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LX200 Classic Misc Questions

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#1 jeebulus

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 10:34 PM

Hi All,

 

A pretty new member here. This is only my second post to CN.

 

I acquired a 10" LX200 Classic last Fall. Replaced the risky capacitors and made some other upgrades. Turned it on shortly thereafter and ended up with an RA problem. Several members were kind enough to help me out with information and suggestions which, after a little repair work, got me back in business. Since then I have been having a blast with the telescope. I take it out every chance I get. 

 

I am starting to think about packing the whole thing up and spending a weekend at a dark site. At home I drag the extension cord out and use a 16v regulated power supply. Where I am planning on going there will not be 120v power available. Generally speaking, it seems a 12v power pack is the choice of many. However, before going out and buying one I am thinking about alternatives that I have readily available. I have a marine battery. It's ridiculously heavy, but I can make it work. I also have a 12v Belkin UPS backup. Not as heavy, but I've never seen anyone suggest using one for this application. Any thoughts you have would be appreciated.

 

Next question: The optics appear to be in excellent shape and the views are great. However, and this is subjective, the primary mirror appears to be rather dusty. Also, there is a strand of spider web that runs from one side of the OTA to the other, across a portion of the front of the primary mirror (it does not touch, or connect, to the primary). Lastly, there are some noticeable smudges on the corrector plate. Let me say up front that I am not the least bit interested in cleaning the mirror. From what I have read that is generally a bad idea. But, I am wondering if it would be worth taking off the corrector plate and dusting the inside of the OTA. Take care of the spider web. Use a rubber bulb dust blower on the mirror. Clean up any other odds and ends that might have found there way in there. It seems as if cleaning the corrector plate is not quite as bad a thing to do as the primary mirror. I am aware, by the way, of the need to precisely mark the Corrector Plate so it gets re-installed exactly as it came out. Thoughts about this?

 

Thank you in advance. I am grateful for any input.

 

Lastly, for no reason whatsoever, I've attached a photo of my current setup.

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#2 Gregory2012

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 11:06 PM

Hi, I owned three of those scopes. Had a blast with all of them.

 

First, it is no longer the rule you can not clean your mirror or inside of the corrector plate. You can wash the mirror and it's not difficult. You just have to ensure you mark each step in removing the corretor. You mark three different points on the corrector and then remove the outer ring. You will have a clean access to the mirror and the inner tube to clean out the webs and dust. You can clean the inside of the corrector as well.

 

The mirror is not an item you can't clean or resurface. There are several videos on cleaning. Here is one; https://www.youtube....h?v=e66yIuD3cMk

 

You do not have ignore those issues. Cleaning the mirror in the old days was better done by professionals. Now, it's not as bad as that. You mark the corrector using something like non residue tape such as painter's tape. Lay three pieces or four accross the seam of the corrector and the outer flange of the mounting ring but not on it. You then slice the tape with a scaple. You want the cuts to be clean and no tearing. Cut right at the seam of the corrector. Making sure the tape remains on the tube and the corrector. You use this to align the corrector when re-inserting the corrector.

 

You strike me as somebody that is willing to keep your scope in shape. Back during the heydey's of the LX200s, several sites had been born out of the need for repairs or mods. Such as what you did.

 

Anyway, I collected LX200 documentation for maybe 5 years worth of documentation, how-to's, mods, trouble shooting, electronics, hand controller and I think I even have another user's manual. I will give you all of this if you want.

 

Keep in mind, most of this stuff is copyrighted material. Not for publishing on CNs, or anywhere else. It's for your personal use only. If you would like this stuff, just send  me your address.

 

That's what I know. Also when ever you can, buy hand controllers and parts. These scopes no longer have the support they once had.

Have fun,

Gregory Gig Harbor, WA.


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#3 carolinaskies

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 08:10 AM

First, congratulations on getting the scope into shape and finding the time to enjoy it! 

Second, cleaning is kind of subjective.  Because of how optics work in a telescope most of the things you mentioned will only degrade performance a little or not at all.  A spiderweb won't show up in the eyepiece for instance or cause any appreciable change to viewing.  The corrector smudge is something common to SCTs, easily cleaned using techniques/fluid formulas found here... http://arksky.org/asoclean.htm .     Clean optics helps best with the most diffuse objects because any extra light you can gain from clean optics does help, but even when imaging it's not essential simply because a slightly longer exposure compensates. 
On the other hand, fungus must be addressed immediately because it's something that eats the mirrored surface.  For those who live in really humid locations clean optics reduce the chance of developing fungus.  The biggest tip is to always deal with dewed up telescope/accessories as quickly as possible.  Whether dessicant packs, air drying with a fan, physical cleaning (of eyepieces), airing out optical pieces after a dewy conditions rather than leaving them in a case... etc. 

Third, power considerations.  The typical battery backup is 7ah.  It may be fine to run the telescope for a few hours, but shouldn't be considered for a long night of observing.  Battery maintenance is important, that is, not letting a lead-acid type battery drain below 50% charge and remembering to immediately recharge any to full charge ASAP.   Since you have a marine battery, you can use it, best if it's a true deep cycle battery as they are built for constant discharge vs a car battery built only to crank an engine over a limited number of times.   Yes they are heavy... and again following the 50% rule for discharge is important.    12V is sufficient to run your telescope, so don't use an inverter, that's just wasting battery power, draining it faster to the 50% level.   There are plenty of DIY suggestions for battery boxes useful for telescopes.  A 35aH SLA battery is typically useful for powering a LX200 overnight.  If you have the money of course the newer Lithium Ion last longer as you dont' have a 50% rule with them and they recharge quicker too.  

 



#4 jeebulus

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 07:36 PM

Thank you gentlemen for your responses. Very helpful to me.

 

I'm going to approach the mirror cleaning one step at a time. I will start with an attempt at 'dusting' the optics and tube and see how that works out. If the result is not satisfactory I will move on to an actual cleaning. I will give you an update after I finish the task.

 

Thanks Paul for the battery information. Based on your suggestions and a DIY power pack video that I found I am going to plan and start building something very soon. And thanks for the tip about cleaning up and drying out equipment after dewy conditions. I haven't had the telescope long enough yet to encounter dew, but frankly, I would not have thought of doing anything other than letting everything air dry. I will be sure to stay on top of it.

 

Thanks again. As always, the folks here on CN have been very helpful.

 

Bob  



#5 Tom Masterson

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 11:20 PM

Bob,

 

The dust, spider web, and smudges are cosmetic and will have little, if any effect on the view. If you choose to do any cleaning be sure to mark the orientation of the corrector and be sure its centered when reinstalling.

 

There are many classic owners that run their scope on 12v. I purchased a cheap Harbor Freight jump starter power pack for about $30 and it'll run my scope for a couple nights.

 

I prefer to run my scope at 18v and use a 10 amp DC to DC up converter I picked up off Amazon for about $30. I put it in a project box and have a 12v cigarette lighter plug on the input side and a Meade compatible plug on the output side.



#6 Gregory2012

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 03:47 PM

Hi All,

 

A pretty new member here. This is only my second post to CN.

 

I acquired a 10" LX200 Classic last Fall. Replaced the risky capacitors and made some other upgrades. Turned it on shortly thereafter and ended up with an RA problem. Several members were kind enough to help me out with information and suggestions which, after a little repair work, got me back in business. Since then I have been having a blast with the telescope. I take it out every chance I get. 

 

I am starting to think about packing the whole thing up and spending a weekend at a dark site. At home I drag the extension cord out and use a 16v regulated power supply. Where I am planning on going there will not be 120v power available. Generally speaking, it seems a 12v power pack is the choice of many. However, before going out and buying one I am thinking about alternatives that I have readily available. I have a marine battery. It's ridiculously heavy, but I can make it work. I also have a 12v Belkin UPS backup. Not as heavy, but I've never seen anyone suggest using one for this application. Any thoughts you have would be appreciated.

 

Next question: The optics appear to be in excellent shape and the views are great. However, and this is subjective, the primary mirror appears to be rather dusty. Also, there is a strand of spider web that runs from one side of the OTA to the other, across a portion of the front of the primary mirror (it does not touch, or connect, to the primary). Lastly, there are some noticeable smudges on the corrector plate. Let me say up front that I am not the least bit interested in cleaning the mirror. From what I have read that is generally a bad idea. But, I am wondering if it would be worth taking off the corrector plate and dusting the inside of the OTA. Take care of the spider web. Use a rubber bulb dust blower on the mirror. Clean up any other odds and ends that might have found there way in there. It seems as if cleaning the corrector plate is not quite as bad a thing to do as the primary mirror. I am aware, by the way, of the need to precisely mark the Corrector Plate so it gets re-installed exactly as it came out. Thoughts about this?

 

Thank you in advance. I am grateful for any input.

 

Lastly, for no reason whatsoever, I've attached a photo of my current setup.

Hi, just wanted to let you know, there are LX200 parts on CN's, I would purchase the entire lot if you can. Take care, Gregory Gig Harbor, WA.




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