Last updated: 23 November 2004

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This page is for user comments and information of a general nature or items applicable to all LXD55 models. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks.

Subject:	Meade SN-6 and ETX
Sent:	Saturday, November 20, 2004 10:16:37
From:	Peter Green (peterngreen@mchsi.com)
I wrote to you several weeks ago regarding an ETX tune-up.  You
forwarded my info to Dr. Clay and he indicated that I had one of the new
improved ETX125 and the tune up procedure did not apply.  After thinking
abiut it for a while, the idea of a new mount surfaced.  Basically my
idea is to buy an LXD SN6 and appropriate hardware to mount the EXT125
to the new mount.

The really attractive thing about this is getting a scope with wide view
teamed up with the narrow view of the 125.  OPT has been trying to run
down options for mounting the 125-- the best option seems to be a vixen
dovetail plate and a set of parallax rings.  Rayna suggested I write you
to see if anyone has done this and/or get your opinion--- I know you
have an LXD scope, I'm not sure if you have ever tried to mount an ETX
on it.  Seems like the LXD mount could solve a lot of problems with the
ETX mount.  Do you have any thoughts on this project?  I also note that
on the bottom of the ETX, there looks like there are screw holes to
mount the ETX to some sort of tripod, could the LXD mount be modified to
use this?

Thanks for any insight you can provide.

Mike here: I don't recall that being specifically done but it should be possible with the right adapters. Yes, those are tripod mounting holes on the bottom of the ETX OTA.
Subject:	counteweight shaft
Sent:	Friday, November 19, 2004 14:51:54
From:	David Guibert (PlutoVIP1@cfl.rr.com)
Hope you can help me. I've done some mods to my LXD-55 10". I lined the
inside with Protostar Flocking paper. Replaced the Meade viewfinder with
an Orion 9 by 50 right-angle correct view, viewfinder. Installed a JMI
Crayford motorized focuser and a ScopeStuff,  Starfinder laser pointer.
Add to that either a digital camera, 35mm camera or my Denkemier
binoviewer and the scope has gotten rather heavy. The three ten pound
counterwights don't quite do it anymore. I thought about ordering
another wieght but all my guy can find in his order book is a two
pounder for fifty bucks (ouch) once it's on, it's still rather high up
on the shaft and I'm doubtful that it will give me two actual pounds
more since it's closer to the pivot point. Or am I wrong? Anyway, I seem
to remeber somewhere that there is an extention Counterwieght shaft
avalible somewhere that screws right into the bottom of the existing
shaft and you can slide the counterweights down further to gain balance
without purchasing more weights. Are you aware of such an item? Also
would a longer shaft hit the tripod during slewing?
David Guibert
Melbourne, FL
From:	Warp (warpcorp@swbell.net)
I've had a couple of batches of extended counterweight shafts made
for the LXD55 / 75.  They should work on any similar mount that has the
same threads as the Meade.  The shafts are available in 22" and 27"
lengths of 3/4" stainless steel.  Threaded on one end to match the stock
Meade shaft and thread into the mount - the other end threaded for a
provided "keeper" nut.  Price with shipping in the CONUS is $59.00.

I have to submit in batches of 10.  Right now, I have a pending order
for 9 - waiting for that 10th person.  Have them contact me direct (feel
free to give them this email) if they are interested or have questions.

Pictures of my SN10 on a 55 mount with the 27" shaft can be seen in my
folder in the LXD55Telescope group and in my WarpsCorp group.

BTW... Love the new 75's!


Subject:	Tips & tricks #1
Sent:	Sunday, November 14, 2004 09:04:19
From:	kenmenzies (kenmenzies@bigfoot.com)
I have been conducting your polar home position procedure from Tips &
Tricks Vol 1.

I noted that the arrows placed by Meade were pretty close. The DEC
arrows were a little off and I placed my own arrows on the scope as

However, I noted that the DEC motor is on the EAST side of the mount
when the Meade arrows are aligned. I have the north leg (star) pointed
north in my basement. When I am also facing north, the drive is to the
right of the axis. Your notes say that it should be on the WEST side.

Since the axis is symmetrical, why does the drive side matter? Do you
run out of worm gear because the computer thinks it has more travel? Or
something else? I was surprised since Meade put the arrows on the side
which places the drive on the west side.
I just looked at the photos in my LXD55 instruction manual (p5). As you
noted in your instructions, the DEC drive is shown on the WEST side. It
also shows the RA lock on the WEST side. HOWEVER, on my mount, the RA
lock is on the EAST side. If I place the RA lock on the west side, the
counterweight rod is pointing up!!

Two large recessed allen bolts hold the RA axis together. Did Meade put
it together 180 out of phase?

Thanks, Ken
Mike here: The RA lock is on the East side; the DEC motor housing is on the West side. If yours differs then I suspect you have the OTA mounted backwards on the mounting bracket.


It's easy to reverse the OTA in the cradle so that the DEC drive is on
the WEST and opposite the RA lock. I never knew that it really made a
difference (symmetry?). Does it? Cable wrap?

However, it is interesting that the arrows put on by Meade are then 180
degrees out of phase. Do you think they could have put them on
incorrectly? I can go through the OPT Vol 1 alignment again and put my
own arrows on correctly.

Mike here: Personally I don't even use those arrows! Put you can certainly follow the tip (once you have the OTA mounted correctly). And yes, it should be mounted correctly.
Subject:	re: Power tanks or power supplies
Sent:	Wednesday, November 10, 2004 22:40:49
From:	Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
You asked:
>if you use a supply that has 2 12v DC output car jacks,
>and had both going does one take away power from the other? 

Which sounds simple, but actually has a very complicated answer:
(a) the two plugged-in devices will both see 12 volts 

(b) the two devices will both be able to draw whatever current (amps)
 they require, to the limits of the fuses involved (within reason)

(c) the number of -hours- they can run will be limited by the capacity of
the battery ("power tank"), which is usually expressed as "ampere hours".
So the two together will drain the battery sooner than each one separately.

A typical "power tank" is a 7 amp hour battery.  So a 1 amp telescope
and a 3 amp dew heater (for example) sum to 4 amps. 
 7 amp hour/4 amp = 1.75 hours (at full load).

I use a 17 amp hour "JumpStart" battery purchased from an Auto Parts
store (WalMart carries them, too). $45.  It would run the above 
combination for 17/4 = 4.25 hours

Mike's site has a comparison chart of -many- batteries:

If you are planning to run a laptop and a telescope from the same
battery, -and- are planning to tie the two together (with a serial
cable, such as for Autostar Suite work), then you have to CHECK
the laptop's power adapter to make SURE that the *negative* lead
is the "common" wire which passes through the laptop's adapter.
(laptops run on 18 volts, so the 12v of the battery has to be boosted
up to 18v... one of the battery leads passes directly through the 
booster, the other gets 6 volts added to it... it's that "direct
through" wire i'm talking about).
Some brands of laptop booster pass the +12v lead directly through.
IF you have one of those, and connect the serial cable between your
Autostar and the laptop, you can cause a LOT of damage to the laptop,
telescope, and/or melt the wire.
Using two separate batteries avoids that problem.

have fun

Subject:	Deep Sky Imager
Sent:	Wednesday, November 10, 2004 03:16:58
From:	john kalantzis (acent2@otenet.gr)
I am interested to buy the new MEADE product Deep Sky Imager for my
SC8'' LXD55 telescope. But before I do that I want to see pictures with
it. I am visiting every day your web site looking forward to see
pictures with DSI but I have see no one. The only  I found are the
pictures in MEADE web site. Do you know any other site to see pictures
with it ?

(Congratulations for your excelent web site.)
John Kalantzis
Mike here: The DSI is just beginning to reach users. There are some useful links on the DSI page on the Helpful Information: Astrophotography page on my ETX Site. I posted some new photos on the 10 November 2004 update.
Subject:	Power tanks or power supplies
Sent:	Sunday, November 7, 2004 15:49:57
From:	shirley m feickert (sfeickert@earthlink.net)
Mike I read Your piece on power supplies.
I have just one question, When one uses a power supply or power tank

if you use a supply that has 2 12v DC output car jacks, and had both
going does one take away power from the other? I call the people at
PowerPort about their 312, the lady told me that if I put a Y (1 in 2
out) that one would take from the other. I don't know if thats true or
not But if it true would that be the story for all? I was looking at the
PP312 and the Orion Dyanmo.

Why doesn't Meade make one with their name on it?
It would solve my problems , I'd even buy two.

Mike here: The one I bought (the Celestron; reviewed on the Accessory Reviews: Miscellaneous page on my ETX Site) worked fine powering my ETX-125 and LXD55 simultaneously. I would think that if there are two port then two devices could be powered. Of course, the battery will drain faster when powering multiple devices.

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