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Solutions to an old broken Meade drive base?

cassegrain SCT mount Meade classic equipment
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#1 EndlessWaltz

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 05:10 PM

Hi community, the drive base on this what seems to be a Meade 2120 Lx5 10" f/10 powers up and motor spins, but does not move the scope anymore, so it's completely manual at this point. The display on the hand controller is completely dead as well. 
 

What I need this scope to do is to accurately track an object in order to take long exposure shots through it.

 

What wallet friendly options do I have? Should I try to open it up and fix it? Can I get a new goto equatorial mount for a heavy tube (21kg / 46lbs) like this for under $1000? 

 

 

Unrelated: I got this scope in very good condition with mount and everything else (some broken, but included) for $1000 at a local telescope shop. Do you think it was a good deal? How much do you think I can sell it for?

 

 

Thank you very much for helping out a noob. 

 

 

 

 

 

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#2 John Rogers

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 06:24 PM

The hand controller and base indicate that it is an LX6, not an LX5.  What is shown on the corrector plate?

 

Regardless, the LX5 and LX6 were both "push-to" telescopes.  The display on the had controller was a blank screen.  It would only work if you purchased the optional digital readout system, that you don't have.  The north and south buttons would only work if you purchased the optional dec motor.  I don't see it on your scope.  Since you indicate that you hear the motor, I suspect that everything may be working OK.  When you press the east and west buttons, do you hear the frequency of the motor hum change?  If so, then it is working as designed.

 

You were probably anticipating that the telescope is a "goto" model that would slew when you press the buttons.  Those features did not become available until the next model came out, the LX200.


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#3 EndlessWaltz

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 07:42 PM

The hand controller and base indicate that it is an LX6, not an LX5.  What is shown on the corrector plate?

 

Regardless, the LX5 and LX6 were both "push-to" telescopes.  The display on the had controller was a blank screen.  It would only work if you purchased the optional digital readout system, that you don't have.  The north and south buttons would only work if you purchased the optional dec motor.  I don't see it on your scope.  Since you indicate that you hear the motor, I suspect that everything may be working OK.  When you press the east and west buttons, do you hear the frequency of the motor hum change?  If so, then it is working as designed.

 

You were probably anticipating that the telescope is a "goto" model that would slew when you press the buttons.  Those features did not become available until the next model came out, the LX200.

Thanks for the information. Yes, motor's hum do change when I press the E and W buttons, but the base doesn't turn. 

I removed the N and S dec motor to do some repairs. Now when I put it back, N and S can be controlled using the controller.

So even if my base is functioning properly, it can't move on its own to track objects eh?

Then are there any modern goto mounts available on the market that is compatible with this scope?



#4 Don W

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 08:15 PM

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I would not pay more than 3 or 4 hundred for the works if it all worked, which it does not. The OTA is maybe worth a couple hundred by itself.



#5 John Rogers

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 08:25 PM

Make sure that you have engaged the clutch (the knob on the base, but don't overtighten.)   The motor will runs very slowly, so unless you leave it on for a long time, it won't appear to move.  You need to set it up and observe a star to properly evaluate tracking performance.

 

I assume that it came with a tripod, wedge, diagonal and some eyepieces.  I see that it has a counter-weight rail on top.  What other accessories came with it?


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#6 Stevegeo

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 08:29 PM

If the motors are turning yet nothing is moving... I would look further at the drive .

My Meade wouldnt move either , took it apart enough to watch the motor spin... yet the GEAR ON THE MOTOR SHAFT DIDNT TURN .. the setscrew was loose . And after a good retite came loose again ...frustration set in and I did a  more permanent  fix, 

SUPER GLUE ON THE SHAFT , tightened setscrew, then nail polish paint on the setscrew. That prevented it from backing out . 

That was two years ago ..still  working fine .

As for the controller , clean the connector ..a suggestion .  I cant help much more then that .

Stevegeo 



#7 EndlessWaltz

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 08:29 PM

Make sure that you have engaged the clutch (the knob on the base, but don't overtighten.)   The motor will runs very slowly, so unless you leave it on for a long time, it won't appear to move.  You need to set it up and observe a star to properly evaluate tracking performance.

 

I assume that it came with a tripod, wedge, diagonal and some eyepieces.  I see that it has a counter-weight rail on top.  What other accessories came with it?

-2 finder scopes
-3 balancing weights
 



#8 EndlessWaltz

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 08:31 PM

If the motors are turning yet nothing is moving... I would look further at the drive .

My Meade wouldnt move either , took it apart enough to watch the motor spin... yet the GEAR ON THE MOTOR SHAFT DIDNT TURN .. the setscrew was loose . And after a good retite came loose again ...frustration set in and I did a  more permanent  fix, 

SUPER GLUE ON THE SHAFT , tightened setscrew, then nail polish paint on the setscrew. That prevented it from backing out . 

That was two years ago ..still  working fine .

As for the controller , clean the connector ..a suggestion .  I cant help much more then that .

Stevegeo 

Thanks.



#9 John Rogers

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 09:03 PM

It only came with one finder scope (that goes on the telescope tube). Since you are new, it may be terminology confusion.  A few photos of everything that came with it would help sort things out. 

 

Since you purchased it from a telescope dealer, I would hope that it included everything you need to observe (diagonal, eyepieces etc.)



#10 RichA

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 09:34 PM

Hi community, the drive base on this what seems to be a Meade 2120 Lx5 10" f/10 powers up and motor spins, but does not move the scope anymore, so it's completely manual at this point. The display on the hand controller is completely dead as well. 
 

What I need this scope to do is to accurately track an object in order to take long exposure shots through it.

 

What wallet friendly options do I have? Should I try to open it up and fix it? Can I get a new goto equatorial mount for a heavy tube (21kg / 46lbs) like this for under $1000? 

 

 

Unrelated: I got this scope in very good condition with mount and everything else (some broken, but included) for $1000 at a local telescope shop. Do you think it was a good deal? How much do you think I can sell it for?

 

 

Thank you very much for helping out a noob. 

Tracking motor drive rate changes are minor, you do not have the slewing speeds a goto mount has. Since a normal tracking rate is one rotation in 24 hours, you won't notice minor changes with your naked eye.




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