Last updated: 23 November 2004
Subject: Meade SN-6 and ETX Sent: Saturday, November 20, 2004 10:16:37 From: Peter Green (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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, FLAnd:
From: Warp (email@example.com) 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! Warp
Subject: Tips & tricks #1 Sent: Sunday, November 14, 2004 09:04:19 From: kenmenzies (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 well. 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.And:
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, KenMike 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. KenMike 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 (email@example.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: http://www.weasner.com/etx/buyer-newuser-tips/powersupplytable.html 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 --dick
Subject: Deep Sky Imager Sent: Wednesday, November 10, 2004 03:16:58 From: john kalantzis (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.) BEST REGARDS FROM VOLOS , GREECE John KalantzisMike 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 (email@example.com) 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. **JIM**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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