Last updated: 30 April 2003

LXD55 8sc logo

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:	Power to the scope...
Sent:	Wednesday, April 30, 2003 09:12:56
From:	Joe reed (jreed@esc18.net)
I've recently purchased an 8" LX200GPS from OPT. Though I haven't
received it yet (still in PAT), I went to WalMart here in Midland, Texas
and purchased the EverStart Maxx Jump Starter with rechargeable DC power
supply -12 volt battery. It is considered heavy duty for trucks, vans
suvs and cars and has 500 amp starting power.

It would seem to work for my scope. It hast two cigarette lighter
sockets, a way to recharge it using AC, and battery cables. All wrapped
up in a sealed yellow easy-to-carry set up. I purchased it for 69.00.
They had a 300 amp for 39.00.


1)	Will either of these (500 or 300) work with my system? Sounds like
it would.

2)	Which is better? I though that since I might be adding extra
stuff, the second socket might come in handy.

I look forward to your reply.

Great info, great site.


Mike here: You are likely to need upwards of 1500mA, if not higher. I'm basing that on my ETX-125EC and LXD55-8"SC.


How does 1500mA compare to 500Amps?
Mike here: Oh, it was 500 AMPERES not 500 MilliAmperes. My mistake. (are you sure it is 500 amps?)


Yep, on the box it says up to 500 Amps starting power.

Mike here: Not being an electrical engineer I can't say for certain but I would say that is WAY more than enough; assuming you don't fry the telescope.


That sounds ominous...what battery do you suggest?
Mike here: I'm not saying it could happen but that sounds like a lot of amperage. Anyway, check the Helpful Information --> Power Supplies page on the LXD55 Site for some comments.
Subject:	Mount Problems
Sent:	Wednesday, April 30, 2003 08:10:22
From:	StarManGMH@aol.com
I've posted a couple of questions on the LXD55.Com site and the Yahoo
site but am still a bit in the dark.  My problem seems to be in the DEC
drive.  RA slewing is smooth but when slewing in DEC instead of a smooth
slew it slews in small increments like the second hand on some clocks. 
It doesn't seem to matter what speed except at faster speeds it's not so
noticeable.  Also, if I slew to center an object in the ep, after I'm
finished slewing and take my finger off of the arrow button on the hand
control the motor keeps running and the object goes back out of the
field of view in the direction I just came from.  If I overcompensate
and take it past the field of view it will come back into view.  Is this
backlash?  This is my first GEM so I apologize if this is a dumb
question.  If this is backlash, would it cause the DEC to slew in the
small increments as I described?  Is there info somewhere on how to
adjust or fix this problem?  I have downloaded the latest firmware from
Meade and reset the HBX but it didn't fix it.  I have been taking
piggyback 35 mm shots with this and it doesn't seem to affect my pics
and I have been doing some 15-20 min. shots and still get good clean
stars.  I have an illuminated reticle and want to do some longer guided
shots but find it hard to guide with it acting like this.  I would
appreciate any guidance or direction towards info on fixing this you can
give me.

Gary Hatfield
Thaxton, VA
Mike here: The re-slewing problem you describe sounds a lot like what we call "rubberbanding". The cure is to TRAIN DRIVES. This is required the first time an Autostar is used with a telescope (or when changed to a different telescope) AND when updating to a newer ROM version. But I would also suggest doing a CALIBRATE and then a TRAIN DRIVES. The calibrate may fix the DEC drive problem. Let me know.


Thanks Mike...I'll try it and let you know what happens.  What is
backlash anyway?

Mike here: Backlash is the delay you experience when changing directions or when starting a slew. It is adjustable via the Autostar.

And more:

After going back over everything and still having the same problem with
the DEC I took the Dec motor cover off and discovered the encoder wheel
was bent.  That is the thin little wheel on the opposite side of the
gears isn't it?  I took the motor, circuit board, and encoder off and
tried to bend it back straight as best I could.  It's still not right
but it is a little better than it was.  Do I have to get one from Meade
or is there somewhere else I might get one in a reasonable amount of
time?  I know from what I've read this is not good.  Any suggestions?

Mike here: Contact Meade. They will likely send a replacement.

And an update:

Well, I called Meade today and ordered a new one.  They say 2-4 wks. and
$75.00.  Sounds like an awful lot for that little part but I ordered it
anyway.  Thank you again for all of your help!!

Mike here: Was the telescope out of warranty? Or did they decide you had damaged it somehow?


I bought it used on Astromart.  I have no idea when it was purchased. 
Does $75.00 seem high to you for this little part?  I know it's
important but it seems kind of high to me.  I had called them last week
to see about sending it to them to be fixed without even knowing what
the problem was and they said it would be $75.00 for the repair.  I
don't understand how they can quote a price to fix something without
even knowing what's wrong and then charge the same price for a small
part.  What do you think?
Mike here: Meade typically charges a flat fee of $75. But they would/could fix many problems for that price. Let me know what actually comes.
Subject:	other sites
Sent:	Wednesday, April 30, 2003 05:06:16
From:	"Jim Redmer" (redmer@wideopenwest.com)
Are you already aware of lxd55.com? He calls it the lxd55 "portal".
Pretty informative site. There seems to be some tiff between him and the
Yahoo group. Not quite sure what it's about.

Thanks for the new section on the RA set screw. I haven't received my
scope yet, but am wondering if you think I should

make the modifications right out of the box? Same with changing the
grease. I'm in Michigan, and I'm hearing of lots of folks changing out
the grease.

Last question, I swear! I'm reading that I should download the manual
for the scope (LXD55-SC8), but can't find it anywhere. Can you help?

Awesome site!! It's already been a great help to me. Thanks!

Jim Redmer
MIke here: I never recommend making ANY mods or adjustments until you KNOW, ABSOLUTELY KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT that the mods or adjustments are needed. Many times they are not and you run the risk of making something worse than you initially thought it was. Yep, the LXD55.com portal is listed on my LXD55 Site Home Page under the "LXD55 Information" section. I don't think the manual is available online. What can be useful is the LX90 manual; lots of good Autostar info. It is available at: http://www.astronomics.com.


Good to know. Thanks for responding, Michael!

Subject:	LX90 vs. LXD55 SC-8
Sent:	Monday, April 28, 2003 13:43:13
From:	"Michael" (michael@bigtopmusicinc.com)
I am an ETX-70 AT owner, a frequent reader (and occasional submitter) of
your ETX site, and am now reading of your exploits on your LXD55 site. 
I have read some questions from others hinting towards the issue of the
LXD55 vs. the LX90, but have read nothing concrete on the differences
(other than price).  I plan to purchase a new 8" SC, hopefully in June
(before the extended eyepiece deal runs out, and before the close visit
from Mars in August), and since I live in Orange County, will probably
drive down to OPT to get it. 

Can you tell me why you chose the LXD55 over the LX90?  Was it simply
price, or the GEM over the Alt-Az fork mount, or some other factor? 
From everything I can find, the OTA is the essentially same, with
identical optics, and the included accessories are the same, so the only
physical difference is the mount.

I have personnally used LX200s in some college astronomy courses I took
a couple of years ago, and like the sturdiness of a fork mount.  I have
no immediate plans to do long-exposure AP, so an EQ wedge can come
later, and the cost difference btwn the LX90 and LXD55 is negligible to
me (though, probably not to my wife!).  So it comes down to accuracy,
both in tracking and GOTO, of the mount, and ease of setup.

Do you have any information you could share on this subject?  Meade
states that the LX90 will slew to an object with an accuracy within 5
arc-minutes, as opposed to 2 arc-minutes with the LX200.  How accurate
have you found the LXD55's GEM?  I know you've had some problems with
it, but sounds like it was fairly easy to fix. 

So, I'm leaning toward the LX90 w/UHTC, but would like to hear your
thoughts, or any of your readers who may be able to comment, before
making my final decision.

Thanks for all the help your site has been in the past, and I know it
will continue to be in the future.
Michael Harman
Mike here: For your purposes and since cost is not too much a consideration, it sounds like the LX90 would be best for you. Just like the ETX line, both the LX90 and LXD55 use the Autostar #497. The price difference between the LX90 and LXD55 is really in the mount and the electronics. The LX90 is higher end than the LXD55 but obviously not quite as high-end as the LX200 series. For ease of setup and use, the LX90 is nicer than the LXD55 since it can be used in Alt/Az mode. But if you want polar mounting, the GEM is more suited to that, although a wedge can work OK at some latitudes (shouldn't be a problem for you since you are near OPT).
Subject:	Problem with Autostar
Sent:	Monday, April 28, 2003 00:55:10
From:	Dimitris Rakopoulos (liquid@mediaone.gr)
After a long time of now seeing anything with my LXD-55 6"AR I had a
little trip to check it out.

I updated my Autostar to the latest version (26Ed) and uploaded some new
data for commets, astroroids, etc.

So, I went out in the field. I setup the telescope I power it up and ...
the telescope goes crazy! It starts moving randomly in every direction.
I switch it off, back on, the same thing. Then I skip entering dates,
times, daylight saving and go right away to the setup menu to see what
is going on. For some weird reason my targets are terestrial. The moment
i switch back to astronomical the scope goes nuts again.

I reset and switch back on. Same thing! I reset and do a calibarate
motors and everything works fine after that!

I tried a combination of things several times to get it right. A
combination of resets, calibration of motors, removing all cables.

Any idea why this happens? Something to do with the latest autostar
software? Should I try another version? Where can I get one?

Still I managed to enjoy a great Jupiter, Saturn. I even saw M51 for the
first time but the whole experience was frustrating enough to discourage
me to search even more.
Best regards,
Dimitris Rakopoulos
Athens, Greece
Mike here: Whenever you do an upgrade of the Autostar you need to reTRAIN the drives. You mentioned you did a RESET and CALIBRATE. But don't forget to reTRAIN. As to older versions, I archive them on the Autostar Information page.


Ok, thanx Mike. I'll try that and let you know.

I see the new LXD site is getting bigger.

Best regards,

Subject:	reality
Sent:	Sunday, April 27, 2003 22:12:01
From:	"janejohn" <(anejohn@attbi.com)
Mike, thanks for the great sites. There is alot of bashing of the lxd
mount on your page and the yahoo group. Why did sky and telescope give
the mount such rave reviews if it obviously stinks and has to be
modified? I was going to get the sc-8 but now I' am not sure. Is the
mount that bad? or are people over reacting? The optics have to be good.
Is the LX-90 a better buy. I hold you to know opinion, it is my decision
to purchase- why did you buy the Lxd55-sc8?

thanks again for providing a great service.

John Harris
Portland, OR
Mike here: Yes, there is a lot of bashing about the mount but then the world also does a lot of bashing about Microsoft Windows yet it sells. Most people will likely not need to make any mods. You may have seen discussions about grease; my mount doesn't seem to have this problem. Yes, a gear slipped but that could be due to many reasons even though it should not have slipped. But the fix was easy as I've noted on the LXD55 Site. But you do get what you pay for; if you want a better mount with the 8"SC, go for the LX90 or the LX200 GPS.
Subject:	LXD55-Mounting other scopes
Sent:	Saturday, April 26, 2003 07:52:28
From:	jhenry (jhenry@silcom.com)
Due to other expenses and with the eyepiece deal running out, I found a
good buy on an unused lxd55 mount and tripod. Judging by astromart ads,
people seem to be buying this set up just for the mount and selling the
ota. I want to mount a celestron C-102hd refractor on it for now and
upgrade to an AR6 later.Will I need another mounting plate, or do you
know what people are using to mount other than meade ota's to this
mount? I am asking in advance, expect the mount next week. (Meade
extended their offer til June 30th) a date I could have gone with for
buying a complete outfit. C'est la vie. P.S. Enjoyed your site for the
info on the etx90ec over the years.
Mike here: I have not been tracking the adapter plates for other telescopes but I suspect you would need to make or procure a plate that would match the mount to the telescope.
Subject:	ETX125 or LXD55 or.......something else?
Sent:	Saturday, April 26, 2003 00:45:35
From:	"Colin Scrivener" (col@12kc.freeserve.co.uk)
Your site is really useful thanks, but I have a bit of a dilemma.

I am into astronomy, but I am not into all the technical jargon on here
very much.  I'd like to upgrade from my ETX90 and go for something more
powerful. What I would really like to see is details on the planets (and
more moons if poss) and get some really nice clear views of some of the
easy nebulae/clusters to start with.....i.e. M42 M13 M31 etc.

The LXD55 10" and the ETX125 are about as high as I can go price wise,
so I was wondering if you had any recommendations. Or maybe another
scope of some kind? Space and portability may be an issue, but I'm not
quite sure how big or how heavy the LXD55 really is, and whether it is
easy to set up.

It seems the LXDs are not very portable, but I have read that you do get
much better images and gather more light. Can you clarify this?

What I really want to see for my money is a BIG difference in viewing
from my ETX90, which will be nice to keep for taking on holiday as it is
so portable. Also why is the focal length so short on the LXD55? Does
this mean all the eyepieces are not as strong?

If you buy the 6.4 plossl you will only get about X158 magnification is
that right?

So how do you go up to a magnification of say X300-400........is the
Barlow the only option, which means you start losing light and clarity?

I do hope you can help me Mike.
Thanks alot.

Regards Colin Scrivener, Herne Bay, England
Mike here: Be certain to check out my ETX Site. You do have a decision to make. Yes, the LXD55 scopes are less portable than the ETX-90, or even the ETX-125. They weigh more and are physically larger. BUT they do have large apertures. The Schmidt-Newtonian models do have shorter focal lengths; that is one of the reasons I decided for the 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain model. For your purposes, the LXD55-8"SC or the LX90 8"SC (which costs more) might be what you want. You are correct that the telescope focal length determines the magnification of a specific focal length eyepiece (mag=telescopeFL/eyepieceFL). And as you approach the theoretical maximum magnification (twice the aperture in millimeters; 400X for the 8"SC), the image does get fainter and fuzzier.
Subject:	Autostar keyboard lights failure
Sent:	Wednesday, April 23, 2003 12:26:59
From:	"De Daele Peter" (fa032679@skynet.be)
First of all, thanks for your great website.

On april 17 2003 i bought a LXD55 8" Schmidt-Newtonian and yesterday 22
april it received first light. The seeing was not that good but i got
some nice views of Jupiter and Saturn. Since it was the first time that
the Autostar was used in the dark, I noticed a problem with the
backlighting of the keyboard. The keys 8,9 and both scroll keys were not
lit. Did someone encountered this problem. Is it something i can solve
myself or should i return the Autostar unit.


Peter De Daele
Ghent,  Belgium
Lat 51°06N Lon 3°43E
Mike here: There is no adjustment on the keypad lighting. It sounds like some connection to those keys may be busted. I recommend contacting your dealer for an exchange.
Subject:	thanks for your great LXD55 site
Sent:	Thursday, April 17, 2003 04:08:40
From:	"John K. Goodman" (jgoodman@cwnet.com)
Just wanted to drop a note and say how much i appreciate your LXD55
site. Im finally moving up from an ETX 90 (five years old now) to my
first 8" SC. Ive been researching heavily over the last few weeks and
have been teetering around between a plain C8, a C8 w/ advanced
astromaster (like an old, unfriendly version of Goto), and an LX200 (non

However, after researching the LXD 558SC, I think im sold. And after
discovering your site a few days ago, it figured heavily in that
research. I found a great amount of info there unavailable anywhere
else. So, big thanks for that. In fact Im probably going down to OPT to
get mine as well, unless I can make a better deal at Woodland Hills C+T.

One question for you, have you heard if its possible to put the LXD
mount on a sturdier tripod? Or do you have to use the tripod from meade
that comes with the mount? Im planning on beginning some
astrophotography attempts, and thats the only thing that seems like it
might be a problem. (although Ive certainly been impressed with your AP
results using the default tripod.)

Well thanks again, and keep up the good work!

John K. Goodman - Character Animator/TD
Rhythm & Hues Studios - Los Angeles, CA

*** Do geese see God? ***
Mike here: The standard LXD55 is OK with the 8"SC. Yes, you could use a sturdier tripod or even a pier but I would suggest trying it before deciding you need to replace it. If you don't extend the tripod legs the tripod doesn't seem to have vibration problems; I have extended mine about halfway and don't have any problems. If you do decide to swap out the tripod you would likely have to make an adapter plate but that shouldn't be difficult.
Subject:	LXD55 & Autoguiding
Sent:	Wednesday, April 16, 2003 22:00:05
From:	Douglas Penner (Douglasp@krproducts.com)
Purchased an LXD55 solely for the purpose of obtaining mount.  Wish to
use 208XT autoguider in conjunction with it.  Picked up extra #497
Autostar Hand Controller strictly for purpose of R&D experimentation. 
Contact with mfg yielded nothing.  Know of anyone who has successfully
integrated/patched-in an autoguider with this mount?  Any thoughts
(including discouraging) would be helpful.  Thanks.
douglas r. penner
associate director
eustel astronomical observatory
Mike here: I don't recall any successful reports. Only negative ones, including with Meade's autoguiding model for the LX90). If you get it working, a full report would be wonderful! Good luck!
Subject:	HELLLLP!!!
Sent:	Tuesday, April 15, 2003 20:02:41
From:	Joe Lippencott (lippen@rci.rutgers.edu)
Mike here: I haven't interfaced my Palm with the Autostar but I know it is possible. Check out the item "Planetarium (Palm OS)" on the Accessory Reviews - Software page on my ETX Site.
As to the Yahoo Groups problem, you have to sign up on Yahoo to be able to post to their Groups. Have you done that?
Subject:	re:  My first scope
Sent:	Saturday, April 12, 2003 20:04:41
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
To:	ericstinson@sbcglobal.net
If you monitor www.astromart.com
and www.ebay.com

LX90's frequently appear in the $1000 to $1200 price range.

That's not -too- much more than the LXD55.

This does miss the $99 eyepiece offer, however.

good luck

Subject:	My first scope
Sent:	Wednesday, April 9, 2003 13:19:59
From:	"Stinson, Eric HS" (eric.stinson@hs.utc.com)
I am brand new to astronomy and considering the following scopes: 

	1) New LXD55 SC-8
	2) Used 10"  LX 50 w/ Magellan II
	3) LX10 W/Magellan II

I'd greatly appreciate if you could answer the following questions:

a) Is a German Equitorial Mount REALLY that tough for a newcomer to
astronomy? I've read your Weasner's LXD55 8"SC Observations and it
appears that it was 	challenging for you....this is the only drawback
I see with this telescope.

b)  I like the Altazimuth mount on the LX90, but it's out of my budget. 
But I've seen good deals for used LX-50s with the Magellan II...however,
the Magellan II is not in the latest Meade catalogue...is it no longer
supported? Is the Autostar easier to operate?

c) Meade does Advertise the LX10 with the Magellan I...is this "Go to"
system worth the money?

d) Another reason for my buying the LXD SC-8 (at least this month) is
the eyepiece deal for the 8 Super Plossl eyepieces...is that deal worth
my buying the new 	scope? Or will I have a bunch of eyepieces that I
probably won't use?

My home email is ericstinson@sbcglobal.net...if possible, please reply
to that address as well as this original one (eric.stinson@hs.utc.com).

Your ETX and SC-8 websites are excellent and a great help.  Thanks.

Eric Stinson
Engineering Manager
Engine Systems
Industrial & Marine
Hamilton - Sundstrand
WIndsor Locks, CT 06096
Mike here: Older scopes are still supported by Meade, to some degree. Don't expect to see much in the way of software for an older GOTO system. The Autostar is the way they are currently going. No, the GEM is not difficult to learn, it is just different. And yep, the eyepiece deal is an excellent incentive for buying a new telescope model. If the LX90 8"SC is beyond the budget, the LXD55 8"SC is a good alternative.
Subject:	autostar problem
Sent:	Tuesday, April 8, 2003 14:27:55
From:	"lonestargazer2001" (pballou@mesquiteisd.org)
I just recieved my new LXD55 10" SN and am having the same problems that
you described. I'm new to this group and wondered how you solved your
Mike here: I updated to the current version 2.6Ed and then did a RESET, CALIBRATE, and TRAIN DRIVES. In my limited tests since then I've had good results.
Subject:	Recieved new mount
Sent:	Saturday, April 5, 2003 22:05:39
From:	"Joe Hopper" (joe.hopper@xrxgsn.com)
Received my replacement mount a couple days ago. Got it all set up and
realighed, it's a little stiff as I'am sure all of these lxd mounts must
be, but it works very well. The LED in the polar very weak as compared
to my other one, new batteries didn't help much, but it's acceptable.
Now that the weather is finally warming up some, hope to get in some
sights. Great site here Mike  wonderful to have people out there like
you and others willing to spend time helping others with similar
interest and problems. Thanks again

Subject:	Poloar Alignment with LXD55
Sent:	Saturday, April 5, 2003 03:24:42
From:	"JOHN  KALANTZIS" (acent1@otenet.gr)
I am an expert amateur astronomer from Greece.

After one month with my new LXD 55 SC8" I have see Jupiter, Saturn, M45,
M44 and many others. Iam satisfied with my telescope generally. But I
still have questions about Polar Alignment with scope's Polar Alignment
Viewfinder, because  I can't see the four - sided figure of stars in the
close vicinity of Polaris. Can you  name me these four stars ? I have a
detailed Sky map and I think this will help me very much.
               JOHN  KALANTZIS
               VOLOS - GREECE
Mike here: What the manual doesn't make clear is that those four stars are for use in the Southern Hemisphere. Ignore them in the Northern Hemisphere.
Subject:	Thanks for you advice
Sent:	Monday, March 31, 2003 13:14:31
From:	"Phil Wallace" (philjanwallace@ntlworld.com)
Firstly, many thanks for the excellent advice in the past few days. I
have now resolved the problems with my LXD-55 by use of a simple device
- exchanged it!

I'm now on my 2nd mount, my 4th Autostar and my 2nd Autostar cord. I'm
hoping the problems are now over, but if anybody from Meade reads this
site, please note the following catalogue of faults (shame on your QC
department, if you've got one):

Purchased LXD-55 on 21 March; got it home, Autostar completely failed to
function. Went back to dealer following day and discovered that both the
Autostar AND it's cord were faulty. Changed both. Discovered whilst at
shop that the exchange Autostar didn't work either - changed that too!

Got home. Autostar powers up fine! Goodeee!!!!! Problem is that now I
can't Easy Align the scope, RA speed doesn't function properly and the
whole thing jerks like a, like a......very jerky thing on a severely
jerky day...on slew. Why should this be? I note that, with the locks
off, the whole thing seems very stiff in both directions. I also note
that, just below the dovetail where the housing swivels, a mixture of
design and manufacturing fault results in metal grinding against metal.
Clearly the source(s) of my problem. So I do a complete stripdown,
change the grease and adjust both the worms and spurs (which were loose
and about to drop off, just like 1/2 a dozen other hexbolts in the
mount), put it back together and...still bucking like an extremely
pissed off buckaroo and still going round in circles on easy align - I'm
beginning, sadly, to understand Meades philosophy: never mind the
quality, feel the width. On close examination with somebody with a
little more expertise than me, I discover that I still had the following
list of gripes:

1/ The jerking turns out to be down to yet anouther faulty Autostar

2/ Failure to Align is down to faulty RA drive/control box.

3/ Failure to select correct RA slew speed is also down to RA
drive/control box.

4/ Both ends of Dec axis casing are making contact and grinding - why is
it designed with such close tolerance when it's going to be chucked
together in a Chinese sweatshop? (this turns out to be due to a spare
blob of metal inside the casing which causes it to fail to seat

5/ The latitude pivot is so stiff it'll only move after getting to know
a little WD-40.

6/ The tripod steady appears to have been damaged and repaired (glued)
prior to shipment.

7/ Two of the tripod wingnuts are incredibly stiff.

8/ The Dec to Controlbox cord is not properly connected to the plug at
one end so that the outer cable isn't gripped.

The only positive side to this whole sorry story is that the store,
South West Optics of TRURO, Cornwall bend over backwards to resolve
matters and, on going through the above list with me today, replaced the
whole kit and boodle. It is fortunate for Meade that they have suppliers
like this who are prepared to sort out their crap for them, and I can
offer nothing but praise for South West Optics.

Meanwhile, it's beginning to get dark, so I've got the new LXD/OMC
combination chilling out in the backyard and may even get to see some
sky tonight!


Phil Wallace
Cornwall UK

Subject:	SN10 problems....
Sent:	Monday, March 31, 2003 07:14:46
From:	"Jean Dorais" (Jean.Dorais@pwgsc.gc.ca)
Just responding to the gentleman who wants a bigger OTA for his LXD55

I own an SN10 LXD55 scope, and couldn't be happier with it now.( see
previous posts for the woes and tribulations I had...)

The SN10 is at the upper limit of what the GEM can handle, but it can
and does handle it quite well.  You actually have to take the time and
balance the scope properly, and the use of rubber 'anti-vibration' pads
makes a HUGE difference.  The other little tip I have is to go out and
buy a small bubble 'level', and make sure the entire mount is level,
before mounting the OTA.  Following these simple steps makes the scope
go from ' OK' to 'GREAT!' .  It also helps if you keep the tripod legs
at their lowest ( and sturdiest) height, use the little plastic tray
between the legs ( I mount my battery pack here, as it does two things:
1- gets the battery out of the way and 2- puts weight directly over the
centre of gravity , helping to stabilize the entire mount), and make
sure all your nuts and bolts are tight!

We recently did a sidewalk session, and following all of the above tips,
my GOTO's were dead on, the tracking was superb ( even running at over
500X mag- the skies were PERFECT!) and the fun factor was off the scale.

Anyway just my .02$ worth,

Jean Dorais

Subject:	mount return to Meade
Sent:	Wednesday, March 26, 2003 10:56:18
From:	"Joe Hopper" (joe.hopper@xrxgsn.com)
Hi, Joe Hopper here,   Thought I'd update my mount return to Meade here.
First, let me inform you that if you return anything to Meade you'll get
a return number. That number is ONLY good for that part. My dec. motor
went bad, my dealer called and got a return number for that. I on the
other hand decided to send my entire mount, (warranty scare) with that
return number. Guess what? I called Meade for an update on my mount and
they said that's it's on it's way UPS. After getting the tracking number
I noticed it was for 1.3 lbs. Well I knew my mount weighed more than
that. Called Meade, they said that the return number was for only the
DEC motor only and that was all they were sending back to me. After
explaining that I send the entire mount they said that I'd have to have
a different return number. Now I'am in trouble, where's my  mount?

Called back next day, talked to Willam in customer service, a very
polite and informative person. He gave me a new number and told me that
I should receive my new mount in 3 or 4 days and that they were going to
replace the whole thing. Also, said that when the DEC motor showed up
ups just to refuse delivery and they'd ship it back.

Might have had problems with my mount, but my hats off to meade for
fixing this mess in very timely and professional way. The entire ordeal
from start (about 2 weeks not bad)! Morrow of story  ONLY send back what
your return number is for.   Thanks
Mike here: Excellent tip! Applies to all returns, not just Meade, I'm sure. Let me know how the new mount works out.
Subject:	LXD55  8" SN sharpness
Sent:	Wednesday, March 26, 2003 04:12:35
From:	WTHOMAS195@aol.com
I have several scopes, LX200 10", C8 SCT, CR-150HD, CR-120 , a 6" and 8"
LXD 55 SN's, and a G8-N . I am no guru but I am no stranger to a
telescope either. My reason for writing you is I can't get this 8" LXD55
sharp enough. I took off the front corrector plate when I received it
two months ago in order to install a base bracket for a right angle
finder scope (in order to put the nuts on the bolts). I am sure I got it
back on in the same basic position, but I noticed that the screw holes
were elongated perpendicular to the optical axis of the tube.Is this to
allow some correction adjustment? I am wondering if I need to try and
rotate the front end cap while on Polaris to see if I can eliminate a
small amount of flare and to see if that will sharpen it up some. My 6"
gives much sharper views. Any other idea about how to collimate this
front corrector plate would help. Also I cannot get the Laser and the
Cheshire to agree. When I center the Laser dot (Orion and EZcollimator)
on the little donut and then use the cheshire to center the primary, it
moves the Laser dot to the outside edge of the donut. How necessary is
it for the Laser dot to be exactly in the center of the donut. I will
appreciate your help. Thanks.
Web Thomas, Dallas
Mike here: I can only give basic guidance as I don't have a SN nor a laser collimator. I do suspect it is out of collimation. There is information in the manual on collimation. Beyond that, be certain the telescope has reached thermal equilibrium. Achieving a good collimation requires a LOT of patience.

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