Last updated: 30 November 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:	Autostar and cold temperatures
Sent:	Thursday, November 27, 2003 17:47:13
From:   scutter@megsinet.net (Dan Braasch)
This being my first winter with an Autostar 497 I am looking to find a
way to keep the Autostar handset's temperature above freezing, as it
becomes nearly unreadable when it gets to around 27 degrees F (I live NW
of Chicago, IL. and this is going to be a problem all winter).

I am looking at different ways to do this, such as using eyepiece
heaters (one newsgroup poster said Kendrick has a hand-controller
warmer), using chemical hand warmers, etc. I figured others must have
solved this issue already, since I have read of many complaints to this
affect. If you (or your readers) have a solution, how have you done it?
How well does it work?

I have searched your wonderful site, but cannot find any posts with neat
solutions for this. It would be interesting to see how others have
handled this.

By the way, I love what you are doing with your site. I have an LXD-55
with an AR-5 refractor. I have learned much here.


Dan Braasch
Mike here: Typically there have been just two ways to keep it warm: place in your pocket when not actually using the handset or attach a "handwarmer" to the back with velcro or rubberbands.
Sent:	Thursday, November 27, 2003 07:09:16
From:	"rogauntt" (rogauntt@comcast.net)
Love your site.

Perhaps you may have knowledge about a question I have relative to
Autostar/LXD-55 systems. I am looking to connect a CCD autoguider to the
LXD-55 mount, and what I have gatheres suggests I need the Meade #909
APM (accessory module). Ifind nothing on Meades site describing the
module, and some bits on your site suggesting it is specific to LX90

Would you know anything about its compatability with LXD-55/Autostar
arrangements ?

Sorry to bother you if you don't know!

best regards
Randy Gauntt
Mike here: Please read the Email Etiquette page (linked from the Site home page); your message was originally deleted UNREAD as SPAM since there was no subject entry.
Yes, the APM appears to be specific to the LX90 model; it should work with the LXD55 but I've not seen any real positive reports. However, the new Meade Autostar Suite and Lunar Planetary Imager does provide autoguiding on ANY Autostar #497 system.
Subject:	What gives ?
Sent:	Wednesday, November 26, 2003 19:58:24
From:	"Keith Kozub" (bunny@milwpc.com)
Do you have any idea what the aux port is for on the front of the mount?
We hook up our GPS to that to get our readings for Auto star .After
Talking to somebody at Meade I was told that if I wanted to run the
electric focuser through Autostar suite I would have to buy a 909 module
and plug that into the aux port . Guess what ? That doesn't work .It's a
JMI 9v focuser.Any Ideas in this matter would help .The way I see it's
in the program or the 909 as the focuser works with it's own
handbox.Meades CS dept just gives me the runaround. Next step is the
engineering dept.
Mike here: I believe the #909 APM only works with Meade's focuser. It only works reliably on the LX90; I've not seen any real positive reports of it on the LXD55 mount.
Subject:	hartmann mask
Sent:	Tuesday, November 25, 2003 13:28:36
From:	"Erik Nehamkin" (nehamkin@adelphia.net)
Is the Hartmann Mask something that can be used with any telescope or
just the SC-8
Mike here: You can use one with just about any telescope. Objects will be dimmer in small aperture telescopes though.
Subject:	Star Diagonal Collimation
Sent:	Monday, November 24, 2003 11:12:07
From:	"John Boufis" (kourasof@hotmail.com)
Should I collimate the supplied star diagonal of the SC-8 every now and
then? How can I actually do this? I saw that it has four screws, they
are for this job right? Also is there any way I can clean the mirror
cause I touched it by mistake?


P.S. I found out what was wrong with the motors of my scope (I told you
about 2 weeks ago) the cirquit of the R.A. motor was broken so I will
send it to Meade for repair.
Mike here: Diagonals normally don't need collimation and it would be difficult to do anyway without proper optical equipment. The screws I think you are referring to are just for a cover plate. As to cleaning, see the "Cleaning Optics" on the Buyer/New User Tips page on my ETX Site.


I just saw your link and it is very helpful! Thanks for all your
precious help!

Subject:	Slipped RA gear
Sent:	Sunday, November 23, 2003 15:42:15
From:	Jim Cadien (jcadien1@cox.net)
I have been having some tracking problems with my LXD55 mount, which I
bought used a few months ago.  Having seem your tip, I opened up the RA
drive.  I have nearly the same problems, except that both gears were
loose on their shafts, but had not yet completely become unmeshed. 
Also, the silver gear teeth show wear, with small chips of metal between
the teeth.  Haven't repaired it yet, but am going to clean them,
re-grease and install.  Hope it cures most of the problems.  Thanks for
your tip section.

Jim Cadien

Subject:	Possible trouble
Sent:	Sunday, November 23, 2003 13:32:00
From:	"EILEEN SMAR" (res18va8@verizon.net)
I recently (8/03) purchased a 6" LXD 55 SN GOTO UHTC - this is my first
"real" scope (I had one of those 'department store' scopes before) and I
need your advice.  I chose this scope because after many weeks of
research, I felt it was the best aperture-for-$ scope for me and my
family.  I love all of the features and appreciate the feedback, hints,
and tips on yours and OPT's site.  I have done more research and reading
about this series and amateur astronomy in general than actually viewing
so far.  However; I think there might be a problem, and being an
amateur, I need help. 

1.)  I disregarded the stock arrows on the GEM mount and made my own.  I
followed your instructions for aligning the mount and did this with no
problem.  I took the mount outside to align the polar scope with the
mount.  When I took off the cover, I noticed the black tape that was
mentioned in the 'tips' section, all balled up inside the mount.  After
carefully removing this and making sure the O-ring was properly
positioned after re-installing the polar scope, and replacing those
ridiculously small allen head set screws with larger/longer,  I
proceeded to try to align with the mount, as instructed, on a tower
approx. 1 mile away.  I spent 30 minutes trying to get the crosshairs of
the reticle to stay on.  Could not do it.  A couple of weeks later,
(weather permitting) I tried again, halving the error, and still could
not.  It got a little frustrating and I gave up.  I got close, it is not
"way off" by any means.  Could there be some problem with the mount, the
polar scope,  or the way I re-installed the polar scope, or do I need to
just keep at it?  How critical is it for the crosshairs to stay directly
on the object for accurate GOTO?

2.)  I did not have the funds to spring for the AC adapter or a DC
battery pack, so in the mean time I have to suffer with Energizers
installed in the stock battery pack.  When I am outside, after turning
the power on and entering date and time and try to align, sometimes the
mount will take on a 'mind of it's own', slewing to nothing I have
entered and nothing shows on the display.  Info/actions:
*Autostar version 26E
*I live in Southwest Michigan, on Lake Michigan - usually high
*Temps this time of year during viewing 38-50 F
*I have trained drives/calibrated motors, several times
*Sometimes I get MUF message, sometimes not - nothing binding, battery
level on Energizer D's reads 100% (maybe BS?)
*I keep the handbox warm, as instructed
    A.) Could there be something wrong with my Autostar, or the way
    it communicates with the drives?
    B.) Could this be caused by my 'insufficient' power supply?
Most nights I have been viewing through manual adjustments to the GEM
mount; still, what this scope can achieve is impressive, considering
what I spent.  The OTA is excellent.  No problems there (except for
loose collimation set-screws right out of the box - do they really
collimate these things at the factory?).  I really want to achieve all
this scope and mount has to offer, and I know I haven't even scratched
the surface yet.  In the mean time, due to my location, I will probably
pack it up for the winter - but this is a great time to "work out the
bugs" so we can have full enjoyment come March/April.  Thank you for
your expertise and hard work. 

P.S.  I bought my scope from Anacorte's, and after purchasing a Barlow
and filters from OPT, I realized the expertise and service from OPT is
superior - from now on, this is the place we shop.
Jeffrey Smar
Mike here: I normally let the Autostar do the work instead of me. So I've not even tried to do the axis alignments and my GOTOs are fine. I suspect what you have done is close enough if you plan to use the Autostar. Don't forget to select the telescope model and mounting mode, then CALIBRATE and TRAIN DRIVES. That may get rid of those errors you are experiencing. But yes, low battery power can cause MUFs and random slewing. So can a loose connector, either externally or internally. Obviously check the external ones first. You might also want to consider upgrading to the current Autostar version from Meade's site.
Subject:	tracking ISS using Autostar
Sent:	Sunday, November 23, 2003 08:28:43
From:	"Thomas Fly" (tfly@alumni.caltech.edu)
Somebody passed along your www.weasner.com/etx/autostar/as_iss.html link
in response to a question I posed on SeeSat-L
(www.satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2003/0154.html).  Now that I "know where you
are," I'll peruse your site more fully when I have a bit of time.

You might be interested in my ISS transit prediction email alert
service: iss-transit.sourceforge.net/TransitAlertSignup.html
Tom Fly

Subject:	Coolpix 5000 questions
Sent:	Saturday, November 22, 2003 05:51:55
From:	"Ted or Denise" (tedanddenise@comcast.net)
My name is Ted Lucas, a retired chemistry teacher, looking for info on
using my Nikon Coolpix 5000 for astrophotography.  Would you mind giving
me some advice?
Many Thanks!
Chambersburg PA
Mike here: I have no direct experience with the CP5000 but you can find a lot of information on using digital cameras for astrophotography on the Helpful Information - Astrophotography page, linked from my LXD55 and ETX Site home pages.


Thanks, Mike.  Appreciate the info and I'll be checking out the links

Subject:	LXD55 latitude adjustment handles....
Sent:	Wednesday, November 19, 2003 15:47:12
From:	"robert cosgrove" (allerob@adelphia.net)
have a problem....the south side Latitude Adjustment handle/screw is
stuck. I can't get it to move. It was a tight fit in the first place,
but i was able to move it the other day....any advice on how to loosen
this? I WILL be getting the knobs from Scopestuff that take the place of
these handles...
Mike here: Have you tried heating the mount (not the handle) to expand it OR cooling the handle to contract it? Tapping on it (carefully) might also help.


i managed to turn the screw back in and bring the latitude to 40 degrees
since i couldn't get it to come out below 20 degrees....and it may have
been stripped(only my second time turning it!!)......i ordered the bolts
that Scopestuff sells...hopefully i can get the stock handle out and
replace it with the scopestuff bolt..... It almost seems as if the mount
hole is too tight for the latitude screw to fit?? AArrrgghhh, can't
anything go right with a new purchase????

Thanks for taking the time once again.

Rob C.

Subject:	LXD-55 mount
Sent:	Tuesday, November 11, 2003 05:44:59
From:	Joseph K Comeau (jkcomeau@us.ibm.com)
I have another reported instance of a saddle plate failure. The plate
broke while i I was attaching my 10" LXD-55 to the mount.   A picture is
attached.  I have contacted Meade to see what can be done.

Back of casting cracked during process of attaching telescope dove tail

lxd55 mount
Joseph Comeau
Mike here: Ouch. How old is the mount?


It is almost exactly one year old.  There seems to be a stress point at
the seam of the saddle.  Fortunately, I caught the telescope before it
Mike here: Have you contacted Meade?


I called them yesterday and they said they would try to send a

Subject:	aligning OTA with RA axis on LXD55 SN8
Sent:	Saturday, November 8, 2003 20:04:12
From:	russell.gates@arizonarepublic.com
I purchased my LXD55 SN8 in August from OPT. I have been trying to
understand how to align the OTA with the RA axis. I've read the
directions over and over again. I also have read the tips from the OPT
website. I've tried method #2 several times, but I just can't figure out
how to do it properly. Any suggestions that you have would be greatly

Mike here: First off, do you know that the OTA is NOT aligned with the axis? What have you done? The task is a really a "adjust, test, readjust" sequence that you can go through endlessly.


Thanks for the quick response. I've been trying to do the method #2 as
described in the manual, but I can't seem to get the OTA to move the way
that I need it too. When I loosen the four outer bolts, the OTA sags
down toward the ground. I think I am going to try the method described
in the tips PDF from the OPT website in which after making sure the
polar scope is aligned with the RA axis, one then adjusts the OTA to
point to the same object (a stop sign was used in the example) as the
polar scope. Could you describe the method you use to do the alignment.
Mike here: Actually I haven't had a need to align the OTA to the mount. Seems OK on my LXD55-8"SC.
Subject:	R.A. & Decl. motor power failure
Sent:	Saturday, November 8, 2003 05:53:07
From:	"John Boufis" (kourasof@hotmail.com)
I bought the LXD-55 SC-8 model a couple of months ago from OPT
Corporation. Everything was working fine when I used to power the
telescope from the Meade battery pack. But one day when I realized how
much money I spent on batteries I decided to buy a 12Volt 7.2Ampere Pb
recheargeable battery. When I got it I made a cable to connect it with
the telescope power panel. I made a mistake and confused the poles of
the battery so I connected it the wrong way. That means the negative
pole of the battery was connected with the positive pole of the
telescope e.t.c. When I turned the power on I heard a small "tsit" noise
from the power panel, so I understood my mistake and repositioned the
poles the correct way. Since then whenever I power the scope the
Autostar works fine but when I press the arrows on the Autostar to
activate the motors, they do not respond. Have I burned any curcuits and
if so, how can I have them repaired?

With regards,

John Boufis

P.S: please take into consideration that I live in Greece and it would
be quite difficult for me to send the motor at Meade
Mike here: You say the "Autostar works fine" but you can't slew with the arrow keys. Do you mean that the Autostar will slew to stars for alignment and GOTOs? If so, you have probably only fried the Autostar itself and replacing it would solve the problem.


What I exactly mean is that all the Autostar fuctions work properly but
the motors are "dead" and do not respond to any command. Thank you for
your immediate reply.
Mike here: You could try updating the firmware on the Autostar; perhaps only the code was corrupted. But if the arrow keys don't work I doubt that will help. You might try to find another Autostar locally (or buy a new or used one) and see if it is just the Autostar.
Subject:	Declination Question
Sent:	Wednesday, November 5, 2003 01:34:20
From:	StarManGMH@aol.com
I've continued to have problems with this mount so I decided to take it
apart to see if I can at least regrease it as it turns stiffly,
especially if it's cold.  Only problem is I can't figure out how to get
the Dec. gear and shaft out.  I feel it has to do with the little
grooved ring at the bottom of the housing but am afraid to force it and
break something.  Is there a secret to getting this thing apart?  I
would appreciate any help you can give me on this.  Also, is there a
secret to taking the RA apart?  I haven't gotten to it yet but just in
case there's something weird about it.  Thanks!!!!!

Thaxton, VA
Mike here: I haven't disassembled the DEC housing on my LXD55 but did do the RA housing (see the article "Fixing a Slipped RA Gear" on my LXD55 Site). Also, see the "LXD55 Tips and Tricks" for more info.
Subject:	Re: Updating to 3.0Ee
Sent:	Sunday, November 2, 2003 16:50:50
From:	rseymour@wolfenet.com (Richard Seymour)
Mike wrote:
> Just updated my two Autostar 497s to 3.0Ee.  Seems to indicate no
> retraining is required.  True?

It depends entirely upon 
(a) what you upgraded -from-  [did the variables move?]
(b) if you re-selected your telescope model.

I agree that you probably -don't- need to retrain
(i just checked... you're safe if you were v26 or newer)
(and you're probably safe from older versions than -that-, too,
that's just where that note file stops looking)

have fun
Mike here: (a) 2.6Ec (ETX-125) and 2.6Ed (LXD55) Didn't check the values before or after. (b) Nope, no reselect.


Then you're all set... no retraining needed...

have fun
Mike here: Thanks! Nice to know. (For those who use Macs, I used Virtual PC 6 with a Keyspan USB-serial adapter under Mac OS X 10.2.8.)
Subject:	My Autostar:Telescope model not listed 
Sent:	Thursday, October 30, 2003 19:24:58
From:	allerob@adelphia.net (robert cosgrove)
i just bought the LXD55 AR5".....problem is, the Autostar does not list
LXD55 models....just the ETX and DS Models....what's a guy to do? Will
Meade probably have me mail back the Autostar or will this possibly be
an update issue that I could download?

Any help would be appreciated!
Mike here: Connect the Autostar to the LXD55 and do a RESET. See if the telescope is shown then. If not and the software is older that about a year ago then you'll have to update it with the current version on Meade's site.


Sounds good to me. I though that might be the case. Time to buy the 505
connector cord i'll bet....

Thanks as always-you've answered ETX questions for me
previously.....your book is my ETX bible!
And an update:
The reset just worked. Thanks again!

Subject:	aux  port /lxd55
Sent:	Thursday, October 30, 2003 08:39:38
From:	"Alun Halsey" (ALUN@halsey593.freeserve.co.uk)
have been searching the web for possible ways to autoguide the lxd mount
and so far have found a possible way to connect the starlight express
autoguider star 2000.  the question that i have now is would the APM#909
module plug into the lxd55 aux slot and allow various accessories to
work? as it fits the LX90 I was just wondering.
    Alun Halsey
Mike here: There are reports that it should but from what I've seen no one has been able to make it work. I don't have one to try out.
Subject:	Declination Problems!
Sent:	Wednesday, October 29, 2003 21:44:02
From:	"Curt Wellwan" (wellwan@autobahn.mb.ca)
I would like to ask you a question regarding my LXD55 SN10. When I'm
doing the drive training in Dec. I'm having a problem with accuracy. 
After I centre on my object and press enter, the scope slews then asks
me to slew back to the object using the appropriate arrow.  When I slew
back to centre the object, it's not centred, it's off to the side which
would call for the RA to be used to get it centred.  This
misalignment only happens in Dec. not RA.  I'm using a 12mm reticle ep, 
but the problem is also noticeable in a 26mm.  Any help you can offer
would be greatly appreciated.  

You have an excellent site, and the information you offer, has saved all
of us hours of time troubleshooting.

clear skies,

Mike here: The TRAIN DRIVES is done to correct to calibrate each axis separately so a shift in the other axis shouldn't affect the training. However, it should not occur and could either be the result of a slightly out-of-balance condition or slippage. If you just slew in one axis can you see the same result?


Thanks for responding to my question.  As for if I see the same result
if I only slew in one direction, the answer is yes. Any time I slew in
DEC then return to the original point of origin my result is off in RA,
usually to the right when looking through the eyepiece.
Mike here: Check the GEM mount is selected (and not Alt/Az). Can you tell if the RA drive is running or does it appear to be slippage?


I talked to a Meade customer service rep today and he informed me that
there is a problem with the circuit board inside the RA motor,
apparently it's not receiving the stop command from the Autostar.  I
have to send the mount w\motors and the Autostar back to meade and they
say they will fix the problem.  I sure hope so !

Thanks for all your help up to now, and again I think you have an
excellent web site !

clear skies !
Curt Wellwan

Subject:	Moon Book
Sent:	Wednesday, October 29, 2003 00:57:00
From:	Gerry (mullen707@sbcglobal.net)
I want to buy my husband a good book on the MOON..So he can take it out
with his telescope when he's observing...Do you have any
recommendations?  Any information would be greatly appreciated,,,Thank
You.....Gerry Mullen
Mike here: Personally I don't have any but in looking at the Sky and Telescope online store, these look interesting:
"The Moon Book" by Kim Long, $12.59
"Exploring the Moon Through Binoculars and Small Telescopes" by Ernest H. Cherrington, Jr., $15.95


Thank You Mike...It's much appreciated...I'll look into it....Gerry
By the way, my son told me that he saw a moon book by SM Chong called
Photographic Atlas of the Moon..He thinks that his Dad would like it
because it has pictures and descriptions of all the features..Have you
heard of this one ..and what are your thoughts?..Thank You again...Gerry
Mike here: I saw that one as well but it was more expensive and from the description seemed more photos than maps. But I could be wrong since I've not actually seen the book.
Subject:	Motor unit Failure!
Sent:	Monday, October 27, 2003 13:15:37
From:	"Per. Ind. Fabrizio Ciliberto" (fabrcili@tin.it)
I bought  a LXD 55 SN8" a month ago and saturday evening i brought the
telescope outdoor first time to see the sky. i mounted the tripod, the
mount, the tube, and i put the batteries. and i switch-on the mount

i made all things like the user manual
but on the display of autostar appears: "Motor unit failure, etc. etc. etc"

i tried a lot of times bat the same thing!!!
Status of the telescope:
a) The batteries was "fresh"
b) The telescope was'nt overload
c) There wasn't obstructios
What is it?
A real failure of mount motor?
thank you
Mike here: Did you select the telescope model and mounting mode? Did you calibrate? Did you TRAIN DRIVES (both axes). What Autostar software version do you have?


Did you select the telescope model and mounting mode?  

No, because was first time that i switch-on Autostar

Did you calibrate? 


Did you TRAIN DRIVES (both axes).  


What Autostar software version do you have?

I have 497 version

Thank You
Mike here: Report back on the results once you've done those items. Sorry, I meant to ask what version of the Autostar software you have (2.6Ed, etc) and not the Autostar model.
Subject:	LXD55 8SN Power Supply?
Sent:	Sunday, October 26, 2003 07:13:49
From:	"Neal Ruple" (N_Ruple@msn.com)
I bought an 8 inch LXD55 SN telescope and got it in July.  I noticed
that there was a grinding noise in the RA motor and called Meade.  They
talked me through how to fix that.  I have had problems with Motor
Failure Warnings on the nights that I have been able to go to a dark sky
sight.  It usually occurs when the tube and counter weights are parallel
to the ground and scope is trying to slew into a target.  Friday night
it occurred while scope was in the Polar Home position.  I had setup the
scope around 6pm and left it in the sleep mode until I went out at
9:30pm.  It was covered with a lot of dew.  I was wondering if the the
battery pack is barely adequate to power the scope and if the dew could
have affected it the other night.  I have noticed that in slow motion
slewing that the Autostar handbox lights dim considerably, almost to the
point of going out.  I have ordered a car power cord and am hoping that
it will fix what I suspect is a lack of proper power supply.  If you
have any thoughts on the matter I would appreciate them.  

Thank You,
Neal Ruple
Louisville, KY.
Mike here: Check the balance since you indicate problems in some orientations. Also I do suspect low power since you say the Autostar displays dims while slewing. I've never seen that happen. Whether the moisture made it worse or not I can't say but certainly cooler temps will affect battery performance. If you are having a lot of Motor Faults I'd suggest a RESET, CALIBRATE, and TRAIN DRIVES again.
Subject:	lxd55 alignment
Sent:	Friday, October 24, 2003 06:37:21
From:	Greg (gdzurisi@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu)
I have a lxd55 mount with a 6" intes telescope. Last night for the first
time a friend and I tried the two star alignment.

We got the polar alignment fairly quick with good alignment. We then
went on to the two star alignment and picked two bright stars (Vega and
Altair). We centered each in the low power eyepiece and "entered" the
alignment into the autostar.

We got an error message of "no alignment". We tried again with two other
bright stars and got the same message. We tried a third time with the
same results. What are we doing wrong? Is the lxd55 working properly?
Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks, Greg. 
Mike here: Are you selecting the alignment stars or letting the Autostar pick them? If you are, they should be at least 90 degrees apart on not on the same RA or Declination.
Subject:	LXD55 8'' SC Autoguiding?
Sent:	Sunday, October 19, 2003 15:21:24
From:	"totsy.taylor" (totsy.taylor@ntlworld.com)
Does the 8'' SC 'scope have 'Autoguider' capabilities, for example, can
you plug say the Pictor 201XT into the control panel (if it actually has
Kind Regards,
Mark Taylor
Mike here: if you get the still to be shipped Autostar Suite from Meade you can autoguide with the included imager but I don't know if it will work with 3rd party ones.
Subject:	alignment plus
Sent:	Sunday, October 19, 2003 07:25:09
From:	"Hal Jones" (haljones@sympatico.ca)
The alignment on my lxd55 refractor is tolerable but I'd like to improve
it, first by properly aligning the polarscope. I've followed some of the
tips found on your valuable site, including replacement of the tiny
allen screws with larger ones that can be adjusted by hand. But I can
never get the test target lined up properly. No matter how many times I
reduce "half-the-error" while rotating 90 degrees about the RA axis, I
can never get a "lock". There doesn't seem to be enough wriggle room for
the polarscope to adjust. Any suggestions?

I'd also like to know if there is a way of detaching the OTA from an old
fork-mount Celestron 8in Schmidt Cassegrain and marrying it to the lxd55
mount. And would it require the same counterweight?

Hal Jones
Mike here: You could just be seeing a limitation (not enough wiggle room) of the mount. May not be much you can without a major mod to the mount. I've not done this myself (haven't had a need to). As to the Celestron, I don't have one to check but it should be doable. You'd could check Losmandy for the adapter. As to counterweight, I would suspect you will still need it.
Subject:	Meade 8" LXD55 SC-8 Telescope
Sent:	Monday, October 13, 2003 09:59:14
I saw your web site concerning the Meade LXD55 SC-8 telescope. I once,
in my earlier days, built my own 4 1/4 reflector and used it for a few
years. It disappeared during  moving from one house to another. I wanted
to get back into the hobby ( now age 53)  and was looking for a
telescope that I could use for both general viewing and for taking
pictures. I came across the Meade LXD55 and liked the specs. In your
opinion, is this telescope viable for a beginner with high expectations
of eventually taking some nice pictures in the future, once I get my
feet wet again in the hobby? It seems to be a telescope that can give
more than a few years of enjoyment.

Thanks for your help.

Harry Nelson
Mike here: Yes, the LXD55-8"SC is a nice scope. Keep in mind that the LXD55 is a low-end mount (but a step up from the ETX series) and not quite as good as the LX90-8"SC mount (although the telescope is the same 8"SC). Whether the LXD55 or even the LX90 would satisfy your astrophotography desires depends upon how serious you want to be about it. For best results the LX200 series provides all the capabilities for high-end astrophotography.
Subject:	autostar on eq6
Sent:	Sunday, October 12, 2003 01:01:42
From:	"Marco" (mcfazzo@yahoo.it)
hi, i have an eq6 mount, i want to move this whit my lxd55 autostar,
where i can find some project in internet to make all that i need?

thanks marco
Mike here: Check out 'Steve Bedair's "Go To" Mounts' on the Autostar Information page.
Sent:	Saturday, October 11, 2003 18:04:15
From:	"Curt Wellwan" (wellwan@autobahn.mb.ca)
I'm rather new to astronomy and I wanted to ask your opinion on a few
things about my scope, if that's ok.

I have a problem with my secondary mirror mount being loose on my Meade
SN-10".  I noticed it when I was adjusting the collimating screws.  My
questions are;  Is it possible to tighten the secondary without removing
the corrector plate ?  If it is, how do you go about setting the correct
angle of the mirror while tightening it ?  Any help you could give in
regards to this problem would be greatly appreciated.  By the way, the 1
year warranty was up last month, of course.  Thanks in advance !

You have a great web site !
Curt Wellwan
Mike here: I don't have the SN so can't answer your question directly. But just to confirm, you are saying that the holder for the secondary is loose, not the mirror itself.


Yes the holder is loose on the corrector plate.  I don't know if the
ring on the outside threads on to the holder after it passes through the
corrector plate, or if they are bonded together with some kind of
adhesive.  Either way, I'll have to find a way to secure it so that it
no longer moves.


Subject:	filters?
Sent:	Wednesday, October 8, 2003 20:58:11
From:	starseeking@earthlink.net
Do I need a special filter or something to view nebula's? I have a meade
lxd55 sc-8 telescope.
Mike here: Not necessarily. You can review some articles on various filters on the Accessory Reviews - Filters page on my ETX Site.


I was able to see the orion nebula but with no color. Will I see more
color detail with a filter?
Mike here: Unfortunately, the eye is not very sensitive to colors at low light levels. So most nebulae will appear faint green or grayish. With very large aperture telescope you can begin to see colors in M42.
Subject:	LXD 55 images
Sent:	Tuesday, October 7, 2003 09:25:31
From:	Brett Edwards (corgi172003@yahoo.com)
I would like to improve my goto accuracy on the LXD 55 and have searched
for somi info on it but as yet havent found much. Have you got some
useful hints that you could share?
Thanks and best regards
Brett Edwards
Mike here: The better the alignment (including aligning the optical tube to the polar axis) the better the GOTOs. There are many factors in GOTO accuracy but TRAIN DRIVES is very critical so don't be sloppy there.
Subject:	gps for autostar
Sent:	Saturday, October 4, 2003 19:59:20
From:	starseeking@earthlink.net
I am new to astronomy and just purchased a LXD55 SC-8 with autostar. I
am having some trouble with the alignment. Would a GPS unit help me with
the GOTO?
Mike here: Depends upon what the cause of your problem is. Adding the GPS only help for date, time, and location. If your problem is proper SETUP of the mount then automating entry of these won't help. So, learn how to do the setup and alignments first. Perhaps some of the alignment tips on the Autostar Information page might help. The assume the ETX models but it should be easy to make a mental translation to the LXD55 mount where necessary.


Does it make a difference if the closest town in the autostar menu is
about 25 miles away?
Mike here: Not after you align.
Subject:	ETX125/lxd55 mount
Sent:	Wednesday, October 1, 2003 13:35:34
From:	Offwork11@aol.com
I was reading about the stripped gear on the lxd55 site. I also have and
lxd55 10 in reflector. I was most interested how the ETX 125 is attached
to mount of the lxd55. As I have an etx 125 also. Would love to try this
combination. I looked at the photo that is there but for the life of me,
I can't figure it out. Can you help or explain how it is done. The photo
is not clear enough to tell.


Shep Kaplan.

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