similar motors cost under $10 and many others only  few dollars.  It is a simple DC motor that runs at 12000 rpm at 12 volts with a 50:1 gear box.  The gear box can be easily removed and reused so one just needs the motor. One needs the exact specs since the current draw and RPM with no load are critical to have the system run at the correct speed. So you just can't use any old  DC motor. The failure of the motors is a known problem and looks to be caused by a firmware issue that causes the pulse width modulation control to over heat the motor. 

 Meade will not sell you just the motor but the whole worm gear and motor assembly for close to $400 when they are available and that is if they ever offer them again. 

   The company that makes the motor for Meade signed a non disclosure agreement so they won't release the exact design spec and of course won't sell you one. So now you have a telescope that cost  around $2700  when new that is broken and you can't fix  it because of issue they caused. 

    I really hope that  since Orion bought Meade they change their business model and if they aren't going sell replacement parts they will at least release the specs on the parts so it might be possible to find other sources.

   It is a real shame that Meade designs their products like they do and had the business  model of not supporting their products past the short warranty period.  Just go down into the Meade forum and you will see that 90% of the messages are about problems  with their products and they wonder why they went under.

 

                      - Dave 

attachicon.gifmeade armature.jpg

I have heard that those motors are the same as used in 1/24th scale slot cars!

 

-drl


  • Stevegeo likes this

#1325 tim53

tim53

    James Webb Space Telescope

  • *****
  • Posts: 15,777
  • Joined: 17 Dec 2004
  • Loc: Highland Park, CA

Posted 18 January 2022 - 12:13 PM

Years ago, I put an iOptron Gotonova goto kit on one of my Super Polaris (super polari?) mounts.  it's a neat system, though I have had connection problems where it will restart and I'll have to do star aligns over.  Not sure what that is about.

 

I noticed recently that the kit is still available, and just over half what I paid for mine.  I think it only works with 144-tooth worm gear systems, but I suppose one could change the spur gears or toothed belts to get somewhat different ratios for other mounts.

 

-Tim.




CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics