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Meade LX85 - Firmware error Indx. Not Found

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#1 Lmegs

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Posted 13 July 2021 - 12:04 PM

Hey All - new here to Cloudy Nights and new to the world of Astronomy.  I have been following a number topics related to the LX65/85

 

I recently updated my LX85 mount from the factory installed firmware to A4S4.

 

I power up the mount, enter date/time and the Smartdrive goes through the initialization.  An error message is display:

 

Error:  Indx. Not Found.

 

I reset the HBX back to factory and setup the date/time/location. The Smartdrive goes through the initialization and the same error message.

 

Then the screen goes to Align

 

At this point I cannot use the arrow keys to move the motors in any direction

 

When I select Easy Align – HBX selects a star (Arcturus) and displays Slewing, but nothing happens for about 30-45 minutes, then the mount moves.  The HBX displays Ctr. Arcturus  Enter.  Then the next star (Spica) is selected and the display show slewing…  again the mount does not change position for 30-45 minutes. The HBX displays Ctr. SPICAs  Enter.

 

The HBX the says the mount is aligned.

 

At  this point I want to slew the mount back to home but when I press the arrow keys to move the RA/Dec nothing happens.  There is no way for me to adjust the scope position using the HBX

 

At this point I stumbled upon StarPatch and their patch for the LX-85.  I downloaded and installed the patch but still have the same error.  

 

I reached out to Meade Customer Service - they responded very quickly - and they suggested I re-flash using a new copy of the A4S4 rom.  I did and again same issue.  Reached back out to Meade and they then said that the problem seems to be an electronics issue with the hand controller or the control panel.  They said I could send it back in for repair ($400) or to purchase a new controller ($200).

 

I have reloaded the firmware about a dozen times now.

 

Looking for advice - is it worth sending back in for repair? replace the HBX or purchase a new mount? 

 

Thoughts?

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#2 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 13 July 2021 - 04:32 PM

Gday LMegs

 

Error:  Indx. Not Found.

That indicates the mount couldnt detect its internal PEC sensor.

For a first run, go into the menus and turn PEC ( Smart Drive )  OFF

and see what happens. The lack of detection should not have any effects

on later operation.

Also, reselect the model via the handbox, then do a full reset.

That wil clear out any oddball data that might have got in there.

 

At this point I cannot use the arrow keys to move the motors in any direction

It may have defaulted back to speed 1 ( guide )

Did you try setting the speed to max and see if the keys work.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#3 Lmegs

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 07:37 AM

GM and Thank You Andrew, I appreciate your suggestions.

 

I performed the steps suggested.

 

Went to in turn PEC OFF (it already showed being off) but I turned it on and then back off again. Selected the Telescope model (went from LX85 Mount to  LX85 ACF 8).  Backed out of the telescope menu and powered off the mount.   Turned it back on, entered date/time and then reset the HBX.  Upon the HBX restarting the Smart Drive initialized (even though it was turned off) 

and the error showed up again.

 

I too thought the speed might have been set to 1 so I did adjust to 9 - still no joy when trying to manually adjust the RA/DEC.

 

If I select an object to GOTO (selected M81 just to see if the mount would slew), the screen show SLEWWING but nothing happens

 

Kind of at a loss now.



#4 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 04:32 PM

Gday LMegs

OK, now select a mount type other than an LX85,

( preferably a fork type mount )

After selecting it, go to the targets screen and select "terrestrial"

Now reboot the mount.

It will start up with the motors disabled and it wont try to detect the sensor.

Set Hbx speed to 8 or max and try the slew keys

Does either motor work???

If not, turn off the mount, swap the handbox cable end for end

and repeat.

If it still doesnt work, its getting into a realm of needing some test gear

like a logic analyser to see whats going on

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#5 Lmegs

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 09:05 PM

Thanks Andrew

 

I did what you suggested and after I swapped the cable around I was able to Dec motor to move in one direction, however when I tried to move in the opposite direction it failed to move.  I could not get the RA motor to move.  The Dec moved for about 5 seconds.

 

One thing I just noticed noticed was the led on the power switch was not lit up, could it be my power supply?  I am using a 120ac to 12v @ 5.25 amp transformer however it is very old.

 

When I plug in the power cable the led flashes but then turns off.  Also noticed the the plug seems to be a loose on the mount, if I fiddle with it the HBX will power cycle.  

 

I might order a new power supply as I measured the output voltage on the one I have at 14.25v but my meter could only measure a max of 2amps



#6 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 14 July 2021 - 09:23 PM

Gday LMegs

 

Re the panel light, i dont know how the LX85 is wired as it is a totally new design.

Older mounts simply had the Led across the power supply so if it came on, you had power.

Some other mounts ( like the LX200 etc ) have the Led switched by the mainboard processor

so it could mean anything.

The mount "should" run easily with  a 5Amp supply.

Most mounts only draw 500-700mA when slewing at full speed.

 

Did you measure 2amps draw???? or is that the limit of your meter???

If it draws 2A when unloaded, then something is possibly wrong.

The fact that one motor started and jumped a bit indicates it might be comms related

but if that were the case, it should give a "Motor Fault" error on booting.

All very strange at present.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#7 Lmegs

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 08:01 AM

GM Andrew

 

My meter can only read up to 2amps. I am at the point where I am ready to purchase a new mount.  I have a sour taste in my mouth with this mount.  Considering a Celestron CGX or an Orion Atlas EC-G (I can find those in stock and wont have to wait for 6 months).

 

I really appreciate your help and guidance - you are the best - If I could buy you a beer, I would smile.gif.



#8 Jeff Lee

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 08:09 AM

Order a cheap stabilized power supply on Amazon. Mounts can do crazy things if the power source is not stabilized or supplying the correct voltage at the correct amps.



#9 Lmegs

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 04:04 PM

Here is the really weird thing that happened today - powered up the LX85 - no error on the HBX and I could control both the Dec/RA motors, the power led was list and it was working the way it should.

 

I parked the mount, turned it off and powered it back on - again no error on the HBX and I could control both the Dec/RA motors, the power led was list and it was working the way it should.

 

I shut it down for a 3rd time and powered it back up - it was working the way it should.

 

crazy.gif



#10 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 04:21 PM

Gday Lmegs

This is sounding like an intermittent connection somewhere.

Can you start the mount and then wiggle the power cord

then wiggle ( and gently pull in out ) the RJ45 connectors at the mount and handbox.

The pull in/out doesnt mean remove, it just means see if there is slop in the fitting.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australi



#11 nitegeezer

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 05:23 PM

I have had trouble with the connector from power to base. That is the first place I would look. If the power supply is an after market add-on, this is very likely the problem. Many laptop supplies appear to have the right connector, but the inner conductor contact is a different size and real flakey in my LX200.

#12 Lmegs

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 08:20 PM

The power cable is a Meade cable that came with the mount.  Yes it wiggles in the power socket. When wiggling the power cable the mount turns off then on. Also the HBX connector wiggles up and down but not in/out.



#13 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 09:44 PM

Gday LMegs
 

The power cable is a Meade cable that came with the mount.

...

When wiggling the power cable the mount turns off then on

Hmm,

I dont know what connector is used in the LX85

but it sounds like it or the plug might have a loose connection somewhere

or maybe the switch inside the socket is faulty????

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#14 RonaldNC

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 07:10 AM

Mine was also very loose, but I was able to remove the cover and tighten it up.

 

Ron



#15 Lmegs

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 03:36 PM

I took the PCB out of the mount and managed to get the power connector tightened up (widened the spilt post) and reseated all of the pins in the connectors (some popped out easily).  Put it back together.  Connected the motor connector and PEC sensor (??)on the RA motor.  Powered the mount up and was able to get the motors to work.  Here is the interesting thing - the power LED - as long as that LED would light up the motors moved.  As soon as I powered the mount up with NO LED the motors could not be controlled with the HBX.  I must have turn the mount on and off 2 dozen times, as long as the LED was lit the motors would work. I had setup the HBX Telescope setting to LX90 8" with Terrestrial targets. 

 

One time I had the unit functioning (lit LED) and changed the setup for the telescope back to LD85 ACF 8' the LED went out and the motors stopped.  I am not sure if the LED is part of an error notification, I wouldn't think so.  It could be the sensor as I can get the LED to power on consistently with scope set to LX90 or finally it could be the HBX.  I looked over the control board carefully and did not see any obvious burn marks or failed components. 

 

If I use the mount with the scope set to LX90 what are the limitations that config have? I would assume that it would be less accurate and would not be able to do a easy polar alignment.

 

I can send this into Meade at the end of the month (per customer support) when they get their 'systems' back on line (due to the sale) and spend $400-$600 or I can put that money towards another mount.

 

I think I have decided to look at the SW EQ6R-pro or the Orion Atlas II EQG - the Orion is a few hundred more but available in about 6 weeks vs the SW will be available in Mid-Nov

 

I would replace the parts myself if I could find them, my guess is the Meade doesn't have access to them or wants $$$$$ 



#16 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 06:05 PM

Gday LMegs

Something sounds very odd in your symptoms.

Does the Hbx still light up when the LED is OFF ????

As i mentioned earlier, the LED in the cheaper units used to be simply across the power supply.

Later ones are controlled by the PIC on the card,

ie if that is what you have, then it might indicate the PIC has failed,

Another option is when the mount is terrestrial, the RA motor is working.

As an LX90 in terrestrial, it isnt.

If the motors somehow go into an over current mode, it may draw too much current

and the mount shuts down.

Can you put your multimeter across the power supply and watch the voltage as you do this??

ie It might show 12V open circuit, but does the voltage drop when the motor starts etc???

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#17 Lmegs

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 07:46 PM

Hello Andrew 

 

Yes the HBX always lights up and 'boots' - just then the LED is 'off' the motors won't respond to the controls.  

 

When I have the scope defined as LX90 both RA and DEC respond to the HBX keys - this is when the switch LED is 'on'

When I have the scope defined as LX85 Mount or any other LX85 type both the RA and DEC do not respond to the HBX, additional the switch LED is 'off'

 

At least I haven't seen the Index Not Found error on the HBX lately.



#18 nitegeezer

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 08:07 PM

Unlike Andrew, I have no insight regarding Meade code, but it sure sounds like a configuration table has been corrupted. It sounds like the motor controllers are fine since they work as an LX90. If this can't be corrected with a code reload than I would question the memory where the configuration information resides.

#19 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 09:15 PM

Gday Chuck

If it were Flash memory/RAM/EEProm related, then the next step is to try using another handbox

but it cant be a std 497, as they dont know of the LX85s. It needs to have A4S4 rom loaded.

 

Lmegs, you mentioned reflashing with a "new" A4S4 rom.

How did you do this??? ( using Meades ASU )

If so, can you retry flashing "patched" A4S4 using StarPatch, and see what happens.

( That firmware has now been tested by many users with LX85s )

If there is some damaged Flash, StarPatch will report it, as it does error checking as it writes.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#20 Lmegs

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Posted 17 July 2021 - 11:19 AM

GM - I got the A4S4 directly form Meade Support. - I updated using StarPatch - I flashed the A4S4.rom I received from Meade - Installed without any errors.  Next I installed the LX88 PatchAUA4S4v01.spf without any errors

 

I looked at the log file and didn't see any errors in it.  I ordered a new power supply which should be here today.  I will see it that helps any.

 

thanks for the help



#21 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 17 July 2021 - 05:28 PM

Gday Lmegs

OK, if StarPatch loaded it incl the patch with no errors, then it proves the bulk of

the code in the Hbx is working as is the flash memory that was written.

As such, it is sounding more and more like a power or connector problem

or something playing up on the motor card in the mount.

 

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia



#22 Lmegs

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 09:26 AM

GM Andrew

 

I believe your are right regarding the power,  I received a new power adapter late yesterday - I purchased one that had an output up to 10amps and plugged directly into the mount. The old unit I was using was about 20 years and was a 12vDC with an output of up to 5 amp using a cig lighter connector.

 

I have power the mount on and off about 4-5 times all with the same result - No issues

 

The Telescope type was set to LX90 8".  Powered the mount on using the new PS, LED was powered on.  Set the date/time, moved both RA/DEC off home,  went to Utilities, Parked the Scope and let it slew back to home. Powered off the mount waited about 10 seconds, repeat.

 

 

Change the setup for Telescope Type to LX85 Mount, parked the scope and then powered it off.  I repeated the following a dozen time all with the same result. - No issues

 

Powered the mount on using the new PS, LED was powered on.  Set the date/time, SMRT Drv Initialized (no INDX error, moved both RA/DEC off home,  went to Utilities, Parked the Scope and let it slew back to home. Powered off the mount waited about 10 seconds, repeat.

 

At this point is seems to consistently power on and work as expected.

 

I appreciate everyone's guidance and suggestions and help troubleshooting.



#23 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 18 July 2021 - 04:58 PM

Gday Lmegs

Good to hear it was that simple.

As per before, if the old supply was an unregulated unit, it might have been drooping under load

or it might have been putting out a lot of electrical noise, or had a loose connection somewhere.

Not worth the time chasing it if the new one is as solid as you report.

Have fun

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia




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