Last updated: 28 March 2005
Subject: I need some help. Autostar Error. Sent: Sunday, March 20, 2005 12:03:22 From: Luis G Castillo (email@example.com) I have not found information in the web for my problem. I know that you are an expert in LXD 55 mounts and maybe you can help me. I have a LXD75 SC8 with : The mount leveled with torpedo and bubble levels. The Polar scope aligned with the mount. The finder aligned with the optical tube. The optical tube aligned with the mount. The counterweights and optical tube balanced. The drives trained the motors calibrated. Polaris located between the 40-60 marks of their illuminated reticle. I have used One, Two and Three Stars alignment methods. But : 1. The Autostar have very bad GoTo pointing. When I request objects to Autostar (too with the High Precision method), the optical tube is positioned in all the cases to the west with a difference of 5- 10 (15 - 20 arc minutes) in Right Ascension (RA) from the real position of the object. 2. When I try center one object from the eyepiece border with the RA (<) Autostar key, the object back to their position in the eyepiece border. I need to make several attempts for center the object in the eyepiece. 3. When I try to align with Capella and Regulus/Spica and center Regulus/Spica, the Autostar display the message : Alignment Failed. Check the stars. And with this problems I cant use correctly the Autostar for pointing to deep sky objects. I updated to 33Ef software version. The problems are the same. Next, I back to 32Ei version and problems remain. I will appreciate your help. I live in Mexico and its difficult for me call to Meade. Regards Luis G Castillo http://www.geocities.com/gercasstMike here: Couple of thoughts: When you updated, did you reTRAIN DRIVES drives? You should; that should cure the "rubberbanding". As to the pointing error, that almost sounds like a time problem. Have you set the proper Daylight Saving setting? If you are picking the alignment stars, be certain they are at least 90 degrees apart.
Thanks for your response. Yes. I did reTrain Drives after each update and the site, time, and date, time, site values and Daylight Saving setting are correct. Tonight I will advance to one hour the Autostar time and will observe the results. Regards Luis G CastilloAnd:
First, I delayed the Autostar time 30 minutes and I aligned the scope with Betelgeuse and Alioth (UMa). The pointing error in two stars requested to Autostar was diminished to 1 and 5 respectively. Next, I delayed 1 hour the Autostar time, but the alignment failed. Message : "Alignment Failed. Check the stars". Tomorrow I will try newly. Regards Luis G Castillo
Subject: re: RA Motor Sent: Monday, March 7, 2005 21:56:52 From: Richard Seymour (firstname.lastname@example.org) The 4th step in the reset/cal/train sequence is to adjust the RA Percentage. Recent firmwares pre-set this (far) too high (50%) and that can cause exactly the symptom you're describing. Try lowering the values (and the Dec Percentage, too). good luck --dickMike here: I haven't seen that with 3.3Ef but should know more this weekend.
They switched to 50% back around 3.0 ... Clay posted an unhappy note about it back then It's still true in v33Ef (reset sets 'em to 50%) have fun --dickMike here: But my scopes are working fine....
it only changes them if you Reset. If you simply update, the old numbers survive. have fun --dickAnd:
From: Offwork11@aol.com (Offwork11@aol.com) Thanks for all the information. I decided to call Meade. I purchased a new RA motor. I have already tried those suggestions. To no avail, the problem remains. I need to fix this anyway. I will probably get one of the new LX90LNT's and try to sell this one. Meade said it will produce shaper images than the 10 inch LXD 55, and with the UHTC coating it will be like having a 9 inch mirror. I like the LXD 55, but it is quite a chore lugging it around. I also purchased a GPS mate from astro-engineering. It works great and no other software or keys for other controllers are needed. I costs a little more than the Star GPS. Less complicated to use. I even changed my site to Cairo Egypt and it hit all the alignment stars on the money every time in Virginia beach VA. So thanks for both your time and interest. Will let you know what happens when the RA motor gets to me. If the problem remains after that, I surmise it must be a problem with the autostar itself. r\ Shep Kaplan
Subject: re: Teething troubles with LXD75 SN10 Sent: Monday, March 7, 2005 21:53:35 From: Richard Seymour (email@example.com) The gradual degradation of GoTo accuracy on an LXD55/75 can frequently be caused by one of the transfer gears (the gear pair just before the worm) slipping on its shaft. I think there is a set screw you can tighten, if you open the access panels. Don't -over- tighten it. good luck --dick
Subject: Autostar Suite - Connection to the telescope error "Invalid ACK response from LX200" Sent: Monday, March 7, 2005 02:48:29 From: Hyde, Andrew As I do not have a serial port on my PC I am attempting to use my modem in Com Port 3 mode - However as this is proving unsuccessful I hoped you might be able to help. I receive the following error Message when I attempt to use the "Autostar with Com Port" option to connect my PC to my scope. The error states "Invalid ACK response from LX200". Please can you advise what I need to do. I have the following equipment: - LXD55 8 Inch Schmidt-Cassegrain with Autostar - Sony Vaio laptop with internal CXT modem (Com Port 3) - Windows XP Home Edition (Centrino 1.7ghz - 512mb RAM) - Autostar suite supplied with a Meade DSI. (Feb 2005) - I am connecting plugging the Autostar cable into the modem cable port (it fits correctly) When I purchased the DSI I uninstalled the internet based Meade software which I had previously down loaded. I have not downloaded any new software onto the Autostar (I was hoping to do this once I had the Autostar connection working) I have set the PC's internal modem to a 9600 baud rate (as per the Autostar) and selected the following options on the Autostar Suites Communications set up Comm Port = 3 Baud Rate = 9600 Flowcontrol = None Stop bits = 1 Data Bits = 8 Parity = None If I attempt to use any of the other comms options on the Telescope control I get a "Read timeout Error!" You help would be greatly appreciated AndrewMike here: Simple answer: you can not use the modem port; the connection must be RS-232. You will need to purchase a USB-serial adapter. See the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page for lots more info.
Subject: Teething troubles with LXD75 SN10 Sent: Wednesday, March 2, 2005 20:05:30 From: Colin (firstname.lastname@example.org) I haven't long bought this scope (2 weeks) in the UK, and I'm pleased with the OTA the mount has given me problems. First after calibrating and training, good polar alignment and three star alignment, the goto pointing is at first fairly good but degrades after a few slews and then it's pot luck whether the target is in the 26mm eyepiece or not. Second it tracks too slow in sidereal or as I have observed without anything on the mount the RA cogs stick regularly when tracking. Now I read in one of your replies that a 12v 2500 mA supply is required for this mount and so far this all I can think of that is wrong with my set up. I have a 12v rechargable battery rated at 1900 mA. Could this be the common problem? Or should I get heavy with my suppliers and replace the mount! BTW - excellent site, I may do the same for people with Digital Audio problems, which is my bag! Cheers, ColinMike here: Power could be the problem but it likely wouldn't show up in tracking. I would recheck the mount selection in the Autostar. If OK, do a RESET, CALIBRATE MOTORS, and then TRAIN DRIVES (don't forget to train in both axes). Make the training as accurate as you can using a distant fixed object. If the problems still appear, do an update to the current Autostar version 3.3Ef available on Meade's site. You will need a RS-232 port and a #505 cable (purchased or made). Meade has a Windows app updater and a Mac version is also available (see the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page).
Thanks Mike, I have the correct mount, and have repeatedly and religiously Reset, calibrated and trained as accurate as humanly possible, however I have Ver. 32E so I'll update that and get a heavy duty PSU. Then if all else fails, it's time to call upon my subtle blend of psychology and extreme violence to get the mount replaced!Mike here: Updating the Autostar could cure it.
Subject: RA Motor Sent: Tuesday, March 1, 2005 14:08:36 From: Offwork11@aol.com (Offwork11@aol.com) I have a lxd55 10 inch sn. I've had it for about three years and it has performed fine for most of this time. My problem is that recently the RA motor will roll the scope in the opposite direction after slewing it with the autostar. In the other direction the motor works fine I called meade, they told me to retrain the motors. So I did. It appeared to fix the problem. However after doing an "ALIGN" function (easy, one star, two star) the problem reappears. I reset, calibrated and retrained again. I took the GEM totally apart and inspected it. It appears to have no defects. The problem still exists. Could it be the autostar it self. Do you know of any other recourse that I can approach? Thanks for your time. Shep in Virginia Beach.Mike here: The RESET, CALIBRATE MOTORS, and TRAIN DRIVES (you did TRAIN in both axes?) should have cured any Autostar related problem. If not, you could update the Autostar to the current version (3.3Ef); you will need a RS-232 serial connection and the #505 cable (which you can make). Meade supplies Windows software and Mac OS X is also available (see the Helpful Information: Autostar Info page on my Sites).
I just updated the autostar like you suggested and I all ready have the whole 505 set up. Then I did a reset, calibrated motors and trained "both" motors. The problem still exists. Do you think it may be the autostar itself. Also it does not do it when the targets are in terrestrial mode, only in astronomical. thanks for your time ShepMike here: Maybe I misunderstood your comment that "the scope in the opposite direction after slewing it with the autostar". That sounded like "rubberbanding" but maybe you meant something else?
Let me try again. The RA motor gears will (wether the scope is mounted or not) and if the scope is not mounted I do not have the weights on. Move in the opposite direction very noticeably moving any object in the center of the eye piece, almost out of the field of view, then it stops. This only happens in one direction. This has never happened before. It does not occur in the other direction. I even went as far as changing the direction of the arrows with the autostar function. I hope this explains it. thanks ShepMike here: OK, that still sounds like "rubberbanding". How you are doing the TRAIN DRIVES?
I train the drives in accordance with the autostar commands.Mike here: What I meant was "what eyepiece was used, what object, what slewing speed, which axis was done first?"
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