20 June 2008
8" LX90-ACF - Strike 3 !!!
Before I go into the latest status, here are another two emails that I received:
Subject: a self-repaired elder LX90 on Yahoo... Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2008 20:26:29 From: richard seymour (email@example.com) One of the worm gear bearings had frozen (this happened to Andrew Johansen's LX200gps, too) http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/lx90/message/77853 have fun --dick
Subject: Hi Mike Sent: Saturday, May 31, 2008 04:02:49 From: Danny Ross Lunsford (firstname.lastname@example.org) I am following your Oracle blog with much interest and a little envy. :) Did you get any progress toward who stole your equipment? Man that must really suck! How's it going with the LX90? How are the optics? Best wishes and good luck in your plans, -rossMike here: The latest on the LX90 saga is on my 8" LX90-ACF page:
[18 Jun 08]
Received a call from Meade; the telescope was shipped today. No tracking number was given. The details on the repair should be in the box. I then asked about the warranty date (when the rep who called wanted to sell me their extended warranty). I noted that I received this 2nd bad LX90 in April and since then I have waited for it to be picked up and repaired. He would only say that the 12 month warranty started when I first received the telescope but he was sympathetic to my concern. I understand the warranty requirements but hope I don't have to worry about it 10 months from now. It sure has been a frustrating six months of waiting since my previous Meade 8" was stolen. That includes two months of waiting for the replacement LXD75-8"SC to arrive (it was on backorder), canceling that order and ordering the 8" LX90-ACF, waiting for the replacement for the first bad LX90, and then the nearly two months of waiting for the second LX90 (which had the same problem as the first LX90) to be repaired.
[20 Jun 08]
The repaired 8" LX90-ACF was received today from Meade. The repair report said:
"the DEC motor [unreadable] was defective"
"HBX [unreadable] was damaged"
The report stated that the motor was replaced and the AutoStar updated. No mention of a problem with the RA axis although I had discussed this in the paperwork I included in the box when the telescope was returned to Meade. The report also indicated that the electronics, GPS, RA and DEC alignment, and all functions tested good.
My initial testing was indoors with only the AutoStar connected and none of the other acccessories (LNT, finderscope, star diagonal) attached. I powered up, did a CALIBRATE MOTOR, set the site location, and checked the AutoStar version. It was 4.3Ed!!!! Meade updated the AutoStar to a version from 2006 that was older than what was originally on the AutoStar??? Wonder why they didn't use 4.3Eg? That is the current version on their web site.
I proceeded on with my initial tests. I set the date to 30 April 2008 and the time to 2000 hours. I did this to get close to the same set up I had during my pre-repair testing. I did an Easy Align and accepted the stars as centered. I then did a GOTO Saturn. During the slewing for the stars and Saturn I noticed a distinctly different sound from the DEC axis than what I remembered pre-repair. It was a loud "grinding" sound. Once it was tracking Saturn, within a few seconds I heard the thumping sound from the right fork arm. I stopped the test as I would now need to confirm this by tracking a real object. So I waited until dark to continue testing.
Shortly after sunset I set up the LX90 outside and did a TRAIN DRIVES. I set the current date and time and did an Easy Align, followed by a GOTO Saturn, which was about 45 degrees in altitude. Although it was not quite dark enough to see Saturn I could hear the thumping from the right fork arm every few seconds. I then did a GOTO Arcturus, which was high in the sky. I watched it for several minutes through the 26mm eyepiece. About once a minute it would jump in altitude. I then went back to Saturn, which had become visible. I watched it for a few minutes. In the 26mm eyepiece I could see a definite vibration in both axes. Saturn's Ring would almost continuously vibrate over a distance equal to their height, essentially appearing as "double" rings. Obviously something is not right with this "repaired" telescope, just like the first LX90 I received.
I am awaiting a response from Meade and OPT.
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