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LX200 Classic - missing thread in telescope base. Help appreciated!

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#1 DanButler

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 07:20 PM

Hi All

 

Long time lurker, first time poster (on any forum for that matter). Apologies in advance if there is etiquette I have inadvertently not followed.

I have recently purchased a used Meade LX200 Classic 10" and am currently going through a steep learning curve! Lots of fun.

 

Background

  • Meade LX200 Classic 10" (with Meade Wedge)
  • Handbox Rev 3.20
  • EEPROMS VER 3.30
  • 18v
  • First thing i did was change the capacitors in the handbox, Mainboard and Front Panel (i'll save the drives for a rainy day!)
  • All electrics seem to work, handbox boots up etc. Motors sound fine when slewing.
  • Previous owner only used the telescope on manual mode and on the wedge.

Problem

  • The female thread in the centre of the telescope base (to accept the ½” threaded rod from the tripod) seems to be missing! The hole is about 16mm (is that 5/8”?). Refer attached pictures. This means the telescope can only be setup with the wedge.
  • I live in the southern hemisphere (Melbourne Australia) so the thought of trying to polar align with a star I can’t see, and climbing under the telescope to try and peer through the finderscope which is now positioned on the underside for alignment (with my dodgy back) is not something I really want to do every time. With the light pollution here I am not sure if I will even be able to see Sigma Octanis?
  • I am just interested in casual observing at this stage (no astrophotography)
  • Would prefer to set up the telescope in ALT-AZ without the wedge.

 

Advice Requested (and my preliminary thoughts)
I would appreciate your suggestions on the best method to resolve this. My first thoughts are:

  • Threaded insert? (is there enough room?)
  • Get a metal fabricator to machine a new (thick) intermediate connection plate (eg connect the telescope to the new plate with the screw holes used for the wedge, connect the new plate to the base with the tripod threaded rod)
  • Get over it and persevere with learning how to polar align to the South Celestial Pole (if possible).

 

Thanks in advance. I enjoy this problem solving.

 

Dan Butler

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#2 nitegeezer

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 08:01 PM

Personally I would go with the adapter plate. I would add studs on the bottom of the plate to help position the plate on the tripod so it is easier to center on the tripod rod. I would also extend the plate out far enough that you could add holes to store multiple eyepieces you expect to use during the night.

I don't think I would trust a sleave as I would be nervous about the wall thickness being so thin.

If you could set up a permanent pier, all you have to do is get the wedge aligned once and then just add the scope whenever you want to use it. I prefer to use a wedge at home but for outreach events where I have to travel, I go without the wedge.
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#3 DanButler

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 04:31 AM

Thanks for the prompt reply! Extending the adapter plate to carry eyepieces sounds like a great idea.

 

One final query - on my tripod, the threaded rod simply slides through an enlarged hole in the centre of the top of the tripod (ie there is no thread there). Is this standard? So the rod is connected to the telescope by screwing into a thread in the centre of the telescope base (the thread I am missing) and the other end of the rod (handle) pushes up on the spreader bar against the tripod legs and this is what creates the firm connection? I just want to make sure i am not missing another threaded connection on the tripod top plate.

 

Thanks

 

Dan



#4 nitegeezer

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 12:19 PM

Your tripod is fine. By having no threads in the top of the tripod, in addition to the scope tightening the spreader, when mounting you can immediately catch the scope treads by pushing the rod up. Also when removing the scope, the rod will drop as soon as it leaves the scope threads. If there were threads in the tripod, you would never know when the threads were engaged to the scope.
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#5 DanButler

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 03:39 PM

Thanks again for the advice.

Time to dust off autocad and draw something up.

 

Regards

Dan




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