I have a Meade LX850 mount. On it, I use several scopes for astrophotography, commonly more than one by using the side mount for wide fields. Primarily I use the Celestron 1100 Edge HD with Hyperstar, or a 0.71 reducer, or in native focal length, or with a Barlow. All have been satisfactory and more so now that I have Polemaster.
I love the mount because the Starlock eliminates the entire hassle of guiding. It just happens. As long as I carefully did not take shortcuts with the hand controller and followed the manual listed steps carefully it worked well. Going from a series of steps to, for example, "Find Home" sometimes sent it to China, requiring a manual shut-down and loss of PEC data. Overall I was quite reasonably pleased with the results
Here is the subject. While imaging at a star party, during a median flip, in the middle of the traverse the Dec. motor box started making a grinding noise and then stalled. After resetting everything, once again the scope worked well until it repeated the same behavior.
I called Meade support and got some good help that narrowed down the problem to the Dec. Motor Assembly. I got online immediately (in October 2017) and ordered the part, paying Meade $750 for the part, which was listed as "in stock." I got an email confirmation and promise to ship shortly. A week later I got another email advising me that there would be a few day's delay as there had been an unexpectedly high demand for the part. In mid-November, after emailing several times I was promised the part would be in on December 8. At the end of December, I emailed again and got a notice that the delay would be indefinite. I got on the phone and spoke with the Dealer Support Rep who said that that the subparts for the box were not available and there was no schedule for making them, so he could not comment on when, if ever, the assembly would be available. I asked how long they intended to keep my $750 if there was no projected date for the part to be available. The rep politely advised me that they would keep the money until I asked for it back and canceled the order. I asked if I could be placed on a list and contacted if the part ever became available. He replied that if I asked for the money back I would need to just watch their site and if the part was again listed as "in stock" I could order it again but would be at the end of the line.
I am posting this to let the community know first, that apparently, the failure of that box is relatively high, and second, Meade has no time-frame for creating replacement parts for their existing scopes as they are backlogged making new scopes.
I have been in business for 35 years and If I treated my customers like that, I would expect to lose them.
Edited by Loden, 30 December 2017 - 07:13 PM.