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Meade LX200 10" ACF SN #107263... max load capacity and ball bearings question

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#1 MADRID SKY

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 01:51 PM

Hi folks. Even though I looked around the net, I have several questions here for anyone with knowledge about this, maybe you can give me some good points and counsel.

 

I am going to load my Meade LX200 10" ACF (Serial #107263) on steroids. It is permanently mounted and it will have on it around 19 Kg worth equipment (around 40 pounds) including all piggyback accesories, back imaging accesories and counterweights. I know this may sound massive, as I have found word over the net talking of 20-25 pounds as "safe limits".

 

Anyway, I want to know what kind of ball bearings has my mount (if any), and the load limitation you have knowledge of!  Does it have the same ball bearings as the 12"? If so, I should have no problem.

 

Another question is this. I know I have to slow down the rate to protect the gears. But, by how much? What's the max rate you would use here?

 

Thank you lads in advance!

 

Clear skies and joy!

Sam


Edited by MADRID SKY, 03 September 2015 - 02:27 PM.


#2 nitegeezer

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 02:17 PM

I asked the same question about loads with my 8" and was told by a factory rep that the max load was in the area of 40 pounds if it was properly balanced, but for stability sake it should not exceed 15 pounds.  My understanding, and I could be wrong on this one, is that the bearings and drive train are the same for the 8", 10", and 12".  I image with something near 15 pounds on mine and I think I slowed it down to whatever the speed 6 rate is, and I have absolutely no problems.


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#3 MADRID SKY

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 02:26 PM

I asked the same question about loads with my 8" and was told by a factory rep that the max load was in the area of 40 pounds if it was properly balanced, but for stability sake it should not exceed 15 pounds.  My understanding, and I could be wrong on this one, is that the bearings and drive train are the same for the 8", 10", and 12".  I image with something near 15 pounds on mine and I think I slowed it down to whatever the speed 6 rate is, and I have absolutely no problems.

 

 

Same drive on those 3 scopes? Wow!! I have here a lot of information, sir. Thank you so much.

 

Your 6 rate (scale 1-9) shows to be around 0,5º/sec in my Meade manual data (which is 128x sidereal rate). I could reduce it a little bit more, to "4" for example (16x sidereal rate). 



#4 nitegeezer

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 02:40 PM

I don't remember where I got the drive train comment from, that is why I added the could be wrong part.  I still trust my memory, but I have been finding it not to be as accurate as it used to be so be careful on that one!   :grin:


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#5 MADRID SKY

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 05:34 PM

Very useful in any case, Chuck. Now I know I will not ruin my scope by doing what I am doing. :)



#6 Lorence

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Posted 04 September 2015 - 02:13 PM


I am going to load my Meade LX200 10" ACF (Serial #107263) on steroids. It is permanently mounted and it will have on it around 19 Kg worth equipment (around 40 pounds) including all piggyback accesories, back imaging accesories and counterweights. I know this may sound massive, as I have found word over the net talking of 20-25 pounds as "safe limits".

 


Sam

 

I managed to mount three additional cameras and lenses with heated dew shields on my 10" GPS along with the main camera and only use 1 pound of counterweight. I used mounting brackets from ScopeStuff .

 

http://www.scopestuff.com/

 

The brackets are mounted on both side of the tube. Equipment on one side balances equipment on the other side. The brackets also allow movement forward and backward which allows balancing from end to end. ScopeStuff also sells a counterweight system that allows weight adjustment in two axises. Using that might further reduce the amount of counterweight I'm using

 

The scope and mount with all the equipment is balanced well enough that I can release the clutches in any position and it will not move.

 

The equipment cabling clobbered the balancing once it was installed but I added some additional weight  into the battery compartment opposite the harness. The weight does not balance the mount but counters most of the weight of the cables. This leaves a bit of bias weight on the RA axis. Enough that the telescope doesn't shift as it tracks past the meridian.

 

I thought of splitting the wiring harness between both forks but decided enough was enough. Seeing the extremes some go through trying to achieve perfection I think we tend to go a bit overboard at times. :)

 

There are a few photos on the Observatory website. 



#7 MADRID SKY

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 02:41 PM

Hi Lorence. I saw your set up and it is very nice. I could have some lenses at the bottom of the scope, but I dismissed it because of very restringent observatory measures. Scope has to clear a top roof window at a precise angle to avoid hitting the window frame, and anything protruding outside of a very restringent area around the OTA would hit the window frame. You just may imagine the space restrictions. Very "European" style.

 

My actual lenses set up do not allow for this (5 lenses). My hardest work has to do with getting everything in such a restricted area! Awful headache. I could have avoided this with a longer window, but everything has a story behind. Window cannot be wider (because of rafter separation in roof), only longer, and it could not get longer because of inner room space restraints! One day I will publish a website showing up everything.

 

I managed to balance around 12Kg accesories with 8Kg worth (18 lbs) counterweights. Total added weight must be around 44lbs.

 

However, I might give it a try... I could try a new lens set up just to see if it clears the window. Your set up gave me some hope about counterweight saving! I will try this on Wednesday. I will put two of the most heavy lenses in the bottom and see what I get. If I get it to clear the window, I will save at least 10lbs on counterweight, and I could even add more cameras.

 

Thank you anyhow!

Sam

 

 

 

 

 


 


Edited by MADRID SKY, 06 September 2015 - 02:43 PM.


#8 MADRID SKY

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 02:46 PM

Does anybody know the size of ball bearings on Meade LX200® series in each axis? 


Edited by MADRID SKY, 06 September 2015 - 02:57 PM.


#9 nitegeezer

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 02:52 PM

 

If I get it to clear the window, I will save at least 10lbs on counterweight, and I could even add more cameras.

 

Rather than adding more cameras, maybe just give the mount a little easier job.  I always hate to run something near it's limit.



#10 MADRID SKY

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 03:00 PM

Hi Chuck. I am talking of very little added weight, probably around 1lbs more or so... :) I would give a try on a F0,95 50mm lens that would be added to the 25mm F0,95 already installed.

 

I also hate pushing the limits... that's why I will invest a good amount of time to try to reduce the weight by placing cameras at the bottom.

 

Crossing fingers, because everything is now balanced and ready to go and I have to dismantle it!



#11 nitegeezer

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 03:08 PM

Take good pictures of the way it is now in case it needs to go back.  It might be nice to post a picture here so we can see what you are working with, maybe a before and after.  I will be following how the camera move to the bottom goes.  I am only using a 5 lb counterweight, but it might be nice to remove it or at least make it something useful!



#12 MADRID SKY

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 03:26 PM

Hi Chuck. 
 
A picture worth a thousand words. I cannot take pictures from ths outside now. I will have to wait till daybreak. Attached is the scope seen from the inside of observatory.

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • SAM_2047.JPG


#13 nitegeezer

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 03:36 PM

While a picture is worth a thousand words, it can also create a thousand questions!!   :lol:

 

I will wait until I see the other pictures, I am sure that will help make sense.  What I see right now looks real tight.  I will ask one question though, are you not using a wedge?  Looking at the pier, it is hard to tell but it appears to be mounted straight down in alt/az mode.



#14 MADRID SKY

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 04:59 AM

Yep, you are right! A thousand questions. :) Answer to every one of them: AWFUL space restrictions! See now enclosed picture.

 

It is mounted without wedge, normal alt/az. mode. What you see below is a pier mounted on a lifting table. It has a fine adjusting mechanism to lower/raise scope once it is "inside" so that it won't hit the window (4 big silver screws).

 

 

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#15 nitegeezer

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 12:59 PM

That is quite the setup, one that I would not have guessed from the other photo.  Is that area you added special for this or did it have a previous use?  I can see it being a chute for wood or coal for a furnace, but my imagination stops there.  If you did all that for your scope, that is one luck scope!!



#16 MADRID SKY

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 02:19 PM

It is a special small area, elevated from my own sleeping room. I don't want to disclose more details until I publish website. Then you will see... :)

 

I have a command center that would make Nasa a bit nervous. :) A control panel with a lot of switches and huge 4k monitors... :) Everything is remotely operated and telescope room is very well thought to be weather insulated. When hot summers hit here in Madrid, I am prepared. Temperatures inside the telescope room are amazingly low, having in mind it is a few inches from direct sunlight. I use thin insolated board panels used for medicine transportation at the top (in-side of window), plus insolating material in the wall all around window, plus a special ceramic paint additive made out of little beads on white plastic paint that reflect sun on the OUTSIDE.

 

All this allowed to reduce heat amazingly. I suffered a hot summer with temperatures around 50ºC inside at the top (where the main telescope collector is placed!). I thought the window would repel this heat but I was wrong. After my scope suffered that first summer (I didn't use it, it was just parked there), I said, "no more". I did all these changes and now it doesn't matter how hot the sun is hitting or how heated the day is. It could be a 45º sunny day and inside it never goes beyond 35-37 ºC without any air conditioning and keeping observatory door closed exposed to weather hitting the window (no ventilation whatsoever with the rest of the house inside)! Now I have complete peace of mind.

 

Well, sorry for the long story. As you see I am excited. :)

 

 



#17 nitegeezer

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 02:25 PM

I will be watching for more information later.  It sounds like a very neat solution to limited space.  I can understand your excitement, it is projects like this that are the most rewarding.



#18 Lorence

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Posted 11 September 2015 - 01:42 PM

I have a command center that would make Nasa a bit nervous. :) A control panel with a lot of switches and huge 4k monitors... :) Everything is remotely operated

 

Well, sorry for the long story. As you see I am excited. :)

 

4K will cause quite a stir in this hobby. For now all that can be said is you have to see it to believe it but when you do see it you may not believe it. :).




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