Last updated: 31 May 2005

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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:	LXD - 75 Refractor
Sent:	Tuesday, May 31, 2005 12:12:20
From:	Rhoades, Dennis, VBAVACO (dennis.rhoades@vba.va.gov)
I recently purchased an LXD - 6" refractor and am having trouble with
the right ascension drive.  After aligning the telescope and training to
motors in Autostar, when I am looking at Jupiter or Saturn at high
magnification (174X), the image jiggles about every 5 seconds, and the
jiggle is regular and predictable.   I've owned several telescopes over
the years and have never seen this in a clock drive.  Is this a
mechanical flaw/failure in the drive itself, or something I'm missing in
programming the Autostar?

This problem is in addition to inaccurate pointing in the GOTO function.

Mike here: Did you do a CALIBRATE MOTORS before doing the TRAIN DRIVES? Did you TRAIN in both axes? If you have done these, could you be overtightening the axis lock?
Subject:	Solar filter for LXD55 SC-8
Sent:	Thursday, May 26, 2005 05:37:45
From:	Lamar McLouth (lmclouth@a1isp.net)
I also have a Meade LXD55 SC-8 and I was thinking about getting a solar
filter.  I measured the outer diameter of the OTA and it is 9.125"
(231.775mm).  I was looking at the Baader Solar Film solar filters from
Kendricks (and other places).

Do you have a solar filter or any input on which ones work well with the
LXD55 SC-8?

Thanks for the great site.

Mike here: The Baader material works fine. Keep in mind that you don't necessarily need a full aperture filter, you just need the aperture fully covered. A cover with a small filter diameter (offset from the secondary) will work fine.
Subject:	re: Feedback - LXD MOUNT and Autostar
Sent:	Friday, May 20, 2005 21:18:39
From:	Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
Which version of firmware are you running in the Autostar
( Setup > Statistics > [enter][scroll up] )

Some versions have had problems with PEC and LXDs.
Upgrade to 33El , 
Train the PEC,  and then do two PEC Update  sessions.

(simply Training does not produce a good dataset)

have fun
From:	Gernot Stenz (stenzg@in.tum.de)
Richard Seymour  writes:

Thanks you guys. I have have calibrated and trained the motors more than once,
but to no avail. However, in a system as complex as the Autostar, a software
bug at least seems plausible.

>Which version of firmware are you running in the Autostar
>( Setup > Statistics > [enter][scroll up] )

I did not have access to the mount but from earlier experiments I remember
something like 32Ga.

>Some versions have had problems with PEC and LXDs.
>Upgrade to 33El , 

This is what I am trying to do next, although I could only download 34Ga.

>Train the PEC,  and then do two PEC Update  sessions.
>(simply Training does not produce a good dataset)

Yup, but for the time being I would be happy with just ordinary tracking while
PEC is active.

>have fun

Im trying to, believe me.

>>Some versions have had problems with PEC and LXDs.
>>Upgrade to 33El ,

>This is what I am trying to do next, although I could only download 34Ga.

34Ga is -newer- than 33El.  You can certainly use 34Ga
(i see that Meade Europe is ahead of Meade US in terms of posting it)

>>Train the PEC,  and then do two PEC Update  sessions.
>>(simply Training does not produce a good dataset)

>Yup, but for the time being I would be happy with just ordinary tracking while
>PEC is active.

I forgot to mention doing a PEC Erase before the Training
And doing the two updates after the Training seems to help make the
data -much- better.

good luck

Subject:	Feedback - LXD MOUNT and Autostar
Sent:	Friday, May 20, 2005 08:05:36
From:	Gernot Stenz (stenzg@in.tum.de)
I have a question regarding the PEC feature on the LXD mounts. A similar
question was posted to Cloudynights.

I recently obtained a Meade LXD-75 with the 8"SN. Due to long stretches
of bad weather I only just got around to first light. I quickly came to
realise that an LXD with Autostar is a much more complex system than my
other mounts and control units. So, first light was followed by a
re-calibration of the drive motors, a new drive training and then a
second light. Strangely enough, even though the mount now tracks better
than it did the first time, I cannot seem to get PEC to work properly. I
went through the training routine twice, but every time when I activated
PEC afterwards, the mount began to slightly drift eastwards.

I trained PEC with the use of a barlowed webcam at an effective focal
length of 1860mm. I sat down in front of the notebook and used the arrow
keys of the autostar box to keep the star centered on the crosshairs,
until the Autostar beeped to let me know the training was finished.

Was there anything fundamentally wrong with what I did? Has anyone here
managed to get the Autostar smart drive feature to work properly? I am a
bit puzzled.

TIA and CS Gernot

    __o  Gernot Stenz  e-mail:stenzg@informatik.tu-muenchen.de        /\
   -\<,          WWW:  http://www4.in.tum.de/~stenzg               /\/--\
_(_)/(_)_Fromentine - Paris: 3584 km______________________________/      \
Mike here: Did you do the CALIBRATE MOTORS and TRAIN DRIVES (on both axes) before setting up the PEC?
Subject:	GRS: Next appearance?
Sent:	Thursday, May 19, 2005 11:32:13
From:	Dave Lazok (dlazok@yahoo.com)
I have an LXD-75 AR5 and have looked at Jupiter for about 6 hours
straight looking for the GRS. I have an LPI cam to do the seeing.

I have not seen the GRS and wonder if my 5" refractor is just too small
a light bucket?!

A friend has a 14" Celestron, lots of planetary shots, but NO GRS and he
is to the point of anger.

I just downloaded Meridian program for Jupiter, but wonder if there are
any TIPS for capuring the GRS?

Dave Lazok
(I may be found at www.lxd75.com as user: dlazok)
I observe from Buena Park, CA. 90620)
Mike here: The Great Red Spot is more a PPS (Pale PInk Spot) right now and has been for decades. It is difficult to detect even when you know it should be visible. Filters can help; even just one that will reduce Jupiter's brightness (especially with a large aperture telescope). If you don't have any filters try wearing sunglasses (seriously).
Subject:	alignment of secondary on SN-8
Sent:	Wednesday, May 18, 2005 18:42:21
From:	Matt McEwen (mbmcewen@bellsouth.net)
According to my manual, the secondary should be positioned so that it
looks a bit like an egg when viewed through a sight tube or Cheshire. 
However, according to the ultimate collimation PDF, the secondary should
be centered as on most reflectors.  My question is, which is it?  I went
ahead and centered it during the collimation process, and I would rather
not move it back but I guess I could.
Matt McEwen
Mike here: Both could be correct. I don't have one to check but if you look at the secondary it could appear oblong. But if you look at the "reflection" that could show the mirror as centered.
Subject:	re: Feedback - LXD MOUNT and Autostar
Sent:	Saturday, May 14, 2005 19:53:06
From:	Richard Seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
The AUX port cannot directly control a simple motor focuser.

You have to use either a Meade focuser designed for an AUX port,
or the Meade 909 APM (Accessory Port Module)($50) which -does-
have a socket into which you can plug a simple motor for focusing.
(The Autostar will only recognize and use a 909 APM if it's
attached to an LX90, LXD55 or LXD75).

The AUX port supplies a "serial addressed packet bus" signal,
plus fixed +12v and ground.  The Autostar interrogates that
bus for "intelligent" response, and only offers the focus 
menu if it hears a proper response.  The "bus" is a modified
Philips IIC (or I2C)-like bus, in case you're familiar with it.

have fun

Subject:	Feedback - LXD MOUNT and Autostar
Sent:	Friday, May 6, 2005 14:28:55
From:	CigTech (CigTech@verizon.net)
Me Again. I was wanting to put a focuser motor on my Celestron C4-R scope
that is on my lxd55 mount. I wanted to know if the autostar can control the
focuser motor or will I have to make a controler for it? I have the wiring
picture from your site but do not see how the Autostar could control it. I
could use the Aux port to conect the foucs motor but I don't know if the
Autostar knows how to use it. Let me know if there is a way to use the
Autostar for the focuser motor.

Mike here: The Autostar can control a focuser; it controls the Meade one. So you should be able to work up something via the AUX port.
Subject:	LXD-55 updated stuff for tech tips...
Sent:	Wednesday, May 4, 2005 06:31:25
From:	Steve Arnold (steve.arnold@utoronto.ca)
I've been busy of late doing some add-on stuff, and
relocating/revitalizing my website.

There's some hardwired power supply info at

and finally, my latest project, PICfocus - a feature-loaded PIC micro
controlled electronic focuser at

Clear skies,

Steve Arnold

Subject:	RE: Feedback - LXD MOUNT and Autostar
Sent:	Thursday, April 28, 2005 12:42:36
From:	CigTech (CigTech@verizon.net)
When I bought the mount it had been setting for a while. So I think it
was just a bad conection. After using it for a month now it seems to
have worked itself out. I think corrosion had built up on the wires in
the RJ-45 jack. Also my Autostar had not been used in some time. I'm
still trying to figure out how to do a good alinement on it. I can get
it to come with in a few deg's from the object I tell it to goto. I'll
work it at soon enough I guess. I have been looking for some one in my
area that has a LXD55/75 that could give me some pointers on how to
aline it right. 

Ho by the way heres my Pier mount I made for it.

Thats for you time and help. Jerry Payne

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