Last updated: 30 March 2006
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: lxd55 ra motor Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2006 12:26:26 From: Jim Cadien (firstname.lastname@example.org) I found out the problem with my RA motor. I removed the end of the motor with the reduction gearing assembly in it...3 black gears and one smaller while one. The white gear meshes with the gear on the end of the shaft coming out of the motor. Three of the plastic teeth are broken(or worn) part way. When that part of the gear contacts the shaft gear it hangs up. With enough force applied it will continue on. The gear is not repairable. Do you have any idea where one might buy a replacement? Those two links you gave me earlier did not have anything for this problem. Thanks, JimMike here: You could try Googling for something. Let me know if you come up with anything.
Subject: lxd55 RA motor. Sent: Sunday, March 26, 2006 13:58:12 From: jim cadien (email@example.com) Sorry to bother you again so soon. I believe my RA motor has gone south. It began with my hearing the motor, but no tracking. The two gears were meshing, but not turning. I took the ra motor apart, but did not see anything. Put it back together, and it worked(in the day time, so not sure of the rate) for a few minutes. Then nothing but motor faults. Took it apart again, and running the motor with no gears it turns, but with a clack-clack sound. Questions: are the dec and ra motors identical, so they might be switched? Do you know if meade will sell the motor assembly? I seem to remember some time ago hearing that they would not. Had to send the entire mount back. Astromart currently doesn't have any motors advertised. Thanks for any ideas, Jim CadienMike here: Have you checked for a loose gear? See my article "Fixing a Slipped RA Gear" on my LXD55 Site under the LXD55 / LXD75 Information section.
That's not it. The two gears are not slipping at all. A while back I replaced the screws and loctited them in. With the motor out, the gear on the gear on the motor rotates and does not slip when I hold onto the gear. The gear going to the worm is also fine. And I can rotate the polar axis by rotating the gear by hand. Also, with no torque on the motor at all, it goes clack-clack when turning. I have had these motor assmblies off a few times over the past 3 years and hjave never heard anything like this from a motor. JimMike here: OK. The clack-clack could be from something catching someplace. I suggest checking for some obstruction.
I had taken the motor out of its housing, removed the gear, so there can not be any obstruction. I was holding the motor with my fingers while having the autostar slew it. At all higher slew speeds it has the clack-clack sound. The guide rate sounds like it goes on-off-on-off. JimMike here: If the motor is turning on and off then I would suspect a motor problem. If the clack-clack sound is more constant then I would still suspect some obstruction, perhaps internal to the motor itself.
Well, Am I right that the insides of the motor are not repairable? If so, is there a source of new motors?Mike here: If the motor mount has broken loose you might be able to repair that. But if the motor has gone bad then you would need to replace it. Try Telescope Warehouse or Scopestuff (links on the Astronomy Links page on my ETX Site).
Subject: balancing an lxd55 Sent: Saturday, March 25, 2006 09:21:25 From: jim cadien (firstname.lastname@example.org) A quick question. I have an lxd55 and a C8, with a crayford focuser, so there is a liitle additional weight. I did a test of balancing the ota with the counterweights. I moved the weights up the shaft until the ota started to move down on its own. Made a mark. Then moved the weights down until the weight side began moving down. Marked it. The two marks are three inches apart. Does this distance seem reasonable to you? Or is the polar axis not moving as smoothly as it should. I have done a home hypertuning, about 1.5 yrs ago. Thanks, JimMike here: While I haven't measured it, I have noticed there isn't a single "balance point" but a range of what seems to work. I have attributed that to the lack of a frictionless mechanism. There seems to be some resistance to movement until a sufficient moment-arm is achieved with the LXD55 mount.
Subject: Your Assistance... Sent: Friday, March 24, 2006 23:12:32 From: Warp (email@example.com) If I remember correctly, you have a Meade SC8... Well, I just took the plunge and now own a brand new SC8 with UHTC. Looks like a beautiful tube. I'm now awaiting the arrival of a JMI Motorized SCT Crayford to make this my new imaging platform with a DS80 piggybacked for autoguiding with a LPI and imaging through the SC8 with the new DSI-II. Problem... I was thinking of flocking the inside of the OTA and the outside of the internal baffle tube to squeeze out a little more contrast.... But... I can not seem to get the rear cell seperated from the main white OTA tube. Is it superglued in place or what? All the screws are out and it will NOT budge... Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks in advance. WarpMike here: Good question. Since the OTA is the same as used on the LX200 models, you might check the MAPUG.com site for info on removing the rear cell.
Subject: Can you use an LXD55 without the DEC motor? Sent: Monday, March 13, 2006 14:58:37 From: The Simpsons (firstname.lastname@example.org) I'm building a camera rig based on an LXD55 for taking to the total eclipse in Egypt at the end of March. I want to use the RA drive only and use the mounting brackets that the DEC motor etc. sits for the camera mount. I am using ball and socket mounts for the cameras for declination and will polar align the mount use a compass, level gauge etc. this saves a lot of weight as you can balance the cameras on the bracket and dont need counterweights etc. (I saw a guy with a similar rig in Madrid in Oct. last) the problem is that if you disconnect the Dec Motor the RA drive goes nuts and just starts rotating. One solution is to remove the Dec Motor itself and take it with me but I wondered if there is a simpler way to run the RA motor without the DEC being plugged in. I've also posted this on the Yahoo user group. Any suggestions welcome. Al. Simpson ScotlandMike here: Well, yes you can physically remove the drive but the same problem will likely appear since there is no difference; it is electrically disconnected in both cases. Let me know if you find a solution.
Subject: Is the Meade LXD75 8SC rear cell standard threading? Sent: Sunday, March 12, 2006 08:04:22 From: dennis sebranek (email@example.com) Is the Meade Lxd75 8sc rear cell the standard SC threading to accept components from different manufacturers? I have aked this question of several on-line scope retailers and have been told both yes and no. I have the impression it is a non-standard threading. Thanks, Dennis SebranekMike here: It is as standard as can be.
Subject: Focuser Assembly on Meade LXD-75 Sent: Wednesday, March 8, 2006 12:35:23 From: Scott Lytle (firstname.lastname@example.org) My question I am shooting out there to you is: Is there any alternative to the Rack and Pinion focus assembly the came standard with my telescope? I am fairly new to the telescope world, but have found that this Rack and Pinion fosuser is a pain in my butt! It is "OK" when I have no camera attached, meaning that the image shift when you go in and out with the focuser tube assembly is halfway tolerable. With a camera in the eyepiece, forget it! The image shifts out of the FOV half the time! Not to mention, just with the laser collimator in the eyepeice, just by advancing the focuser in and out, the shift takes the scope out of collimation. Is this just typical and I am not patient? Or is there a way out!!!??? Thanks for your time, ScottMike here: There are circular focus assemblies. I believe JMI has a model for some of the LXD55/75 telescopes. Check their web site (http://www.jimsmobile.com/).
Subject: LXD55 Sun Tracking Sent: Wednesday, March 1, 2006 13:48:56 From: Christopher Catinella (email@example.com) I have been searching the internet for a way to track the sun with my LXD55 Autostar system with the 6" f/5 Model SN-6 scope. I have all the appropriate filters but when I position the device on the sun, the tracker moves away automatically. I think it is a safety so Meade doesn't get into legal trouble. I see your site has a lot of information regarding tracking the sun but I was wondering if there is a way to trick the system into looking where I want it to go regardless of the sun. I talked to the people at Meade and they can't help me due to legal issues. This leads me to believe there is a way around it, but they will not tell me. Do you know of a way I can track the sun? Thanks ChristopherMike here: There are two ways to go. Do a "fake alignment", where you assume the alignment stars are centered. Of course, the better your HOME position the better the alignment will be. You could also sleep or park the telescope from the previous night's alignment. Once you have an alignment you can do one of two things to "track" the Sun. You can either just slew manually to the Sun and assume that tracking will be accurate enough for your observing session (which it typically is since the Sun doesn't move that much in a short period of time). Alternatively you can add the Sun as an object; see the article "Adding the Sun" on the Autostar Info page on my ETX and LXD Sites.
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