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LX200GPS Lubrication and Maintenance

Meade SCT mount equipment
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#1 Trixxer

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Posted 19 December 2019 - 06:45 AM

I have recently acquired an LX200GPS 12 inch - pre-2005 with the plastic gears.

 

Private sale, previous owner deceased after a very long illness. According to the vendor it has had very little use - the last date in Autostar was May 2004 if that is any guide?

 

Cosmetically it does actually look as though it has been sat unused in an observatory shed for 15 years - a fine layer of dust and a few cobwebs - but the optics are clean and bright.

 

Autostar works fine and the scope appears to perform the start-up and alignment procedures as it should. (The scope is indoors while I learn how to navigate the handbox, so I don't know how well or badly the scope is picking up the guide stars.)

 

So far so good, but I do have one major concern.

 

While the DEC drive seems to operate reasonably quietly and smoothly the same cannot be said for the RA drive. It is very noisy with quite noticeable variation in noise level and slew speed as it moves round the circle.

 

My question then is whether this behaviour will slowly improve with use, or am I likely to do some serious damage by using the scope in this condition?

 

Any comments and advice would be most welcome.

 

Meanwhile, greetings from this UK Newbie

 

 

 

 



#2 decep

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Posted 22 December 2019 - 05:33 PM

You cannot go wrong re-greasing your mount.  The rabbit hole you will go down is trying to find the [subjectively] right grease.  :-)

 

I bought a used LX200GPS 12", except mine had the gears replaced with Bucks gears.  I carefully de-greased and re-greased both the RA and DEC gear assemblies.  After re-assembly, I noticed some "quadrants" of the RA circle were considerably more noisy than others.  After a few months (and some light usage), the slewing sounds have become mostly uniform.  I can only assume the grease was finally more uniformly distributed after a while.

 

As for the grease, I believe I ended up choosing some white Lubripate No 105 motor assembly grease.



#3 Stanislaus

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 03:45 AM

Steve Collingwood at SCT Telescopes is based in Kent. He comes highly recommended if you feel a bit reluctant about opening these telescopes up.

 

https://sctelescopes.com



#4 Trixxer

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Posted 24 December 2019 - 03:19 AM

Many thanks for your replies folks. 

 

I really should have done much more trawling through this excellent forum before asking the question!!

 

I wasn't initially aware of the existence of Buck's Gears but these are now on order - seemed like a no-brainer - calm my fears about lubrication and improve the drive at the same time.

 

I see what you mean about the grease rabbit hole - many LX200 owners, many recommendations - none of them the same :-) 



#5 Dale Penkala

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 09:12 AM

Many thanks for your replies folks. 

 

I really should have done much more trawling through this excellent forum before asking the question!!

 

I wasn't initially aware of the existence of Buck's Gears but these are now on order - seemed like a no-brainer - calm my fears about lubrication and improve the drive at the same time.

 

I see what you mean about the grease rabbit hole - many LX200 owners, many recommendations - none of them the same :-) 

For what its worth I use the red synthetic grease by Mobil 1 on both the RA and Dec drives. Also this is done with and without the bucks gears in the drive train.

 

Good luck!




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