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Meade LX90 Random Skewing and No Updates

Equipment Meade Observing
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#1 Karl S

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Posted 28 March 2024 - 07:11 PM

My father past away a few years ago and I inherited his telescope and within the first year I attempted to use it but had issues. I am sad to say I never really made an attempt to resolve the issue till now. The kids are now getting interested in space and thought this was the right time to get started. I have two issues. 1) Random Skewing 2) Cant update the controller firmware

 

1) When I power on the telescope everything appears to function correctly. If I am observing an object, lets just say the moon, the scope will randomly skew by 10-30 degrees......A LOT. After some troubleshooting It appears to be the result of moving the controller/cord. If i put the controller down it sits in the corner of the room for well over an hour without moving (well....without randomly skewing, it still appears to track the object correctly. I took apart the control and cleaned every inch of it with electronics cleaner. I cleaned the connectors on the cord and the stand as well. Everything is spotless and the issue still continues. Has anyone seen this? Its over $200 to replace the controller but I don't want to do that unless necessary (see issue #2).

 

2) I attempted to update the firmware of the controller (seeing as it is over 10 years since it was actually used). I downloaded ASU Autostar Suite from Meade and connected it to the scope. It connects just fine and recognizes the controller and version. I can update the objects list to the controller. But when I try to update the controller itself by clicking "Upgrade Autostar Software Now" button, and then clicking the update via internet button I get an error stating it cant connect to the server. But I know it can connect to the server because I can update the object list from the server.

 

I am beyond new to this hobby and feel completely lost here. Google searching was less than helpful, mainly because it talked so far over my head I couldn't understand. 

 

Please help!!!!



#2 12BH7

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Posted 28 March 2024 - 08:03 PM

I would move your post over to the Meade Forum. Updates are a bit tricky and most of the time unnecessary.

 

The random slewing could be one of several issues. 

 

But DO post over there.



#3 MJB87

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Posted 28 March 2024 - 08:11 PM

Moving to an appropriate forum.


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#4 OzAndrewJ

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Posted 28 March 2024 - 08:54 PM

Gday Karl

First thing first, what type of handset is it?

( ie what firmware does it currently have loaded?????  )

To update asteroids etc, the system uses a different data location than for firmwares

so maybe their firmware server isnt working,

but that said, i strongly suggest you use the freeware StarPatch loader

http://www.stargps.ca/downloads.htm

and load our patched firmware.

It fixes a lot of bugs, and adds enhancements that make debugging later problems easier.

Also, it means you download the files to your PC first, ( vs do it interactively )

and this greatly reduces any risk of data problems due to comms errors.

Soooooooooooooooooo,

whats the firmware??

Andrew Johansen Melbourne Australia


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#5 Tom Stock

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Posted 29 March 2024 - 06:45 PM

The hand controller plugs into a small rj11 style port.  The pins over time can get bent down and give you a poor connection.  Unplug the controller and look into the port.  If the pins are bent down some use an exacto blade or tiny pick to bend them back up a little.



#6 Karl S

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Posted 30 March 2024 - 07:24 AM

The hand controller plugs into a small rj11 style port.  The pins over time can get bent down and give you a poor connection.  Unplug the controller and look into the port.  If the pins are bent down some use an exacto blade or tiny pick to bend them back up a little.

 

I though the same thing too. Looking inside the port all of the pins appear to be clean and perfectly straight. I feel like my first option is to replace the cord and see what happens.



#7 Karl S

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Posted 31 March 2024 - 03:19 PM

I would move your post over to the Meade Forum. Updates are a bit tricky and most of the time unnecessary.

 

The random slewing could be one of several issues. 

 

But DO post over there.

What other issues other than a bad connection do you think it could be? I only think its a connection issue because it only seems to do it when holding/moving the controller.



#8 12BH7

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Posted 31 March 2024 - 10:00 PM

Try a new cord. But don't use any cord. The wiring is 1-8 / 8-1.

 

You must make sure the wiring is correct on BOTH ends. 


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#9 Karl S

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 06:04 PM

Try a new cord. But don't use any cord. The wiring is 1-8 / 8-1.

 

You must make sure the wiring is correct on BOTH ends. 

Thanks for the wiring key. I figured that was the next step.



#10 12BH7

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Posted 12 April 2024 - 07:10 PM

Thanks for the wiring key. I figured that was the next step.

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#11 Karl S

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Posted 18 April 2024 - 06:51 PM

1

Thanks


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#12 Karl S

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Posted 20 April 2024 - 09:02 PM

Just ordered an AudioStar hamdbox and cable. Let's see what happens.


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#13 Karl S

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Posted 26 April 2024 - 04:21 PM

Well, after a short shipping delay, I received an Audiostar (to upgrade from my AutoStar) controller and cable. First, I swapped out the cable to see if that was the issue.... problem still existed. Then I swapped out the controller.... BOOM!!!! Random skewing no longer occurs. Happy it wasn't an issue with the mount but would have been nice if was just the cable. That being said, I think my kids are going to love the audio feature of the telescope. 


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