Last updated: 22 October 2004
Subject: LXD75 with or without UHTC Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2004 06:29:10 From: Justin Stevens (JStevens@fiberinstrumentsales.com) I currently have an older DS-127 w/autostar, and I'm looking to upgrade this fall. I'm considering the LXD75 series scopes, primarily for observation, though I would like to get into CCD imaging in the future. I have a budget of about $1000, which means I can purchase either an 8" LXD75 SN with UHTC, or a 10" LXD75 SN with the standard coatings. If I plan to do CCD at some point, am I better off with the larger aperture, or the smaller aperture with the high transmission coatings? Thank you very much for your input, and your site is the best resource I've found yet for Meade and telescopes in general. Justin Stevens Upstate NYMike here: UHTC is like increasing the aperture by about 20%. So in your case, it is a close call, strictly from a "brightness" perspective. However, there are additional benefits of the larger physical aperture. On the other hand, there is the down side of the physically larger telescope. But if you can handle the 10", go for it. Otherwise, get the 8" with UHTC.
Subject: Autostar alignment problems with LXD55 Sent: Sunday, October 17, 2004 11:43:54 From: MFROOF@aol.com (MFROOF@aol.com) I got your name from someone who said you may have the answer for my Meade scope. It's a LXD-55 that I got for Christmas last year. Numerous times since December, my son and I would take it out and try to align the Autostar. When the alignment process asked to center a predetermined star in the center of the viewing field in order to finish the alignment, the star that we were supposed to align it with was in one section of the sky, but the scope slewed to the complete opposite section of the sky, and when we finally centered up the star, it said that the scope was not in the right area of the sky and would not finish the alignment process. Any helpful hints. I have taken the telescope back to the store we bought it at and the guy said he couldn't get it to work either. Not really sure he tried, though, since he was very busy. Meade said to contact our local group and they didn't come up with any helpful hints either. Thank you for you time and help, MargaretMike here: Several possibilities but I need more info first. Have you selected the correct telescope model in the Autostar? Have you done a CALIBRATE and TRAIN DRIVES (drive training both axes)? Have you entered the correct location, date, time, and Daylight Saving settings? Have you put the telescope in the correct HOME position? Which alignment step are you doing? How much of an error are you seeing (15 degrees, 90 degrees)?
Thank you for your suggestions. The first nice, clear evening we get, my son and I will go out and try again to get you more specific info. We have not done a Calibrate and Train drive. My husband thought he was buying me this wonderful scope that I could go out and push a button and it would show me things. Unfortunately, that is not the case! MargaretMike here: Well, it WILL work but you do have to do some initial setups. One of the things I like to suggest to new owners is to read the manual, three times, and then set up the telescope indoors and go through the manual again as you work with the telescope. When asked to center a star in the eyepiece just assume it is centered and continue. Of course, outdoors at night you will want to actually center the alignment stars.
Subject: re: LXD55-Problem with LXD55 Adjust Declination Sent: Monday, October 11, 2004 22:22:53 From: Richard Seymour (email@example.com) Your symptoms suggest a variety of approaches: (1) you may have a screw loose. To be specific, the set-screws which hold the final transfer gears or the worm itself to their shafts. The "falling short" during slewing really suggests this. There are access panels on the motor units which provide access to these screws. (2) Join one of the LXD55-specific user groups, such as: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LXD55telescopes/ and post your question there. That group's FILES area has many "how to's" (including how to tear it apart) which may shed light on the subject. (3) one of the other gears in the chain may have stripped some teeth... that would also cause a fall=short (the encoders measure the MOTOR travel.. if the motor is not cleanly connected to the actual telescope, it will fall short. good luck --dickAnd:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) When I originally received the scope it was missing the screw for the declination gear. I called Meade and they sent a new gear with the screw. I have not checked the gears interior to the unit. The scope actually looks as if it is over-rotating on the declination axis as opposed to falling short. I downloaded the autostar update from Meade this last weekend after receiving the RS232 adapter and connectors. If it is a software glitch I will know by the end of the week. I'll keep you posted. Thanks Chris SommersAnd an update:
I was able upload the software update from Meade yesterday morning, and then did a quick train on the drive before it got dark. I was able to do a partial two star align (the seconf star was obscured) and the scope was only about 4 degrees off, as opposed to 40 degrees off. I think with a good alignment and a little more playing around I should be in good shape. Thanks Chris Sommers
Subject: LXD55 Sent: Monday, October 11, 2004 03:01:52 From: BDuke21090@aol.com (BDuke21090@aol.com) As a backgrounder I'm attaching the message I sent to Meade in August 2003. I never got an answer and the problems havent gone away. In fact i'm bothering you now because the scope is pretty much useless until I figure out how to collimate it. The collimation screws on the secondary are so tight that the whole mirror holder moves around when I try to adjust them. As a result the scope is totally out of lign. I need help urgently with a course of study in progress with work for the telescope. I would be grateful if you could tell me if I dare carefully unscrew the corrector cover to get at the secodnary holder to see if there is a way of stopping it rotating while I adjust the screws. I note you had a similar question last year but I couldnt find your answer on the website. You have no idea how much people like me depend upon your great website. Many thanks. Brian DukeMike here: Did you ever adjust the Autostar scroll speed? You do that by pressing the UP or DOWN arrows at the bottom of the Autostar keypad.
Thanks for the prompt reply. I'll try the arrows to adjust the scroll speed. I checked the site again on the collimation screws and see your exchange with Curt Wellwan was on 11 Oct. 2003. I wonder if there was any follow-up or if Curt solved his problem. That would be worth knowing. BrianMike here: Everything I got was posted.
Subject: lxd55 8" schmidt cassegrain Sent: Sunday, October 3, 2004 15:05:15 From: Joshua McLean (firstname.lastname@example.org) Where can I get a 2" eyepiece adapter for my lxd55 schmidt cassegrain? Thank you, email@example.comMike here: Any reputable telescope dealer will sell them.
Subject: LXD55-Problem with LXD55 Adjust Declination Sent: Sunday, October 3, 2004 11:45:43 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) Greetings oh great and powereful LXD55 Guru. I have an 16 month old LXD55 SCT8. When I try to with the two star alignment it consistently points to teh wrong part of the sky. it appears to be a problem with the declination drive. I have never used the goto since I wanted to learn the stars and locate the M objects on my own. I have now decided to use the goto following a year of experience as an amateur astronomer. When I try to two star align, my dec drive is consistently off to the same place in the sky. I have retrained the drive and done the motor calibration a couple of times. When I have gone back to the LXD55 Adjust to get the axis correct (first focussing on a terrestrial object with the scope in the correct horizontal position, the declination drive always goes 50 degrees to far and never goes back to horzizontal position" on the opposite side of the mount. The telescope tracks well ,and there appears to be no slippage of the dec drive when balanced apprpriately, during actual use. Any suggestions? Chris SommersMike here: Is the latitude set correctly, both on the LXD55 mount and in the Autostar? Such a declination error sounds like something is wrong there. Also, have you tried updating to the correct version 3.2Ei?
That was quick. The latitude and longiture are correctly set. Montogomeryville PA is 75.2W x 40.2 N. That was the first thing I tried, along with checking the time zone, daylight savings. The train drive directions are straight forward as are the LXD55 adjust for the axis alighnment. One thing I found was the calibrate motor directions are not really directions at all. The manual sinply says to press enter after calibrate motor appears. No futher explanation. However, I find it hard to believe the calibration is that far off since it tracks well during actual use. I have not upragraded the software since I bought the scope. I simply hate having to by another accessory from Meade to have to do that. Thanks ChrisMike here: Calibration just checks the communications between the Autostar and the encoders and sets the right values for that. You can easily make a #505 cable from the info on my ETX Site on the Autostar Info page. While the software version is probably not the problem upgrading it won't hurt either and might resolve the problem.
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