Weasner's 8" LX90-ACF Report #6

29 May 2008

8" LX90-ACF - Still Waiting...

Before I get to the latest status, here are some emails I've received:

Subject:	continuing misery...
Sent:	Sunday, May 25, 2008 09:37:17
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)

I don't know if you follow the Meade4m forums (fora?) but
the note i sent a week or so ago now has another footnote:
a replacement scope arrived from telescope.com
..and was "worse than the first"

Opinion follows:
Although four to six reports is still possibly "anecdotal"
versus "statistical", there appears to be a problem with
new LX90's.   What i'd recommend (for the people unwilling
to open the fork and attempt worm-mesh adjustments) would be
to get on the phone with Meade and -escalate- it to -Meade-
paying the freight both ways to fix the sick-from-new scope.
New buyers should -not- be faced with an immediate $100 to
$200 (for LX90) shipping impact when -multiple- new scopes
demonstrate the same problems.
Meade should proactively just -offer- free inbound shipping
for new LX90's.  They may have had (or, dread, still have) a
production problem which they can (did?) resolve, but they'd
do a -lot- towards regaining customer loyalty if they 'fessed
up to it and "made it good".

In both your (OPT) and the telescope.com case, the dealer
has been willing to eat the expense of shipping a 2nd try.
The dealers are going to stop doing that when they find
-all- (or a significantly large percentage) of the product
requiring replacement, with those replacements also being faulty.

For those folks willing to -work- on their scopes, inspecting
the worm area for alignment (worm shaft centered and parallel
to tanget of driven gear) and mesh (not too tight!) might
actually -fix- the problem.  This seems to be showing up
in new LXD75's (shims missing, too tight).
Yeah, you shouldn't have to -do- that, but if you'd prefer
to have a functioning scope than spend time packing and shipping
to Meade, it's the approach i'd take.  (it has the down-side of
Meade not seeing -all- of the scopes with the problem, so the
corporate mind thinking "it's not -that- bad", but that's the
coin-flip one has to accept.. although i suppose you could send
them a bill for your time)

have fun

Subject:	LX 90 vibrations
Sent:	Sunday, May 18, 2008 06:20:28
From:	Brad (callaway@zoomtown.com)
I came across your website after I found that I had a problem with my LX
90.I am having the same problem you and several others have been having.
Dick sent you my issue that was discussed on the Mead4M forum. You have
posted on your LX90 website. I returned mine to telescope .com and they
have sent me a replacement but I haven't received yet. I am very new to
amateur astronomy and I need some advice. If the replacement comes with
the same problem what other telescope would you recommend that I buy
instead. The LX 90 was not difficult to use and I would like to get a
similar product.
Brad Callaway  
Mike here: If you want to spend the extra costs you can move up to the LX200-ACF or even the LX400-ACF models. They are more "professional grade" and have (normally) better mechanisms. Alternatively, you could go with a LXD75 series telescope (if you can find one). I really liked my LXD75-8"SC (the one that was stolen). The 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain was the same as on the pre-ACF models of the LX90 and LX200. If you want to move to a different manufacturer there is Celestron and Orion. Celestron has a similarly priced telescope ($2000) with some similar capabilities.


Thanks for the quick response. I will take a look at the Meade models
you recommended.

And an update:

I just received my second LX90 and it's worse than the first one. I am
about to give up Meade and might try Celestron.


Subject:	LX90GPS DEC Vibration and Thump (shake rattle and roll)
Sent:	Monday, May 19, 2008 12:17:13
From:	Elizabeth and Herb (elober@telus.net)
Thank you for your detailed report on the drive anomalies.
I guess I'm in the same predicament as you. My story is just about
exactly the same as yours.

Last October I purchased an LX90GPS from OPT.

Since then I've been away, but I've put a few hours on it recently and
discovered the strange pausing and thumping the fork (DEC) drive quite

It's very audible, and visible, even at lower magnifications. Very mush
so when looking at Saturn from my location,

I've spoken to OPT and they said that they will set things right.
They're an excellent shop, I think.

What a frustration, though  especially since there are complaints on
more than one LX90 group forum.

I hope Meade gets it right, because the shipping costs a lot from
Vancouver, BC.

Cheers and thanks again.  I look forward to your future postings.

Mike here: Yep, very frustrating! I know that OPT will do what they can but Meade is the one that has to correct the problem.
Subject:	less miserable company (maybe)
Sent:	Wednesday, May 28, 2008 19:41:42
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
On the Meade4m board, the guy who got an also-thumping replacement
from telescopes.com called Meade and they agreed to do a Meade-pays-shipping
repair cycle (i told him to beat on them about it, given the two sick scopes
fresh from box).  Now he's trying to decide if he's going to live with
it or get it fixed.
Another one just popped up on the LX200gps board, but that's an older,
used LX200gps, and may have my "early PIC firmware bug".

have fun

[27 May 08]
Today UPS came to pick up Bad LX90 #2. But the driver did not have the paperwork and neither did I. So he will come back tomorrow. Today I heard from Meade that #1 has been repaired and sent out. To someone else. So it is #2 that will be repaired and returned to me. Sheesh. More delays...

[28 May 08]
UPS picked up Bad LX90 #2 this afternoon. Meade won't get it until next week. The wait continues...

Stay tuned...

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Copyright ©2008 Michael L. Weasner / mweasner@mac.com
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