Last updated: 31 March 2007

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This page is for user comments and information of a general nature or items applicable to all LXD55 and LXD75 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:	PEC training messing up tracking rate on LXD-75
Sent:	Friday, March 30, 2007 02:44:35
From:	Gernot Stenz (stenzg@in.tum.de)
after posting a question about the Autostar's PEC function on the LXD
yahoo group and not getting any positive answers I got curious again
last night. I powered the LXD up and trained the PEC. The result: same
as ever. Once you start the training, the Autostar messes up the
tracking rate, which is indicated by the fact that already during
training, the mount is by far more responsive to the left arrow key than
to the right arrow key. Once PEC training is finished and PEC enabled
you get a steady drift of the star westwards.

Now this is not new. Quite a few people have found out about this, even
if this problem has never been officially acknowledged. What I found out
last night was that even using the custom tracking rate will not help
you (+21 too slow, +22 too fast). Also it is unclear if the slow-down of
the tracking rate would be reproducable (a fellow astronomer determined
a value of +10 for his mount using MyScope).

Does anyone know a fix for this problem or know whether Meade are
intending to fix this at all? The way it is now the "Smart Drive"
feature is completely useless.

Clear Skies, Gernot

    __o  Gernot Stenz  e-mail:stenzg@informatik.tu-muenchen.de        /\
   -\<,          WWW:  http://www4.in.tum.de/~stenzg               /\/--\
_(_)/(_)_London - Paris: 3547 km__________________________________/      \

Subject:	Are LXD75 parts available?
Sent:	Monday, March 26, 2007 09:17:41
From:	Leigh (leigh@cathouse9.freeserve.co.uk)
Thanks for a great site. I'll join the group shortly but could I trouble
you with 1 question please??

I don't have an LXD setup but I'm in the process of buying a used LXD75
mount for my existing setup. I can't find any info on replacement parts.
Do you know if motors/gears/boards etc are easily sourced or do I need
to hoard whatever I can find in case disaster should strike??

Thanks for any advice u can offer

Leigh Sherrett
Mike here: What parts Meade makes available for their products are shown on their web site. Telescope Warehouse (link on the Astronomy Links page) may have some parts.
Subject:	LXD55 Questions
Sent:	Sunday, March 25, 2007 06:04:56
From:	djrLX90 (djrlx90@optonline.net)
ETX-90 and LX90 owner here.
I have a few LXD55 questions for you.

First, what is your honest opinion of this mount for imaging with a DSLR
and a WO ZS66SD APO @ about 300mm fl?

Secondly, I have a chance to pick up a barely used LXD55 with everything
that came with it + 2 extra 10lb weights for $300.00.

Do you think this is a good price?

Do you think this mount will be good for imaging with the above
mentioned equipment?

Thanks for your time,

Mike here: Yes, the mount will work for that. You will just need a way to mount the OTA. Could be a good price DEPENDING on the condition on the mount.


Thanks for the reply on a Sunday.  Normally I wouldn't ask, but I need
to make the decision soon.

The mounting I can deal with at the machine shop at the office. The
seller it is barely used and had been in the box for the last 1.5 years.
It did have a DEC motor failure, but Meade replaced it


Subject:	The new LXD75
Sent:	Saturday, March 24, 2007 17:58:39
From:	Steve (bullfox@comcast.net)
I don't know if it makes a difference or not, but I purchased the mount
with out an OTA, because I wanted to upgrade from the LXD55..  I
discovered that the worm and gears were completely un-lubricated.  I
took the motors and worms off and applied lithium grease.  No more funny
noises on slewing, just I nice smooth little hum at all but the highest
speed where it does get a little noisy.  No audible noise at all on
tracking.  This is intended as a word of caution for any who might be
considering upgrading.  Everything else is fine.

Subject:	LXD75 Tripod
Sent:	Saturday, March 24, 2007 11:05:34
From:	Thomas Allen (ThomasGLAllen@comcast.net)
I don't know if you remember me or not.  I was the one you helped with
the defected ETX125.  You were very helpful in calling Meade and talking
to some higher ups involved, and eventually I got a brand new one.  The
ETX works fine.  No problem.  But just about three days ago, I ordered
an LXD75 from OptCorp (from Chris Hendren).  When I first got it, I
noticed that the batteries for the illuminated reticle were dead, and no
plastic was between the batteries, as it stated in the manual.  First
thing that came to my head was "has this been used before, and hopefully
it's not a lemon".  When I first turned it on after puting it together,
the R.A. drive sometimes responded to the handheld box (left and right
arrows) and sometimes it doesn't, it's intermittend, and it's not the
backlash.  When I tried to use the up and down arrows, the declination
drive did not respond at all to the handbox.  I heard the bottom motor
running, but do not hear to top motor running.   I called Chris Hendren
who I bought it from, and he suggested to try my ETX handbox (already
though of it) to see if it's the handbox.  I tried my ETX handbox, and I
noticed the left-right arrows responded better (this one had the newest
update), but the up and down arrows still did not move the top of the
mount, so there is definitely something wrong with this mount, and
possible the handbox as well.  This seems hard for me to believe that if
this is a brand new mount, it's defective.  In some sense, it's not fair
to buy a new mount that is defective, and to return it to Meade to be
repaired.  I can understand having it for a few years and then sending
it in for repairs, but not three days.  Anyway I think (and hopefully)
OptCorp has much better service I would imagine than the last group I
dealt with (telescopes.com), so I plan for now to work with them to get
it replaced with a new one.  But I wanted to look at it one last time
and ask you if you had any ideas that might be wrong, whether you've
seen this before, and if I'm missing a setup step somewhere that's
causing the tripod to not function correctly before I send it back.  I'm
not looking forward to going through this again.  It looks like desavue
over again.  Can't believe this.  Anyway, thanks for any insight or help
you can give.
Tom Allen
Albuquerque, NM
P. S. : Also, I cheerish your ETX book.  It's been immensely helpful,
and when I have time, I'll send you some pictures and research items
I've conducted with the ETX - your book gavie me a lot of good ideas. 
Also, I'm putting together an article on De-rotators for the LX200 Meade
that I got working real well that you might be interested in (plan to
get it published in Sky and Telescopes later this year).  It appears to
work just as good, if not better, than a wedge.  We need one for the
ETX.  Thanks again.
Mike here: Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTORS and TRAIN DRIVES? You need to do that the first time and if you swap out the AutoStar.


I tried the calibrate motors and train drives.  For calibrate motors,
the only thing that turns is the RA axis, not the DEC.  When I tried
using the train drives, the RA axis continues to move without stopping
(with both handboxes), but the DEC does not respond or move during the
training session.  I'm a little lost.  I think it can only be a
defective mount.  I also suspect that there is no quality control on
these types of mounts (they must ship directly from China or Japan) as
opposed to their ETX and LX line which are essentially made here.  Any
other thoughts?
Mike here: Hum. Could be a defective DEC cable or connector. Look at the pins in the connector and jack; they should not be too depressed otherwise they won't make good contact. But could be lots of other culprits too. If the connector/jack seem fine probably best to work through OPT. The LXD75 mount I got from them last May has been fine.


Thanks Mike.  I'll look at the cable.  Chris Hendren did mention that,
unfortunately the other side of the cable attached to the motor is
probably soldered in, so I can't test it with another cable.  Anyway,
I'll work with OPT and mention you ordered one without any problems from
them.  Thanks for your help.


Subject:	NEW LXD75
Sent:	Thursday, March 22, 2007 19:12:36
From:	Steve (bullfox@comcast.net)
Well Mike I am sorry to have to say that I gave up on the LXD55 and
bought a LXD75, and while this might be like going from the fire into
the frying pan, I have to say that I am somewhat impressed with the
improvements.  The 55 sounded like a ticking time bomb when it was
tracking.  The 75, while still amusingly noisy when slewing, emits a
nice pleasant little hum when tracking.  The 55 would never coast when
trying to balance it.  The 75 counter weight actually swings back and
forth when I put it to the end of the counter weight shaft.  The Chinese
must make some pretty darn good ball bearings!   Anyway, Saturday night,
I am going to take it out to our local darker sky site,  stick in the
6mm eyepiece, and see how much it dances around.

P. S.  The site we go to is Del Valle park.  You can find it in clear
sky clocks.
Mike here: Yep, the LXD75 is a better mount than the LXD55 was.
Subject:	Slight problem with lxd75
Sent:	Tuesday, March 20, 2007 11:39:48
From:	Stephen Olson (stephen99@comcast.net)
Sorry to bother you again with a problem, but you seem to be the GURU of
the LXD world. I dont knwo if this is a problem or not. I took a look at
the gears for the right and left movement. There is a "bit" of metal
shavings. I tried to readjust the gears a few minutes ago. Everything
seems ok, but when I move the scope with the left button the gears move
back about 5-8 positions on the gear. It does not move when I do it to
the right or up and down. I am not too sure if this really is a problem
and needs attention or just leave it alone. The teeth are pretty close
together. I can get a pic if you need it.

thanks again,

Mike here: It sounds like the gear might be slipping on the shaft. Check out the article "Fixing a Slipped RA Gear" in the LXD55 / LXD75 Information section on my LXD Site.
Subject:	lxd motor failure
Sent:	Tuesday, March 13, 2007 16:12:37
From:	skyho (skyho@free.fr)
hi, i from france, i email you for ask to help me , i have an lxd75
mount, when i start autostar, i have message " motor failure", i dont'
can move the motor, do you know what this the problem? have you a
solution, thank you for you help
Mike here: Lots of possibilities but lets start with the simple ones first. Have you done a CALIBRATE MOTOR? Could you be overtightening the axis locks? Have you checked the cable connections (AutoStar and DEC drive)? Which axis doesn't slew when you power on?


thank you for your response, the cable conections is find, when i want
done calibrate motor, i have message true "motor failure", when i power
on, let's 2 axis not work, i have just led power, i can entry to
autostar menu but imposible to move the motors
Mike here: Has the mount ever worked? Have you tried inserting fresh batteries (don't forget to CALIBRATE MOTOR when swapping batteries or changing the power source)? As to checking the cables, be certain to check the conditions of the pins on the connectors and inside the jacks; they should be clean and not overly depressed (so that they don't make contact).
Subject:	lxd75 weight limit?
Sent:	Wednesday, March 7, 2007 11:30:55
From:	Stephen Olson (stephen99@comcast.net)
I was interested in buying the Astro tech 80AT. Before I order it will I
have any weight issues with this scope? I am using the LXD75 sn8. DO you
knoe what the limits are? I took off the finderscope for the telrad.
Other than that I have nothing else on it. BTW. I got the balance set up
very well. Thanks for your help as always.

Mike here: Glad you got the balance working. As to a weight limit, I don't recall seeing any published figures. I have piggybacked an ETX-90 OTA on my LXD75-8"SC with a Nikon D70 DSLR attached at prime focus and haven't experience any problems.

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Copyright © 2007 Michael L. Weasner / mweasner@optcorp.com
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